There are some financial incentives offered that vary from state to state, but even with these sales tax exemptions and buydown programs, installing solar panels is still a fairly large expense to the homeowner. Oksolar.com has links to some of the programs so you can look into your state’s incentives: http://www.oksolar.com/gov/government_financial_incentives_for_solar_energy.html.
A buydown program is a form of rebate that mostly varies according to the price of electricity in the area where the solar panels are being installed. The intention is to bridge the gap between the price of electricity and the price of solar panels.
Some propose a federal loan program along the lines of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) from the Great Depression. As the homeowner paid back the loan from the installation, in payments comparable to the price of non-solar electricity, the money would serve as a loan to another family and so on. But this would require a major investment on the part of the government and is at the moment just an idea.
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