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.
DSIRE is a website which allows your to search for state, federal, and local incentives by zip code. It is regularly updated and also allows you to search by type of incentive or type of technology.
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.
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 NH cities and towns that have adopted one or more renewable energy property tax exemptions based on data from the NH Department of Revenue Administration (DRA).
The renewable energy property tax exemption is not administered uniformly across the state. See the lists from DRA about how each municipality has chosen to administer either the solar, wind or wood heating exemption.
If your city or town does not currently offer such exemptions, see procedures for adopting local property tax exemptions and 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 DRA Form PA-29.
OSI recommends that homeowners and municipal officials consult the DRA 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 - Department of Revenue Administration]
Wood Pellet Commercial Financial Incentives Available: The Northern Forest Center, a non-profit organization working for rural communities and healthy working forests across northern New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and New York, has financial incentives available to help several commercial buildings in Coos, Grafton, or Carroll Counties switch to high-efficiency wood pellet heat. The incentive is 25% of system cost up to $10,000 and can be added to the state's generous incentive. The Center is looking for high-visibility projects and owners who are willing to share their stories and open their businesses to tours. Businesses with numerous employees and/or high job creation potential are also desirable.The application process is minimal and we can usually make decisions overnight - this is probably the easiest funding anyone can apply for! If you or a property owner you know would like more information, contact Program Director Maura Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-229-0679 x114.
Renewable Energy Generation Incentive Program: The state, through the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), has developed a rebate program for residential renewable electric generating systems with a generating capacity rated at 10kw or under. 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 , 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.
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.)
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.