Incentives For Going Solar

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Number of Solar Homes

Currently there are over 900,000 homes that are being supplied with Solar energy

Federal incentives are nation wide. Currently it is at a 26% rebate, dropping for 30% last year and dropping again to 22% next year.

State Incentives

Connecticut has a plethora of solar programs, including net metering &:

Solar rebate programs

Officially known as the Residential Solar Investment Program and administered by the Connecticut Green Bank, this rebate is worth $0.463 per watt of solar installed (up to 10kW). That is, a homeowner who invests in a 5kW system would receive $2,315 right off the bat. How easy is that?

Energy Conservation Loan Program

On top of their solar rebate, the government of Connecticut may also provide you with a low interest loan for your system. Thanks to the Energy Conservation Loan, eligible families can borrow up to $25,000 for 10 years at low interest rates between 0 percent and 6 percent.

Tax exemptions for renewable energy equipment

Thanks to some helpful CT tax breaks for solar, you won’t even have to pay any taxes on your new solar panels. The Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Solar and Geothermal Systems, for example, means that you won’t have to pay any taxes on the purchase of your system. Additionally, the Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems keeps you from having to pay any additional taxes on the increased value of your home.

There are a few great solar programs to help Floridians take advantage of all that sun, including:

Florida net metering

FL Net Metering is one of the most important regulatory policies for residential solar owners in Florida (and many other states across the country) because it allows you to sell any excess solar energy you may have back to the grid. So while you are out and about during the day and not using much electricity at your house, your solar panels can be hard at work saving you money.

Check out the top utility net metering programs in Florida:

  • Duke Energy
  • Florida Power & Light (FPL)

Property tax exemption

Normally, when you build an addition or otherwise add value to your house, your property tax bills shoot up. Not so with solar. Thanks to Florida’s Property Tax Exclusion for Residential Renewable Energy Property, your solar system will not result in any additional costs on tax day.

Sales tax exemption

Additionally, you will not even have to pay sales tax when you buy your new solar energy system, thanks to the Solar and CHP Sales Tax Exemption! That’s a 6 percent savings on what you would otherwise pay.

Illinois has two main solar policies that will have the biggest financial impact on your investment:

Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)

Illinois’ renewable portfolio standard (RPS) means the state is committed to producing 25 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2025. That’s an ambitious goal, and to make it happen, the state has a program that rewards homeowners for helping Illinois reach that target. Under the Adjustable Block Program, also known as Illinois Shines, for each megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity your solar system produces, you will be granted one Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) that you can then sell in the market, creating a nice income stream for the life of the system.

Illinois net metering

Thanks to Illinois’ net metering policy, your utility will buy back any excess electricity your solar system produces. Net metering ensures that you benefit from the full value of your solar panels and is a great way to balance out your electricity production and consumption, which do not always happen at the same time. Commonwealth Edison offers the top utility net metering program in Illinois.

ComEd commercial solar rebates

ComEd, one of IL’s largest utility companies, provides rebates for commercial and industrial (C&I) customers to help decrease the out-of-pocket costs of installing solar. If you’re a ComEd customer and install solar on your business, you’re eligible for $250 per kilowatt (kW) of installed solar power. To receive the rebate, your solar panel system cannot be larger than 2,000 kW in capacity.

Let’s take a look at the top MA solar incentives that we recommend to the prospective solar shopper:

Residential renewable energy income tax credit

When it comes to clear cut state solar incentives, it doesn’t get a lot simpler than the MA renewable income offer. Under this credit, the owner of renewable energy systems get a 15% coverage of the system cost against his or her MA income tax with a $1000 maximum credit amount.

Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART)

One of Massachusetts’ most exciting solar developments is the SMART program. With this incentive, the State of Massachusetts pays Eversource, National Grid, and Until customers a fixed rate per kilowatt hour (kWh) of solar energy produced for 10-years. For systems under 25 kilowatts (kW), the rate ranges from 29 to 31 cents per kWh, depending upon your location and utility. For comparison, the regular retail rate in MA is closer to 20 cents, indicating large savings from the SMART incentives. In addition, the state also provides higher incentive rates for low-income customers or those who install battery storage to pair with their solar panel system, making solar power more accessible to more customers in the state.

Net metering in Massachusetts

When solar homeowners receive bill credits from their utility for the energy they are sending back to the grid, they are benefitting from one of the best incentives in solar – net metering. Though there have been several net-metering battles in Massachusetts, this incentive is still available for now so make sure you cash in on it.

On top of the federal government’s flagship solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), in Maryland, you have:

Residential clean energy grant program

This MD solar rebate program is beautiful in its simplicity: If you install a solar energy system, Maryland will pay you $1,000. As easy as that. Just make sure your system is smaller than 20 kilowatts (kW), is located at your primary residence, and that your installer has the standard NABCEP certification.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC)

Maryland has set a renewable portfolio standard goal to produce 2.5 percent of its electricity from solar resources in 2020, and you can get paid to help. Under this program, you are granted one Maryland SREC for each megawatt-hour (MWh) of clean electricity your panels produce, which you can then sell in the SREC market. In 2019 each SREC sold for anywhere from $10 to $77, meaning that a 5kW system that produces 7 MWh per year could earn you as much as $539 annually.

Maryland net metering

Thanks to net metering policies in Maryland, you will receive full credit on your utility electric bills for the extra electricity that your solar panels generate. During the times that you make more power than you use, you can “bank” it with your utility and draw from it later when you need more than your panels are generating. Pepco (Potomac Electric Power Company) offers the top utility net metering program in Maryland.

