For those asking themselves “should I go solar”, the cost of solar installation has fallen every year, and 2017 was no different. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), installing a residential solar energy system cost 1.6 percent less than in 2016, which is great news for today’s solar shoppers. But the ever-decreasing costs of solar create a conundrum: should I go solar now or wait? For many, daily headlines that declare lower and lower prices can stir them to action. For others though, these same headlines can cause them to wait a few more years in hopes of saving even more money. So who’s right?
If you’ve been researching the best solar energy incentives available in 2018, you have likely heard something about solar renewable energy credits (SRECs). SRECs are a tradable commodity that you obtain from owning a solar panel system and producing clean energy. Because of a common state requirement known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), utilities in 38 different states must generate a certain percentage of their energy from renewable sources, typically at least 20 percent. In 6 states and Washington D.C., the RPS specifies that a certain percentage of the renewable energy produced must come from solar power. States with this type of “solar carve out” are willing to pay significant amounts of money to take credit for the power generated by solar homeowners.
North Carolina has long been one of the top states for solar thanks to its utility-scale solar farms, but over the past few years, homeowners in the Tar Heel State haven’t seen many financial incentives to go solar. A newly-announced solar rebate from Duke Energy will help property owners in North Carolina save thousands on their up-front solar installation costs.
The state of Maryland has taken its place alongside California and Massachusetts as a leader in energy storage, thanks to a new piece of legislation that establishes a state tax credit for batteries.
The Maryland solar battery rebate program offers a financial incentive worth thousands of dollars to homeowners and businesses looking to purchase batteries that can store energy on-site. With this tax incentive, the Old Line State becomes the first in the country to offer a direct financial boost to energy storage installations.
Home energy upgrades can reduce your monthly electric bills, but they don’t always come cheap. Whether you’re interested in solar, energy efficiency, electric cars, or all of the above, there are energy tax credits available in 2018 that will make home energy upgrades easier on your wallet.
The best states to go solar in all have at least one thing in common, and that is beneficial net metering policies. Massachusetts’ net metering policy allows property owners to send electricity generated by their solar panel system onto the grid, and receive credit on future electric bills for excess energy produced by the system.
Solar energy renewable certificates (SRECs) are some of the most attractive solar incentives available in the United States. Many states with renewable portfolio standards (RPS) have special “solar carve outs” that require a certain amount of energy production to come from solar. These states use SRECs as a way to promote solar installations and compensate system owners for the energy their panels generate.
Massachusetts has always been one of the best states for solar. Not only does the Bay State have the high electricity rates that lead to a short payback period for your solar investment – it also has a history of having strong solar incentives for property owners looking to own a solar panel system.
The best states to go solar aren’t always the sunniest; those who benefit the most from installing a solar PV system for their home spend a lot in electricity, and live in a state with good solar incentives.
Illinois may not have the year-round sunshine of of the Southwest, but it does have a great solar market because of the available financial incentives. In addition to the 30 percent federal solar tax credit for solar system owners, Illinois residents can receive additional financial benefits through the state’s solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) market.
The New Jersey solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) program is one of the most lucrative financial incentives for solar available at the state level. New Jersey property owners who buy and install a solar panel system can earn hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars a year by selling the SRECs the system generates.