2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Alameda, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Alameda.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated May 04, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Alameda?
Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems and Solar Plus Storage System
Western Riverside Council of Governments - Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Financing Program
Minimum financing: $5,000
The financing may not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the market value of the property, up to the first seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) of the property’s market value, and ten percent (10%) of the remaining value of the Property above seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) minus any PACE assessment on the property The total amount of any annual property taxes and assessments shall not exceed five percent (5%) of the property's fair market value, determined at the time program financing is approved.
Local Option - Municipal Energy Districts
Self-Generation Incentive Program
Incentives will step down over time. See below for incentive amounts.
Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT)
LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program
Base price will step down over time as certain MW goals are met
California Solar Initiative - Solar Thermal Program
Single Family Residential Incentives:
Systems that displace natural gas: $29.85 per estimated therm displaced
Systems that displace electricity or propane: Funding has been exhausted
Systems that displace natural gas: $20.19 per estimated therm displaced
Systems that displace electricity or propane: $0.42 per estimated kWh displaced *** Note, funding has been exhausted in this category for SCE and PG&E
Solar Pool heating: $5.00 per estimated therm displaced
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The term "solar incentives" refers to a wide range of financial incentives designed to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. Incentives might include things like discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are offered federally, while others are offered by the state of California or by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get after your solar system is up and running. If you have in place a net metering agreement with your Alameda utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some locations, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other places you may get refunded a percentage of the value.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions go into effect at the point of sale for your solar system. Property tax exemptions let you exclude the value added by your solar system when you're calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay on your house.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives might be available to you if the solar system on your home produces over a specified (generally small) amount of electricity. Performance-based incentives are typically handled at the state level. You can sell your SRECs to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you make is generally considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: Solar rebates can be provided by your local utility company, or by your state or county. These rebates work as partial refunds that are applied after your purchase of a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are probably the first thing that you think of when thinking about solar incentives. The solar incentive that you may be most familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a credit on your taxes equal to a percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC applies to the value of solar panels installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar panels have to have been installed after January 1, 2006 on a property you own for you to be eligible for the credit. The ITC originally paid out 30% of all installation costs (panels, equipment, labor and accessories), although the covered amount has fluctuated over the years between 26-30%. The amount you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
Reaching out to your local Alameda solar panel installation expert is the best way to understand how the ITC may apply to your situation.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now called the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Your solar installation project undertaken between 2022 and 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit. The amount will then decrease slightly on a yearly basis until the current program ends. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to claim credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. The best way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you is to talk with your local Alameda solar panel installation expert.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are often state solar incentives available in addition to federal ones. Tax credits, rebates and more might be available at a more local level. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are offered for only a limited time. Local solar incentives may come from the California government, or from your specific county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Alameda
The nationwide use of solar energy has significantly increased in the last 15 years, in part due to the proliferation of solar incentives. You might receive these incentives from your local utility company, the California government or the federal government. Speak with your local solar panel installation company today to find out more information and to save the most money possible on solar panels for your Alameda home.
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EcoWatch's Alameda, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I receive any incentives when I add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?
While we recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what solar incentives apply to you, many incentives can be claimed on a second home, as long as it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be other incentives available for commercial properties specifically, depending on the details.
How much can I save annually on my electric bill if I install solar panels on my house in Alameda?
Generally, homeowners in Alameda who install solar panels save about $1,750.01 per year, or about $33,250.16 over 20 years after they make the switch.
What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar?
Solar energy is renewable — by switching where you get your energy, you can help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. Solar panels can also reduce the CO2 emissions from your home by 250 pounds yearly, or roughly 5,000 pounds over 20 years.
I want to switch my appliances out for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act creates a number of new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details about these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I use solar and another type of renewable energy in combination to power my home?
You can power your home with multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy. Be sure to talk through your ideas with your local Alameda solar installer. They can help you plan your project and also help you understand the various incentives that you might or might not qualify for.
Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.
Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.