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.
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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 Winston Salem?
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
Duke Energy (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
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
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
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The phrase "solar incentives" broadly refers to financial incentives designed to encourage the use of renewable energy by making solar panels more affordable. You might be eligible for different types of incentives, including discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits, depending on your situation. Certain incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the North Carolina government and others from the federal government. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar system might qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the value that solar panels add when you are calculating property taxes on your home.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that is generally considered part of your taxable income. Generally, there is a small threshold of energy production to meet before your solar system can earn SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are normally handled by your state government.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the federal government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in once your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Winston Salem utility company, they 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 be refunded a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are normally applied before any solar tax credits are calculated. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are probably the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is likely the most well-known federal solar incentive. The ITC allows you to claim a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC is applied to the total cost of installing solar panels, including the panels themselves as well as equipment, accessories and labor. You can claim this credit for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own and that is located in the United States. The tax credit ranges from 26-30% of total costs depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.
Contacting your local Winston Salem solar panel installer is the best way to learn more about how the ITC could apply to your situation.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act laid out new provisions for the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit has increased the current credit up to 30% for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. At this point, the credit percentage will be reduced slightly each year until the program expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to claim credits for energy storage systems with the new act.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Winston Salem solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions regarding the new Clean Energy Credit and how it applies to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also provided by state and local governments. Like with federal incentives, these could include rebates, tax credits and more. These solar incentives — which may be handled by the state of North Carolina, or by your county or municipality — could be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
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 large number of available solar incentives has facilitated the nationwide growth of solar energy use in the last 15 years. Reach out to your local solar panel installation company today to learn more and to save as much money as possible on a solar system for your Winston Salem home.
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 Winston Salem, NC Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I add a solar system to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Do I still qualify for incentives?
While we recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what solar incentives apply to you, many apply to a second home, provided that it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the specifics.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously referred to as the federal solar tax credit, or ITC), is slated to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
I want to change out my appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any incentives I can apply for?
Under the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are several new financial incentives for making eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details about these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I qualify for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order your incentives will be applied in might vary depending on which incentives you receive but in most cases yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Check with your solar installer or a local tax professional to make sure you are claiming all the incentives you are eligible for and applying them in the correct order.
Can I use a combination of solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?
Yes, you can utilize multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of solar and wind power. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a non-renewable backup source of energy. Make sure that you discuss your plan with your local Winston Salem solar installation expert, so that you understand what you'll need and what incentives you will or won't qualify for.
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.