It snows in Maryland and the entire Washington D.C. area, but that hasn’t stopped Maryland from supporting solar hot water for residences and businesses.
For those concerned about winters, know that solar engineers account for the cold months when designing your system. Certainly, your solar hot water system is not going to be as productive as the milder months, but the sun does shine in the winter and that thermal heat does provide a significant amount of hot water.
Also, keep in mind that whether you live in Maryland or Arizona, your hot water needs are almost always backed up by conventional water heating sources. So whether it’s winter or summer, your home or business will always have enough hot water for showers, washing clothes, etc. It’s only the proportion of solar heated water and gas or electric heated water that will change with the seasons.
Maryland provides many incentives for installing solar hot water for both residential and commercial applications:
- Property Tax Credit. Most Maryland counties offer some kind property tax incentives. The amount and formula varies by county, so be sure to check this state incentive page under Maryland for details.
- Solar Water Heating Grant. Maryland also provides a grant of 30% of the installed cost, up to a maximum of $2000. The grant is applicable to both residential and commercial solar hot water systems.
- State Income Tax Incentives. The amount that you receive from the above grant is not considered income. Therefore, the above maximum $2000 grant is tax-free.
- State Sales Tax Exemption. Unlike installing a conventional gas or electric water heating system, the solar installer will not charge you any additional sales tax, saving you even more money upfront.
- Property Tax Improvement Exemption. Your Maryland property taxes will not go up from installing a solar hot water system as an improvement. In addition, if you install a solar thermal system for space heating or cooling, the assessed improvement value will be the same as a conventional system.
In addition to all of the above, don’t forget that the Federal government provides a 30% Federal tax credit. Also, these state incentives are just the beginning of your lifetime savings. As utility rates rise over time, you’ll save money with all of the free hot water you’re receiving. (Naturally, you’ll also be helping the environment. )