Nevada solar incentives, tax credits and rebates

Financial resources for Nevadans in 2024

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Do you own or rent?

house with solar panels on the roof in the Nevada desert

There’s no way around it: Installing solar panels is expensive. In Nevada, a typical 10-kilowatt residential system costs $25,846 before any financial incentives. That price drops to $18,092 after the federal solar tax credit. Nevada’s portfolio energy credits and net billing can also help justify the upfront expense.


Key insights

The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the most significant solar incentive in Nevada. Tax credits offset your tax liability, so it’s only useful if you owe federal income taxes in the first place.

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Leasing or entering a power purchase agreement (PPA) is often cheaper upfront, but you won’t be eligible for the federal solar tax credit and other financial incentives.

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Nevada homeowners may also get paid to register a renewable energy system to generate and sell portfolio energy credits.

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Statewide residential solar panel incentives in Nevada

The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the biggest incentive for most people going solar in Nevada. The ITC is worth 30% of the system’s total cost — including equipment, labor, and permits — toward what you owe on federal income taxes.

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

For example, if you spend $10,000 installing a solar panel system, then ITC is worth $3,000. If in the year your system becomes operational, you owe $15,000 in taxes, then ITC reduces what you owe to $12,000.

Don’t get confused: the ITC is a credit, meaning it directly decreases the amount of taxes you owe. This is different from a deduction, which reduces your taxable income. It only offsets your tax liability; you can't take advantage of the ITC if you don’t owe taxes in the first place. However, the credit rolls over to the next tax year if you don’t use the full amount.

For example, if you spend $10,000 installing a solar panel system, then ITC is worth $3,000. If in the year your system becomes operational, you owe $15,000 in taxes, then ITC reduces what you owe to $12,000. It only offsets your tax liability; you can't take advantage of the ITC if you don’t owe taxes in the first place.

This solar tax credit is nonrefundable, meaning it can't exceed the amount of taxes you owe in a given year. However, if your credit is more than your tax liability, the unused portion can be carried over to future years. This allows you to benefit from the full credit amount even if you can’t use it all at once.

Portfolio energy credits

This is a performance-based incentive for various renewable technologies, with higher value for solar credits. Homeowners can participate by registering their renewable energy systems, certifying their energy output as portfolio energy credits and managing their PC accounts. To participate, you have to contact the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) and register your solar system.

This program is part of Nevada’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires 50% of electricity sold to come from renewable sources by 2030. However, systems installed through NV Energy's RenewableGenerations rebate program are not eligible. You can find more information through NVTREC, or contact the Public Utilities Commission to get started.

More solar incentives in Nevada

Southwest Gas has a rebate for solar water heaters, and NV Energy’s Save with PowerShift offers additional financial incentives for residents who invest in energy-saving products. Check DSIRE for the most comprehensive source information about solar incentives and policies in Nevada.

What to know about net metering in Nevada

Sometimes, your solar panels might generate more electricity than your household can use. Net metering lets you sell that extra to the local power grid.

In Nevada, power companies are required to purchase a portion of energy from customers with solar panels. Eligible residents are compensated at 75% of the retail rate for electricity. The payment comes in the form of credits on your electric bill. To qualify, your system must be 25 kilowatts (kW) or less.

The alternative to net metering is to store energy in a battery. That way, you can still turn your lights on when panels aren’t generating electricity. A solar storage battery can cost almost as much as the panels — $7,000 to $18,000.

» GREENEST STATES: Nevada ranks 2nd in 2024

How much are solar panels in Nevada?

Before considering the federal solar tax credit, solar panel costs in Nevada typically range from $9,046 to $25,846. On the high end, Joshua in North Las Vegas spent $50,000 going solar. With a $50,000 system, the 30% credit is worth $15,000.

Average solar panel installation cost by system size in Nevada

Solar resources in Nevada

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

Find solar companies in Nevada

A good solar company helps you navigate local incentives, permitting and net metering policies. Compare our choices for the top solar companies in Nevada to learn more.

Do you own or rent?

FAQ

How do I know if my house is a good candidate for solar?

For optimal sun exposure, you want a good amount of unshaded roof space that faces south or west. Your roof’s condition matters, too. Installing solar panels on an old roof might mean you have to remove the panels, replace your roof and then reinstall the panels. This will cost around $5,000 for a 19-panel setup. So, you might consider replacing it before going solar.

It’s also wise to upgrade any old, inefficient appliances first. Reducing your electrical loads now means you can get a smaller system, which will be cheaper.

Will my property taxes go up if I get solar panels?

If solar panels increase a home's value, the property taxes might go up. Nevada’s Property Tax Abatement for Green Buildings program only applies to commercial and multifamily residential buildings, like apartments or townhouses.

How much can I save with solar panels in Nevada?

Over 25 years, Nevada homeowners with solar panels avoid $41,459 in utility costs on average. Your current electric bill is the starting point for assessing the financial benefits of transitioning to solar energy. Knowing your average energy consumption helps determine the size and capacity of the solar system you need. Once you know this, you can figure out potential savings and how long it should take for your solar installation to pay for itself.

Is my HOA allowed to restrict solar panels?

No, state solar rights laws say that homeowners associations (HOAs) can’t stop you from getting solar panels on your house.

How can I pay for solar panels?

Paying upfront is the most obvious way to pay for solar panels, but many don’t have that kind of money saved up. If you’re one of those people, you can finance solar panels with a solar loan. It 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). You could also go with a lease or power purchase agreement (PPA).

» SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

What is LEED?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a globally recognized certification program that provides a framework for healthy, efficient, carbon and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.

What has Nevada’s investment in solar been so far?

Total solar investments in the state equal $11.1 billion.

Bottom line

Buying solar panels is a big upfront investment, but Nevada’s portfolio energy credits and the federal solar tax credit help make going solar more affordable. Plus, statewide net metering credits mean that the panels can pay for themselves relatively quickly.

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

Solar costs: Nevada vs. nearby states

* To fully offset energy usage; ** Over 25 years

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, "Nevada Programs." Accessed March 2, 2024.
  2. DSIRE, “Nevada Portfolio Energy Credits.” Accessed March 3, 2024.
  3. Nevada Tracks Renewable Energy Credits (NVTREC), “Summary of the Nevada Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.” Accessed March 8, 2024.
  4. EnergySage, “The cost of solar panels in Nevada.” Accessed March 2, 2024.
  5. SolarReviews, “How much do solar panels cost in Nevada, 2024?” Accessed March 2, 2024.
  6. Solar Energy Industries Association, "Nevada Solar." Accessed March 2, 2024.
  7. State of Nevada Public Utilities Commission, “PEC Trading Program." Accessed March 2, 2024.
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