PALMYRA, N.Y. — New federal tax credits are available to homeowners looking to go solar, as part of the Inflation Reduction Act.
It may be an older home, but Asa Farnham’s lifestyle couldn’t be more modern.
“We bought the house on the cheap,” Farnham said. “It was a fixer-upper, and we used that money that we saved from buying a cheap house to make it however we wanted to make it.”
From his fully electric kitchen to his electric vehicle charging stations, Asa’s home is one water heater away from being completely carbon neutral.
“Yeah, once you start down the path, it's hard not to continue down that path because you just start seeing the payoff pretty quick, especially if you replace something that used gas, which is far more expensive,” Farnham said.
And he’s got dozens of solar panels supporting that effort.
“We got our first electric car, then we wanted another electric car, so we got more panels and then got the car, and then started electrifying everything throughout the house after that,” Farnham said.
He’s getting a 30% tax credit from the federal government for his latest set of solar panels, introduced by the recent Inflation Reduction Act for any solar project completed by homeowners over the next 10 years.
Then there’s a 25% solar tax credit offered by New York state, and a grant from his power company.
“We have a lot of work to do to sort of do our part here in Rochester to solve the climate crisis as a part of sort of that global challenge," Kevin Schulte, the CEO of GreenSpark Solar, said. "And it's well-supported now, better supported now by public policy, both at the state and federal level than it's ever been before.”
GreenSpark Solar, the Wayne County company behind his installation, says energy and the economy go hand-in-hand.
“About 60% of inflation over this summer was driven by rising energy costs," Schulte said. "So the best part about going solar today is you fix your cost for the lifetime. That system, which lasts 25 to 30 years.”
In total, Asa’s recent $15,000 installation only cost him $8,000 out of pocket – and GreenSpark says they’ve seen incentives total up to 70% off.
“It's fantastic,” Farnham said. “It's using the carrot instead of a stick. You know, people can take advantage of it at will.”
With the threat of climate change, Asa believes he has a responsibility to act. And says now is a great time for others to act, too.
“Now's the time, really, if there's any time to do it,” Farnham said. “The panels themselves have come down in cost so much, too, and gotten more efficient as well. So everything's kind of adding up.”