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.
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. residents can sell the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) that their panels generate for up to $500 per megawatt-hour (MWh). What that means to you: if you install a 5 kilowatt (kW) system that generates 5 MWh per year, you could earn as much as $2,500 annually by selling your certificates in the SREC market. Utilities will purchase SRECs to meet D.C.'s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal of sourcing 10 percent of its electricity needs from solar sources by 2040.
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.
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 Stand-Out Solar Program
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.
The federal solar tax credit (ITC)
Don’t forget about federal solar incentives! With the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), 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 solar loan), and that you must have enough income for the tax credit be meaningful.