I'm thinking about installing solar panels on my roof, It would cost me about $26,000. The sales person is telling me that I will get a 26% refund check from the government which I can apply to pay off the loan. is this accurate?
No, it does not work that way. You will not get a check from the government for 26% of the cost.
The 26% of the cost of the installation ($6760 based on $26,000 cost) would be a tax credit on your return. If you have a tax liability (you owe any income tax), then that credit would be used to reduce your tax liability, maybe to zero. This means that your refund would increase by the amount of credit that was used on your return. If there is any credit left over, then it can be used on a later tax return.
To learn more, take a look at the following TurboTax article: Federal Tax Credit for Residential Solar Energy
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
This statement "the refund will increase by the amount of the credit" is also confusing and not always true.
For instance if you have a federal tax liability then the credit can reduce that tax bill however it cannot cover any other taxes or penalties AND if you had no federal taxes withheld and no refundable credits then you will not see a refund at all just a reduced tax bill.