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Clear info on home solar power rebates, tax credits, and other benefits

2017 Policy Grade

B

Avg. Yearly Savings

$144

Congratulations! You've found the ultimate guide to going solar in New Mexico

2017 Policy Grade

B

Avg. Savings/yr

$144

Welcome to the 2017 New Mexico solar power information page!

Note: The numbers above are just estimates for a 5kW solar system, and your home is unique. The best way to know exactly how much money solar power can save you is to connect with one of our partners nearby. A friendly solar expert we trust will give you a buzz and help you craft a personal plan to get the absolute most out of a solar power system for your home. It's 100% free (yes, that’s right, 100% free) and you aren't obligated to buy anything.

The Land of Enchantment is doing some good things to keep captivating residents and visitors alike with its mountains, deserts, lakes, and forests. The New Mexican legislature has been hard at work enacting solar and renewable energy programs to protect the natural beauty all around the state. This legislation will help preserve Pueblo and Aztec ruins, as well as many other great outdoor wonders.

Questions? Our network of solar experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page. You can get discounted on-grid pricing as low as $4,000/kW! This is paired with the New Mexico solar incentives you see below.

Your guide to going solar in New Mexico

We've designed this page to be a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on a home in New Mexico. Since there's a lot of important information to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with someone who might also find it interesting!

The Solar Strategy section is all about the various financial options you have in New Mexico. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions about what you hope to get out of a solar purchase and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we give you a detailed picture of how each could work for you.

The Policy Information section contains all of our latest research on the rules set by the state legislature and public utilities commission that determines how easy it is to go solar in New Mexico. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to whether you get paid retail or wholesale rates for the extra energy your system produces, and can have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section lists all of the available financial benefits available to homeowners who go solar. This section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions. If you're looking for what New Mexico is doing to make solar more affordable for its citizens, you'll find it here.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Your Solar Strategy in New Mexico

Figuring out the best way to go solar in New Mexico can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

Compare the Return of Different Solar Investments in New Mexico

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in solar whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a loan or Power-Purchase Agreemement (PPA)One thing it's important to note is: solar makes you a lot of money in New Mexico. Yes, we said "makes!" You see, New Mexico gets so much sun, its relatively low electricity prices are no match for the awesome energy-generating ability of solar panels. Going solar in New Mexico starts paying off right away, and with great state and federal tax credits, solar has never been cheaper.

Now let's discuss that chart above. As you can see, the cash purchase option leads to the highest dollar-amount returns over time, but look a little closer. Taking a loan and paying for the system over time (the orange bars) means you'll spend thousands of dollars less over time, while reaping a big financial benefit in year 1.

That's because you'll be making low monthly payments for the system, but you still get all the benefits of paying up front. In New Mexico, that means a 30% federal tax credit and huge annual energy savings. With that tax credit, you'll actually come out way ahead after the first year. And even though you'll be making loan payments for 15 years, the first-year windfall is so big, you'll only begin spending your own money in year 9.

Finally, take a look at the blue bars. They represent a solar Power-Purchase Agreement (PPA), which is also called third-party ownership. With a PPA, the solar installation company puts panels on your roof at no cost to you, and you buy the electricity produced by the panels for cheaper than you can get it from the utility company.PPAs in New Mexico are awesome, because you start saving money right away. Your savings will start small but finish big, because the PPA cost will rise by less than the electric company's annual rate hikes. Third-party ownership is an excellent option even if you have equity or cash to put down, because it can save you tons of money!

Read more below about each of three very good options for solar in New Mexico.

  Solar Power-Purchase Agreements in New Mexico

A PPA is a great way to go solar if you haven't got stacks of cash or oodles of equity in your home. It's possible to get solar panels for $0 down and see big savings over 20 years!

