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VA – Residential

SREC Payments and the 30% Federal Tax Credit are still available and cover over 40% of Solar PV and Solar Thermal Systems!

Other State & Local Rebates
  1. Solar Energy Equipment Tax Exemption – Fairfax County
  2. Arlington County – Green Building Incentive Program
  3. TVA – Generation Partners Program
  4. Local Option – Property Tax Assessment for Energy Efficient Buildings
  5. Local Option – Property Tax Exemption for Solar
  6. Energy Efficiency Rebate Program – Residential
  7. TVA Partner Utilities – Energy Right Heat Pump Loan Program
  8. TVA Partner Utilities – Energy Right New Homes Program
  9. Virginia Natural Gas – Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program


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Solar Energy Equipment Tax Exemption – Fairfax County

Property owners can qualify for a tax exemption for the installation of solar equipment that is designed and used primarily for the purpose of providing for the collection and use of solar energy for water heating, space heating or cooling or other applications which would otherwise require a conventional source of energy. Qualifying solar energy systems include solar heating and hot water systems, passive solar energy systems, south facing windows used as solar collectors, trombe walls (a sun facing wall designed to collect solar energy and act as a thermal mass for heating the structure), greenhouses integrated into the heating system of the structure, thermal storage systems, movable insulation, and shading devices designed primarily for shading windows to assist in summer cooling.

Program Description

  • The tax exemption program is open to any property owner in Fairfax County that holds the title of the property.
  • The tax exemption program applies to both residential and commercial property.
  • Qualifying equipment or system installations will entitle the property owner to a tax exemption for five years.
  • The value of the tax exemption is based on the cost or a percentage of the cost of the installation and the solar equipment, facilities, or devices installed.
  • The percentage or formula for the exemption is set out in the 13 VAC 5-200-10 et seq. of the Virginia Administrative Code. Please inquire at time of application on your specific equipment.
  • There is no additional cost to apply for participation in the tax exemption program.

Submission Requirements
In order to qualify for the tax exemption, property owners must provide the following:

  • A completed application for Solar Energy Equipment, Facilities or Devices Certification for Real or Personal Property Tax Exemption.
  • A copy of the plans, specifications, and drawings of the solar energy equipment, facilities or devices for which certification is requested.
  • A brief narrative description of the function of the solar energy equipment, facilities or devices.
  • The cost of the installed solar energy equipment, facilities or devices (materials and labor) and documentation of such costs. Items such as receipts, cancelled checks, or contracts for equipment installation shall be considered as documented cost data for the purposes of calculation the tax exemption.
  • A permit application as required under the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) for the installation of the solar energy equipment, facilities or devices.

Program Procedures

  1. Apply for the appropriate permits and participate in the tax exemption program by submitting the required applications and documentation described above to the Permit Application Center, 2nd floor of the Herrity Building (12055 Government Center Parkway).
  2. Once the equipment is installed and all required inspections are approved for conformance with the USBC, Land Development Services will forward the submission to the Department of Tax Administration (DTA).
  3. DTA will review the application and calculate the value of the tax exemption.
  4. Upon approval of the tax exemption, DTA will issue a separate letter to the property owner to confirm the acceptance of the application for tax exemption, the calculation of the exemption, and the time period for which the tax exemption shall apply.

Program Example
The property owner has entered into a contract for a total of $12,000 to install solar energy panels ($8,000 in Solar Energy equipment and $4,000 for installation). DPWES has completed their inspections and has forwarded the application to DTA. The $12,000, in this example, is considered the value of the exemption and would be deducted from the assessed value of the property. (The percentage or formula used is outlined in the Virginia Administrative Code. Many items such as solar panels or hot water systems are at 100% of cost and installation as shown in this example. Where other items such as south facing windows and greenhouses are based on a percentage or formula as stated in the Code. Please inquire at time of application.)

Based on the FY 2009 tax rate of $0.92 per hundred of assessed value, the $12,000 would equal a tax savings of $110.40 for the tax year. This is calculated as follows: $12,000 divided by 100 multiplied by $0.92 = $110.40. The amount of tax savings over the 5 year period may vary depending on the tax rate that is in effect for each tax year. The $12,000 would be deducted from the property’s assessed value every year for 5 years.

Contact Us
For questions about the application, what equipment qualifies, the permit process, or inspections, please contact the Permit Application Center at 703-222-0801.
For questions about the tax exemption calculation, please contact DTA at 703-222-8234.

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Arlington County – Green Building Incentive Program

State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Green Building Incentive
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Daylighting, Small Hydroelectric
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Residential, Construction, Installer/Contractor, Multi-Family Residential
Web Site: Click Here to Be ReDirected to the Site
Summary:
In October 1999, the County Board of Arlington adopted a Pilot Green Building Incentive Program using the standards established by the U. S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED*) Green Building Rating System. The program granted bonus densities and/or heights to building projects which received LEED certification. After this testing period, the incentive program was adopted and implemented in April 2000, then later updated and expanded in 2003.

