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

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

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 Redwood City 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 Redwood City?

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 a solar panel system on your home. These financial incentives are intended to encourage more people to switch to renewable energy. Solar incentives can include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are given by the federal government, some by the state of California and some by your utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:

  • Rebates: Solar companies may help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar panels. Counties or states will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. Any rebates you receive will usually come off your total price before tax credits are calculated.
  • Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant after your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Redwood City utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some places, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other areas you may get refunded 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 let you exclude the added value of the solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your house.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much income tax you owe the federal government.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for money that is generally considered part of your taxable income. Typically, there is a small threshold of energy production to meet before your solar system is eligible for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are normally handled at the state level.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have heard of. The solar incentive that you're most likely to have heard of is 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 initially applied to 30% of the total cost of installing a solar system, although it has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you qualify for. The total installation cost includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of labor, equipment and accessories. There is no maximum amount you can claim. The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be owned by you and in the United States.

To know exactly how much money the ITC could save you, talk to your local Redwood City solar panel installer.

The ITC was both renewed and expanded by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit now runs until 2035. Homeowners can now receive a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation on or after January 1, 2022 and will be done by December 31, 2032. This credit will then see a slight annual decrease until it expires. The expansion also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, starting in 2023.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Redwood City 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

Rebates, tax credits and more might be claimed at multiple levels. In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. These incentives may be offered by the California government, or by your county or municipality. Some are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Redwood City

Solar incentives might come from the California government, the federal government or your local utility company. The large number of available solar incentives has contributed to a large increase in solar energy use in the last 15 years. Your local Redwood City solar panel installation expert can help you learn more about which incentives you may qualify for, and get you on track to switch to renewable energy today.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

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 Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

EcoWatch's Redwood City, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

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

Many solar incentives apply to a property located within the United States that you own, and most secondary residences fall into this category. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what incentives apply to your specific situation.

How do I know if I qualify for specific solar incentives?

Generally, 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 those given out by the California government or by your county/municipality, may have additional qualifications. Talk to your local Redwood City solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project will qualify for.

How much can I save on my electric bill annually if I add solar panels to my Redwood City home?

On average, Redwood City homeowners who install solar panels save around $1,716.16 per year, or around $32,606.96 over 20 years after making the switch.

What are the best solar panel installation companies near me?

To find the best solar panel installers near you, take a look at our article on the top solar companies in Redwood City.

When does the federal solar tax credit end?

The federal solar tax credit, formerly called the ITC and now called the Clean Energy Credit, is set 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.

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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