2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Lafayette, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Lafayette.
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 Lafayette 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 Lafayette?
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 make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. Incentives can include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are offered federally, while others are offered by the California government or by your utility company, county or municipality. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are normally applied before any solar tax credits are calculated. Rebates can be offered by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other similar performance-based incentives are typically handled at the state level. Once your solar system meets a predetermined threshold (generally a small amount of energy production), you are eligible to receive SRECs that can be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Lafayette utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some locations, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other places you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the federal 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 value added by your solar system when you calculate how much property tax you need to pay on your home.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. The solar incentive that you may be most familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a credit on your taxes equal to a percentage of the cost of your solar system.
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, equipment, accessories and labor. This credit can be claimed on solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. The original amount you could claim was 30% of the total cost, although depending on when the project was completed, your credit may range from 26-30%. There is no maximum claim amount.
Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Contact your local Lafayette solar panel installation expert to get more information.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now called the Clean Energy Credit. Homeowners are now eligible for a credit of 30% of the total solar system installation costs for projects that began after January 1, 2022 and will be finished by the end of 2032. The credit percentage will then decrease on a yearly basis until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to get credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To best understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, speak with your local Lafayette solar installers.
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. Incentives may be provided by the state of California, or by your county or municipality. Certain incentives may be available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Lafayette
Solar incentives may be provided by the federal government, the California government or your local utility company. The large number of solar incentives available has facilitated the nationwide growth of solar energy use in the last 15 years. We suggest talking to your local Lafayette solar installer for more information about these incentives and to be sure that you're getting the most money possible for your solar panels.
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 Lafayette, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
How can I learn if I qualify for solar incentives?
In most cases, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on a property that you own
- within the U.S.
- within the date range specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including those given out by the California government or by your county/municipality, could have additional qualifications. Talk to your local Lafayette solar installer to find out what incentives your project will qualify for.
If I installed solar panels on my house a few years ago, can I still claim incentives?
If your solar panels were 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. Speaking with the company that installed your solar system, or any local Lafayette solar installer, can help you understand what incentives you qualify for.
What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?
To learn about the top solar panel installation companies near you, take a look at our article on the top solar companies in Lafayette.
I want to switch my appliances out for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any benefits I can apply for?
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 use solar and another type of renewable energy in combination to power my home?
Yes, you can use multiple types of renewable energy to power your home, such as a combination of geothermal and solar. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a non-renewable backup source of energy. Be sure to discuss your plan with your local Lafayette solar installation expert, to make sure you know what you'll need and what types of incentives you might or might not qualify for.
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.