2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Livermore, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Livermore.
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.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated March 14, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Livermore?
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 help mitigate the cost of installing solar panels on your home. These financial incentives are intended to encourage more people to switch to renewable energy. The incentives could include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are given by the federal government, some by the state of California and some by your utility company, county or municipality. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Net Metering: Don't forget to talk to your Livermore utility company about signing a net metering agreement. This will allow you to get a credit towards your monthly utility bill for the value of excess energy your solar panels generate. You may receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the federal government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the added value of your solar system when you're calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay on your home.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Generally, solar systems that produce more than a predetermined (normally small) amount of electricity will qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and performance-based incentives in general are typically provided by your state government. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or another buyer, and the money you receive is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: Solar rebates can be provided by your county or state, or by your local utility company. These rebates work as cash back that is applied after your purchase of a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. The solar incentive that you may be most familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which gives you a credit on your taxes equal to a percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC initially applied to 30% of the total cost of installing a solar system, although that number has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you qualify for. The total cost of installation includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of labor, accessories 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.
To better understand how the ITC could apply to you, get in touch with your local Livermore solar panel installer and request more information.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit lasts until 2035. Your solar installation project undertaken between 2022 and 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit. The amount will then decrease slightly each year until the current program ends. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you, talk to your local Livermore solar installation expert.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be provided at the state and local level. As with federal incentives, these might include tax credits, rebates and more. Certain incentives are offered for only a limited time, while others are ongoing. Your local incentives may come from the California government, or from your specific county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Livermore
The nationwide use of solar energy has gone up significantly in the last 15 years, in part due to the increase in availability of solar incentives. You can obtain these incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the California government. Reaching out to your local Livermore solar panel installer is an excellent first step towards making sure you get all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
Best Regional Coverage
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- Some reported issues with customer service
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EcoWatch's Livermore, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
How much will a solar system save me annually on my electric bill in Livermore?
Typically, homeowners in Livermore who install solar panels save about $1,749.02 per year, or about $33,231.29 over 20 years after making the switch.
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To learn about the best solar panel installation companies near you, take a look at our article on the best solar companies in Livermore.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now called the Clean Energy Credit, is set to end January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.
Can I receive incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can claim both rebates and tax credits towards the cost of solar panels. Depending on precisely which incentives you are claiming, they may apply in a different order. Make sure that you talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to confirm that you are claiming the correct incentives and getting the most money possible.
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 — for example, a combination of geothermal and solar. You can also use both renewable energy sources and a non-renewable backup source of energy. You should discuss your proposed plan with your local Livermore solar panel installer, to get an understanding of what will be needed and what incentives 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.