Nebraska solar incentives, tax credits and rebates

Financial resources for going solar in 2024

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Do you own or rent?

modern home with solar panels

The average residential solar panel system in Nebraska costs $29,716 before any financial incentives. The price drops to $20,801 after the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC).

Nebraskans can take advantage of low-interest loan programs and a sales tax exemption to make owning a solar system more affordable.


Key insights

  • The average federal tax credit value is $8,915 in Nebraska.
  • You can use sales and use tax exemptions, loan programs and PACE financing to make solar more affordable.
  • Nebraska residents who go solar receive an estimated average net savings of $13,421 over 25 years.

Solar incentives in Nebraska

The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the biggest factor in reducing the cost of going solar in Nebraska. If you install a residential solar panel system by the end of 2032, you will receive a federal income tax credit equal to 30% of your system's total cost. Solar systems in Nebraska cost $29,716 on average. If you use the full value of the ITC, you can get a $8,915 credit when you file your taxes.

The ITC drops to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034.

The solar tax credit is not a rebate or refund — you must claim it when you file federal taxes in the year that your solar panel system becomes operational. To do this, you have to complete Form 5695. The credit is nonrefundable, so any portion you don’t use rolls into the next tax year.

Statewide residential solar incentives in Nebraska

Nebraska offers three incentives for homeowners who want to go solar. There are tax breaks and two low-interest financing programs you can use if you can’t pay for a system upfront.

Sales and use tax exemption

Residents can get a full sales tax exemption on solar panels and equipment for their homes in the form of a refund. You have to file to receive the exemption, though. For more information, contact your local tax commissioner's office.

» MUST-KNOW: The tax benefits of owning a home

Nebraska Dollar and Energy Saving Loans

The Nebraska Dollar and Energy Saving Loans program offers loans of up to $125,000 to install solar equipment. The loan terms range from three to 15 years, with interest rates of 5% or less. There’s a minimum payment of at least $50 per month. You can learn more by contacting the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy.

PACE financing

Many Nebraskans can also get solar loans through the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Act. These are fixed loans with low rates that are paid back through assessments on property taxes. Contact your local Nebraska municipality to see if your town is part of PACE financing.

What to know about net metering in Nebraska

If you’re not storing your excess energy in a solar battery, it gets sent to the power grid. That's where net metering comes into play. Net metering gives you compensation for the energy you've contributed to the grid.

In Nebraska, electric companies must get at least 1% of their electricity from residents. The payment for this electricity builds up as credits that homeowners can cash out at the end of the year. To qualify, you must have a system of 25 kilowatts (kW) or less.

» GREENEST STATES: Nebraska ranks No. 41

Solar resources in Nebraska

Below are additional resources to guide you through transitioning to solar in Nebraska.

» GUIDE: Solar panel installation

Find solar companies in Nebraska

Compare popular solar companies available in Nebraska below. Read our guide to the best solar companies for more information.

Do you own or rent?

FAQ

Can I get solar panels for free in Nebraska?

You can lease or enter a power purchase agreement (PPA) with little to no upfront costs, but neither is totally free. Solar leases generally require a flat monthly fee; PPAs make you pay per unit of electricity.

» FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

How can I pay for solar panels?

You can pay upfront, but most people finance solar panels with a solar loan, which works a lot like any other type of loan — there’s an application and approval process, and you pay it back over time with interest. Other options include leasing or getting a PPA.

» SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

How much can I save with solar panels in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, the average savings is $13,421 over 25 years. Even if you don’t generate 100% of your energy needs, you can still save a lot of money versus paying traditional utility bills.

Are there any commercial solar incentives in Nebraska?

Nebraska has commercial solar incentives, including tax breaks and solar loans.

» MORE: Commercial solar panels

Is my HOA allowed to restrict solar panels in Nebraska?

Currently, no laws in Nebraska prevent homeowners associations from restricting solar panels on homes.

Bottom line: How much are solar panels in Nebraska?

Adding solar panels to your home in Nebraska costs an average of $29,716. While this is higher than in some other states, low-interest loans, the federal solar investment tax credit and other tax exemptions can make going solar more affordable.

The ConsumerAffairs Research Team conducted an in-depth analysis to determine how much it costs to go solar in Nebraska and the average solar costs in other states.

Solar costs: Nebraska vs. nearby states

*Before the federal investment tax credit (ITC); **When you pay in full upfront

Article sources

ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

  1. DSIRE, “Nebraska Programs.” Accessed Oct. 14, 2023.
  2. DSIRE, “Nebraska Net Metering.” Accessed Oct. 14, 2023.
  3. Nebraska Legislature, “Nebraska Revised Statute 77-5725.” Accessed Oct. 14, 2023.
  4. Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, “Dollar & Energy Saving Loans.” Accessed Oct. 14, 2023.
  5. EcoWatch, “How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Nebraska?” Accessed Oct. 14, 2023.
  6. United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Summary of Inflation Reduction Act provisions related to renewable energy.” Accessed Oct. 14, 2023.
  7. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Nebraska Solar.” Accessed Oct. 14, 2023.
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