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Solar news: August 6th, 2021

In this week’s news round up, we’re discussing a proposed new federal incentive and an important update in solar financing.

Expansion of the federal income tax credit introduced in budget bill

Representatives Mikie Sherrill and Bill Pascrell of New Jersey and Senator Jon Osloff of Georgia have introduced legislation to expand the federal income tax credit (ITC) to further incentivize the adoption of solar shingles–which integrate into your roof instead of sitting on top of your roof like traditional solar panels. As it currently stands, the ITC covers only the installation of the solar shingles themselves instead of the full roof replacement.

Under the expansion, the ITC would apply to the entire replacement of solar-integrated roofs and it would allow homeowners to expense any roof repairs and replacement needed for solar installation. Sponsors of the bill–which was aptly named the RAISE the Roof Act–indicated that they hoped that this incentive would increase domestic production and installation of solar shingles. When discussing the bill, Representative Sherril stated “It’s these kinds of fixes to the tax code that can really spur innovation. I want GAF and others to be producing those solar roof tiles across the nation and across the world.”

Solar shingles are not yet as widely installed as solar panels, although their potential as a technology remains to be seen. If you would like to read our comparison between the Tesla Solar Roof and traditional solar panels, you can do so here.

Rocket Companies to offer solar loans

Financing giant Rocket Companies has recently announced that they will be offering solar loans on their online platform. Customers will be able to apply for solar loans online through Rocket Companies, and will also have the option to combine existing solar loans with their mortgage in exchange for a single interest rate. Rocket Companies will also provide solar advisors who will help their customers assess if solar is the right investment for them. In expanding into solar financing, Rocket Companies hopes to simplify the solar loan process and offer users the convenience of online financing options. Solar financing through Rocket Companies is expected to be available in 2022.

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