2024 Solar Incentives Guide for Petaluma, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates

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

You'll learn about:

  • Local & State Solar Incentives
  • Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2024 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 Petaluma solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated June 24, 2024

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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 Petaluma?

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 propertyThe 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 intended to encourage people to switch their home over to renewable energy by offering incentives that lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. You might be eligible for various kinds of incentives, including discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits, depending on your situation. Some incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the state of California and others from the federal government. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:

  • Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar panels. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before tax credits are calculated.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Typically, solar systems that produce over a threshold (generally small) amount of electricity qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically offered by your state government. SRECs can be sold to your utility company or another buyer, and this is usually considered part of your taxable income.
  • Net Metering: You can sign a net metering contract with your Petaluma utility company that will apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. Your utility company will then subtract this value from your monthly utility bill.
  • Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system might qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions come into effect at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the added value of the solar panels when calculating property taxes on your house.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)

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 for Leasing

Sunrun

★★★★★
4.0
  • Expansive service area
  • Many financing options
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Some reported issues with door-to-door sales

Best Social Impact

Palmetto Solar

★★★★★
4.0
  • Expansive service area
  • Makes charitable contributions
  • Certified B Corp
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Quality of installation may vary by location

Federal Solar Incentives

When thinking about solar incentives, federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. You might have heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit equal to a specified percentage of the money you spend on solar panels for your home.

The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system has to have been installed on a property you own after January 1, 2006, for you to claim the credit. The ITC originally paid out 30% of all installation costs (panels, accessories, equipment and labor), although the covered amount has fluctuated over the last few years 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.

Talking to your local Petaluma solar panel installation expert is the best way to learn more about how the ITC could 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. Now, solar installation projects that are completed between 2022 and 2032, might qualify for a 30% tax credit. The amount of the credit will then see a slight annual decrease until the current Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. The program expansion also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, beginning in 2023.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Petaluma solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Some solar incentives may be provided by state and local governments. Similar to federal incentives, these might include rebates, tax credits and more. Some incentives are offered for only a limited time, while others are ongoing. Your local incentives might come from your county or municipality, or from the California government.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Petaluma

Solar incentives might be offered by the California government, the federal government or your local utility company. The variety of available incentives has contributed to a large increase in solar energy use in the last 15 years. When you're ready to make the switch to solar energy, reaching out to your local Petaluma solar panel installation expert is a great first step.

EcoWatch's Petaluma, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

How do I learn if I qualify for different solar incentives?

In most cases, solar incentives apply to:

  1. a new solar system
  2. installed on property you own
  3. within the U.S.
  4. within the date range specified by a particular incentive.

Specific incentives, including those given out by the California government or by your county/municipality, could have additional qualifications. Get in touch with your local Petaluma solar installer to find out what incentives your project may qualify for.

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

You should plan to talk to the company that installed your system – or get in touch with a local Petaluma solar installer — to better understand which incentives you might qualify for. If your solar panels were 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%.

What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?

To find the best solar panel installer in your area, check out our guide to the top solar companies in Petaluma.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now called the Clean Energy Credit, is scheduled to end on January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.

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 go over your plan with your local Petaluma solar installation expert. They can help you as you plan for 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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