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Solar Incentives
for Businesses
and Nonprofits

Aerial drone view of rooftop solar system on the AIA building in Raleigh, NC

Solar for Businesses & Nonprofits

Solar Panel Grants & Incentives

Since the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act, there are a number of financial incentives that businesses and nonprofits in North Carolina can take advantage of when they go solar. Keep reading to see what solar incentives businesses can count on, and what other grants are available to increase your solar savings potential.

Aerial view Leaf & Limb's Raleigh headquarters with solar panels on the building
15.9kW Solar System installed at Leaf & Limb in Raleigh, NC

Upfront Tax Disclaimer
We are not tax professionals (surprise!) and this post does not constitute professional tax advice or guidance. If you end up going on your solar journey with us, we can connect you with Lucas Tax and Energy, a CPA specializing in energy related tax issues, that we keep on retainer as a service to our customers.

30% Federal Solar Tax Credit

Commercial Businesses (with Tax Liability)

The Federal Tax Credit incentive for solar offers businesses (and homes) that install a solar system a tax credit worth 30% of the system’s cost. This incentive is set to stay at this rate until 2032, without a cap on the value of the system that can be claimed.

For instance, a business installing an average 100kW solar system costing $205,000 could claim a tax credit of $61,500 when filing their 2024 taxes, effectively reducing the net system cost to $143,500. The Federal Solar Tax Credit covers a wide range of solar costs, including solar panels, mounting equipment, inverters, battery storage, system wiring, installation labor, and associated taxes.

Residents from Elderberry Cohousing standing in front of community ground mount solar system
17.9kW solar system installed at Elderberry Co-Housing Community in Rougemont, NC

30% Direct Pay Reimbursement

Tax-Exempt & Nonprofit Organizations

The signing of the Inflation Reduction Act brings big news for nonprofits & tax-exempt organizations – a new 30% Direct Pay Reimbursement! This means that eligible tax-exempt and nonprofit organizations can apply to receive an “elective pay” refund worth 30% of the cost of the solar project. A full list of eligible organizations and an overview of the application process can be found here

Aerial view overlooking the rooftop solar system at Pittsboro Presbyterian Church
12.7kW solar system installed at Pittsboro Presbyterian Church in PIttsboro, NC

Accelerated Bonus Depreciation

Commercial Businesses

Most assets are depreciated over a long period of time, but commercial solar systems are eligible for accelerated depreciation in the first year. This gives businesses owners the benefit of additional tax savings. Depreciation value depends on the business’ effective tax rate and can range from 20-35% off the cost of the system in the first year.

45.6kW solar system installed at Revisin in Raleigh, NC

Ready to Get Started?

Request a free assessment to learn more and get a custom proposal for your business, nonprofit, or tax-exempt organization.

Paul Vezzetti
May 17, 2023
Incredibly happy with Southern Energy Management. The entire process ran smoothly and efficiently from the initial contact to the system getting turned on. They are very clear about each step in the process and who is handling everything. The installation started well before they had projected and the whole project was done quickly. Awesome to watch the panels generate our power. Highly recommend SEM!
Prashant Gupta
May 15, 2023
From early questions to a fully functional system to tax credit readiness - the local team at Southern Energy has been exceptional at customer service. Special shout out to Randy. Overall an extremely knowledgeable, available and friendly crew that boosted my confidence in installing/running a system that will need some service and potential expansions for over the next 30 years. Want a job done quick and done right - I'd highly recommend Southern Energy Management.
Patrick Goodmon
April 14, 2023
Southern Energy Management has taken over the servicing of our Generac Solar System after Power Home Solar has gone under. Power Home was a complete joke and frankly Generac was looking a bit shabby. However, I feel much more comfortable now that Southern Energy is involved. They emailed us that they needed to come out and do a check of some things with the system and asked for pictures and access information. I sent pictures and an email and I was amazed to get an actual human response thanking me. They set up a time and to our amazement they were right on time. My wife met the two nice young men and they checked everything out and let my wife know we were all good. Interestingly at the time the guys came I was in the process of buying more batteries for our system from a third party that had used batteries for sale. To make a long story short, due to my poor research the batteries I bought were not the right ones for my system. I called Southern Energy to see if we could come up with a solution. Their Customer Service guy Sam was amazing! Not only did he give me many options on how they could help me make use of the batteries and assured me that I could hire their techs to do the upgrades, but he is putting me in touch with a customer that needs these specific batteries so I may be able to help myself get a buyer for the batteries, but he is helping that client get access to batteries that are no longer made! Outstanding service and care, helping my family deal with a possibly large financial setback. They have my solar business from now on!
Jim Bowes
March 12, 2023
Easy to understand the process, great team to work with, easy financing, and quick install process. The system is working great.
Jon Burch
March 11, 2023
Great team to work with and am so far completely satisfied with my system. Highly recommend you talk with SEM if you are in the market for Solar!
Ryan Parker
March 1, 2023
I can’t say enough good things about SEM! I appreciated each person with whom we interacted, and their overall approach. After initial inquiry, a Residential Energy Specialist (Randy) prepares a detailed proposal based on solar modeling and current home energy usage. There’s no pressure for unnecessary items (additional panels beyond what we needed for net metering, batteries we weren’t yet ready for.) The communication was clear all along the way, from our project manager (Sarah) coordinating everything and providing regular updates. The on-site technical assessment provided additional details, and the install crew was professional, and flexible in working around weather curveballs. Our project was finished ahead of schedule. We are 100% satisfied. (And with the 30% tax liability refund, we should probably say 130% satisfied!) Definitely would recommend. They provide exactly what they say they will, and do it well.
Scott R
February 6, 2023
Awesome company. Everyone from the panel installers to the electricians are in house (no contracting work out). Positive experience from beginning to end. Can’t recommend highly enough.
January 12, 2023
I am given 5 starts because of the great workmanship. Now the office is a different story. I have called several times also email several times. I have some questions about my system that needs to be addressed.
Neal Carlton
October 25, 2022
The only solar company you should call in North Carolina. They are pro's with a long track record and excellent service. I can't say enough about the quality of work and the upfront calculations on energy use and needs.

