New Mexico Solar Rebates And Incentives

Rebates list

New Mexico Rebates and Incentives Summary

New MexicoNew Mexico isn’t just home for aliens and secret government research into the extraterrestrial (allegedly), or home to the world’s first nuclear tests.

It’s also the home of abundant solar resources, in fact, with the overwhelming majority of New Mexico getting more than 6 kilowatt hours per square meter of direct sunlight a day, the state is eclipsed only by Arizona in terms of sunniest states. This makes the New Mexico rife with opportunity for installing both photovoltaics (PVs) and solar thermal energy projects. The state noted that it has “the potential to provide 1,000 times more energy than Public Service Company of New Mexico’s current demand.” In addition, new transmission in the “state would allow the export of large quantities of clean energy.”

To help encourage residents to install solar power on their homes, the state offers some incentives to reduce costs of systems and installation. Among these are a strong net-metering program, various tax credits, property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing, rebate programs for installing clean energy.

In this sun-drenched, desert state with limited water resources and greatly varying temperatures, energy-efficiency and water conservation are paramount and the state has many incentives for residents and businesses that undertake energy efficiency projects and for practicing sustainable building techniques—including installing renewable energy.

New Mexico has a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that requires investor-owned utilities in the state—i.e., companies like Xcel Energy—to get at least 20 percent of the electricity sold to retail customers from renewable sources by 2020. In addition, the utilities must offer customers the option to purchase energy generated from renewable resources.

The RPS has incremental steps, one of which requires utilities to get 10 percent of power generated for their retail customers to come from renewable sources by 2011. As utilities work to meet these goals, it is becoming important for them to sign customer-generators to distributed-generation contracts, particularly because 3 percent of investor-owned utility’s RPS must come from distributed generation (like home and building owners) by 2015. Of all the renewable power the utilities must include in their portfolio, at least 20 percent must come from solar, another 20 percent from wind, and 10 percent from other renewable technologies. Rural electric cooperatives must get or generate 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020 under the law.

Utilities prove compliance with the renewable energy requirements through renewable energy credits (RECs) that are registered with the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS). Such unused energy credits have a four-year lifespan. Customer-generators entering into net-metering arrangements and performance-based incentive programs with their utility company automatically sell their renewable energy credits to their utility under New Mexico law.

New Mexico is just starting to catch up with its potential. The state started off behind, ranked 22nd in terms of installed solar capacity in 2010. But in 2011, the state installed 116 megawatts and rose to fourth place, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
 

 

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Advanced Energy Gross Receipts Tax Deduction

New Mexico has a gross receipts tax structure for businesses instead of a sales tax. Businesses are taxed on the gross amount of their business receipts each year before expenses are deducted. Revenue generated by the sale and installation of a "qualified generating facility" may be deducted from gross receipts before the gross receipts tax is calculated. The deductions are allowed for a 10-year period starting the year construction begins. Qualified generating facilities have a minimum nameplate capacity of 1 megawatt (MW) and include geothermal thermal electric, photovoltaic, solar thermal electric, and recycled energy systems. Solar facilities with associated renewable

Advanced Energy Tax Credit (Corporate)

Note: The deadline for qualifying for this tax incentive was 12/31/2015. This summary is here for informational purposes only.

A taxpayer that holds an interest in a qualified generating facility located in New Mexico and that files a New Mexico corporate income tax return may claim an advanced energy corporate income tax credit in an amount equal to 6% of the eligible generation plant costs of a qualified generating facilities (see § 7-2A-25).

“Eligible generation plant costs" means expenditures for the development and construction of a qualified generating facility, including costs related to permitting, site characterization and assessment, engineering, design, and site

Advanced Energy Tax Credit (Personal)

Note: The deadline for qualifying for this tax incentive was 12/31/2015. This summary is here for informational purposes only.

A taxpayer who holds an interest in a qualified generating facility located in New Mexico and who files an individual New Mexico income tax return may claim an advanced energy income tax credit in an amount equal to 6% of the eligible generation plant costs of a qualified generating facility.

“Eligible generation plant costs" means expenditures for the development and construction of a qualified generating facility, including costs related to permitting, site characterization and assessment, engineering, design, and site and equipment acquisition. 

