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

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

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 Pinole 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 Pinole?

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 meant to help mitigate the cost of installing solar panels on your home. Financial incentives like these are intended to encourage more Americans to make the switch to renewable energy. Incentives might include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, while others are provided by the state of California or by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Types of solar incentives might include:

  • 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 Pinole utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your monthly utility bill. In some areas, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in others you may get refunded a percentage of the value.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar other performance-based incentives may be available to you if your solar system produces over a specified (generally small) amount of electricity. Performance-based incentives are normally handled by the state government. You can sell the SRECs you receive to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you make is typically considered part of your taxable income.
  • Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in 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 value added by your solar system when paying property tax on your house.
  • Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar panels. Rebates could be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before tax credits are calculated.

Federal Solar Incentives

When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind. A federal incentive that most people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of the cost of your solar system.

The ITC applies to a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar panels have to have been installed on a property you own after January 1, 2006 for you to be eligible for the credit. Initially, the ITC applied to 30% of all costs (panels, labor, equipment and accessories), although the amount has fluctuated over time between 26-30%. The amount you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the claim amount.

To better understand exactly how much money the ITC could save you, get in touch with your local Pinole solar panel installer.

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 lasts until 2035. Your solar installation project undertaken between 2022 and 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit. The amount will be decreased slightly each year until the end of the current program. The 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. The easiest way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to talk with your local Pinole solar panel company.

State & Local Solar Incentives

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

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Pinole

The expanding number of available solar incentives has helped tremendously increase the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the last 15 years. You can get solar incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the California government. When you're ready to switch over to solar energy, getting in touch with your local Pinole solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.

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EcoWatch's Pinole, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

How can I find out if I qualify for specific solar incentives?

Typically, solar incentives apply to:

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

Specific incentives, including ones handled by the California government or by your county/municipality, may have additional qualifications. Talk to your local Pinole solar installer to discover what incentives your project may qualify for.

If I already have solar panels, can I still claim incentives?

An excellent idea would be to talk to someone from the company that installed your system — or speak to a local Pinole solar installer — to better understand which incentives you may qualify for. If your solar panels were 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%.

If I switch my appliances out for ones that can utilize solar energy, are there credits I can claim?

The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act introduces several incentives that reward homeowners who make eco-friendly upgrades. Some incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives 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 solar panels. Depending on precisely which incentives you are applying for, they may apply in a different order. Be sure to talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure that you are claiming incentives correctly and getting the most money possible.

Can I use a combination of solar and another type 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. Make sure you go over your ideas with your local Pinole solar installer. They can help you plan your project and also help you understand 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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