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

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

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 Sanford solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated March 14, 2023

Why you can trust EcoWatch

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 Sanford?

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

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 to a wide range of financial incentives designed to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. You may be eligible for various kinds of incentives, including discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill, depending on your situation. Certain incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the state of North Carolina and others from the federal government. Categories of solar incentives include:

  • Rebates: Solar companies may help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar system. Counties or states 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 Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the point of sale for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the value that your solar panels add when calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay on your home.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits decrease, dollar-for-dollar, how much income tax you owe the federal government. These differ from tax deductions.
  • Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Sanford utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some places, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in others you may get refunded a percentage of the value.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives may 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

Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about solar incentives. The solar incentive that you're most likely to have heard of is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which gives you a credit on your taxes equal to a specified percentage of your solar system's cost.

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

Your local Sanford solar panel installation expert can provide more information about the ITC and how it applies to your situation.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). With the new provisions, solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032 may be eligible for a 30% tax credit. This percentage will then see a slight annual decrease until the end of the current Clean Energy Credit in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.

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

State & Local Solar Incentives

Not all solar incentives are federal; tax credits, rebates and more may be offered at the local or state level. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time. They may be offered by your county or municipality, or by the North Carolina government.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Sanford

The nationwide use of solar energy has significantly increased in the last 15 years, in part thanks to the growth in the number of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the North Carolina government. Your local Sanford solar panel installation expert can help you learn more about which incentives you should apply for, and get you started on the path to switching to renewable energy today.

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 Sanford, NC Solar Incentives FAQs

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

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

Who installs solar panel systems near me?

To find the best solar panel installers near you, read our article on Sanford's best solar panel companies.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now named 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 apply for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

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

Can I use both solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?

You can power your home with multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy. Make sure you talk through your plan with your local Sanford solar installer. They can help you plan your project and give you an understanding of various incentives that you might or might not 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.

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