2023 Solar Incentives Guide for North Highlands, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in North Highlands.
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 May 04, 2023
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in North Highlands?
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
Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT)
LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program
Base price will step down over time as certain MW goals are met
SMUD - PV Residential Retrofit Buy-Down
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are meant to help mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. This category of financial incentives is designed to encourage more Americans to switch to renewable energy. Solar incentives could include cash back, upfront discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are handled by the federal government, some by the California government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Net Metering: Be sure to talk with your North Highlands utility company about signing a net metering agreement. This allows you to get a credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy your solar panels generate. You might receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: Solar rebates may be offered by your state or county, or by your local utility company. These rebates work as cash back that is applied after your purchase of a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Exemptions: These may come in the form of property tax exemptions, which would allow you to ignore the value added by your solar panels when paying taxes on your house. You may also qualify for an exemption on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the federal government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other similar performance-based incentives are typically handled by your state government. Once your solar panel system meets the threshold (usually a small amount of energy production), you can receive SRECs that you can then sell to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make is generally considered part of your taxable income.
Federal Solar Incentives
When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is the best-known federal solar incentive. The ITC offers a tax credit for a specific percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and under this program you can deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, accessories, labor and equipment. This credit can be claimed on a solar panel system installed on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. The original amount you could claim was 30% of the total cost, although the amount you can claim may range between 26-30%. There is no maximum claim amount.
Curious how the ITC might apply to your specific situation? Reach out to your local North Highlands solar panel installer to get more information.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Any solar installation project that is completed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit. This amount will then decrease slightly on a yearly basis until the current program ends. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To best understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, talk to your local North Highlands solar installation company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also provided by state and local governments. As with federal incentives, these might include rebates, tax credits and more. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are only available for a limited time. Solar incentives may be offered by your county or municipality, or by the California government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in North Highlands
You can receive solar incentives from the California government and the federal 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. We suggest talking to your local North Highlands solar installer to learn more about these incentives and to be sure that you're getting all of the money you can for your solar panels.
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EcoWatch's North Highlands, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
How do I know if I qualify for solar incentives?
Broadly, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar system
- installed on a property that you own
- within the U.S.
- within the date range 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 North Highlands solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project may qualify for.
My home already has solar panels installed. Does my system qualify for any incentives?
Your best bet is to talk to the company that installed your system — or reach out to a local North Highlands solar installer — to learn about which incentives you may qualify for. If your system was installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
How much will solar panels save me on my electric bill in North Highlands annually?
Generally, North Highlands homeowners who install solar panels save about $1,334.57 per year, or about $25,356.75 over 20 years after they make the switch.
What are the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by changing where you get your energy, you can help reduce the strain on our planet's resources. A solar system can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 250 pounds annually, or around 5,000 pounds over 20 years.
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.