Federal Solar Rebates And Incentives

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Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

Note: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed in December 2015, included several amendments to this credit which applied only to solar technologies and PTC-eligible technologies. However, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 reinstated this tax credit for the remaining technologies that have historically been eligible for the credit.  

The federal Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has been amended a number of times, most recently in February 2018. The table below shows the value of the investment tax credit for each technology by year. The expiration dates are based on when construction begins.   

Technology 12/31/16 12/31/17 12/31/18 12/31/19 12/31/20 12/31/21

Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs)

Note: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 repealed section 54C of the Internal Revenue Code, which authorized the use of New CREBs. IRS Notice 2018-15  announced that the IRS will no longer process applications for or issue allocations of New CREBs. The summary below describes CREBs before they were repealed, and is here for historical purposes only. 

Clean renewable energy bonds (CREBs) may be used by certain entities -- primarily in the public sector -- to finance renewable energy projects. The list of qualifying technologies is generally the same as that used for the federal renewable energy

Energy Goals and Standards for Federal Government

The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) established several goals and standards to reduce energy use in existing and new federal buildings. Executive Order 13423, signed in January 2007, expanded on those goals and standards and was later reaffirmed by congress with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007). EISA 2007 extended an existing federal energy reduction goal to 30% by fiscal year 2015; directed federal agencies to purchase Energy Star and Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)-designated products; and required new federal buildings to be built 30% below ASHRAE* standards or the International Energy Conservation

Energy-Efficient Mortgages

Homeowners can take advantage of energy efficient mortgages (EEM) to either finance energy efficiency improvements to existing homes, including renewable energy technologies, or to increase their home buying power with the purchase of a new energy efficient home. The U.S. federal government supports these loans by insuring them through Federal Housing Authority (FHA) or Veterans Affairs (VA) programs. This allows borrowers who might otherwise be denied loans to pursue energy efficiency, and it secures lenders against loan default.

FHA Energy Efficient Mortgages
The FHA allows lenders to add up to 100% of energy efficiency improvements to an existing mortgage loan

FHA PowerSaver Loan Program

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) through its PowerSaver loan program offers three financing options for homeowners to make energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades in their residences. For all three PowerSaver products, borrowers must select from a list of approved PowerSaver lenders. Please check the HUD website to find a list of participating FHA approved lender for the program. PowerSaver products are not currently offered in all states, so all potential applicants are encouraged to first check the program website to ensure product availability in their location. 

Eligibility

Homeowners must have following requirements to be eligible for the program:

  •  Minimum credit

Green Power Purchasing Goal for Federal Government

The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) extended and expanded several previous goals and standards to reduce energy use in existing and new federal buildings. Section 203 of EPAct 2005 required that, to the extent it is economically feasible and technically practicable, the total amount of renewable electric energy consumed by the federal government during 2013 and thereafter shall not be less than 7.5%. That target was updated and expanded by a Presidential Memorandum on December 5, 2013, and again by an Executive Order on March 19, 2015. The Executive Order established additional targets, culminating in a required

Interconnection Standards for Small Generators

NOTE: In July 2016, FERC issued Order 828 revising the Small Generation Interconnection Agreement (SGIA) to require newly interconnecting small generators under 20 MW to ride through abnormal frequency and voltage events and not be disconnected during such events. 

Origin

Through its Orders 792 and 792-A, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) adopted new "small generator" interconnection standards for distributed energy resources up to 20 megawatts (MW) in capacity in November 2013 and September 2014, respectively. These standards made revisions to those promulgated by FERC in May 2005 through its Order 2006. The FERC's standards apply only to facilities subject

Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS)

Note: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 increased bonus depreciation to 100% for qualified property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017 and before January 1, 2023. 

Under the federal Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS), businesses may recover investments in certain property through depreciation deductions. The MACRS establishes a set of class lives for various types of property, ranging from three to 50 years, over which the property may be depreciated. A number of renewable energy technologies are classified as five-year property (26 USC § 168(e)(3)(B)(vi)) under the MACRS, which refers to 26 USC § 48(a)(3)(A),

Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs)

Note: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (HR 1) of 2017 repealed the use of tax credit bonds effective January 1, 2018.  Issuers of QECBs that elected to receive direct payments from the Treasury issued on or before December 31, 2017, consistent with the Internal Revenue Code (Section 54D), will continue to receive direct payments. The summary presented below is for historical purposes. 