Albuquerque City - Green Path Program

The Green Path program encourages and facilitates design and construction of energy efficient buildings that substantially exceed code minimum. The program also rewards those who build green by expediting the review time of their submitted building plans and providing them with preliminary plan reviews at no cost.

For commercial construction, renovations and developments the building must substantially exceed code minimum and be LEED Gold or LEED Silver with a minimum of 6 energy points in order to follow Green Path criteria.

Resident housing must also substantially exceed code minimum. Projects must be Build Green New Mexico (BGNM) Silver with a

Alternative Energy Product Manufacturers Tax Credit

The Alternative Energy Product Manufacturers tax credit may be claimed for manufacturing alternative energy products and components, including renewable energy systems, fuel cell systems, and electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. Alternative energy components include parts, assembly of parts, materials, ingredients, or supplies that are incorporated directly into end-use products. In 2011 S.B. 233 added "products extracted from or secreted by a single cell photosynthetic organism" to the list of eligible alternative energy products.

The total amount of the credit is approved by the Taxation and Revenue Department and is not to exceed 5% of the taxpayer’s qualified expenditures. A qualified expenditure

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.

All residential and commercial structures are required to comply with the state’s energy code. The 2009 New Mexico Energy Conservation Code (NMECC), effective June 2013, is based on 2009 International Energy Conservation Code. One amendment in NMECC to the 2009 IECC established climate zones to determine applicable building efficiency requirements based on geographic location

Central New Mexico Electric Cooperative - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Central New Mexico Electric Cooperative (CNMEC) provides an incentive for its residential members to purchase energy efficient water heaters, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and freezers. Participating members can receive a $30 rebate for installing an electric water heater that meets the minimum program standards, and a bonus $20 per unit if it is covered by a lifetime warranty. Refrigerators and freezers must be ENERGY STAR rated to qualify for the $30 rebate, and members can receive an additional rebate of $60 for recycling an old unit. All applications for rebates must be submitted within 120 days of purchase

City of Albuquerque - Solar Easements and Rights Laws

In 2006, Albuquerque enacted a prohibition on private restrictions on the installation of solar collectors. The Development Review Board requires that all plats approved contain the following language: “No property within the area…shall at any time be subject to a deed restriction, covenant, or binding agreement prohibiting solar collectors from being installed on buildings or erected on the lots or parcels within the area of proposed plat. The foregoing requirement shall be a condition to approval of this plat or site development plan for subdivision," (§ 14-14-4-7).

The State of New Mexico has a separate solar rights law.

Permit

Clean Energy Revenue Bond Program

New Mexico's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Bonding Act, which became law in April 2005, authorizes up to $20,000,000 in bonds to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements in state government and school district buildings. At the request of a state agency or school district, the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department will conduct an energy assessment of a building to determine specific efficiency measures which will result in energy and cost savings. A state agency or school district may install or enter into contracts for the installation of energy efficiency measures on the building identified in

Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund

The Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund provides low-cost financial assistance to eligible public water systems to finance the cost of repair and replacement of drinking water infrastructure, maintain or achieve compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SWDA) requirements, and protect drinking water quality and public health.

The program offers principal forgiveness starting at 25% of project costs. Depending on determinations to be made by the New Mexico Financing Authority, additional principal forgiveness for up to a total of 75% of project costs may be awarded for communities that qualify as disadvantaged communities and certified "green projects". Green projects include

Efficient Use of Energy Act

The Efficient Use of Energy Act of 2005 allows public electric and natural gas utilities to implement cost-effective energy reduction programs. The programs may be funded through a tariff rider for energy efficiency and load management programs. The charges on the consumer cannot exceed the lesser of 3% of the customer’s bill or $75,000 per year per customer. 

A distribution cooperative may recover costs for energy efficiency, conservation, and load management programs and measures through general rates. Distribution cooperatives, in offering and implementing such programs, shall attempt to minimize any cross-subsidies between customer classes.

The Act also provides for monitoring,

El Paso Electric Company - Residential Efficiency Program

EPE offers incentives to residential customers in its New Mexico service territory that purchase and install high efficiency equipment for residential use. Some incentives, including insulation, vary depending on the type, size, original efficiency, and end efficiency of the installation. 