The top NC incentives for a residential homeowner to install solar panels are the following:

Duke Energy solar panel rebates

Duke Energy offers rebates to North Carolina customers who want to install a solar panel system. For homeowners, the program offers a $0.60/Watt rebate for systems up to 10 kilowatts. An average 6 kilowatt (kW) system would be eligible for a rebate of $3,600. There are also rebates available for nonresidential customers, worth $0.50/Watt up to $50,000, and for nonprofit customers, worth $0.75/Watt up to $75,000.

Net metering in North Carolina

When you put solar panels on your roof, you want to make sure you get credit for all of the power your system generates. Luckily, North Carolina has a net metering policy that credits you for the extra electricity your system produces, and allows you to use those credits when your system doesn’t generate enough power.

The state’s solar success has been based on two core programs, one that compensates you for the electricity you produce, and one that rewards you for that electricity’s clean characteristics:

New Jersey net metering

This policy allows you to sell excess electricity back to the grid at the retail rate. This is great because the retail rate of NJ net metering is significantly higher than the wholesale rate that large power plants receive for the electricity they sell to the utility. Additionally, the ability to both buy and sell electricity from the grid allows you to balance your consumption and production, instead of letting any excess electricity you produce go to waste.

Transition Renewable Energy Certificates (TRECs)

When you install your solar energy system, it produces more than just electricity – for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of solar power, your panels also generate one TREC. These TRECs can then be sold on a market to utilities to help them meet the New Jersey Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The prices for TRECs vary depending on the type of system you install; homeowners installing residential rooftop or ground-mounted solar panel systems can earn $91.20 per TREC. That means if you install a 7-kilowatt (kW) system that generates 7 MWh per year, you could make as much as $638 each year by selling your TRECs.

There are three main incentive programs that make going solar a sweet deal in New York:

The Megawatt Block Incentive Structure

New York’s Megawatt Block Incentive is a direct, generous incentive for solar energy available under New York’s ambitious NY-Sun Initiative. The program provides an up front dollars-per-watt ($/W) rebate for both commercial and residential solar panel systems. The size of your subsidy depends on how much solar energy is already being produced in your area and could be as high as $1/W.

New York net metering

Net metering is a crucial policy that ensures you get paid a fair price for the solar electricity that you send into the grid. Any credits for excess solar power that you accrue are stored in a “credit bank” and can be used in future months (usually winter) if your solar energy system produces less electricity.

New York State Solar Equipment Tax Credit

The New York solar tax credit can reduce your state tax payments by up to $5,000 or 25% off your total solar energy expenses (whichever is lower). The great advantages of the Solar Equipment Tax Credit are twofold: first, you don’t have to purchase your system to claim the credit (i.e. it applies to you even if you went solar with a lease or PPA), and second, if your tax liability isn’t large enough to claim the entire credit in the first year, you can roll it over into the next year.

Pennsylvania has two main programs to support the development of residential solar systems: net metering and solar renewable energy certificates.

Pennsylvania net metering

This is one of the most important policies for solar in Pennsylvania, as in many other states, because it governs how your residential system interacts with the grid. Net metering allows you to sell excess solar electricity back to the utility at the same price at which you would buy it. The ability to send electricity back to the grid is key, as it allows homeowners to “bank” their solar energy when production is up and use it when they need it later on. PECO Energy offers the top utility net metering program in Pennsylvania.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)

This program enables Pennsylvanians to sell the SRECs that their panels generate. As of late 2019, the going rate for these credits was about $24. At this rate, a 5-kilowatt (kW) system that generates 5 MWh per year could make an extra $120 per year from selling credits in the SREC market.

Accordion Content

As a resident of Rhode Island thinking about going solar, there are a few main state programs that you need to know about. Combined with the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) from the federal government, these incentives help make your new solar energy system a great investment:

Small-scale solar grants

This solar grant program gives proud new solar owners $0.85 per watt via the installing company, up to $7,000. This means that if you mount an average 5-kilowatt system on your roof, you’ll receive $4,250 in cash right then and there.

Renewable Energy Growth: a key solar program

One of the state’s most exciting developments is the Renewable Energy Growth program. The Rhode Island Solar Marketplace helps homeowners identify the best solar installers at the lowest cost.

Customers who choose to participate in this program will receive 29.65 cents for each kilowatt-hour they sell to the grid for the first 15 years of their system. The value of this offer is most clearly highlighted when compared to the regular retail rate of about 19 cents.

This feed-in-tariff program is not only great for residents of the Ocean State, but could even serve as a model for other states as well.

 

With South Carolina solar incentives and rebates, homeowners going solar in the Palmetto State can save thousands on their solar panel installation costs. South Carolina solar shoppers are seeing major 20-year solar when they take advantage of these state and local incentives:

South Carolina solar energy tax credit

Cut the cost of installing solar on your home by a quarter with South Carolina’s state tax credit for solar energy. Residents of the Palmetto State can claim 25 percent of their solar costs as a tax credit – and if you don’t pay enough in taxes to get the full value of the credit in one year, it carries over for up to 10 years.

Utility solar power incentives

Depending on your utility, you might be able to get an additional rebate to cover the cost of your solar panel system, or earn payments for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity that your solar panels generate:

  • Duke Energy Progress: Customers of Duke Energy Progress can get a $1.00 rebate for every watt (W) of solar power they install on their home or business. For an average 6-kilowatt (kW) system, that’s an extra $6,000 in your pocket to help cover the cost of going solar.
  • Santee Cooper: Thanks to a new incentive program, Santee Cooper customers are eligible for a rebate of $1.30/W of solar energy that they install on their roofs, up to $5,200.

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