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

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

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 Milpitas 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

Why you can trust EcoWatch

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 Milpitas?

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/


Solar incentives are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives to help people install solar panels on their homes. Incentives could include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are handled federally, while others are provided by the California government or by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:

  • Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar panels. These might be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before tax credits are calculated.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for money that normally counts as part of your taxable income. In most cases, there is a small threshold of energy production to meet before your solar system is eligible for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are normally handled at the state level.
  • Tax Credits: These credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much income tax you owe the federal government.
  • Net Metering: Be sure to speak with your Milpitas 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 generated by your solar panels. You could receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the point of sale for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value that your solar panels add when you're calculating how much property tax you need to pay on your home.

Federal Solar Incentives

When someone says "solar incentives," you likely think of federal incentives first. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a specified percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.

The ITC applies to the value of a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system must have been installed on a property you own after January 1, 2006 for you to claim the credit. Originally, the ITC covered 30% of all installation costs (panels, labor, equipment and accessories), although the total amount has fluctuated slightly over the last few years between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you are eligible for. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.

To better understand exactly how much money the ITC could save you, talk to your local Milpitas solar panel installation expert.

The ITC has been renewed and expanded following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. Now, solar installation projects that are completed between 2022 and 2032 might qualify for a 30% tax credit. This credit amount will then see a slight annual decrease until the current Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. The program expansion also makes credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim, starting in 2023.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. The best way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to reach out to your local Milpitas solar panel company with your questions.

State & Local Solar Incentives

There are often state solar incentives available in addition to federal ones. Rebates, tax credits 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 offered by the California government, or by your county or municipality.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Milpitas

Solar energy use nationwide has increased enormously in the last 15 years, in part thanks to the proliferation of solar incentives. You can obtain these incentives from the California government, the federal government or your local utility company. Contact your local solar panel installation expert today to find out more information and to save the most money possible on solar panels for your Milpitas home.

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EcoWatch's Milpitas, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

How do I learn if I qualify for solar incentives?

Broadly, solar incentives apply to:

  1. a new solar system
  2. installed on property you own
  3. within the U.S.
  4. between the dates specified by a particular incentive.

Specific incentives, including ones handled by the California government or by your county/municipality, may have additional qualifications. Get in touch with your local Milpitas solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project will qualify for.

How much can I save on my electric bill annually if I add solar panels to my Milpitas home?

On average, homeowners in Milpitas who install solar panels save about $1,764.67 per year, or about $33,528.72 over 20 years after making the switch.

What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?

To find the best solar panel installer in your area, check out our guide to Milpitas' top solar panel companies.

What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my house?

Solar energy is renewable — by changing where you get your energy, you can help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. A solar system can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 250 pounds a year, or roughly 5,000 pounds over 20 years.

When does the federal solar tax credit end?

The federal solar tax credit, previously called 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.

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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