State and Federal Incentives
Federal/State Incentives with Solar
Aside from the solar industry having positive impacts on our environment and greatly contributing to the independence of our nation’s energy use, the solar industry supplies more jobs than the coal, gas, and oil in the United States! To promote the growth of the solar industry state and federal governments offer solar tax breaks to homeowners to incentivize them to use solar. These Tax cuts can reduce the cost of your solar system anywhere from 30 to 50 percent! Source: EnergySage.com
The Different Kinds of Solar Incentives
Investment Tax Credit
The Investment Tax Credit or ITC allows homeowners to deduct a percentage of their solar costs from their taxes. Homeowners and business qualify for a tax credit worth 30 percent of the cost of their system from the federal government. The Investment Tax Credit program ends in 2022.
State Tax Credit
Many states offer a State Tax Credit which is similar to the Investment Tax Credit in which a homeowner or business can deduct a percentage of the cost of a solar system off their state tax at the end of the year.
Many states also offer cash rebates for those who choose to go solar. Cash Rebates are available for a certain amount of time and usually end once a decided amount of your system has been installed. Cash Rebates can reduce the cost of your system by another 10 to 20 percent!
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates or SRECS are a great way to have your solar system make money for you. Some state governments require their local utilities to receive a certain amount of power from solar. If you have solar in one of these states, your system will generate excess power that utilities will purchase so they can record your solar power and meet their state requirements. Selling these certificates can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars annually for you as a homeowner!
Accelerated Depreciation can allow business owners quickly write-off the solar system that powers their business and greatly reduce the business tax that comes with owning a business. If a system qualifies, it is eligible for a cost recovery period of just five years which can reduce net system cost by 30 percent!
Property Tax Exemption
Many states do not include the addition of a solar system on a home or business in property tax. This is a great incentive because the solar system will increase the value of your property, but it will not increase your property tax bill.
Solar can provide huge savings on both your monthly utility bill and your system. Between solar lowering your monthly utility bill with no upfront costs and state and federal incentives, you can save over $20,000 when you go solar. These savings vary from state to state so lets break down the savings in each of our markets.
Massachusetts Solar Incentives
Massachusetts is currently the number 6th state in the country for solar installation. Solar is powering over 260,000 homes in the the Bay state and it plans to install another 2,377 megawatts of solar over the next 5 years! Massachusetts has a bunch of great state incentives that can be added on top of the federal incentives to cover a large portion of your system cost. For example, Massachusetts has sales tax breaks, property tax breaks, renewable energy tax breaks, and so many more. These savings can add up to thousands of dollars off the cost of your solar system! Along with many other states, Massachusetts has a net-metering program that allows homeowners with solar to receive credits on their utility bills and keep the excess energy that they produce to use at a later date!
Massachusetts has a ton of great solar incentives for homeowners. In Massachusetts you can qualify for a residential renewable energy income tax credit which can give you 15 percent coverage of the system cost on your MA income tax. Massachusetts is one of the best states in the country to Utilize your solar renewable energy credits. Mass. offers payments of $496 per megawatt. If you have an average 5kw system that produces 5 megawatts a year, you could be making $2500 annually just by selling those SRECs to your utility! Massachusetts solar users also qualify for sales tax and property tax exemptions!
Utah Solar Incentives
Utah is the number one state in the nation for solar growth and it grew significantly over 2017. One thing that makes the Utah solar market so great is the net-metering program that solar owners can use in Utah. This program allows homeowners with solar to receive credits on their electricity bill from the excess energy that they produce with their systems. This allows you to use the grid to store energy and use it at a later date. Another great reason to go solar in Utah is that Utah has some of the lowest prices for Solar in the country. Because these prices are so low, the long-term savings that homeowners can have are on average estimated to be $48,000 over 20 years! When you pair those savings with the ITC federal incentive that is offered, going solar is extremely easy and inexpensive.
If you live in Utah and decide to go solar, you can qualify for the investment tax credit and the production tax credit! These tax incentives can offer you massive tax cuts and greatly diminish the cost of your solar system!
South Carolina Tax Incentives
With South Carolina’s great sunny weather, they are a fantastic spot for solar systems. South Carolina also has huge solar installation increases with about 144 megawatts installed to date. The cost for solar in South Carolina is $3.37 per watt which is lower than the national average and it puts the cost of an average sized system of 5kw at $16,350 before any state and federal incentives. South Carolina also has a net metering program for homeowners to receive credits on their electricity bill. These prices are very competitive in the national market and solar prices in South Carolina are estimated to have dropped 55% over the last 5 years. This is causing a lot of South Carolina residents to make the switch to solar. Some markets in South Carolina such as Summerville are experiencing staggering savings with solar. In 2017, Summerville residents were quoted saving over $63,000 on average over a 20-year term!
South Carolina offers a great deal of solar tax credits. With the South Carolina Solar energy tax credit, you can claim 25 percent of your solar cost as a tax credit and if you do not pay enough in taxes to get the entirety of the value in one year, this incentive carries over for 10 years! South Carolina homeowners can also qualify for Utility solar power incentives and Net Metering energy banking!
New York Tax Incentives
NYSERDA stands for the New York State Energy Research Authority and their goal is to reduce pollution and implement renewable energy sources in New York. Along with reducing greenhouse gases, NYSERDA aims to increase New York’s economic growth, and greatly reduce energy consumers utility bills. NYSERDA works with many individual groups to attract the public sectors investment, implement wide-spread renewable energy sources throughout New York state, and allow communities to receive the wide array of benefits that renewable energy sources provide.
New York state residents can also qualify for a New York state tax credit which can take 25 percent off the cost of your solar system. This tax credit can be subtracted directly from your tax bill and provide you with thousands of dollars in savings! In New York State you can also roll over these tax credits for up to 5 years and you can claim these tax credits regardless of whether you have purchased your system or gone through a lease or PPA program!