A Facebook post falsely claims that the federal government subsidizes the installation of solar panels

A viral video claims eligible homeowners can have solar panels installed for free at US government expense.

“If you qualify, you can have them come over and install solar panels for you at no cost, then say goodbye to your electric bill and get an extra $8,500 incentive,” the speaker says in a video published September 3 on Facebook.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat fake news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Learn more about our partnership with Facebook.)

We found no evidence from the US Department of Energy to support this claim, based on a search of websites, press releases and news articles. Homeowners are eligible for federal tax credits for solar installations, but not free panels or a cash incentive.

The US Department of Energy did not respond to a request for comment. The Office of Solar Energy Technologies, which is part of the Department of Energy, states on its website that it does not provide financial assistance or payments to households installing solar energy systems.

Eligible homeowners can receive a 26% tax credit if they installed solar panel systems in 2020 or 2021, or a 30% tax credit if the installation takes place between 2022 and 2032, according to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which is part of the Department. of energy.

While these credits translate into dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax owed, that doesn’t mean the federal government literally cuts a check from homeowners.

The tax credits come from the passage of the Cut Inflation Act, which was signed into law on August 16 and promises $750 billion to bolster health policy initiatives and curb climate change.

The September 3 video isn’t the first time these claims have been thrown around and debunked.

Our decision

A September 3 video claimed qualified homeowners could have solar panels installed for free and receive $8,500 “incentive” checks from the federal government.

We found no evidence of a federal program that offers free panels and incentive checks. Some homeowners may be eligible for tax credits related to the installation of solar panels, but this does not equate to a cash payment.

We rate this claim as false.

About Irene J. O'Donnell

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