Incentives and Tax Credits
Rebates, tax credits, and other incentives change frequently. Comprehensive information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the U.S. can be obtained from DSIRE – operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
At the Federal level, the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit provides a non-refundable tax credit for 30% the cost to install your solar system with no cap. Tax credits, unlike tax deductions, reduce your tax liability directly: dollar for dollar. Provided you have sufficient tax liability to claim the credit, a $1,000 tax credit will be worth a full $1,000 to you in reduced taxes. If you typically pay taxes through employer withholding throughout the year, a tax credit will likely result in a refund. If you normally owe taxes at the end of the year, the tax credit will directly reduce how much you would otherwise pay. If you have insufficient tax liability to claim your entire tax credit in one year, you may carry forward any remaining credit.
The State of Georgia and Athens-Clarke County do not currently offer any tax credits; however, Athens-Clarke County is proud of the fact that permit fees for a a typical home cost less than $100, while the nationwide average is more than $600.
Jackson EMC provides a Solar Power Home Rebate up to $4,500 – a one-time rebate of $450/kW of direct current installed up to 10kW.
Bulk Buying Programs
In 2016, groups like the Georgia Climate Change Coalition, Environment Georgia, Georgia Interfaith Power and Light, and Solar Crowd Source partnered with Athens-Clarke County to implement the Solarize Athens Program. Solarize programs aggregate potential solar buyers for a pre-qualified solar installer who provides installation discounts based on participation. The 2016 program more than doubled the amount of solar installed in Clarke County by providing projects at 25% under the market average. A solarize program isn't currently operational in Athens, but interested participants should contact us to express interest in future programs.