Since 2015, Maryland has quadrupled its solar energy output, from 258MW to over 1000MW. This huge increase follows one of the most ambitious renewable standards in the country, with the state intending to reach 100% clean energy by 2040. With goals this large, homeowners should not wait to install solar panels in Maryland.
If you’re ready to take the first step, it’s essential to know how to lower the cost of an installation. The Old Line State offers a wide range of financial incentives and government regulations alongside an impressive federal program. Keep reading for a deep dive into Maryland’s solar benefits.
How to Save Money on Solar Panels in Maryland: Overview
Maryland is one state where the cost of solar is balanced by incredible government support. While equipment prices range around the upper echelon, the Old Line State has available financial incentives and legislative regulations to help with an installation and beyond.
Marylanders can find assistance in a variety of forms. With the first step being the federal solar tax credit, homeowners can also find credits, rebates, and net metering opportunities. These stem from a series of mandates that require municipalities to participate in the development of renewable energy. Let’s detail each available solar benefit in Maryland.
Solar Panels in Maryland: Federal Incentive
There are many ways to find benefits for solar panels in Maryland, but the first place to start needs to be with the federal solar tax credit. This program offers 30% back on all solar purchases, including equipment, installation, and any sales tax. In the Old Line State, homeowners could save over $5,000 on a 6kW system.
There are a few prerequisites that Marylanders need to meet in order to qualify for the federal program. Above all, they have to purchase their array outright. This means leased systems won’t bring back money for homeowners. Other prerequisites include purchasing new equipment and living at the home where the system is installed.
Maryland’s Credits and Rebates
Some of the more noticeable benefits of solar panels come from financial incentives. Homeowners in Maryland have plenty of opportunities to receive money for their system, the first of which is a state funded rebate. Those that install a minimum of 1kW solar can receive $1,000. That’s as direct as it gets anywhere.
Additionally, the state has one of the best net metering policies. This regulation requires utilities to purchase excess solar energy that residential systems produce each month. In Maryland, this extra power credits toward next month’s bill and accumulates for 12 months. Any leftover credits at the end of the 12 months are paid to the customer at the standard retail rate.
On top of that, Marylanders can apply their solar panel system to produce solar renewable energy certificates (SREC). In the Old Line State, utility companies are required to purchase SRECs, at a rate of about $50 each. Each SREC represents 1MWh, with a 10kW system producing about 13 yearly. This equals $650 each year.
If you’re interested in purchasing a power storage system (such as a Tesla Powerwall), the state also provides a 30% tax credit for up to $5,000. This program is separate from the federal solar tax return, meaning you can pair them for 60% off batteries.
Solar Panels in Maryland: Government Regulations
Taking a look at the state’s renewable portfolio standards (RPS), we understand why it offers so many incentives. These mandates lay out the state’s goals of producing renewable energy. Maryland has an aggressive objective, aiming to produce 50% of its electricity from sustainable sources. The Old Line State takes it even further, mandating that 14.5% of it must come from solar energy alone.
In accordance with Maryland’s RPS, homeowners find themselves exempt from several taxes. First, all purchases toward solar energy receive no sales tax, dropping the overall cost up-front. While this slightly lowers the amount received from the federal credit, it results in higher net savings overall.
Additionally, Homeowners won’t incur higher property taxes with the increased value of their home. With a solar array adding tens of thousands of dollars to your property value, this exemption saves quite a bit over the course of the system’s lifetime.
Should Marylanders Lease Solar?
Some states, including Maryland, allow homeowners to lease a solar panel system when they don’t have the funds to purchase one outright. This is a considerable option in some areas where the price of solar is low.
However, because of the higher equipment rates, homeowners in the Old Line State might not discover financial benefits enough to justify leasing. Additionally, they’ll miss out on all the benefits that the state provides, including net metering, SRECs, tax exemptions, and the federal solar credit. This option seems to make sense only for those passionate about improving their carbon footprint.
Solar Panels in Maryland: Incentive Summary
|Federal Tax Incentive
|Maryland Tax Credits / Rebates
|30% on power storage / $1000 for 1kW minimum installation
|Monthly credits at the full retail rate, payout at the end of the 12-month period
|Renewable Portfolio Standard
|50% renewable energy by 2030, 14.5% minimum solar
|Property Tax Exemption
|Sales Tax Exemption
|Performance Payment Program
|SRECs, municipality based
How to Save Money on Solar Panels in Maryland: Further Reading
With great rebates, extensive net metering, and a wide variety of tax incentives, homeowners have plenty of reasons to consider solar panels in Maryland. By taking advantage of these benefits, residents of the Old Line State can save on an installation and even earn money over time. For more on how Maryland supports emerging technology, check out these articles.
How to Save Money on Solar Panels in Connecticut – If you thought Maryland offered great solar incentives, you should see Connecticut’s RPS.
Can You Recharge an EV With Solar Power? – With some of the best solar energy and power storage rates, Marylanders might consider using an array to charge an electric vehicle.
See How Much it Costs to Charge an EV in Each State – Before you buy an electric vehicle in Maryland, you might want to read this.
Largest Tech Companies in Maryland – It’s no surprise that the Old Line State is the home to many of the country’s most successful technology companies. Read on to learn more about them.
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