2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Eau Claire, WI - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Eau Claire.
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 Eau Claire?
Renewable Energy Sales Tax Exemptions
Renewable Rewards Program
Business - 0-5 kW: $200 per kW
5-10 kW: $1000 + $150 per kW over 5
10-100 kW: $1750 + $125 per kW over 10
100-300 kW: $13000 + $100 per kW over 100
300-500 kW: $33000 + $85 per kW over 300
Biogas, Solar, and Wind Energy Equipment Exemption
Eau Claire Energy Cooperative - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Heat pump clothes dryer: $50/unit
Clothes washer: $25/unit
Refrigerator/Freezer/Room AC Recycling: $25/unit
Electric Water Heater (75 - 99 Gallons or 85 Gallon Marathon): $125/unit
Electric Water Heater (100+ Gallons or 100 Gallon Marathon): $300/unit
Heat Pump Water Heater: $300/unit
Solar Storage Water Heater: $300/unit
Air Source Heat Pump/Mini-Split Heat Pumps: $200/Ton
Geothermal Heat Pump: $400/Ton
ECM Blower Motor: $35/unit
LED Bulbs: $1
Occupancy Sensor: $5 Each
LED Exit Sign: $5/sign
LED Fixture: $1/800 lumens
Home Performance Evaluation: Up to $100
Home Implementation Incentives: Up to $500
Touchstone Energy Home Program: $500
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The phrase "solar incentives" refers to a wide range of financial incentives implemented to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. Solar incentives might include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, some by the state of Wisconsin and some by your utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar panels. These may be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The rebates are usually applied before calculating tax credits.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the added value of your solar system when you calculate how much property tax you need to pay on your home.
- Net Metering: You can sign a net metering agreement with your Eau Claire utility company, that may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity that is generated by your solar panels. They will then deduct this value from your monthly utility bill.
Federal Solar Incentives
When someone says "solar incentives," you probably think of federal incentives first. One of the incentives that most people are probably familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. The credit initially covered 30% of the total cost — for panels, accessories, labor and equipment — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the claim amount.
To more fully understand how the ITC could apply to you, reach out to your local Eau Claire solar panel installer and request more information.
The ITC was renewed and increased in scope after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Any solar installation project that is completed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit. This amount will decrease slightly on a yearly basis until the current program ends. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to get credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To best understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, get in touch with your local Eau Claire solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Not all solar incentives are federal; rebates, tax credits and more may be offered at the local or state level. These incentives may be given out by your county or municipality, or by the Wisconsin government. Some are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Eau Claire
The expanding number of available solar incentives has contributed greatly to the increase in the adoption of solar energy nationwide over the last 15 years. You can get solar incentives from the Wisconsin government, the federal government or your local utility company. If you're prepared to make the switch to solar energy, reaching out to your local Eau Claire solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.
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EcoWatch's Eau Claire, WI Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Do I still qualify for incentives?
While we recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what solar incentives apply to you, many apply to a second home, provided that it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be other incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the specifics.
My home already has solar panels. Do I qualify for any incentives?
An excellent idea would be to talk to a representative from the company that installed your solar panels — or call a local Eau Claire 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 systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?
To find the best solar panel installer in your area, check out our guide to Eau Claire's top solar panel companies.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my house?
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 your home's CO2 emissions by 450 pounds a year, or roughly 9,000 pounds in 20 years.
I want to change out my appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any incentives I can apply for?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act introduces a number of 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.