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

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

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 Morro Bay 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 Morro Bay?

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

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 encourage homeowners to switch to renewable energy by offering financial incentives meant to lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. The incentives may include upfront discounts, cash back or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are handled by the federal government, some by the California government and some by your utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:

  • 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. Generally, there is a small threshold of energy production to meet before your solar system qualifies for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are normally handled at the state level.
  • Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant after your solar panels are up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Morro Bay utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your monthly utility bill. In some places, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other areas you might make back a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system might qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the value that solar panels add when calculating property taxes on your home.
  • Rebates: Your solar installer might help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar panels. Counties or states will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. Any rebates you receive will usually be deducted from your total price before any tax credits are calculated.
  • 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.)

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. The solar incentive that you're most familiar with is probably the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a credit on your taxes equal to a specified percentage of the cost of your solar system.

The ITC originally covered 30% of the total cost of installing solar panels, although it has fluctuated slightly over the last few years between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The total cost of installation includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of equipment, accessories and labor. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be owned by you and in the United States.

Have questions about how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Get in touch with your local Morro Bay solar panel installation expert to get more information.

In August 2022, the ITC (now titled the Clean Energy Credit) was bolstered by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. For solar system installations that begin after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032, homeowners may be eligible for a credit equal to 30% of the total cost. After 2033, the percentage will decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems with the new act.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. The best way to learn more about how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you is to talk with your local Morro Bay solar panel company.

State & Local Solar Incentives

There are more than just federal solar incentives; rebates, tax credits and more may be offered at the state and local level. Incentives might be given by the state of California, or by your county or municipality. Some incentives might only be available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Morro Bay

Nationwide solar energy use has gone up tremendously in the past 15 years, in part thanks to the growth in the number of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from the federal government, the California government or your local utility company. Getting in touch with your local Morro Bay solar panel installation company is the best first step towards getting all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication
  • Slightly limited service offerings

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

EcoWatch's Morro Bay, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

How do I know if I qualify for different solar incentives?

Generally, 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. Talk to your local Morro Bay solar installer to find out what incentives your project may qualify for.

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

On average, homeowners in Morro Bay who install solar panels save around $1,831.12 per year, or around $34,791.25 over 20 years after making the switch.

Who installs solar panels near me?

To find the top solar panel installers near you, take a look at our article on Morro Bay's top solar panel companies.

I want to change out my appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can get?

The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions for several incentives meant to reward homeowners for making eco-friendly upgrades. Some of these incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.

Can I claim incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

The order your incentives will be applied in may vary depending on which incentives you are eligible for but in most cases yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Get in touch with your solar installer or a local tax professional to be sure you are claiming all possible incentives and applying them in the correct order.

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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