2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Charlottesville, VA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Charlottesville.
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 Charlottesville solar installers to see how much you can save.
Please enter a valid 5-digit zip code!
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 Charlottesville?
Income Tax Deduction for Energy-Efficient Products
Local Option- Renewable Energy Machinery and Tools Property Tax Exemption
Local Option - Residential Property Tax Exemption for Solar
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The term "solar incentives" covers a range of financial incentives put in place to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. Different types of incentives, such as cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, might be available to you. Certain incentives may be offered by the Virginia government, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while others are federal. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives are usually handled by your state government. Once your solar system meets a certain threshold (typically a small amount of energy production), you can receive SRECs that you can then sell to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make is generally considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Make sure you speak to your Charlottesville utility company about signing a net metering contract. This allows you to receive credit towards your monthly utility bill 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 Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the point of sale for your solar system. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the value that your solar panels add when you're calculating how much property tax you need to pay on your home.
- Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government.
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are typically applied before any solar tax credits are calculated. Solar rebates can be offered by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have heard of. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This is a tax credit equal to a certain 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 in the United States that you own. Initially, the credit applied to 30% of the total cost — for panels, accessories, labor and equipment — although the percentage may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Reach out to your local Charlottesville solar panel installer to get more information.
In August 2022, the ITC (now titled the Clean Energy Credit) was bolstered by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. Homeowners can now receive 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. This percentage will then decrease on a yearly basis until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. The best way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you is to talk with your local Charlottesville solar panel installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more can be claimed at multiple levels. Along with federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. Incentives may be handled by the state of Virginia, or by your county or municipality. Certain incentives may be available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Charlottesville
There are a variety of solar incentives: those given by the federal government, those given by the Virginia government and those given by local utility companies, to name a few. The use of solar energy has increased tremendously in the last 15 years, partially due to these incentives. Call your local solar panel installation expert today to learn more and to save as much money as possible on a solar system for your Charlottesville home.
Best Solar Financing
Blue Raven Solar
- Industry-leading in-house financing
- Competitive pricing
- Excellent reputation
- Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)
- 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 Charlottesville, VA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I receive any incentives when I add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?
Many solar incentives apply to a property located within the United States that you own, and most secondary residences fall under this distinction. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what incentives may apply to your specific situation.
How can I find out if I qualify for specific solar incentives?
It's best to speak with your local Charlottesville solar installer to get an understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. Usually, solar incentives apply to new solar panel systems installed on a property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, such as those provided by the Virginia government, may have other requirements.
If I already have a solar system installed on my house, can I still claim incentives?
If your solar system was installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If your system was installed between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the exact installation date. Speaking with a representative from the company that installed your solar system, or any local Charlottesville solar installer, can help you learn what incentives you qualify for.
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To learn about the top solar panel installation companies near you, take a look at our article on Charlottesville's top solar panel companies.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The federal solar tax credit, previously called the ITC and now called the Clean Energy Credit, is scheduled to end on January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.
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.