2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Millbrae, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Millbrae.

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.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Millbrae solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

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We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Millbrae?

Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems and Solar Plus Storage System

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
100% of system value; 75% of system value exemption for dual-use equipment

Western Riverside Council of Governments - Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Financing Program

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Eligible products can be financed for up to 25 years, depending on the useful life of the eligible product.
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

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Locally determined

Self-Generation Incentive Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
For projects 30 kW or larger, 50% of incentive will be received up-front; 50% will be received based on actual kWh production over the first 5 years. For projects under 30kW, 100% of the incentive will be paid up front.
Incentives will step down over time. See below for incentive amounts.

Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT)

Incentive Type:
Feed-in Tariff

LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program

Incentive Type:
Feed-in Tariff
$0.17/kWh adjusted by a time of delivery multiplier
Base price will step down over time as certain MW goals are met

California Solar Initiative - Solar Thermal Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Step 1 Incentive Rates (contact utility to determine current incentive levels):
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
Commercial/Multifamily Incentives:
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

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


The term "solar incentives" generally refers to financial incentives that are in place to encourage increased use of renewable energy by making the installation and use of solar panels more affordable. Different types of incentives, including discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill, may be available to you. Some incentives may be handled by the state of California, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while others are federal. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:

  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, which is applied at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to ignore the value added by your solar system when paying property tax on your home.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
  • Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering contract with your Millbrae 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 monthly utility bill.
  • Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar panels. These might be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The rebates are usually applied before tax credits are calculated.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives may be available to you if you have a solar system that produces over a specified (generally small) amount of electricity. Performance-based incentives are usually handled at the state level. You can sell the SRECs you receive to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you make is typically considered part of your taxable income.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind when you think about solar incentives. A federal incentive many people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of the cost of your solar system.

The ITC was originally for 30% of the cost of installing a solar system, although it has fluctuated slightly over the years between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you qualify for. 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 applies 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.

Your local Millbrae solar panel installer can offer more information about the ITC and how it may apply to your situation.

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 might qualify for a 30% tax credit. The amount of the credit will then see a slight annual decrease until the current Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to get credits for energy storage systems with the new act.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Millbrae solar panel company is the best resource for answering your questions regarding the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Some solar incentives are often also offered at the local or state level. Like with federal incentives, these could include rebates, tax credits and more. These solar incentives — which might be given by the state of California, or by your county or municipality — could be offered for only a limited time, or on an ongoing basis.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Millbrae

Nationwide solar energy use has gone up significantly in the past 15 years, in part due to the proliferation of solar incentives. You can obtain these incentives from the federal government, the California government or your local utility company. Speaking with your local Millbrae solar panel installer is the best first step towards making sure you get all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.

Best National Provider

SunPower

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  • Most efficient panels on the market
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  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

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  • Great warranty coverage
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
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Best Technology

Tesla Energy

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  • Price-match guarantee
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  • Customer service varies by local dealer

EcoWatch's Millbrae, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

How can I find out if I qualify for different solar incentives?

It's a smart idea to get in touch with your local Millbrae solar installer for a better understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. Usually, solar incentives apply to new solar systems installed on property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, such as those offered by the government of California, might have additional requirements.

I already have solar panels installed. Do I qualify for any incentives?

You should plan to talk to a representative from the company that installed your system — or reach out to a local Millbrae solar installer — to clarify 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 panels installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.

What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar?

Solar energy is renewable — by switching where you get your energy, you help reduce the strain on our planet's resources. A solar system can also lower your home's CO2 emissions by 250 pounds yearly, or around 5,000 pounds over 20 years.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The Clean Energy Credit (formerly called the federal solar tax credit, or ITC), is scheduled 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 trade in my old appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can claim?

The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act introduces a number of incentives that reward homeowners who make 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.

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.

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