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April 26, 2023

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    Before installing a solar power system in your home, it’s important to look at the total system cost and how it will impact you. Unfortunately, solar installation costs are still quite high, averaging more than $22,000 for a residential system in Idaho. In our guide featuring the best Idaho solar incentives, we will provide the following:

    • Why solar installations make sense
    • Rebates to help you save money on your solar energy system
    • Tax incentives that can help make a solar system possible

    Idaho is a relatively friendly solar state with a state-specific tax deduction that can save you a great deal of money on your tax return.

    The Best Solar Incentives, Tax Credits, and Rebates in Idaho

    The best solar incentive in Idaho is the combination of the state tax rebate with the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit. We will provide the details on these programs and some local incentives to help you see why the push to solar power is such a smart move.

    IncentiveSummaryEnd Date
    Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC)Idaho residents can take advantage of the Federal Solar Tax Credit and get a discount of 30% applied to their tax returns. If you purchase $20,000 worth of solar panels, you can get a credit for $6,000 on your next tax return. This does require you to come out of pocket first. December 31st, 2032
    Net MeteringNet metering allows homeowners that create excess energy to use it as a credit on their next electric bill. Although net metering is not mandatory in Idaho, many providers take advantage of it and offer fair rates. None
    Commercial Loan ProgramsFor government and commercial solar installations in Idaho, there are various programs to help improve overall rates and availability of funds. Some of these can help with loans up to $100,000. None
    Residential Alternative Energy Tax ReductionThe Residential Alternative Energy Tax Reduction program allows homeowners to write off up to $20,000 of their solar system as a tax deduction. This program requires you to split up your deduction over several years, but it can be a very beneficial way to save money through the years on solar installation. None

    Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

    The Federal Solar Investment Tax credit is available in all 50 states, Idaho included. This program will give you a discount on your next federal tax return.

    The program allows you a tax credit of 30% of the cost of your solar installation. The solar system will need to be paid out of pocket and in full, with credit being returned and filed against any taxes you owe for that year.

    As a provision of the recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act, this 30% tax credit has been extended through the end of 2032.

    Idaho Solar Energy Tax Credit

    Idaho has a strong state-level program called the Residential Alternative Energy Tax Deduction. This allows payers to save up to 40% of the cost of their home’s solar, wind, and geothermal power installations. This 40% deduction will be applied the year you purchase and install your photovoltaic system, but you can save an additional 20% for the three years following that.

    The most you can save in one year is $5,000, and the total for four years is $20,000. This means that if you can wait for your money, you can get almost all of what you paid for your solar system back. In addition, you will be able to combine this with your federal-level tax savings.

    This is one of the stronger programs in the industry and one that is well worth considering.

    Idaho Solar Sales Tax Exemption

    There is no tax credit for a residential solar system purchase in Idaho. This means that you will still be subject to the sales tax rate of 6.50% for your new solar power system purchases.

    Idaho Solar Property Tax Exemption

    Property taxes will increase with the installation of a solar system in Idaho. Unfortunately, Idaho does not do much to help homeowners with these increasing costs. The rate at which your taxes will increase is typically not the full cost of the system. Remember that you will also be getting a discount on your next income tax with installing these systems, but it still hurts to see the property tax increase.

    Idaho Net Metering

    Idaho net metering creates more energy than your home needs and supplies some of that energy back to the utility company or reserves it for a time that you need it the most. One of the great things about net metering is that it allows you to prepare for a cloudy day or a summer afternoon when you may want to turn down the air conditioner or turn up the heat.

    The net metering program in Idaho measures up well to those in other states. The state does not mandate a certain amount of payment per kilowatt hour, and they don’t even require companies to offer net metering.

    However, Avista Utilities, Rocky Mountain Power, and others have strong net metering programs in Boise and the rest of the state. Idaho net metering is one of the incentives that is helping people become more interested in this solar energy process and its long-term savings.

    Dominion Energy – ThermWise Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

    The Dominion Energy Thermawise program encourages individuals to use energy-efficient systems and appliances in their homes. This can include everything from a hybrid water heater to solar-assisted water heating. Each of the individual appliances and systems you will install is eligible for a different rebate.

    Some of the solar initiatives will offer a credit of $750 or more. This is a great option for those who want extra financial help when installing the system. Make sure that you double-check all requirements of this system before you sign up, as it could impact your eligibility after the fact.

