2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Lancaster, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Lancaster.
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 Lancaster?
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" includes a range of financial incentives implemented to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. Various kinds of incentives, including cash back, discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill, might be available to you. Some incentives may be offered by the California government, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are normally applied prior to any solar tax credits being calculated. Rebates may be given by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
- Tax Exemptions: These can come in the form of property tax exemptions, which can let you exclude the value added by your solar panels when paying taxes on your house. You may also qualify for an exemption on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other similar performance-based incentives are usually handled at the state level. Once your solar system meets a certain threshold (usually a small amount of energy production), you can receive SRECs that can be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you receive from the sale is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the government.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar panels are up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Lancaster utility company, the company 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 others you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have heard of. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is probably the most well-known federal solar incentive. The ITC allows you to claim a tax credit for a specific percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC initially applied to 30% of the total cost of solar panel installation, although that number has fluctuated slightly over the last few 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, labor and equipment. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be in the United States and owned by you.
Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Reach out to your local Lancaster solar panel installer to get more information.
In August 2022, the ITC (now called the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. With the new provisions, solar installation projects that are completed between 2022 and 2032 can qualify 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. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Lancaster solar panel installation experts can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are often state solar incentives available in addition to federal ones. Tax credits, rebates and more might be available at a more local level. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are only available for a limited time. They might be provided by the California government, or by your county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Lancaster
The variety of solar incentives available has helped tremendously increase the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the last 15 years. You can get solar incentives from the federal government, the California government or from your local utility company. When you're ready to make the switch to solar energy, calling your local Lancaster solar panel installation expert is a great first step.
EcoWatch's Lancaster, 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.