House Bill 201 and 91 would authorize an income and/or franchise tax credit for those who run on solar power. HB 201 would give the credit to homeowners who purchase and install a solar energy system or "energy efficiency services," and HB 91 would do the same for those who purchase, install and lease a system.
Perry County resident John Bailey is a supporter of the two bills, give or take some revisions, because his 2,300 square foot home is solar-powered.
"We saw the opportunity to save money and generate money," said Bailey of the system he's had for about seven months.
Bailey said his electricity bill has decreased by approximately 25 to 50 percent each month since installing the solar panels, and the energy he does not use immediately is either stored or sold back to his power association.
"That's just the way solar is," he said. "You store it, and then you use it when you need it."
HB 201, which is authored by Representative Herb Frierson (R- Dist. 106), would give a 50 percent credit for the first $50,000 "paid or incurred by a taxpayer for the cost of a solar electric energy system." For those with a solar thermal energy system, a 50 percent tax credit would be applied to the first $12,500.
A federal tax credit of 30 percent currently benefits solar homeowners, and these state credits would be eligible for use in addition to the federal credit.
"That made a big difference," said Bailey of the federal credit. "Without the tax incentive, the internal rate of return on this system probably wouldn't have made it feasible.
HB 201 and 91 are currently in the House Ways and Means Committee.
To read the bills, click here.