To successfully adopt solar energy systems at your home or business, you need to be informed on current solar-related policies and regulations. These resources will help provide more information about the basics of solar energy, solar options, consumer protections, and more.
Idaho Division of Building Safety
- Renewable Energy, Power Production & Energy Storage Systems
- Guidelines for Homeowners Installing Power Production Systems
Idaho State Laws
- Idaho Statutes 48-18 - Residential Solar Energy System Disclosure Act
- Idaho Statutes Section 55-615 – Solar Easements
Idaho law also allows for solar easements. The law allows parties to enter into solar easement contracts voluntarily for the purpose of ensuring adequate exposure of sunlight to a solar-energy system. The easement is transferred with the property title.
Idaho state laws stipulates that a homeowner’s association (HOA) may not limit or prohibit installation of solar panels or collectors on any property rooftop or structure within its jurisdiction. HOA’s can enforce reasonable rules regarding the appearance of the panels. The provisions only apply to rooftops that are owned, controlled, and maintained by the homeowner.
Idaho Power Resources
- Solar Checklist
- Solar & Clean Energy Choices
- Ways to Save Energy-Efficiency Products & Services. Idaho Power
Consumer Guides & Protection Resources
- Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power. Solar Energy Industries Association
- Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar. U.S. Department of Energy
- Interstate Renewable Energy Council Consumer Protection Resources
Finding a Contractor
Find a reputable solar contractor (or two) to assess your home for solar energy and provide a quote. Before you commit to a contractor, find out about their industry certifications, licenses, and insurance and product information. Ask contractors for at least three local references that you can call.
- Solar Energy Industries Association Solar Customer Resource Portal
- EnergySage Marketplace for Solar & Other Renewable Energy Options
- North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners in Idaho
FINANCING, INCENTIVES & TAX EXEMPTIONS
Businesses or workers with home offices may recover investments in certain property through depreciation deductions. The Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) establishes a lifespan for property over which the property may depreciate. For solar PV systems, the taxable basis of the equipment must be reduced by 50% of any federal tax credits associated with the system. The 50% Bonus Depreciation provision means that in the first year of service, taxpayers can elect to depreciate 50% of the basis while the remaining 50% is depreciated under the normal MACRS schedule.
- Federal and State of Idaho Incentives for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency (DSIRE)
- Homeowner’s Guide to Solar Financing: Leases, Loans & PPAs. Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA)
- Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics. U.S. Department of Energy
- Idaho Solar Incentives. EnergySage Marketplace
- Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans & Grants, U.S. Department of Agriculture (For small to medium-sized businesses and any size farms.)
JOB TRAINING & EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
If you are interested in pursuing a career in solar energy, here are some links to regional and national educational courses, programs, and/or training opportunities offered by colleges, universities, technical institutions, and nonprofits.
Programs in the State of Idaho
- Introduction to Renewable Energy. Idaho State University
- Renewable Energy Systems Technology Program. College of Southern Idaho
- Solar Energy Systems Engineers Career. Next Steps Idaho
National & International Programs
- NABCEP Educational Trainings
- RE100: Introduction to Renewable Energy (Free Online Course)
- SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) Online Learning Center
- SEIA Webinar Archive
- Solar Energy International Trainings
- Solar Installer Training. Solarigen School of Solar Technology
GET INVOLVED, STAY INFORMED
The Alliance is a membership organization of over 1,100 business and cleantech leaders that facilitates the generation and growth of cleantech companies and jobs through a variety of educational programs, research, products, and services.
The Idaho Chapter seeks to drive innovation for clean energy in Idaho by bringing together government entities, businesses, and nonprofit leaders to position Idaho as a clean energy leader and pave the way for a prosperous, secure, and healthy future.
Conservation Voters for Idaho has been successful in working with Idaho utilities, counties, and cities to make clean energy commitments. CVI is committed to ensure every Idaho community builds a clean energy plan.
The Idaho Clean Energy Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and their associated technologies in the State of Idaho.
The Idaho Conservation League is Idaho’s leading voice for conservation. Their long-term goal is to make Idaho carbon neutral by helping Idahoans conserve energy and getting utilities to divest from fossil fuel energy sources in exchange for clean, renewable energy.
The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest influential grassroots environmental organization. The Idaho Sierra Club is dedicated to expanding opportunities for all Idahoans to participate in and benefit from the clean energy economy.