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

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

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 Laguna Niguel solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated May 04, 2023

Why you can trust EcoWatch

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 Laguna Niguel?

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/


Solar incentives are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. Incentives might include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, while others are offered by the state of California or your utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:

  • Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar panels are up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Laguna Niguel utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some places, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other places you might receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives might be available to you if you have a solar system that produces more than a specified (generally small) amount of electricity. This category of incentives is normally handled at the state level. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you make is generally considered part of your taxable income.
  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to exclude the value added by your solar system when paying property tax on your home.
  • 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.)
  • Rebates: Solar rebates can be provided by your county or state, or by your local utility company. These rebates work as partial refunds that are applied after your purchase of solar panels and before tax credits are calculated.

Federal Solar Incentives

When thinking about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. The solar incentive that you're most familiar with is probably the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which gives you a credit on your taxes equal to a predetermined percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC applies to the total cost of solar panel installation, including the panels themselves as well as accessories, labor and equipment. This credit can be claimed for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence located in the United States that you own. Originally set at 30% of total costs, the credit has fluctuated over time, and you may qualify for different amounts depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum amount you can claim.

Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Get in touch with your local Laguna Niguel solar panel installer to get more information.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). With the new provisions, solar installation projects that are completed between 2022 and 2032 may be eligible for a 30% tax credit. The amount of the credit will then decrease slightly each year until the current Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. The expansion also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, starting in 2023.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Laguna Niguel solar panel company can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit may apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Rebates, tax credits and more can be provided at multiple levels. Along with federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. These incentives may be offered by your county or municipality, or by the California government. Some are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Laguna Niguel

The expanding number of available solar incentives has helped tremendously increase the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the past 15 years. You might qualify for solar incentives from the federal government, the California government or from your local utility company. When you're prepared to make the change to solar energy, calling your local Laguna Niguel solar panel installation expert is a great first step.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication
  • Slightly limited service offerings

Best Warranty Coverage

Sunpro Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area
  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

EcoWatch's Laguna Niguel, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

Can I claim incentives for adding solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?

Many solar incentives apply to a property located within the United States that you own; most secondary residences will fall under this distinction. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend reaching out to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.

What are 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 reduce the strain on our planet's resources. You can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 250 pounds annually, or roughly 5,000 pounds in 20 years.

When does the federal solar tax credit end?

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.

Can I claim incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

Yes, you can claim both tax credits and rebates towards the cost of your solar panels. Depending on precisely which incentives you are claiming, they may apply in a different order. Be sure to talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to verify that you are claiming the correct incentives and getting the most money you can.

Can I use a combination of solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?

You can power your home with multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy. Make sure you talk through your plan with your local Laguna Niguel solar installer. They can help you as you plan for your project and also help you understand the various incentives that you will or won't 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.

Follow us