In addition to the 26% federal solar investment tax credit, many states offer incentives for going solar, with a wide variance in structure and rates paid to homeowners attaching solar to their homes.
Here, pv magazine takes a look at the six New England states, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, and the current incentives they offer:
Net metering: Homeowners’ excess solar generation can be fed back to the grid in exchange for credits on utility bills. Rhode Island’s Renewable Energy Growth plan guarantees enrolled customers will receive $0.2965 per kWh exported for 15 years.
Property tax exemption: Customer-owned solar panels may raise the value of the home, but they do not increase property taxes.
Sales tax exemption: Solar is exempt from Rhode Island’s 7% sales tax rate.
CommerceRI Renewable Energy Fund grant: This is a capacity-based payment of $0.85 per watt, with a maximum of $7,000. Average systems generally pay about $4,000-$5,000.
Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program: A declining-block incentive program with 3.2 GW cap for total projects receiving incentives. As more projects apply for the incentive, it moves through tiers of declining values. Customers receive significant incentive rate adders for including energy storage or agreeing to participate in peak-demand load shifting programs. Eligible for customers of National Grid, Eversource, and Unitil only.
Residential Energy Credit: A credit worth up to 15% of the solar array, capped at $1,000.
Sales and property tax exemptions: Customers do not pay the Massachusetts 6.25% sales tax, and do not pay property tax for the increase of home value solar creates.
Net metering: customers of National Grid, Eversource, Unitil are eligible for net metering. Customers can use excess generation to offset utility bills, or they can transfer credits to another participating account within the ISO-NE electrical grid.
Residential Solar Investment Rebate Program: Connecticut Green Bank offers $0.463 per watt of solar installed. Homeowners often receive more than $2,000 in savings through this program.
Energy Conservation Loan Program: Low-to-no interest loans can be taken from the Connecticut state government. Rates land between 0-6% for up to $25,000 and 10 years.
Net metering: Customers are eligible to send excess solar generation to the grid for credit on utility bills. All projects under 2 MW can qualify for net metering.
Sales and property tax exemptions: Homeowners avoid the 6.35% sales tax, and do not pay property taxes for solar.
Net metering: Customers of Eversource, Liberty Utilities, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative and Unitil are eligible to export excess solar generation in exchange for utility bill credits.
Property tax exemption: New Hampshire residents, in select counties, avoid increased property taxes due to solar. NH does not have sales tax.
Renewable Energy Generation Incentive Program: Projects 10 kW or less can receive credit worth either $0.20 per watt, up to $1,000, or half the cost of their residential solar system.
Property and sales tax exemptions: Vermont homeowners do not pay sales tax or property tax for solar.
Net metering: Major utility Green Mountain Power offers $0.1484 per kWh for exported solar energy, less than 100% of the retail price of power in their territory. There is an upfront cost of $110 to add a net meter, and all credits must be used within 12 months.
Green Mountain Power Bring Your Own Device: Customers can receive up to $10,500 towards the purchase of a home battery attached to their solar array.
Net metering: Maine offers a 1-t0-1 for kWh exported for net metering use. At the end of each calendar year, net metering credits are reset.
PACE loan: Property Assessed Clean energy loans allow for no money down, and rather than making monthly loan payments, customers repay with an annual assessment on property taxes. In Maine, customers can receive PACE loans for up to $15,000 for 15 years at a 4.99% interest rate.
All data sourced from energysage.com, solarreviews.com, and dsireusa.org.
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