Other (Cherry On Top) Solar Incentives


Farms & Rural Businesses

The USDA REAP program provides grant funding to farms and rural businesses for solar energy systems to help permanently reduce operating expenses. When combined with other incentives, eligible farms & businesses can save 70-90% on the cost of solar with a REAP Grant. 

To be eligible for this incentive you must: 

  • Be in a rural area as defined by the USDA
  • Be classified as a small business by the US Small Business Administration

Reach out today to see if you qualify!

Tax Credit Adders

The following are a few adders your business may be eligible for. Again, make sure to consult a tax advisor for up-to-date info and to confirm your eligibility. 

+ 10% bonus for domestic material/equipment

    • 100% US Steel (which usually makes up the racking for the solar system)
    •  40% of the extra equipment (such as the modules, inverters, optimizers) must include material from US sources
    • More info to come!

+ 10% bonus for a project located in an energy community

    • This may include an application process

+ 10-20% bonus for low-income community projects

    • This may include an application process

How It Works

Our process is designed to educate and empower you so you can make a smart solar decision.

01 Discover.

Let us know you’re ready to get started & we’ll determine what you qualify for

02 Design.

We’ll provide a free quote for a custom solar system using LIDAR & satellite technology

03 Apply.

If you are pursuing a solar incentive that requires an application (like the USDA REAP Grant), we work with a dedicated grant writer who will lead the application process

04 Install.

Once your grant is awarded, we’ll handle everything including paperwork and & install to get your system up and running

05 Save!

Sit back, relax, & enjoy 30+ years of operational cost savings!

Solar installer carrying a solar panel and showing his strength.

Frequently Asked Questions

The first step is to confirm your eligibility. There are many incentives for commercial solar systems to take advantage of. 

  • Currently the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is 30% with the possibility of other additional incentives, or “add-ons,” depending on equipment, location and other factors. Make sure to speak to a tax advisor before moving forward.
  • Rural small businesses and farms may qualify for a grant up to 50% from the USDA.
  • Non-profits receive similar incentives as above but in the form of a “direct payment” from the IRS.

Currently, the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is 30% with the possibility of other additional incentives, or “add-ons,” depending on equipment, location, and other factors. Make sure to speak to a tax advisor before moving forward.

You can NOT write off a solar investment for your business because there is already a strong tax benefit (Investment Tax Credit + adders) and potentially other incentives through USDA REAP. 

Accelerated bonus depreciation can also be applied to your solar investment. Reach out to your tax advisor to learn more.

Currently, there are no major solar incentives specific to the state of North Carolina. There are many national incentives for residential, commercial, and nonprofit solar systems to take advantage of. 

The most common incentive is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), worth 30% of your solar system cost. There is also the possibility of additional incentives, or “add-ons,” depending on equipment, installation location, and other factors. Make sure to speak to a tax advisor before moving forward. 

Non-profits receive similar incentives as above but in the form of a “direct payment” from the IRS.

Rural small businesses and farms may qualify for an additional grant of up to 50% from the USDA.

Accelerated bonus depreciation is allowed, but solar can not be included in section 179.

In North Carolina, no major state-wide solar incentives have been announced for businesses in 2024. There are, however, several Federal level incentives that businesses, nonprofits, and government organizations can be eligible for including: 

  • 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit
  • 30% Direct Pay Reimbursement
  • USDA REAP Grant 

We recommend consulting your tax professional for an in-depth evaluation of what you may qualify for.

What areas do you serve?

Southern Energy Management is North Carolina’s most established solar installer. We’ve helped 3000+ homes and businesses make the switch to solar since 2001. Our Raleigh-based team of in-house solar experts is proud to serve the areas of:

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