2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Raleigh, NC - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Raleigh.
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.
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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 Raleigh?
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
Solar incentives are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives to help people install solar panels on their homes. Incentives might include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are offered federally, while others are offered by the North Carolina government or your utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar other performance-based incentives might be available to you if you have a solar system that produces over a specified (generally small) amount of electricity. Performance-based incentives are normally handled at the state level. You can sell any SRECs you have to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you receive in return is generally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Exemptions: These can come in the form of property tax exemptions, which would allow you to ignore the value of your solar system when paying taxes on your house. You may also qualify for an exemption on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
- Net Metering: Be sure to talk to your Raleigh utility company about signing a net metering agreement. This allows you to get a credit towards your monthly utility bill for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You might receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar panels. These may be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The rebates are usually applied before tax credits are calculated.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you think about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. An incentive many people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC initially applied to 30% of the cost of installing a solar system, although it has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you qualify for. The total installation cost includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of accessories, labor and equipment. There is no maximum amount you can claim. The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be in the United States and owned by you.
To more fully understand how the ITC might apply to your situation, reach out to your local Raleigh solar panel installation expert and ask for more information.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now dubbed the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit now runs until 2035. American homeowners can now receive a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation on or after January 1, 2022 and will be done by December 31, 2032. The total credit will then be decreased by a few percentage points every year until it expires. The expansion to the program also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, beginning in 2023.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The easiest way to learn more about how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to reach out to your local Raleigh solar panel installation expert with your questions.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are often state solar incentives available in addition to federal ones. Tax credits, rebates and more might be available at a more local level. The incentives — which may be handled by your county or municipality, or by the state of North Carolina — might be offered for only a limited time, or on an ongoing basis.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Raleigh
The large number of available solar incentives has contributed greatly to the increase in the use of solar power nationwide over the past 15 years. You can get solar incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the North Carolina government. Your local Raleigh solar panel installer can provide you with more details about which incentives you should apply for, and get you on track to switch to renewable energy today.
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 Raleigh, NC Solar Incentives FAQs
If I installed solar panels on my house a few years ago, can I still claim incentives?
You should plan to talk to someone from the company that installed your solar system — or get in touch with a local Raleigh solar installer — to better understand which incentives you might qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar panels 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 house in Raleigh?
On average, Raleigh homeowners who install solar panels save around $902.14 per year, or around $17,140.67 over 20 years after making the switch.
What are the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
You can lower your carbon footprint by 300 pounds of CO2 annually when you switch to solar panels. This adds up to approximately 6,000 pounds over 20 years. Solar is also a renewable energy source, meaning that switching your home over lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
I want to trade in my old appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any incentives I can apply for?
With the passage of the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are several new financial incentives that are available when you make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details on these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I use a combination of solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?
Yes, you can use multiple types of renewable energy to power your home, such as a combination of geothermal and solar. You can also use both renewable energy sources and a backup source of non-renewable energy. Be sure to discuss the details of your plan with your local Raleigh solar panel installer, to get an understanding of what will be needed and what kinds of incentives you will or won't qualify for.
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.