As for PPAs in New Mexico: the electricity costs here aren't very high—we're actually a bit lower than the national average—but the sun shines brighter here than almost anywhere else in the country! That means a PPA saves you money starting on day 1. For now, the payments for the electricity produced by a 5-kW solar system should be around $815 per year, but the same amount of energy from the utility company would have cost you $959. That's $144 you get to keep in your pocket this year, just for saying yes to solar!

And those savings will only get larger over time. As the utility company raises rates, your costs will go up by a smaller amount, meaning you'll see greater annual savings. Over 20 years, our estimate shows a total savings of $4,825. And the best part is the panels will be owned and maintained by the installation company, so all you have to do is brag to the Joneses down the street about your green habits!

Net Present Value: $2,522

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and New Mexico's $2,522 NPV on a solar PPA means you'd be that much better off investing your money in solar over 25 years than in, say, stocks. That number is pretty huge for a $0-down investment, so you can rest easy with a PPA in New Mexico knowing you're doing right for your pocketbook at the same time as you're doing right by the planet!

Here's a little more about how a New Mexico solar PPA works:

Example savings in New Mexico

Annual Electric Bill Before Solar

$1,012

Annual Electric Bill After Solar

$53

Est. Annual Solar Payments

$815

Average Annual Savings

$144

Power-Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are the most popular form of what's called "third-party solar." A PPA just means your solar company owns the panels on your roof, and you pay for the electricity they produce. The numbers above show the savings with a solar PPA for an average home in New Mexico. The typical electric bill before solar power is super expensive, but with a PPA, your monthly expenses will be lower. You'll be saving money and saving the planet all at the same time!

Here's an estimate of the monthly savings for a solar PPA in New Mexico:

With a PPA, your solar company essentially becomes a second utility provider, only the solar electricity is sold to you at a lower rate than the fossil fuel electricity you've been buying from the electric company! Note: your PPA won't eliminate your power bill from your regular electric provider, because you'll still need energy from the grid when the sun isn't shining. But it will save you money!

The less-popular cousin of the third-party solar family is the solar lease. It's basically like renting your panels for a set monthly payment, and getting all the energy they produce—however much it is. Don't get spooked by that language, though. A typical solar lease comes with energy production guarantees that will make sure you're getting what you paid for. In fact, if you're not offered a production guarantee with a solar lease, walk away.

Here's the best part of third-party solar: whether you end up with a lease or a PPA, the installation company owns the panels and will do all the maintenance for you. Usually that means just a good cleaning every year, but if any part of that system fails, you're off the hook! That can be a great benefit to homeowners who are risk averse.

Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in New Mexico. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar lease or PPA, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Home Solar Power: PPA vs. Purchasing

To PPA, or not to PPA? Willsolar Shakespanels would be proud we're discussing this. Here's the basic deal. If you choose to lease your panels, you benefit from no out of pocket costs and an immediately reduced total electricity payment. Because of this, many regard this option as a no-brainer, since there isn't any downside to think of. The only hiccup you'll start to experience is when you consider the long term financial benefit of owning the solar panel system yourself.

In many situations, if you can afford the outlay or can easily secure financing, the cost of the install becomes an investment with a return outpacing even the strongest performing mutual funds. In addition, there's significantly less principal risk, since the energy credits you will be producing are tied to the sun coming up in the morning instead of our financial markets!

Additionally, if you go the PPA route, you must forfeit all the credits and performance payments you would receive by owning the system yourself to the solar PPA company (after all, that's how they can afford to give you such a no-brainer proposition in the first place).

 Solar Loans in New Mexico

You don't need $19,000 sitting around to pay for solar. As long as you have equity in your home, you can still own solar panels and reap all the benefits. Heck, even if you do have the cash, getting a loan to pay for solar is by far the best option when it comes to percentage return on investment.

That’s because, in New Mexico, using a loan to pay for solar is like investing in a business that's sure to succeed, and also earns you a tax break. You'll come out thousands ahead this year, and you'll see a spectacular profit over the 25-year life of your system. The reason this works so well is that you're paying over time, but reaping all the benefits now. Your yearly energy savings will nearly offset the loan payments, which might sound like it's too good to be true... so let's take a look at the numbers.

