2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Westerly, RI - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Westerly.
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
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Westerly?
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 mitigate the cost of installing solar panels on your home. This category of financial incentives is intended to encourage more Americans to convert their home partially or fully to renewable energy. You might qualify for different kinds of incentives, such as cash back, discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill, depending on your situation. Some incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the Rhode Island government and others from the federal government. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Net Metering: Make sure you speak to your Westerly utility company about signing a net metering contract. This will allow you to get a credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You could receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits decrease, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax you owe the government. Tax credits differ from tax deductions.
- Rebates: Solar companies may help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar system. Counties or states will also sometimes offer limited-time rebates. The value of a rebate will usually be deducted from your total price before any tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions go into effect at the time of purchase for your solar system. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the added value of your solar system when you calculate how much property tax you need to pay on your home.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have some familiarity with. You might have heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a specified percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC covers solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and under this program you can deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, labor, equipment and accessories. You can claim this credit for solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Originally, you could claim 30% of the total cost, although certain projects may qualify for only 26%, depending on the details. There is no maximum claim amount.
Talking to your local Westerly solar panel installation expert is the best way to learn more about how the ITC may apply to you.
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. For solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032, homeowners can apply for a credit for 30% of the total cost. The percentage will then decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Westerly solar panel company is the best resource for answering your questions regarding the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Not all solar incentives are federal; rebates, tax credits and more may be offered at the state and local level. Incentives may be given by the state of Rhode Island, or by your county or municipality. Some incentives are available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Westerly
The expanding number of solar incentives available has helped tremendously increase the use of solar power nationwide over the last 15 years. You might qualify for solar incentives from the federal government, the Rhode Island government or from your local utility company. It is a good idea to talk to your local Westerly solar installation company for more information about these incentives and to be sure that you're getting the largest number possible for your solar panels.
- 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 Westerly, RI Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I receive any incentives when I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property located within the United States that you own, and most secondary residences will fall into this category. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what incentives apply to your specific situation.
What are the top solar panel installation companies near me?
To find the best solar panel installers near you, read our article on Westerly's best solar panel companies.
What are the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
You can lower your carbon footprint by 200 pounds of CO2 annually when you install solar panels. This adds up to roughly 4,000 pounds over 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, which means that switching your home over lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
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 might vary depending on which incentives you are claiming but generally yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Speak to 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 use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Be sure to talk through your plan with your local Westerly solar installer. They can help you with the 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.