2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Durham, NC - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Durham.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Durham?
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
Piedmont EMC - Residential Solar and Energy Efficiency Loan Program
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. The incentives might include upfront discounts, cash back or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the North Carolina government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Net Metering: You can sign a net metering contract with your Durham utility company that will apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity that is generated by your solar panels. They will then subtract this value from your monthly utility bill.
- Rebates: Your solar installer might help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar system. States or counties will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually be deducted from your total price before any tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much income tax you owe the government.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives are normally handled by your state government. Once your solar panel system meets the qualification threshold (usually a small amount of energy production), you are eligible to receive SRECs that can then be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you receive from the sale is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in one of two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, which is applied at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to exclude the value added by your solar system when paying property tax on your home.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about solar incentives. One of the incentives many people are likely to be familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be credited towards the value of a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system must have been installed on a property you own after January 1, 2006 for you to be eligible for the credit. The ITC originally paid out 30% of all installation costs (panels, equipment, labor and accessories), although the covered amount has fluctuated slightly over time 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.
Have questions about how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Reach out to your local Durham solar panel installer to get more information.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. American 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. This new credit will then see a slight annual decrease until it expires. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, speak with your local Durham solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more might be provided at multiple levels. Along with federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. These solar incentives — which may be provided by the state of North Carolina, or by your county or municipality — may be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Durham
You can qualify for 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 greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. Contact your local solar panel installation company today to learn more and to save as much money as possible on solar panels for your Durham home.
EcoWatch's Durham, NC Solar Incentives FAQs
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