2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Portsmouth, RI - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Portsmouth.
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 Portsmouth?
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
The term "solar incentives" refers to financial incentives put in place by solar companies and the government to encourage increased use of renewable energy by making solar panels more affordable. You may qualify for various types of incentives, including cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, depending on your situation. Certain incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the state of Rhode Island and others from the federal government. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system may qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the added value of the solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your house.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your Portsmouth utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your monthly utility bill. In some areas, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other areas you might receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar panels. Rebates could be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The rebates are usually applied before calculating tax credits.
- Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the government.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you hear the term "solar incentives," federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. You may have heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a specified percentage of the money you spend on solar panels for your home.
The ITC applies to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. The credit initially covered 30% of the total cost — for panels, equipment, labor and accessories — although the percentage may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Your local Portsmouth solar panel installer can provide you with more information about the ITC and how it might apply to your situation.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended the ITC, now dubbed the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Any solar installation project that is completed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit. This amount will decrease slightly each year until the current program ends. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The best way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you is to get in touch with your local Portsmouth solar panel company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are more than just federal solar incentives; tax credits, rebates and more may be offered at the local or state level. These incentives may be handled by your county or municipality, or by the Rhode Island government. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Portsmouth
The large number of available solar incentives has helped tremendously increase the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the last 15 years. You may receive solar incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the Rhode Island government. Speaking with your local Portsmouth solar panel installation expert is the right first step towards making sure you get all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
- 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 Portsmouth, RI Solar Incentives FAQs
If I installed solar panels on my house a few years ago, can I still claim incentives?
Your best bet is to talk to someone from the company that installed your solar system — or get in touch with a local Portsmouth solar installer — to clarify which incentives you might qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
How much can I save annually on my electric bill if I add solar panels to my house in Portsmouth?
Generally, homeowners in Portsmouth who install solar panels save approximately $1,116.03 per year, or approximately $21,204.56 over 20 years after they make the switch.
What are the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
You can reduce your carbon footprint by 200 pounds of CO2 a year when you switch to solar panels. This adds up to approximately 4,000 pounds over 20 years. Solar is also a renewable energy source, meaning that switching your home over reduces the drain on our planet's resources.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The Clean Energy Credit (formerly named the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), currently ends on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
Can I apply for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order that incentives will be applied in could vary depending on which incentives you are eligible for but usually yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Talk with your solar installer or a local tax professional to make sure you are claiming all the incentives you are eligible 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.