Qualified contractors must install certain equipment to qualify customers for rebates. Once equipment is installed, complete application form and submit with a copy of your receipt or contractor invoice to the address on the Rebate Application Form. Receipts and invoices need to clearly indicate equipment specifics, including efficiency and model number. Customers should carefully review the rebate documents and program

El Paso Electric Company - Small and Medium System Renewable Energy Certificate Purchase Program

Since January 2010, El Paso Electric has purchased renewable energy certificates (RECs) from its New Mexico customers who install small photovoltaic (PV) systems and wind systems. The RECs that El Paso Electric purchases will help the utility comply with New Mexico's renewable portfolio standard (RPS) in exchange for a financial incentive to homeowners and businesses who install PV and wind energy systems.

Only systems connected to the utility's grid and net-metered are eligible. RECs will be measured by a separate REC meter and purchased by El Paso Electric on a monthly basis. For contracts signed on or after January 1,

Farmington Electric Utility System - Net Metering

Note: As of February 1, 2017, FEUS' net metering program is closed to new customers. Existing customers are grandfathered under the most recent net metering tariffs.

Net metering rules developed by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) apply to the state's investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives. Municipal utilities, which are not regulated by the commission, are exempt from the PRC rules but authorized to develop their own net metering programs.

Farmington Electric, a municipal utility, offers net metering to residential and commercial customers with systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) in capacity that were installed by January 31, 2017.

Geothermal Heat Pump Tax Credit (Corporate)

H.B. 375, enacted in April 2009, created a tax credit in New Mexico for geothermal heat pumps purchased and installed between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2020, on property owned by the taxpayer. The credit is worth 30% of the system's cost up to $9,000 and can be applied to individual or corporate income taxes. Any unused credit may be carried forward for up to 10 years.

To qualify for the credit, system owners must file an application with the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD). EMNRD will review and approve applications in the order they are

Geothermal Heat Pump Tax Credit (Personal)

H.B. 375, enacted in April 2009, created a New Mexico state tax credit for geothermal heat pumps purchased and installed between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2020, on property owned by the taxpayer. The credit is worth 30% of the system's cost up to $9,000 and can be applied to individual or corporate income taxes. Any unused credit may be carried forward for up to 10 years.

To qualify for the credit, system owners must file an application with the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD). EMNRD will review and approve applications in the order they are

Gross Receipts Tax Exemption for Sales of Wind and Solar Systems to Government Entities

New Mexico has a gross receipts tax structure for businesses instead of a sales tax. Businesses are taxed on the gross amount of their business receipts each year before expenses are deducted. Receipts associated with the sale of certain wind turbine equipment to federal, state, or local government entities are exempt from being added to gross receipts. S.B. 201, signed in March 2010, extended this exemption to solar thermal electric and photovoltaic systems sold to a government on or after July 1, 2010.

Interconnection Standards

The Public Regulation Commission (PRC) adopted revised standards and procedures for the interconnection of generating facilities in New Mexico in July 2008.

Rule 569 applies to all qualifying facilities (QFs) under the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, which generally includes all renewable energy systems and combined heat and power (CHP) systems up to 80 megawatts (MW) in capacity.

Rule 568 applies to renewable energy systems and CHP systems up to 10 MW in capacity. The purpose of Rule 568 is to simplify the interconnection requirements for QFs up to 10 MW and to encourage the use of small-scale, customer-owned

Local Option - Renewable Energy Financing District/Solar Energy Improvement Special Assessments

Note: In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are now operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. Commercial PACE programs were not directly affected by FHFA’s actions, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not underwrite commercial mortgages. Visit PACENation for more information about PACE financing

Mandatory Utility Green Power Option

Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs)

In addition to meeting the requirements of the state renewable portfolio standard, New Mexico's IOUs are required to offer customers a voluntary program for purchasing renewable energy. The voluntary renewable energy tariff may also allow consumers to purchase renewable energy within certain energy blocks and by source of renewable energy. IOUs are also required to develop an educational program communicating the benefits and availability of the green power option. 

