It was heartening to read the story about First Congregational United Church of Christ’s commitment to get as far off the electric grid as possible. The stated goal is to completely offset their power consumption. Their fundraising event as described in the Conscious Party article [“Souls for Solar,” March 11, Xpress] was a great way to gather interested neighbors in the Hendersonville community to help with their effort.
One important piece of information that was not in the article is that there is a significant financial benefit to the donor to a nonprofit organization, such as a church. Donors not only accrue a charitable-donation deduction on their federal taxes, but North Carolina offers a 35-percent tax credit; yes, that’s real money, for renewable-energy installations.
The details: As of Jan. 1, 2008, the state of North Carolina has enacted among the most generous and accessible renewable-energy-technology incentive programs in the USA. Through this incentive, the state of North Carolina will return 35 percent of the cost of qualifying renewable-energy projects through tax credits. This credit extends to individual taxpayers, businesses and to taxpayers who donate to N.C. registered 501(c)3 nonprofits for renewable energy.
The state tax credit is taken in five installments over a five-year period. Donors also can deduct their contribution on their federal tax return as a charitable donation the same year of the donation. It is important to note that these credits are set to expire unless they are reinstated in 2015. For those of you in Henderson County, contact Sen. Tom Apodaca and Rep. Chuck McGrady and insist that these renewable-energy credits be reauthorized in this legislative session.
— Richard Fireman
Editor’s note: Thank you calling attention to this important issue. For readers interested in knowing more, see “The Business of Alternative Energy,” by Pat Barcas in Xpress’ new Get It! Guide.