Alternative Energy Funds

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Alternative energy funds are available primarily for solar costs and wind systems. For the years 2001-2003, the tax credit from the State of California was 15% of the purchase cost. The credit is decreased to 7.5% for 2004-2005, and ends on January 1, 2006.

All the more reason to consider with some urgency these energy sources for your home or commercial power. In addition, the California Energy Commission (CEC) is offering cash rebates through its Emerging Renewables Program. In the rather fluid energy and political situation in California, ascertain current standards and requirements if these alternative energy funds are crucial to you.

Eligible Systems

Two solar systems are eligible for funding: photovoltaics and thermal systems. Photovoltaics (PV) are solar cells that convert sunlight directly to electricity. Solar thermal electricity systems use solar heat to generate electricity. System requirements include production of electricity that is 200% or less of the past or current electricity needs.

An important requirement is that your system be permanently connected to the utility distribution grid, in this case, that of PG&E. Some home owners choose not to hook up to their utility grid, and these rebates are not available to them. Other systems that are acceptable are small wind turbines and fuel cells.

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