2022 Solar Incentives Guide for Oakland, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Oakland. You'll learn about:
  • Local & State Solar Incentives
  • Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2022 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 Oakland solar installers to see how much you can save.

EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated December 8, 2022

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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Oakland?

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

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 are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives to help people install solar panels on their homes. Different types of incentives, including discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill, might be available to you. Some incentives may be offered by the California government, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while others are federal. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:

  • Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Oakland 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 may be refunded a percentage of the value.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar other performance-based incentives might be available to you if your solar system produces more than a specified (generally small) amount of electricity. This category of incentives is typically handled at the state level. You can sell any SRECs you have to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you receive in return is generally considered part of your taxable income.
  • Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are usually given before any solar tax credits are calculated. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in the amount of tax that you owe the government.
  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, applied at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to ignore the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your home.

Federal Solar Incentives

When you hear the term "solar incentives," federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This is a tax credit equal to a certain percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.

The ITC applies towards solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and allows you to deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, accessories, labor and equipment. You can claim this credit for solar panels 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 depending on when the project was completed, your credit may range from 26-30%. There is no maximum amount you can claim.

Your local Oakland solar panel installer can give you more information about the ITC and how it might apply to your situation.

In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act laid out new provisions for the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit re-raises the credit up to 30% for solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032. After this, the credit percentage will be reduced slightly each year until the program expires in 2035. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to qualify for credits for energy storage systems with the new act.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Oakland solar panel company can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit may apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Federal solar incentives are not your only option; rebates, tax credits and more are often offered at the local or state level. These incentives — which might be handled 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 Oakland

The large number of available solar incentives has contributed greatly to the increase in the adoption of solar energy nationwide over the last 15 years. You can get solar incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the California government. Reach out to your local solar panel installation expert today to discover more about the various programs and to save as much money as possible on a solar system for your Oakland home.

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EcoWatch's Oakland, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

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

Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property located within the United States that you own, and most secondary residences will fall under this distinction. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.

My home already has solar panels. Are there any incentives that I qualify for?

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 your system was installed between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the date of installation. Speaking with a representative from the company that installed your system, or any local Oakland solar installer, can help you learn what incentives you might want to apply for.

What are the top solar panel installation companies near me?

To find a top-rated solar panel installer, check out our guide to the top solar companies in Oakland.

What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my home?

Solar energy is renewable — by changing where you get your energy, you help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. You can also reduce the CO2 emissions from your home by 250 pounds yearly, or roughly 5,000 pounds over 20 years.

Can I use solar and another type of renewable energy in combination to power my home?

You can power your home with multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy. Make sure you talk through your plan with your local Oakland solar installer. They can help you plan your project and educate you on the various incentives that you will or won't 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.

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