2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Cupertino, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Cupertino.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Cupertino?
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
Santa Clara Water & Sewer - Solar Water Heating Program
City of Palo Alto Utilities - Solar Water Heating Program
Single-family residential electricity or propane-displacing systems: $0.54 per kWh displaced
Multifamily and Commercial gas-displacing systems: $14.53 per therm displaced
Multifamily and Commercial electricity or propane-displacing systems: $0.42 per kWh displaced
Low-Income Multifamily gas-displacing systems: $19.23/therm displaced
Low-Income Multifamily Electric or Propane Displacing systems: $0.56/kWh displaced
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives encourage people to switch their home over to renewable energy by offering financial incentives that lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. Various types of incentives, such as discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill, may be available to you. Certain incentives may be handled by the California government, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while others are federal. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
- Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar system. These could be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before calculating tax credits.
- Net Metering: Make sure you talk to your Cupertino utility company about signing a net metering agreement. This allows you to receive credit towards your monthly utility bill 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.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for money that is generally considered part of your taxable income. In most cases, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system can earn SRECs or other performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are generally handled by your state government.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions go into effect at the time of purchase for your solar system. Property tax exemptions let you exclude the added value of your solar system when you calculate how much property tax you need to pay on your house.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This incentive is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a certain percentage of the money you spend on solar panels for your home.
The ITC applies towards 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 solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Originally, you could claim 30% of the total cost, although certain projects may qualify for only 26%, depending on the details. There is no maximum claim amount.
To understand exactly how much money the ITC could save you, talk to your local Cupertino solar panel installer.
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 is valid until 2035. Homeowners can now receive a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation on or after January 1, 2022 and will be done by December 31, 2032. The credit will then see a slight annual decrease until it expires. The expansion also makes credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim, starting in 2023.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Cupertino 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
Some solar incentives may be provided by state and local governments. Like with federal incentives, these might include rebates, tax credits and more. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time. Incentives might be given by the California government, or by your county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Cupertino
The large number of available solar incentives has contributed greatly to the increase in the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the past 15 years. You may receive solar incentives from the California government, the federal government or your local utility company. Speaking with your local Cupertino solar panel installation company is an excellent first step towards getting the most money possible when you switch to solar energy.
EcoWatch's Cupertino, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
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.