The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, enacted in October 2008, authorized the issuance of Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) that may be used by state, local and tribal governments to finance certain types of energy

Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC)

Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the renewable energy tax credits for fuel cells, small wind turbines, and geothermal heat pumps now feature a gradual step down in the credit value, the same as those for solar energy systems

Tax Credit: 

  • 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2021
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2020 and before 01/01/2022

Expires:  December 31, 2021

Details:  Existing homes and new construction qualify.  Both principal residences and second homes qualify. Rentals do not qualify. 

Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Corporate)

According to Section 136 of the U.S. Code, energy conservation subsidies provided (directly or indirectly) to customers by public utilities* are non-taxable. This exclusion does not apply to electricity-generating systems registered as "qualifying facilities" under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). If a taxpayer claims federal tax credits or deductions for the energy conservation property, the investment basis for the purpose of claiming the deduction or tax credit must be reduced by the value of the energy conservation subsidy (i.e., a taxpayer may not claim a tax credit for an expense that the taxpayer ultimately did not pay).

Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Personal)

According to Section 136 of the U.S. Code, energy conservation subsidies provided (directly or indirectly) to customers by public utilities* are non-taxable. This exclusion does not apply to electricity-generating systems registered as "qualifying facilities" under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA). If a taxpayer claims federal tax credits or deductions for the energy conservation property, the investment basis for the purpose of claiming the deduction or tax credit must be reduced by the value of the energy conservation subsidy (i.e., a taxpayer may not claim a tax credit for an expense that the taxpayer ultimately did not

Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit (EXPIRED)

Note: The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 reinstated this tax credit for purchases made in 2017. Any qualified equipment installed prior to January 1, 2018 is eligible for this credit. Equipment installed on or after January 1, 2018 is not eligible for this credit.     

This credit applies to energy efficiency improvements in the building envelope of existing homes and for the purchase of high-efficiency heating, cooling and water-heating equipment. Efficiency improvements or equipment must serve a dwelling in the United States that is owned and used by the taxpayer as a primary residence. The maximum tax credit for

Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Tax credits for residential energy efficiency have now expired.  The tax credit for builders of energy efficient homes and tax deductions for energy efficient commercial buildings have also expired.

The tax credits for residential renewable energy products are still available through December 31, 2021. Renewable energy tax credits for fuel cells, small wind turbines, and geothermal heat pumps now feature a gradual step down in the credit value, the same as those for solar energy systems.

While the tax credits for residential energy efficiency have expired, you can still save money and energy in your home by using ENERGY STAR

Tribal Energy Program Grant

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Tribal Energy Program promotes tribal energy sufficiency, economic growth, and employment on tribal lands through the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The program provides financial assistance, technical assistance, and education and training to tribes for the evaluation and development of renewable energy resources and energy efficiency measures.

DOE's Tribal Energy Program consists of program management through DOE headquarters, program implementation and project management through DOE's field offices, and technical support through DOE laboratories. Program management for the Tribal Energy Program is carried out by DOE's Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program, which provides

U.S. Department of Energy - Loan Guarantee Program

Note: President Obama and DOE issued new supplemental guidance for Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy (REEE) Projects that adds $500 million of loan guarantee authority, making the total available approximately $4.5 billion. It also released guidance to clarify the types of Distributed Energy Projects it can support under the Title XVII program. The additional loan guarantee authority was officially available as of October 2015.

Section 1703 of Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005 created the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Loan Guarantee Program. The program was reauthorized and revised by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

USDA - High Energy Cost Grant Program

NOTE: The most recent solicitation for this program closed December 14, 2015. Please check the program website for information on future solicitations.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers an ongoing grant program for the improvement of energy generation, transmission, and distribution facilities in rural communities. This program began in 2000. Eligibility is limited to projects in communities that have average home energy costs at least 275% above the national average. Retail power suppliers serving rural areas are eligible to apply for grant funding, including non-profits (cooperatives and limited dividend or mutual associations), commercial entities, state and local governments entities,

USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants

Note: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development issues periodic Notices of Solicitation of Applications for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) in the Federal Register. The FY 2018 solicitation for the REAP program includes a total budget of approximately $800 million. 

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses in America to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements to non-residential buildings and facilities, use renewable technologies that reduce energy consumption, and participate in energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.

Renewable energy projects for

USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Loan Guarantees

The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses in rural America to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements to non-residential buildings and facilities, use renewable technologies that reduce energy consumption, and participate in energy audits and renewable energy development assistance.

Renewable energy projects for the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loan and Grant Program include wind, solar, biomass and geothermal, and hydrogen derived from biomass or water using wind, solar, or geothermal energy sources. These grants are limited to 25% of a proposed