2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Albany, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Albany.
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 March 14, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Albany?
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. This category of financial incentives is designed to encourage more people to switch to renewable energy. You might be eligible for various types of incentives, including cash back, discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill, depending on your situation. Certain incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the California government and others from the federal government. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In general, solar systems that produce more than a specified (usually small) amount of electricity will qualify for SRECs or other similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and performance-based incentives in general are typically given by your state government. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or another buyer, and generally the money you make is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar system. These may be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The cash back that you get from the rebates is normally applied before calculating tax credits.
- Net Metering: You can sign a net metering contract with your Albany utility company. This agreement may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. Your utility company will then subtract this value from your monthly utility bill.
- Tax Exemptions: These can come in the form of property tax exemptions, which would allow you to exclude the value added by your solar panels when calculating the taxes you pay on your house. You could also look for exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. You might have heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a certain percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.
The ITC applies to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Initially, the credit applied to 30% of the total cost — for panels, labor, accessories and equipment — although the percentage may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Your local Albany solar panel installation expert can offer more information about the ITC and how it might apply to your situation.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended the ITC, now dubbed the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit bolsters the current credit, increasing it up to 30% for solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032. After this, the percentage will be reduced slightly each year until the program expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Albany solar panel installation experts can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often also state ones. Rebates, tax credits and more may be available at a more local level. Some incentives are ongoing, while others might only be available for a limited time. They may be given by your county or municipality, or by the California government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Albany
The variety of available solar incentives has contributed greatly to the increase in the adoption of solar energy nationwide over the past 15 years. You might qualify for solar incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the California government. Your local Albany solar panel installer can help you learn more about which incentives you can apply for, and get you on track to switch to renewable energy today.
Best Regional Coverage
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EcoWatch's Albany, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
How can I learn if I qualify for different solar incentives?
It's a good idea to talk to your local Albany solar installer for a better understanding of which incentives your project will qualify for. Generally, solar incentives apply to new solar systems installed on property you own (in the U.S.) between the dates specified by the incentive. Some incentives, like those given by the state of California, may have additional requirements.
I already have solar panels installed. Does my system qualify for any incentives?
Your best bet is to talk to a representative from the company that installed your system — or get in touch with a local Albany solar installer — to better understand which incentives you may qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar panels installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
What are the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
You can reduce your carbon footprint by 250 pounds of CO2 a year by switching to solar panels. This adds up to around 5,000 pounds over 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, meaning that switching your home over lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
If I change out my appliances for ones that use solar energy, are there any benefits that I can claim?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions for multiple incentives designed to reward homeowners who make eco-friendly upgrades. Some of these incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
Can I receive incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can claim both rebates and tax credits 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 confirm 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.