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Rhode Island - Energy tax credit, solar rebates and incentives

Rhode Island Renewable and Solar Energy Incentives

Rhode Island is a Solar Champion

Rhode Island has been a leading state in the national solar power initiative for years.  Favorable laws, performance payments, and very high electric prices make going solar in Rhode Island a wise economic decision.  Keep in mind that the Federal Government currently offers a 30% tax credit for the whole installed cost of your system  That's a huge benefit available to you no matter where you live in the US!

Rhode Island Renewable Portfolio Standards

Rhode Island has strong RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standards).  This is a regulation that requires utilities to increase their production of energy from renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal by a certain date. Utilities must meet the standards by either producing their own renewable energy or by purchasing it from customers.  They must pay high fees if the standards are not met.  Rather than paying high fees, utilities in strong RPS state offer solar incentives to homeowners.  Rhode Island's RPS mandate that 14.5% of all energy must come from renewable sources by 2019.

Rhode Island RPS Solar Carve Out

Solar carve outs require a certain percentage of the Renewable Portfolio Standards to be met with solar energy.  Rhode Island has no solar carve out.

Rhode Island State Electric Rates

Rhode Island's electric rates are far above the national average.  A state's electric rates are one of the key factors in predicting whether an investment in solar panels makes sense.  The reason for this is simple:  solar power is in direct contention with electric rates.  Low electric rates make it hard for you to achieve significant payback from your solar power investment.  Higher electric rates make an investment in solar energy much more feasible.  Rhode Island's sky-high electric rates make investing in solar power more attractive.

Rhode Island Net Metering

Rhode Island has strong net metering laws.  Net metering is a system in which solar panels or other renewable energy generators are connected to a public-utility power grid and surplus power is transferred into the grid, allowing customers to offset the cost of power drawn from the utility.  When you generate electricity from your solar array for your home or business, it reduces the amount of energy you purchase from your electric utility.  it also lowers your monthly electricity bills.  If your system produces more energy than you need, the excess power is sold back to the grid.  That amount of energy is deducted from your monthly bill or credited toward a future bill.

Rhode Island Interconnection Standards

Interconnection standards are requirements for connecting solar and other electrical generation systems to the grid.  These rules apply to both electricity customers and utilities.  Rhode Island's statewide interconnection standards which makes the interconnection process less complex and expensive. This can be a definite benefit when trying to bring a solar energy system online and makes it easier for a solar power system to make financial sense.

Rhode Island State Rebates

Solar power rebates are incentives federal or state governments offer to reduce the cost of going solar.  You can get a lump sum payment or your installer will take the amount off the final installed price.  Rebates require paperwork to be filed.  Many times installers will handle the paperwork.  Rhode Island has no solar power rebates.  But don't forget, you can always take advantage of the 30% Federal rebate for installed solar systems.

Rhode Island State Energy Tax Credits

Rhode Island does not offer state solar tax credits.  As a credit, you take the amount directly off your tax payment, rather than as a deduction from your taxable income.  You can claim the credit for your primary residence, vacation home, and for either an existing structure or new construction.

Rhode Island Solar Power Performance Payments (Performance-Based Incentives)

Rhode island offers amazing Solar Power Performance Payments through the Renewable Energy Growth Program.  Solar Power Performance Payments provide small cash payments based on the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) or BTUs generated by a renewable energy system.  Payments based on a system's actual performance are much more effective than payments based on a system's rated capacity.  Electricity produced is credited as Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs).  SRECs are a great way to help your Solar PV system pay for itself.

Rhode Island Property Tax Exemptions for Energy

Rhode Island offers property tax exemptions for installed solar systems.  Property tax exemptions allow businesses and homeowners to exclude the added value of a system from the valuation of their property for taxation purposes.  A Solar PV system can increase the value of your home by a multiple of 20 times your annual electricity savings (a 5kW system increases the value of your home close to $17,000).  A property tax exemption makes it more economically feasible for a taxpayer to install a solar system on a residential or commercial property.

Rhode Island Sales Tax Exemption for Energy

Rhode Island offers sales tax exemptions.  A sales tax exemption means that homeowners and businesses would not have to pay any state sales tax on their solar panel system.  That is a 7% savings for Rhode Island home and business owners.  Combine Rhode Island's high electric rates, property tax exemptions, generous solar power performance payments, sales tax exemptions and the 30% Federal tax rebate and you have several compelling reasons to go solar in Rhode Island!

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