2022 Solar Incentives Guide for Bakersfield, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Bakersfield. You'll learn about:
  • Local & State Solar Incentives
  • Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2022 and beyond)
  • Ways to optimize your solar investment

Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Bakersfield solar installers to see how much you can save.

EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated December 8, 2022

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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

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
100% of system value; 75% of system value exemption for dual-use equipment

Western Riverside Council of Governments - Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Financing Program

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Eligible products can be financed for up to 25 years, depending on the useful life of the eligible product.
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

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Locally determined

Self-Generation Incentive Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
For projects 30 kW or larger, 50% of incentive will be received up-front; 50% will be received based on actual kWh production over the first 5 years. For projects under 30kW, 100% of the incentive will be paid up front.
Incentives will step down over time. See below for incentive amounts.

Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT)

Incentive Type:
Feed-in Tariff

LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program

Incentive Type:
Feed-in Tariff
$0.17/kWh adjusted by a time of delivery multiplier
Base price will step down over time as certain MW goals are met

California Solar Initiative - Solar Thermal Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Step 1 Incentive Rates (contact utility to determine current incentive levels):
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
Commercial/Multifamily Incentives:
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

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


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.

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EcoWatch's Bakersfield, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

I already have solar panels installed. Do I qualify for any 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 may qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the date of installation. Talking to the company that installed your system, or any local Bakersfield solar installer, can help you learn more about what incentives you qualify for.

How much will a solar system save me on my electric bill in Bakersfield annually?

Typically, Bakersfield homeowners who install solar panels save approximately $1,664.16 per year, or approximately $31,619.03 over 20 years after making the switch.

What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my home?

Solar energy is renewable — by switching where you get your energy, you help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. Solar panels can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 250 pounds yearly, or roughly 5,000 pounds over 20 years.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The Clean Energy Credit (formerly named the federal solar tax credit, or 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 qualify for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

The order in which incentives are applied might vary depending on which incentives you are eligible for but usually yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Talk with your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure you are claiming all the incentives you are eligible 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.

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