Idaho Solar Rebates And Incentives

Rebates list

Idaho Rebates and Incentives Summary

Idaho

One of the more northerly states, Idaho isn’t known for a warm climate, but it does get plenty of sunshine. In fact, most of Idaho gets more sun than the national average. As such it’s a great place for photovoltaics. In fact, the state gets more sun than Florida, despite its northerly location. As such homeowners can expect a decent return on investment for going solar. 

As of October 2012, to promote the use of solar and other renewable energy as well as energy efficiency, Idaho offers a number of powerful incentives through the Governor’s Office of Energy Resources and others. It also offers tax deductions, rebates and low-interest rate loans for solar systems. Under the incentives a solar system could be paid off in a few years.

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Avista Utilities (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

Avista Utilities Home Improvement and New Home Construction programs offer a variety of incentives for residential customers to save energy in eligible homes. Offers apply to residential homeowners in Idaho who heat homes  primarily with Avista electricity Incentives vary depending on technology, and apply to existing and new construction homes. Interested customers should see the web site for more infomlation including individual program requirements, specifications, and all application forms.

Avista Utilities - Net Metering

Idaho does not have a statewide net-metering policy. However, each of the state's three investor-owned utilities -- Avista Utilities, Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power -- has developed a net-metering tariff that has been approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The framework of the utilities' net-metering programs is similar, in that each utility's original program: (1) offers net metering to customers that generate electricity using solar, wind, hydropower, biomass or fuel cells; (2) limits individual system size to 100 kilowatts (kW); (3) limits aggregate net-metered capacity to 0.1% of the utility's peak demand in a baseline year (1996

Building Energy Code

Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

The 2012 IECC is in effect for all residential and commercial buildings, Idaho schools, and Idaho jurisdictions that adopt and enforce building codes, unless a local code exists that is more stringent. Updated codes are adopted every three years by the Idaho Legislature as they are revised by the International Code Council. The most recent code took effect

Idaho Falls Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program

Idaho Falls Power's Energy Efficiency Loan Program offers zero interest loans for qualifying customers to purchase and install efficient electric appliances and implement weatherization measures. The program will loan up to 100% of the actual cost of eligible measures for qualifying customers.

This program is only available to customers with a good payment history with City Utilities (i.e. no outstanding current balance, no disconnects for nonpayment, no delinquencies), and who have minimum of one year payment history with the utility. There is a $25 administration charge to apply. Idaho Falls also offers a low interest loan (4%) for the installation

Idaho Falls Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Idaho Falls Power's Energy Efficiency Loan Program offers rebates for qualifying customers to purchase and install efficient electric appliances and implement weatherization measures. This program is only available to customers with a good payment history with City Utilities (i.e. no outstanding current balance, no disconnects for nonpayment, no delinquencies), and who have minimum of one year payment history with the utility. For more information, visit the program website.

Idaho Power - Net Metering

Idaho does not have a statewide net-metering policy. However, each of the state's three investor-owned utilities -- Avista Utilities, Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power -- has developed a net-metering tariff that has been approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Idaho Power's net-metering tariff is Schedule 84. Systems owned or operated by residential and small general service customers must be 25 kW or smaller to participate in net metering. Large general service, large power service, and agriculture irrigation service customers may own or operate a system up to 100 kW to participate. 

In July 2013, the PUC

Idaho Power - Rebate Advantage for New Manufactured Homes

Idaho Power is offering a $1000 sales rebate to customers who purchase a new ENERGY STAR all-electric manufactured home and connect that home to an Idaho Power residential account. In addition, the sales consultant who sells the home will be eligible for a $200 sales bonus. 

ENERGY STAR manufactured homes are designed to be more energy efficient than standard ones because they have more insulation in the ceiling, walls and floors, better windows and doors, tighter duct systems and specially designed ventilation systems. See the program's Frequently Asked Questions section for more information, or contact Idaho Power directly.

Idaho Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

Idaho Power offers a variety of incentives for residential customers in Idaho and Oregon.  Customers may receive a complete home energy audit (including installation of select improvements) for $99 for all-electric homes or $149 for homes with gas, propane, or other fuel sources. 

The Heating and Cooling Program offers incentives for residential customers who purchase and have installed qualifying heat pumps, evaporative coolers, and other equipment that meet program requirements. The equipment must be installed by a participating contractor.  Rebates in this program may vary according to whether the equipment is installed in new or existing homes.  

Existing homes

Income Tax Deduction for Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Idaho residents with homes built or under construction before 2002, or who had a building permit issued before January 1, 2002, qualify for an income tax deduction for 100% of the cost of installing new insulation or other approved energy efficiency improvements in an existing residence. Any insulation added must be in addition to, not a replacement of, existing insulation. Other energy efficiency measures that may be deducted are windows that are more energy efficient than existing windows, storm windows, weather stripping and caulking, and duct sealing and insulation.  Efficiency measures must meet or exceed the criteria for the component

Kootenai Electric Cooperative - Residential Efficiency Rebate Program

Kootenai Electric Cooperative offers incentives for residential customers to increase the energy efficiency of participating homes. Rebates are available for the purchase of ENERGY Star qualified clothes washers, certified homes, as well as water heaters, air-source and geothermal heat pumps, and windows. Qualified homes must have a heat pump installed according to ENERGY Star specifications. 

For more information, visit the website listed above or contact Kootenai directly.