A solar purchase like this will make sense for you if the following is true about you and your current situation:

  • You can qualify for a solar loan or home-equity line of credit (HELOC) for $18,750, with a fixed rate of 4% or lower and a 15-year repayment period. Don't be put off if you're offered a higher rate. It just means a tiny bit less of the thousands of dollars you'll make with solar.
  • You love making money without much risk.

Net Present Value: $2,797

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and New Mexico's $2,797 NPV on a solar loan means you'd be that much better off investing your money in solar over 25 years than in, say, stocks. That's a huge number, and it shows how getting a loan for solar is so much better than the alternatives. You can rest easy with a solar loan knowing you're doing right for your pocketbook at the same time as you're doing right by the planet!

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a New Mexico homeowner who makes a solar purchase with a loan:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $18,750. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $959, but your annual loan payments will be $1,664, meaning you would spend $705 on solar this year, but...
  • You'll get a huge tax break! Uncle Sam will give you 30% of the cost of your system back as an income tax credit, which in this case means $5,625 you won't be paying the Feds this year. You'll actually come out $4,920 your first year as a solar owner.
  • Your yearly net cost (electricity savings minus loan payments) for solar will be $696 in year 2, and will shrink as the cost of electricity rises but your loan payments don't.
  • By the time you've paid off your loan in 2031, you'll be seeing yearly savings of over $1,100. After 25 years, your total profit will be $8,388!
  • On top of the green that will stay in your pocket, your system will mean green for the environment, too—133 trees-worth, every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in New Mexico. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

 Buying Solar in New Mexico

An outright purchase used to be the only way to get solar, and it's still the option that provides the "biggest" financial returns. The reason we put "biggest" in quotes here is because it's technically true—with lower equipment costs and two tax credits, solar costs less than ever before, and a solar installation pays itself off in 13 years. But if you're interested in solar as an investment, taking a loan to pay for the system is a better option.

With a loan, you can make monthly payments instead of putting $20,000 down on a solar system, which means you save money on electricity as you pay down the cost of your panels. If you have equity in your home or can get a large loan with an interest rate of 4% or less, a loan is the option to go with. It's like being able to start a business that is sure to succeed, just by having a roof. Read about loans below.

If you've got cash and you prefer to pay up front, you'll have to plunk down $18,750, but tax breaks and energy savings will erase a bunch of that after just 1 year. Over 25 years, your system will have produced nearly $14,600 in income, after your system cost is paid back. The reason this works is that solar offsets your electricity costs—enough to save you $959 in year 1—and it just goes up from there. As the electric company raises rates, you save more and more, and more...

Net Present Value: $1,272

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and New Mexico's $1,272 NPV on a 5-kW solar system means you'd be that much better off investing your money in solar over 25 years than in, say, stocks. But this is actually the lowest NPV of any type of solar investment. Check out what happens to NPV if you buy the same system with a loan that you can pay back over time.

Here’s how the numbers work for a 5-kW rooftop solar system in New Mexico:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $18,750. That's cheaper than solar has ever been, but it still might seem like a big investment. Don’t worry, because after a big tax break and your energy savings, your first-year costs will be considerably less than that.
  • The Federal government offers a great income tax credit of 30% of system costs. That's $5,625 you won't be paying to Uncle Sam this year, and it brings your first-year investment down to $13,125.
  • After that tax credit, we subtract your first year’s energy savings, which we estimate to be $959. That reduces your cost after the first year to only $12,166—a savings of about 33% off the cost of your system. That's a huge cost reduction!
  • Those electricity savings will quickly pile up, and your system will pay for itself in year 13. But your panels carry 25-year warranties, and they'll likely keep on kicking out kilowatts for a few decades or more. You'll see a total net profit of $14,602 by the end of that warranty. The internal rate of return for this investment is a solid 7.1%. That's about the return of an investment in index funds, and it's more reliable, too!
  • And here's a nice bonus to consider: your home's value just increased by $21,000, too (your expected electricity savings over 20 years).
  • In addition to all that cash (and home value), you’ve created some green for the earth as well by not using electricity from fossil fuels. It's like planting 133 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in New Mexico. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

