2024 Solar Incentives Guide for Sterling, VA - Tax Credits & Rebates

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

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 Sterling solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated April 21, 2024

Why you can trust EcoWatch

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 Sterling?

Income Tax Deduction for Energy-Efficient Products

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Deduction
20% of the sales tax paid by an individual

Local Option- Renewable Energy Machinery and Tools Property Tax Exemption

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
Depends on the local governing body

Local Option - Residential Property Tax Exemption for Solar

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
Varies (local option)

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 encourage people to make the switch to renewable energy by providing financial incentives that lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. The incentives might include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the state of Virginia and some by your utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:

  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, applied at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to ignore the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your home.
  • Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Sterling utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some areas, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in others you might be refunded a percentage of the value.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other similar performance-based incentives are usually handled at the state level. Once your solar panel system meets a predetermined threshold (normally 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 from the sale is usually considered part of your taxable income.
  • Rebates: Solar rebates can be provided by your county or state, or by your local utility company. These rebates are essentially cash back that is applied after you purchase solar panels and before tax credits are calculated.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)

Best Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5
  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries

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

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
3.2
  • 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

Federal Solar Incentives

When you hear the term "solar incentives," federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. An incentive that most people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a tax credit for a specific 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, labor and equipment. You can claim this credit for panels installed after January 1, 2006, on a primary or secondary residence that you own and that is located in the United States. The tax credit ranges from 26-30% of total costs depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.

To know exactly how much the ITC could save you, get in touch with your local Sterling solar panel installation expert.

In August 2022, the ITC (now titled the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passing 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 begin to decrease on a yearly basis until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program 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 Sterling solar panel company is the best resource for answering your questions regarding the new Clean Energy Credit and how it may apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

In addition to those provided at the federal level, there are often also state solar incentives. Tax credits, rebates and more may be available at a more local level. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are only available for a limited time. They may be offered by your county or municipality, or by the Virginia government.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Sterling

The large number of solar incentives available has helped tremendously increase the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the past 15 years. You can get solar incentives from the federal government, the Virginia government or from your local utility company. Speak with your local solar panel installation company today to discover more about the various programs and to save the most money possible on solar panels for your Sterling home.

EcoWatch's Sterling, VA Solar Incentives FAQs

How do I know if I qualify for different solar incentives?

Broadly, solar incentives apply to:

  1. a new solar panel system
  2. installed on a property that you own
  3. within the U.S.
  4. between the dates specified by a particular incentive.

Specific incentives, including those given out by the Virginia government or by your county/municipality, sometimes have additional qualifications. Speak with your local Sterling solar installer to find out what incentives your project will qualify for.

My home already has solar panels installed. Are there any incentives that I qualify for?

If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you installed your system between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the exact installation date. Talking to the company that installed your system, or any local Sterling solar installer, can help you understand what incentives you can apply for.

How much will solar panels save me annually on my electric bill in Sterling?

Once you add solar panels to your Sterling home, you can expect to save around $898.46 per year, or about $17,070.77 over the next 20 years.

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

Under the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a variety of new financial incentives that are available when you make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details on these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.

What if I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Can I still qualify for incentives?

Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property you own that is located within the United States; most secondary residences fall under this distinction. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what incentives may apply to your specific situation.

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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