State solar incentives

Solar incentives in Idaho for home and business projects

Even in Idaho, a solar system can save you quite a bit of your family budget. To save some money on solar panel installation, do it the smart way – take advantage of solar incentives in Idaho.

Save 30% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit

The US government wants more people to go solar: it’s a modern and green way of getting energy. This is why the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program was developed. It allows American citizens to claim 30% of the cost of their installation as an income tax deduction. The cost here is not only solar panels, but also shipping, installation expenses and more. For example, if your system overall made you spend $10,000, the government returns you $3,000. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes.

Save from taxation up to $20,000 of your income spent on solar

Idaho citizens can make use not only of the ITC program but of the State Tax Credit program as well. You can deduct 40% of your solar system cost (shipping and installation included) from the taxable income you got in the year of installation. Then you can keep deducting 20% of its cost for 3 succeeding years. The deduction, however, should not exceed $5,000 per year. Overall, this Idaho solar incentive allows you to save up to $20,000 of your salary from taxation. 

You claim the deduction when you file your income taxes. Find all necessary forms at the Idaho State Tax Commission website. Idaho residents fill in Form 39R (look for “5. Alternative energy device deduction” in the Subtractions section) and then Form 40. Non-residents take Form 39NR and Form 43 afterward.

Join net metering program to cover your electric bills

The essence of the net metering program is the same across all the US. You sell the excess energy that your system generates into the commercial grid and gain credits to pay your own bills. However, in Idaho there is not a statewide policy for net metering: three main electric companies have different programs which they accord with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.

  • Rocky Mountain Power sets the system capacity limit at 25 kilowatts for residential customers and small commercial installations, and at 100kW for others. Net excess generation (NEG) is credited at a retail rate for the owners of residential and small commercial systems. For others, NEG is credited at 85% of the non-firm energy rate. Credits can be carried over to the following month.

  • Avista Utilities program has a system capacity limit of 100kW. NEG is credited at a retail rate, but all the unused credits go back to the utility at the end of the year without any compensation.

  • Idaho Power sets the bar at 25kW for residential and small commercial systems, and 100kW for other clients. NEG is credited to the customer's next bill as a per kWh credit and carried forward indefinitely.

The net metering program is the main way to make money with your solar system. However, before joining in, you should contact your electric supplier for the latest rates and conditions.

Commercial solar is free from property tax but there is production tax

Commercial solar systems are exempt from property tax in Idaho: their cost is not included in the tax assessment. Instead, there is a production tax: solar energy producers pay 3.5% of gross energy earnings to the state. This makes taxes more gentle for small solar farms. The incentive applies only to commercial solar and doesn’t extend to residential systems.

Go solar easily with Low-Interest Energy Loan Programs

If you want to go solar, but aren’t ready for it financially, consider the Low-Interest Energy Loan program by the Idaho Governor's Office of Energy Resources. The maximum size of a loan is $15,000 for residential installations and $100,000 for others. They are issued for 5 years at a 4% interest rate, plus there is a $100 fee for home projects and a $250 fee for commercial ones. Loans are secured with real property or equipment and you get the money once your project is fully examined. Check a complete guide on applying at the Governor's Office of Energy and Mineral Resources website.

Solar easements help to settle debates with neighbors

Once you get the permit, it is legal to install solar panels on your house in Idaho. The Idaho solar law claims that your neighbors can't prohibit or limit you from going solar. However, they can impose reasonable rules about the appearance of panels. Plus Idaho citizens are welcome to voluntarily create solar easements to settle debates. An easement contract is designed to ensure the adequate exposure of a system to the sun. For example, if a tree in your neighbors’ yard has grown so high that it starts to overshadow your panels, the neighbors have to trim it.

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SHOP SOLAR PANELS

Years of experience in translation and a love of nature help Julia find the right words to encourage going solar. She joined the team in 2023 and is happy to make her contribution to a greener future.

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