2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Davis, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Davis.
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 Davis?
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
The term "solar incentives" refers broadly to financial incentives designed to encourage the adoption and use renewable energy by making installing and using solar panels more affordable. The incentives could include upfront discounts, cash back or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are handled by the federal government, some by the state of California and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar panels. 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.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In general, solar systems that produce over a threshold (normally small) amount of electricity qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and performance-based incentives in general are typically offered at the state level. SRECs can be sold to your utility company or another buyer, and the money you receive is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panels might qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions come into effect at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the value added by your solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your home.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much income tax you owe the government.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your Davis utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your monthly utility bill. In some locations, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in others you may make back a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. A federal incentive many people are likely to be familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a specified percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system must have been installed on a property you own after January 1, 2006 for you to claim the credit. The ITC originally paid out 30% of all installation costs (panels, accessories, labor and equipment), although the covered amount has fluctuated slightly over the years between 26-30%. The amount you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Reaching out to your local Davis solar panel installer is the best way to understand how the ITC may apply to your situation.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). The Clean Energy Credit has increased the current credit up to 30% for solar installations undertaken between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. After 2032, the percentage will be reduced slightly each year until the program expires in 2035. The expansion also makes credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim, starting in 2023.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. The best way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you is to speak with your local Davis solar panel installers directly.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be provided by state and local governments. As with federal incentives, these may include rebates, tax credits and more. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are offered for only a limited time. Your local incentives might come from your county or municipality, or from the California government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Davis
Solar incentives may be provided by the federal government, the California government or your local utility company. The variety of incentives available has facilitated the nationwide growth of solar energy use in the last 15 years. Reaching out to your local Davis solar panel installer is an excellent first step towards getting the most money possible when you switch to solar energy.
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EcoWatch's Davis, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I am planning 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 better understand what solar incentives apply to you, many incentives can be claimed on a second home, provided that it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the specifics.
How do I know if I qualify for solar incentives?
Broadly, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on a property that you own
- within the U.S.
- between the dates specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including those run by the California government or by your county/municipality, sometimes have additional qualifications. Speak with your local Davis solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project may qualify for.
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To find the right solar panel installer for you, check out our guide to the top solar companies in Davis.
I want to change out my appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any benefits I can get?
The new Inflation Reduction Act creates a variety of new financial incentives for making eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details about 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 in which incentives are applied could vary depending on which incentives you receive but generally yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Talk with your solar installer or a local tax professional to verify 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.