Solar Panel Laws in Washington DC – What Incentives are Available?
To accomplish these goals, Washington DC offers some incentives for alternative energy generators, but others are not available.
What Incentives Are Available?
Solar Renewable Energy Credits
Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) are performance payments issued for each megawatt-hour of solar power produced. The credits are sold through brokers and allow utilities to purchase credits as needed.
Utility companies must pay a Solar Alternative Compliance Penalty if they are not able to meet the RPS requirements. However, these penalties reduce each year until the District reaches its 20% goal in 2023. As a result, the value of SRECs will decrease over time.
The District’s Net Metering Program
Washington DC has a net metering program.
This program allows those who generate their own power through renewable energy systems to sell any unused power to the utility and receive credits in return.
However, there are no cash payouts for the credits and the program caps out at 1 megawatt.
Generators producing over 100 kilowatts receive credit at the generation rate which is much lower than retail.
Easy Interconnection Standards
Interconnection standards provide easy access for smaller systems. A residential system of less than 10kW can qualify for a simple interconnection.
Larger systems require liability insurance and a redundant external disconnect switch.
What Is Not Available?
Rebate Program Has Expired
The Renewable Energy Incentive Program expired in 2012. The District has offered other programs and initiatives in the past but many are short-term and narrowly targeted.
No Tax Credits
At this time, the District does not offer any tax credits or incentives. However, Federal tax credits may be available (you can learn more about them here ).
No Sales Tax Exemptions
The District does not have a sales tax. As a result, there is no sales tax exemption for renewable energy.