2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Asheville, NC - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Asheville.
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
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Asheville?
Duke Energy - NC Solar Rebate Program
Property Tax Abatement for Solar Electric Systems
All other systems: 80% of the appraised value
Active Solar Heating and Cooling Systems Exemption
EnergyUnited (Electric) Residential Energy Efficiency Program
Heat Pumps (16 SEER): $300/unit
Duke Energy (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Geothermal Heat Pump: $400 + $50 with added smart thermostat
Heat Pump Water Heater: $350
Attic Insulation or Attic Air Sealing: $250
Duct Sealing: $100
Variable-Speed Pool Pumps: $300
NC GreenPower Production Incentive
PV larger than 5 kW: must enter bid process
Wind up to 10 kW: $0.09/kWh
Wind larger than 10 kW: must enter bid process
Local Option - Financing Program for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
Local Option - Green Building Incentives
Duke Energy Progress - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Geothermal Heat Pumps: $400 + 50 with smart thermostat
Heat Pump Water Heater: $350
Attic Insulation & Air Sealing: $250
Duct Sealing: $100
Pool Pump: $300
Haywood EMC - Residential Heat Pump and Weatherization Loan Program
$5,000 maximum for a mobile home
City of Asheville - Building Permit Fee Rebates
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are designed to mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. This category of financial incentives is intended to encourage more homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy. Solar incentives may include cash back, upfront discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are given by the federal government, some by the North Carolina government and some by your utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the government.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives are generally handled at the state level. Once your solar panel system meets the qualification threshold (generally a small amount of energy production), you can receive SRECs that can be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make from the sale is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get after your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Asheville utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some areas, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other places you may make back a percentage of the value.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the point of sale for your solar system. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the added value of your solar system when calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay on your home.
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are normally applied before any solar tax credits are calculated. Solar rebates may be offered by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. You've likely heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This incentive is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a certain percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Originally, the tax credit was for 30% of the total cost — for panels, labor, equipment and accessories — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Your local Asheville solar panel installer can give you more information about the ITC and how it might apply to your situation.
In August 2022, the ITC (now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit) was bolstered by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Clean Energy Credit re-raises the credit up to 30% for solar installations undertaken between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. After this, the percentage will see a slight decrease annually until the program expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, reach out to your local Asheville solar installation company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are often also state solar incentives in addition to those provided by the federal government. Rebates, tax credits and more can be offered at a more local level. These incentives may be provided by the North Carolina government, or by your county or municipality. Some are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Asheville
You can receive solar incentives from the federal government and the North Carolina government, as well as from your local utility company. Growing availability of solar initiatives over the last 15 years has helped increase solar adoption nationwide. Getting in touch with your local Asheville solar panel installation company is a great first step towards getting all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
Best Solar Financing
Blue Raven Solar
- Industry-leading in-house financing
- Competitive pricing
- Excellent reputation
- Doesn't offer solar batteries
Outstanding Regional Installer
Renu Energy Solutions
- Excellent reputation
- Many financing options
- Representatives are experts on local policies
- No leases or PPAs
EcoWatch's Asheville, NC Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I want to add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Can I still qualify for incentives?
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 incentives can be claimed on a second home, so long as that home is in the United States and owned by you. There may be other incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the details.
How much will a solar system save me annually on my electric bill in Asheville?
When you add solar panels to your house in Asheville, you can expect to save approximately $934.36 per year, or approximately $17,752.79 over the next 20 years.
Who installs solar panels near me?
To find a top-rated solar panel installer, check out our guide to the best solar companies in Asheville.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now called the Clean Energy Credit, is scheduled to end on January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.
If I switch my appliances out for ones that can utilize solar energy, are there any incentives that I can claim?
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.
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.