New Mexico Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in New Mexico:

RPS

30% by 2020

Grade: B

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) requires utilities in the state to eventually source at least a certain percentage of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels. New Mexico has a relatively strong RPS, mandating that 30% of all energy must come from renewable sources by 2020.

New Mexico’s RPS establishes separate standards for the big investor-owned utilities, and the smaller rural electric cooperatives. Investor-owned utilities must generate 20% of electricity from renewable resources by 2020. For rural electric cooperatives, the requirement is only 10% of retail electricity sales by 2020.

The New Mexico RPS is critical to strong renewable energy policy. Utility companies aren't really all that gung-ho about you producing your own power. After all, it costs them money when you use less of their electricity. They also don’t naturally want to give you big payments for energy you're feeding back into the grid. The main reason the utilities are aiding your transition to lower electric bills and offering you incentives to put solar on your roof is because the state forces them to. If the utilities don't hit their RPS numbers, they have to pay large fees back to the state.

What's an RPS? Your state legislature paves the way for strong solar energy incentives to flourish by setting standards for renewable energy generation within their territories. Those standards are called the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). If utility companies do not meet these standards, they must pay alternative compliance fees directly to the state. Many utilities then determine the best ways to source their energy from renewable sources that are less expensive than this fee.

An RPS is a mandate that says "Hey utilities! Y'all now have to make a certain percentage of your electricity from renewable sources. If not, you'll have to pay us huge fines." The consequences are good, because utilities usually try to meet these RPS standards by creating solar power incentives for you, the homeowner. Read more about Renewable Portfolio Standards.

RPS solar carve out

4% by 2020

Grade: A

Investor-owned utilities must also generate 4% of retail electric sales from solar power by the 2020 target date. That’s one of the strongest solar carve-outs we’ve seen! In addition to the solar carve-out, 0.6% of total energy must be generated from small-scale distributed generation power; i.e., from sources like your residential solar power system instead from giant earth-killing power plants.

What's a solar set aside? A solar set aside guarantees a specific portion of the overall renewable energy mix generated comes from the sun. For those states with progressive standards, high alternative compliance payments, and clear solar carve outs, the faster those areas become ripe for solar.

Some states have higher alternative compliance fees than others, and some states have more progressive alternative energy standards and deadlines than others do.

For instance, New Jersey has an overall RPS of 22.5% by the year 2021. That requires local utilities to source 22.5% of their energy mix from renewable sources by the year 2021. Pretty good. However, New Jersey also has a specific solar set aside of 4.1% by 2028. That’s the type of firm commitment which really gets the industry rolling forward. No wonder why New Jersey is one of the hottest solar markets right now!

New Mexico Electricity Prices

$0.12/kwh

Grade: C

New Mexico pays an average of 12 cents/kWh of electricity. That’s just a tad below the national average of 13 cents/kWh. Here at Solar Power Rocks, we actually think the national average is too cheap, so we think energy in New Mexico is currently too cheap as well. We know you hate high electric bills, but hear us out.

Right now most of our electricity still comes from burning millions of tons of fossil fuels. The cost of those fossil fuels in dollars and cents may be low (for now), but the environmental costs are astronomically high. Switching to solar power now saves you money (and helps save the planet). When scarcity and environmental costs drive up the monetary costs of fossil-fuel based energy, the early switch to solar power is going to be saving you stacks on stacks of money. You can thank us later.

