Recently the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, H.R. 1424, was passed by Congress that includes a new federal investment tax credit to assist the public in offsetting the wind turbine cost for their homes, businesses or farms. Without any delay, president Bush signed the bill into law.
The Act offers a federal tax credit for 30% of the total installed cost of any wind power system with a 100 kilowatt capacity or less, but the credit will not exceed $4,000. The limitation of the Act is that it only applies to new systems installed from 3 October 2008 through to December 2016, so any current systems will get no tax relief. In addition, for home wind turbines, the credit is further limited to the lesser of $4,000 or $1,000 per kW of capacity.
America, who has typically lead the worldwide small wind turbine market recently begun to feel pressure from other nations that offered enticing incentives for small renewable energy systems. So the new legislation was warmly welcomed by a Small Wind Advocate of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Ron Stimmel, who said:
“We thank Congress for recognizing and supporting small wind systems as an important contributor toward energy security and a cleaner environment. This credit will help individuals cut their electric bills while combating global warming in a tangible way.”
This bill is the first federal incentive for small wind turbines since 1985, and industry members believe the credit could grow the U.S. wind power market by 40% or more annually. And along with the upcoming equipment certification scheme, it will help secure it as the global leading market.
To put the industry on equal grounds with the photovoltaic (PV) solar industry, the AWEA, and its members have long requested a 30% federal investment incentive for small wind turbines 100kW and smaller. And now their persistence has paid off.
Since the two industries share the same renewable energy market, the wide legislation also expands on a similar credit for the PV solar industry that was first enacted in 2005. Domestic PV solar systems now receive a 30% credit, limited to $4,000, and commercial installations can get the same, but uncapped, credit.
So how does this act affect anyone who has installed their own system? By the looks of things, diy renewable energy enthusiasts can also enjoy the federal tax credit as long they have proof of all installation costs and the date they were incurred. But, it is best to get sound legal advice first to help you maximize any tax credit due.
With the new tax credit, coupled with potential state-side credits, we cannot see a better time for anyone to invest in their own renewable energy system at home and offset the wind turbine cost. Whether this means getting an expensive professionally installed solar/wind power hybrid, or learning to do it yourself, potential electricity savings are a decision away. At the end of the day the choice is yours.
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