2023 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 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Petaluma?
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
Solar incentives are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. Solar incentives might include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your 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. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax you owe the federal government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.
- Rebates: Solar rebates may be provided by your state or county, or by your local utility company. These rebates work as cash back that is applied after you pay for solar panels and before tax credits are calculated.
- 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 Petaluma utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some areas, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other areas you may make back a percentage of the value.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system 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 ignore the value added by your solar panels when calculating property taxes on your home.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In general, solar systems that produce over a threshold (normally small) amount of electricity qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and the like are typically provided by your state government. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and the money you receive is normally 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. One of the incentives many people are likely to be familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a tax credit for a given percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to the total cost of solar system installation, including the panels themselves as well as accessories, labor and equipment. You can claim this credit for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own and that is located in the United States. From its original value of 30% of the total cost, the credit has fluctuated slightly between 26-30%, and you may qualify for varying percentages depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.
Your local Petaluma solar panel installer can offer more information about the ITC and how it may apply to your situation.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). The new Clean Energy Credit extends until 2035. American homeowners can now receive a 30% credit for solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. The credit will then be decreased by a few percentage points every year until the date of expiration. The expansion to the program also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, beginning in 2023.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The best way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to reach out to your local Petaluma solar panel installation expert with your questions.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be provided at the state and local level. As with federal incentives, these might include rebates, tax credits and more. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time. Solar incentives might be provided by the California government, or by your county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Petaluma
Solar energy use nationwide has gone up significantly in the past 15 years, in part thanks to the proliferation of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the California government. Speak with your local solar panel installation company today to discover more about the various programs and to save the most money possible on a solar system for your Petaluma home.
EcoWatch's Petaluma, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
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