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

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

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 Woods 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 Laguna Woods?

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 intended to encourage homeowners to make the switch to renewable energy by providing incentives that lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. These incentives could include upfront discounts, cash back or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are given by the federal government, some by the California government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:

  • Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar panels. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before tax credits are calculated.
  • Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system 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 that solar panels add when calculating property taxes on your house.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that is generally considered part of your taxable income. In most cases, there is a small threshold of energy production to meet before your solar system qualifies for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. Incentives like these are generally handled at the state level.
  • Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Laguna Woods utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your monthly utility bill. In some areas, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other places you might make back a percentage of the value.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal solar incentives are probably the first thing that you think of when thinking about solar incentives. An incentive that most people are probably familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a given percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC initially applied to 30% of the cost of installing a solar system, although it has fluctuated slightly over the years 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 accessories, equipment and labor. 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.

Speaking with your local Laguna Woods solar panel installer is the best way to understand how the ITC applies to you.

The ITC has been renewed and expanded following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. Homeowners can now qualify for a credit equal to 30% of the total costs of solar system installation for projects that began after January 1, 2022 and will be finished by the end of 2032. The percentage will then decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to qualify for credits for energy storage systems under this new program.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To better understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, speak with your local Laguna Woods solar installers.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Tax credits, rebates and more can be provided at multiple levels. In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are only available for a limited time. Incentives may be given by your county or municipality, or by the California government.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Laguna Woods

You can apply for solar incentives from the federal government and the California government, as well as from your local utility company. Growing availability of solar initiatives over the last 15 years has helped increase solar adoption nationwide. We recommend talking to your local Laguna Woods solar installation expert to learn more about these incentives and to ensure that you're getting the largest number possible for your solar panels.

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EcoWatch's Laguna Woods, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

What if I want to add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home 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 fall under this distinction. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.

How can I learn if I qualify for specific solar incentives?

Generally, solar incentives apply to:

  1. a new solar 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. Talk to your local Laguna Woods solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project will qualify for.

If I already have solar panels, can I still claim incentives?

An excellent idea would be to talk to a representative from the company that installed your solar panels — or speak to a local Laguna Woods solar installer — to better understand which incentives you may qualify for. If your system was 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%.

When does the federal solar tax credit end?

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

I want to trade in my old appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any incentives I can get?

The new Inflation Reduction Act creates a number of new financial incentives that are available when you make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details on these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.

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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