2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Belmont, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Belmont.
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 Belmont?
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 are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. The incentives can include upfront discounts, cash back or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the state of California and some by your utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to exclude the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your home.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for money that is generally considered part of your taxable income. In most cases, there is a small threshold of energy production to meet before your solar system qualifies for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. Incentives like these are normally handled at the state level.
- Rebates: Solar rebates might be provided by your local utility company, or by your county or state. These rebates are essentially cash back that is applied after you purchase a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- Net Metering: Make sure you talk to your Belmont utility company about signing a net metering contract. This will allow you to receive credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy your solar panels generate. You could receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or 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.)
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. A federal incentive that most people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is a tax credit for a certain percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Initially, the credit applied to 30% of the total cost — for panels, accessories, equipment and labor — although the percentage may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the claim amount.
To more fully understand how the ITC could apply to you, get in touch with your local Belmont solar panel installer and ask for more information.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. American homeowners are now eligible for a 30% credit for solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. The total credit will then decrease annually until the date of expiration. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Belmont solar panel installers are the best people to answer your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it applies to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are not your only option; tax credits, rebates and more might also be offered at the state and local level. Some incentives are ongoing, while others may only be available for a limited time. Incentives might be offered by the California government, or by your county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Belmont
Solar incentives might come from your local utlity company, the California government or the federal government. The variety of solar incentives available has facilitated the nationwide growth of solar energy use in the last 15 years. Reaching out to your local Belmont solar panel installer is an excellent first step towards getting all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
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EcoWatch's Belmont, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
My home already has solar panels. Are there any incentives that I qualify for?
You should plan to talk to a representative from the company that installed your system — or call a local Belmont solar installer — to learn about which incentives you may qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
Who installs solar panels near me?
To find a top-rated solar panel installer, check out our guide to Belmont's best solar panel companies.
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.
If I trade in my appliances for ones that can use solar energy, are there credits I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act creates several new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details about these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I qualify for incentives both towards the initial 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 eligible for, they may apply in a different order. Make sure that you speak with your solar installer or a local tax professional to confirm that you are claiming the correct incentives and that you're 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.