2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Washington, NC - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Washington.
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 Washington?
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 may include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are offered federally, while others are handled by the state of North Carolina or your specific utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar system. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before calculating tax credits.
- Net Metering: You can sign a net metering agreement with your Washington utility company that will apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity that is generated by your solar panels. They will then subtract this value from your utility bill each month.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value added by your solar system when calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay on your house.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits lower, dollar-for-dollar, how much income tax you owe the government. These differ from tax deductions.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that typically becomes part of your taxable income. Typically, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system is eligible for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are normally handled at the state level.
Federal Solar Incentives
When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind. 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 the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Originally, the tax credit was for 30% of the total cost — for panels, equipment, accessories and labor — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on the installation date of your solar system. There is no cap on the claim amount.
To more fully understand how the ITC might apply to your situation, reach out to your local Washington solar panel installation expert and request more information.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now titled the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit now runs until 2035. You can now apply for a 30% credit for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. This credit will then decrease annually until it expires. The expansion also makes credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim, beginning in 2023.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you, speak with your local Washington solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be provided at the state and local level. Like with federal incentives, these may include tax credits, rebates and more. Incentives might be given by the state of North Carolina, or by your county or municipality. Certain incentives might only be available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Washington
There are a variety of solar incentives: those given by the federal government, those given by the North Carolina government and those given by local utility companies, to name a few. Solar energy use has grown enormously in the last 15 years, partially due to these incentives. Your local Washington solar panel installer 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 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 Washington, NC Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I claim incentives for adding solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
Many solar incentives apply to a property you own that is located within the United States; most secondary residences will fall into this category. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.
How do I learn if I qualify for different solar incentives?
Broadly, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar system
- installed on a property that you own
- within the U.S.
- between the dates specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including ones handled by the North Carolina government or by your county/municipality, could have additional qualifications. Talk to your local Washington solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project will qualify for.
How much will solar panels save me on my electric bill in Washington annually?
Typically, homeowners in Washington who install solar panels save around $1,015.94 per year, or around $19,302.80 over 20 years after they make the switch.
Who installs solar panels near me?
To learn about the top solar panel installers near you, read our article on the best solar companies in Washington.
Can I apply for incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can claim both rebates and tax credits towards the cost of your solar panels. Depending on precisely 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 incentives correctly and that you're getting the most money you can.
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.