2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Cranston, RI - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Cranston.
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 March 14, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Cranston?
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 via financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. Solar incentives can include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are handled by the federal government, some by the Rhode Island government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Tax Exemptions: These can come in the form of property tax exemptions, which allow you to ignore the value of your solar system when paying property tax on your house. You may also qualify for an exemption on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- 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.)
- Rebates: Solar rebates might be provided by your local utility company, or by your state or county. These rebates are essentially partial refunds that are applied after your purchase of a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Cranston utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some locations, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other areas you might receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are probably the first thing that you think of when thinking about solar incentives. You've likely heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This is a tax credit equal to a predetermined percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Initially, the credit applied to 30% of the total cost — for panels, accessories, equipment and labor — although the percentage may range from 26-30%, depending on the installation date of your solar system. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Your local Cranston solar panel installer can provide more information about the ITC and how it might apply to your situation.
The ITC has been renewed and expanded following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. Under the new program, solar installation projects that are completed between 2022 and 2032 may be eligible for a 30% tax credit. This credit amount will then decrease slightly each year until the current Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. The expansion to the program also makes credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim, starting in 2023.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To better understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, reach out to your local Cranston solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are not your only option; tax credits, rebates and more are often offered at the local or state level. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are offered for only a limited time. These local incentives could come from your county or municipality, or from the Rhode Island government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Cranston
Solar incentives can come from your local utlity company, the Rhode Island government or the federal government. The large number of incentives available has contributed to a large increase in solar energy use in the last 15 years. Speak with your local solar panel installer today to discover more about the various programs and to save the most money possible on solar panels for your Cranston home.
- 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
EcoWatch's Cranston, RI Solar Incentives FAQs
How do I know if I qualify for specific solar incentives?
Broadly, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on property that you own
- within the U.S.
- within the date range specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including those run by the Rhode Island government or by your county/municipality, may have additional qualifications. Speak with your local Cranston solar installer to discover what incentives your project will qualify for.
If my house already has solar panels, can I still claim incentives?
An excellent idea would be to talk to the company that installed your system — or speak to a local Cranston solar installer — to better understand which incentives you may qualify for. If your system was installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar panels installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
If I switch my appliances out for ones that use solar energy, are there any benefits I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions for a number of incentives designed to reward homeowners for making eco-friendly upgrades. Some of these incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
Can I claim 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 usually yes, you can receive 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.
Can I use a combination of 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 discuss your plan with your local Cranston solar installer. They can help you as you plan for your project and educate you on 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.