Update: As of 16 August 2022 the federal tax credit for solar has been extended. This article has been updated to show the new rates.
The federal tax credit for solar in 2021
For 2021 and 2022, the federal tax credit for solar will be 26%. As of August 2022, the tax credit for solar will be 30% of the price of the solar system. This rate is locked in for the next 10 years. To receive any compensation from the credit, you must have paid 2020 income taxes. If you end up not paying income tax in 2020, you can roll the credit forward for 5 more years.
You should contact a qualified tax expert and consult with them. Neither Freedom Forever’s family of independent authorized dealers nor Freedom Forever itself can give you tax advice. A qualified tax professional will understand your situation and be able to give you the most relevant advice.
Net metering vs. export rate
With net metering, your utility company pays you for electricity at the same rate that they charge you. You get a one-to-one credit for any electricity your system supplies to the grid. Your compensation rate is less straightforward if you are billed for electricity using time-of-use (TOU) billing because the rate you pay or receive compensation at varies by the time of day. The highest rates charged under TOU plans are often in the evening after your solar has stopped generating electricity for the day.
The utility’s export rate will be lower than what you’d get under net metering regardless of what rate plan your utility company has you on. The export rate is the amount per kilowatt-hour that the utility pays power plants for electricity that they buy from them. Under export rates, you may not even be compensated for the amount that it costs you to produce power from your system. In that case, it makes sense to install a smaller solar system, one that generates only 60% of your average electricity usage. The idea behind a smaller solar system is to use all of the electricity that the system generates, and send little or none of it to the grid.
If you are a solar owner with a system that meets 100% of your needs and you are being compensated at export rates, it may make sense to install home batteries so that you store the extra power your system generates instead of sending it to the grid.
Find out if solar makes sense for you in 2021
There are many factors that you’ll want to consider if you are thinking about going solar in 2021. Some of those factors are unique to your home and the area you live in such as how much sunlight your roof gets. The best way to get answers to all of the questions you need to ask is to consult with an expert. Freedom Forever’s family of independent authorized dealers are experts on solar power in your area. Simply call us or click to get a free quote along with your questions answered.