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2017 Policy Grade


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Home Solar Investment returns in delaware
Note: The numbers above are just estimates for a 5kW solar system, and your home is unique. The best way to know exactly how much money solar power can save you is to connect with one of our partners nearby. A friendly solar expert we trust will give you a buzz and help you craft a personal plan to get the absolute most out of a solar power system for your home. It's 100% free (yes, that’s right, 100% free) and you aren't obligated to buy anything.
Delaware Solar Policy Report Card

Delaware, our very first state! With that title, you should know there’s a ton of important history to protect in Delaware. With some of the most beautiful parts of the Atlantic coast, Delaware takes its natural environment seriously too.

Using green power like nice, clean solar energy will help the state take care of both its natural and cultural heritage so that we can enjoy it for many more generations. Delaware has made tremendous strides in promoting solar power recently, and is now one of the best places in the country to make the switch to solar.

Questions? Our network of solar experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page. You can get discounted on-grid pricing as low as $4,000/kW! This is paired with the Delaware solar incentives you see below.

Your guide to going solar in Delaware

We've designed this page to be a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on a home in Delaware. Since there's a lot of important information to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with someone who might also find it interesting!

The Solar Strategy section is all about the various financial options you have in Delaware. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions about what you hope to get out of a solar purchase and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we give you a detailed picture of how each could work for you.

The Policy Information section contains all of our latest research on the rules set by the state legislature and public utilities commission that determines how easy it is to go solar in Delaware. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to whether you get paid retail or wholesale rates for the extra energy your system produces, and can have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section lists all of the available financial benefits available to homeowners who go solar. This section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions. If you're looking for what Delaware is doing to make solar more affordable for its citizens, you'll find it here.

We hope you find our work useful. If so, please help us keep our research and advocacy as strong as possible by sharing it with someone who might also find it interesting, contributing any amount you can, and by getting yourself personalized savings estimates from our trusted partner network.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Your Solar Strategy in Delaware

Figuring out the best way to go solar in Delaware can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

How should you pay for solar?

Use our decision tool to find out!

Compare the Return of Different Solar Investments in Delaware

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in solar whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a loan or lease. As you can see, the purchase option leads to the highest dollar-amount returns over time, but it also requires a big up-front investment. If you take a home equity line of credit (HELOC), though, your payments over 15 years will be only a little more than your savings, and you'll still come out tens of thousands ahead in the end.

The option with the smallest savings is for a solar Power-Purchase Agreement (PPA), which means you put $0 down on a rooftop solar system and pay monthly while you accumulate electricity bill savings over time. PPAs are an excellent option if you don't have any equity or cash to put down.

Read on to find out more about each option.

Net Present Value of Solar in Delaware

“Net Present What?!” Don’t panic, this isn’t an economics test. NPV is just a tool used to compare investments. Basically, it asks, “if you had X dollars to invest, which investment would get you the best return?” It relies on the idea that getting a return on your investment sooner is better than later, because you can reinvest your early profits and keep the gain train going.

We compare an investment in solar to a “what-if” investment in a Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 stock index fund, which has seen growth of about 7% per year over the past 25 years. We use the cost of solar in Delaware and ask “how much better or worse (in 2017 dollars) is an investment in solar than stocks?” Here's what we found for the three different ways of going solar in Delaware:

Look at all that green! When they tell you solar is a good deal in Delaware, this is what they're talking about. A solar investment in Delaware should provide a better return than the stock market whether you choose a PPA, a loan, or pay up front. Here's some more about how we got these numbers:

Solar PPA NPV: $1,959

Saving money without having to put anything down is always going to have a positive NPV. In Delaware, you’ll save $4,119 by paying for electricity under a solar PPA for 20 years, which is the basically having an extra $1,959 to invest now. Read more about PPAs in Delaware below.

