Solar Incentives in Nevada (2024 Guide)
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Nevada may be known for Las Vegas, but it’s also earning attention for its leadership in solar technology. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the state ranks sixth in the nation for solar installations, with more than $9.6 billion invested since 2022. Nevada is also one of the sunniest states, making it ideal for solar energy conversion. It doesn’t offer as many solar incentives as other states, but homeowners have enough options to make going solar more affordable.
This guide covers the available solar incentives in Nevada and includes suggestions for the best solar companies in Nevada.
Nevada Solar Tax Credits and Rebates
Nevada plans to commit 50% of its energy production to renewable energy by 2030. The government has introduced several incentive programs to encourage homeowners to convert to clean energy and meet this goal. Although the incentives are limited, residents have several options to reduce their solar panel costs. Below is an overview of the available Nevada solar incentives.
Nevada Energy Storage Incentive Program
Nevada offers a solar energy storage incentive to encourage its customers to pair a solar battery with their solar power systems. Solar batteries store excess energy your solar panel system generates for later use. This program, offered by Nevada Energy (NV Energy), provides savings for time-of-use (TOU) and non-TOU customers. With TOU plans, customers receive varying electricity rates based on peak and off-peak time frames. For example, limiting energy use during off-peak time results in a lower electricity rate and reduced energy bills.
The NV Energy incentive program allows customers to sell their stored energy to their utility company during peak hours. TOU customers receive 19 cents per watt-hour with a $3,000 payment cap. Non-TOU customers have a rate of .095 cents per watt-hour with a $1,500 cap. Customers must have or plan to have a renewable energy system installed. You must also have an energy storage system with a capacity between 4 and 100 kilowatts (kW).
Customers interested in a TOU plan can enter into a 12-month trial period. NV Energy states that if the TOU plan ends up costing you more, you’ll be refunded the difference and moved back to the standard rate.
More resources: Check the Nevada Energy website to learn more about the storage incentive program and application process.
Net metering is another incentive program that pays customers for excess solar electricity. Instead of storing the extra energy, customers sell it back to the grid for credits on their future electric bills. The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) mandates that all state utility companies offer net metering. This includes NV Energy and Valley Electric Association.
Nevada currently uses a tiered net-metering program established by the Nevada legislature in 2017. Each tier offers different rates per kW-hour that gradually decrease once the cap is reached. Homeowners are paid a percentage of their electricity’s retail rate, depending on the tier level. Each tier closes once it reaches 80 megawatts. Customers are guaranteed the tiered rate for 20 years as long as they remain in the home where the net-metering system was installed.
Here’s a breakdown of each tier level:
- Tier 1: Customers receive 95% of the retail rate. Tier 1 opened in June 2017 and met its cap in August 2018.
- Tier 2: This level opened in August 2018 and offered 88% of the retail rate. Tier 2 closed in June 2019.
- Tier 3: Tier 3 opened in June 2019 and provided 81% of the retail rate. It closed in June 2020.
- Tier 4: This final tier remains open for customer signups. The current payout is 75% of the retail rate. While the 20-year agreement still applies for this tier, there is no signup cap. The rate will remain at 75% unless legislation changes.
While the 75% payout rate remains the same for each company, individual retail rates may vary.
More resources: Visit the PUCN website for the complete net-metering policy. Customers should check with their utility company for net-metering signup details.
Federal Solar Tax Credit
In addition to state-run solar incentives, the federal government offers a program to help make solar energy systems more affordable. The federal solar tax credit provides residential customers a tax credit equal to 30% of their installation costs. Homeowners can apply this credit—which was Renamed the Residential Clean Energy Credit (RCE) in 2022—toward their federal tax liability when filing taxes. The credit lowers or eliminates your owed federal taxes. Any unused credit can roll over to the next year.
The federal tax credit is available to customers with new ground-mount or rooftop solar panel systems. Homeowners must legally own their solar panel system to qualify. Your selected solar panel financing method determines your ownership rights. Nevada residents who purchase a system outright or take out a solar loan own their systems. Those who lease their system or enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) are disqualified from incentives, as the solar company will retain ownership. Consider these details when deciding on the best financing option for your installation.
Nevada Solar Access Rights
Homeowners associations (HOAs) can restrict residents from installing solar panel systems in some areas. However, Nevada stripped HOAs of this power with Assembly Bill No. 405 in 2017. This state law protects Nevada residents’ rights to install solar panels and generate clean energy. No HOAs or legal contracts can remove these rights at any time.
Residents can also establish solar easements with their neighbors to ensure their panels function as effectively as possible. A solar easement means you voluntarily agree with your neighbors to restrict the installation of tall obstructions that might block direct sunlight to your panels.
The Nevada government seems determined to expand its clean energy use, but its statewide solar incentives are lacking. Nevada residents have a few options to help offset their solar installation costs and benefit from the state’s plentiful sunny days. Residents can use the federal tax credit to further reduce costs.
While searching for the best solar companies across the country, we recommend requesting quotes from at least three solar installers. Most companies offer free quotes that include details on your panels, system, estimated costs, and warranty coverage.
Below is a list of some top solar providers in Nevada:
- SunPower: The company offers some of the most energy-efficient systems on the market paired with a 25-year comprehensive warranty.
- Momentum Solar: This solar installer provides a streamlined installation experience, making it easier for new customers to move to solar energy.
- Elevation: Elevation offers a “whole-home” experience, including solar system installation, efficiency audits, and repairs to help lower your energy use.
FAQ About Solar Tax Incentives in Nevada
Does Nevada offer solar incentives?
Yes, Nevada offers a few solar incentives, including buyback programs for excess solar energy. Nevada residents can also apply for the federal tax credit for additional savings.
Does Nevada exempt property tax for residential solar customers?
No, Nevada doesn’t exempt property tax for residential solar installations. Only commercial customers benefit from the property tax exemption. Since solar panels increase property value, homeowners’ property taxes will increase after installation.
What is Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard?
Nevada’s current Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) outlines its commitment to increase its renewable energy usage to 50% by 2030. The Nevada government detailed incremental increases based on the following schedule:
- 22% by 2020
- 24% by 2021
- 29% in 2022–2023
- 34% in 2024–2026
- 42% in 2027–2029
The government is committed to maintaining 50% usage once Nevada reaches that goal in 2030.
Are solar panels exempt from sales tax in Nevada?
No, solar panels are not exempt from sales tax in Nevada. Any solar system will include applicable sales tax in the installation price.
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. After over a thousand hours of research on solar companies, interviews with experts, and common customer needs, we’ve created a detailed rating system for solar providers based on six factors:
- Solar equipment, installation, and services (25%)
- Warranty and performance guarantees (25%)
- Brand reputation and certifications (15%)
- Financing options (15%)
- Experience (10%)
- Availability (10%)
Total scores are divided by 20 for a final 5-point rating scale.
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