2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Forest, VA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Forest.
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 May 04, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Forest?
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 phrase "solar incentives" refers broadly to financial incentives that are in place to encourage the use of renewable energy by making installing and using solar panels more affordable. The incentives can include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the Virginia government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Typically, solar systems that produce more than a predetermined (normally small) amount of electricity can qualify for SRECs or other similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and performance-based incentives in general are typically provided at the state level. SRECs can be sold to your utility company or another buyer, and this is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in once your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Forest 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 places, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other places you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: Solar rebates may be offered by your local utility company, or by your county or state. These rebates work as cash back that is applied after your purchase of solar panels and before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the government.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in one of two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, which is applied at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to ignore the added value of your solar system when calculating property tax for your house.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are probably the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. You've likely heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This incentive is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a certain percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC applies towards solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and lets you deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, labor, equipment and accessories. You can receive this credit for solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. The original amount you could claim was 30% of the total cost, although certain projects may qualify for only 26%, depending on the details. There is no maximum claim amount.
Contacting your local Forest solar panel installer is the best way to learn more about how the ITC applies to you.
In August 2022, the ITC (now called the Clean Energy Credit) was bolstered by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. 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. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to qualify for credits for energy storage systems with the new act.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Forest solar panel installer can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more can be provided at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. The incentives — which may be handled by the state of Virginia, or by your county or municipality — could be offered for only a limited time, or on an ongoing basis.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Forest
The variety of available solar incentives has helped tremendously increase the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the past 15 years. You might qualify for solar incentives from the Virginia government, the federal government or your local utility company. Speaking with your local Forest solar panel installer is an excellent first step towards getting the most money possible when you switch to solar energy.
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- Industry-leading warranty coverage
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EcoWatch's Forest, VA Solar Incentives FAQs
How can I find out if I qualify for solar incentives?
Typically, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on a property that you own
- within the U.S.
- between the dates specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including ones handled by the Virginia government or by your county/municipality, could have additional qualifications. Get in touch with your local Forest solar installer to discover what incentives your project may qualify for.
I already have solar panels. Does my system qualify for any incentives?
An excellent idea would be to talk to someone from the company that installed your solar system — or get in touch with a local Forest solar installer — to learn about which incentives you might 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%.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my home?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by switching where you get your energy, you can help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. A solar system can also reduce the CO2 emissions from your home by 500 pounds yearly, or roughly 10,000 pounds in 20 years.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously referred to as the federal solar tax credit, or ITC), is scheduled 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 change out my appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any benefits I can get?
The new Inflation Reduction Act introduces several incentives meant to reward homeowners who make eco-friendly upgrades. Some incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
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.