Question #6: What Solar Incentives Are Currently Available? What Do You Expect to Happen with Incentives in the Future?

Sarah Hancock

Last Updated: January 25th, 2023

This is the sixth question in a twelve-question series. Please click here to read the introduction, as well as access the other questions in the series. Or, download the printable ebook to view the entire series.

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"The incentive that is still available is a Federal Income Tax Credit for 30% of the gross cost of the system. Incentives will slowly draw down and the industry will have to look for ways to remain profitable without customers being able to take advantage any incentives." -Matt Stoutenburg

"Each municipality and state is different, so it would be impossible to list here all of the incentives available at the local level, but there are a handful of websites that list them, such as DSIRE and our own website Sunmetrix. But one of the most important solar incentives available in the US is the 30% solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Homeowners that are serious about going solar shouldn't postpone too long. The ITC for residential solar projects will remain at 30% through 2019, but then it is set to decrease, falling to 26% in 2020, 22% in 2021 and to zero in 2022 (it will remain at 10% for commercial and utility-scale projects)." -Simone Garneau

"Rebates change from town to town. The federal tax credit covers everyone right now, and some states have state rebates, SRECs, etc. as well. However, incentives will slowly but surely go away." -Julio Daniel Hernandez

"This depends on your state. I would recommend checking out www.dsireusa.org as a great resource- it is simple and what us pros use. Fun fact— the current federal incentives were actually enacted by President George W. Bush! They will likely decrease steadily as energy rates increase in order to keep a level playing field. I hope they keep many of the tax credits because they are credits that other forms of energy already have." -Teris Pantazes

"Federal tax credit is 30% and multiple states have additional incentives" -Geoff Mirkin

"The federal government offers rebates and incentives on the capital cost of solar installations, and most states also offer such. It is possible to get as much as 50% or more of the capital costs back though incentives today, depending on your state. Also, many states have renewable portfolio standards, so they are incentivized to see more renewable integration, including solar, at all levels of the grid. I think they will continue to be offered to spur investment in this sector. However, solar is becoming more and more competitive and reaching price parity with other grid-level generation, such as coal and gas, and so these incentives may not last much longer. It will be an important policy decision in future years for both our federal government and states, and will determine to some extent our commitment to a sustainable future and towards addressing aspects of climate change, grid reliability, and energy security." -Greg Reed

Click here to go on to Question #7: Are Solar Panels Viable in Cold Climates? Will They Still Work When It's Cloudy/Rainy/Snowy?

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