Solar Loan NPV: $4,908

As we’re fond of saying, taking a loan for solar is a no-brainer, because it’s like agreeing to pay over time for something that is also making you money, plus you get 30% of the loan value as a federal tax credit (cash in your pocket) after making payments for only 1 year. In the case of Delaware, that tax credit windfall is just one part of the story. Even before it gets calculated, the state will give you $2,250 as a direct payment for your SRECs, directly reducing your cost. All that helps push the NPV of a solar loan to $4,908 better than a similar investment in the stock market. That's a great return for any investment, and it's doubly great for something that requires no money down. Read more about solar loans below

Solar Purchase NPV: $2,079

The two biggest reasons a solar purchase in Delaware has a positive NPV are the 30% federal tax credit and that cash payment. On top of that, the money you save on electricity is also available for future investment. But you can see above what happens to NPV if you choose a solar loan instead. Unless you need to put cash into an asset, a loan is a much smarter way to pay for solar panels. Read more about solar purchases below.

blue  Solar Power-Purchase Agreements in Delaware

Delaware residents have long enjoyed the ability to get solar from a third-party company and pay monthly, and PPAs are still a great way to go. The state legislature and public utilities commission are way into getting ordinary homeowners into solar, so there isn't much reason to worry that utility companies will start trying to impose monthly fees on solar homeowners like they have in some less-progressive states.

For now, a PPA for a 5-kW solar system can save you about $10 per month, which might not seem like much, but adds up to big money over the 20-year life of the lease. We're talking $4,119 over the long term.

Here's how a solar PPA works:

Example savings in Delaware

Annual Electric Bill Before Solar


Annual Electric Bill After Solar


Est. Annual Solar Payments


Average Annual Savings


Power-Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are the most popular form of what's called "third-party solar." A PPA just means your solar company owns the panels on your roof, and you pay for the electricity they produce. The numbers above show the savings with a solar PPA for an average home in Delaware. The typical electric bill before solar power is super expensive, but with a PPA, your monthly expenses will be lower. You'll be saving money and saving the planet all at the same time!

Here's an estimate of the monthly savings for a solar PPA in Delaware:

Monthly solar PPA savings in Delaware

With a PPA, your solar company essentially becomes a second utility provider, only the solar electricity is sold to you at a lower rate than the fossil fuel electricity you've been buying from the electric company! Note: your PPA won't eliminate your power bill from your regular electric provider, because you'll still need energy from the grid when the sun isn't shining. But it will save you money!

The less-popular cousin of the third-party solar family is the solar lease. It's basically like renting your panels for a set monthly payment, and getting all the energy they produce—however much it is. Don't get spooked by that language, though. A typical solar lease comes with energy production guarantees that will make sure you're getting what you paid for. In fact, if you're not offered a production guarantee with a solar lease, walk away.

Here's the best part of third-party solar: whether you end up with a lease or a PPA, the installation company owns the panels and will do all the maintenance for you. Usually that means just a good cleaning every year, but if any part of that system fails, you're off the hook! That can be a great benefit to homeowners who are risk averse.

Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Delaware. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar lease or PPA, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Home Solar Power: PPA vs. Purchasing

To PPA, or not to PPA? Willsolar Shakespanels would be proud we're discussing this. Here's the basic deal. If you choose to lease your panels, you benefit from no out of pocket costs and an immediately reduced total electricity payment. Because of this, many regard this option as a no-brainer, since there isn't any downside to think of. The only hiccup you'll start to experience is when you consider the long term financial benefit of owning the solar panel system yourself.

In many situations, if you can afford the outlay or can easily secure financing, the cost of the install becomes an investment with a return outpacing even the strongest performing mutual funds. In addition, there's significantly less principal risk, since the energy credits you will be producing are tied to the sun coming up in the morning instead of our financial markets!

Additionally, if you go the PPA route, you must forfeit all the credits and performance payments you would receive by owning the system yourself to the solar PPA company (after all, that's how they can afford to give you such a no-brainer proposition in the first place).

orange square  Solar Loans in Delaware

Don't have $14,000 sitting around to pay for solar? No sweat! As long as you have equity in your home, you can still own solar panels and reap all the benefits. Heck, even if you do have the cash, getting a loan to pay for solar is still the best option when it comes to percentage return on investment.

That’s because using a loan to pay for solar is like investing in a really sweet IRA. Making your loan payments almost like funding an investment account, because the solar panels on your roof produce income (returns). Once the loan is paid off (fully vested), you're making over $1,200/year in profits, netting thousands over the 25-year life of your system.

