2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Atascadero, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Atascadero.
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
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Atascadero?
Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems and Solar Plus Storage System
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 intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. Incentives might include things like discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are offered federally, while others are handled by the state of California or your utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that normally counts as part of your taxable income. Generally, there is a small threshold of energy production to meet before your solar system can earn SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are generally handled by your state government.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar system could qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value added by your solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your house.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the government.
- Rebates: Solar rebates may be offered by your local utility company, or by your state or county. These rebates are essentially partial refunds that are applied after you purchase solar panels and before tax credits are calculated.
- Net Metering: You can sign a net metering agreement with your Atascadero utility company, that may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity that is generated by your solar panels. They will then subtract this value from your monthly utility bill.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. An incentive that most people are likely to be familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a given percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and under this program you can deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, equipment, accessories and labor. You can receive this credit for a solar panel system installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. The original claim amount was 30% of the total cost, although certain projects may qualify for only 26%, depending on the details. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
Your local Atascadero solar panel installation expert can provide more information about the ITC and how it might apply to your situation.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit bolsters the current credit, increasing it up to 30% for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. At this point, the percentage will decrease slightly each year until the program expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Atascadero solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more might be claimed at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. Some incentives are offered for only a limited time, while others are ongoing. These local incentives might come from your county or municipality, or from the California government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Atascadero
The expanding number of solar incentives available has contributed greatly to the increase in the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the last 15 years. You can get solar incentives from the federal government, the California government or from your local utility company. Your local Atascadero solar panel installation expert can give you more information about which incentives you may qualify for, and get you feeling good about making the change to renewable energy today.
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EcoWatch's Atascadero, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I claim incentives for adding solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
While we recommend speaking with 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 annually on my electric bill in Atascadero?
When you add solar panels to your Atascadero home, you can anticipate savings of about $1,831.12 per year, or about $34,791.25 over the next 20 years.
What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my home?
You can reduce your carbon footprint by 250 pounds of CO2 annually by installing solar panels. This adds up to approximately 5,000 pounds over 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, meaning that making the switch reduces the drain on our planet's resources.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The federal solar tax credit, previously called the ITC and now titled the Clean Energy Credit, is slated to end January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.
Can I use both solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?
You can power your home with multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy. Make sure you discuss your ideas with your local Atascadero solar installer. They can help you plan your project and educate you on 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.