The claim: Arkansas will cover cost of installing solar panels for eligible homeowners
A Dec. 6 Facebook post (direct link, archive link) includes a link to a website that it claims will give users financial support for switching to renewable energy.
“Arkansas Will Cover The Cost To Install Solar If You Own A Home In These Zip Codes,” reads the post.
It received over 50 shares and nearly 150 comments in less than two weeks.
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Our rating: False
No such program is listed on the website for the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment. A department spokesperson said the claim is false.
State has programs to support energy efficiency, but no free solar panels
Arkansas residents are eligible for the federal solar investment tax credit, which allows for a tax break on part of the cost of installing a new solar system. But there are no state-level tax incentives for installing solar units, Forbes reported.
A state spokesperson said the same. “The Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment does not have any solar programs at this time,” said a department spokesperson, who declined to be named.
The link in the Facebook post directs users to a website that describes a supposed solar energy program in their state. But the website is unaffiliated with any state government.
The website, energybillcruncher.com, asks users to provide personal information, including a phone number and email address. In small print, users are told they will be contacted by home service and solar companies. The Better Business Bureau page about EnergyBillCruncher includes several complaints from customers reporting spam from the company.
None of the energy programs listed on the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment appear to provide free solar panels.
One program provides funding to support low-income families in making their homes more energy efficient through conservation work such as air sealing and insulation, but free solar panels are not mentioned.
Fact check: False claim US government buys solar panels for American homeowners
Arkansas does offer assistance for organizations, including state agencies, schools and municipalities looking to improve energy efficiency. But the spokesperson said the program is not a handout.
The program “is essentially a loan program that entities repay with energy savings,” the spokesperson said. “The government entities work with energy service companies to obtain financing needed for their planned projects. Solar can be included in the financed activities.”
USA TODAY has debunked an array of false claims of government funding for solar energy, including that a federal program installs free solar panels and that the government was giving people $8,400 to test solar panels in 2022.
USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
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