2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Menlo Park, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Menlo Park.
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 Menlo Park?
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
City of Palo Alto Utilities - Solar Water Heating Program
Single-family residential electricity or propane-displacing systems: $0.54 per kWh displaced
Multifamily and Commercial gas-displacing systems: $14.53 per therm displaced
Multifamily and Commercial electricity or propane-displacing systems: $0.42 per kWh displaced
Low-Income Multifamily gas-displacing systems: $19.23/therm displaced
Low-Income Multifamily Electric or Propane Displacing systems: $0.56/kWh displaced
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The term "solar incentives" includes a range of financial incentives designed 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 discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill, may be available to you. Some incentives may be provided via the California government, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives are generally handled by your state government. Once your solar system meets the qualification threshold (typically a small amount of energy production), you are eligible to receive SRECs that can be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make from the sale is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: Solar rebates may be provided by your local utility company, or by your county or state. These rebates are essentially partial refunds that are applied after your purchase of a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Exemptions: These might come in the form of property tax exemptions, which let you exclude the value of your solar system when calculating the taxes you pay on your house. They may also include exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in the amount of tax that you owe the federal government.
- Net Metering: You can sign a net metering agreement with your Menlo Park utility company. This agreement may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. They will then subtract this value from your utility bill each month.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about solar incentives. The solar incentive that you're most likely to have heard of is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which gives you a credit on your taxes equal to a certain percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to the total cost of installing solar panels, including the panels themselves as well as labor, accessories and equipment. This credit can be claimed for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own, as long as it is located in the United States. Originally set at 30% of total costs, the credit has fluctuated over time, and you may qualify for different amounts depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
To better understand how the ITC could apply to your situation, call your local Menlo Park solar panel installation expert and request more information.
The ITC was renewed and increased in scope after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit re-raises the credit up to 30% for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. At this point, the credit percentage will be reduced slightly each year until the end of the program 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. Your local Menlo Park solar panel installer can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Rebates, tax credits and more can be provided at multiple levels. In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. Incentives might be handled by the state of California, or by your county or municipality. Certain incentives are available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Menlo Park
You can apply for solar incentives from the California government and the federal government, as well as from your local utility company. Growing availability of solar initiatives in the past 15 years has helped increase solar adoption nationwide. Reach out to your local solar panel installer today to find out more information and to save as much money as possible on a solar system for your Menlo Park home.
EcoWatch's Menlo Park, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
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