Did you know that President Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House? Whether you live in Georgetown or Eastern Market, Columbia Heights or Navy Yard, thanks to D.C.’s solar incentives you too can feel like you live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The best way to compare your solar options and save money at the same time is by registering on the EnergySage Marketplace. When you compare quotes for solar panels on EnergySage's competitive solar marketplace, you can expect to see prices up to 20% lower than working with a single solar company. Read our updated article on the cost of solar panels to compare solar costs across states and by panel brand.
What are the best D.C. solar incentives?
Along with receiving utility bill credits for any excess solar electricity your panels generate, you will also be able to benefit from a couple other D.C. solar programs, including:
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)
D.C. has set a renewable portfolio standard goal to produce 5% percent of its electricity from solar resources in 2032, and you can get paid to help. Under this program, you are granted one D.C. SREC for each megawatt-hour (MWh) of clean electricity your panels produce, which you can then sell in the SREC market. In 2021, SRECs in DC sold for prices between $365 and $435 – higher than anywhere else in the country! On the lower end of that range, an 8 kilowatt system that generates 8 MWh annually would earn an extra $2,920 each year.
Low income residential solar
The Solar Advantage Plus Program is a truly incredible and unique incentive for eligible low-income D.C. residents. This first-come, first-served rebate program provides qualified applications with up to $10,000 to cover the full cost of a 3kW to 4kW solar system. Not only will participants own the system and the energy it produces, but they will also be able to cash in the SRECs discussed above.
Net metering in Washington D.C.
When you put solar panels on your roof, you want to make sure you get credit for all of the power your system generates. Luckily, Washington D.C. has a net metering policy that credits you for the extra electricity your system produces, and allows you to use those credits when your system doesn’t generate enough power. Pepco (Potomac Electric Power Company) offers the top utility net metering program in the D.C. area.
D.C.’s tax incentives for solar
Property tax exemptions
Thanks to the Solar Energy System and Cogeneration System Personal Property Tax Credit, you can also avoid paying any additional property taxes on the value you are adding to your house by installing that solar energy system.
The federal solar tax credit
Don’t forget about federal solar incentives! With the investment tax credit (ITC), now referred to as the Residential Clean Energy Credit for residential systems, you can reduce the cost of your PV solar energy system by 30 percent. Keep in mind that the ITC applies only to those who buy their PV system outright (either with a cash purchase or a solar loan), and that you must have enough income for the tax credit to be meaningful (unless you’re a tax-exempt entity, in which case you might be eligible for a direct payment).