2023 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 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
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Sterling?
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 help mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. This category of financial incentives is designed to encourage more Americans to convert their home partially or fully to renewable energy. Incentives can include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, while others are provided by the state of Virginia or your utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the government.
- Tax Exemptions: These can come in the form of property tax exemptions, which would allow you to exclude the value added by your solar panels when paying taxes on your home. You could also look for exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Generally, solar systems that produce over a threshold (normally small) amount of electricity qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and the like are typically given by your state government. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and this is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get after your solar system is up and running. If you have in place a net metering agreement with your Sterling utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some locations, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other places you may get refunded a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: Some solar companies will help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar panels. Counties or states will also sometimes offer limited-time rebates. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually be deducted from the total price before tax credits are calculated.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have heard of. You might have heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a specified percentage of the money you spend on solar panels for your home.
The ITC is applied to the total cost of installing a solar system, including the panels themselves as well as labor, equipment and accessories. This credit can be claimed for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own, as long as it is located in the United States. From its original value of 30% of the total cost, the credit has fluctuated slightly between 26-30%, and you may qualify for varying percentages depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
Talking to your local Sterling solar panel installer is the best way to learn more about how the ITC may apply to you.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended the ITC, now called the Clean Energy Credit. Under the new program, solar installation projects begun after January 1, 2022 and finished by December 31, 2032 can qualify for a 30% tax credit. This percentage will then decrease slightly each year until the current 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. To fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, speak with your local Sterling solar installation expert.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are not your only option; tax credits, rebates and more might also be offered at the state and local level. These incentives may be distributed by the Virginia government, or by your county or municipality. Some are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Sterling
The nationwide use of solar energy has gone up significantly in the last 15 years, in part due to the growth in the number of solar incentives. You can obtain these incentives from your local utility company, the Virginia government or the federal government. Call your local solar panel installer today to learn more and to save as much money as possible on a solar system for your Sterling 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 Sterling, VA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I receive any incentives when I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
While we recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what solar incentives apply to you, many incentives can be claimed on a second home, provided that it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the details.
How can I find out if I qualify for different solar incentives?
It's a smart idea to get in touch with your local Sterling solar installer to get an understanding of which incentives your project will qualify for. In most cases, solar incentives apply to new solar systems installed on property you own (in the U.S.) between the dates specified by the incentive. Some incentives, like those provided by the Virginia government, might have other requirements.
If I already have solar panels, 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 may qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the year it was installed. Reaching out to the company that installed your solar system, or any local Sterling solar installer, can help you understand what incentives you qualify for.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The Clean Energy Credit (formerly called the federal solar tax credit, or ITC), is slated to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
If I switch my appliances out for ones that utilize solar energy, are there any benefits that I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions for several incentives designed 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.