Solar Power Rebates, Tax Credits and Solar Panel Incentives in Delaware; 2012 Update
August 2012 update: Delaware SREC's have come down to an average $189/MWh, down from $260/MWh the previous year. Delaware does have a Renewable Portfolio Standard or RPS and its latest updates now require State Utilities to reach even higher rates of solar power take up.
Delaware's RPS or Renewable Portfolio Standard
Under Delaware's Renewable Portfolio Standard Act (RPS); targets have been set at 25% of electricity production to come from renewable energy by 2025. The good news for solar power generators is that there is also a requirement that 3.5% of the overall target be derived via pv solar power. To help your understanding we distinguish the rebates and incentives available for solar electricity panels into incentives that reduce the up-front cost and incentives that increase the income and savings from the system over time.
Federal Tax Credit
A significant financial incentive for your solar power system in Delaware is the same Federal Tax Credit that applies right across the USA. This gives you a credit on your Federal Tax bill equivalent to 30% of the cost of your solar system For more information on this visit out page The 30% federal tax credit for residential solar power systems Because this is a tax credit you get the benefit of this when you do your next federal tax return, rather than getting a cheque on the day of installation. Still, it has a real value if you are in a position where you are paying annual federal income tax equivalent to 30% or more of the value of your solar system.
Delaware State Rebates
Delaware has an extensive state rebate program The amount you get varies on the size of the system you install (it is expressed as a $ amount per kilowatt of peak capacity of your solar panels ), the Utility company you are with, and how close that utility company is to achieving their goals for solar power system installations in their area. The closer they get to their goals the lower the incentive becomes.
Incentive levels are currently under review by program administrators.
Previously, the incentive was set at 50% of installed costs, up to $22,500 for residential systems and $250,000 for non-residential systems. All systems must be installed by a participating contractor and carry a full five-year warranty. Energy audits will be required for all existing buildings prior to grant approval. New buildings will have to be Energy Star certified in order to qualify for incentives. You can find out more at the Green Energy Program Rules website.
Delaware has a good overall Net Metering policy. Residential customers can install up to 25kW systems, farmers can install up to 100kW and up to 2mW for some other customers. This is great news for residential customers as you will be able to have the right sized system designed for your home, this is better than some other states. All systems must be designed to offset either all or part of a customer's current electricity requirements. It's sort of a bit complex as to how the money works on net Metering in Delaware but in a nut shell you get excess power you generate credited to you for use against future bills, and if you have excess credits or kW/hours after a 12 month billing cycle you can have a cheque to the value of those extra kW/hours. That's not a bad system at all for the Delaware folks.
Delaware State Tax Exemptions and State Tax Credits
The good news is that your solar power system is totally exempt for property tax. This means although the value of your property has been raised by the solar power install you won't be penalised for it by having to pay higher property taxes.
Delaware's Solar Incentives and investment case: Summary April 2012
Delaware is currently undergoing a review of its state based incentive program. It would be good if the next lot of incentives is better than the last, time will tell. It's a good thing to have a decent Net metering program in place and it seems that Delaware is going to move in the right direction as far as future solar power generators are concerned. As always the best way to get the up to the minute guide to your solar circumstances click here to get quotes from installers in your area, it's free and there is no obligation, so why not.