A solar purchase like this will make sense for you if the following is true about you and your current situation:

  • You can get a solar loan or home-equity line of credit (HELOC) for $16,650, with a fixed rate of 4.5% or lower and a 15-year repayment period.
  • You love making money without much risk

The reason this works so well is that you don’t have to put any money down, but you still get all of the incentives that go along with buying solar. You'll get the 30% federal tax credit in year 1, and the energy bill savings will start right away. Like we mentioned above, your loan payments will be a tiny bit higher than those energy bill savings, so you'll end up spending about $63/month for solar in the first year. That difference will come down each year as electricity prices rise, but your system will keep on producing about the same amount of electricity.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a Colorado solar purchase with a HELOC:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $14,000 after Deleware's GreenGrant program payment of $2,250. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $819, but your loan payments will total $1,442, for a difference of $613, or about $52 per month.
  • That's not so bad when you consider your federal tax savings for the year will be $4,875 (30% of the cost of your system). You'll come out $6,501 ahead in year 1, which eliminates the burden of loan payments for almost the whole loan.
  • The benefits of that early tax break are so great that you'll never begin spending your own money. And after the loan is paid off, your profits stack up just like if you bought the system outright. You'll end up with $14,480 in profits over our 25-year example.
  • On top of the green that will stay in your pocket, your system will mean green for the environment, too. 97 trees-worth, every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Delaware. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

green square  Buying Solar in Delaware

An outright purchase used to be the only way to get solar, and it's still the option that provides the best dollar-for-dollar returns. The reason it's so great is that you own the system from day one and reap all the benefits. The Federal and State tax credit and electricity savings bring your first-year costs way down.

In our example, you put down $16,250 up front, but by the end of year 1, incentives and energy savings will erase a bunch of it. Over 25 years, your system will have produced nearly $20,000 in income.

But even though that sounds huge, look into the HELOC option too, because taking a loan to buy an income-generating asset means you'll be making money as you pay for it.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out when you pay up front for a 5-kW rooftop solar system in Delaware:

  • Installing a typical 5kW solar system should start at about $16,250. Don’t worry – even without rebates, your first-year costs will be considerably less than that.
  • Since the Feds calculate their incentive based on actual out of pocket costs, the lack of rebates means a bigger federal solar tax credit. Subtract $4,875 (30% of $16,250) for a new price of $11,375.
  • After the tax credit we subtract your first year’s energy savings, which we estimate to be about $819. That reduces your cost to only $10,556.
  • On top of that, you can sell the rights to your SRECs for another $2,250! With all these incentives, you'll only have $8,036 into this investment after year 1.
  • Your system will pay itself back in 10 years, and over its 25-year life, you'll see a total net profit of $19,866, after the system pays for itself. That's an internal rate of return of 11.5%. Huge!
  • And don't forget... your home's value just increased by more than $21,000, too (your expected annual electricity savings over 20 years)!
  • In addition to all that cash (and home value), you’ve created some green for the earth as well by not using electricity from fossil fuels. It's like planting 97 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Delaware. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Delaware Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in Delaware:


25% by 2027

Grade: B

Delaware's Renewable Portfolio Standard grade

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires utilities in the state to eventually source at least a certain percentage of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels.

Delaware has a strong RPS, mandating 25% renewable energy by 2025-2026 (compliance years run from June to May). The current minimum level of renewable energy is 11.50% of total retail electric sales. That requirement will raise by 1.5% per year through 2019-2020, and then by 1% per year through 2025-2026.

Delaware’s RPS is critical to strong renewable energy policy. Utility companies aren't really all that gung-ho about you producing your own power. After all, it costs them money when you use less of their electricity. They also don’t naturally want to give you big payments for energy you're feeding back into the grid. The main reason the utilities are aiding your transition to lower electric bills and offering you incentives to put solar on your roof is because the state forces them to. If the utilities don't hit their RPS numbers, they have to pay large fees back to the state.

What's an RPS? Your state legislature paves the way for strong solar energy incentives to flourish by setting standards for renewable energy generation within their territories. Those standards are called the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). If utility companies do not meet these standards, they must pay alternative compliance fees directly to the state. Many utilities then determine the best ways to source their energy from renewable sources that are less expensive than this fee.

An RPS is a mandate that says "Hey utilities! Y'all now have to make a certain percentage of your electricity from renewable sources. If not, you'll have to pay us huge fines." The consequences are good, because utilities usually try to meet these RPS standards by creating solar power incentives for you, the homeowner. Read more about Renewable Portfolio Standards.

