Rhode Island currently enjoys one of the best solar incentive programs in the country. Despite its small size, it’s punching above its weight when it comes to renewable energy adoption.
Rhode Island homeowners, who are looking to go solar, have several incentives to do so. Here’s a quick list of all the incentives offered by the government – both state and federal – for residential solar customers:
- Federal ITC (Tax Credit)
The federal solar investment tax credit, commonly known as ITC, offers the biggest motivation for residential solar customers. Every purchase of a photovoltaic system comes with a flat tax credit of 26% of the photovoltaic system’s price.
For example, if your new solar energy system costs $25,000, you get a federal tax credit worth $25,000 x 26% = $6,500. That’s immediate savings in the very first year.
- Small-scale Solar Grants
This program offers an irresistible deal to homeowners. For every watt of solar power system you install, you get a flat $0.85 as part of the grant via the installing company. For a 6kW system, the grant amounts to $5,100. The grant is currently capped at $7,000.
- Net Metering
Rhode Island has a pretty solid net metering policy. Homeowners who produce solar energy in excess of their consumption needs can divert their surplus to the grid and earn full retail price.
Homeowners are compensated either with payment or with credit in the next month’s bill at the utility company’s discretion. The surplus is capped at 125% of the household’s monthly consumption, which is more than the surplus produced by most households.
- Manufacturer’s Rebates
Many solar panel manufacturers offer residential customers time-sensitive rebates as part of their promotions. If you are one of the lucky few who happen to grab the offer, you can save additional money on your photovoltaic system, which can often be as much as $1,000.
- National Grid’s Renewable Energy Growth program
Residential solar power owners get performance-based incentives (PBI) that are typically split into cash payments and monthly electricity bill credits. At a rate of $.25, your PBI can be as high as $2,500 with a 6kW home solar system that generates 10,000 kWh annually.
Besides the dedicated incentive programs, homeowners can expect another significant benefit – property tax relief. Installation of photovoltaic systems substantially increases the property value on account of potential electricity bill savings. However, this appreciation in value is not reflected or computed for your property taxes. So, you don’t pay additional taxes even though your property value increases. That’s the best deal you can hope for.