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

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

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 Kinston 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 Kinston?

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

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

Jones-Onslow EMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Appliances: $25 (limit of 2 per year)
Central AC (15 SEER) - $35
Central AC (16 SEER or greater) - $50
Heat Pump (15 SEER or greater) - $250
Geothermal Heat Pump (19 EER or greater) - $350
Heat Pump Water Heater (up to 55 gallons) - $300

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/


The term "solar incentives" refers broadly to financial incentives designed to encourage people to use renewable energy by making installing and using solar panels more affordable. Different kinds of incentives, such as discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill, may be available to you. Some incentives may be offered by the North Carolina government, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:

  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, which is applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to ignore the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your house.
  • Rebates: Solar rebates may be offered by your county or state, or by your local utility company. These rebates are essentially partial refunds that are applied after you purchase a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
  • Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
  • 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 Kinston utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some locations, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other places you may be refunded a percentage of the value.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In most cases, solar systems that produce over a threshold (usually small) amount of electricity can qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and performance-based incentives in general are typically given by your state government. SRECs can be sold to your utility company or another buyer, and generally the money you make is normally considered part of your taxable income.

Federal Solar Incentives

When thinking about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is likely the most well-known federal solar incentive. The ITC provides a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Initially, the credit applied to 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.

Curious how the ITC might apply to your specific situation? Contact your local Kinston solar panel installation expert to get more information.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). The new Clean Energy Credit extends until 2035. American homeowners are now eligible for a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032. The total credit will then be decreased by a few percentage points every year until the date of expiration. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Kinston solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it may apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

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

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Kinston

There are a variety of solar incentives: those given by the federal government, those given by the North Carolina government and those given by local utility companies, to name a few. The use of solar energy has increased enormously in the last 15 years, partially thanks to these incentives. If you're ready to switch over to solar energy, calling your local Kinston solar panel installation expert is a great first step.

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 Kinston, NC Solar Incentives FAQs

What if I am planning to add a solar system to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Do I still qualify for incentives?

Many solar incentives apply to a property you own that is located within the United States, and most secondary residences will fall under this distinction. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what incentives apply to your specific situation.

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

Typically, homeowners in Kinston who install solar panels save about $983.26 per year, or about $18,681.96 over 20 years after making the switch.

What are the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?

You can reduce your carbon footprint by 300 pounds of CO2 a year when you install solar panels. This adds up to roughly 6,000 pounds in 20 years. Solar is also a renewable energy source, which means that switching your home over lessens the drain on our planet's resources.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now titled the Clean Energy Credit, is slated 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.

Can I apply for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

Yes, you can receive both rebates and tax credits 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 speak with your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure that you are claiming the correct incentives 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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