One of solar energy’s great allures is the benefits it can provide low-income citizens. The problem is always funding the actual investment to make self-sufficient power a reality. Seeing this disparity in its customer base, San Antonio, Texas-based Advanced Solar & Electric LLC launched a summertime rebate deal that will match CPS Energy’s solar rebate for customers who install solar panels on homes that are worth $100,000 or less. Pretty cool.
The unique incentive program is aimed at getting lower-income residents to participate in the solar industry and, thus, reap the long-term cost-saving benefits of owning a solar array.
The rebate is essentially offered geographically. San Antonio city districts 1 through 5 have received the least amount in rebate dollars, and are also home the city’s lowest income residents, so Advanced Solar’s program is targets in these districts specifically.
The company estimates this will help more than 500 people go solar. Representatives from District 2, chambers of commerce, and Bexar County are expected to attend.
Here is how the company breaks down the math: The average 4.3 kilowatt residential solar array would cost about $2,600 less out of pocket under the additional incentive, bringing the total cost down to $5,822. Because federal Solar Investment Tax (ITC) Credit is 30 percent based on the total cost of the system minus other rebate programs, the ITC is less than the total $3,809 additional discount from Advanced Solar.
“We want a diversified business model,” said owner Don Dickey. “This opens up (solar) to more of the market. … Our sales will be a little less, our profit margins will be a little bit less, but it’s not all about making money.”
The company is still able to make a profit from the installations because of its ability to buy materials and equipment in bulk and at established discounts from suppliers. They will also be able to offer additional financing options, like month to month payments.
— Solar Builder magazine