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Solar Tax Credit Hack = Pool Pavilion

Frank Wickstead, Project Delivery Director

A few months ago, we discovered a Solar Tax Credit hack, and we’d love to help you take advantage of the opportunity. The federal solar tax credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows solar array customers to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their federal taxes. The ITC applies to both residential and commercial systems, and there is no cap on its value. Note that this is a tax credit, not a deduction, that can be spread across multiple years if desirable. The credit will remain 30% for the remainder of 2019, drops to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021, and 10% in 2022 and will remain at 10% on the commercial side beyond 2022. It is unclear (to me) what will occur beyond 2022 on the residential side.

The Key – Solar Energy System

Solar Tax Credit for Backyard Projects

Swimming Pool Pavilion with Solar Panels

With regards to your pool pavilion, arbor, carport, etc., the key word here is, solar energy SYSTEM. What we discovered is that the structure that supports the array is also eligible for the uncapped credit. The only stipulation is that the structure is open on 3 sides. We have incorporated these arrays into a covered patio and a pool pavilion. And yes, battery storage is also a component of the solar energy system. Based on the overall cost of the structure, the array for both jobs was free. An example:

Structure                   $ 100,000 Array and battery   $   30,000 Total less 30%          $130,000 Less Deduction       $   39,000 Total Project Cost  $   91,000

In both our current customers scenarios, the project scope didn’t change in the least to accommodate the array; they simply added the array to a project they already intended to build and claimed the credit. And in both these scenarios, the pavilion/ patio were components of a larger resort-quality outdoor living space (backyard fabulousness).

In both cases, the array was large enough to offset 35-40% of the client’s overall load (energy cost) and both, with battery storage, serve as backup generation during outages.

Have a commercial project with a pavilion, parking structure, etc.? Keep in mind that your project also qualifies.

Investment Tax Credit Resources

Here are a couple of sites with additional information about the Investment Tax Credit:

What project have you been considering that could qualify? Let us help you explore the options, we are your turnkey design and installation solution. Email me at to get the ball rolling.

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