2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Piedmont, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates

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

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.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Piedmont solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

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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 Piedmont?

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 intended to encourage homeowners to make the switch to renewable energy by offering incentives that lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. Incentives may include things like discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, while others are offered by the California government or your specific utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:

  • Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Piedmont utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some areas, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other places you might be refunded a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to ignore the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your home.
  • Rebates: Solar rebates might be provided by your state or county, or by your local utility company. These rebates are essentially cash back that is applied after you purchase a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits lower, dollar-for-dollar, how much income tax you owe the federal government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that normally counts as part of your taxable income. Typically, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system can earn SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically handled by your state government.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. The solar incentive that you're most familiar with is probably the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a credit on your taxes equal to a certain percentage of the cost of your solar system.

The ITC applies to the value of 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 initially covered 30% of all system installation costs (panels, labor, equipment and accessories), although the amount has fluctuated over time 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.

Your local Piedmont solar panel installation expert can provide you with 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 bolstered by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. For solar system installations that begin after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032, homeowners can apply for a credit for 30% of the total cost. This percentage will decrease annually after 2032 until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to qualify for credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you, reach out to your local Piedmont solar installers.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Some solar incentives may be offered at the local or state level. Similar to federal incentives, these could include tax credits, rebates and more. Some incentives are ongoing, while others may only be available for a limited time. Incentives may be offered by the California government, or by your county or municipality.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Piedmont

Solar energy use nationwide has increased enormously in the past 15 years, in part due to the proliferation of solar incentives. You can obtain these incentives from the California government, the federal government or your local utility company. Talking to your local Piedmont solar panel installer is an excellent first step towards getting all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.

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EcoWatch's Piedmont, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

What if I want to add a solar system to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Can I still qualify for incentives?

While we recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what solar incentives apply to you, many incentives apply to a second home, so long as that home is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the specifics.

My home already has solar panels installed. Does my system qualify for any incentives?

An excellent idea would be to talk to the company that installed your solar panels — or call a local Piedmont 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 recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.

I want to trade in my old appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can get?

The new Inflation Reduction Act creates a number of new financial incentives that are available when you make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details regarding these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.

Can I apply for incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

Yes, you can claim both tax credits and rebates towards the cost of your solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are claiming, they may apply in a different order. Be sure to speak with your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure that you are claiming the correct incentives and that you're getting the most money you can.

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

Yes, you can use multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of solar and geothermal. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a non-renewable backup source of energy. You should discuss your proposed plan with your local Piedmont solar panel installer, to get an understanding of what will be needed and what kinds of incentives 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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