Rhode Island Solar Incentives and Rebates
Island, the smallest state in the Union, has taken a big interest in
solar power. There are a number of tax credits and incentives designed
to promote solar and other renewable resources. It all starts with the
Ocean State’s renewable portfolio standard that requires 16% of its
energy to come from renewables by 2019. Rhode Island residents can feel
confident about their state’s interest and motivation in solar power.
Here is what homeowners can expect from Rhode Island as they make the
move to solar power:
TAX CREDITS AND EXEMPTIONS
Local Option - Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
- Rhode Island law allows municipalities to exempt solar water and space heat and photovoltaic systems from an increase in property taxes incurred by the
- The amount of the exemption will vary based on each locality’s option.
Solar Property Tax Exemption
- Complementary to the local option mentioned above, Rhode Island has a solar property tax exemption, which states that a solar property owner’s taxes can be assessed at no more than a conventional energy system.
- In other words, if your solar system increases your property value more than a conventional system would, you cannot be assessed any more taxes
than a conventional system would incur.
Renewable Energy Sales Tax Exemption
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit (Personal)
- Solar water heat, solar space heat, and photovoltaics are eligible for this state tax credit.
- The credit amount is 25% of total costs and based on a maximum cost of $15,000. That is to say that systems which cost more than that (as most
solar electric systems do) will be credited as if the system cost
$15,000. This translates to $3,750 in credit.
- Tax credits may not be carried over to subsequent years.
- For more information, look here and here.
REBATES AND INCENTIVES
- Since 1998, Rhode Island has offered net metering rules for customer-generated electrical systems.
- Maximum system size is 1.65 MW for privately owned systems. The maximum enrollment is 2% of the utility’s peak load. 1 MW of this amount is
reserved for systems under 25 kW (good news for homeowners!)
- Net excess generation (NEG) is credited at a rate slightly less than the utility’s retail rate and carried over through the 12-month billing
cycle. At the end of the 12-month term, any excess is transferred to
the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Low-Income Fund.
- Note that the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is in the process of a change in rules to accommodate the latest legislative amendment to net
metering regulations. These changes are to be completed by January 1,
2009. See the PUC website for more information.