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.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Bristol 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

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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 Bristol?

Local Option - Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
Varies (local option)

Rhode Island C-PACE program

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing

Renewable Energy Products Sales and Use Tax Exemption

Incentive Type:
Sales Tax Incentive
100% exemption

Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Equipment

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
100% exemption from property taxes

Small Scale Solar Grants (Commerce RI)

Incentive Type:
Grant Program
Solar PV
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

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 help mitigate the cost of installing solar panels on your home. Financial incentives like these are intended to encourage more people to make the switch to renewable energy. Incentives might include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are offered federally, while others are provided by the Rhode Island government or your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:

  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
  • Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar system. These might be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The rebates are usually applied before calculating tax credits.
  • Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant after your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Bristol utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some locations, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other areas you might get refunded a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Exemptions: These might come in the form of property tax exemptions, which let you ignore the value added by your solar panels when calculating the taxes you pay on your home. You may also qualify for an exemption on sales tax at the time of purchase.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about solar incentives. An incentive that most people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a tax credit for a certain percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC can be applied to the total cost of solar panel installation, including the panels themselves as well as labor, accessories and equipment. 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. From its original value of 30% of the total cost, the credit has fluctuated slightly between 26-30%, and you may qualify for varying percentages depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.

Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Contact your local Bristol solar panel installer to get more information.

In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now called the Clean Energy Credit. Homeowners can now qualify for a credit of 30% of the total solar system installation costs for projects that began after January 1, 2022 and will be finished by the end of 2032. The credit percentage will then decrease on a yearly basis until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to get credits for energy storage systems with the new act.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The best way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you is to speak with your local Bristol solar panel company directly.

State & Local Solar Incentives

There are often state solar incentives available in addition to federal ones. Tax credits, rebates and more might be available at a more local level. These incentives might be handled by the Rhode Island government, or by your county or municipality. Certain incentives are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Bristol

Solar incentives may be provided by the Rhode Island government, the federal government or your local utility company. The growing number of incentives available has contributed to a large increase in solar energy use in the last 15 years. When you're ready to make the switch to solar energy, reaching out to your local Bristol solar panel installation expert is a great first step.

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 Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best for Leasing

Sunrun

★★★★★
4.0

  • Expansive service area
  • Many financing options
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Some reported issues with door-to-door sales

EcoWatch's Bristol, RI Solar Incentives FAQs

What if I am planning to add a solar system to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Can 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 incentives will apply to a second home, as long as it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available for commercial properties specifically, depending on the specifics.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The federal solar tax credit, previously called the ITC and now named the Clean Energy Credit, is set to end January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.

If I trade in my appliances for ones that can use solar energy, are there incentives I can claim?

The new Inflation Reduction Act creates a number of new financial incentives that are available when you make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details regarding 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 may vary depending on which incentives you are claiming but generally yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Get in touch with your solar installer or a local tax professional to verify you are claiming all of the incentives you qualify for and applying them in the correct order.

Can I use both solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?

You can power your home with multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy. Be sure to talk through your plan with your local Bristol solar installation expert. They can help you as you plan for your project and also help you understand the various incentives that you might or might not 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.

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