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International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials

USA: Extended Tax Credits for Weak Solar Thermal Market

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on February 24, 2016
CalseiaAgainst all odds, the solar heating tax credits in the USA were extended again by 5 years. On 18 December 2015, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed, including an extension of the so-called federal Investment Tax Credits up to 2021. Originally, the tax incentives were expected to end on 31 December 2016 after an eleven-year period since 2005, with one previous extension in 2008. They allow both residential and commercial investors of solar PV and solar thermal systems to deduct 30 % of the investment costs at the next tax declaration.
Photo: Calseia.org

USA: Ups and Downs of Californian Incentive Levels and Application Numbers

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 25, 2015
USA California StatisticsIf there were an award for the most transparent support programme in the field of solar heating and cooling, then the California Solar Initiative (CSI) – Thermal Program would get the prize. The CSI-T programme offers a regularly updated and publicly available Excel file of all submitted, approved and paid applications, and this file also includes an amazing amount of additional information, such as collector size, system supplier, contractor for the installation, total project costs or the application itself. The chart above, provided by Lewis Bichkoff, Lead Analyst of the CSI Thermal Program at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), shows the subsidised and installed collector area per year. The annual volume shows significant growth from 953 m² (10,247 ft²) installed and granted during the first year to 36,641 m² (394,401 ft²) in 2014. In 2014, there was a noticeable dominance of pool heating systems, which made up 71 % of the total subsidised collector area.
Chart: CPUC
 

USA: Solar Water Heaters Survive Energy Star Revisions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 14, 2012

 Energy Star Logo During the revision of the Energy Star specifications, solar water heaters were in danger of losing the label because of their long financial payback times (see http://www.solarthermalworld.org/node/3217). The third draft of the revised requirements, which was published on 19 March, has now put an end to the uncertainty: the EPA has included solar water heaters even in its most recent document. A relief for all solar thermal producers – albeit they still criticise the high solar share required.

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