The threshold for consideration of the density and height bonuses includes the full range of LEED certifications, Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Achieving the Certified level does not guarantee a density bonus, but will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and can potentially earn a bonus of .15 floor area ratio (FAR). Buildings achieving LEED Silver can be eligible for up to .25 FAR, and LEED Gold and Platinum can be considered for .35 FAR.

In December 2003, the County also established a Green Building Fund. Developers who participate in the site plan process (meaning their projects are special exceptions to the Zoning Ordinance) and do not achieve official LEED certification are required to contribute $0.045/sq ft. The Green Building Fund is used to provide education and outreach to developers and the community on green building issues. If the building later receives LEED certification, the fee will be refunded. Those projects that achieve LEED certification do not have to contribute.

*The USGBC LEED Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Click here for more information on the national LEED program.

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TVA – Generation Partners Program
State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Production Incentive
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Municipal Solid Waste, Small Hydroelectric
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Residential
Amount: $1000 plus $0.12/kWh above the retail rate for solar and $0.03/kWh above the retail rate for all other eligible renewables
Maximum Incentive: None specified
Web Site: http://www.generationpartners.com
Summary:
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and participating power distributors of TVA power offer a production-based incentive program to Valley homeowners and businesses for the installation of renewable generation systems from the following qualifying resources: solar, wind, low-impact hydropower, and biomass called Generation Partners. The energy generated from these renewable generation systems will count towards TVA’s green power pricing program, Green Power Switch.

TVA will purchase 100% of the output from a qualifying system at a premium of $0.12 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) on top of the retail electricity rate for solar and $0.03 per kilowatt-hour on top of the retail electricity rate for wind, low-impact hydro, and biomass. TVA will retain all rights to any renewable energy credits (including tradable renewable credits or green tags) or other associated benefits of energy generated from the renewable nature of the qualifying system.
Payment is made in the form of a credit issued by the local power company on the monthly power bill for the home or business where the generation system is located. If a qualifying system produces more electricity than it consumes, payment for the excess generation will be issued either monthly or annually, at the discretion of the power company. All new participants in the Generation Partners program will receive a $1000 incentive to offset the upfront cost of the qualifying system.

The installed capacity goal for the entire program is 200 megawatts (MW). The contract term is 10 years. Qualifying systems must have a minimum output of 500 watts AC and a maximum output of 999 kilowatts. Installations must also comply with local codes and adhere to guidelines established by the program. All equipment must be in compliance with environmental regulations and national standards, certified by a licensed electrician, and meet all applicable codes. Systems are dual-metered and must have an external disconnect switch, must complete an interconnection agreement, and be grid-tied.

As of October 2009, there are 91 distributors in the Valley that participate in the Generation Partners program; participation is at the discretion of the power company. For more information, visit www.generationpartners.com or call 866-673-4340.

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Local Option – Property Tax Assessment for Energy Efficient Buildings

State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Multi-Family Residential, Low-Income Residential, Agricultural, Institutional
Date Enacted:
3/11/2008
Summary:
In March 2008, Virginia enacted legislation that would allow local jurisdictions to assess the property tax of energy efficient buildings at a reduced rate. Under this law, eligible energy-efficient buildings, not including the real property on which they are located, may be considered a separate class of property for local taxation purposes. Accordingly, the governing body of any county, city or town may, by ordinance, allow a special assessment of the property taxes for this class of property. An energy-efficient building is defined as any building that exceeds the energy efficiency standards of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code by 30%; meets performance standards of the Green Globes Green Building Rating System, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) System or the EarthCraft House Program; or qualifies as an Energy Star home under federal Energy Star criteria.

Among the communities that have enacted an ordinance implementing this law include:

Contact:

Taxpayer Assistance – Virginia
Virginia Department of Taxation
PO Box 1880
Richmond, VA 23218-1880
Phone: (804) 367-8031
E-Mail: tax-busqtns@state.va.us
Web Site: http://www.tax.virginia.gov/

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Local Option – Property Tax Exemption for Solar

State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential
Amount: Varies (local option)
Maximum Incentive: Varies (local option)
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
1/1/1977
Summary:
Virginia allows any county, city or town to exempt or partially exempt solar energy equipment or recycling equipment from local property taxes. Residential, commercial or industrial property is eligible. The statute broadly defines solar energy equipment as any that is “designed and used primarily for the purpose of providing for the collection and use of incident solar energy for water heating, space heating or cooling or other application which would otherwise require a conventional source of energy.” Recycling equipment is defined as equipment which is “integral to the recycling process and for use primarily for the purpose of abating or preventing pollution of the atmosphere or waters.”
Cities and counties currently offering an exemption include: Albemarle, Alexandria, Charlottesville, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Fairfax, Falls Church, Hampton, Hanover, Henrico, Isle of Wight, King and Queen, Loudoun, Lynchburg, Prince William, Pulaski, Richlands, Roanoke, Spotsylvania, Warren and Wise.
Contact:

