Does it pay to have solar panels installed on your rooftop or elsewhere on your property? Well, that depends on where you live, not only for the reasons we've outlined in another article (i.e. how much sun falls on my property over the course of the year), but because some jurisdictions have considerable incentives. Examples of incentives include feed-in tariffs and tax credits. It's important to learn more about the incentives in the state or province where you live before considering a solar panel installation.
Ontario, for example, has a generous feed-in tariff program, where solar panel installations less than 10kW fall under the microFIT program and those over 10kW can benefit from the FIT program. For the purposes of residential users, let's consider the microFIT program. In this case, the Ontario Power Authority guarantees a fixed price for electricity generated and sold back to the grid for the 20 years of the contract. As of January 2016, the rate for rooftop solar panel installations is 29.4 cents per kWh, and for ground-mounted solar panel installations the rate is 21.4 cents per kWh.
In the United States, solar panel installations, including residential ones, can benefit from a federal tax credit equal to 30% of the cost of the solar system, including installation, with no cap on the amount. In addition, a number of states offer further tax incentives. For example, In Arizona, residents who install solar panels can claim a $1000 State Tax Credit.
These are just a few examples of the incentives, rebates and tax credits available for solar panel installations. To learn more about what programs are available in your state or province, check out:
Updated: 7 January 2016