    Commercial Idaho Solar Incentives

    The Commercial Idaho solar incentives are strong and will allow for a few extra benefits and loan programs that the residential programs do not offer. If a solar panel system could help your company or business with its green initiatives, Idaho is an excellent place to be.

    Solar Incentives for Nonprofits and Businesses in Idaho

    There are no specific solar incentives for nonprofit organizations in Idaho. However, there are tax relief programs for nonprofits, and commercial incentives and loan funding programs apply to nonprofit businesses. In addition, property tax benefits are another critical incentive for Idaho nonprofits to consider.

    Property Tax Exemption for Wind, Solar, and Geothermal Energy Producers

    The Property Tax Exemption for Wind, Solar, and Geothermal Energy products started in 2007. However, solar energy was not added to this exemption until 2016. If you are producing solar energy, you do not have to pay property taxes for your commercial space, but you will have to pay 3.5% of gross energy earnings. This is still a tremendous reduction in out-of-pocket costs for solar energy producers.

    USDA REAP Grant

    The United States Department of Agriculture offers a REAP grant or Rural Energy for America program. This is in place to help you secure a loan for renewable energy resources. If you supply your contact information to the USDA, they will help ensure loan financing and grant funding for agricultural producers. The USDA REAP grant is a very straightforward process, but you must get connected with them from the start of your search.

    Federal Solar Tax Credit for Businesses in Idaho

    For a federal corporate income tax return, there is a 30% credit against the cost of any system that was placed into the building during that year. This credit is by far the best option when you are looking for large bulk savings in the state of Idaho. Most businesses have a tax burden at the end of the year, so they will often get their credit quicker than a residential tax return.

    Provided that you operate a non-tax-exempt business, you’ll be eligible for this tax credit through the end of 2032.

    Idaho Commercial Net Metering

    Net metering is also available at the commercial level for Idaho businesses and property owners. Net metering for commercial and governmental institutions not only helps with energy efficiency but can also make the building more sustainable and profitable long term.

    The state of Idaho does not mandate commercial net metering, but there are good programs from some of the top energy providers. If you are interested in net metering, make sure to reach out to several companies to see what your options are. Large commercial solar panel installations can greatly impact the amount of solar power available in a city.

    Low-Interest Energy Loan Programs

    If you are interested in a low-interest energy loan, you can claim up to $100,000 of available funds through the Idaho low-interest energy loan programs. This loan program includes solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, geothermal energy, and hydroelectric. It is important to sign up for this loan program before attempting to afford the solar panel system; if you don’t, the loan could be denied after the fact. Some residential customers have access to this loan, but the maximum amount is $15,000.

    Dominion Energy – ThermWise Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

    The Dominion Energy Thermawise program is essentially the same as the residential program because it helps business owners save money on making their homes more energy efficient and greener. There are individual rebates for each upgrade you decide to use for your home. However, some are going to be more beneficial than others.

    Some solar initiatives will offer a credit of $750 or more. Always check before purchasing your solar system to ensure it is eligible for the upgrade.

    Why Go Solar in Idaho?

    Idaho currently ranks 27th in the nation for being solar-friendly. Something worth mentioning is that Idaho was ranked 35th in the country a year ago. This is a significant improvement due to the energy loan programs and low-interest rates that Idaho is now offering homeowners. Looking at all of these impressive benefits may make you start to see more clearly why solar is so important.

    A PV or photovoltaic system will help make you less reliant on Idaho power providers and more self-sufficient. Many Idaho homeowners find that in addition to saving money on energy costs, they like the ability to be more self-sufficient or rely on utility companies to handle their energy needs.

    Idaho Solar Cost

    Solar costs have decreased slightly in Idaho over the last few years. Technology is improving, and the state tax credit significantly affects overall affordability. The state solar costs may not be in a range you feel entirely comfortable with, but the numbers decrease considerably when considering all incentives combined.

    Solar costs will vary based on the size of your home and how much power is needed to control it. You can often get estimates on how much power is needed in your home and the total installation costs for a complete solar system.

    Expect to pay anywhere from $16,000 to $30,000 for a typical residential installation in Idaho. Most homes are going to be right around the $20,000 mark. Remember that before you purchase a system in Idaho, it makes sense to look at all the incentives so that you don’t miss out on one of the requirements and have a problem getting the savings you need.

    Are you sold on Solar for your home? Get a free quote from local solar installers.

    How Much Can You Save on Solar in Idaho?

