Programs That Make Solar More Affordable

  • In December 2015, Congress voted to extend the Federal Income Tax Credit (ITC) for solar installation.
Between now and 2021, homeowners and businesses can receive a tax credit for installing solar.  Click here for more information.
    • The ITC is a 26 percent tax credit for solar systems on residential (under Section 25D) and commercial (under Section 48) properties. The Section 48 commercial credit can be applied to both customer-sited commercial solar systems and large-scale utility solar farms. 
    • The residential and commercial solar ITC has helped the U.S. solar industry grow by more than 10,000% percent since it was implemented in 2006, with an average annual growth of 50% over the last decade alone.
    • Congress passed a two-year delay of the ITC phasedown in 2020:

solar investment tax credit phasedown schedule


  • Solar projects that qualify for the ITC also are eligible for accelerated depreciation. This deduction allows 85% of the tax basis for the project to be depreciated over a five-year period.
That depreciation allows for a greater portion to be deducted in the earlier years. Click here for more information.
  • Solarize is a program that allows a particular community to employ the savings of bulk purchasing and the reduction of “soft costs,” such as marketing and administrative overhead, to allow individuals to install solar at reduced cost. The program also helps eliminate guesswork for the homeowner by prescreening contractors to perform the installation.

  • Community solar offers the benefits of solar energy to homeowners whose sites are unsuited for solar installation and renters.