Solarize Charlotte is working to make solar even more affordable and accessible. Our financial incentives including bulk purchasing discounts, federal and state tax incentives, and low-interest loans lower the average solar installation cost by around 75%. The remaining approximate 25% of retail value that you pay can be covered by a no money down, low interest loan and is often less than your current monthly electric bill. The average cost for an installation is between $4,000 to $7,000 depending on size.
I. Bulk Discounts
RED Group is offering bulk purchase discounts on installations, based on the energy demand for number of homes that enroll in the program and sign contracts in Mecklenburg, Gaston, Union, and Cabarrus Counties. The more people who enroll, the lower the cost. For the first pricing tier (~10-19 homes) RED Group will provide the installations at $3.65/ watt; for the second pricing tier (~20-99 homes) they will provide the installations at $ 3.45/watt; and for the third tier (~100+ homes), they will provide installations at $3.25/watt. The average size solar array for a single family home can range from 4KW to 7 KW or 4,000 watts to 7,000 watts.
|Tier 1 (10-19 homes*)||$3.65/watt|
|Tier 2 (20-99 homes*)||$3.45/watt|
|Tier 3 (100+ homes*)||$3.25/watt|
*Approximations based on average home energy needs in kWh
II. Tax Incentives
Homeowners who enroll in Solarize may take advantage of a 35% state income tax credit as well as a 30% federal income tax credit that can be applied towards the cost of the solar system. The state tax credit may be taken evenly over 5 years and the federal credit may be spread over 2 years. The federal tax credit may not exceed 50% of what you would normally owe.
Average savings with tax credits
|System Size||Average Retail Price||Upfront Solarize Price*||Net Cost after Tax Credits|
*Estimates reflect Tier 3 pricing
A tax credit works by directly decreasing the amount of money you owe in taxes; it essentially pays you back for your investment in solar. This means that every dollar of a tax credit (up to 65% of the cost of the solar system) is subtracted from the amount you would normally pay to the government.
These tax credits will be in effect at least through Dec. 31, 2015 (NC) and Dec. 31, 2016 (Federal). As long as your system is installed before the expiration date, you can continue using up the credits in subsequent years.
You will claim the tax credits when you file your taxes, but you may be able to receive some of the benefit right away by having your employer reduce the amount of tax withheld from your paycheck based on your new estimate of how much tax you will owe. Please click here for more information about state and federal tax credits.
Reminder: Individual circumstances vary and not everyone is able to take full advantage of the tax credits. Please consult a tax professional to learn if the state and Federal solar tax credits apply in your situation. Neither RED Group nor the Cleaner is Cheaper Coalition give tax advice or can guarantee eligibility for any of our incentives.
III. Low-Interest Loans
In addition to tax credits and discounted installation rates, Solarize Charlotte has partnered with Admirals Bank, a federally-chartered bank based in Boston, to offer low interest financing and no money down investment options. Admirals has worked with numerous other Solarize projects, and offers two types of loan packages:
- A secured Solar StepDown loan for a maximum amount of $25,000, covering the cost for most solar installations
- A secured and unsecured Solar Plus loan for a maximum amount of $40,000, which can include additional energy improvements to your home
Visit the Admirals Bank website for more details. If interested, contact Antonio Giorgi at firstname.lastname@example.org.