2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Malibu, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Malibu.
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 Malibu?
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" refers to a 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 might include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, while others are offered by the California government or your specific utility company, county or municipality. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase for your solar system. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the added value of your solar system when you calculate the amount of property tax you need to pay on your house.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar system. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The cash back that you get from the rebates is normally applied before tax credits are calculated.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other similar performance-based incentives are normally handled by your state government. Once your solar system meets the threshold (normally a small amount of energy production), you can receive SRECs that you can then sell to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make is generally considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar panels are up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Malibu utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some places, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in others you may be refunded a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: These credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much income tax you owe the government.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is the most commonly known federal solar incentive. The ITC provides a tax credit for a set percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and lets you deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, equipment, accessories and labor. You can claim this credit for solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Originally, you could claim 30% of the total cost, although depending on when the project was completed, your credit may range from 26-30%. There is no maximum claim amount.
Have questions about how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Get in touch with your local Malibu solar panel installer to get more information.
In August 2022, the ITC (now titled the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. The new Clean Energy Credit now runs until 2035. You can now receive a 30% credit for solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. This credit will then be decreased by a few percentage points every year until it expires. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to claim credits for energy storage systems with the new act.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The best way to learn more about how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you is to talk with your local Malibu solar panel company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are often also state solar incentives in addition to those provided by the federal government. Rebates, tax credits and more might be available at a more local level. Certain incentives are offered for only a limited time, while others are ongoing. These local incentives could come from your county or municipality, or from the California government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Malibu
The nationwide use of solar energy has increased enormously in the last 15 years, in part thanks to the proliferation of solar incentives. You might receive these incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the California government. Your local Malibu solar panel installation expert can help you learn more about which incentives you should apply for, and get you started on the path to switching to renewable energy today.
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EcoWatch's Malibu, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
I already have solar panels. Does my system qualify for any incentives?
Your best bet is to talk to the company that installed your system — or get in touch with a local Malibu solar installer — to better understand which incentives you may qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
Who installs solar panels near me?
To learn about the best solar panel installers near you, read our article on Malibu's best solar panel companies.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The Clean Energy Credit (formerly called the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), currently ends on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
If I switch my appliances out for ones that utilize solar energy, are there incentives that I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act introduces multiple incentives that reward homeowners for making eco-friendly upgrades. Some of these incentives include rebates and tax credits for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
Can I apply for 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 your solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are receiving, 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.
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.