Tennessee Rebates and Incentives Summary


Although Tennessee has picturesque scenery and plenty of sunshine, there has not been much in the way of state-sponsored legislation to promote renewable energy sources. This is due, in part, to the easily available coal in the region, although there are some incentives at the local levels in Tennessee to help you keep your wallet heavy and your carbon footprint light.

Tennessee has a solar rating of “good,” meaning that with local and federal incentives, a 3 kilowatt (kW) home solar system costing around $15,000 would pay for itself within 10 years. Not only would you be saving over $800 a year on utility bills with such a system, but these generally increase property values by about $10,000.

The main program that would apply to many of Tennessee’s resident’s would be the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Generation Partners Program, but you may also quality for a Small Business Energy Loan.

Small Business Energy Loan Program

Program Type State Loan Program
Technologies Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Wind
Amount Up to $300,000
Required Documentation

Loan application available from Tennessee Department of Economic & Community

Development Energy Division

Official Web Site http://www.state.tn.us/ecd/BD_smallbizenergy.html

While state-funded loans are not yet available to Tennessee residences, you may still qualify for a zero-interest or low-interest loan for energy efficient products, as well as solar panels and passive solar heating systems if you run a small business.

Any business with less than 300 employees or less than $3.5 million in annual profits can qualify, and the interest rate varies based on the community the business is located in. For businesses in areas rated as “Three Stars,” the loans are offered at 0 percent interest, and for other areas, loans are at 3 percent annual interest. These loans can be for up to 7 years, and for up to $300,000. Free audits for energy and heating systems are also available through the state.

TVA Generation Partners Program

Program Type Performance-Based Incentive
Technologies Photovoltaics, Wind Energy, Biomass

1,000 plus $0.12/kWh above the base rate for solar photovoltaic systems and $0.03/kWh

above the retail rate for all other eligible renewable sources

Required Documentation Application form submitted to local power company
Official Web Site http://www.tva.com/

If you live in an area where utilities are provided by one of the 91 participating power companies serviced by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), you may qualify for a partnership program where you can earn discounts on your power bill from renewable energy, or even make money if your renewable energy system produces more power than you consume.

If you have a photovoltaic system with an alternating current output between 500 W and 200 kW, and your local power supplier participates in the program, the TVA will purchase 100 percent of the energy at $0.12 per kWh, in the form of credits on your power bill, and periodic payments for excess credits you earn.

More information can be found at the TVA website or by calling 866-673-4340.

Tennessee Solar Power Financial Incentives

Financial Incentives

Industry Recruitment/Support

Performance-Based Incentive

Property Tax Incentive

Sales Tax Incentive

State Grant Program

State Loan Program

Utility Loan Program

Utility Rebate Program



Rules, Regulations & Policies



Building Energy Code

Energy Standards for Public Buildings

Solar/Wind Access Policy




Related Programs & Initiatives




Alternative Fuels Data Center
The U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) provides information, data and tools to help fleets and other transportation decision-makers find ways to reduce petroleum consumption through the use of alternative and renewable fuels, advanced vehicles, and other fuel-saving measures.

Green Power Network
The U.S. Department of Energy's Green Power Network provides news and information on green power markets and activities, including opportunities to buy green power. This site provides state-by-state information on green power marketing and utility green power programs. In addition, the site lists marketers of renewable energy credits (RECs), also known as green tags or renewable energy certificates, which represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from renewable energy projects.

Weatherization Assistance Program
The U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) enables low-income families to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy-efficient. Through this program, weatherization service providers install energy-efficiency measures in the homes of qualifying homeowners free of charge. The WAP program web site offers a state-by-state map of opportunities, projects and activities.

Wind Powering America
The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America site provides state-by-state information on wind projects and activities, including wind working groups, validated wind maps, anemometer loan programs, small wind guides, state-specific news, wind for schools, workshops and web casts.