2013 – The State of Solar Cash Rebates & Tax Credits
With a new year upon us, it’s time to revisit the solar energy incentive programs available to homeowners and businesses (and we’ll talk about why these are prudent investments for taxpayers in a moment).
In summary, here are the major incentive programs available:
- Uncapped 30% federal tax credit on residential solar electric (PV) and solar hot water (SHW) systems, which remains in place through 2016.
- State rebates – up to $2,000 for SHW and PV in Maine (though funds are running out), up to $3,750 for PV and $1,500 for SHW in New Hampshire, and up to $5,250 (plus the ability to claim SRECs) in Massachusetts.
- New Hampshire residents in New Hampshire Electric Co-op (NHEC) territory are eligible for an additional PV rebate up to $2,500 and $1,500 for SHW
- Uncapped 30% federal investment tax credit (http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=US02F&
- State rebates – up to $4,000 in Maine and up to $50,000 in New Hampshire
- 50% year one bonus depreciation (with the rest coming over the next five years (http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=US06F&)
What’s Up with the Maine Rebate?
We’ve known since last April that funding for Maine’s solar and wind rebate program was uncertain. This is due to an administrative error that caused the rebate program to fail to be renewed until after the LePage administration came into office. The LePage administration would not approve a system benefit charge (SBC) to replenish the solar/wind rebate fund, a fee that amounted to approximately $1 per utility customer per year.
A year later, it appears that the current solar rebates (funding collected pre-2010) will be fully reserved by May of this year. To repeat: if you wish to benefit from Maine’s $2,000 solar hot water or solar electric rebate, you should get moving on your project before May.
ReVision Energy, along with colleagues in the renewable energy space, are working with Efficiency Maine and the state legislature to advocate for a continuation of the funding program (which has attracted roughly $11 of private investment for every dollar spent by the state). Details are forthcoming and we will be calling on Maine’s solar advocates to help us get the word to the State that solar rebates make sense!