Don’t Leave Money on the Table During Your Property Search

This article originally appeared in Inside Business - The Hampton Roads Business Journal, on April 20, 2015.

Weighing the pros and cons of various options during the property search and site selection process can be an intensive exercise. While many factors come into play, cost is often one of the most important. Real estate agents who are familiar with DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency) and the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center can bring tangible value to the relationship with their clients by factoring in every possible incentive and benefit available.

In fact, according to a 2014 report titled, “Economic Impact Analysis of Clean Energy Development in North Carolina – 2014 update,” through direct state government appropriation, renewable energy projects received $122.6 million in tax credits and energy efficiency projects received $12.6 million (between 2007 and 2013). While the 2013 report, “Economic, Utility Portfolio, and Rate Impact of Clean Energy Development in North Carolina Final Report” says that for every $1 North Carolina invests in tax credits for renewable energy, state and local governments are seeing at least $1.93 return to support core functions of government like transportation, education, and public safety.

The N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center is a clearinghouse for solar and other renewable energy programs, information, research, technical assistance, and training. The center was created to help stabilize energy costs for consumers, stimulate local economies, reduce dependence on foreign fuels, and mitigate the environmental impacts associated with fossil fuels. Located at North Carolina State University, the Center also operates and funds DSIRE (with support from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. and the U.S. Department of Energy). DSIRE is the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States.

During the property search process, real estate agents and developers can use DSIRE to identify all of the incentives that could potentially be applicable to their project. Some of the available incentives listed on DSIRE include:

  • North Carolina’s Green Building Incentive
    To encourage sustainable building practices, North Carolina law allows all counties and cities to provide reductions or partial rebates for building permit fees. To qualify for a fee reduction, buildings must meet guidelines established by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, the Green Globes program, or another recognized certification program.
  • Corporate Renewable Energy Tax Credit
    North Carolina offers a tax credit equal to 35 percent of the cost of eligible renewable energy property constructed (up to $2.5 million per installment), purchased or leased by a taxpayer and placed into service in North Carolina during the taxable year. Renewable-energy equipment expenditures eligible for the tax credit include the cost of the equipment and associated design; construction costs; and installation costs less any discounts, rebates, advertising, installation-assistance credits, name-referral allowances or other similar reductions provided by public funds.
  • Property Tax Abatement for Solar Electric Systems
    In August 2008, North Carolina enacted legislation that exempts 80 percent of the appraised value of a "solar energy electric system" (also known as a photovoltaic, or PV, system) from property tax.
  • Financing/Loan Program for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
    North Carolina has authorized cities and counties to establish revolving loan programs to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that are permanently affixed to residential, commercial or other real property. By law, the resulting loan programs may not charge more than 8 percent interest, and loan terms are limited to 20 years.


Find out more about Going Green in NC: Sustainable Commercial Development with Support from the State.

Learn about additional business incentives and information about conducting your property search in Currituck County, NC – a growing region just 30 minutes south of bustling Hampton Roads, Va.


Guide to Business Benefits in Currituck County

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