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
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated May 04, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Fort Smith?
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. Different kinds of incentives, including cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, may be available to you. Certain incentives may be offered by the state of Arkansas, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while others are federal. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Fort Smith utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your monthly utility bill. In some areas, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other areas you may make back a percentage of the value.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in one of two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, which is applied at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to exclude the value added by your solar system when calculating property tax for your house.
- Rebates: Some solar companies will help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar panels. Counties or states will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually come off your total price before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind when you think about solar incentives. The solar incentive that you're most familiar with is probably the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which gives you a credit on your taxes equal to a percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC applies towards solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and allows you to deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, equipment, accessories and labor. This credit can apply towards solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. The original amount you could claim was 30% of the total cost, although the amount you can claim may range between 26-30%. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
To know exactly how much the ITC could save you, contact your local Fort Smith solar panel installer.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. For solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032, homeowners may be eligible for a credit for 30% of the total cost. The percentage will then decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to claim credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The easiest way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you is to get in touch with your local Fort Smith solar panel company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be provided at the state and local level. As with federal incentives, these could include tax credits, rebates and more. The incentives — which may be given by the state of Arkansas, or by your county or municipality — could be offered for only a limited time, or on an ongoing basis.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Fort Smith
Solar incentives can be offered by the Arkansas government, the federal government or your local utility company. The large number of available solar incentives has helped nationwide use of solar energy increase greatly in the last 15 years. We suggest talking to your local Fort Smith solar installation expert for more information about these incentives and to make sure that you're getting the largest number possible for your solar system.
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EcoWatch's Fort Smith, AR Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I receive any incentives when I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
While we recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what solar incentives apply to you, many apply to a second home, so long as that home is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available for commercial properties specifically, depending on the specifics.
If my house already has solar panels, can I still claim incentives?
If your solar system was installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you had your system installed between 2006 and 2021, you may qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the year it was installed. Speaking with the company that installed your solar system, or any local Fort Smith solar installer, can help you learn what incentives you might want to apply for.
How much can I save annually on my electric bill if I add solar panels to my Fort Smith home?
On average, Fort Smith homeowners who install solar panels save around $821.58 per year, or around $15,610.02 over 20 years after making the switch.
If I change out my appliances for ones that can use solar energy, are there incentives that I can claim?
Under the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a number of new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details about these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I use multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
Yes, you can employ multiple types of renewable energy to power your home, such as a combination of solar and geothermal. You can also use both renewable energy sources and a backup source of non-renewable energy. You should discuss your plan with your local Fort Smith solar panel installer, to make sure you know what you'll need and what types of incentives you might or might not 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.