State and Local Incentives for Solar Energy: A Guide

State and Local Incentives for Solar Energy: A Guide

State and local incentives for solar energy have become increasingly popular as governments and utility companies seek to promote renewable energy adoption. Incentives such as tax exemptions and rebates, along with performance-based incentives like net metering agreements, can reduce the cost of solar installation substantially and make it more accessible.

In this blog post, we will explore various types of state and local incentives for solar energy systems including tax exemptions and rebates such as the federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC) and state-specific tax incentives. Additionally, we’ll discuss performance-based incentives like net metering agreements that reward customers based on their system’s output.

We will also delve into Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs which provide financing options for renewable energy projects through property taxes. In addition to net metering and PACE programs, we will also examine Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) as tradable commodities that represent the environmental advantages of producing electricity from solar panels.

Finally, we will highlight some noteworthy state-specific incentive programs across the United States that are driving increased adoption of residential and commercial solar installations. By understanding these different incentive options available in your area or region; you can make informed decisions when investing in a new solar power system for your home or business.

Table of Contents:

Tax Exemptions and Rebates for Solar Energy

Get ready to save some serious cash by going solar – most states and local municipalities offer tax exemptions for installing a solar power system.

Homeowners, property owners, construction company owners, solar installers, and solar panel companies can benefit from both federal and state-level credits that can reduce their taxable income significantly.

The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows a 26% deduction from federal taxes for solar installation costs through 2023.

Many states offer their own financial incentives for going solar, like the Residential Energy Tax Credit in Oregon or the sales tax exemption in Washington State.

These state-specific incentives can provide up to $6,000 over four years based on the size of your system or a sales tax exemption when purchasing eligible equipment used in generating electricity with renewable resources such as wind or sunlight.

By taking advantage of these incentives and exemptions, you can significantly lower the cost of installing a solar power system on your property.

So, what are you waiting for? Go green and save some green.

Performance-Based Incentives (PBIs)

PBIs can be a powerful stimulus for long-term investments in renewable energy, incentivizing the sustained efficiency of systems.

These incentives are based on the amount of electricity generated over time, rather than offering flat-rate refunds upfront upon purchase or installation completion alone.

Net metering agreements with utility companies govern this type of arrangement, allowing surplus power generated to be bought back at pre-agreed rates.

Net Metering Agreements

Net metering is a billing mechanism that allows solar energy system owners to receive credit for excess electricity they generate and send back to the grid.

This surplus energy can be used as credits instead of purchasing additional power from your utility provider during cloudy days or at night when your system isn’t producing enough electricity.

Benefits of PBIs in Promoting Renewable Energy Adoption

  • Economic Viability: PBIs make it more financially attractive for individuals and businesses to invest in clean energy solutions by rewarding ongoing performance rather than just initial investments.
  • Maintenance Incentive: Payments tied directly to system performance over time provide added motivation for keeping equipment running efficiently through regular maintenance and monitoring efforts.
  • Growth Potential: PBIs help drive demand within the renewable sector, contributing to market growth and increased adoption rates.

Overall, performance-based incentives provide a powerful tool for promoting renewable energy adoption across various sectors.

These programs create a win-win situation where customers can reap long-term financial rewards while simultaneously supporting cleaner sources of power generation.

To find out more about PBIs and how they can help your solar venture, reach out to local state/municipal incentives programs or talk with a knowledgeable solar installer in the region.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs

Do you yearn to install solar energy without denting your wallet? PACE programs let you finance your renewable energy project through property tax assessments.

How PACE Financing Works

With PACE financing, you can pay off your solar system over time as part of your regular property tax bill.

Plus, if you sell your home before repaying the loan, the remaining balance can often be transferred to the new homeowner.

Examples of Successful PACE Program Implementations

  • Ygrene Energy Fund: Offers 100% funding with no upfront costs or down payments required.
  • CaliforniaFIRST: Provides financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water-saving upgrades to both residential and commercial properties.
  • Texas PACE Authority: Offers financing options for commercial property owners in Texas looking to invest in clean energy solutions.

PACE programs are successfully promoting the adoption of solar energy systems across different states, making it easier for homeowners to switch to clean, renewable power sources. Research whether a PACE program is available in your area and start saving money while helping the environment.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)

Investing in solar energy systems? Earn extra income by selling SRECs are a way to monetize solar energy investments, allowing utility companies to purchase them from owners of solar systems. back to utility companies.

Understanding SREC values

SREC values fluctuate based on supply and demand, but utilities need them to meet Renewable Portfolio Standards targets set by legislation.

Calculate your potential earnings by multiplying your system’s annual electricity generation in MWh by the current market price for SRECs.

How to sell SRECs in the marketplace

  1. Determine eligibility: Check state regulations to ensure your solar installation qualifies for participation in an SREC program.
  2. Register your system: Register your solar installation with the appropriate state agency or regional tracking platform to sell SRECs.
  3. Find a buyer: Sell SRECs directly to utility companies or work with an aggregator who will bundle and sell them on your behalf.

Participating in the SREC marketplace helps monetize your investment in solar energy while contributing to the growth of renewable power generation nationwide.

State-Specific Solar Incentive Programs

Looking to go solar? Check out these state-specific incentive programs that can help you save money while investing in clean energy solutions.

NY-Sun Megawatt Block Incentive

The NY-Sun Megawatt Block Incentive rewards early adopters of solar power with higher incentives, making it more affordable for New York residents to install solar panels.

California Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

The California Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) offers rebates for installing solar panels or battery storage units, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support grid reliability.

San Diego Federal Tax Credit Program

The San Diego Federal Tax Credit program provides additional federal tax credits for residential and commercial solar installations, lowering upfront costs for property owners.

New Hampshire Statewide Rebate Initiative

New Hampshire’s statewide rebate initiative offers rebates for homeowners who install solar panels, making it more affordable for residents to switch to renewable energy.

Don’t live in these states? Don’t worry. There are numerous other incentives available across the country that cater to various regions and types of installations. Do your research and find the program that works best for you.

FAQs in Relation to State and Local Incentives for Solar Energy

Which states offer incentives for solar panel installation?

Many states, such as New York, California, and New Hampshire, offer incentives to help offset the cost of solar panel installation.

Check with your local government or utility company for specific programs in your area.

What are the latest solar incentives in the US?

New U.S. solar incentives vary by state, but some recent additions include increased funding for existing programs and new initiatives promoting renewable energy adoption.

Stay updated on federal, state, and local incentive changes through resources like the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE).

Which states benefit most from solar panels?

Sunnier states like Arizona, Nevada, California, Texas, and Florida typically have higher potential benefits due to their abundant sunlight hours.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory provides a detailed Solar Resource Map that can help determine each state’s suitability.

What are the solar incentives in the proposed climate bill?

The recently proposed Clean Energy Performance Program aims to increase clean electricity generation across America while offering financial rewards to utilities meeting certain targets.

Keep an eye on congressional legislation for updates that may indirectly influence state and local solar incentives.


Save money and promote clean energy with state and local incentives for solar energy, including tax exemptions and rebates like the Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC) and state-specific tax incentives.

Performance-based incentives like net metering agreements and Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) provide additional benefits, while Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs offer financing options.

State-specific incentive programs like NY-Sun Megawatt Block Incentive or California Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) can also help make installing solar panels more affordable.

Take advantage of these incentives and join the movement towards a cleaner, more sustainable future.