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Solar panels (file photo)

This summer, Alexandria is offering real estate tax exemptions for homeowners who install solar energy equipment in their homes.

The 2023 Solarize Alexandria program started this month and ends on August 31. It includes a free assessment, as well as discounts for tax-deductible olar equipment.

“The goal is to increase the deployment of solar power generation in our residential communities,” Mayor Justin Wilson wrote in his July newsletter. “In addition to reducing emissions and reducing your power bill, the City of Alexandria provides a real estate tax exemption for qualifying solar installations.”

The city is partnering with the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and the Local Energy Appliance Program.

The equipment would collect and use solar energy for “water heating, space heating or cooling or other applications which would otherwise require a conventional source of energy,” according to the tax exemption form.

The solar energy systems that would qualify for the tax exemptions are:

  • Solar heating and hot water systems
  • Passive solar energy systems
  • South-facing windows used as solar collectors
    Trombe walls (a sun-facing wall designed to collect solar energy and act as a thermal mass for heating the structure)
  • Greenhouses integrated into the heating system of the structure
  • Thermal storage systems
  • Movable insulation
  • Window shading windows for summer cooling.

How would residents get their money back? The city laid out this example:

The property owner has entered into a contract for a total of $12,000 to install solar energy panels ($8,000 in solar energy equipment and $4,000 for installation). Code Administration has completed their inspections certified the application to the Assessor. The $12,000, in this example, is considered the value of the exemption and would be deducted from the assessed value of the property every year for five years.

(The percentage or formula used is outlined in the Virginia Administrative Code. Many items such as solar panels or hot water systems are at 100% of cost and installation as shown in this example. Where other items such as south facing windows and greenhouses are based on a percentage or formula as stated in the Code.)

The tax savings is calculated as follows: $12,000 divided by 100, then multiplied by the current tax rate. The amount of tax savings over the five year period may vary depending on the tax rate that is in effect for each tax year.

The amount of tax savings over the 5 year period may vary depending on the tax rate that is in effect for each tax year.


Morning Notes

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Underage Drinking Prevention Town Hall — “On Dec. 10, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., at the Charles Houston Recreation Center (901 Wythe St.), the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria will host a town hall discussion titled, ‘Healthy Youth, Healthy Families: Promoting Alcohol-Free Holidays.'” [Zebra]

Boat Parade Winners Named — “A record number of 60 boats competed for prizes in ten categories at the 20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on Saturday… Best of Alexandria Show was awarded to Anamchara and Captain Steve Preda who presented the theme ‘Peace’ featuring a rotating lighted globe, glowing doves and a peace sign.” [Press Release]

City ‘Open for Solar Business’ — “The City of Alexandria has received a Silver designation from the national SolSmart program for making it faster, easier, and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar… For companies looking to expand, a SolSmart Silver designation is a signal that Alexandria is ‘open for solar business.'” [City of Alexandria]

T.C. Teacher Wins National Award — “When T.C.Williams High School teacher Kimberley Wilson stepped on stage on Wednesday to collect the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) National Teacher of the Year award, her first thought was for her students.” [ACPS]

Snow Likely Overnight — “Temperatures are poised to leap to near 60 degrees Tuesday, and it won’t feel at all like it could snow. But, in a flash, that will change. An Arctic front charging to the East Coast will switch our weather from fall-like to winterlike in a matter of hours, setting the stage for possible wet snow overnight Tuesday into early Wednesday morning.” [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]


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