    Idaho residents are lucky because there are federal and state tax incentives. In addition, companies like Rocky Mountain Power will offer net metering. This means that you won’t only save money the first year of your system being in place but as you continue to level with the solar panels in place. Homeowners can expect to save at least $5,000, if not more, on their solar energy system.

    Final Thoughts: The Best Idaho Solar Incentives

    As more and more people become interested in solar panel installation, companies and states are working to create incentives to help with the incredibly high initial costs. These costs are difficult to justify for some. Still, in the end, the overall ability to create your electricity is a tremendous benefit to being a home or business owner. The best advice we can give is to ensure that you take advantage of these incentives because they expire.

    Today’s Homeowner’s Solar Ranking and Review Methodology

    At Today’s Homeowner, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each solar energy company/service according to our methodology.

    Our research team dug deep into the fine print of contracts, combed through more than one hundred customer reviews, and thoroughly investigated each solar energy company’s services, costs, and products. We’ve done the homework for you by researching nearly all the solar energy companies on the market so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home.

    We developed a formula to objectively determine the best solar energy companies and give each a score out of 100 based on the following criteria:

    • Plan Options (30): Do they provide various plan options? We looked at the number of plans each solar energy company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.
    • Services (20): How many services are offered in each plan? We looked at whether the company manufactures its solar panels, whether it contracts out installation, and what additional products each company offers.
    • Trust (10): What do customers say after installing solar panels? Does this company offer a guarantee? We considered how satisfied customers are post-service if the company does what it says it will, BBB accreditation, and service guarantees.
    • Prices (10): How reasonable are the costs of the plan or service in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors that offer the same solar energy services.
    • Unique perks (10): Does the company offer discounts or special services such as financial incentives, rebates, or a useful mobile app? We looked for extras each company offers that set them apart from the competition.
    • Customer Service (10): How is the customer experience when contacting the company? We considered the speed of response, weekend/holiday availability, and ease of communication through phone calls, email, and online chat functions.
    • Nationwide availability (10): How many states does the company offer its services? Companies that operate nationally and in all zip codes are favored over those with limited availability.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is solar worth it in Idaho?

    Solar is worth the effort in Idaho because there are many incentives to make the program worthwhile. Idaho is not necessarily a leader in clean energy. Still, they are working on more and more programs to help you move away from having an electric bill and closer to producing all of your own energy.


    How much does it cost for solar panels in Idaho?

    A complete solar system for a home in Idaho will typically cost around $18,000 or more. Most homeowners will look into starting with a few panels and eventually building a complete system. However, with the tax incentives on the state and federal levels, expect to get a large portion of your investment back.


    Can you get solar panels for free in Idaho?

    Solar panels are not offered for free in Idaho. There are rebates from the federal government and the state of Idaho, but you will still need to pay for your entire system.


    What solar rebates are available in Idaho?

    Currently, the solar rebates in Idaho include federal rebates and state-level rebates. The federal rebates have been extended through 2032 due to the recent extension through the Inflation Reduction Act. Keep this in mind if you are currently searching and deciding if it’s time to invest.


    How many homes in Idaho have solar panels?

    There are only about 68,000 homes with solar panels in Idaho. As we mentioned, this state ranks 27th in the nation, so it still has some work to do to get to a more energy-efficient status, but the state-level tax incentives should start to help make a difference.


    Do solar panels increase property taxes in Idaho?

    Solar panels will increase property taxes in Idaho, and there are currently no incentives to decrease these taxes. However, if you are an owner of a commercial property, there are property tax exemptions for solar energy producers.


    How much can you write off for solar panels on taxes in Idaho?

    The current Federal ITC programs allow a 30% rebate on the total cost of the solar system. This program was recently extended through the end of 2032.


    Editorial Contributors
    Britt Olizarowicz

    Britt Olizarowicz

    Britt Olizarowicz is a former real estate agent and landscaping business owner. She has a wide range of experience across several industries and was also a professional golfer. With her experience in investing, renovating, and improving properties Britt loves to share in all of the latest and greatest technologies, systems, and strategies to keep your home and garden looking great.

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    Lora Novak

    Senior Editor

    Lora Novak meticulously proofreads and edits all commercial content for Today’s Homeowner to guarantee that it contains the most up-to-date information. Lora brings over 12 years of writing, editing, and digital marketing expertise. She’s worked on thousands of articles related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation, roofing, plumbing, lawn/garden, pest control, insurance, and other general homeownership topics.

    Learn More