View Full Version : (1) A $1500 photovoltaic coupon and (2) a new alternative energy property tax credit

February 15th, 2010, 04:50 AM
First, let me know if you want a discount coupon on a photovoltaic system. We won't be using it.

At last month's Home Show we asked a bunch of questions about expanding our PV system and "earned" a discount card from American Electric (AmericanElectricHomes.com, http://American-Electric.cc/). We've since decided that we're not going to make the card's 29 April expiration date. The sales guy, Michael Dutton, logged it into their book and would probably honor it on a neighbor island as well as on Oahu:

"This coupon entitles the bearer to $1500 off a 2 KW or larger solar energy system installed by American Electric. Coupon must be presented at time of site assessment, and cannot be combined with any other coupon/discount. One coupon per household."

I don't know if American's price is better than another solar installer, but they were showing a pergola using a roof made from PV panels. Never saw one of those designs before and we might use it someday.

If you'd like the card, send me a PM or e-mail with your snail mail address and I'll send it to you.

Next, I'm not sure how I missed the press release, but I was researching a friend's PV question and I came across this on the DSIRE website (http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=HI28F&re=1&ee=1):

"In September 2009, the Honolulu City Council unanimously passed Bill 58 to create a real property tax exemption for alternative energy improvements. This bill became effective October 1, 2009. The alternative energy property installed on a building, property, or land is exempt from property taxes for 25 years. For the purposes of this property tax exemption, alternative energy sources include solar, wind, hydropower, tidal, wave, solid waste and increased efficiency in fossil-fuel burning facilities. Energy sources based on fossil fuels, nuclear fuels or geothermal energy are not eligible for this exemption."

Here's the bill:

and an excerpt:

(a) The value of all improvements in the county (not including a building or its structural components, except where alternate energy improvements are incorporated into the building, and then only that part of the building necessary to such improvement) actually used for an alternate energy improvement shall be exempted from the measure of the taxes imposed by this article.
(b) As used in this section "alternate energy improvement" means any construction or addition, alteration, modification, improvement or repair work undertaken upon or made to any building, property or land which results in:
(1) The production of energy from a source, or uses a process which does not use fossil fuels, nuclear fuels or geothermal source. Such energy source may include, but shall not be limited to, solid wastes, wind, solar or ocean waves, tides or currents; or
(2) An increased level of efficiency in the utilization of energy produced by fossil fuels or in the utilization of secondary forms of energy dependent upon fossil fuels for its generation.
(c) Application for the exemption provided by this section shall be made with the director on or before September 30th, preceding the tax year for which the exemption is claimed, except that no claim need be filed for the exemption of solar water collectors, heaters, heat pumps and similar devices. The director may require the taxpayer to furnish reasonable information in order that the director may ascertain the validity of the claim for exemption.
(d) The claim for exemption, once allowed, shall continue for a period of 25 years thereafter.

I couldn't find a direct link on their website about the exemption, let alone how to apply for it. Guess I'll see what I can get from a phone call. I suppose the credit would only be for the appraised or retail value of the system, and we happen to have an appraisal from a 2009 refinance. I don't know if this would be in addition to all of the other property-tax exemptions or if it's limited to the largest of them.