2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Mountain View, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Mountain View.
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 Mountain View?
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
Santa Clara Water & Sewer - Solar Water Heating Program
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
Solar incentives are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. You might qualify for several kinds of incentives, including cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, depending on your situation. Certain incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the state of California and others from the federal government. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in once your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Mountain View utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some locations, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other places you might be refunded a percentage of the value.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other similar performance-based incentives are typically handled at the state level. Once your solar panel system meets the threshold (generally a small amount of energy production), you are eligible to receive SRECs that can then be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you receive is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar system. Rebates could be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The cash back that you get from the rebates is normally applied before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits lower, dollar-for-dollar, how much income tax you owe the federal government. These are different from tax deductions.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar system could qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the value that solar panels add when calculating property taxes on your home.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you think about solar incentives, you probably think of federal incentives first. 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 predetermined percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be credited towards the value of a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system must have been installed after January 1, 2006 on a property owned by you for you to claim the credit. Originally, the ITC covered 30% of all system installation costs (panels, equipment, labor and accessories), although the covered amount has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you are eligible for. There is no cap on the claim amount.
To best understand how the ITC could apply to you, reach out to your local Mountain View solar panel installer and ask for more information.
The ITC was both renewed and expanded by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit lasts until 2035. Solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit. The amount will then decrease slightly each year until the current program ends. 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. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you, reach out to your local Mountain View solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be offered at the local or state level. Similar to federal incentives, these might include rebates, tax credits and more. These solar incentives — which may be provided by the state of California, or by your county or municipality — could be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Mountain View
You can receive solar incentives from the federal government and the California government, as well as from your local utility company. The growing availability of solar initiatives over the last 15 years has helped increase nationwide solar energy use enormously. It is a good idea to talk to your local Mountain View solar installation company to learn more about these incentives and to make sure that you're getting all of the money you can for your solar system.
Best Regional Coverage
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EcoWatch's Mountain View, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I am planning to add a solar system to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Do I still qualify for incentives?
Many solar incentives apply to a property you own that is located within the United States, and most secondary residences fall under this distinction. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.
How can I learn if I qualify for certain solar incentives?
It's a good idea to talk to your local Mountain View solar installer to get an understanding of which incentives your project will qualify for. In most cases, solar incentives apply to new solar panel systems installed on property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, like those provided at the level of the California government, may have other requirements.
If I already have solar panels, can I still claim incentives?
If your solar system was installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you had your system installed between 2006 and 2021, you may qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the year it was installed. Talking to the company that installed your solar system, or any local Mountain View solar installer, can help you learn more about what incentives you might want to apply for.
What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?
To find the right solar panel installer for you, check out our guide to Mountain View's best solar panel companies.
If I switch my appliances out for ones that can use solar energy, are there any incentives that I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act creates a variety of new financial incentives for making eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details on these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found 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.