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The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in December 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new version of DSIRE but are also maintaining the content of the current version of DSIRE. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition. We hope you are as excited for December as we are!

US Department Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
IREC North Carolina Solar Center

DSIRE Solar Policy Guide

The DSIRE Solar Policy Guide describes policy options adopted by state and local governments to encourage solar deployment, discusses the status and trends of individual policy types, provides examples and discussions of specific programs, and provides links to additional relevant resources. This guide is updated quarterly to reflect new policy initiatives, trends and resources.

The DSIRE Solar Policy Guide was developed in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments. The DOE guide focuses on policies and program options that are important to the development of solar markets at the local government level. Together, these two complementary guides address policy options and issues relevant to both local and state governments.


Amidst the rapid evolution of the U.S. solar market and solar policy at all levels of government, the DSIRE Solar Policy Guide was created to provide context for the hundreds of incentives and policies summarized on the DSIRE web site. It describes key incentives and policies that facilitate mainstream solar deployment -- from reducing upfront equipment costs and streamlining connection to the grid, to cultivating an in-state solar industry and ensuring quality installations. This guide serves as a public resource for policymakers and other stakeholders.

For each policy option, the guide provides the following information:

  • Description. Individual types of incentives and policies designed to encourage the deployment of solar energy are described.
  • Status & Trends. The current status and prevalence of different types of incentives and policies in the United States are discussed. Key policy elements, trends and, in some cases, best practices are described. This section also includes summary maps and policy comparison tables for certain types of incentives and policies, to illustrate status, trends and program variations.
  • Examples. This section provides specific examples of state and local incentives and policies, including links to detailed summaries, contact information and legal documents available on the DSIRE web site.
  • Resources. Links to relevant policy reports, presentations and external web sites are provided.

The DSIRE Solar Policy Guide is organized by topic as outlined below. Click on a topic to learn more.

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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.