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
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Freedom?
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 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.
EcoWatch's Freedom, 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.