RPS solar carve out

3.5% by 2027

Grade: A

Delaware's Solar Carve-out grade

The RPS also includes a specific carve out for Delaware’s solar power. Currently 0.80% of total retail electric sales must come from solar power. That minimum will rise by 0.2% per year through 2015-2016, and 0.25% a year through 2025-2026, for a final solar requirement of 3.5% of total electric sales. 3.5% may not sound like a lot, but when you consider how much energy the millions of residents here consume (more than 18 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year), it adds up. 3.5% is also one of the strongest solar-specific carve-outs we’ve seen. Kudos to the legislature for recognizing the value of solar, even amongst other renewable energy options.

What's a solar set aside? A solar set aside guarantees a specific portion of the overall renewable energy mix generated comes from the sun. For those states with progressive standards, high alternative compliance payments, and clear solar carve outs, the faster those areas become ripe for solar.

Some states have higher alternative compliance fees than others, and some states have more progressive alternative energy standards and deadlines than others do.

For instance, New Jersey has an overall RPS of 22.5% by the year 2021. That requires local utilities to source 22.5% of their energy mix from renewable sources by the year 2021. Pretty good. However, New Jersey also has a specific solar set aside of 4.1% by 2028. That’s the type of firm commitment which really gets the industry rolling forward. No wonder why New Jersey is one of the hottest solar markets right now!

Delaware Electricity Prices


Grade: C

Delaware's Electricity cost grade

Delaware pays an average of 13 cents/kWh of electricity. That’s just slightly below the national average of 13.6 cents per kWh. Yes, we know those dimes and pennies add up. Yes, we know you hate that monthly electric bill. But that’s only until you’ve made the switch to solar power! Those pennies per kWh do indeed add up. Right now they add up to higher bills, but once you’ve made the switch to solar, they create more savings!

Not to mention, electricity costs are only going to rise. Currently, far too much of our energy comes from nonrenewable, dirty fossil fuels. As the long-term costs associated with fossil fuels start to really kick in, standard electricity prices are going to skyrocket. When that happens, you’re going to look like a modern-day Einstein for having made the early switch to producing your own power.

Why are electricity prices so important? Because that is what solar power is directly competing against. The cost to produce power with solar is relatively constant (of course how much sun hits your area has an effect), so if you are paying $0.40 per watt for power, then you make FOUR TIMES AS MUCH as the guy or girl paying $0.10 per watt electricity.

The caveat here is that if the $0.10 per watt person has a HUGE rebate, they may be better off than the $0.40 per watt person. Because of that, states without any renewable standards tend to be heavily reliant on cheap coal for electricity, and also have very low electricity prices. When electricity prices are artificially low, that hinders the ability of solar energy to achieve meaningful payback in the state.

Delaware Net Metering


Grade: A

Delaware's Net Metering grade

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume to make sure you get credit for the surplus.

Delaware’s net metering law is straightforward and pretty much perfect. Any net excess generation (i.e. any surplus electricity) you produce is applied to your next bill as a credit at the full retail rate. If you run a surplus for a full 12-month period you may elect to have the electric company cut you a check for the surplus, again at the full retail rate. Note, however, that nothing in the net metering law requires you to request the check. If it’s easier for you, you can just keep the credit rolling over onto your bill indefinitely.

What is net metering? Net metering is the billing arrangement where you can sell excess electricity back to your utility for equal the amount you are charged to consume it. The more customer friendly net metering policies, the higher the grade.

The grade here specifically reflects individual solar system capacity, caps on program capacity limits, restrictions on “rollover” of kWh from one month to the next (yep just like cell phone minutes), metering issues (like charges for new meters), Renewable Energy Credit (REC) ownership, eligible customers and technology (the more renewables the better), being able to aggregate meters across the property for net metering, and safe harbor provisions to protect customers from solar tariff changes.

Delaware Interconnection Rules


Delaware's Interconnection Standards grade

Interconnection rules are a little technical, but they basically allow you to “plug in” to the electric grid with solar panels on your roof. The more complex, out of date, or nonsensical the state rules are for plugging into the grid, the lower the grade.

Specifically, the grade reflects what technologies are eligible, individual system capacity, removing interconnection process complexity for smaller systems, interconnection timelines and charges, engineering charges, prohibiting the requirement of unnecessary external disconnects, certification, spot interconnection vs. wide area interconnection, technical screens, friendliness of legalese, insurance requirements, dispute resolution, and rule coverage.

