Solar Panels in your home as a way to generate power are nothing new. Tax credits, rebates, and incentives for installing solar panels, also nothing new. Yet, the further we go down the road of climate change and its negative side effects the more important it is for the entire world to continue investing in renewable, green energy sources. This is why rebates and similar offers are so vital to industries such as solar. But why are they important to you?

What Is A Rebate?
You’ve gotta spend money to make money. Rule of thumb for businesses, but with rebates businesses are able to generate more business while also passing on some savings to you, the consumer. A rebate is a partial repayment on something that’s already been bought and paid for, like your solar panels. Sometimes rebates offered via the manufacturer require you to purchase, then mail in your request for a rebate before they send you a check. For the federal government, you can collect your rebate when you pay your taxes.

How Is That Different From A Tax Credit?
Excellent question. A tax credit is offset by the taxes you owe, whereas a rebate will be paid regardless of your final bill. For example, if you’re a lower income earner and it’s low enough to owe nothing in taxes, tax credits will not apply to you. If the state or federal government offers you a rebate on solar installation, you’ll receive the amount of that rebate whether you owe a lot or a little, or even nothing at all.

How Does This Help Me?
Well, the actual cost of solar can reach up to $20,000. That’s a new kitchen, and then some. While we would all love a new kitchen, bedecked with tons of space and all the best gadgets, you can save money and the environment by doing your part and switching to solar. You’ll generate savings through your overhead, but it will still take around 20 years to make back that initial investment. This alone is enough to deter homeowners. With a rebate, though, you can earn back a substantial amount of your investment within the fiscal year. There are other tools available to some to help save you some dough, like net-metering. Net-metering is a wonderful practice in cities where any excess energy your solar panels create that your house doesn’t use gets transferred to the larger, city power grid and puts a little money in your pocket. The more you contribute to the grid, the more money you get in the form of a credit.

While it would be nice for the environment to lay down some serious laws that put solar and other green energies into every single home and business across the world, it isn’t really feasible. The companies that build, transport, sell, and install solar are still companies with a bottom line of profits to meet. It isn’t particularly constitutional to force people to shill out what they don’t have. Offering incentives like rebates encourages people to move in this direction without creating a huge financial risk. If you have yet to go green with solar, keep an eye out for these offers and seize upon them as soon as you can.