2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Buena Park, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Buena Park.
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
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Buena Park?
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 intended to encourage homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy by offering financial incentives meant to lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. These incentives could include cash back, upfront discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the California government and some by your utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the added value of your solar system when you calculate the amount of property tax you need to pay on your house.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the federal government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
- Rebates: Solar companies may help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar panels. Counties or states will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually be deducted from your total price before tax credits are calculated.
- Net Metering: You can sign a net metering contract with your Buena Park utility company that will 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.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives might be available to you if you have a solar system that produces more than a specified (generally small) amount of electricity. These types of incentives are generally handled by the state government. You can sell any SRECs you have to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you receive in return is generally considered part of your taxable income.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. The solar incentive that you may be most familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which gives you a credit on your taxes equal to a percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC covers solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and lets you deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, accessories, labor and equipment. You can claim this credit for a solar panel system installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. The original amount you could claim 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 Buena Park solar panel installer can give you more information about the ITC and how it applies to your situation.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). The Clean Energy Credit runs until 2035. Your solar installation project undertaken between 2022 and 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit; the amount will be decreased slightly on a yearly basis until the end of the current program. The expansion also makes claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before, starting in 2023.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To better understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you, reach out to your local Buena Park solar installation company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also provided by state and local governments. Similar to federal incentives, these may include tax credits, rebates and more. Incentives might be handled by the state of California, or by your county or municipality. Certain incentives might only be available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Buena Park
There are a variety of solar incentives: those provided by local utility companies, those provided by the California government and those provided by the federal government, to name a few. Solar energy use has increased tremendously in the last 15 years, thanks to these incentives. Talking to your local Buena Park solar panel installer is a great first step towards getting all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
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EcoWatch's Buena Park, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I want to add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Will I still qualify for incentives?
While we recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what solar incentives apply to you, many will apply to a second home, as long as it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be other incentives available for commercial properties specifically, depending on the specifics.
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 newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you had your system installed between 2006 and 2021, you may qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the year it was installed. Speaking with the company that installed your solar system, or any local Buena Park solar installer, can help you learn more about what incentives you can apply for.
I want to trade in my old appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can get?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions for a number of incentives meant to reward homeowners for making eco-friendly upgrades. Some incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
Can I qualify for incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order in which incentives are applied may vary depending on which incentives you receive but in most cases yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Get in touch with your solar installer or a local tax professional to be sure you are claiming all possible incentives and applying them in the correct order.
Can I use a combination of solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?
You can use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Make sure you go over your plan with your local Buena Park 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.