Idaho solar rebates and tax credits calculator

Solar incentive

Federal ITC 26% (tax credit)

State tax credit: Yes ($5,000)

Net metering (by utility)

Calculate for your homes location

There can be solar tax credits and incentives available at the federal, state and local levels. The calculator above will show you the value of all incentives your home is eligible for.

Summary of Idaho solar incentives 2020

The Idaho Public Service Commission UNANIMOUSLY rejected Idaho Power’s late-2019 attempts to destroy net metering, whew! However, we're expecting to see stronger laws that codify protections for solar owners in 2020 and beyond. Read on to learn all you need to know about going solar in Idaho - solar panel policy, incentives, and savings!

On this page, you can:

  1. Learn what solar incentives are available to Idaho homeowners

  2. See what Idaho solar incentives you qualify for based on your utility company and city

  3. Find out how much these incentives and/or Idaho solar tax credits will reduce your cost to go solar and add batteries

Federal solar investment tax credit

The federal solar investment tax credit will have the biggest impact on the cost you will face to go solar in Idaho

This perk is commonly known as the ITC, short for “Investment Tax Credit”. If you install your photovoltaic system in 2020, the federal tax credit is 26% of the cost of your solar panel system. This is 26% off the entire cost of the system including equipment, labor and permitting.

Example: If your solar energy system costs $20,000, your federal solar tax credit would be $20,000 x 26% = $5,200.

The federal tax credit falls to 22% in 2021. Unless new legislation is introduced in Washington D.C., this program will be gone in 2022.

Net energy metering in Idaho

With net metering in some states, you get full retail rate credit for the amount of electricity you send back into the grid with your solar panels.

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for any surplus. It’s an essential part of strong solar policy, because it’s a big money saver for you. Idaho currently has no law requiring utilities to offer net metering, or governing interconnection (getting on the grid to get net-metered).

Despite not being required, all three of the state’s three investor-owned utilities — Avista Utilities, Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power — have independently decided to offer net metering programs. The framework of all three programs is similar. All of the programs limit individual system size, but those limits won't affect homeowners much.

All three programs also handle residential net metering the same way: all surplus energy produced is applied as a credit to your next month’s bill at the full retail rate. So for every kW extra you produce one month, you pay for one less kW the next. Avista specifies (sadly) that surplus credit reverts back to the utility without compensation after 12 months. Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power do not specifically address “rollover” limits or other annual surplus accounting policies.

Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power have been in communication with the state public utilities commission on a plea to pay much less than retail rates in the future, though the PUC has denied to hear their requests for the near term. As it stands, now may be a good time to lock in your net metering by going solar so the rates don’t diminish.

Idaho solar rebates

The state of Idaho doesn't offer any cash rebates for going solar, or really much of any other kind of incentive, either. We'd like to see the state get into helping homeowners go solar, but honestly, we're not holding our breath. Most folks in Idaho prefer the government to stand aside, and that's going to have to do.

There is one smart incentive for Idaho homeowners who go solar, and it's going to lower your taxes. Very on-brand, Idaho.

State tax deduction

Instead of a more straightforward tax credit for installing solar, Idaho decided to enact a 100% tax deduction. So, when you go solar, you can take 40% of your installation cost as a deduction in the first year, up to a maximum of $5,000. Then, for the next 3 years, you can deduct 20% of the cost each year from your state income for tax purposes.

For example, an average sized 6kW system installed for $18,000, you can deduct $7,200 from your state income for reporting purposes in the first year, and $3,600 for the next three years.

At current Idaho personal income tax rates, you can expect this deduction to be worth about $1,100 total over the four year period.

Cost of solar panels in your part of Idaho after all applicable solar incentives

Showing data for:

Prices based on a 10.3kW system, after 26% federal tax credit

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices

$17,312-$21,159

Payback period

8.2-10 years

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$42,741-$52,239

Average size system installed in ID in 2020

10.3kW

Solar panel cost calculator

Best 10 solar companies in Idaho

15 solar companies in Idaho provide pricing on SolarReviews. Here are the best rated companies near you.

Useful links

Idaho State Energy Loan Program - Low interest Loans for Renewable Energy projects ranging from $1,00 to $15,000 for single family loans

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

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