It’s that time of the year again — tax time. If you purchased a rooftop solar system in 2014 you are eligible for a Federal Investment Tax Credit (FITC) of 30% of the cost of the system. This tax credit is good for both solar PV and solar thermal (hot water) systems. The solar FITC applies to the owner of the system, which is the homeowner for the purchased system(s) or the leasing/PPA company for system(s) that are owned by a third party.
The solar FITC is arguably the most important incentive for solar customers, but it goes to zero on January 1, 2017. Claiming the credit on your tax return is surprisingly easy. All you need is the complete set of invoices from your installer that summarizes your qualified costs for your system — then you can reduce your 2014 tax bill by 30% of those total costs. For example, if your purchase price for the system installed in 2014 was $20,000, you get to reduce your 2014 tax bill by $6,000.