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 via financial incentives to help people install solar panels on their homes. You may be eligible for several 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 Ohio and others from the federal government. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits decrease, dollar-for-dollar, how much income tax you owe the government. These are different from tax deductions.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your Athens utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your monthly utility bill. In some areas, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other places you may make back a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are typically given before any solar tax credits are calculated. Rebates can be offered by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can 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 added value of your solar system when calculating property tax for your house.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for money that typically becomes part of your taxable income. Typically, a certain (small) threshold of energy production must be met before your solar system can earn SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are typically handled by your state government.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you think about solar incentives, you probably think of federal incentives first. One of the incentives many people are likely to be familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is a tax credit for a specified percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and lets you deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, accessories, equipment and labor. This credit can apply towards a solar panel system installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Originally, you could claim 30% of the total cost, although depending on when the project was completed, your credit may range from 26-30%. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
Reaching out to your local Athens solar panel installer is the best way to learn more about how the ITC could apply to you.
In August 2022, the ITC (now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit) was bolstered by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Clean Energy Credit bolsters the current credit, increasing it up to 30% for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. After this, the credit percentage will be reduced slightly each year until the program expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The best way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to speak with your local Athens solar panel company directly.
State & Local Solar Incentives
In addition to those provided at the federal level, there are often also state solar incentives. Tax credits, rebates and more can be offered at a more local level. These incentives might be offered by your county or municipality, or by the Ohio government. Some incentives may be available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Athens
Solar energy use nationwide has significantly increased in the last 15 years, in part thanks to the proliferation of solar incentives. You might receive these incentives from the Ohio government, the federal government or your local utility company. Reach out to your local solar panel installation expert today to find out more information and to save as much money as possible on solar panels for your Athens home.
EcoWatch's Athens, OH Solar Incentives FAQs
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