The phrase “go solar” means different things to different people. It could mean getting off the grid or plugging into solar panels—and for right now—it’s all about soaking in the sunlight with skylights.
Sustainable Living Through Skylights
Before electric light, when the sun went down, humans went to sleep or lit candles, eagerly waiting for sunrise. Today we have the ability to be bathed in light with the flick of a switch—but a big trend is to forego that flick and leverage the earth’s most abundant natural resource: sunlight. Attitudes are evolving and people from all walks are felling that it is more important than ever to live sustainably and harness renewable resources like sunlight and fresh air.
Skylights provide a huge step forward in creating green-friendly homes and buildings. According to the US Green Building Council’s website, “a green home uses less energy, water, and natural resources; creates less waste; and is healthier for the people living inside.” In this way, green homes and buildings stand to positively affect our environment for future generations.
Business owners, building owners, occupants, residents and government officials are becoming increasingly sensitive to energy use when it comes to efficiency, environmental impact and cost. Skylights provide a solution that is not only green and cost-effective, but also stylish and luxurious as well. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes including flat, domed, arched and even pyramid. Some are fixed, some open with a crank and some even open using solar power and a remote control. One thing they all have in common is they help reduce the strain on the grid by letting in the light.
What Happens When Your Clients Go Solar
Beyond the benefits to the environment, people are incentivized to “go solar.” Thanks to the Emergency Stabilization Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, those who purchase and install qualifying products are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit on all costs, including installation.
This means that many solar-powered products associated with skylights qualify under “Solar Electric Property” expenditures and are eligible for tax credits on products installed through December 31, 2021. These can include solar-powered ventilating skylights, solar powered blinds and other products.
When looking at options, it’s important to know that when people have items installed with their skylights, such as solar-powered blinds or solar powered lighting systems, not only are those elements eligible for the federal tax credit, but so is the installation as well. So, while the federal tax credit is unfortunately not extended to architects, builders, remodelers, or installers, they can still increase their sales totals by encouraging clients to include upgraded accessories that provide additional benefits and value.
Why Now Is the Best Time to Go Solar
Skylights and solar-powered products will always be an environmentally-friendly alternative to lighting, but now more than ever is a great time to encourage everyone to “go solar.”
Unless they are renewed or amended over the next few years, the tax credit will only apply to renewable technologies installed between 2009 and 2021 and the credit amount changes year over year:
- For technologies installed in 2018-2019, a 30% federal tax credit can be applied
- For technologies installed in 2020, a 26% federal tax credit can be applied
- For technologies installed in 2021, a 22% federal tax credit can be applied
Needless to say, now really is the best time to incorporate solar technologies into floor plans for new builds and remodels.
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The Understanding Window, Door & Skylight Certification webinar is designed to help architects and remodelers understand the benefits of window, door and skylight certification and how certified products can enhance their projects.
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