2023 Solar Incentives Guide for California City, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in California City.
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 California City?
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 meant to encourage people to make the switch to renewable energy by offering financial incentives meant to lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. You might be eligible for different types of incentives, including discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill, depending on your situation. Some incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the California government and others from the federal government. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant after your solar panels are up and running. If you have in place a net metering agreement with your California City utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some places, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other areas you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar system could qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions let you exclude the value added by your solar panels when calculating property taxes on your house.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives are usually handled at the state level. Once your solar system meets the qualification threshold (typically a small amount of energy production), you are eligible to receive SRECs that can be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make from the sale is generally considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: Solar rebates may be provided by your local utility company, or by your county or state. These rebates work as partial refunds that are applied after you purchase a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
Federal Solar Incentives
When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. You've likely heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit equal to a predetermined percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC applies 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, accessories, labor and equipment — although it may range from 26-30%, depending on the installation date of your solar system. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
Your local California City solar panel installation expert can provide more information about the ITC and how it may apply to your situation.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended the ITC, now called the Clean Energy Credit. For solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032, homeowners may be eligible for a credit equal to 30% of the total cost. The percentage will then decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local California City solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions regarding the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are more than just federal solar incentives; rebates, tax credits and more may be offered at the local or state level. These incentives might be offered by the California government, or by your county or municipality. Certain incentives are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in California City
Solar incentives may be offered by your local utility company, the federal government or the California government. The large number of available solar incentives has contributed to a large increase in solar energy use in the last 15 years. Your local California City solar panel installation company can give you more information about which incentives you may qualify for, and get you feeling good about making the change to renewable energy today.
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EcoWatch's California City, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
How can I find out if I qualify for solar incentives?
Generally, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on a property that you own
- within the U.S.
- within the date range specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including those given out by the California government or by your county/municipality, sometimes have additional qualifications. Speak with your local California City solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project will qualify for.
If I installed solar panels on my house a few years ago, can I still claim incentives?
If your solar panels were 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 California City solar installer, can help you understand what incentives you might want to apply for.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The Clean Energy Credit (formerly called 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.
I want to change out my appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any incentives I can get?
The new Inflation Reduction Act creates several new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details regarding these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I apply for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order that incentives will be applied in could vary depending on which incentives you are claiming but typically yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Speak to your solar installer or a local tax professional to make sure you are claiming all possible incentives 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.