2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Clearlake, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Clearlake.
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
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Clearlake?
Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems and Solar Plus Storage System
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 encourage people to switch their home over to renewable energy by offering incentives meant to lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. Various kinds of incentives, like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits, might be available to you. Some incentives may be offered by the state of California, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Net Metering: You can sign a net metering agreement with your Clearlake utility company, that may 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.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value that your solar panels add when calculating how much property tax you need to pay on your house.
- Rebates: Some solar companies will help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar system. Counties or states will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually come off your total price before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives are usually handled at the state level. Once your solar panel system meets the qualification threshold (usually a small amount of energy production), you can receive SRECs that you can then sell to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make is generally considered part of your taxable income.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have some familiarity with. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is likely the most commonly known federal solar incentive. The ITC provides a tax credit for a set percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and allows you to deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, equipment, labor and accessories. You can claim this credit for a solar panel system installed on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. The original claim amount was 30% of the total cost, although certain projects may qualify for only 26%, depending on the details. There is no maximum claim amount.
Speaking with your local Clearlake solar panel installer is the best way to learn more about how the ITC may apply to your situation.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Any solar installation project that is completed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit; this amount will decrease slightly on a yearly basis until the current program ends. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Clearlake solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more might be provided at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. Incentives might be given by your county or municipality, or by the state of California. Certain incentives may be available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Clearlake
Solar incentives might be offered by the California government, the federal government or your local utility company. The variety of solar incentives available has contributed to a large increase in solar energy use in the last 15 years. We suggest talking to your local Clearlake solar installer for more information about these incentives and to make sure that you're getting the largest number possible for your solar panels.
Best Regional Coverage
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EcoWatch's Clearlake, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
My home already has solar panels. Do I qualify for any incentives?
Your best bet is to talk to someone from the company that installed your solar panels — or call a local Clearlake solar installer — to clarify which incentives you may qualify for. If your system was installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
What are the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
You can lower your carbon footprint by 250 pounds of CO2 a year by switching to solar panels. This adds up to approximately 5,000 pounds over 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, which means that making the switch reduces the drain on our planet's resources.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously called 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 receive incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can claim both rebates and tax credits towards the cost of your solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are receiving, they may apply in a different order. Be sure to 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.
Can I use a combination of multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
You can power your home with multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy. Be sure to go over your plan with your local Clearlake solar installer. They can help you with the plan for your project and educate you on the various incentives that you will or won't 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.