2023 Solar Incentives Guide for North Fair Oaks, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates

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

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 North Fair Oaks 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 North Fair Oaks?

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

City of Palo Alto Utilities - Solar Water Heating Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Single-family residential gas-displacing systems: $18.59 per therm displaced
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

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 incentives that lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. Incentives could include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, while others are offered by the state of California or by your specific utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:

  • Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
  • Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar panels are up and running. If you have in place a net metering agreement with your North Fair Oaks utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some places, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other places you might get refunded a percentage of the value.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that is generally considered part of your taxable income. Typically, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system is eligible for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are normally handled at the state level.
  • Rebates: Solar companies may help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar system. States or counties will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually come off your total price before tax credits are calculated.
  • Tax Exemptions: Your solar panels may qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions come into effect at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the value added by your solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your house.

Federal Solar Incentives

When you think about 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. This 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 a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar panels must have been installed after January 1, 2006 on a property owned by you for you to be eligible for the credit. The ITC originally paid out 30% of all costs (panels, labor, accessories and equipment), although the amount has fluctuated 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 amount you can claim.

Wondering how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Contact your local North Fair Oaks solar panel installation expert to get more information.

In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now dubbed the Clean Energy Credit. For solar system installations that begin after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032, homeowners can apply 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. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local North Fair Oaks solar panel installation experts can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

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

Next Steps for Installing Solar in North Fair Oaks

There are many kinds of solar incentives: those provided by local utility companies, those provided by the California government and those provided by the federal government, to name a few. Solar energy utilization has increased enormously in the last 15 years, partially due to these incentives. We recommend talking to your local North Fair Oaks solar installation company to learn more about these incentives and to ensure that you're getting the most money possible for your solar panels.

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 North Fair Oaks, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

Can I receive any incentives when I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?

Many solar incentives apply to a property you own that is located within the United States, and most secondary residences will 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 better understand what incentives may apply to your specific situation.

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 newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If your system was installed between 2006 and 2021, you may qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the date of installation. Reaching out to the company that installed your system, or any local North Fair Oaks solar installer, can help you learn what incentives you might want to apply for.

What are the best solar panel installation companies near me?

To learn about the best solar panel installation companies near you, read our article on North Fair Oaks' best solar panel companies.

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

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

When does the federal solar tax credit end?

The Clean Energy Credit (formerly called the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), is slated to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% 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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