Why are electricity prices so important? Because that is what solar power is directly competing against. The cost to produce power with solar is relatively constant (of course how much sun hits your area has an effect), so if you are paying $0.40 per watt for power, then you make FOUR TIMES AS MUCH as the guy or girl paying $0.10 per watt electricity.

The caveat here is that if the $0.10 per watt person has a HUGE rebate, they may be better off than the $0.40 per watt person. Because of that, states without any renewable standards tend to be heavily reliant on cheap coal for electricity, and also have very low electricity prices. When electricity prices are artificially low, that hinders the ability of solar energy to achieve meaningful payback in the state.

New Mexico Net Metering

B

Grade: B

New Mexico have lots of sun and strong goals for installing solar, but that doesn't mean much unless there are also strong rules in place to protect solar owners from the shadier side of selling electricity to the utility company. Luckily, New Mexico does a pretty good job with that!

The state's net metering laws are some of the best in the country, but for one thing (which we'll get to in a moment). The rules provide for generators (that's you if you have solar panels) to retain control of any renewable energy credits they earn from their systems, and also to be credited for their excess generation—a credit which is carried over indefinitely.

The one place where the state's rules miss the mark is safe harbor rules for customer-generators. Without those rules, utility companies can impose fees and additional charges on net metering customers, which can make solar much less viable for smaller systems.

What is net metering? Net metering is the billing arrangement where you can sell excess electricity back to your utility for equal the amount you are charged to consume it. The more customer friendly net metering policies, the higher the grade.

The grade here specifically reflects individual solar system capacity, caps on program capacity limits, restrictions on “rollover” of kWh from one month to the next (yep just like cell phone minutes), metering issues (like charges for new meters), Renewable Energy Credit (REC) ownership, eligible customers and technology (the more renewables the better), being able to aggregate meters across the property for net metering, and safe harbor provisions to protect customers from solar tariff changes.

New Mexico Interconnection Rules

B

New Mexico's interconnection rules are nearly ideal for homeowners who want to go solar. The state guarantees net metering, doesn't require additional homeowners' insurance or expensive external disconnect switches, and offers a simplified process for small systems. All that adds up to a really easy, inexpensive process to get your panels connected to the grid and making you money!

Interconnection rules are a little technical, but they basically allow you to “plug in” to the electric grid with solar panels on your roof. The more complex, out of date, or nonsensical the state rules are for plugging into the grid, the lower the grade.

Specifically, the grade reflects what technologies are eligible, individual system capacity, removing interconnection process complexity for smaller systems, interconnection timelines and charges, engineering charges, prohibiting the requirement of unnecessary external disconnects, certification, spot interconnection vs. wide area interconnection, technical screens, friendliness of legalese, insurance requirements, dispute resolution, and rule coverage.

Solar Incentives in New Mexico

New Mexico Solar Power Rebates

None

Grade: F

There are currently no up-front rebates available on the installation of a solar power system in New Mexico. Especially with three of the big utilities offering ongoing performance payments, the legislature is missing a golden opportunity to promote clean, efficient, and reliable solar power. Even a small solar power rebate can go a long way when New Mexicans know those Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) payments will kick in once the system is up and running!

How do solar rebates work? Similar to getting a rebate card from your local big box store for a dishwasher purchase, state legislatures also provide rebates for solar panel purchases to spur on investment and create new jobs. If you purchase the solar panel system yourself, you qualify for this free cash, which many times is a lump payment back to you. Some solar installers like to take this amount directly off the total installed price, and they'll handle the paperwork for you to make things a lot less complex.

The availability of state and utility rebates were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The better the rebates, the higher the grade.

New Mexico Solar Power Tax Credits

None

Grade: F

Sadly, 2016 is the year New Mexico ended its great personal solar tax credit on the purchase and installation of a residential solar power system.

Still, you'll benefit from the 30% Federal Solar Tax Creditl. There's no cap on the federal tax credit and fortunately for New Mexico, having no state rebate to deduct means a larger tax credit coming your way.