Ken Jurman
Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Virginia Division of Energy
Washington Building
1100 Bank Street, 8th floor
Richmond, VA 23219-3638
Phone: (804) 692-3218
Fax: (804) 692-3238
Web Site: http://www.mme.state.va.us/de

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Sales Tax Exemption for Energy-Efficient Products

State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Sales Tax Incentive
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Clothes Washers/Dryers, Dishwasher, Refrigerators, Dehumidifiers, Ceiling Fan, Lighting, Air conditioners, Programmable Thermostats
Applicable Sectors: Residential
Amount: 100% exemption from state sales and use tax
Equipment Requirements: Must meet federal Energy Star efficiency requirements
Web Site: http://www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=EnergyStarQualifiedPro
Date Enacted:
3/23/2007
Date Effective:
3/23/2007
Expiration Date
7/1/2012
Summary:
Virginia allows a four-day sales tax exemption on Energy Star products of $2,500 or less per product, purchased for non-commercial home or personal use. Beginning in 2007, this exemption — a 100% exemption from the state sales and use tax — applies to sales occurring during the four-day period that begins each year on the Friday before the second Monday in October and ends at midnight on the second Monday in October.

This incentive is available for dishwashers, clothes washers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, compact fluorescent light bulbs, dehumidifiers, programmable thermostats or refrigerators that meet federal Energy Star standards.

For taxable years beginning in 2007, individuals may also claim a deduction of 20%, up to $500, on their state income tax return for sales tax paid to purchase certain energy-efficient products listed on this web site.

Contact:

Taxpayer Assistance – Virginia
Virginia Department of Taxation
PO Box 1880
Richmond, VA 23218-1880
Phone: (804) 367-8031
E-Mail: tax-busqtns@state.va.us
Web Site: http://www.tax.virginia.gov/

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Energy Efficiency Rebate Program – Residential

(same program featured above with more detail)
State: Virginia
Incentive Type: State Rebate Program
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Water Heaters, Furnaces , Boilers, Heat pumps, Air conditioners, Programmable Thermostats, Building Insulation, Windows
Applicable Sectors: Residential
Amount: $2,000, plus $250 for an energy audit
Maximum Incentive: $2,000, plus $250 for an energy audit
Eligible System Size:
Equipment Requirements: Central AC: SEER >= 16, EER >=13 (split system); SEER >=14, EER >=12 (packaged)
Air source heat pump: HSPF >=8.5, EER>=12.5, SEER>=15 (split system); HSPF>=8, EER>=12, SEER>=14 (packaged)
Natural Gas or Propane Furnace: AFUE >= 95
Oil Furnace: AFUE >= 90
Gas, propane, oil hot water boiler: AFUE >= 90
Gas, propane, oil tankless water heater: Energy Factor >= 0.82 or a thermal efficiency of at least 90%
High efficiency gas storage tank water heater: Energy Star label (Energy Factor .62 or higher)
Electric heat pump water heater: Energy Star label (or equivalent): Energy Factor >= 2.0
Geothermal heat pumps: Energy Star or equivalent
Insulation: must meet 2009 IECC + amendments
Windows, doors, skylights: must have U factor <= 0.30 and SHGC <= 0.30 and be certified by NFRC.
Programmable thermostat: Energy Star.
Installation Requirements: Energy audit: Must be performed by a RESNET certified contractor.
In general, a manufacturer’s certificate statement is required and equipment must be new and replacing older, less efficient, in-use equipment.
Geothermal heat pumps: contractor must calculate estimated energy benefits.
Insulation: contractor must calculate the expected energy benefits.
Program Budget: $7 million
Funding Source: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
Expiration Date: Funds available until exhausted.
Web Site: http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DE/ARRA-Public/SEPRebate.shtml

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TVA Partner Utilities – Energy Right Heat Pump Loan Program

State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Utility Loan Program
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Heat pumps
Applicable Sectors: Residential, Utility, Installer/Contractor
Amount: Amounts vary depending on utility up to $10,000 for a single unit and $12,500 for multiple or advanced units
6%-8% interest depending on utility
10 year financing for an efficient residential heat pump through third party lenders
Local utility loan programs may include other terms and qualifications
Web Site: http://www.energyright.com/heatpump/benefits.htm
Summary:
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Energy Right Heat Pump Plan promotes the installation of high efficiency heat pumps in homes and small businesses. Through a third-party lender, TVA provides ten-year financing for residential heat pumps with repayment through the customer’s electric bill to their local power distributors. TVA Energy Right is an umbrella program, and the loans are independently administered by 143 separate power companies served by TVA, each of which runs the program, specifying their own terms.

