Incentives and rebates lower the out of pocket costs of energy efficiency and other conservation measures. Rebates are typically a direct cash payment to either the end user or the installation contractor who passes the savings on to the consumer. Incentives come in the form of tax credits, reduced financing costs or, potentially, subsidized labor or materials.
Energy efficiency and renewable energy (such as solar) incentives and rebates are based on the perception of overall value to the community or public at large. They are intended to help jump start and nurture clean and green technologies and respective service sectors. They usually diminish over time and ultimately, if successful, end when the these industries have matured and strengthened.