Solar energy officials see bright future, but still need help getting …

WASHINGTON – There are four elements needed for the growth and vitality of the solar-energy industry, but none may be more important than continued incentives for both manufacturers and consumers, industry officials said this week.

Ryan Simpson, business development manager for Phoenix-based Power-One, said the industry needs to educate consumers, find a better way to store solar energy and keep improving the technology behind the invention and manufacture of solar products.

Long green to go green

Arizona governments and utilities offer a number of financial incentives to get homes and businesses to invest in renewable energy or make energy-efficiency improvements.

• Corporate tax credits: Gives businesses credit for some of the cost of installing renewable power or generating electricity from renewable sources.

• Green building incentives: Governments in Tucson, Scottsdale, Chandler and Buckeye offer different incentives.

• Industry recruitment/support: Property and income tax credits to lure renewable-energy product manufacturers to Arizona.

• Local rebate programs: Phoenix city rebates to homes and businesses along the light rail line that improve energy efficency.

• Personal deduction: A tax credit up to $500 for homeowners who convert a wood-burning fireplace to a wood stove.

• Personal tax credits: Gives homeowners credit for some of the cost of installing renewable power or generating electricity from renewable sources.

• Property tax incentive: Assessment reductions for businesses and homeowners who install and use renewable-energy equipment.

• Sales tax incentives: Exempts certain renewable-energy product purchases from sales tax.

• Utility loan programs: Special financing from APS and Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative for individuals and businesses to make energy-saving investments.

• Utility rebate programs: Rebates from a number of gas and electric providers in the state for energy-efficiency efforts by customers.

Source: Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency

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