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Renewable Energy Incentives

The time for renewable resource energy production is here.  Aside from the obvious incentive of protecting our resources by using renewable energy versus fossil fuels, we can also protect our environment be reducing greenhouse gasses.  Now, there are very attractive financial incentives available to lower the cost of "clean energy" to be competitive with traditional methods of power generation.


Stimulus Package Extends, Enlarges Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives


Congress passed an economic stimulus package that does much to promote energy efficiency. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 includes several provisions modifying and expanding the scope of the energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives. A few notable changes(1):


bullet Energy efficiency incentives for upgrades to existing homes have been extended, and are now available for 2009 and 2010.
bullet The financial cap for these incentives, which cover home envelope improvements as well as heating, cooling and water heating equipment, was increased to $1,500 (from $500).
bullet Lower caps, such as the $200 cap on new windows, have been abolished. The existing home incentives are now calculated at 30% of the cost of the installation (labor and equipment), up to the $1,500 cap.
bullet Standards for equipment eligibility have changed – see the individual topic pages on the Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP) site for details.
bullet On-site renewables (solar photovoltaic and hot water systems, small wind systems, and geothermal heat pumps) are now eligible for a tax incentive worth 30% of the total cost, with no cap.
bullet Homeowners are eligible for tax credits for qualified solar water heating and photovoltaic systems.  Solar water heating systems produce hot water, photovoltaic systems produce electricity.  The credits are available for systems "placed in service" at any dwelling unit, not necessarily the primary residence, between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2016.
bullet Owners of small wind systems with 100 kilowatts (kW) of capacity and less can receive a credit for 30% of the total installed cost of the system.  The credit will be available for equipment installed through December 31, 2016.  This legislation marks the first federal incentive for small wind systems since 1985.  The incentive was further expanded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009, which removed the financial cap that had been present in the 2008 legislation.


For more information about the provisions of the economic stimulus package relating to solar and wind energy, click here.


State Renewable Energy Incentives


Many states have additional incentives available, such as New Mexico's Solar Market Development Tax Credit, which gives the taxpayer a credit of 10% of the total installed system cost, up to a maximum of $9,000.  There are other incentives available, depending on the taxpayer status.


Utility Company Incentives


Federal and state mandates require that by 2020, a minimum of 20% of all power sold by utility companies is generated from renewable resources.  These mandates have caused utility companies to begin building their own renewable energy generation facilities, contracting with third parties for large blocks of "green power", seeking sources of renewable power generation outside their own systems, and buying Renewable Energy Credits "RECs" from renewable resources.  State PRC net metering regulations, which allows the customer to sell excess power back to the grid, have resulted in many utility companies implementing various other kinds of incentives to encourage the installation and operation of renewable energy systems.  Some of the utility company renewable energy incentives offered in New Mexico may be reviewed at the following links:


All utilities in New Mexico governed by the PRC are required to offer net metering.

PNM (REC purchasing):

Xcel Energy (REC purchasing):

El Paso Electric (REC purchasing):

Rural electric cooperatives ("Co-ops") are required to offer net metering, but may or may not choose to purchase RECs.


For additional information on all Federal, State and utility incentives available for renewable energy and energy efficiency, go to the following link:



Here is another excellent site for information on renewable energy and energy efficiency incentives:


North Carolina State University Solar Center website


an  Photovoltaic Renewable Energy Systems and Wind Energy Systems, New Mexico solar power and solar energy rebates, tax credits, and incentives.  Authorized Dealer

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