Low-Interest Energy Loan Programs

The Idaho Governor's Office of Energy Resources (OER) State Energy Loan Program offers low-interest loans to make building improvements that will conserve energy and increase energy efficiency projects in Idaho. Qualified projects include insulation, lighting upgrades, windows, weatherization, HVAC, appliances, and renewable energy. See qualifying addendums on the State Energy Loan Program website for project and equipment requirements. 

Loans are leveraged by utility incentives as well as federal and state tax credits and deductions. Loans are 4% interest with 5 year terms. Applications are evaluated on the basis of credit; all loans must be secured with real estate and/or equipment.

Northern Lights Inc. - Energy Conservation Rebate Program

Northern Lights Inc. offers a variety of rebates for the purchase and installation of energy efficient appliances and measures. For the period of October 2015 - September 2016, rebates are available for: 

  • Energy Star clothes washers and dryers
  • Showerheads
  • Heat pumps
  • NEEM new manufactured homes with electric heat.

A list of eligible equipment and rebate amounts can be found on the program website. Equipment and manufactured homes must meet all program efficiency standards to receive rebates. All members who receive electric service from Northern Lights qualify for incentives.  Interested customers should contact Northern Lights for more general information on the rebate process.

Property Tax Exemption for Wind, Solar, and Geothermal Energy Producers

In 2007, Idaho enacted a bill that restructured the method of taxation for producers of wind energy from a property tax to a tax on production. The aim of this restructuring was to ease the burden on commercial wind farms in the early years of operation. In 2008, Idaho enacted further legislation to include geothermal energy producers under this method of taxation, and solar energy producers were included under legislation (H.B. 534) enacted in 2016. 

Under these policies, commercial wind, solar, and geothermal energy producers, excluding those regulated by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, are exempt from paying

Questar Gas - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Questar Gas provides rebates to its business customers for installing energy efficient food service equipment, laundry equipment, HVAC and water heating equipment, and certain weatherization measures. Some equipment rebates vary depending on the efficiency level of the equipment. Applications and more details are available through the web site listed above. 

The ThermWise Business Custom Rebates Program is a demand-side management (DSM) program offered by Questar Gas with the goal of obtaining verifiable, cost-effective, and long-term natural gas savings. Program participants submit project proposals for a firm quantity of natural gas reduction through the installation of demand-side management measures. After installation,

Questar Gas - Home Builder Rebate Program

Questar Gas provides incentives for home builders who incorporate energy efficiency into new construction. Builders can receive whole house rebates for building energy efficient homes as well as rebates for new construction products . All equipment and construction requirements must be met in order to participate. The program application, builder participation agreement, and more details about incentive amounts and efficiency requirements are located on the program web site.

 

Questar Gas - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

Questar Gas provides rebates for energy efficient appliances and heating equipment, and certain weatherization measures through the ThermWise program. This equipment includes water heaters, furnaces, boilers, windows, insulation and programmable thermostats. A reduced-cost home energy audit is also available to participating customers. To qualify, the appliances must run on gas and must meet the minimum efficiency levels stated on the program web site. The web site also maintains a list of appliance models which meet the requirements and local vendors who sell them. Certain equipment must be installed by an authorized ThermWise contractor. Follow all instructions on the program application

Questar Gas - Residential Solar Assisted Water Heating Rebate Program

Questar Gas provides incentives for residential customers to purchase and install solar water heating systems on their homes. Rebates of $750 per system are provided to customers of Questar who install solar assisted water heating systems, including pool heating. To be eligible, customers must include with their applications an invoice or receipt that shows purchase date, price, and a description of the equipment. See application and supplemental information sheet for full details.

Renewable Energy Project Bond Program

Legislation enacted in Idaho in April 2005 (Senate Bill 1192) allows independent (non-utility) developers of renewable energy projects in the state to request financing from the Idaho Energy Resources Authority (IERA), a state bonding authority created in March 2005 by the Environment, Energy and Technology Energy Resources Authority Act (House Bill 106). The authority was created to finance the construction of electric generation and transmission projects by electric utilities. SB 1192 extended the financing opportunities to independent renewable energy producers that are not "qualifying facilities" under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA).

For the

Residential Alternative Energy Tax Deduction

This statute allows taxpayers an income tax deduction of 40% of the cost of a solar, wind, geothermal, and certain biomass energy devices used for heating or electricity generation. Taxpayers can apply this 40% deduction in the year in which the system is installed and can also deduct 20% of the cost each year for three years thereafter. The maximum deduction in any one year is $5,000. The total maximum deduction is $20,000.

Eligible biomass energy devices include a pellet stove or EPA-certified wood stove if:

  • it is in the taxpayer's residence,
  • it replaces an old wood stove that does

Rocky Mountain Power - Net Metering

Idaho does not have a statewide net-metering policy. However, each of the state's three investor-owned utilities -- Avista Utilities, Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power -- has a net-metering tariff on file with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The framework of the utilities' net-metering programs is similar, in that each utility's original program: (1) offers net metering to customers that generate electricity using solar, wind, hydropower, biomass or fuel cells; (2) limits net metering to 0.1% of its retail peak demand in a baseline year (2002 for Rocky Mountain Power); (3) limits residential systems to 25 kilowatts; and (4)

Solar Easements

Similar to laws in other states,  Idaho's solar easement provision does not create an automatic right to sunlight. Rather, the law allows parties to enter into solar easement contracts voluntarily for the purpose of ensuring adequate exposure of a solar-energy system. The easement is transferred with the property title. 

Only a few Idaho communities have passed solar easement ordinances.