New Mexico Solar Tax Credit Application Deadline Extended

New Mexico homeowners and businesses that installed solar energy systems during 2007 will have an additional month to submit applications for 2007 state tax credits. The Jan. 15, 2008, deadline has been changed to Feb. 15, 2008, and the date will apply to subsequent years.

‘Filing for the New Mexico tax credit requires first that the solar system be certified by the state's Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department,’ says Fernando Martinez, director of the department's Energy Conservation and Management Division. ‘Our staff stands ready to help anyone who has installed a solar energy system with the certification process.’

The certification process supports quality assurance of solar systems and includes requirements for permitting, licensed contractors and code-compliant equipment. Solar system installers should be prepared to assist with documenting a system's operation and the certification process.

New Mexico provides a tax credit of up to $9,000 for a solar energy system installed between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2015, in addition to the federal tax credit of up to $2,000. If two separate systems are installed, such as solar photovoltaic electric and solar thermal heating, state tax credits can be claimed for both systems, up to a total of $18,000.

By virtue of action from Gov. Bill Richardson and the New Mexico Legislature, two additional solar incentives are available to make it easier to utilize solar energy. The Solar Gross Receipts Tax Exemption is now in effect, which can help reduce the upfront cost at the time of purchase.

Also, New Mexico's long-standing Solar Rights Act, which established the right to use solar energy as a property right, has been strengthened. Retroactive to 1978, it is prohibited for cities and homeowners associations to establish covenants, codes or restrictions that forbid solar installations (with the exception of historic districts). More homeowners can now utilize their right to an unobstructed line-of-sight path to the sun.

The Energy Conservation and Management Division encourages those who have not yet applied for the state tax credits for their systems to get their paperwork in order and submitted. For assistance, call the division at (505) 476-3310 or visit www.CleanEnergyNM.org.

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