2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Bristol, RI - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Bristol.
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
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Bristol?
Local Option - Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
Rhode Island C-PACE program
Renewable Energy Products Sales and Use Tax Exemption
Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Equipment
Small Scale Solar Grants (Commerce RI)
Direct Ownership: $1.05/W
Third Party Ownership: $0.70/W
Solar Domestic Hot Water Heating
Direct Ownership: 25% of project contract price
Third Party Ownership: 10% of total contract price
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives to help people install solar panels on their homes. Incentives can include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are offered federally, while others are handled by the Rhode Island government or your utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are normally applied before any solar tax credits are calculated. Rebates may be given by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
- Net Metering: Don't forget to speak to your Bristol utility company about signing a net metering contract. This allows you to receive credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy your solar panels generate. You could receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
- Tax Exemptions: These might come in the form of property tax exemptions, which let you exclude the value of your solar system when paying property tax on your home. You could also look for exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind 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 provides a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Originally, the tax credit was for 30% of the total cost — for panels, equipment, accessories and labor — although it may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the claim amount.
To better understand how the ITC will apply to you, reach out to your local Bristol solar panel installer and request more information.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). The Clean Energy Credit lasts until 2035. Solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit; this amount will decrease slightly each year until the current program ends. The expansion also makes credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim, starting in 2023.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, talk to your local Bristol solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be offered at the local or state level. As with federal incentives, these might include rebates, tax credits and more. These incentives may be given out by the Rhode Island government, or by your county or municipality. Some are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Bristol
There are many types of solar incentives: those given by local utility companies, those given by the federal government and those given by the Rhode Island government, to name a few. Solar energy use has increased tremendously in the last 15 years, partially thanks to these incentives. Talking to your local Bristol solar panel installation company is the right first step towards getting the most money possible when you switch to solar energy.
Best Social Impact
- Expansive service area
- Makes charitable contributions
- Certified B Corp
- No leases or PPAs
- Quality of installation may vary by location
EcoWatch's Bristol, RI Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I receive any incentives when I add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?
While we recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what solar incentives apply to you, many apply to a second home, as long as it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be other incentives available for commercial properties specifically, depending on the details.
How much can I save on my electric bill annually if I install solar panels on my house in Bristol?
Generally, homeowners in Bristol who install solar panels save around $1,071.33 per year, or around $20,355.35 over 20 years after they make the switch.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my home?
Solar energy is renewable — by switching where you get your energy, you help reduce the strain on our planet's resources. A solar system can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 200 pounds yearly, or around 4,000 pounds in 20 years.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now titled the Clean Energy Credit, is scheduled to end on January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.
Can I qualify for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order in which incentives are applied may vary depending on which incentives you receive but in most cases yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Check with your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure you are claiming all of the incentives you qualify for and applying them in the correct order.
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.