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.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Alameda solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

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We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Alameda?

Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems and Solar Plus Storage System

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
100% of system value; 75% of system value exemption for dual-use equipment

Western Riverside Council of Governments - Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Financing Program

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Eligible products can be financed for up to 25 years, depending on the useful life of the eligible product.
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

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Locally determined

Self-Generation Incentive Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
For projects 30 kW or larger, 50% of incentive will be received up-front; 50% will be received based on actual kWh production over the first 5 years. For projects under 30kW, 100% of the incentive will be paid up front.
Incentives will step down over time. See below for incentive amounts.

Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT)

Incentive Type:
Feed-in Tariff

LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program

Incentive Type:
Feed-in Tariff
$0.17/kWh adjusted by a time of delivery multiplier
Base price will step down over time as certain MW goals are met

California Solar Initiative - Solar Thermal Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Step 1 Incentive Rates (contact utility to determine current incentive levels):
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
Commercial/Multifamily Incentives:
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

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


Solar incentives are intended to encourage homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy by providing incentives that lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. Different types of incentives, like cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, may be available to you. Some incentives may be offered by the California government, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while others are federal. Types of solar incentives might include:

  • Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant after your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your Alameda utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your monthly utility bill. In some locations, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in others you might make back a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system could qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions come into effect at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions let you exclude the added value of the solar panels when calculating property taxes on your house.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar other performance-based incentives may be available to you if your solar system produces over a specified (usually small) amount of electricity. Performance-based incentives are usually handled at the state level. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you receive in return is typically considered part of your taxable income.
  • Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
  • Rebates: Solar rebates might be offered by your local utility company, or by your state or county. These rebates work as partial refunds that are applied after you pay for a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.

Federal Solar Incentives

When you hear the term "solar incentives," federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit equal to a specified percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.

The ITC applies to the value of a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar panels must have been installed on a property you own after January 1, 2006 for you to claim the credit. Initially, the ITC applied to 30% of all system costs (panels, labor, equipment and accessories), although the amount has fluctuated slightly over the last few 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.

Your local Alameda solar panel installer can provide you with more information about the ITC and how it might apply to your situation.

In August 2022, the ITC (now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. Under the new program, solar installation projects begun after January 1, 2022 and finished by December 31, 2032 might qualify for a 30% tax credit. This credit amount will then see a slight annual decrease until the end of the current Clean Energy Credit in 2035. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Alameda solar panel company can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Not all solar incentives are federal; rebates, tax credits and more are often offered at the local or state level. Incentives might be offered by your county or municipality, or by the state of California. Some incentives are available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Alameda

You can qualify for solar incentives from the federal government and the California government, as well as from your local utility company. Growing availability of solar initiatives over the last 15 years has helped greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. We suggest talking to your local Alameda solar installation expert for more information about these incentives and to ensure that you're getting the largest number possible for your solar system.

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EcoWatch's Alameda, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

How much can I save on my electric bill annually if I add solar panels to my house in Alameda?

Once you add solar panels to your Alameda home, you can anticipate savings of about $1,750.01 per year, or about $33,250.16 over the next 20 years.

What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?

To find the right solar panel installer for you, check out our guide to the top solar companies in Alameda.

What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my home?

You can reduce your carbon footprint by 250 pounds of CO2 a year when you install solar panels. This adds up to approximately 5,000 pounds in 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, which means that making the switch reduces the drain on our planet's resources.

If I switch my appliances out for ones that use solar energy, are there any credits I can claim?

With the passage of the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a number of new financial incentives for making eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details regarding these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.

Can I use a combination of solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?

You can use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Make sure you go over 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 may or may 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.

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