2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Oak Park, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Oak Park.
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
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Oak Park?
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
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The phrase "solar incentives" refers broadly to financial incentives designed to encourage the use of renewable energy by making the installation and use of solar panels more affordable. Incentives could include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are offered federally, while others are provided by the California government or your utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are typically applied prior to any solar tax credits being calculated. These rebates may be given by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, which is applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to ignore the value added by your solar system when calculating property tax for your home.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in once your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Oak Park utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some places, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other areas you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits lower, dollar-for-dollar, how much income tax you owe the federal government. Tax credits differ from tax deductions.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In most cases, solar systems that produce over a threshold (normally small) amount of electricity will qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and the like are typically offered by your state government. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or another buyer, and this is usually considered part of your taxable income.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have heard of. You've likely heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit equal to a predetermined percentage of the money you spend on solar panels for your home.
The ITC can be credited towards the value of solar panels 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 claim the credit. Originally, the ITC covered 30% of all installation costs (panels, accessories, labor and equipment), although the covered amount has fluctuated over the last few years between 26-30%. The amount you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
Your local Oak Park solar panel installer can provide more information about the ITC and how it might apply to your situation.
In August 2022, the ITC (now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. American homeowners can now receive a 30% credit for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. This credit will then decrease annually until it expires. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Oak Park solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions regarding the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Rebates, tax credits and more can be claimed at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time. Solar incentives may be provided by your county or municipality, or by the California government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Oak Park
You can apply for and 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 in the past 15 years has helped increase nationwide solar energy use enormously. We suggest talking to your local Oak Park solar installation company for more information about these incentives and to ensure that you're getting the most money possible for your solar system.
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EcoWatch's Oak Park, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I receive any incentives when I add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?
While we recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what solar incentives apply to you, many apply to a second home, as long as it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be other incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the specifics.
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 help lessen 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 in 20 years.
I want to change out my appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can claim?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act provides several incentives that reward homeowners who make eco-friendly upgrades. Some of these incentives include rebates and tax credits for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
Can I qualify for incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order that incentives will be applied in might vary depending on which incentives you are eligible for but generally yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Talk with your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure you are claiming all possible incentives and applying them in the correct order.
Can I use a combination of multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
You can use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Be sure to talk through your ideas with your local Oak Park solar installer. They can help you with the plan for your project and educate you on the various incentives that you may or may not qualify for.
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.