I spoke about this a bit in our November 3, 2008 Stark Naked Report, but I think it is an important enough topic to mention here as well.
As much as I despise the fact that we are in such an economic situation that a $700 billion bailout by government of private industry seems remotely palatable, one positive outcome is the passing of a lot of renewable energy legislation. Now homeowners have even more financial incentive to consider supplementing or replacing their electricity consumption from the utilities with solar energy.
The most significant change on this front is the removal of the $2,000 federal rebate cap for the installation of solar panels.
For anyone that has a quote for solar panels, you will agree that hitting this $2,000 cap is almost a guarantee with residential systems ranging from $9,000 to $40,000 depending on your energy consumptions. Now homeowners will get back 30 percent of their solar panel installation with no maximum cap. It will be interesting to see how the macroeconomics plays out for this increase in rebates. Some of this benefit will be absorbed by the solar installation vendors who can now price their systems higher than the current market will otherwise support because of this government program. What portion of this will depend on the elasticity of demand which may be quite high especially in these economic times.