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How Do Solar Tax Incentives Work?

By: Eric Huesca, SEO Content Writer

May 3, 2022

You just bought solar power for your home and you have seen the great monthly savings it has provided. You probably get happy to see the amount of money you have been able to save. If you already got solar, did you see what incentives your area provides? The U.S. government since 2006 has funded the solar department and states have created a policy to help homeowners become solar called the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).  The incentives differ from state to state. The tax incentive is the amount of money the government gifts you for switching to a green energy option.  

The incentive is based on the size of system you get and how much your area is paying you to get solar. Homeowners do have certain requirements you need to be able to qualify for solar and incentives, you can find a list of solar requirements online

Solar energy customer filling out solar incetive form 5695

Solar installation in Ohio by solgen power

It is good to check with your state guidelines to see what kind of incentives you qualify for. The incentives can help drive down the cost of your solar energy installation by giving you back some of that money you spent. This is really beneficial because homeowners can claim it on their taxes for a bigger payout.

Solar energy is not just a source of power; it’s a critical solution to many of the world’s most pressing problems. Harnessing the sun’s energy, the most abundant energy source on our planet, offers countless benefits for our environment, our economy, and our everyday lives.

At its most fundamental level, solar energy involves capturing the sun’s rays and converting them into electricity. This process, known as the photovoltaic effect, uses solar cells arranged in solar panels to capture sunlight and transform it into a usable power source. As a renewable resource, solar energy provides a cleaner, more sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, producing electricity without the harmful byproducts that contribute to climate change.

The significance of solar energy extends beyond its environmental impact. Economically, the solar industry is a powerhouse for job creation, outpacing many other sectors. It’s a rapidly growing field that provides a wide range of opportunities for individuals with various skills and backgrounds. Furthermore, it promotes energy independence, reducing reliance on foreign oil and creating a more resilient energy infrastructure.

The social implications of solar energy are also considerable. By providing affordable, decentralized power, solar energy can play a critical role in addressing energy poverty and inequality. It can power homes, schools, and hospitals in remote areas, empowering communities and improving the quality of life.

In a world where the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly evident and the need for sustainable solutions is ever more pressing, the importance of solar energy cannot be overstated. It’s a solution that provides not just power, but a pathway to a healthier, more equitable, and sustainable world.

Solar tax incentives are benefits provided by governments to motivate homeowners and businesses to switch to solar energy. These incentives aim to offset the initial costs of purchasing and installing a solar power system, making solar energy more accessible and affordable.

Tax incentives can come in various forms, including tax credits, tax deductions, grants, rebates, and feed-in tariffs. They can be offered at different government levels, including federal, state, and local. While tax incentives vary widely by country and region, they generally serve to reduce the overall cost of solar power system installation.

gy employs solar panels, composed of photovoltaic cells, to convert sunlight into usable electricity. This form of renewable energy offers significant environmental benefits, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Beyond the environmental benefits, solar power systems can provide substantial financial benefits. They can decrease, or in some cases, entirely eliminate your monthly electricity bills. Moreover, excess power produced can be sold back to the grid in some regions, generating additional income. But one of the most significant financial advantages comes in the form of solar tax incentives.

One prominent example of a solar tax incentive is the United States’ federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC allows homeowners and businesses to deduct a percentage of their solar installation costs from their federal taxes.

This tax credit has played a crucial role in making solar energy more affordable for Americans. The ITC has gone through several extensions, but it’s important to stay updated on changes as the percentage of costs that can be claimed decreases over time.

Apart from the federal ITC, many states in the U.S. offer their tax incentives, rebates, and grants. These can be stacked with the ITC, further reducing the cost of solar power systems.

Qualifying for solar tax incentives can significantly reduce the cost of installing a solar energy system and accelerate the payback period for your investment. The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is the most significant solar incentive in the United States, offering a tax credit for a certain percentage of the cost of your solar system.

To qualify for the ITC, you must own your solar energy system. This means that leased systems or power purchase agreements (PPAs) do not qualify. The system must also be new and not previously used. Additionally, the system must be installed in a property that you own; it can be a residential, commercial, or even an industrial property.

Your eligibility for the ITC also depends on the date of “commencement of construction.” The ITC has been gradually phasing down, with the tax credit percentage reducing each year. Depending on the year you begin construction and when the system is placed in service, the credit rate may vary.

It’s important to note that to claim the ITC, you must have enough tax liability. The credit is non-refundable, meaning it can only offset what you owe in taxes. If your credit is larger than your tax liability, the remainder can be carried forward to offset your taxes in future years.

While the ITC is a federal incentive, many states also offer additional incentives, such as property and sales tax exemptions, state tax credits, and cash rebates. The requirements to qualify for these state-level incentives vary, so it’s crucial to research the specific guidelines in your state.

Navigating the specifics of solar tax incentives can be complex, so it’s recommended to consult with a tax advisor or a knowledgeable solar installer to understand how these incentives apply to your specific situation.

When the solar ITC started it was crediting 30% of the cost of the solar system but in 2020, it dropped down to 26% until 2022. As time goes on, more people will switch to solar energy and thus step down on the percentage of the incentive. 

ground mount solar panels installed in the yard

Solar Energy Customer with solar just installed.

That is why it is best to go solar as soon as possible to reap the most benefits possible before they go down. The amount also differs depending on location. Some locations will credit more than others and that’s why it is good to look up what your area offers. You can visit your state government website to find out for more incentives they provide that are not part of the government incentives

Solar Incentives has really helped push homeowners to move over to green renewable energy. That process will require you to become the owner of your energy, then you don’t have to rely on the power utility company to provide energy for you. The incentives for solar comes in different ways but taxes have been optimized to reward you for the specific size of the panel. The fight for global change has pushed these incentives but as they become more common, the incentives become a lot lower. If you want the most benefits from solar, the time to go solar is now. 

Solar tax incentives offer a substantial financial benefit for adopting renewable energy. They serve to make solar power systems more affordable, encouraging more individuals and businesses to make the environmentally-friendly switch.

Navigating the world of solar tax incentives can be complex, but understanding these incentives and how they work can greatly optimize your solar investment. It’s essential to stay informed about the tax incentives available in your region and to seek advice from tax professionals or solar energy consultants.

Solar power offers more than just environmental benefits; with the right approach and knowledge, it can also be a smart financial move. Through understanding and utilizing solar tax incentives, you can enjoy a greener, more cost-effective future.

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