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A Truly Historic Moment in the USA

Updated: Aug 17




I lived and worked on Solar in the USA for a third of my life. I co-founded a solar company that grew to be one of the largest installers in the country. I rode that solar coaster and experienced crazy highs and heartbreaking lows. I love the USA, I love the fact that OpenSolar serves so many heroic American installers, and I’m deeply passionate about American leadership in solar electrification.


One of the things that’s always driven me crazy about the US market is the incredibly complex and various ways that solar permitting is done around the country. It’s slow and bureaucratic and drives up the soft costs to make solar in the US way more expensive per watt than any other market in the world.


So I founded SolarAPP+ which has now been embraced by the US government and is starting to roll out to jurisdictions across the country. It completely streamlines the process by automating plan review, permit approval, and project tracking. It standardizes up to 90% of standard system plans.


Along with my friends and teammates, I’ve poured my heart and soul into the American solar market, which is why today I can scarcely believe the new Inflation Reduction Act that President Biden just signed into law. It’s a truly historic moment, and the American solar electrification market is now set for massive growth and potential world leadership in the deployment of clean tech. Just look at some of the contents!


The Solar ITC Increase

The Solar Investment Tax Credit has been increased from 26% to 30%. The 30% applies to both business and residential projects, including projects installed in 2022, and will last until the end of 2032.


Energy Storage Projects Now Eligible for Tax Credit

Energy storage projects were previously ineligible for tax credits unless they were connected directly to solar power projects. The Inflation Reduction Act removes these requirements, and allows energy storage projects to receive the same 30% tax credit, even if they are stand-alone facilities. Batteries connected to a solar power project will continue to qualify for the credit.


More Upcoming Tax Credits and Rebates

That’s just the start - here’s what else:

  • Tax credits for EV's: $7,500

  • Tax credits for used EV's: $4,000

  • Tax rebate for heat pump: $8,000

  • Tax rebate for heat pump water heater: $1,750

  • Tax rebate for heat pump clothes dryer: $840

  • Tax rebate for for electrical panel upgrade for new appliances: $4,000

For solar professionals already using OpenSolar, take a look at our help center article with instructions for how to adjust your settings in accordance with the new law here.


What’s Next for the Industry?

We can now see a fairly immediate future where solar professionals in the USA and around the world will become solar electrification professionals, helping homeowners and businesses fully electrify, ensuring that older, inefficient fossil fuel burning machines can be stripped out and replaced with electric versions. Our incredible finance partners will be there to help make these solutions affordable from day one.


And OpenSolar will be there too. Of course, you can already give your proposals on OpenSolar a boost by updating your ITC incentive to 30%, and you can already create battery only proposals. But there’s a lot more OpenSolar functionality on its way that will enable solar professionals to truly harness the enormous economic growth opportunity that the Inflation Reduction Act represents.


As an industry, we now have everything we need to electrify America - the government incentives and the tools like OpenSolar and SolarAPP+. Let’s truly make this historic moment count for our communities, for our families and for our one and only planet Earth.


Have a sunny day.


Yours truly,

Birchy


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