2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Freedom, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Freedom.

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 Freedom solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

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We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Freedom?

Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems and Solar Plus Storage System

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
100% of system value; 75% of system value exemption for dual-use equipment

Western Riverside Council of Governments - Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Financing Program

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Eligible products can be financed for up to 25 years, depending on the useful life of the eligible product.
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

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Locally determined

Self-Generation Incentive Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
For projects 30 kW or larger, 50% of incentive will be received up-front; 50% will be received based on actual kWh production over the first 5 years. For projects under 30kW, 100% of the incentive will be paid up front.
Incentives will step down over time. See below for incentive amounts.

Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT)

Incentive Type:
Feed-in Tariff

LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program

Incentive Type:
Feed-in Tariff
$0.17/kWh adjusted by a time of delivery multiplier
Base price will step down over time as certain MW goals are met

California Solar Initiative - Solar Thermal Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Step 1 Incentive Rates (contact utility to determine current incentive levels):
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
Commercial/Multifamily Incentives:
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

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


The term "solar incentives" refers to financial incentives designed to encourage people to use renewable energy by making installing and using solar panels more affordable. Incentives can include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, while others are handled by the California government or your utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:

  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for money that typically becomes part of your taxable income. In most cases, there is a small threshold of energy production to meet before your solar system is eligible for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are normally handled at the state level.
  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, which is applied at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to exclude the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your home.
  • Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Freedom utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some areas, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other areas you might get refunded a percentage of the value.
  • Rebates: Your solar installer might help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar panels. States or counties will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. The value of a rebate will usually come off the total price before tax credits are calculated.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)

Federal Solar Incentives

When you hear the term "solar incentives," federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. A federal incentive that most people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is a tax credit for a given percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. The credit initially covered 30% of the total cost — for panels, equipment, labor and accessories — although the percentage may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the claim amount.

Contacting your local Freedom solar panel installation expert is the best way to understand how the ITC could apply to your situation.

In August 2022, the ITC (now called the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. American homeowners can now receive a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032. This credit will then decrease annually until its expiration. The expansion to the program also makes claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before, beginning in 2023.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Freedom solar panel installer can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit may apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Tax credits, rebates and more can be claimed at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are offered for only a limited time. Your local incentives may come from your county or municipality, or from the California government.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Freedom

You can apply for and receive solar incentives from the federal government and the California government, as well as from your local utility company. The increased availability of solar initiatives in the past 15 years has helped greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. When you're ready to make the change to solar energy, reaching out to your local Freedom solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.

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EcoWatch's Freedom, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

What if I want to add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Can I still qualify for incentives?

Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property located within the United States that you own, and most secondary residences will fall into this category. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.

How can I find out if I qualify for solar incentives?

Generally, solar incentives apply to:

  1. a new solar panel system
  2. installed on a property that you own
  3. within the U.S.
  4. within the date range specified by a particular incentive.

Specific incentives, including ones handled by the California government or by your county/municipality, might have additional qualifications. Speak with your local Freedom solar installer to find out what incentives your project will qualify for.

If I already have a solar system installed on my house, can I still claim incentives?

If your solar system was installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you installed your system between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the exact installation date. Reaching out to the company that installed your system, or any local Freedom solar installer, can help you learn more about what incentives you can apply for.

What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?

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 reduce the CO2 emissions from your home by 250 pounds yearly, or around 5,000 pounds over 20 years.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The Clean Energy Credit (formerly named the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), is slated to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.

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.

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