2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Aliso Viejo, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Aliso Viejo.
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 Aliso Viejo?
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 phrase "solar incentives" refers to financial incentives put in place by solar companies and the government to encourage the use of renewable energy by making the installation and use of solar panels more affordable. You might qualify for several kinds of incentives, such as cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, depending on your situation. Certain incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the state of California and others from the federal government. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Tax Credits: These credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the federal government.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are effective at the point of sale for your solar system. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the added value of your solar system when calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay.
- Rebates: Solar rebates might be offered by your local utility company, or by your state or county. These rebates are essentially cash back that is applied after you pay for solar panels and before tax credits are calculated.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In most cases, solar systems that produce more than a predetermined (normally small) amount of electricity can qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and performance-based incentives in general are typically offered at the state level. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and generally the money you make is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get after your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your Aliso Viejo utility company, they 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 receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have heard of. You might have heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a specified percentage of the money you spend on solar panels for your home.
The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system must have been installed after January 1, 2006 on a property you own for you to claim the credit. Originally, the ITC covered 30% of all system installation costs (panels, labor, equipment and accessories), although the amount has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you are eligible for. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Contact your local Aliso Viejo solar panel installer to get more information.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). The Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit. This amount will be decreased slightly on a yearly basis until the end of the current program. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Aliso Viejo solar panel installers are the best people to answer your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
In addition to those provided at the federal level, there are often also state solar incentives. Rebates, tax credits and more might be available at a more local level. Certain incentives are offered for only a limited time, while others are ongoing. Your local solar incentives might come from the California government, or from your specific county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Aliso Viejo
Nationwide solar energy use has significantly increased in the last 15 years, in part thanks to the increase in availability of solar incentives. You might receive these incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the California government. Talking to your local Aliso Viejo solar panel installer is the best first step towards getting the most money possible when you switch to solar energy.
Best Regional Coverage
- Great warranty coverage
- Representatives are experts on local policies
- Concierge service ensures steady communication
- Slightly limited service offerings
- Price-match guarantee
- Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
- Best solar battery on the market
- Some reported issues with customer service
- Customer service varies by local dealer
EcoWatch's Aliso Viejo, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I am planning to add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Will I still qualify for incentives?
Many solar incentives apply to a property located within the United States that you own, and most secondary residences will fall under this distinction. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what incentives apply to your specific situation.
What are the top solar panel installation companies near me?
To discover the top solar panel installation companies near you, take a look at our article on the best solar companies in Aliso Viejo.
What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by changing where you get your energy, you can help reduce the strain on our planet's resources. You can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 250 pounds annually, or roughly 5,000 pounds in 20 years.
I want to switch my appliances out for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can get?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act provides several incentives that reward homeowners for making 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 receive 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 solar panels. Depending on precisely which incentives you are receiving, 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.