Indiana enjoys nearly 200 sunny days per year, making it a great place to go solar. However, up to 85 percent of the state’s energy comes from coal-fired electric power plants. As of January 2016, about 143 megawatts of solar power from homes and businesses were connected to the electric grid, which is then to the state’s utilities. This could signal an increase in the number of residents who want to use a greener source of energy. Discover why moving to solar can save money in Indiana, and where to start.

Indiana’s Solar
Report Card

Grade
Methodology

To determine a grade for each state, our researchers and solar experts analyzed data on crucial solar-advancement criteria from the following sources:

We determined a rank from 1 to 10 for each state in each category. We then combined the scores with the following weights and assigned an overall grade for each state. Our goal is to encourage those considering solar for their homes to get a basic understanding of solar potential in their areas and discover the best opportunities for clean energy available.

Incentives & Rebates, 40%

Electricity Rate, 15%

Renewable Energy Policy, 30%

Interconnection Ease, 5%

Photovoltaic Potential, 10%

Electricity Prices in Indiana

One reason for the slow adoption of solar power could be the low cost of electricity in Indiana. Residential electricity is currently about $.11/kWh, which is below the national average. And though the state sees very cold winters and hot, muggy summers (fluctuations that typically see high energy costs year-round), residents typically pay only about $105 per month on their utility bill. Again, low cost could slow the spread of solar and other renewable power sources in the Hoosier state.

Cost of Residential Electricity

Data from U.S. Energy Information Administration
*as of Q3 2015

Incentives, Installation and
Resources in Indiana

Indiana Solar Policies & Incentives

There are a number of state and federal incentive programs designed to lower the cost for going solar. But even though solar energy is an excellent option for Indiana residents, it is not pushed strongly by state government. So far there are only about 143 megawatts of solar PV systems in place on the electric grid in the state. Most of these megawatts are not generated in Indiana but rather sold to the utilities through power purchase agreements with others. The state legislature did produce a voluntary clean energy portfolio standard that was effective as of January 2012. This standard allows utilities and power supply retailers to become eligible for incentives if they meet program goals and increase the amount of clean energy they are using and supplying. Find out more about the incentives available for Indiana residents.

REBATES/INCENTIVES

NIPSCO Feed-in Tariff Program

Any solar customer in good standing is eligible for the utility’s feed-in tariff program, in which users generate some of their own electricity and receive a monthly check for the amount of electricity generated from the solar installation. The compensation is $0.17 to $0.1564/kWh for solar installations between 5 kW and 10 kW and $0.15/kWh to $0.138/kWh for solar installations between 10 and 200 kW.

Green Building Incentive Program

The Indiana Office of Sustainability Property offers a rebate of between 30 and 50 percent reduction in permit fees for Indianapolis owners and developers who renovate or construct buildings with a sustainable plan.

None for residential specifically

Community Conservation Challenge

Community energy conservation projects by non-residential may entities be eligible to receive $25,000 to $100,000 grants from the Indiana Office of Energy Development. The projects must be visible and located in Indiana using commercially available technology.

City of Indianapolis Green Building Incentive Program

Commercial projects in Indianapolis or Marion County that reach certain “green” building criteria are eligible for reduced permit fees. Rebates range from 30 to 50 percent off permit fees.

POLICIES

CHOICE

The Comprehensive Hoosier Option to Incentivize Cleaner Energy program provides incentives to state utilities that voluntarily increase clean energy resources in electricity portfolios. The program sets a voluntary goal of 10 percent clean energy by 2025 and utilities agree to use about 4 percent of their total electricity by 2018. There is no specific solar carve-out.

Net Metering

The state’s investor-owned utilities are required to offer net metering to electric customers with a maximum capacity of 1 megawatt. Net excess generation is credited at the retail rate to a customer’s next monthly bill and credits rollover indefinitely.

Solar and Wind Easements & Rights Laws

Planning and zoning authorities are prevented by law from prohibiting or unreasonably restricting the use of solar energy, including passive solar structures. Although there is not a specific right to sunlight, parties are allowed to enter into solar easement contracts that are enforceable.

