If you’re lucky enough to enjoy the low utility fees prevalent in Kentucky, you can save even more money while saving the planet by taking advantage of some of the financial incentives for solar power available to state residents.
These low prices on power are about 3.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kW/hr) less than the national average, but are largely due to the fact that Kentucky has vast coal reserves. This is not to say that Kentucky’s state government ignores the need for alternative energy, however. Tax credits, loans, and even an electricity generation partnership program are all available to encourage the spread of renewable energy in the area. Much of Kentucky has a solar rating of “good,” and many households, especially in the Louisville area, could potentially take advantage of the sunny days if their roofs have more than 600 square feet of space.
You’re probably fairly happy with your utilities provider if you live in the Bluegrass State; after all, E. ON U.S., LLC, the main energy provider for much of the state, consistently ranks among the top utility companies for customer satisfaction. This contentedness, coupled with the widespread availability of coal, are reasons Kentucky has not instituted as many incentives for renewable energy as some other states.
However, as air quality becomes an increasing concern for more residents, improved rebates and other financial incentives will most likely be created through the action of the state government.
|Program Type||Tax Credit|
|Technologies||Photovoltaics, Wind Energy,Solar Hot Water Heating|
|Amount||$3 per watt of direct current of photovoltaics, or 30% of installation fee for other systems, up to $500|
|Required Documentation||Energy Efficiency Products Tax Credit Form, available from website|
|Official Web Site||http://revenue.ky.gov|
Kentucky offers state tax credits for renewable energy systems installed after Jan. 1, 2009. For most of these systems, such as passive solar hot water heating, or wind energy, the rebate covers up to 30 percent of the installation fees, for any amount up to $500. For photovoltaic systems, the rebate works a bit differently, and is calculated at $3.00 for each watt of direct current of the rated capacity of the system.
For your solar hot water heating system to qualify, it must have a manufacturer’s warranty of at least five years, an installer’s warranty of at least two years, and use Solar Rating and Certification Corporation-certified collectors.
If you have a photovoltaic system, it must be installed by a company certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, and its panels and inverters must be certified by Underwriter’s Laboratories and meet article 690 of the National Electrical Code.
|Program Type||Local Loan Program|
|Technologies||Solar Hot Water Heating|
|Amount||Up to 100 percent of equipment and labor costs|
|Required Documentation||Loan application from website|
|Official Web Site||http://www.kysolar.org|
Low-interest loans for solar water heaters are available for residents of Eastern Kentucky through the Kentucky Solar Partnership and the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). These loans cover the complete cost of equipment and labor, as well as the cost of a site assessment to determine if a solar water heater is suitable for your home.
Typically, a solar water heater costs about $4,000 to $6,500 to install, but can save you between $150 to $400 each year. Any collector installed must be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation, and typically, a 5 percent down payment is required for approved loans.
Contact MACED to find out what types of flexible loan terms are available.
|Program Type||Performance-based Incentive|
|Technologies||Photovoltaics, Wind Energy, Biomass|
1,000 plus $0.12/kWh above the base rate for solar photovoltaic systems and $0.03/kWh
above the retail rate for all other eligible renewable sources
|Required Documentation||Application form submitted to local power company|
|Official Web Site||http://www.tva.com/greenpowerswitch/partners/|
If you live in an area where utilities are provided by one of the 91 participating power companies serviced by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), you may qualify for a partnership program where you can earn discounts on your power bill from renewable energy, or even make money if your renewable energy system produces more power than you consume.
If you have a photovoltaic system with an alternating current output between 500 W and 200 kW, and your local power supplier participates in the program, the TVA will purchase 100 percent of the energy at $0.12 per kWh, in the form of credits on your power bill, and periodic payments for excess credits you earn.
More information can be found at the TVA website or by calling 866-673-4340.
Corporate Tax Credit
Local Loan Program
Personal Tax Credit
Sales Tax Exemption
Utility Loan Program
Utility Rebate Program
Rules, Regulations & Policies
Building Energy Code
Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Solar Access Law/Guideline
Related Programs & Initiatives
The U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC) provides a wide range of information and resources to enable the use of alternative fuels and other petroleum-reduction options, such as advanced vehicles, fuel blends, idle reduction and fuel economy. The AFDC site offers a database of state and federal laws and incentives related to alternative fuels and vehicles, air quality, fuel efficiency, and other transportation-related topics.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Green Power Network provides news and information on green power markets and activities, including opportunities to buy green power. This site provides state-by-state information on green power marketing and utility green power programs. In addition, the site lists marketers of renewable energy credits (RECs), also known as green tags or renewable energy certificates, which represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from renewable energy projects.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) enables low-income families to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy-efficient. Through this program, weatherization service providers install energy-efficiency measures in the homes of qualifying homeowners free of charge. The WAP program web site offers a state-by-state map of opportunities, projects and activities.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America site provides state-by-state information on wind projects and activities, including wind working groups, validated wind maps, anemometer loan programs, small wind guides, state-specific news, wind for schools, workshops and web casts.