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

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

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 Winston Salem 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 Winston Salem?

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

Duke Energy (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Central Air Conditioning or Heat Pump: $300 - $400 + $50 with added smart thermostat
Geothermal Heat Pump: $400 + $50 with added smart thermostat
Heat Pump Water Heater: $350
Attic Insulation or Attic Air Sealing: $250
Duct Sealing: $100
Variable-Speed Pool Pumps: $300

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.

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/


Solar incentives are meant to help mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. This category of financial incentives is in place to encourage more homeowners to switch to renewable energy. You might qualify 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:

  • Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase for your solar system. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the value that your solar panels add when you calculate the amount of property tax you need to pay on your home.
  • Tax Credits: These credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in the amount of tax that you owe the government.
  • Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are normally applied before any solar tax credits are calculated. Rebates can be provided by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
  • Net Metering: Be sure to speak to your Winston Salem utility company about signing a net metering agreement. This allows you to get a credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You may receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives are normally handled at the state level. Once your solar system meets the qualification threshold (normally 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 usually considered part of your taxable income.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have some familiarity with. The solar incentive that you're most familiar with is probably the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a credit on your taxes equal to a certain percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC covers solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and lets you deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, labor, accessories and equipment. You can claim this credit for a solar panel system installed on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Originally, you could claim 30% of the total cost, although the amount you can claim may range between 26-30%. There is no maximum amount you can claim.

Your local Winston Salem solar panel installer can give you more information about the ITC and how it might apply to your situation.

In August 2022, the ITC (now called the Clean Energy Credit) was bolstered by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Clean Energy Credit re-raises the credit up to 30% for solar installations undertaken between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. At this point, the percentage will be reduced slightly each year until the end of the program in 2035. The expansion to the program also makes credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim, starting in 2023.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The best way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to talk with your local Winston Salem solar panel installation expert.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Rebates, tax credits and more might be claimed at multiple levels. In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. Incentives may be given by the state of North Carolina, or by your county or municipality. Some incentives are available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Winston Salem

Solar incentives may come from your local utility company, the federal government or the North Carolina government. The variety of solar incentives available has facilitated the nationwide growth of solar energy use in the last 15 years. We recommend talking to your local Winston Salem solar installation expert to learn more about these incentives and to be sure that you're getting the most money possible for your solar panels.

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 Winston Salem, NC Solar Incentives FAQs

How can I learn if I qualify for different solar incentives?

It's a good idea to talk to your local Winston Salem solar installer for a better understanding of which incentives your project will qualify for. Generally, solar incentives apply to new solar systems installed on property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, such as those provided by the North Carolina government, might have additional requirements.

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 recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If your system was installed between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the exact installation date. Speaking with a representative from the company that installed your system, or any local Winston Salem solar installer, can help you understand what incentives you qualify for.

How much can I save on my electric bill annually if I install solar panels on my Winston Salem home?

After adding solar panels to your house in Winston Salem, you can expect to save around $922.01 per year, or around $17,518.11 over the next 20 years.

What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my house?

Solar energy is renewable — by switching where you get your energy, you can help reduce the strain on our planet's resources. A solar system can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 300 pounds yearly, or roughly 6,000 pounds over 20 years.

I want to trade in my old appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any incentives I can apply for?

The new Inflation Reduction Act creates a number of new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details on these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.

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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