North Carolina solar rebates and tax credits calculator

Solar incentive

Federal ITC 26% (tax credit)

State tax credit: No

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 North Carolina solar incentives 2020

North Carolina’s major energy suppliers have met their relatively low Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) goals. Therefore utilities here have decreased the size of solar incentives offered to homeowners. Duke Energy still offers a solar rebate, though actually getting it can be a nuisance (more on that below).

But it's not all bad news! Solar is cheaper than ever, and the cost and payback time of a home solar system in North Carolina is better than in some states. While the legislature could do more to ensure a sunny future for solar by strengthening the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard, and renewing the expired state tax credit, solar still makes a good deal of sense here.

On this page, you can:

  1. Learn what solar incentives are available to North Carolina homeowners

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

  3. Find out how much these incentives and/or North Carolina 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 North Carolina

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 North Carolina

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.

North Carolina law requires all three of North Carolina’s largest electric utilities –Duke Energy, Progress Energy, and Dominion North Carolina Power– to make full retail rate net metering available to customers. So, any extra kilowatt hours you produce with your solar panels you can’t use in your home in a billing month are carried forward as a credit to your bill the next month at the full retail rate. That’s great!

What’s not so hot is that all unused credit transfers to the utility without compensation at the beginning of the summer season. You don’t get a check for your unused credits under the net metering law, the way you would in other programs.

We can’t be too hard on North Carolina individually, since that’s a shameful trend we’ve seen in a lot of states now, but we’re still not happy about it. Your surplus should be your surplus, no matter how long you hold on to it.

Of note, North Carolina has also made it easier for people with existing solar installations to add in battery storage, without having to wait in the interconnection queue all over again.

North Carolina solar rebates

Duke Energy and Duke Energy Progress (DEP) are in the third year of their five year commitment to $6,000 solar rebates for homeowners. The program, which expires in 2022, can lop off about a third of the cost of an average sized solar energy system. You can get $600 per kilowatt (kW), up to a maximum of $6,000. So, to max out your rebate, you’d need to install a 10kW solar system.

Getting the rebate requires participating in a gold rush of sorts. Installations completed within 90 days of the beginning of the following year prompts dozens of installers to line up at the computer terminal to claim rewards for the previous year as if they were attending an Elton John concert.

Certainly, there’s a better way to process rebate claims, as there’ve been reports of challenges getting these credits from solar installers. Regardless, if you go solar in 2020, you can work with your installer to claim the $6,000 in early 2021.

Property tax exemption

In addition to that awesome state solar panel tax credit, North Carolina gives you a little long-term love on your taxes as well when you install a solar power system. You see, when you install a solar power system, your home increases in value because of the anticipated savings in electricity costs.

Exempting property value increases from solar power systems from accompanying property taxes is an easy way to incentivize solar power. North Carolina seems to agree; 100% of the home value increase from your solar power system is exempt from property taxes!

Cost of solar panels in your part of North Carolina after all applicable solar incentives

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices

$16,639-$20,336

Payback period

8.4-10.3 years

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$42,396-$51,817

Average size system installed in NC in 2020

10.8kW

Solar panel cost calculator

Best 10 solar companies in North Carolina

38 solar companies in North Carolina provide pricing on SolarReviews. Here are the best rated companies near you.

Solar guides for your North Carolina city

For more information about going solar near where you live, check out the following resources:

Find local city information

 

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