2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Columbia, CT - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Columbia.
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.
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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 Columbia?
Local Option - Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Solar and Geothermal Systems
Residential Solar Investment Program
Up to 10 kW PTC: $0.358/W
10 to 20 kW PTC: $0.207/W
Incentive is reduced accordingly for Design Factors below 75%. Minimum design factor is 60%.
Up to 20 kW PTC: $0.03/kWh for 6 years
Minimum Design Factor 60%
Connecticut Green Energy Building Solutions
Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Energy-Efficient Products
Energy Conservation Loan
Landlord Loan: $40,000
The United Illuminating Company - Small ZREC Tariff
Eversource - Small ZREC Tariff
(Electric and Gas) Residential Rebate Program
Refrigerators/Freezers, Room A/Cs, Dishwashers, Clothes Washers, Dehumidifiers: Incentive Included in Retail Price
Central A/C: $200
Air Source Heat Pumps: $500
Heat Pump Water Heater: $750
Lighting: Incentive Included in Retail Price
Geothermal Heat Pumps: $500-$1,500
High Efficiency Furnace, Natural Gas Boiler, and Boiler Circulator Pump: Instant Discounts of $25-$800
Local Option - Residential Sustainable Energy Program
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The phrase "solar incentives" refers to a range of financial incentives designed to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. Incentives may include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are offered federally, while others are offered by the Connecticut government or your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar panels. These may be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before calculating tax credits.
- Net Metering: Make sure you talk with your Columbia utility company about signing a net metering contract. This will allow you to get a credit towards your monthly utility bill for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You might receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions go into effect at the time of purchase for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the value added by your solar system when you calculate how much property tax you need to pay on your house.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, you probably think of federal incentives first. An incentive that most people are likely to be familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC was originally for 30% of the cost of solar system installation, although that number has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you qualify for. The cost of installation includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of labor, equipment and accessories. There is no maximum amount you can claim. The ITC applies to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be owned by you and in the United States.
Curious how the ITC might apply to your specific situation? Get in touch with your local Columbia solar panel installer to get more information.
The ITC was both renewed and expanded by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. For solar system installations that begin after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032, homeowners can apply for a credit for 30% of the total cost. After 2033, the percentage will decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Columbia solar panel installation experts can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Rebates, tax credits and more might be claimed at multiple levels. In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. These incentives may be given out by the Connecticut government, or by your county or municipality. Some are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Columbia
Solar incentives might come from the federal government, the Connecticut government or your local utility company. The growing number of available solar incentives has facilitated the nationwide growth of solar energy use in the last 15 years. If you're ready to make the switch to solar energy, talking to your local Columbia solar panel installation expert is a great first step.
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EcoWatch's Columbia, CT Solar Incentives FAQs
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To find the top solar panel installation companies near you, take a look at our article on Columbia's top solar panel companies.
What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar?
Solar energy is renewable — by changing where you get your energy, you can help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. A solar system can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 200 pounds yearly, or around 4,000 pounds over 20 years.
If I trade in my appliances for ones that can use solar energy, are there credits that I can claim?
Under the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are several new financial incentives for making 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 qualify for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order your incentives will be applied in could vary depending on which incentives you receive but typically yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Talk with your solar installer or a local tax professional to verify you are claiming all possible incentives and applying them in the correct order.
Can I use a combination of multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
You can power your home with multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy. Make sure you talk through your plan with your local Columbia solar installation expert. They can help you plan your project and give you an understanding of various incentives that 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.