About state solar tax credits: State tax credits are not technically free money. However, they are 'credits' and not 'deductions' which means that if you have the tax appetite to take advantage of them, then they can be a 1-to-1 dollar amount off your taxes instead of a fraction of the cost of the system. So that means they can be an important factor to consider. In certain circumstances, state tax credits can provide a very powerful incentive for people to go solar.

(Keep in mind, we are not tax professionals and give no tax advice so please consult a professional before acting on anything we say related to taxes)

The availability of personal tax credits for solar energy were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the tax credit amount, the higher the grade.

Solar Power Performance Payments

$0.02/kWh EPEC, $0.035/kWh PNM

Grade: D

Three New Mexico utility companies currently offer performance payments, called Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), for the production of solar energy. All three programs are structured identically, but the numbers vary a little bit from utility to utility:

First, El Paso Electric Company’s REC Purchase Program will pay its net-metered customers $0.02/kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the first eight years of systems up to 10kW. These payments are built into the net-metering program, and do not replace it. REC payments will start as a credit on your next month’s bill. Every time the rolling credit goes above $30, the electric company will cut you a check.

Second, PNM’s Performance-Based Solar PV Program offers an eight year purchase contract at $0.025/kWh for systems up to 10 kW. Again, REC payments will be applied to your next bill until the credit exceeds $20, at which point the utility cuts you a check for the full amount.

Finally Xcel Energy’s Solar Rewards Program used to offer twelve year contracts at $0.08/kWh for systems up to 10 kW in size, but the program is fully subscribed. 10 kW is pretty large for a home solar system, but if you have a good deal of land or a really large roof space, you can still get payments of $0.05/kWh.

Please note that all three of these are tiered programs. That means that as certain goals are met (i.e. as the utilities convince enough people to switch to solar power to keep on target with their RPS mandates), the rates currently being offered will be lowered step by step. That means less money for you -- so the sooner you sign up, the better!

And, as always, connect with local installers to get expert guidance on how best to go solar in your area.

Explanation of performance payments: Performance payments represent a big chunk of the financial rationale for going solar, and in many instances they make your decision a wise one. For certain states, if you’ve got solar panels on your roof, not only will you be cutting your electric bill down to size, but you'll be getting paid additional cash from your utility company. Pretty awesome, huh? Not only are you generating electricity for yourself, freezing your own popsicles with sun, and feeling like you’re doing something smart for your children or any of the other 4 reasons people go solar, but you are getting PAID!

Utility companies are paying people with solar panels on their roofs because their states say they have to, otherwise they will pay a fee. Therefore, the payment amount to homeowners is typically a little bit less than the amount they would be billed for by the state. For states with these alternative compliance fees, Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) exchanges have popped up. In the above chart, we outlined an estimate of yearly payments a homeowner might expect from the utility company for the SREC credits from their solar energy system.

Expected SREC payments were calculated by using the latest trade values in the SRECtrade database. The availability of feed-in tariffs were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the expected monthly payments, the higher the grade.

If you don’t know what an SREC is, or how they work, check out this great SREC video

Property Tax Exemption

100%

Grade: A

The legislature has also built tax exemptions into the laws here, saving you money both up-front and every year thereafter for the life of your new solar power system.

New Mexico’s property tax exemption will keep you saving money every year. When you install a solar power system, your home goes up in value by about twenty times your annual electricity bill savings. That adds up to a lot of money in most cases! Normally you’d pay taxes on that increase in value, but thanks to this exemption, your property taxes stay the same.

About solar property tax exemptions: Property tax exemption status is a pretty big factor when putting together your investment considerations. Many argue that solar power adds approximately 20 times your annual electricity bill savings (if you are owning the system and not leasing. Leasing still has a positive impact on the ability to sell your home though, in our opinion).