Interconnection Standards

Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission rules require the state’s utilities to provide three levels of interconnection. Fees are not required with Level 1 (10 kW) systems, but fees are in place for Level 2 (2 MW) and Level 3 (outside of Level 1 and 2) systems.

None for residential specifically

City of Bloomington Green Building Requirements for Municipal Buildings

All City of Bloomington buildings must be designed, contracted and built using green building principles, including renewable resources and achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification.

TAX CREDITS

None

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

EXEMPTIONS

Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption

Solar photovoltaic systems are exempt from property taxes if they were installed after Dec. 31, 2011. The amount of the exemption is the assessed value of the photovoltaic installation and is allowed each year that the system functions.

None for commercial specifically

Companies & Contractors Installing Solar Panels in Indiana

There are a number of companies that offer solar installation and services within the state of Indiana. Here’s a list to get you started on your quest for a solar contractor:

Accutek Solar

This solar company installs PV and solar thermal units and offers a comprehensive look at the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Where it operatesClinton, IN

Year of opening1992

Greenworks Energy

Greenworks specializes in helping its residential and small commercial customers in designing, installing and maintaining solar systems.

Where it operatesYorktown, IN

Home Energy LLC

Home Energy designs and installs grid-tied and off-grid renewable energy systems.

Where it operatesMiddlebury, IN

Year of opening2000

Inovateus Solar

This company provides solar energy services statewide and puts an emphasis on acting responsibly for the benefit of the community.

Where it operatesSouth Bend, IN

Year of opening2003

Jefferson Electric

Jefferson Electric will work with residents to design a system, select products and install choices.

Where it operatesIndianapolis, IN

Year of opening2011

Midwest Wind and Solar

Midwest Wind and Solar specializes in wind and solar systems for commercial, residential, educational, municipal and agricultural sectors. They take the customer from analysis and funding through design, installation and maintenance.

Where it operatesMerrillville, IN

Year of opening2009

Rectify Solar

Family-owned with offices in Indianapolis and Boonville, Rectify Solar installs solar arrays and electric vehicle charging stations. With more than 10 years of experience, the team has installed more than 500 solar arrays.

Where it operatesIndianapolis, IN

Year of opening2013

Morton Solar and Wind

Morton has worked with commercial, residential, utility, governmental and municipal customers to provide grid-tied and off-grid solar systems.

Where it operatesEvansville, IN

Year of opening2006

Solar Energy Solutions

Solar Energy Solutions offers solar electric, solar hot water and wind power systems. It is a certified woman-owned business.

Where it operatesEvansville, IN

Year of opening2006

Solar Energy Systems, LLC

This is a small, private company that serves Indiana and surrounding states with alternative energy and solar energy systems.

Where it operatesNappanee, IN

Year of opening2009

Sunwired

Owned and operated by a 30-year journeyman and LEED accredited electrician, Sunwired brings cost-effective solar installations to Northern Indiana residents.

Where it operatesMunster, IN

Whole Sun Designs Inc.

Formed in the Tri-state area, Whole Sun Designs specializes in residential solar systems and products in an area with the highest energy costs in the state.

Where it operatesWadesville, IN

Year of opening2011

Indiana Solar Panel Resources

DSIRE – Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency

This national site that indicates all of the incentives each state and/or federal office wants to give to the general public for installing solar systems.

Indiana Department of Environmental Management

This government entity was established in 1986 to provide environmental oversight and assistance throughout the state. The mission of IDEM is to implement the environmental regulations from the state and the federal government.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Reclamation

Charged with the regulation and oversight of Indiana’s natural resources including renewable energy sources, this website has a wide range of resources for residents.

Indiana Office of Energy Development

The vision of the Office of Energy Development is for all Hoosiers to attain reliable and affordable sources of energy. It strives to be a national leader in the development of innovative energy policies.

Indiana Renewable Energy Association

Founded in 2008, the InREA formed to support proposed legislation for a Renewable Electricity Standard and represents businesses that produce and consumers who use renewable energy in the state.

Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission

This government resource is not an advocate for the public nor the utilities, but rather a regulatory body whose role is to make decisions regarding utilities that are in the best interest of all involved parties.