Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

To encourage Americans to use solar power, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy run the Energy Star program, which, among other projects, offers tax credits for solar-powered systems.

If you install Energy Star-approved solar-power systems before the end of 2016, you can claim 30 percent of the cost as a tax credit for the year you installed it.

As a credit, you take the amount directly off your tax payment, rather than as a deduction from your taxable income. You can claim the credit for your primary residence, a vacation home, and for either an existing structure or new construction. Other than the cost of the system, there’s no limit to the dollar amount of the credit.

Is there a tax credit for solar water heaters?

Yes, Sun-Tec Solar Water Heaters qualify for a tax credit.

How much:

30% of the cost (including installation/labor costs), with no upper limit.


Tax credit in effect in through 2016. Must be installed in a home you own and use as a residence (no rentals, but second homes qualify) between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2016.


At least half of the energy generated by the solar water heater (“qualifying property”) must come from the sun.
Homeowners may only claim spending on the solar water heating system property, not the entire water heating system of the household.

The system must be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC).

The water must be used in the dwelling.

The credit is not available for expenses for swimming pools or hot tubs.

to apply:

IRS Form 5695 Residential Energy Credits PDF

The purpose of Vermont’s Small Scale Renewable Energy Partnership Program (SSREPP) is to provide a benchmark of installation quality and experience for the solar & wind industries and customers. The Partnership Program is a way for businesses that install commercial and residential renewable energy systems to access the Vermont Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program.

For a comprehensive guide to the Partnership Program, read the Partnership Program Guidelines & Rules document.

IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT BEFORE SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION, APPLICANTS CALL (802) 229 0099 TO REVIEW APPLICATION PROCESS. There are many program details and a verbal overview usually saves time and energy for the applicant.

The Partnership Program holds applicants to a high level of professionalism. Applications will either be accepted or denied based on the materials provided and the applicant’s ability to respond to the review committee’s comments. To learn more about the level to which the committee reviews applications, please reference Bill Brooks’ publication, A Standardized Process for the Review of Small-Scale PV Systems (details begin on page 12).

Partnership Types

  • Solar Photovoltaic (PV)
  • Solar Hot Water (SHW)
  • Wind
  • Micro-Hydro

Partnership Levels

  • Full | Businesses that qualify for Full Partnership are experienced installers committed to high-quality, safe, installations. Full Partners are often NABCEP certified, though this is not a requirement of the Partnership Program. Full Partners may reserve more than one incentive at a time, and do not require any site visits by the Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program. A list of full partners is available on this website.
  • Provisional | Businesses new to the solar, micro-hydro, or small-wind industry are eligible for Provisional Partnership. Provisional Partnership is designed to provide a pathway for businesses to become full partners. Such businesses have met the minimum requirements and demonstrated a basic knowledge for the industry best practices. Provisional Partners are not listed in Partnership Program promotional materials. Provisional Partnership may not be renewed; it can only be upgraded to full partnership. After two years, Provisional Partners are required to renew their partnership status. Businesses that do not upgrade to full partnership will be removed from the program. Provisional partners can reserve one incentive at a time. Provisional Partner installations will be inspected by a representative of the Vermont Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program.