2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Cambridge, MD - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Cambridge.
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
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Cambridge?
Residential Clean Energy Rebate Program
SWH: $500/project (flat per installation/household incentive)
New GHC: $3,000/project
GHC Replacement: $500/project
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)
Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Residential Solar and Wind Electricity Sales
Property Tax Exemption for Solar and Wind Energy Systems
Clean-Burning Wood Stove Grant Program
Pellet Burning Stove: $700
Wood Heating Fuel Exemption
Local Option - Property Tax Credit for High Performance Buildings
Local Option - Property Tax Credit for Renewables and Energy Conservation Devices
Residential/Community Wind Grant Program
Community: $1000/kW - $4000/kW, depending on the system capacity
Delmarva Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
LED Fixtures: $8 per fixture
LED Lighting: Up to $3 per bulb
Clothes Washer: $75 - $100
Clothes Dryer: $50
Hybrid Water Heater: $500
Pool Pump: $150 - $400
Smart Thermostat: $100
Air-Source Heat Pump: $400 (Tier 1) - $650 (Tier 2)
Central A/C: $300 (Tier 1) - $500 (Tier 2)
Geothermal Heat Pump: $1,500
ECM Furnace Motor: $50 - $100
Home Energy Check up: Free
A/C or Dehumidifier: $25
Refrigerator or Freezer: $50
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The term "solar incentives" broadly refers to financial incentives designed to encourage people to use renewable energy by making solar panels more affordable. Solar incentives may include upfront discounts, cash back or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the Maryland government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the federal government.
- Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering contract with your Cambridge 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.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In general, solar systems that produce more than a specified (normally small) amount of electricity can qualify for SRECs or other similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically given by your state government. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or another buyer, and generally the money you make is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Exemptions: These can come in the form of property tax exemptions, which allow you to ignore the value added by your solar panels when paying property tax on your house. You could also look for exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are typically given before any solar tax credits are calculated. These rebates might be given by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. One of the incentives that most people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is a tax credit for a certain percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC originally covered 30% of the cost of installing a solar system, although it has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The total installation cost includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of equipment, labor and accessories. There is no maximum amount you can claim. The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be owned by you and in the United States.
To understand exactly how much the ITC could save you, contact your local Cambridge solar panel installer.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). Now, solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032 can qualify for a 30% tax credit. The amount of the credit will then decrease slightly each year until the current Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Cambridge solar panel installation experts can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also offered at the local or state level. Like with federal incentives, these may include tax credits, rebates and more. Incentives may be offered by the state of Maryland, or by your county or municipality. Certain incentives may be available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Cambridge
You can apply for solar incentives from the federal government and the Maryland government, as well as from your local utility company. Growing availability of solar initiatives in the past 15 years has helped increase nationwide solar energy use enormously. It is a good idea to talk to your local Cambridge solar installer to learn more about these incentives and to be sure that you're getting all of the money you can for your solar panels.
- 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 Cambridge, MD Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Do I still qualify for incentives?
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. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend reaching out to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what incentives may apply to your specific situation.
How can I find out if I qualify for specific solar incentives?
Broadly, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar system
- installed on property that you own
- within the U.S.
- between the dates specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including those run by the Maryland government or by your county/municipality, may have additional qualifications. Speak with your local Cambridge solar installer to find out what incentives your project may qualify for.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously called the federal solar tax credit, or ITC), is scheduled to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
I want to change out my appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can apply for?
With the passage of the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a number of 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 use multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
Yes, you can utilize multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of solar and geothermal. You can also use both renewable energy sources and a non-renewable backup source of energy. You should discuss your proposed plan with your local Cambridge solar installation expert, to make sure you know what you'll need and what 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.