2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Columbus, IN - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Columbus.
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 March 14, 2023
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Columbus?
Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption
Wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, solar thermal, solar PV, and other solar energy systems: the assessed value of the system
NineStar Connect - Residential Energy Efficient Equipment Rebate Program
Pool Pumps: $250/unit
Heat Pump Water Heaters: $400/unit
Air-Source Heat Pumps: $250 - $1,500/unit
Geothermal Heat Pumps: $1,500/unit
South Central Indiana REMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Geothermal Heat Pump: $1,500
Air-Source, Ductless Mini Split, or Dual Fuel Heat Pump with Dual/Variable Speed Compressor: $750
Air-Source, Ductless Mini Split, or Dual Fuel Heat Pump with Single Speed Compressor Replacing Electric Resistance Heat: $800
Air-Source, Ductless Mini Split, or Dual Fuel Heat Pump with Dual/Variable Speed Compressor Replacing Electric Resistance Heat: $1,500
Noble REMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Incentives
Variable Speed Pool Pump: $250
Air-Source Heat Pump: $250-$750
Ground Source Heat Pump: $1500
Heat Pump Water Heater: $400
Johnson County REMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Geothermal Heat Pumps: $1,500/unit
Heat Pump Water Heater: $500/unit
Mini-Split ductless Heat Pump: $750/unit - $1500/unit
Lighting: Instant rebates through online lighting store (small businesses, farms, or workshops)
NIPSCO - Feed-In Tariff
Wind 10 kW-200 kW: $0.15 - $0.138/kWh
Solar 5 kW - 10 kW: $0.17 - $0.1564/kWh
Solar 10 - 200 kW: $0.15/kWh - $0.138/kWh
Biomass 100kW - 1 MW: $0.0918/kWh
Duke Energy - Residential and Builder Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Heat Pump Water Heater: $350
Attic Insulation and Air Sealing: $250/unit
Duct Sealing: $100/unit
Variable Speed Pool Pump: $300
Bartholomew County REMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Air Source Heat Pumps: $750 - $1,500
Water Heater (New Construction/Conversion): $500
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: $50
LED Lighting: Instant discounts
Jackson County REMC - Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Air-Source or Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump: $400/Unit - $1,500/Unit
Geothermal Heat Pump: $1,500/Unit
Duel Fuel Heat Pump: $400/Unit - $1,500/Unit
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are intended to encourage homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy by offering financial incentives meant to lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. These incentives may include upfront discounts, cash back or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, some by the state of Indiana and some by your utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Rebates: Some solar companies will help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar system. Counties or states will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. Any rebates you receive will usually be deducted from the total price before any tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits lower, dollar-for-dollar, the total amount of tax you owe the federal government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.
- Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering contract with your Columbus utility company. This agreement may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. Your utility company will then deduct this value from your monthly utility bill.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in one of two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, applied at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to exclude the added value of your solar system when calculating property tax for your house.
Federal Solar Incentives
When someone says "solar incentives," you likely think of federal incentives first. You might have heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit equal to a predetermined percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.
The ITC applies to the value of solar panels installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system has to have been installed on a property you own after January 1, 2006 for you to be eligible for the credit. The ITC initially covered 30% of all installation costs (panels, labor, equipment and accessories), although the amount has fluctuated over the years between 26-30%. The amount you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the claim amount.
To better understand how the ITC may apply to you, reach out to your local Columbus solar panel installer and ask for more information.
In August 2022, the ITC (now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The new Clean Energy Credit now runs until 2035. Homeowners can now apply for a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032. The total credit will then see a slight annual decrease until it expires. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to qualify for credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To best understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, speak with your local Columbus solar installation expert.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Not all solar incentives are federal; rebates, tax credits and more may be offered at the local or state level. These solar incentives — which might be handled by your county or municipality, or by the state of Indiana — could be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Columbus
The nationwide use of solar energy has significantly increased in the past 15 years, in part due to the increase in availability of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from your local utility company, the Indiana government or the federal government. When you're prepared to make the switch to solar energy, calling your local Columbus solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.
Best Solar Financing
Blue Raven Solar
- Industry-leading in-house financing
- Competitive pricing
- Excellent reputation
- Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)
- 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
EcoWatch's Columbus, IN Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I get any financial incentives when I add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?
Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property located within the United States that you own; most secondary residences will fall into this category. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend reaching out to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what incentives may apply to your specific situation.
I already have solar panels installed. Do I qualify for any incentives?
Your best bet is to talk to someone from the company that installed your system — or speak to a local Columbus solar installer — to clarify which incentives you might qualify for. If your solar panels were 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%.
How much can I save on my electric bill annually if I install solar panels on my Columbus home?
Once you add solar panels to your house in Columbus, you can anticipate savings of about $976.20 per year, or about $18,547.78 over the next 20 years.
What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?
To find the best solar panel installation companies near you, read our article on Columbus' best solar panel companies.
Can I use 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 discuss your ideas with your local Columbus solar installer. They can help you with the plan for your project and also help you understand the 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.