2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Auburn, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Auburn.
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 Auburn?
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
The term "solar incentives" refers to financial incentives implemented by the government and by solar companies to encourage the adoption and use renewable energy by making the installation and use of solar panels more affordable. Various kinds of incentives, including cash back, discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill, may be available to you. Some incentives may be provided via the state of California, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Some broad categories of solar incentives 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 Auburn utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some places, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in others you may be refunded a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
- Tax Exemptions: These may come in the form of property tax exemptions, which can let you exclude the value added by your solar panels when paying property tax on your house. You could also look for exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Typically, solar systems that produce more than a predetermined (normally small) amount of electricity can qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically given at the state level. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and the money you receive is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: Solar companies may help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar system. States or counties will also sometimes offer limited-time rebates. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually be deducted from the total price before tax credits are calculated.
Federal Solar Incentives
When someone says "solar incentives," you likely think of federal incentives first. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is the best-known federal solar incentive. The ITC offers a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to the total cost of solar panel installation, including the panels themselves as well as accessories, equipment and labor. This credit can be claimed for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence located in the United States that you own. Originally set at 30% of total costs, the credit has fluctuated over time, and you may qualify for different amounts depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.
Talking to your local Auburn solar panel installer is the best way to learn more about how the ITC applies to your situation.
The ITC was both renewed and expanded by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. Homeowners can now qualify for a credit equal to 30% of the total solar system installation costs for projects that began after January 1, 2022 and will be finished by the end of 2032. The percentage will then begin to decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Auburn solar panel company is the best resource for answering your questions regarding the new Clean Energy Credit and how it may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are often also state solar incentives in addition to those provided by the federal government. Tax credits, rebates and more may be available at a more local level. These solar incentives — which might be given by your county or municipality, or by the state of California — could be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Auburn
There are many types of solar incentives: those provided by local utility companies, those provided by the federal government and those provided by the California government, to name a few. The use of solar energy has grown enormously in the last 15 years, partially thanks to these incentives. Your local Auburn solar panel installation company can help you learn more about which incentives you might qualify for, and get you feeling good about making the change to renewable energy today.
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EcoWatch's Auburn, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I want to add a solar system to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Will I still qualify for incentives?
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, provided that it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be other incentives available for commercial properties specifically, depending on the specifics.
If my house already has solar panels, can I still claim incentives?
If your solar system was installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you installed your system between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the date of installation. Reaching out to the company that installed your solar system, or any local Auburn solar installer, can help you understand what incentives you can apply for.
What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar?
You can lower your carbon footprint by 250 pounds of CO2 a year by switching to solar panels. This adds up to roughly 5,000 pounds over 20 years. Solar is also a renewable energy source, meaning that switching your home over lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The Clean Energy Credit (formerly named the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), currently ends on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
Can I apply for incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order your incentives will be applied in might vary depending on which incentives you receive but generally yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Get in touch with your solar installer or a local tax professional to make sure you are claiming all of the incentives you qualify for and applying them in the correct order.
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.