Solar Incentives in Salt Lake City: Rural Versus State, Federal and City Incentives
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Solar incentives help make solar affordable for Utah residents. If you know where to look, there are plenty of solar incentives available. These incentives, however, will not remain the same forever — they are subject to improve, expire and change.
Understanding Utah Solar Incentives
Going solar in Utah comes with numerous perks. These perks come in the form of different incentives. Incentives can make a dramatic difference in the total cost and savings of your solar investment. Having a knowledge of the incentives out there will help you get the best deal.
Rural Incentives Available to Utahans
Farmers that need large setups to meet their energy needs have options. The Rural Energy For America Program (REAP) is a farm energy program set up to help farmers afford solar. REAP, at its inmost function, is a grant program. They have Renewable Energy System Grants which cover between $2,500 and $500,00 of your costs. If this grant is combined with a loan, you are expected to come up with 25 percent of the cost of the system. If you are only applying for the grant, you need to come up with 75 percent of the project cost. Who can apply:
- Agricultural producers with at least 50 percent of gross income from agricultural operations.
- Small businesses in eligible rural areas — an area other than a city or town with a population greater than 50,000.
This grant will cover up to 25 percent of your solar array. If you can qualify for this grant, it is in your best interest to apply as soon as possible. If you don’t the funds for that year may no longer be available.
Common Salt Lake City Metropolitan Incentives
For residential and commercial solar installations, there are a couple of different incentives. For the state of Utah, these incentives include both federal and state tax credits. If you do not owe taxes, you can’t take advantage of these credits. This is because these are credits given towards taxes that you would have owed.
Federal Solar Credits and Incentives
The federal government has a solar incentive for qualified homeowners. This is in the form of a 30 percent tax credit. After your system has been installed, you need to file for this tax credit. It is then credited toward taxes that you would have owed. This credit can be rolled over for up to five years. Currently this credit is as 30 percent, but it is set to decrease to 26 percent in 2020. Although 26 percent is still a hefty incentive, it will continue to decrease. In 2021, residential and commercial credits will decline to 22 percent. After 2021, residential solar customers will no longer receive a federal tax credit. Commercial solar will receive a 10 percent tax credit moving after 2021.
State of Utah Solar Credits and Incentives
The state tax credit works similar to the federal credit in that is is also applied to taxes you would have owed. This means that you, again, need to owe taxes in order to take advantage of this incentive. Because of Rocky Mountain Power’s new transitional program, the state tax credit might be put on hold. This is meant to change the state solar incentive into a constant while this program is in place. Utah’s tax credit covers $1,600 of solar installation in 2018. Under the proposed changes, this credit would remain unchanged until 2020. It would then continue to decrease by $400 each year until 2024. Unfortunately, these proposed changes may not be implemented. Either way, waiting on solar will end up costing you more money.
The Future of Salt Lake City Solar Is Bright
Knowing what incentives are in place, and when they will expire, will help you save more. Solar incentives are in place to help the solar industry while prices are still high. Although it is true that solar prices are expected to go down, you will still get more out of your investment if you get solar while incentives are still available.