Bailout Helps Out With Solar Power
By Jeffrey Smith, News On 6
TULSA, OK -- The new bailout bill is mostly about rescuing financial institutions, but there's a lot in there about tax cuts. So how could this bailout bill put money back in your pocket?
Uncle Sam has been helping foot the bill to install solar panels, but only up to $2,000. The bailout law throws that cap out the window.
Now throughout Green Country, homeowners are looking to do something good for the environment and great for the bottom-line.
Randy Curran is your average Green Country homeowner, but the solar panels on his roof make his home a little greener. He installed them four months ago to heat his home's water.
"I was looking at 50, 55 dollar bills and my last three have all been in the $14 range," said Curran.
Congress passed the $700 billion bailout bill and while it mostly deals with a Wall Street rescue, there's a lot in there about energy.
The bill threw out a cap on rebates for solar panels. Homeowners will now get a 30% credit no matter what the installation costs.
Deanna Christ owns a Tulsa-based solar energy company.
"Everyone's always interested in lowering their utility bills, of course, increasing their home value, and then taking advantage of the tax rebate," said Deanna Christ of Sun City Solar Energy.
Some homeowners expressed concerns about aesthetics. Others are worried about Oklahoma weather. Christ says she's never lost a panel due to hail.
"The solar gain in Oklahoma is comparable to that in parts of California and Florida," said Christ.
But if it's not sunny, there's no energy. Curran says that doesn't happen much.
"Had it for four months, saving about 80% of my gas bill, so can't argue with that," said Curran.
And with the new changes to the rebate law, people just like him are looking for little extra ways to save.
The bailout law also extended the 30% tax credit for another eight years.
For a family of four, it'll cost $7,000 to install solar panels to heat your water, but Curran says by his estimation, he'll start recouping that investment after five years.