Solar Installations: It’s All About Incentives 1

In a recent post, we talked about how California accounts for 56% of our country’s residential solar power. While this information could indicate the state is living up to its “sunny” reputation, that’s not the whole story. After all, Florida (the Sunshine State) ranks an abysmal 14th, generating only 1 percent of the country’s solar power. Meanwhile, New Jersey — not exactly known for its sunshine (although it does have some nice beaches on the shore) — with cold winters ranks fourth, behind Colorado (better known for skiing than sunshine) in third.

If it’s not sunshine that makes the difference in the amount of residential solar PV installations, what does? Rebates and incentives for installing solar PV arrays. It’s not climate, but government — and probably a bit of any given state’s culture and mindset — that determines whether or not a state will have a large percentage of solar PV arrays. Californians are known for being environmentally conscious, and the state government backs up that philosophy.


  • Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced the $3.3 billion dollar Million Solar Roofs program, which aims to produce 3,000 new megawatts of solar power by 2017.
  • The California Public Utilities Commission’s California Solar Initiative introduces additional incentives for solar PV installations.
  • The California Energy Commission’s New Solar Homes Partnership encourages solar in new homes through a 10-year, $400 million dollar program.

How much money can homeowners earn to defray the costs of solar PV arrays? It depends on the size of the array as well as local grants and incentives in specific municipalities. If you live in California, a solar contractor can help you learn more, and possibly even walk you through the application process.

To take the first step, click here to get your free solar savings report and see if your home is a good fit for saving money — and the environment — with solar energy.

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A full-time freelance writer, Dawn frequently covers energy efficiency, green living, and topics like LED lighting and whole home control systems for a number of blogs and technology trade magazines. Dawn is proud to live in New York as the state vies to beat out New Jersey as the East coast top dog of solar energy and is waiting for the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate legislation to pass before installing solar panels on her Long Island home.

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1 Comment

  1. The other biggest factor which is totally neglected here is electric rates in the particular states. California and New Jersey may not be so green minded as much as their electric rates are very high. You want to incentivize the new? – then tax the old. Wars to protect the middle east oil supply chain should be paid for by taxing petroleum products.

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