2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Staunton, VA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Staunton.
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
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Staunton?
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
Solar incentives are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. Incentives may include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, while others are offered by the Virginia government or by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that normally counts as part of your taxable income. Typically, there is a small threshold of energy production to meet before your solar system can earn SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. Incentives like these are generally handled by your state government.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much income tax you owe the federal government.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to exclude the value added by your solar system when calculating property tax for your house.
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are usually applied before any solar tax credits are calculated. These rebates can be provided by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
- Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering contract with your Staunton utility company, that may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. Your utility company will then deduct this value from your utility bill each month.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. One of the incentives that most people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a specified percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to the total cost of installing a solar system, including the panels themselves as well as equipment, labor and accessories. This credit can be claimed for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence located in the United States that you own. Originally set at 30% of total costs, the credit has fluctuated over time, and you may qualify for different amounts depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
Speaking with your local Staunton solar panel installer is the best way to understand how the ITC applies to your situation.
In August 2022, the ITC (now called the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Clean Energy Credit bolsters the current credit, increasing it up to 30% for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. At this point, the credit percentage will be reduced slightly each year until the program expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Staunton solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions regarding the new Clean Energy Credit and how it may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be offered at the local or state level. Like with federal incentives, these might include tax credits, rebates and more. These incentives might be distributed by your county or municipality, or by the Virginia government. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Staunton
You can apply for and receive solar incentives from the federal government and the Virginia government, as well as from your local utility company. This increase in availability of solar initiatives in the past 15 years has helped greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. Your local Staunton solar panel installer can provide you with more details about which incentives you should apply for, and get you on track to switch to renewable energy today.
Best Solar Financing
Blue Raven Solar
- Industry-leading in-house financing
- Competitive pricing
- Excellent reputation
- Doesn't offer solar batteries
Best Warranty Coverage
- Industry-leading warranty coverage
- Expansive service area
- Some reported communication issues
- No leases or PPAs
EcoWatch's Staunton, VA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I want to add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Do I still qualify for incentives?
While we recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what solar incentives apply to you, many incentives apply to a second home, as long as it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the specifics.
How much can I save annually on my electric bill if I install solar panels on my Staunton home?
Typically, homeowners in Staunton who install solar panels save approximately $894.47 per year, or approximately $16,994.85 over 20 years after making the switch.
What are the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by switching where you get your energy, you help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. You can also lower your home's CO2 emissions by 450 pounds a year, or around 9,000 pounds in 20 years.
Can I apply for incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can receive both tax credits and rebates towards the cost of your solar panels. Depending on precisely which incentives you are claiming, they may apply in a different order. Make sure that you talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to confirm that you are claiming incentives correctly and getting the most money you can.
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.