2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Cary, NC - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Cary.
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.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Cary solar installers to see how much you can save.
Please enter a valid 5-digit zip code!
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 Cary?
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
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. Solar incentives can include upfront discounts, cash back 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 broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in once your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your Cary utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some places, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other places you may be refunded a percentage of the value.
- 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 taxes on your home. They may also include exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives are normally handled by your state government. Once your solar system meets the qualification threshold (normally 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.
- Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are usually applied before any solar tax credits are calculated. Solar 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 probably think of federal incentives first. The solar incentive that you're most likely to have heard of is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a credit on your taxes equal to a predetermined percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC applies to the value of solar panels installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar panels have to have been installed after January 1, 2006 on a property you own for you to claim the credit. Originally, the ITC covered 30% of all installation costs (panels, equipment, accessories and labor), although the covered amount has fluctuated over the last few years between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you are eligible for. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Contact your local Cary 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 systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032, homeowners may be eligible for a credit for 30% of the total cost. This percentage will decrease annually after 2032 until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program 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 Cary solar panel company is the best resource for answering your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be offered at the local or state level. Similar to federal incentives, these might include rebates, tax credits and more. These incentives may be given out by your county or municipality, or by the North Carolina government. Some are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Cary
Nationwide solar energy use has increased enormously in the last 15 years, in part due to the increase in availability of solar incentives. You can obtain these incentives from your local utility company, the North Carolina government or the federal government. Reach out to your local solar panel installer today to learn more and to save the most money possible on a solar system for your Cary home.
Best Solar Financing
Blue Raven Solar
- Industry-leading in-house financing
- Competitive pricing
- Excellent reputation
- Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)
Outstanding Regional Installer
Renu Energy Solutions
- Excellent reputation
- Many financing options
- Representatives are experts on local policies
- No leases or PPAs
EcoWatch's Cary, NC 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 apply to a property located within the United States that you own; most secondary residences fall under this distinction. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what incentives may apply to your specific situation.
How much can I save on my electric bill annually if I add solar panels to my house in Cary?
On average, Cary homeowners who install solar panels save approximately $864.95 per year, or approximately $16,434.07 over 20 years after they make the switch.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously called the federal solar tax credit, or ITC), currently ends on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
If I change out my appliances for ones that can use solar energy, are there any 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 on 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.