North Carolina - Energy tax credit, solar rebates, incentives
North Carolina Renewable and Solar Energy Incentives
Renewable Energy Tax Credit (Residential)
- Homeowners who buy and install renewable energy systems are granted a state tax credit. Eligible systems include wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, biomass, renewable fuels, etc.
- This credit covers 35% of equipment and installation costs.
- Depending on the type of technology, credits range from $1,400 to $10,500.
- If there is surplus credit, it may be transferred over to next 5 taxable years.
- To qualify, systems must meet all safety and operating standards put forth by the state. Systems must be new.
North Carolina GreenPower Production Incentive (Residential/Commercial)
- All PV systems, wind systems and biomass installations connected to the grid receive an incentive for the power that is produced.
- To be eligible, customers must sign a power-purchase agreement with North Carolina GreenPower and their local utility company.
- For small PV systems, rates typically amount to $0.19/kWh.
Property Tax Abatement For Solar Systems (Residential/Commercial)
- Photovoltaic systems are granted a property tax reduction.
- Systems receive an 80% tax exemption of the assessed value of the renewable energy system.
- Other systems exempt from property tax included: solar cooling/heating, solar space heating/cooling and solar water heating. Systems are exempt up to the value of standard equipment.
Residential Energy Efficiency and Solar Water Heating Loan Program – BEMC (Residential)
- Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation gives its customers low interest loans to aid in the purchase and installation of renewable energy improvements.
- Qualifying conservation energy appliances include heat pumps, weather stripping, and solar water heating systems.
- Depending on the type of system, loan awards typically range from $3,000 to $5,000 with a fixed interest rate of 5%.
- To be eligible, applicants must be subscribers to BEMC for at least one year and have a good credit history.
Utility-sponsored Loan and Rebate Programs (Residential/Commercial)
- North Carolina offers various loan and rebate programs funded by utilities and metropolitan cities.
- Individual program specifics and conditions may vary.
- These programs are typically reserved for purchasers of water heating systems, heat pumps and specific weatherization technologies. Loan and rebate quantities will vary depending on the program and type of system.
Green Power Switch Generation Partners Program – TVA (Residential/Commercial)
- Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) clients have installation incentives available to them, such as solar PV, wind, biomass, and small hydropower systems with participating TVA companies.
- The green power switch is a pricing program, providing technical support and various incentives for purchasing a renewable energy system.
- For solar energy, TVA purchases energy output at $0.12/kWh. For other renewable energy systems, TVA purchases at $0.03/kWh.
- Reimbursement is given in the form of credit on each monthly bill from the electric distribution company.
- First-time subscribers of the green power switch program are granted a $1,000 bonus to help cover installation costs.
Net Metering (Residential/Commercial)
- North Carolina offers net metering to utility company subscribers who produce electricity by using wind, solar, biomass, hydropower, methane or geothermal systems.
- Power generated by qualifying systems is used counter the kilowatt-hours used on a monthly basis.
- Reimbursement is represented in the form of credit on the participant’s monthly electric bill.
- Systems must not exceed a capacity of 1 MW to qualify for net metering.
Federal Tax Credit (Residential/Commercial)
Taxpayers are granted a personal tax credit of 30% of the total expenses, which include installation of residential solar-electric systems, solar thermal systems, fuel cells and labor expenses. Residential wind energy installations and geothermal pumps are also subject to a tax exemption.
- Solar electric systems and solar thermal heaters have no cap on the incentive.
- If there is excess federal tax credit, it may be carried over to the subsequent taxable year only if it surpasses tax liability.
- This may continue on through consecutive years until 2016, under which unused credit may or may not be expunged.
Federal Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Residential)
- Public utilities provide residential purchasers with an exemption of 100% of energy conservation subsidies.
- The overall worth of an installation or renewable utility regardless of the energy conservation capacity, will be excluded from the buyer’s gross income.
- Customers who participate in a utility company’s energy conservation program may be given a reduced rate of electricity utilized or a nonrefundable credit of the price of electricity on the customer’s monthly electric bill.
Energy-Efficient Mortgages (Residential)
- With this federal loan program, homeowners may utilize energy-efficient mortgages (EEM) to either supplement or completely fund renewable energy systems.
Example: 4KW System – Residential Installation Cost
Average Electric Bill: $250/mo
Projected Annual Bill Escalation: 5%
Cost Per Watt: $6.50
- Estimated System Cost: $26,000
- Federal/State Tax Credit: $16,900
- State/Utility Rebate: $0
- Net Cost: $9,100
- Cumulative Lifetime Savings (25 Years): $16,507
- Investment Return: 5.4%
Savings of 55% on the total cost of your solar system through incentives