New Hampshire solar incentives, tax credits and rebates

Financial resources for New Hampshirites in 2024

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Do you own or rent?

new hampshire home with solar panels on the roof

There’s no way around it: Installing solar panels is expensive. On the bright side, New Hampshire residents can take advantage of federal and state incentives to make it more affordable. Here’s everything you need to know about how state and federal solar incentives can make installing panels more affordable.


Key insights

  • In New Hampshire, a typical residential solar panel system costs $12,120 to $34,628, depending on the size of your system and what financial incentives you qualify for.
  • The 30% federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the most significant solar incentive for most homeowners in New Hampshire.
  • 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.

Residential solar panel incentives in New Hampshire

The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the best way to save money when going solar in New Hampshire. It reduces your federal tax liability by 30% of how much it costs to install solar panels. This is different from a deduction, which lowers your taxable income. ITC is a credit, meaning it directly decreases the amount of taxes you owe.

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

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

Tax credits offset your tax liability, so it’s only useful if you owe federal income taxes in the first place. However, the credit rolls over to the next tax year if you don’t use the full amount. You don’t get these benefits automatically, though. You must claim your solar equipment, labor and permits on your federal taxes for the same year you started using your system on Form 5695.

Solar property tax exemptions in New Hampshire

New Hampshire offers an optional program where towns and cities can choose to provide property tax exemptions for homeowners who install solar, wind, battery storage or wood-fired central heating systems. This exemption applies specifically to the increased value these systems add to your property.

The exemption amount and duration can vary, so it’s important to contact your local tax collector or assessor’s office to find out if your municipality offers the program and learn about the details in your area. As of September 2021, more than 135 municipalities like Concord have adopted the exemption for at least one renewable energy source.

Additional solar incentives in New Hampshire

Check DSIRE for the most comprehensive source of information about solar incentives and policies in New Hampshire.

What to know about net metering in New Hampshire

Net metering is a system of give-and-take between you and your utility company. It lets you access power from the grid when your panels don’t generate enough electricity. Net metering also lets you earn credits for sending any excess solar energy to the grid. These credits can offset the cost of electricity consumed at other times.

New Hampshire’s net metering policy allows homeowners with solar panels to receive credits on their utility bills for the excess electricity they use from the grid at other times, potentially lowering their overall energy bills.

Each electric utility in New Hampshire has slightly different net metering rules, so it’s important to contact your specific utility to understand their program and compensation rates. Generally, excess generation is applied as a credit on your next month’s bill. However, some utilities offer the option of a single payout at the end of the year.

Any grid-connected systems can still tap into the local power grid when needed. The alternative is to store it in a battery. That way, you can still turn your lights on when panels aren’t generating electricity, like at night or on especially cloudy days. The biggest downside is that solar storage battery costs can be almost as high as the panels — $7,000 to $18,000.

» GREENEST STATES: New Hampshire ranked No. 5 in 2024

How much are solar panels in New Hampshire?

Before considering the federal solar tax credit, solar panel costs in New Hampshire typically range from $17,314 to $34,628. Your system size greatly affects how much you pay overall. The typical system size for solar systems in New Hampshire is 8.97 kW (kilowatts).

How do you know if the average size system is enough for your home or if you need a bigger one? Check the amount of electricity you used last year in kilowatt-hours (kWh). You’ll find this information in your electricity account dashboard online. Then, divide your annual kWh by 1,200 to find the system size you need. For example, if your home used 15,000 kWh last year, you would need a 13-kW system.

Average solar cost by system size in New Hampshire

Solar resources in New Hampshire

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

Find solar companies in New Hampshire

A good solar company helps you navigate local incentives, permitting and net metering policies. Compare our picks for New Hampshire’s top solar companies to learn more.

Do you own or rent?

FAQ

Can I get free solar panels in New Hampshire?

No, but you can lease solar equipment or enter a power purchase agreement (PPA) with little to no upfront costs. Still, 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 cash, but most people 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 also have the option of getting a lease or power purchase agreement.

» SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

How much can I save with solar panels in New Hampshire?

On average, New Hampshire homeowners with solar panels avoid $69,087 in utility costs over 25 years. 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.

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

It’s best to have plenty of unshaded roof space that faces south or west for optimal sun exposure. It’s also smart to upgrade any old, inefficient appliances first. Reducing your electrical loads now means you can get a smaller system, which will be cheaper.

The condition of your roof matters too — if it needs replacement soon, do that before installing solar panels. 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.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies, more commonly known as solar panels, absorb sunlight and convert it into usable electricity. If you have a lot of shading around your house, they might not get enough sun to power your home.

What has New Hampshire’s investment in solar been so far?

Total solar investments in the state amount to $695 million, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Bottom line

The ConsumerAffairs Research Team conducted an in-depth analysis to determine the average costs of going solar. Turns out, it’s worth it for many homeowners, particularly in New Hampshire.

*For 100% usage offset; **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, "New Hampshire Solar Programs." Accessed March 29, 2024.
  2. EnergySage, “The cost of solar panels in New Hampshire.” Accessed March 29, 2024.
  3. Solar Energy Industries Association, "New Hampshire Solar." Accessed March 29, 2024.
  4. SolarReviews, “How much do solar panels cost in New Hampshire?” Accessed March 29, 2024.
  5. Energy News Network, “Grants would help less affluent New Hampshire towns invest in public solar projects.” Accessed April 26, 2024.
  6. New Hampshire Bulletin, “How long-term procurement could help ratepayers and get clean energy projects built.” Accessed April 26, 2024.
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