Installation, performance, and weatherization standards have been established to ensure the comfort of the customer and the proper operation of the system. A Quality Contractor Network has been established for maintaining high installation standards. TVA also pays the distributor $175 for each high efficiency installation. To find out who is participating, click here. For more detailed information for participating contractors and utilities, click here. Customers should contact their local utilities to see what programs are offered.

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TVA Partner Utilities – Energy Right New Homes Program
State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Utility Rebate Program
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Heat pumps, Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Custom/Others pending approval
Applicable Sectors: Residential, Construction, Utility, Installer/Contractor, Multi-Family Residential
Amount: Site Built New Homes Plan: $300-$800 depending on home efficiency
Manufactured Home Heat Pump: $300
Multifamily units: $100
Equipment Requirements: Site Built Homes: All electric
Manufactured Home Heat Pump: 13 SEER
Installation Requirements: Energy Right Homes: 93 to 86 HERS rating
Energy Right Platinum Homes: 85 or less HERS (Energy Star® certification)
Web Site: http://www.energyright.com/construction/site_index.htm
Summary: The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) New Homes Plan provides incentives to contractors for building homes with a 4.5 or 5 star HERS rating. Over 2,400 homes have been certified to date through participating power distributors, including 800 homes at the Energy Right Platinum or ENERGY STAR level.

TVA Energy Right also partners with manufactured home dealers to allow them to receive $300 per home for an HVAC contractor to upgrade inefficient air conditioning systems to efficient 13 SEER heat pump.

Finally, in a pilot program, TVA provides a matching rebate of up to $500 for an energy audit and approved efficiency measures. This Home Energy Evaluation (IHEE) program is currently being tested in 22 power distributor areas with 50 more coming into the pilot in October 2009. Evaluation is performed by trained auditors and installed measures are inspected after installation. TVA is working with a third party vendor (Conservation Services Group – CSG) to assist in program design and implementation.

Customers should contact their local utilities to see what programs are offered.

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TVA Partner Utilities – Energy Right Water Heater Rebate Program
State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Utility Rebate Program
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Water Heaters
Applicable Sectors: Residential, Utility, Installer/Contractor
Amount: Energy Efficient Water Heater: $50 from TVA
Maximum Incentive: Utility water heater rebate programs generally range from $25 up to total cost.
Equipment Requirements: Usually electric and over 30 gallons
Web Site: http://www.energyright.com/waterheat/index.htm
Summary: The TVA Energy Right Water Heater Plan promotes the installation of high efficiency water heaters in homes and small businesses. TVA provides a $50 incentive for the installation of a high efficiency water heater through their partner installers. Utilities may pass these savings on as credits on consumers’ electric bills, increase the incentives, or keep them in order to help them make more efficient water heater installations. 2008 installations totaled 13,452. TVA Energy Right is an umbrella program, and the rebate is independently administered through approximately 142 separate power companies served by TVA, each of which is given the flexibility to run the Water Heater Plan with their own maximum amount, installation requirements, etc. Customers should contact their local utilities to see what programs are offered.
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Virginia Natural Gas – Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
State: Virginia
Incentive Type: Utility Rebate Program
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Water Heaters, Furnaces , Programmable Thermostats
Applicable Sectors: Residential, Low-Income Residential
Amount: Furnace: $500
Tankless Water Heater: $500
Tank Water Heater: $150 Rebate
Programmable Thermostat: Free (1)
HVAC annual check-ups: $25 rebate (1)
Equipment Requirements: Furnace: 90% + AFUE
Tank Style Water Heater: .62+ Energy Factor
Tankless Water Heater: .82 + Energy Factor
Expiration Date: December 31, 2011
Web Site: http://www.virginianaturalgas.com/Universal/energySMART/energySMA
Summary:
Virginia Natural Gas provides incentives for their residential customers to purchase high-efficiency natural gas equipment. Energy efficient water heaters, tankless water heaters, furnaces, and programmable thermostats are eligible for rebates. Other rebates may become available in the future. To qualify, customers must fill out a rebate form for an energySMART program online submission. To complete the form applicants need a Virginia Natural Gas account number, and an energySMART installation verification form provided by your installing contractor (for qualifying water heater and seasonal check up rebates). See the program web site listed above for other instructions and requirements.
Contact:

Virginia Natural Gas
Virginia Natural Gas Customer Care Center
P.O. Box 4569 Dept. 6250
Atlanta, GA 30302-4569
Phoenix, AZ 85072
Phone: (866) 229-3578
E-Mail: vngcustomercare@aglresources.com
Web Site: http://vng.aglr.com/Home.aspx

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