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.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated May 04, 2023
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Smithfield?
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
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 through financial incentives for individuals who 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 by the federal government, while others are offered by the North Carolina government or by your specific utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Typically, solar systems that produce more than a specified (usually small) amount of electricity will qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and the like are typically offered by your state government. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and generally the money you make is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: Solar rebates might be provided by your state or county, or by your local utility company. These rebates work as partial refunds that are applied after you purchase a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: These credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the government.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the point of sale for your solar system. Property tax exemptions let you exclude the value added by your solar system when calculating how much property tax you need to pay on your house.
- Net Metering: You can sign a net metering agreement with your Smithfield utility company that will apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. Your utility company will then deduct this value from your utility bill each month.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is probably the most well-known federal solar incentive. The ITC allows you to claim a tax credit for a specific percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC initially applied to 30% of the total cost of solar system installation, and has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The total cost of installation includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of accessories, equipment and labor. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be owned by you and in the United States.
Have questions about how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Reach out to your local Smithfield 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 Clean Energy Credit has increased the current credit up to 30% for solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032. After 2032, the credit percentage will decrease slightly each year until the end of the program in 2035. The program expansion also makes claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before, starting in 2023.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, speak with your local Smithfield solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are not your only option; rebates, tax credits and more may be offered at the local or state level. Some incentives are offered for only a limited time, while others are ongoing. Your local solar incentives might come from the North Carolina government, or from your specific county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Smithfield
There are many kinds of solar incentives: those offered by local utility companies, those offered by the federal government and those offered by the North Carolina government, to name a few. Solar energy use has increased tremendously in the last 15 years, thanks to these incentives. Your local Smithfield solar panel installation company 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 Solar Financing
Blue Raven Solar
- Industry-leading in-house financing
- Competitive pricing
- Excellent reputation
- Doesn't offer solar batteries
Outstanding Regional Installer
Renu Energy Solutions
- Excellent reputation
- Many financing options
- Representatives are experts on local policies
- No leases or PPAs
EcoWatch's Smithfield, NC Solar Incentives FAQs
If my house already has solar panels, can I still claim 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 had your system installed between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the exact installation date. Reaching out to the company that installed your system, or any local Smithfield solar installer, can help you learn more about what incentives you can apply for.
What are the top solar panel installation companies near me?
To find a top-rated solar panel installer, check out our guide to the best solar companies in Smithfield.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my house?
You can lower your carbon footprint by 300 pounds of CO2 a year when you switch to solar panels. This adds up to roughly 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.
If I switch my appliances out for ones that can utilize solar energy, are there any benefits I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act creates 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 apply for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order that incentives will be applied in could vary depending on which incentives you are eligible for but in most cases yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Talk with your solar installer or a local tax professional to be sure you are claiming all the incentives you are eligible for and applying them in the correct order.
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.