evada is well-known for its sunny and dry climate, making it an ideal location for solar energy production. The state has an average of 252 sunny days per year, providing ample opportunity to harness the sun’s power.
Nevada: one of the best states for solar energy
Although Nevada may not offer as many solar incentives and rebates as some other states, there are still policies in place to support the growth of the solar industry, which further encourages the adoption of solar power. The combination of strong sunlight and those supportive policies encourages more and more homeowners and businesses to jump into solar energy.
The Silver State installed more photovoltaic capacity in 2021 than any previous year and ranked sixth in the nation for total solar capacity and generation, according to the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) data. Additionally, Nevada has been named the top solar economy in the United States, with 6,174 jobs, representing 4.5 jobs per 1,000 people, and 75,379 installations.
A list of Nevada solar incentives and rebates to go solar for less
As a Nevada resident, there are numerous ways to save on the cost of solar energy. The following list includes various Nevada solar incentives and rebates that can help make your switch to renewable energy more affordable.
Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC)
Before discussing the incentives and rebates at the state and local levels, it is essential to mention the major federal program that can significantly benefit Nevada residents who are considering going solar.
The federal solar tax credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), is a program that allows homeowners and businesses to receive a tax credit for installing photovoltaic panels. It was created as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and has been extended multiple times, currently set to expire in 2035 unless Congress extends it.
The ITC provides a credit of 30% of the cost of installing a PV energy system, which can be applied to your federal income taxes. This means that if you spend $10,000 on a solar installation, you can receive a credit of $3,000 on your taxes. The credit can be claimed in the year the PV system is placed in service, and any unused credit can be carried forward to future tax years.
To be eligible for the ITC, you must own the solar system, and it must be installed on your primary residence or business property. The system must also meet specific technical requirements, such as being used to generate electricity or heat water. Additionally, the system must be installed by a qualified contractor and have the appropriate certifications.
To apply for the ITC, you must complete IRS Form 5695 and submit it with your tax return. Be sure to keep all relevant documentation, such as receipts and installation contracts, as you may need to provide them to the IRS to verify your eligibility. It's also a good idea to consult with a tax professional or visit the IRS website for more information on the ITC and how to apply.
Net solar energy metering in Nevada
Net solar energy metering, also known as net metering, is a policy that allows individuals with solar panels on their property to sell excess electricity back to the grid. This policy allows for more efficient and cost-effective use of solar energy, as individuals can offset their energy consumption with the excess electricity they produce.
NV Energy, the state’s biggest utility company, is offering a modified net metering program to its customers that allow them to earn an "excess energy credit" for every kWh of electricity they produce and send back to the grid. The credit, calculated as a percentage of the retail rate, is slightly lower than what customers pay for electricity from the utility.
The net metering program in Nevada is set to decrease over time and is currently in Tier 4, which means utility companies will give customers credits for 75% of the retail electricity rate for the excess electricity they provide to the grid. Tier 4 is the last one, so the customers won't get a lower reward rate than 75% of the retail rate unless the state government changes it. However, with the state's goal to achieve 50% renewable energy by 2030, it is unlikely that they will reduce this incentive shortly.
NV Energy solar storage program
Another advantageous offering for solar owners is NV Energy Residential Energy Storage Incentive. NV Energy customers who install a solar battery bank can receive incentives if they allow the company to use their storage during peak demand times. Customers on a Time-of-Use rate can receive up to $0.19 per watt-hour, while non-TOU customers are eligible for $0.095 per watt-hour. The rebate for TOU customers is capped at $3,000 per household, while non-TOU customers can receive a maximum incentive of $1,500 or 50% of their equipment cost, whichever amount is lower.
Nevada solar easement
Nevada has laws that prevent restrictions on photovoltaic systems. One of them is solar easement - a legal agreement that protects a property owner's access to sunlight. This is especially important for homeowners who have installed solar leasing panels on their property and rely on consistent sunlight to generate electricity. Without an easement, a neighboring property owner could potentially block the sun's rays by building a structure or planting trees.
NV Portfolio energy credits (PECs) for solar energy
Nevada homeowners with PV panels can earn extra cash by selling their portfolio energy credits (PECs) to utilities each year. PECs, which are very similar to solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs), help utilities meet their obligations under the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).
In order to take part in the PEC Trading Program, homeowners must first register their systems with the Public Utilities Commission (PUCN). This can be done by completing the PUCN's PEC Application for Residential & Small Business Producers (PDF) and then sending it to the PUCN via mail or uploading it to the PEC's website.
The cost of solar power in Nevada with incentives and rebates
The cost of solar panels in Nevada has been steadily decreasing over the years, making them more affordable for consumers. In fact, in 2021, the state had the country's second-lowest solar panel installation costs.
In Silver State, the average cost per watt for PV panels is approximately $2.6. So, if you're looking to install a 5kW system, you can expect to pay between $11,000 and $14,900. On average, Nevadans pay about $12,950 for their solar panel installations.
By applying for ITC, you can reduce the cost of your PV system by 30%, which is several thousand dollars. Even though Nevada doesn't have statewide incentives and rebates, there are still ways to save in the long run, including net metering, solar storage incentives, and Production and Energy Credits (PECs).
Solar energy payback time in Nevada
The payback time for solar energy in Nevada is relatively short due to the state's high solar radiation levels. The state receives an average of 4.6 to 5.8 kilowatt-hours of peak sun per day, making it one of the sunniest states in the country. This abundance of sunlight means that PV panels can generate a significant amount of electricity, allowing homeowners and businesses to recoup their investment in solar technology relatively quickly.
Other factors that impact a solar energy system's payback time include the installation's size, the type of panels used, and the property's location. On average, the payback time for a PV energy system in Nevada is between 8 and 10 years. This means that after installation, it typically takes between 8 and 10 years for the savings on electricity bills to offset the initial cost of the solar system.
Bottom line: NV solar incentives and rebates make solar energy a great investment
Nevada is quickly becoming a leader in solar energy thanks in part to its incentives and rebates for residential and commercial installations. These perks, along with the state's abundant sunshine, make solar a wise investment for Nevadans looking to save money on their monthly energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.
The payoff for going solar in the state is significant. NV residents who switch to solar can expect to save an average of over $22,000 in electricity costs over the next 20 years, making it a smart decision for those looking to save money on energy bills.