2024 Solar Incentives Guide for Providence, RI - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Providence.

You'll learn about:

  • Local & State Solar Incentives
  • Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2024 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 Providence solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated February 03, 2024

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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 Providence?

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 are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. Incentives might include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are offered federally, while others are offered by the Rhode Island government or by your utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:

  • Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are usually applied before any solar tax credits are calculated. Solar rebates might be provided by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
  • Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government.
  • Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Providence utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some areas, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other areas you might be refunded a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Exemptions: Your solar system could 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 value added by your solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your house.

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 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

Best Social Impact

Palmetto Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Expansive service area
  • Makes charitable contributions
  • Certified B Corp
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Quality of installation may vary by location

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have some familiarity with. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is the best-known federal solar incentive. The ITC provides you with a tax credit for a set percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC can be applied to the total cost of installing solar panels, including the panels themselves as well as accessories, equipment and labor. You can claim this credit for panels installed after January 1, 2006, on a primary or secondary residence that you own, as long as it 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 amount you can claim.

Have questions about how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Reach out to your local Providence solar panel installation expert to get more information.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, added more provisions to the ITC (as well as retitling it 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 see a slight annual decrease until the current Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. The program expansion also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, starting in 2023.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Providence solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it applies to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Not all solar incentives are federal; rebates, tax credits and more may be offered at the local or state level. These incentives may be provided by your county or municipality, or by the Rhode Island government. Some incentives may be available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Providence

The expanding number of solar incentives available has contributed greatly to the increase in the use of solar power nationwide over the past 15 years. You may receive solar incentives from the Rhode Island government, the federal government or your local utility company. Reaching out to your local Providence 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.

EcoWatch's Providence, RI Solar Incentives FAQs

I already have solar panels. Are there any incentives that I qualify for?

Your best bet is to talk to a representative from the company that installed your solar panels – or call a local Providence solar installer — to better understand which incentives you may 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%.

What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my home?

You can decrease your carbon footprint by 200 pounds of CO2 a year by switching to solar panels. This adds up to roughly 4,000 pounds in 20 years. Solar is also a renewable energy source, meaning that making the switch reduces the drain on our planet's resources.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The Clean Energy Credit (formerly called the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), is slated to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.

I want to switch my appliances out for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can apply for?

The new Inflation Reduction Act creates several new financial incentives for making eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details on these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.

Can I receive any incentives when I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?

While we recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what solar incentives apply to you, many incentives will apply to a second home, so long as that home is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available for commercial properties specifically, depending on the details.

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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