The three IOUs that serve New Mexico customers offer the following programs:

El Paso Electric (EPE)

EPE’s voluntary renewable energy program is called the “Renewable Energy Tariff Program.”

Net Metering

Eligibility and Availability

Net metering is available to all "qualifying facilities" (QFs), as defined by the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), which pertains to renewable energy systems and combined heat and power systems up to 80 megawatts (MW) in capacity. There is no statewide cap on the aggregate capacity of net-metered systems.

All utilities subject to Public Regulation Commission (PRC) jurisdiction must offer net metering. (Municipal utilities, which are not regulated by the PRC, are exempt.) Customers are required to be billed for service in accordance with the rate structure and monthly charges that the customer would be

PNM - Performance-Based Solar Program

Note: In November 2016, PNM was granted approval to extend the Customer Solar REC Purchase Programs through the end of 2019. 

In March 2006, PNM initiated a renewable energy credit (REC) purchase program as part of its plan to comply with New Mexico's renewable portfolio standard (RPS). PNM will purchase RECs from customers who install photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal electric systems up to 100 kilowatts (kW). PNM will then be able to apply these RECs towards their obligations under the state's RPS, which requires 4% of the total generation capacity to come from solar electricity and 0.6% from distributed generation

PNM - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

PNM offers several types of incentives for residential customers to improve the energy efficiency of eligible homes. Rebates are available for air conditioners, heat pumps, evaporative coolers, and pool pumps.

PNM also offers the PNM Home Energy Checkup, which gives residential customers a snapshot of their home's electricity use and identifies opportunities to reduce electricity waste. There are two Home Energy Checkup packages to choose from, ranging from $15 to $30. Both Package A ($15) and Package B ($30) include up to twenty LED dimmable bulbs to replace incandescent bulbs, one LED nightlight, two efficient-flow showerheads, two bathroom faucet aerators,

Property Tax Exemption for Residential Solar Systems

Residential solar energy systems are exempted from property tax assessments in New Mexico in most circumstances. For the purposes of determining property taxes, the value of a property cannot increase by the greater of 3% of the previous year's assessment or 6.1% of the assessment from two years ago according to state law. An assessment may exceed these restrictions, however, if physical improvements are made to the property. Under H.B. 233, enacted in 2010, residential solar systems will not be treated as physical improvements and therefore will not increase the value of the property for property tax purposes. Future assessments,

Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (Corporate)

Note: The tax credits are fully subscribed. As of July 2016, there were 973 MW (2,148,000 MWh) of projects in the waiting queue for the wind/biomass tax credit and 1,103 MW (2,369,000 MWh) of projects in the waiting queue for the solar tax credit.

Enacted in 2002, the New Mexico Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit provides a tax credit against personal or corporate income tax. To qualify, an energy generator must have a capacity of at least 1 megawatt and be installed before January 2018. 

Amount

The tax credit is $0.01 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for companies that generate electricity from

Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (Personal)

Note: The tax credits are fully subscribed. As of July 2016, there were 973 MW (2,148,000 MWh) of projects in the waiting queue for the wind/biomass tax credit and 1,103 MW (2,369,000 MWh) of projects in the waiting queue for the solar tax credit.

Enacted in 2002, the New Mexico Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit provides a tax credit against personal or corporate income tax. To qualify, an energy generator must have a capacity of at least 1 megawatt and be installed before January 2018. 

Amount

The tax credit is $0.01 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for companies that generate electricity from

Renewable Portfolio Standard

In March 2004, New Mexico’s governor signed into law the Renewable Energy Act (S.B. 43), creating a state renewable portfolio standard (RPS). By 2020, investor-owned utilities (IOUs) are required to generate 20% of total retail sales from renewable energy resources, and rural electric cooperatives are required to generate 10% of total retail sales from renewable energy resources.

Eligible Technologies

Renewable energy is defined as electric energy generated by low- or zero-emissions generation technology with substantial long-term production potential; solar; wind; geothermal; hydropower facilities brought in service after July 1, 2007; fuel cells that are not fossil fueled; and biomass resources,

Solar Easements & Rights Laws

New Mexico's Solar Rights Act (1977) and Solar Recordation Act (1983) allow property owners to create solar easements for the purpose of protecting and maintaining proper access to sunlight. The Solar Rights Act established the right to use solar energy as a property right. The solar right prevents neighboring property owners from constructing new buildings or planting new trees which would block their access to the sun.

