2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Athens, OH - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Athens.
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 Athens?
Hamilton County - Home Improvement Program
Local Option - Special Energy Improvement Districts
Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) Program
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates Program (SRECs)
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. Solar incentives might include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are given by the federal government, some by the Ohio government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering agreement with your Athens utility company, that may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. Your utility company will then deduct this value from your monthly utility bill.
- Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are usually given before any solar tax credits are calculated. Rebates may be offered by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives are typically handled by your state government. Once your solar system meets a certain threshold (normally a small amount of energy production), you can receive SRECs that can be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make is generally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to ignore the value added by your solar system when paying property tax on your home.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit equal to a predetermined percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.
The ITC can be 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 located in the United States that you own. Originally set at 30% of total costs, the credit has fluctuated over time, and you may qualify for different amounts depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.
Curious how the ITC might apply to your specific situation? Reach out to your local Athens solar panel installer to get more information.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). Under the new program, solar installation projects begun after January 1, 2022 and finished by December 31, 2032 can qualify for a 30% tax credit. This percentage will then decrease slightly each year until the end of the current Clean Energy Credit in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you, reach out to your local Athens solar installation company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more can be claimed at multiple levels. Along with federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are offered for only a limited time. Your local incentives might come from your county or municipality, or from the Ohio government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Athens
Solar incentives may be provided by the federal government, the Ohio government or your local utility company. The growing number of solar incentives available has helped nationwide use of solar energy increase greatly in the last 15 years. If you're prepared to make the switch to solar energy, talking to your local Athens solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.
EcoWatch's Athens, OH Solar Incentives FAQs
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.