Solar Energy Tax Credits and Incentives: What You Need to Know

Solar Energy Tax Credits and Incentives

Solar energy use has increased in recent years as more people and businesses look for greener, cleaner ways to power their buildings. The availability of solar energy tax credits and incentives is a key factor causing this growth. These financial advantages not only lower the cost of solar systems but also encourage the usage of renewable energy sources, lowering our global carbon footprint. We’ll delve into the realm of solar energy tax credits and incentives in this blog, giving you useful details to aid in your decision to harness the power of the sun.

The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), often referred to as the solar tax credit, is one of the most significant incentives for solar energy installations in the United States. Here’s what you need to know about it:

1. Eligibility

To be eligible for the ITC, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You own the solar energy system.
  • The system is installed on a property you own.
  • You use the system for residential or commercial purposes.

2. Percentage and Duration

The investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit, allows you to apply 30 percent of your solar energy system’s cost as a credit to your federal tax bill. The 30 percent tax credit will be available until 2033, at which point it will drop to 26 percent

3. Expiration Date

The ITC has an expiration date for residential installations. In the past, it was set to drop to 22% in 2023 and eventually expire for residential installations in 2024. However, it’s essential to verify the current status and any recent legislative changes.

4. Claiming the Credit

To claim the ITC, you’ll need to file IRS Form 5695 along with your federal tax return. Keep detailed records of your solar installation costs and consult with a tax advisor to ensure you’re eligible and fill out the forms correctly.

State and Local Solar Incentives

In addition to the federal ITC, many states and local governments offer their own solar incentives and rebates. These incentives can vary significantly from one location to another, so it’s essential to research what’s available in your area. 

Some common state-level incentives include:

  • State Solar Tax Credits: Many states offer their own tax credits on top of the federal ITC, further reducing the cost of your solar installation.
  • Rebates: Some states offer cash rebates for solar installations, providing an upfront financial benefit.
  • Property Tax Exemptions: In some areas, solar installations are exempt from property tax assessments, which can save you money over the long term.
  • Performance-Based Incentives: Certain states offer incentives based on the amount of energy your solar system generates. These incentives can add to your overall savings.
  • Sales Tax Exemptions: You may be exempt from paying sales tax on your solar equipment and installation costs in some states.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)

SRECs are tradable certificates that represent the renewable attributes of electricity generated from solar energy. In some states, utilities are required to purchase a certain number of SRECs to meet their renewable energy goals. If you’re in one of these states, you can earn additional income by selling your SRECs, making your solar investment even more attractive.

Local Utility Program

Many local utility companies offer incentives for solar installations. These programs can include cash rebates, net metering, and feed-in tariffs, all of which can further reduce the cost of your solar system and provide ongoing benefits.

Timing Matters

It’s essential to consider the timing of your solar installation. In many cases, the availability and value of incentives can change from year to year. Installing your solar system at the right time can maximize your financial benefits.

Consult with Professionals

Navigating the world of solar incentives and tax credits can be complex, and the specific programs available to you will depend on your location and individual circumstances. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to consult with professionals that can help you to know more and also introduce you to those who specialize in solar energy and taxation. A solar installer with experience in your area and a tax advisor can help you understand the full range of incentives available to you and how to make the most of them.


Solar energy tax credits and incentives play a crucial role in making solar power a financially viable and environmentally responsible choice for homeowners and businesses. While the federal ITC is a significant benefit, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. State, local, and utility incentives, as well as SRECs, can further sweeten the deal and accelerate the payback period for your solar investment.


Before embarking on your solar journey, take the time to research the incentives available in your area, understand their eligibility requirements, and consult with experts who can help you make the most of these opportunities. By doing so, you can not only reduce your carbon footprint but also enjoy substantial financial benefits while contributing to a more sustainable future. Solar energy isn’t just good for the environment; it’s a smart financial move too!