Solar Incentives in Delaware

Delaware Solar Power Rebates


Grade: F

Delaware's Solar Rebates grade

Delaware utilities offer several good solar rebate programs to help offset the initial costs of installing your new solar power system. That's the good news. The bad news is that, in many cases, the programs have been so popular that there are years-long waitlists, and delays, some of which may go on indefinitely as the municipalities work out new incentive limits.

Here are the current rebate amounts as they stand:

Name Amount Notes
Delaware Electric Cooperative $.85/watt up to 5kW $0.25/W over 5 kW, waitlist of over 3 years, $5,000 max incentive
Delmarva Power $0.50/watt, up to $3,000 leased systems not eligible
DEMEC Member Utilities 33.3% of costs, up to $7,500 Incentives are only available for residents of Newark. Dover and Milford programs have been suspended

Basically, unless you live in Newark you should just assume that you're not likely to see rebate money at all, and then maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised by a windfall in a few years! It's not that big of a deal, because even without rebates, Delaware has a pretty good SREC program (see Performance Payments section below).

How do solar rebates work? Similar to getting a rebate card from your local big box store for a dishwasher purchase, state legislatures also provide rebates for solar panel purchases to spur on investment and create new jobs. If you purchase the solar panel system yourself, you qualify for this free cash, which many times is a lump payment back to you. Some solar installers like to take this amount directly off the total installed price, and they'll handle the paperwork for you to make things a lot less complex.

The availability of state and utility rebates were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The better the rebates, the higher the grade.

Delaware Solar Power Tax Credits


Grade: F

Delaware's Solar Tax Credits grade

Delaware lacks any tax credits for solar power. Given the strength of the state’s performance payments and rebates, we can’t raise too much of a stink about the lack of a tax credit here. That said, every little bit does count, and we certainly wouldn’t complain if a solar tax credit were added to bring your costs down even more.

About state solar tax credits: State tax credits are not technically free money. However, they are 'credits' and not 'deductions' which means that if you have the tax appetite to take advantage of them, then they can be a 1-to-1 dollar amount off your taxes instead of a fraction of the cost of the system. So that means they can be an important factor to consider. In certain circumstances, state tax credits can provide a very powerful incentive for people to go solar.

(Keep in mind, we are not tax professionals and give no tax advice so please consult a professional before acting on anything we say related to taxes)

The availability of personal tax credits for solar energy were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the tax credit amount, the higher the grade.

Solar Power Performance Payments


Grade: C

Delaware's Solar Performance Payments grade

Delaware offers a few different options that fit the description of "performance incentives," but each has its own flavor. They all rely on the sale of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), which are a kind of virtual certificate that serves as the record of energy generated from a renewable resource.

That might sound complicated, so here's what you need to know. Each time your solar panels generate one Megawat-hour (MWh) of electricity (1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh)), you earn one SREC. In Delware, a typical 5-kW system will generate enough electricity to earn you nearly 6 SRECs per year.

Utility companies want to buy your SRECs because SRECs act as proff of renewable generation, whcih helps the utilities comply with the state's RPS law (discussed above). The current going rate for Delaware SRECs is about $40-$50, depending on the month.

So does that mean you can sell your SRECs every year for $250? Not quite. Here are the three SREC sales options and what they mean for homeowners:

Option Name Notes
The GreenGrantDelaware Program Provides a direct payment of $450 per kW in system size in exchange for the rights to 20 years of SRECs. Based on a 5-kW system, this is the equivalent of about $20/SREC, but it's guaranteed money right now. IN our opinion, unless you're a seasoned day-trader or financial wizard, this is the way to go.
Delaware's SREC spot market You can sell your own SRECs on this market, but it might get a little complicated, since the competition is largely from big players selling bundled SRECs of hundreds of systems, and the prices aren't exactly stable.
Delaware SREC Program Under this program, you sign a contract to sell you SRECs at market price for 10 years, then at $35 each for the next 10 years. This could mean more money than the GreenGrant program, but it might also be a little riskier.

Explanation of performance payments: Performance payments represent a big chunk of the financial rationale for going solar, and in many instances they make your decision a wise one. For certain states, if you’ve got solar panels on your roof, not only will you be cutting your electric bill down to size, but you'll be getting paid additional cash from your utility company. Pretty awesome, huh? Not only are you generating electricity for yourself, freezing your own popsicles with sun, and feeling like you’re doing something smart for your children or any of the other 4 reasons people go solar, but you are getting PAID!

