2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Encinitas, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Encinitas.
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.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Encinitas solar installers to see how much you can save.
Please enter a valid 5-digit zip code!
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 Encinitas?
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 intended to encourage homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy by providing financial incentives meant to lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. The incentives may include upfront discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are given by the federal government, some by the state of California and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, how much income tax you owe the government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In general, solar systems that produce over a specific (usually small) amount of electricity can qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and performance-based incentives in general are typically provided at the state level. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and the money you receive is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar panels are up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Encinitas utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some areas, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in others you may be refunded a percentage of the value.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panels might 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 home.
- Rebates: Solar rebates can be offered by your local utility company, or by your state or county. These rebates are essentially cash back that is applied after you pay for a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that you think of when thinking about solar incentives. One of the incentives many people are likely to be familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a tax credit for a given percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC initially applied to 30% of the cost of installing solar panels, although it has fluctuated slightly over time 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 equipment, labor and accessories. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC applies to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be owned by you and in the United States.
Contacting your local Encinitas solar panel installation expert is the best way to understand how the ITC may apply to you.
In August 2022, the ITC (now titled the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. With the new provisions, solar installation projects begun after January 1, 2022 and finished by December 31, 2032 can qualify for a 30% tax credit. The amount of the credit will then see a slight annual decrease until the end of the current Clean Energy Credit in 2035. The expansion to the program also makes claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before, starting in 2023.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, get in touch with your local Encinitas solar installation expert.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more might be provided at multiple levels. Along with federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others may only be available for a limited time. They might be offered by your county or municipality, or by the California government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Encinitas
Solar incentives might be offered by the federal government, the California government or your local utility company. The growing number of available incentives has helped nationwide use of solar energy increase greatly in the last 15 years. When you're ready to make the change to solar energy, talking to your local Encinitas solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.
Best Regional Coverage
- Great warranty coverage
- Representatives are experts on local policies
- Concierge service ensures steady communication
- Slightly limited service offerings
- Price-match guarantee
- Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
- Best solar battery on the market
- Some reported issues with customer service
- Customer service varies by local dealer
EcoWatch's Encinitas, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
How do I know if I qualify for solar incentives?
Typically, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on 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, might have additional qualifications. Talk to your local Encinitas solar installer to find out what incentives your project will qualify for.
If my house already has solar panels, can I still claim incentives?
You should plan to talk to someone from the company that installed your solar system — or get in touch with a local Encinitas solar installer — to better understand which incentives you may qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar panels installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
What are the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
Solar energy is renewable — by changing where you get your energy, you can help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. Solar panels can also lower your home's CO2 emissions by 250 pounds a year, or around 5,000 pounds over 20 years.
If I change out my appliances for ones that can use solar energy, are there credits that I can claim?
Under the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a variety of new financial incentives to encourage you to make 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?
Yes, you can receive both tax credits and rebates towards the cost of solar panels. Depending on precisely which incentives you are receiving, they may apply in a different order. Make sure that you speak with your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure that you are claiming the correct incentives and that you're getting the most money possible.
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.