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Renewable Energy Incentives

Financial incentive programs have been developed on the local, state and federal levels to help encourage the development of renewable energy.

Below is a list of programs available to New Hampshire residents who have installed or are interested in installing a renewable energy system for their home or small business.

The US Department of Energy's newsletter, EERE Network News, occasionally lists possible funding opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy applications. EERE's newsletter covers national and international energy efficiency and renewable energy news and events, as well as new EERE websites and energy facts.

back to topLocal Incentives

Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption: RSA 72:61-72 permits cities and towns to offer exemptions from local property taxes for certain renewable energy installations. These include solar systems (thermal and photovoltaic), wind turbines, and central wood-fired heating systems. Woodstoves and fireplaces are not included. The goal of the exemption is to create a tax neutral policy within a municipality that neither increases an individual's property tax, nor decreases the municipality's property tax revenues. By implementing it as a tax neutral policy, homeowners do not have a disincentive of higher property taxes for installing a renewable energy system, and since there is no net reduction in municipal tax revenues, other taxpayers in a municipality are not affected.

Below is a basic example of how the exemption might work:

$200,000 Assessed value of the property
+$20,000 Ad valorem value of the renewable energy system
$220,000 New assessed value of the property
-$20,000 Portion of assessed value exempt from property taxes
$200,000 New assessed value of the property w/ the renewable energy exemption

See the list of cities and towns pdf file that have adopted one or more renewable energy property tax exemptions based on data received from towns through our annual municipal land use regulation database survey. Please consult local officials for current renewable energy tax exemption status.

If your city or town does not currently offer such exemptions, see procedures for adopting local property tax exemptions. See the sample warrant article for adopting the renewable energy property tax exemptions. (Note: local officials may be unaware of exemptions, as the exemptions may have been adopted as long as 30 years ago.)

If you live in a city or town that offers exemptions and you have an installation that qualifies, you may apply for an exemption by completing the NH Department of Revenue Administration Form PA-29 pdf file.

OEP recommends that homeowners and municipal officials consult the NH Department of Revenue Administration with any questions regarding the renewable property tax exemption laws and their application.

*"Ad valorem value" means the valuation of the property prior to any adjustment for Current Use, RSA 79-A or Conservation Restriction Assessment, RSA 79-B. [From New Hampshire Equalization Manual 2006  pdf file, Department of Revenue Administration]

back to topState Incentives

Renewable Energy Generation Incentive Program: The state, through the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), has developed a rebate program for residential renewable electric generating systems rated less than 5kw generating capacity. The application is available through the PUC Sustainable Energy Division. The PUC also has additional rebate programs for residential and commercial systems, including rebates for thermal renewable systems. In addition to the PUC rebates, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative members are encouraged to contact your utility to learn more about the renewable energy rebate programs offered. These utility rebate programs may be used in combination with those rebates made available through the PUC.

Net Metering: NH Public Utilities Commission, Code of Administrative Rules, Chapter Puc 900 pdf file, provides for net metering, which permits homeowners to receive credit for on-site electricity generation such as from a solar photovoltaic (PV) or wind turbine installation when the generation exceeds household consumption. This is accomplished by use of an electric meter that can run both forward and backward so that the homeowner is billed only for the net reading on the meter.

back to topFederal Incentives

Federal Tax Credits: Over the last several years, the federal government has offered a variety of tax credits for residential energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. These federal tax credits are important because they are a dollar-for-dollar deduction from taxes owed to the US Government. (Please consult a qualified tax professional when referencing this information for tax purposes.)

The tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction against the income tax due. Additional Information is available from energystar.gov. A simplified summary of the incentives is also available.

USDA Rural Energy For America Program: The USDA has created this program to aid agricultural producers and small businesses in rural areas to reduce their energy use and expand opportunities for renewable energy. The program issues grants, guaranteed loans, or a combination of the two to a variety of projects. Recent awardees in New Hampshire include:

  • Funspot, Weirs Beach, NH - replaced all lighting for significant savings on electricity consumption
  • EZ Steel and Fabrication, Bath, NH - installed a geothermal heating system to replace a propane fired system
  • Stuart and John's Sugarhouse, Westmoreland, NH - purchased two reverse osmosis machines to make the production of maple syrup more energy efficient
  • Van Berkum Greenhouse, Deerfield, NH - purchased energy curtain for greenhouse to reduce oil costs by limiting heat loss at night and blocking excessive heat build up during the day
  • Pleasant View Gardens, Pembroke, NH - purchased a wood fired boiler system to replace an oil fired system that eliminated the use of #2 heating oil and provided significant cost savings

Eligible Areas: Communities of less than 50,000 population and not contiguous to a community of 50,000 or more. In New Hampshire, all communities would be eligible except Manchester, Nashua and any communities sharing a border with these cities.

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NH Office of Energy and Planning
Governor Hugh J. Gallen State Office Park
Johnson Hall, 3rd Floor  |  107 Pleasant Street  |  Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2155  |  fax: (603) 271-2615