The Solar Recordation Act describes the procedures for filing a solar right through the County Clerk's Office. The property owner seeking the solar right must give advanced notice to the adjacent property owners,

Solar Energy Gross Receipts Tax Deduction

New Mexico has a gross receipts tax structure for businesses instead of a sales tax. Businesses are taxed on the gross amount of their business receipts each year before expenses are deducted. Revenue generated by the sale and installation of solar systems used to provide space heat, hot water, or electricity to the property on which it is installed may be deducted from gross receipts before the gross receipts tax is calculated. Dark-colored water tanks exposed to sunlight, including all equipment necessary for the installation and operation of the water tank as a part of the overall water system of

Solar Market Development Tax Credit

Note: The deadline for qualifying for this tax incentive was 12/31/2016. This summary is here for informational purposes only.

New Mexico provides a 10% personal income tax credit (up to $9,000) for individuals, sole proprietorship businesses (or one that is required or allowed to elect to file taxes using IRS Form 1040), and agricultural enterprises who purchase and install certified photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal systems. Eligible systems include grid-tied commercial PV systems, off-grid and grid-tied residential PV systems, and (active) solar hot water or hot air systems. To be eligible, systems must first be certified by

Solar/Wind Construction Permitting Standards

The following standards apply to solar PV systems of any size and wind systems 10 kilowatts or less:

Licensing Requirements

Any person bidding or contracting for the installation of a solar PV system or a wind system 10 kW or less must possess a valid license issued by the construction industries division (CID) in the EE-98 or ER-1 license classification.

Any person performing the installation of a solar PV system or a wind system 10 kW or less must possess a valid journeyman certificate issued by CID in the EE-98J or ER-1J classification, or be an apprentice working under the

Sustainable Building Tax Credit (Corporate)

S.B. 463, enacted in April 2007, established a personal tax credit and a corporate tax credit for sustainable buildings in New Mexico. The tax credits apply to both commercial and residential buildings. Commercial buildings which have been registered and certified by the U.S. Green Building Council at LEED Silver or higher for new construction (NC), existing buildings (EB), core and shell (CS), or commercial interiors (CI) are eligible for a tax credit. The amount of the credit varies according to the square footage of the building and the level of certification achieved, as indicated on the following chart:

Commercial Buildings

Sustainable Building Tax Credit (Personal)

S.B. 463, enacted in April 2007, established a personal tax credit and a corporate tax credit for sustainable buildings in New Mexico. The tax credits apply to both commercial and residential buildings. Commercial buildings which have been registered and certified by the US Green Building Council at LEED Silver or higher for new construction (NC), existing buildings (EB), core and shell (CS), or commercial interiors (CI) are eligible for a tax credit. The amount of the credit varies according to the square footage of the building and the level of certification achieved, as indicated on the following chart:

Commercial Buildings

Xcel Energy - Energy Design Assistance

Xcel Energy offers Energy Design Assistance (EDA) to qualified Colorado business customers. EDA gives customers a comprehensive approach to energy and cost savings for businesses considering new construction or renovation projects. EDA services can be tailored to the unique needs of each business. Featured services include: energy consulting services and predictive energy modeling, free to participants; enhanced services, including help toward a green building certification and early analyses in areas such as daylighting, lighting, massing, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC); construction rebates for a package of whole building energy opportunities from envelope, lighting, and cooling to unique opportunities

Xcel Energy - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Xcel Energy's Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program provides incentives to install energy efficiency measures in Xcel service territory. Rebates are available for LED and CFL light bulbs, as well as refrigerator recycling. Customers may also participate in Xcel's Smart Thermostat Pilot Program to have a smart thermostat installed for free and receive a $25 bill credit for participation. Participants must allow Xcel to limit (for no longer than 4 hours) the amount of time air conditioning units may be run on hot days when the grid reaches its highest system peak demand levels ("events").