2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Elon, NC - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Elon.

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 Elon solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

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We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Elon?

Duke Energy - NC Solar Rebate Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Residential: $0.60/W-AC
Nonresidential: $0.50/W-AC
Nonprofit: $0.75/W-AC

Property Tax Abatement for Solar Electric Systems

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
Residential systems: 100% of the appraised value
All other systems: 80% of the appraised value

Active Solar Heating and Cooling Systems Exemption

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
No more than conventional equipment

EnergyUnited (Electric) Residential Energy Efficiency Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Heat Pumps (15 SEER): $150/unit
Heat Pumps (16 SEER): $300/unit

Duke Energy (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Central Air Conditioning or Heat Pump: $300 - $400 + $50 with added smart thermostat
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

Incentive Type:
Performance-Based Incentive
Varies by technology and system size
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

Incentive Type:
Loan Program

Local Option - Green Building Incentives

Incentive Type:
Green Building Incentive
Authorized by legislation for green buildings. Actual permit process to be determined by local government.

Duke Energy Progress - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Central A/C or Heat Pump: $300 - $400 + 50 with smart thermostat
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

Incentive Type:
Loan Program
$10,000

Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


Solar incentives are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. Incentives can include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, while others are offered by the state of North Carolina or by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:

  • Tax Exemptions: Your solar panels might qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions come into effect at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the value added by your solar panels when calculating property taxes on your home.
  • Net Metering: Net metering factors in once your solar panels are up and running. If you have in place a net metering agreement with your Elon utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some locations, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in others you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
  • Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar system. These may be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The cash back that you get from the rebates is normally applied before calculating tax credits.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that is generally considered part of your taxable income. In most cases, a certain (small) threshold of energy production must be met before your solar system can earn SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. Incentives like these are normally handled at the state level.

Federal Solar Incentives

When someone says "solar incentives," you probably think of federal incentives first. An incentive many people are likely to be familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a specific percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Initially, the credit applied to 30% of the total cost — for panels, labor, equipment and accessories — although the percentage may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.

Your local Elon solar panel installation expert can offer more information about the ITC and how it might apply to your situation.

In August 2022, the ITC (now titled the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. 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. The credit will then be decreased by a few percentage points every year until it expires. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to claim credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. The easiest way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to speak with your local Elon solar panel installers directly.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Some solar incentives are often also provided at the state and local level. As with federal incentives, these could include tax credits, rebates and more. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time. Incentives may be provided by your county or municipality, or by the North Carolina government.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Elon

Nationwide solar energy use has gone up tremendously in the last 15 years, in part thanks to the increase in availability of solar incentives. You might receive these incentives from the federal government, the North Carolina government or your local utility company. If you're ready to make the switch to solar energy, calling your local Elon solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

Outstanding Regional Installer

Renu Energy Solutions

★★★★★
4.5

  • Excellent reputation
  • Many financing options
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • No leases or PPAs

EcoWatch's Elon, NC Solar Incentives FAQs

Can I claim incentives for adding 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 under this distinction. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.

I already have solar panels installed. Does my system qualify for any incentives?

Your best bet is to talk to a representative from the company that installed your solar system — or speak to a local Elon solar installer — to learn about which incentives you may 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 systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.

How much can I save annually on my electric bill if I add solar panels to my Elon home?

Typically, Elon homeowners who install solar panels save about $931.62 per year, or about $17,700.79 over 20 years after they make the switch.

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 slated to end January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.

Can I claim incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

Yes, you can claim both tax credits and rebates towards the cost of your solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are applying for, they may apply in a different order. Make sure that you talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure that you are claiming incentives correctly and that you're getting the most money possible.

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.

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