2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Wilmington, NC - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Wilmington.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Wilmington?
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
Four-County EMC - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Clothes Washer: $50/unit
Clothes Dryer: $50/unit
Heat Pump (16 SEER or higher): $100/ton
Solar Water Heater: $1,000/unit
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives encourage homeowners to switch to renewable energy by offering incentives that lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. Incentives could 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 handled by the state of North Carolina or by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits lower, dollar-for-dollar, the total amount of tax you owe the federal government. These differ from tax deductions.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in one of two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, which is applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to exclude the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your home.
- Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are usually applied prior to any solar tax credits being calculated. Rebates can be offered by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
- 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 more than a specified (typically small) amount of electricity. This category of incentives is normally handled by the state government. You can sell your SRECs to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you receive in return is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar panels are up and running. If you have in place a net metering agreement with your Wilmington utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some places, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other places you may make back a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that you think of when thinking about solar incentives. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a certain percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC can be credited towards the value of a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system has to have been installed on a property you own after January 1, 2006 for you to be eligible for the credit. Originally, the ITC covered 30% of all costs (panels, labor, equipment and accessories), although this amount has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you are eligible for. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
Contacting your local Wilmington solar panel installation expert is the best way to learn more about how the ITC may apply to you.
The ITC was renewed and increased in scope after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit. The amount will be decreased slightly on a yearly basis until the end of the current program. The expansion also makes claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before, beginning in 2023.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Wilmington solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions regarding the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Rebates, tax credits and more can be provided at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. Certain incentives are offered for only a limited time, while others are ongoing. These local incentives may come from the North Carolina government, or from your specific county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Wilmington
Solar energy use nationwide has gone up significantly in the past 15 years, in part thanks to the growth in the number of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from the federal government, the North Carolina government or your local utility company. We suggest talking to your local Wilmington solar installation expert to learn more about these incentives and to ensure that you're getting all of the money you can for your solar panels.
EcoWatch's Wilmington, NC Solar Incentives FAQs
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