For many average-sized solar power systems on a house, that can mean $20,000 to your home value. (Edit April, 2014: Some companies, like Solar Mosaic, are starting to offer traditional style equity-based home loans for such a thing). An additional $20,000 in property tax basis in many states amounts to a big chunk of change owed back to the state. However, many states have complete exemptions from added taxes when you install solar on your home!

The availability of a property tax exemption for solar energy was also sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The stronger the tax exemption, the higher the grade.

Sales Tax Exemption

100%

Grade: A

In addition to the property tax incentive, you save up-front on solar in New Mexico because the state exempts solar equipment from its gross receipts tax. Businesses that sell solar equipment should be building that tax discount into the price they pass on to you – this saves you money on day one. For more detailed information on this exemption, check out this handy guidance document.

What's the deal with solar power sales tax exemptions? When states give you a sales tax break on solar, we notice. You should too. State sales tax exemption status for the purchase of solar energy systems were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. Sales tax exemptions, if present, were all 100%. A handful of states are completely exempt from sales tax regardless, and therefore received ‘A’ grades by default (OR, DE, MT, AK, and NH).

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The consensus on New Mexico solar power rebates and incentives

The overall solar outlook is pretty sunny here in New Mexico. Part of that is because we get so much of that glorious sunshine here, so our potential for solar power production is tops in the nation. Solar policy is strong, but not quite as strong as it could be. All of the right foundations are in place with a solid RPS, strong net metering, and sensible, solar-friendly tax policies. All that’s missing is a stronger up-front solar power rebate, or a more extensive statewide performance payment incentive. Lawmakers are currently doing a passable job, but are missing the chance to truly harness one of New Mexico’s greatest resources. For now, that strong solar carve out promises good incentives for a while, so we’ll give New Mexico an “A.”

Again, if you are confused about how these numbers work and would like some personalized assistance or a quote of your own, simply connect with our network of solar experts. They’ll help sort out all the pricing, get you access to special deals, and they’re super friendly to boot!

26 thoughts on “New Mexico Solar Power for your house – rebates, tax credits, savings

  1. Anonymous says:

    i would like to convert my house to solar power and buy the system is that possible with your company?

  2. tony says:

    is there any rebates for building agricultural greenhouses? i heard that certain designs or shapes had some type of incentives being offered.

  3. Bill Bright says:

    For all things solar in & around Gallup go to www,gallupsolar.org

  4. Karl Livergood says:

    Hey,
    I’m interested in solar, but I’d also like info for wind generation and if the buyback still applies. Also any info on rebates ect. I’d like to consider combination setups.
    Thanks

  5. Dick Ulmer says:

    Why does NM declare the solar generation credits as income and file a 1099? It would seem that the only time this should happen is if you have a net profit (generate more than you use)? Otherwise, you need to figue in your cost model the tax owed on the generated power.

  6. George Romero says:

    Hello, I am a single parent of two, and I am interested in going solar, that is if I can afford it. I am hoping to build a new home for my family. I know if I can I would very much like to use materials that are energy efficient and durable. I just need an idea of how much it will cost, and or if I can get some kind of assistance. So far I very much like what I have read. Thank you
    georom23@q.com
    505-507-6892

  7. rives mcdow says:

    Hi Paul,
    You can store the energy needed to power your solar energy band during the day on one of iCel system’s power storage packs. They are lithium based, last 10 – 15 years, and are currently being installed to back up the city of Anaheim for their spinning loads during the day. They are not cheap, about $2000 per kWh, but are pretty solid.

  8. Gail Rubin says:

    Good info – you may want to update your chart to reflect the 30% federal tax credit on solar energy systems, without the cost cap, and an additional 10% New Mexico state tax credit. More details are available at the state’s Energy Conservation and Management Division’s web site: http://www.CleanEnergyNM.org

  9. Zev Paiss says:

    Does anyone know what programs are available for utility scale PV projects in the 1MW and larger size?

