2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Los Banos, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Los Banos.
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 Los Banos?
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 phrase "solar incentives" refers to a wide range of financial incentives put in place to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. Incentives could include things like discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, while others are handled by the California government or by your specific utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In general, solar systems that produce more than a predetermined (usually small) amount of electricity will qualify for SRECs or other similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and the like are typically offered by your state government. SRECs can be sold to your utility company or another buyer, and this is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Exemptions: These might come in the form of property tax exemptions, which let you ignore the value added by your solar panels when calculating the taxes you pay on your home. They may also include exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Net Metering: Make sure you talk with your Los Banos utility company about signing a net metering agreement. This allows you to get a credit towards your monthly utility bill for the value of excess energy your solar panels generate. You might 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.)
- Rebates: Some solar companies will help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar system. Counties or states will also sometimes offer limited-time rebates. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually be deducted from the total price before tax credits are calculated.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. A federal incentive many people are probably familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a specific percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC originally covered 30% of the total cost of installing a solar system, although it has fluctuated slightly over the last few years 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, equipment and accessories. 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 best understand how the ITC may apply to your situation, reach out to your local Los Banos solar panel installer and ask for more information.
The ITC was both renewed and expanded by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. Homeowners are now eligible for a credit of 30% of the total costs of solar system installation for projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed before the end of 2032. This percentage will then decrease on a yearly basis until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you, talk to your local Los Banos solar installation company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are often state solar incentives available in addition to federal ones. Tax credits, rebates and more may be available at a more local level. Some incentives are ongoing, while others might only be available for a limited time. Solar incentives might be provided by your county or municipality, or by the California government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Los Banos
There are a variety of solar incentives: those given by the federal government, those given by the California government and those given by local utility companies, to name a few. Solar energy utilization has increased enormously in the last 15 years, partially due to these incentives. Speak with your local solar panel installer today to find out more information and to save the most money possible on solar panels for your Los Banos home.
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EcoWatch's Los Banos, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I get any financial incentives when I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property located within the United States that you own; most secondary residences fall into this category. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what incentives may apply to your specific situation.
What are the top solar panel installation companies near me?
To find the top solar panel installers near you, take a look at our article on Los Banos' top solar panel companies.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously called 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.
I want to change out my appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any incentives I can apply for?
The new Inflation Reduction Act creates a number of new financial incentives for making 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 both solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?
Yes, you can utilize multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of geothermal and solar. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a backup source of non-renewable energy. Be sure to discuss your proposed plan with your local Los Banos solar panel installer, so that you understand what you'll need and what incentives you may or may 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.