2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Fort Smith, AR - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Fort Smith.

You'll learn about:

  • Local & State Solar Incentives
  • Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
  • Ways to optimize your solar investment

Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Fort Smith solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

Why you can trust EcoWatch

We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Fort Smith?

Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


Solar incentives encourage people to switch to renewable energy by providing incentives meant to lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. Various kinds of incentives, like cash back, discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill, might be available to you. Certain incentives may be provided via the state of Arkansas, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Categories of solar incentives include:

  • Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Fort Smith utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some areas, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in others you might be refunded a percentage of the value.
  • Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar system. Rebates may be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The rebates are usually applied before calculating tax credits.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax you owe the federal government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.
  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to ignore the value added by your solar system when paying property tax on your home.

Federal Solar Incentives

When thinking about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. The solar incentive that you may be most familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a credit on your taxes equal to a predetermined percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC applies to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Originally, the tax credit was for 30% of the total cost — for panels, accessories, equipment and labor — although it may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.

Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Contact your local Fort Smith solar panel installation expert to get more information.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). The Clean Energy Credit has increased the current credit up to 30% for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. After 2032, the percentage will decrease slightly each year until the end of the program in 2035. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to get credits for energy storage systems with the new act.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To better understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, speak with your local Fort Smith solar installation company.

State & Local Solar Incentives

In addition to those provided at the federal level, there are often also state solar incentives. Rebates, tax credits and more can be offered at a more local level. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are only available for a limited time. They might be offered by the Arkansas government, or by your county or municipality.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Fort Smith

There are many kinds of solar incentives: those given by the federal government, those given by the Arkansas government and those given by local utility companies, to name a few. The use of solar energy has grown tremendously in the last 15 years, partially due to these incentives. Your local Fort Smith solar panel installation company can provide you with more details about which incentives you should apply for, and get you started on the path to switching to renewable energy today.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Warranty Coverage

Sunpro Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area
  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

EcoWatch's Fort Smith, AR Solar Incentives FAQs

If my house already has solar panels, can I still claim incentives?

An excellent idea would be to talk to a representative from the company that installed your solar panels — or speak to a local Fort Smith solar installer — to clarify which incentives you may qualify for. If your system was installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar panels installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.

Who installs solar panel systems near me?

To find the right solar panel installer for you, check out our guide to Fort Smith's top solar panel companies.

What are the environmental benefits of switching to solar?

Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by changing where you get your energy, you can help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. You can also reduce the CO2 emissions from your home by 500 pounds a year, or around 10,000 pounds in 20 years.

Can I qualify for incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

The order in which incentives are applied may vary depending on which incentives you receive but in most cases yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Speak to your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure you are claiming all the incentives you are eligible for and applying them in the correct order.

Can I use a combination of solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?

You can use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Make sure you go over your ideas with your local Fort Smith solar installer. They can help you with the plan for your project and give you an understanding of various incentives that you will or won't qualify for.

Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.

Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.

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