2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Castro Valley, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Castro Valley.
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 Castro Valley?
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 via financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. Solar incentives may 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 specific utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives are generally handled by your state government. Once your solar system meets the qualification threshold (normally 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 receive is generally considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are normally given prior to any solar tax credits being calculated. Solar rebates may be provided by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
- Net Metering: Don't forget to talk to your Castro Valley 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 could receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits lower, dollar-for-dollar, how much income tax you owe the government. These are different from tax deductions.
- Tax Exemptions: These could come in the form of property tax exemptions, which let you exclude the value added by your solar panels when calculating the taxes you pay on your home. You could also look for exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, federal incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind. 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 initially applied to 30% of the total cost of installing a solar system, and has fluctuated slightly over the last few years between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The total installation cost includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of accessories, labor and equipment. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be in the United States and owned by you.
Your local Castro Valley solar panel installer can provide you with more information about the ITC and how it may apply to your situation.
The ITC has been renewed and expanded following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit extends until 2035. You can now apply for a 30% credit for solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. This new credit will then decrease annually until it expires. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to get credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, talk to your local Castro Valley solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be provided at the state and local level. Similar to federal incentives, these can include tax credits, rebates and more. These solar incentives — which may be handled by your county or municipality, or by the state of California — may be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Castro Valley
Solar incentives can be offered by your local utility company, the federal government or the California government. The large number of solar incentives available has helped nationwide use of solar energy increase greatly in the last 15 years. Your local Castro Valley solar panel installation expert can give you more information about which incentives you should apply for, and get you feeling good about making the change to renewable energy today.
Best Regional Coverage
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EcoWatch's Castro Valley, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
How can I learn if I qualify for certain solar incentives?
It's a good idea to talk to your local Castro Valley solar installer for a better understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. Typically, solar incentives apply to new solar systems installed on property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, like those given by the state of California, might have other requirements.
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To find the best solar panel installer in your area, check out our guide to Castro Valley's best solar panel companies.
What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by switching where you get your energy, you can help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. You can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 250 pounds annually, or roughly 5,000 pounds over 20 years.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The Clean Energy Credit (formerly named the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), is scheduled to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
Can I use solar and another type of renewable energy in combination to power my home?
Yes, you can employ multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of solar and wind power. You can also use both renewable energy sources and a backup source of non-renewable energy. Be sure to discuss your plan with your local Castro Valley solar installation expert, to make sure you know what you'll need and what incentives you may or may 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.