2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Alamo, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Alamo.
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 Alamo?
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
Solar incentives are designed to mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. Financial incentives like these are in place to encourage more homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy. Incentives may include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, while others are handled by the state of California or by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Generally, solar systems that produce more than a specified (generally small) amount of electricity will qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically offered by your state government. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and this is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
- Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar panels. Rebates may be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The cash back that you get from the rebates is normally applied before calculating tax credits.
- Net Metering: Make sure you speak to your Alamo utility company about signing a net metering agreement. This allows you to get a credit towards your monthly utility bill for the value of excess energy your solar panels generate. You might receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, which is applied at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to ignore the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your house.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, federal incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind. You may have heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This incentive is a tax credit equal to a predetermined percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC applies to a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system has to have been installed after January 1, 2006 on a property owned by you for you to be eligible for the credit. Originally, the ITC covered 30% of all system installation costs (panels, accessories, equipment and labor), although the covered amount has fluctuated slightly over the last few years between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you are eligible for. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
Your local Alamo solar panel installer can provide you with more information about the ITC and how it may apply to your situation.
In August 2022, the ITC (now titled the Clean Energy Credit) was bolstered by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. You are now eligible for a 30% credit for solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. This credit will then see a slight annual decrease until the date of expiration. The program expansion also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, beginning in 2023.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Alamo solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions regarding the new Clean Energy Credit and how it may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also offered at the local or state level. Like with federal incentives, these could include tax credits, rebates and more. Some incentives are offered for only a limited time, while others are ongoing. Local solar incentives may come from your county or municipality, or from the California government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Alamo
You can qualify for solar incentives from the federal government and the California government, as well as from your local utility company. The growing availability of solar initiatives over the last 15 years has helped greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. Call your local solar panel installation company today to discover more about the various programs and to save as much money as possible on solar panels for your Alamo home.
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EcoWatch's Alamo, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I add a solar system to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Will I still qualify for incentives?
While we recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what solar incentives apply to you, many incentives will apply to a second home, as long as it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the details.
How much will solar panels save me on my electric bill in Alamo annually?
After adding solar panels to your home in Alamo, you can anticipate savings of around $1,729.84 per year, or around $32,866.94 over the next 20 years.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously called the federal solar tax credit, or ITC), is scheduled to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
If I change out my appliances for ones that utilize solar energy, are there benefits I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act introduces several incentives designed to reward homeowners who make eco-friendly upgrades. Some incentives include rebates and tax credits for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
Can I qualify for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can receive both tax credits and rebates towards the cost of your solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are eligible for, they may apply in a different order. Make sure that you talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure that you are claiming incentives correctly and getting the most money you can.
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.