On December 18, the extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was formally approved and included broad bipartisan support by California’s congressional delegation. Congress voted to extend the 30% solar credit from 2016 until 2019, at which time it moves to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021. The extension applies to residential and commercial solar installations. However, for commercial projects, the 10% credit remains in place after 2021, per existing tax law.
For those who purchase a system, the tax credit is available to use as needed until the total amount is claimed. For those who lease a system, the credit goes to the company providing the lease, but is reflected in lower lease payments.
“The federal solar tax credit is a critical policy support making it easier for consumers and businesses across the state to go solar,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, Executive Director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA), which gives voice to the more than 2,000 solar companies doing business in California. “We applaud the bipartisan leadership of our California Congressional delegation in supporting passage of this multi-year extension of the ITC.”
Federal and state solar-friendly policies policies have also brought about significant cost reductions within the solar industry—dropping over 60% in the past seven years—enabling the growth of local solar businesses and reducing energy costs for homeowners, businesses, schools and farmers across the state.
The solar industry, which now employs about 200,000 people in the United States, will continue to grow and expects to expand employment to 440,000 by 2020. Locally, Renova Solar employs more than 125 and has an estimated annual economic impact of $24 million.
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