Utility companies are paying people with solar panels on their roofs because their states say they have to, otherwise they will pay a fee. Therefore, the payment amount to homeowners is typically a little bit less than the amount they would be billed for by the state. For states with these alternative compliance fees, Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) exchanges have popped up. In the above chart, we outlined an estimate of yearly payments a homeowner might expect from the utility company for the SREC credits from their solar energy system.

Expected SREC payments were calculated by using the latest trade values in the SRECtrade database. The availability of feed-in tariffs were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the expected monthly payments, the higher the grade.

If you don’t know what an SREC is, or how they work, check out this great SREC video

Property Tax Exemption


Grade: F

Delaware's Solar Property Tax Exemptions grade

Delaware also lacks any tax exemptions for solar power systems. Of course, Delaware has no sales tax, so that exemption (that we see in many states) simply doesn’t apply here. What does apply, however, is the missing property tax credit. That’s kind of a big deal. And by kind of, we mean a really big deal! When you add a solar power system to your home, your home goes up in value by twenty times your annual electricity savings. That means your property taxes also go up. Passing an exemption for those property taxes is an easy way to save you money on your solar power system, making the switch easier for you without the state ever having to actually remove money from its coffers.

About solar property tax exemptions: Property tax exemption status is a pretty big factor when putting together your investment considerations. Many argue that solar power adds approximately 20 times your annual electricity bill savings (if you are owning the system and not leasing. Leasing still has a positive impact on the ability to sell your home though, in our opinion).

For many average-sized solar power systems on a house, that can mean $20,000 to your home value. (Edit April, 2014: Some companies, like Solar Mosaic, are starting to offer traditional style equity-based home loans for such a thing). An additional $20,000 in property tax basis in many states amounts to a big chunk of change owed back to the state. However, many states have complete exemptions from added taxes when you install solar on your home!

The availability of a property tax exemption for solar energy was also sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The stronger the tax exemption, the higher the grade.

Sales Tax Exemption

No State Sales Tax

Grade: A

Delaware's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

No state sales tax means no need for a sales tax exemption.

What's the deal with solar power sales tax exemptions? When states give you a sales tax break on solar, we notice. You should too. State sales tax exemption status for the purchase of solar energy systems were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. Sales tax exemptions, if present, were all 100%. A handful of states are completely exempt from sales tax regardless, and therefore received ‘A’ grades by default (OR, DE, MT, AK, and NH).

Switch to solar and save $36.44/mo on avg ($0 installations available) - Click Here

The consensus on Delaware solar power rebates and incentives

Solar power is looking sunny here, indeed! Though there is always room for improvement — (cough, cough) property tax exemption — we’re pretty happy with Delaware’s legislators. With the RPS’s built-in purchase program backing a strong SREC market and solar power rebates available across the state, Delaware boasts huge up-front discounts, low year one costs, and one of the shortest payback timeframes in the country. This is one of the easiest “A” marks we’ve ever given out.

Again, if you are confused about how these numbers work and would like some personalized assistance or a quote of your own, simply connect with our network of solar experts. They’ll help sort out all the pricing, get you access to special deals, and they’re super friendly to boot!


14 thoughts on “2018 Guide to Delaware Home Solar Incentives, Rebates, and Tax Credits

  1. Anonymous says:

    I had a 5.76 Kw system installed in Feb of this year. DE approved my interconnect the first week of March and I received my rebate check $6,800 this week. My system looks like it is going to pay for itself in about 6 years or so. Even if it takes longer, I don’t care. It isn’t all about the money. Watching that meter run backwards is very satifying!

  2. Dave says:

    We had a company put up 24 panels on our roof last year. The money we put out came from stock we had purchased many years ago and the sold at quite a considerable profit. Our home is only 1600 Sq.Ft.
    The price was $20,000 before the 30% Fed write off credit.
    One thing that wasn’t mentioned in this blog deals with SREC’s. We will sell 10mkwh worth of credit. at this time they are only worth about $60. dollars a M. They have been going for about $350 a M a year ago. aybe in the future they will go back up like the price of oil.

