The solar energy market is booming and switching to renewable energy has several financial incentives worth discussing in greater detail, especially if you live in the northeast region of the U.S. Here is a look at the states with the most attractive incentives.
Overall, New Jersey is arguably the top state in the northeast for solar energy. If you live in the tristate area, you may not know that New Jersey is home to the largest installation of rooftop solar energy in the nation. Statistics from the Solar Energy Industry Association show that New Jersey produces a substantial amount of solar energy, which experts say has reached 1,500 megawatts (MW) of capacity.
To boost the state’s solar energy capacity even further, New Jersey supports policies and offers incentives that you can use to install a residential solar energy system. Altogether, the state has 44 different incentive programs, including federal incentives. The New Jersey Clean Energy Residential Construction Program offers incentives for individual homes up to $24,250 for homes that qualify based on the state’s Home Energy Rating System.
Similarly, if you live in New York, you can take advantage of several attractive financial incentives. New York offers 91 different residential and utility-scale renewable energy rebates and incentives. In 2014 New York ranked among the top 10 states for solar energy, adding more than 500 MW of power. You may be surprised to hear that the price of solar energy systems in New York has decreased by as much as 14 percent since 2014; nationally, prices have dropped six percent to give you a reference point.
If you install a residential solar energy system, you can take advantage of the state’s Solar Sales Tax Exemption, which covers 100 percent of the sales tax. “For both residential and nonresidential systems, the exemption applies to solar energy systems that utilize solar radiation to produce energy designed to provide heating, cooling, hot water and/or electricity,” according to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE).
If you live in Vermont, you can find solar energy incentives and rebates, too. Overall, the average price of solar residential installations has fallen by an astounding 30 percent in Vermont due to widespread support for renewable energy sources, powering more than 1,500 homes today.
Specifically, you can join Vermont’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program, which is available to “single and multifamily residences, commercial and industrial businesses, farms, schools, builders/developers, and local and state governments,” DSIRE states. With this kind of broad support for renewable energy, you can take advantage of one of the most attractive programs in the region.
If you own a home in Massachusetts, you can also claim a number of different incentives and rebates that make switching to solar energy very enticing. On a state level, Massachusetts has added more than 300 MW of capacity since 2014, which is actually more than the state anticipated. Today, Massachusetts is four years ahead of schedule with regard to how much solar energy the states intends to add by 2020.
Speaking of residential installations, you can use what the state calls an energy-efficient mortgage “to either finance energy efficiency improvements to existing homes, including renewable energy technologies, or to increase their home buying power with the purchase of a new energy efficient home,” DSIRE states. Interestingly, the state no longer caps the amount of the loan, which previously was set at a maximum of $8,000. Today, you can exceed this amount if you qualify.
Despite its small stature, Rhode Island supports solar energy in a big way by offering attractive incentives and rebates. In particular, you can claim the state’s Residential Solar Energy Property Tax Exemption if you install a solar energy system. “Qualifying systems include photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar hot-water systems and active solar space-heating systems,” DSIRE states. Interestingly, the state also offers further incentives if you combine this tax exemption with the state’s Solar Easements policy.
If you don’t own a home in the northeast, don’t worry. Every state has its own policies and incentives to support renewable energy, including Missouri. Solar energy powers more than 13,000 homes in Missouri, which shows how much the state supports renewable energy. Altogether, Missouri now boasts as much as 150 MW of solar energy capacity.
If you live in Missouri, you can claim the state’s Solar Property Tax Exemption, which is a 100 percent exemption for “solar energy systems not held for resale,” DSIRE states. This tax exemption is directly applicable for residential systems installed in the state.
Colorado gives you the opportunity to take advantage of several incentives as well. Similar to other states, you can claim the Property Tax Exemption for Residential Renewable Energy Equipment. This exemption specifically encompasses solar energy systems, which makes this benefit very attractive for homeowners. When you combine this property tax exemption with other programs, you can offset the cost of installing a solar energy system in the form of tax savings.
As you can see, many states offer incentives and tax breaks if you make the switch to renewable energy, especially if you choose to install a residential solar energy system. The fact remains that you can offset the cost of installing solar power in a number of ways when you combine federal programs with state-level financial incentives.
RGS Energy designs and installs solar energy systems in all of the states listed above. To get more information on incentives or to receive a free quote, go to RGSEnergy.com.