The complete list of Mississippi solar incentives and tax credits for 2022, plus how to take advantage.
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In July, 2022, the Mississippi Public Service Commission approved new Net Renewable Generation Rules that go far beyond most net metering mandates in the U.S. Under the new rules, homeowners may be eligible for a $3,500 rebate when installing rooftop solar in Mississippi, along with ongoing net metering benefits.
Given the lack of other residential solar incentives in Mississippi, this new policy is a shot in the arm for a lagging solar industry in the state. Indeed, the Mississippi PSC commissioners noted in statements about the bipartisan decision that a key goal of the new rules is to spur blue-collar job creation in Mississippi’s solar industry.
Mississippi State Solar Incentives
|Solar rebates in Mississippi||New rules enacted in July 2022 grant rebates of $3,500 for residential solar installations|
|Net metering in Mississippi||Mandated by law as of July 2022, with a benefits adder for low-income households|
Solar rebates in Mississippi
In July 2022, the Mississippi Public Service Commission approved a more comprehensive set of net metering and renewable energy generation rules. The new model creates a $3,500 incentive for residents who install rooftop solar, with the caveat that customers must have the utility perform an energy efficiency audit. Homeowners are also limited in installing a system that covers no more than 110% of their household’s annual electricity use.
Under the new rules, regulators set a cap of $10 million for the annual rebate budget for Entergy Mississippi and a cap of $5 million for Mississippi Power Co. The rules stipulate that at least 50% of the funds must go to low-income customers and that utilities must report on the number of such customers annually.
The $3,500 rebates are potentially payable directly to solar installers upon project completion and approval. This helps to streamline the program for homeowners and reduces upfront costs. Note, however, that utilities may require customers to transfer rights to any solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) associated with their arrays if they take the rebate.
Net metering in Mississippi
Until July 2022, Mississippi allowed for but didn’t mandate net metering. Only a handful of utilities offer net metering programs, though this looks set to change with the Public Service Commission’s new net metering rules.
Under the new regulations, utilities will pay a dollar amount equivalent to the total value of electricity consumed and the value of any excess generation that flows to the grid. The model retains an existing benefits adder where low-income households receive an additional 2 cents per kWh on top of the regular net metering rates. Indeed, the rules now extend this benefit to include households with an annual household income of up to 250% of the federal poverty level. The adder is also protected for a period of 25 years.
The new rules also allow for the aggregation of meters on a single property. This means more homeowners can share the benefits of rooftop solar. Another important change to the rules includes the scrapping of the requirement that net metered customers transfer their solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) to the utility in order to receive the 2.5 cents per kWh benefits adder. Customers who claim the rebate may still be required to transfer their SRECs, though.
As of August 2022, Mississippi Power offers net metered customers 2.5 cents/kWh above the company’s avoided-cost rate (which is around 3 cents per kWh) for excess energy exported to the grid. For low-income residential net metered customers, the utility pays an additional 2 cents/kWh on top of the avoided-cost value. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) utility offers a similar model of compensation to customers producing solar electricity.
Homeowners in Mississippi must consult their utility in advance of installing residential solar if they intend to connect their system to the electrical grid. This way, homeowners can also find out about any forthcoming rebate programs and net metering tariffs based on the new PSC rules.
Final thoughts on state solar incentives in Mississippi
The Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) tracks residential solar installations across the U.S. and as of August 2022, only 634 exist in Mississippi. This puts the state in 36th place for installed solar capacity in the U.S.
With the new Net Renewable Generation Rules announced in July 2022, things look set to improve dramatically for solar in Mississippi. Homeowners can claim a significant rebate for going solar in Mississippi and can also access ongoing net metering benefits. These, plus the federal solar tax credit all help to cut the cost of installing residential solar and reduce their solar payback period.