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

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

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 Smithfield 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

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 Smithfield?

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 phrase "solar incentives" covers a wide range of financial incentives implemented to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. Incentives can include things like discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, while others are handled by the North Carolina government or by your utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:

  • Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government.
  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to ignore the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your house.
  • Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your Smithfield utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some areas, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in others you may make back a percentage of the value.
  • Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are normally given before any solar tax credits are calculated. Solar rebates might be offered by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives are typically handled by your state government. Once your solar panel system meets the qualification threshold (typically a small amount of energy production), you can receive SRECs that can then be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you receive is generally considered part of your taxable income.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have heard of. You might have heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This is a tax credit equal to a specified percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.

The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and allows you to deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, accessories, equipment and labor. You can claim this credit for solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. The original amount you could claim was 30% of the total cost, although certain projects may qualify for only 26%, depending on the details. There is no maximum claim amount.

Talking to your local Smithfield solar panel installer is the best way to understand how the ITC could apply to you.

In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act laid out new provisions for the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. For solar system installations that begin after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032, homeowners can receive a credit for 30% of the total cost. After 2033, the percentage will decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. The expansion to the program also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, beginning in 2023.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Smithfield solar panel installers are the best people to answer your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it may apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

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

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Smithfield

Solar incentives may be provided by your local utility company, the federal government or the North Carolina government. The growing number of available solar incentives has facilitated the nationwide growth of solar energy use in the last 15 years. Your local Smithfield solar panel installation company can provide you with more details 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 Smithfield, NC Solar Incentives FAQs

Can I claim incentives for adding solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?

While we recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what solar incentives apply to you, many incentives will apply to a second home, so long as that home is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available for commercial properties specifically, depending on the specifics.

How do I know if I qualify for certain solar incentives?

In most cases, solar incentives apply to:

  1. a new solar panel system
  2. installed on a property that you own
  3. within the U.S.
  4. within the date range specified by a particular incentive.

Specific incentives, including those run by the North Carolina government or by your county/municipality, could have additional qualifications. Talk to your local Smithfield solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project may qualify for.

My home already has solar panels installed. Do I qualify for any incentives?

If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you installed your system between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the exact installation date. Talking to the company that installed your solar system, or any local Smithfield solar installer, can help you learn more about what incentives you can apply for.

How much will solar panels save me on my electric bill in Smithfield annually?

When you add solar panels to your house in Smithfield, you can expect to save about $915.52 per year, or about $17,394.92 over the next 20 years.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The Clean Energy Credit (formerly called the federal solar tax credit, or ITC), currently ends on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.

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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