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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Bakersfield?
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 mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. This category of financial incentives is designed to encourage more homeowners to make the switch to renewable energy. You may be eligible for several kinds 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 state of California and others from the federal government. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Net Metering: Make sure you talk to your Bakersfield utility company about signing a net metering contract. This allows you to receive credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You may receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In most cases, solar systems that produce more than a specified (usually small) amount of electricity can qualify for SRECs or other similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and the like are typically given at the state level. SRECs can be sold to your utility company or another buyer, and the money you receive is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Credits: These credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much income tax you owe the government.
- Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are normally applied before any solar tax credits are calculated. Rebates can be given by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions let you exclude the value added by your solar system when you calculate the amount of property tax you need to pay.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. An incentive many people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. The credit initially covered 30% of the total cost — for panels, equipment, accessories and labor — although it may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Your local Bakersfield solar panel installation expert can provide 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. Homeowners can now receive a credit equal to 30% of the total costs of solar system installation for projects that began after January 1, 2022 and will be finished by the end of 2032. The credit percentage will then decrease yearly until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. The 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. The best way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you is to reach out to your local Bakersfield solar panel company with your questions.
State & Local Solar Incentives
In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often also state ones. Rebates, tax credits and more can be offered at a more local level. These incentives might be handled by your county or municipality, or by the California government. Certain incentives are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Bakersfield
You can apply for and receive solar incentives from the California government and the federal government, as well as from your local utility company. Growing availability of solar initiatives over the last 15 years has helped greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. We recommend talking to your local Bakersfield solar installation expert for more information about these incentives and to make sure that you're getting the most money possible for your solar system.
EcoWatch's Bakersfield, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
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.