    1. Zev,

      Check out http://www.dsireusa.org/solar. Click on your state, and see what programs are being offered. In general, large scape programs can qualify for the 30% federal ITC, which can get converted into a cash grant, as well as receive other state rebates. Often, power purchase agreement (PPAs) are also used for utility financing of large megawatt farms.

      However, utility scale projects are always solicited with RFPs (Requests for Proposals) so…if you’re asking this type of question here, I’m thinking the utility is not going to be requesting a proposal from you, but someone with a track record for solar and solar financing.

      Hope that helps.

  10. Toby says:

    Since all of the benefits associated with home alternative energy systems revolve around tax credits …how can we senior citizens participate? Our combined annuities and Social Security put us below the lowest tax bracket, therefore the tax benefit is useless. Is there any kind of direct rebate available for those of us in this situation? We are firm believers in energy independence, but cannot afford it.

  11. Murray says:

    We provided Victoria with a solar option which will work for her Non-Profit Museum while saving them ~20% a month on their electricity and did not include any investment on the part of the museum either. Any other non-profits want to learn how its done, let us know.

  12. Natasha says:

    The New Mexico state legislature recently passed an additional 10% rebate in the form of state tax credits in order to promote the use of solar power. This incentive is available for residential installations.

    We are an installer based in Albuquerque called Green Image Solar that would love to be included in your directory, check out our site: http://www.greenimagesolar.com

  13. Victoria Baker says:

    Hello- we have a museum in the NE corner of NM (Clayton), our biggest expense is the electric bill – any suggestions for a non-profit organization trying to cut costs?

  14. Kimm says:

    Yes.I sure do think that these solar power thingts work quite persicly, compared to those wind farm thingy majigers!!

  15. Preston White says:

    Hello, I would like to begin with a small system and build up as money allows. For example, I would begin with enough to power my refrigerator/freezer. I do not have a lump sum of money. Would I qualify for any assistance using this approach?

  16. Klaus Pieper says:

    I heard that the $2000 on the fed. incentive program has been lifted, how does this affect the state incentive program, will it replace it?

  17. mark says:

    A security company wants to install solar-powered surveillance solutions at their customers’ sites. What are the most advantageous program incentives for either the business or the surveillance company?
    Thanks!

  18. jonathan says:

    where can i start if i am interested in starting an installation buisness?

  19. Dan Hahn says:

    Hi Debra,

    For workshop and conference info, look into NMSEA. They are the country’s oldest solar education nonprofit. For more information, visit http://www.nmsea.org, email info@nmsea.org, telephone 1-888-886-6765 or in Albuquerque, 246-0400.

  20. Debra Vigil Braidwood says:

    Hello. Toying with the idea of putting solar panels up. Would love to go to a workshop or seminar. Anything coming up here in Alb. or close?

    Debra

  21. M. Gustke says:

    The New Mexico Renewable Energy Alliance Forum is now available to discuss renewable energy efforts in our great state. The forum is located at http://nmrenewables.org

  22. Hi Paul,

    Well, it will only work during day concerts :-)

    My advice is to purchase REC’s to offset your band’s usage, or go here for info on mobile solar:

    https://solarpowerrocks.com/solar-trends/solar-powered-movie-theatre/

    1. Dan Hahn says:

      Well Dave,

      You could actually charge large batteries with solar, then discharge them at night for a show.

      1. Yah but it’s a ton of money and maintenance. Lead-acid batteries have to be ventilated and refilled, and gel-cells have to be replaced every 5 years.

        If you want to help the environment I’d just buy REC’s or play during the day. Definitely good for the band’s PR. I’d honestly just give a buzz to the mobile movie people as they are doing something extremely similar and ask what unforeseen problems they ran into during their development.

  23. Paul Pino says:

    Great info. What would be the best programs for me to look in to if I want to start a solar energy band (I play New Mexico Music) and use solar power for our gigs, I’d need portable solar power? I want as much help with the cost as possible and would like to provide demos to schools.

    Thanks,
    Paul

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