2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Oak Ridge, NC - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Oak Ridge.
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 Oak Ridge?
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
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are designed to encourage homeowners to switch to renewable energy by offering financial incentives meant to lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. The 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 state of North Carolina and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Rebates: Your solar installer might help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar system. States or counties will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. The value of a rebate will usually come off the total price before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panels may qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value added by your solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your house.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in the amount of tax that you owe the federal government.
- Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering contract with your Oak Ridge utility company that will apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity that is generated by your solar panels. Your utility company will then deduct this value from your utility bill each month.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives might be available to you if you have a solar system that produces over a specified (generally small) amount of electricity. These types of incentives are normally handled by the state government. You can sell the SRECs you receive to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you receive in return is typically considered part of your taxable income.
Federal Solar Incentives
When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. 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 predetermined percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to the total cost of solar panel installation, including the panels themselves as well as labor, equipment and accessories. This credit can be claimed for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own, as long as it is located in the United States. From its original value of 30% of the total cost, the credit has fluctuated slightly between 26-30%, and you may qualify for varying percentages depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.
Your local Oak Ridge solar panel installation expert can offer more information about the ITC and how it might apply to your situation.
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. The Clean Energy Credit bolsters the current credit, increasing it up to 30% for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. After this, the percentage will see a slight decrease annually until the program expires in 2035. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to claim credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The best way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you is to talk with your local Oak Ridge solar panel installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be provided by state and local governments. Like with federal incentives, these might include rebates, tax credits and more. Incentives might be offered by your county or municipality, or by the state of North Carolina. Certain incentives might only be available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Oak Ridge
You can apply for solar incentives from the federal government and the North Carolina government, as well as from your local utility company. The increased availability of solar initiatives in the past 15 years has helped greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. We suggest talking to your local Oak Ridge solar installation company to learn more about these incentives and to be sure that you're getting the most money possible for your solar panels.
EcoWatch's Oak Ridge, NC Solar Incentives FAQs
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.