Maryland is a small, mid-Atlantic state with big aspirations for its renewable energy future and its rapidly growing solar energy industry.
Back in 2007, Maryland established an ambitious goal to install 1,250 megawatts of renewable energy generation. The state is expected to hit that mark in 2015. Ranked 14th in the nation for installed solar capacity, Maryland has mightily promoted solar installation for utilities, businesses and homeowners with strong policies designed to make solar as economically advantageous as possible.
To help more home and business owners adopt solar power, Maryland offers homeowners numerous incentives, including rebates, low- or no-interest rate loans, oodles of tax breaks, net-metering and performance-based incentives. Counties, municipalities and utilities in the state also offer incentives for switching to renewable energy.
The state has developed its EmPOWERing Maryland Clean Energy Programs through the Maryland Energy Administration
Gov. Martin O’Malley in 2008 developed the state’s “Smart, Green and Growing” initiative to help reduce energy bills at home, create green collar jobs, and promote energy independence.
Under these programs, Maryland installed 29 megawatts of solar in 2013 and had 161 megawatts of installed solar capacity at the beginning of 2014.
Corporate Tax Credit
Local Rebate Program
Personal Tax Credit
Property Tax Incentive
Sales Tax Incentive
State Loan Program
State Rebate Program
Utility Rebate Program
Rules, Regulations & Policies
Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards
Building Energy Code
Energy Efficiency Resource Standard
Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Green Power Purchasing
Renewables Portfolio Standard
Solar/Wind Access Policy
Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
|Program Type||Personal Tax Credit|
|Technologies||Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics and other renewables|
|Amount||$0.85 per kilowatt hour (kWh) produced, minimum of $1,000|
|Required Documentation||Initial Credit Certificate Application and net metering or interconnection agreement|
|Official Web Site||http://energy.maryland.gov/Business/CleanEnergyTaxCredit.html|
The Clean Energy Production Tax Credit allows property owners in Maryland to receive a state-income-tax break for up to a five-year period for qualifying renewable energy installations.
To qualify, the building must use the renewable energy as its primary energy source. The program was extended in 2010 to last through 2015.
In order to receive any tax benefit, a system must qualify for a minimum tax credit of $1,000. In order to achieve that, a solar installation must produce at least 23,530 kilowatt hours of clean energy a year.
An individual or corporation that applies for and receives certification from the Maryland Energy Administration may claim a credit equal to 0.85 cents per kilowatt-hour ($0.0085/kWh) against the state income tax, for up to a five-year period, for electricity generated by eligible resources.
|Program Type||Net Metering|
|Required Documentation||Not specified (arranged with local utility)|
|Official Web Site||http://www.energy.maryland.gov/facts/renewable/netmetering.asp|
Currently under Maryland’s net-excess generation rules, credits are accrued when a grid-tied customer generates electricity in excess of his or her use and supplies it to the grid. The extra produced energy is discounted at the current rate of retail electricity.
Under a law passed in 2010, net-energy generation is carried from one billing period to the next until either the customer requests payment for the credit at the end of a 12-month period or until the customer’s usage exceeds the generation. Under the new law, the credit appears on the customer’s bill as a dollar figure.
Net metering is available throughout Maryland until 1,500 MW of generation in the state is net-metered. Size is limited to a 2 MW system, and it must be intended to offset a portion, if not all, of on-site energy needs. Customers own and have title to all renewable-energy credits, which can be sold to utilities through a separate incentive program. Utilities are required to install a bi-directional meter at a customer's building and offer net metering at no charge to the consumer.
The rules apply to all utilities operating in Maryland and residents, businesses, schools, and government entities can qualify for the incentive program. Under Maryland’s net-metering laws, customers that own the system outright or own it through a power purchase agreement or a lease can qualify for net metering
|Technologies||Dependent on local government|
|Required Documentation||Must apply for eligibility with local government|
|Official Web Site||http://energy.maryland.gov/incentives/residential/PaceInitiative.asp|
PACE financing for residential properties in Maryland halted after the Federal Housing Finance Agency directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to stop buying mortgages for properties that used the loan to finance solar installations.
Commercial PACE financing stalled in the shadow of the residential turmoil as well even though Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae don’t buy commercial mortgages. Since 2013, PACE financing has been coming back in the commercial sector in Maryland and some municipalities have reintroduce the program for residential properties as well.
The Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program offers homeowners a chance to finance their solar power project by taking out a loan from the state or local government. Under PACE, local governments can issue bonds to create a funding pool for PACE applicants. The bond maturity period may be no longer than 40 years under the law. Local governments control the bond’s interest rates, payment intervals, sales terms, and conditions for early bond redemptions, among other issues.
|Technologies||Solar Water Heating, Solar Photovoltaics|
• $500 for solar hot water heating
• $1,000 for solar pv systems
Application form, a reviewed and signed Solar Grant Program Terms and Conditions form, a signed cost estimate,
purchase order, or letter of intent from an installer
|Official Web Site||http://energy.maryland.gov/incentives/residential/solargrants/ind|
The Solar Energy Grant Program offers homeowners rebates when they install solar water heaters or solar PV panels for electricity generation.
As of 2012, the rebates are flat amounts. A solar water heating system comes with a $500 rebate from Maryland’s Residential Clean Energy Grant Program. A solar photovoltaic installation earns a flat $1,000 rebate.
While Maryland does not offer a state sales tax exemption for solar equipment, homeowners are able to deduct these grant amounts from the purchase price of their systems and reduce the sales tax burden for the solar installations.