2020 State Solar Storage Incentive Programs
Please note, this material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.
As solar adoption is increasing across the US, energy storage continues to be a growing center for demand in the renewable energy market. In 2019, energy storage installations reached 522.7 MW in the US, according to a Wood Mackenzie report. More specifically, the US home battery market has continued to swiftly grow, with the first quarters of 2019 seeing record-setting growth.
While many factors have contributed to this rise in residential storage systems, a major influence has been state-sponsored programs that provide direct benefits to homeowners. With demand for storage installations continuing to grow, it is key to be aware of the benefits that states are currently offering so you can provide your customers with the best rationale for a solar storage system for their property.
In this article, we have outlined the current storage incentive programs in states across the country to help boost energy storage sales for our contractor customers.
Salt River Project (SRP), one of the largest utilities in Arizona, launched a Battery Storage Incentive Program on May 1st, 2018. Through this rebate program, SRP will write a check for up to $3,600 on residential battery storage systems. Customers must purchase and install qualifying battery storage systems and also agree to participate in SRP's battery study. The rebate will last for up to 36 months or until the limit of 4,500 homeowners is reached. As of July 14th, 2020 there were over 3,300 available reservations for homeowners to take advantage of this program. Learn more about SRP here.
With wildfires and blackouts being a consistent problem for California homeowners, it is no surprise that the state’s incentive program is more aggressive than most. The Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), is quite robust in its coverage for California residents. SGIP provides property owners with rebates for installing energy storage at both the residential and commercial level. The rebates range from $250/kilowatt hour for the standard rebate to $1,000/kilowatt hour if you meet specific criteria. The program was started in 2001, and has been revised multiple times, but was recently extended by the California Public Utilities Commission, authorizing more than 1 billion in funding till the year 2024. Learn more about SGIP here.
The Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA), which covers northeast Florida, has a Battery Incentive Program for both residential and commercial participants. In effect since April 1st, 2018, JEA's rebate provides $4,000 per energy storage system that meets their qualifications, such as having a minimum 6 kWh usable capacity rating and a warranty of at least 10 years or 5,000 cycles. A valuable tool for solar installers, this rebate can only be claimed if the battery is powered by a renewable energy generation system. Learn more about this Battery Incentive Program here.
The Maryland Energy Administration offers an Energy Storage Tax Credit. This credit is for 30% of the total cost of installation or up to a maximum of $5,000 for a residential system, and $75,000 for a commercial system. The program's funding in 2020 is $750,000 in total, with $300,000 set aside for residential systems and $450,000 for commercial systems. Applications for a Tax Year 2020 credit run through January 15th, 2021; 86.5% of the credit is still available for Tax Year 2020. Learn more about this Energy Storage Tax Credit here.
In Massachusetts, the state wants to provide residential and commercial property owners with incentives for installing a new battery system. The program, part of the state’s Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plan, allows homeowners to get benefits for reducing their energy load during peak hours. It gives homeowners the ability to enter into contracts with their local utility to accomplish this, and at the end of the year, the homeowner receives an incentive based on how much their total load was reduced. The program is currently set to last a period of three years, and is running from 2019 to 2021; it could be extended if the state finds it to be effective. Learn more about this program here.
NV Energy, a utility covering most large cities in Nevada, offers a residential and commercial incentive program for customers installing energy storage and tying it to their solar system. Residential property owners can join a Time-of-Use (TOU) rate plan and will receive incentives via selling energy back to the grid at a higher dollar per kWh rate during peak hours, or they can choose to stick with the standard rate. On the commercial side, there are multiple incentive tiers based on both the size of the system and the customer’s eligibility for the Investment Tax Credit. Learn more about this incentive program here.
New Hampshire provides residents with the local Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption. This allows in-state property owners, both commercial and residential, not to be taxed on the increase of their property value when they install a solar storage system. The solar storage system must be part of an existing PV system in order to be eligible for the exemption. However, the exemption is not uniformly adopted across the state, so be certain to see if your project falls under a municipality where the exemption is offered. Learn more about this incentive program here.
In October 2017, Assembly Bill 260 was passed, which amended the property tax exemption in New York state to include energy storage projects for residential property owners. Named the Energy Conservation Improvements Property Tax Exemption, customers who add energy storage to their home can now have 100% of the value added to the residence from their storage system removed from their property taxes. This exemption lasts for 15 years and the application can take place from January 2018, when the bill was enacted, to January 2025. Learn more about this incentive program here.
Enacted in 2019, the Oregon Solar & Storage Rebate Program offers Oregon residents the chance to get a rebate for the installation of storage in their homes. Rebates may cover up to 40 percent of the cost for a residential system installed for a customer that is not considered low- or moderate-income, up to 60 percent of the net cost for a low- or moderate-income customer, and up to 50 percent for a low-income customer. For residential projects, the maximum rebate is $2,500 for an energy storage system, and for low-income customers the maximum is $15,000 for a storage system. Learn more about Oregon’s solar storage program here.
In Vermont thanks to Green Mountain Power (GMP), a major state utility, customers can receive money for enrolling in an energy storage incentive program. The program is named BYOD, Bring Your Own Device. The program allows GMP customers to receive cash and in exchange the customers use their battery to provide the grid additional power. GMP uses this additional power during peak hours to lessen the strain on the grid. A bonus of this program is that homeowners have control of how much energy they send back to the grid. Internet connection is required to participate in this program. Learn more about the BYOD program here.
In conclusion, as more property owners are requesting storage with their solar installation, ensure you have the best information available to meet their needs. These ten states are offering Energy Storage Incentives and more states are expected to roll out programs in the future. Contact your local CED Greentech rep to make sure your customers are taking full advantage of the state programs available in their area.