  3. Tony says:

    Here is some food for thought. I had a 5.2 KW solar system installed over a year ago. I was lucky enough to apply for it when DE offered 50% of the cost (DE is now 25% of the cost). I had it installed in my yard and that doubled the output compared to locasting it on the roof. My system generated approx. 10 MWH in the first year. Not bad, averaged lowering my electric by 45% (900KWHs). The RECs have greatly decreased (was approx $250, now approx $100 per REC). Unless the price comes down to have them installed it is hard to get a fast payback due to the RECs being so low. My estimate for my payback is 5 years (based on $120 RECs average)

  4. Victor says:

    You also have to figure how the property added value effects your tax bill, which, your local tax bureau will be very quick to add to your already high taxes.

  5. Robert T. Hoff says:

    1st, don’t believe Delmarva’s rebate lie. I installed a qualified 5.2 Kw system over 1 year ago, yet Delmarva has issued no payments. Delaware isn’t interested in rebate enforcement. 2nd, don’t believe the SREC lie. After generating over 5 SRECs so far, I’ve only been paid for 2 from Flexera, 1st $252 & 2d $170. If you’re thinking about a DE installation, don’t expect any rebates or real $ from SREC brokers. It’s a scam.

  6. cole says:

    So if all works out well, and you start saving money thats great. But since the average life span of a roof is only 25 years, what happens then? To remove the roof you have to have a professional remove the solar panels. And the reinstallion isn’t cheap either. I would assume you would be dumping another 10-20k just for the reinstall, and thats if all the panels are still in good working order.

  7. Patrick says:

    You also will receive SREC Certificates. On the 3Kwh example you would receive almost 4 certificates per year which would be sold at todays rate for $1200 anually. After 8 years you would have earned $9600 in revenue from SREC’s. This also helps offset the cost and return.

  8. Kimberly says:

    Mike, your system needs to be grid-tied so that it pushes power to the grid when it is generating power, and your home pulls from the grid when you need it. It should not be directly powering appliances. (Unless your major goal is a system for use when power is down.) Also, matching the optimum sizing of a grid-tied system to its energy demand (since few utilities have good excess-power programs) depends on roof or ground size and aspect, and power use. A big house facing north with lots of gables will have problems with siting panels. Each project is very site-specific.

  9. Mike says:

    Solar is nice but it’s too expensive for mainstream america and an average sized PV system will not power an average sized american single family home. The Governemnt solar incentives are cute. Basically they take our tax money and buy solar sytems for the rich. Todays Solar cannot power todays consumer appliances that you find at mainstram stores such as Sears, Home Depot or Lowes. To find appliances that run on the limited amount of power provided by solar you have to go to specialty stores that sell outrageously expensive smaller appliances that don’t perform as well. I like the idea of Solar, it’s just too bad it can’t produce more power or power at night:-) I have a small solar set up at home but I realize its limitations. It will run my small TV and laptop if the power goes out but it certainly won’t run an electric clothes dryer, electric dishwasher, refrigerator or electric oven. We either need more powerful panels or appliances that use a lot less power.

  10. Wayne says:

    I agree with Jim

    to cover $27,000 in 8 years I need to be saving $3,375 per year

    also who has $27,000 in there back pocket?
    because if you get a second mortgage to cove the coast the pay off is many years not 8

  11. jim says:

    Is the 30% investment tax credit computed on the cost of the equipment net of the 50% state grant? Or is the 30% investment tax credit computed on the gross cost of the system prior to subtracting the state grant?

  12. Bill says:

    How do you calculate “your system will pay for itself in only about 8 years” if you save $642 the first year. If you multiply $642 * 8 years you only get $5,136 in savings. Even if you figue your second number (1,300kWh / month at a rate of $0.0946/kWh) that actually comes out to $122/month * 12 = $1475.76/year for an 8 year total of $11,806.08. Please show a breakdown to justify $27,000 cost and the actual payback period. Thanks.

  13. charles clayton says:

    We would like to inquire if you stock or can help us get 123watt solar panel. Please advise your unit pricing as we would be buying upto 10 or 12 units of this material from you for our upcoming project.And also let us know the credit card type you welcome for payment.
    Thanks for your anticiapted business relationship and cooperation.
    Charles Clayton
    Managing Director.
    Clayton Roofing.
    210 River Knoll Drive, Mayville, WI 53050
    Email:[email protected] or [email protected]

    1. Ken Huck says:

      The above inquiry seems to be a scam.

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