We're throwing together this post to help Maryland residents find out about solar panel installation incentives. Since Maryland is the state that serves as the gateway to Washington, D.C., most Maryland residents are kept pretty well-informed about matters of government. There are government incentives for installing solar panels on the home, too, but most news media tends not to focus too much on solar power news.
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Starting from just at the turn of the century, the Maryland General Assembly has passed a series of progressive measures to keep up with power utility demand. First they deregulated Maryland's power market, allowing residents to choose their own electricity provider. Next they introduced energy conservation with the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act.
Since then, Maryland has been one of the states leading the country in progressive energy policies. The state of Maryland, collectively, has increased its solar power capacity to 1000 megawatts since 2015.
Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
As a federal program, the Solar ITC applies to every state, wiping a hefty 26% off the cost of installing solar panels on your home from the start. This is applied in the form of a deduction from your next year's IRS tax filing. Naturally, to take full benefit of this incentive, you have to owe more in taxes than the credit amount.
To qualify, the solar panels must be installed by December 31st, 2022. Note that in 2023, the Federal ITC will drop from 26% to 22%, barring any changes introduced by new legislation.
Maryland-Eligible Renewable Energy Credit (REC)
Maryland's renewable energy policies tend to be a bit more ambitious than other states, so they take a bit of explaining - but they also provide more benefit. One megawatt-hour (1000 kilowatt-hours) of solar energy equals one Renewable Energy Credit (REC). So if your solar panels produced 4 megawatts of power over the course of a year, that gains you 4 RECs.
RECs have actual monetary value, meaning you can sell them. They work sort of like a stock certificate. Maryland's Renewable Portfolio Standard requires electricity utilities to use renewable energy sources to generate a set portion of their produced power. If a company can't meet this requirement, they have to either pay a fine, or take the cheaper option of purchasing Maryland solar RECs on the open market.
That means you! You can literally go online with your RECs and post them for sale, and wait for the buyers to contact you. As of 2015, a benchmark showed that Maryland solar RECs went for as much as $180 each. Two suggested websites to trade your RECs are FlettExchange and SRECTrade - we just checked and Maryland solar RECs are going for $276. However, these prices fluctuate, like any other market.
The RECs are based on power generated, not necessarily power used. They also have a viable lifetime of 3 years from date of generation. To participate in this system, you will need to join a website (ask your solar provider at time of installation) and register to have your RECs tracked. This is an unconventional system, but very popular, since it effectively turns every solar panel array into a rooftop Bitcoin miner (only with the opposite environmental impact).
Our local Maryland solar advisors provide FREE no-obligation quotes!
Residential Clean Energy Grant Program
Another striking innovation from Maryland, the Maryland Energy Administration offers flat rebate grants for clean energy systems installed at primary residences in Maryland. This is done through its Residential Clean Energy Grant Program. The grants, however, do count as taxable income. The grants may be applied to solar photovoltaic panels or solar shingles, each producing a minimum capacity of 1KW DC. The grant total for these is $1000 per homeowner.
On a side note, there is also a $500 grant for solar-powered water heating systems with their own minimum capacity. Doesn't a hot shower feel even better when it pays you $500?
Similar grants are offered for commercial installations and other non-residential properties.
Further Information on Maryland Solar Incentives
Maryland is one state that has an impressive portfolio of ambitious clean energy incentives and initiatives, driven by Governor Larry Hogan's visionary leadership. He signed the Clean and Renewable Energy Standard (CARES) act in 2019, setting the state on a path to the goal of 0% carbon emissions from energy production by 2040.
Find out more about Maryland solar incentives and other clean energy measures at the Maryland Energy Administration's website.
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Maryland is one of the leading states for Solar Incentives in the country. With programs including the Federal Solar ITC, Maryland-Eligible Renewable Energy Credits, the Residential Clean Energy Grant Program, and even grants for solar-powered heaters. Contact our local solar advisors to see what programs are available to you and how you can save the most on your solar installation.
You can go online with your RECs and post them for sale, and wait for the buyers to contact you. As of 2015, a benchmark showed that Maryland solar RECs went for as much as $180 each. Two suggested websites to trade your RECs are FlettExchange and SRECTrade - we just checked and Maryland solar RECs are going for $276. However, these prices fluctuate, like any other market.