2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Richmond, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Richmond.
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.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated March 14, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Richmond?
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 designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. You might qualify for different kinds of incentives, including cash back, discounts 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:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives might be available to you if the solar system on your home produces more than a specified (usually small) amount of electricity. This category of incentives is usually handled by the state government. You can sell any SRECs you have to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you receive in return is typically considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering agreement with your Richmond utility company. This agreement may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. They will then deduct this value from your monthly utility bill.
- Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar system. These could 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.
- Tax Credits: These credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the federal government.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions go into effect at the point of sale for your solar system. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value added by your solar system when you're calculating how much property tax you need to pay.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. An incentive that most people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a tax credit for a given percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and allows you to deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, equipment, labor and accessories. You can receive this credit for a solar panel system installed on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Originally, you could claim 30% of the total cost, although the amount you can claim may range between 26-30%. There is no maximum claim amount.
Speaking with your local Richmond 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 passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. The new Clean Energy Credit extends until 2035. American homeowners are now eligible for a 30% credit for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. The credit will then decrease annually until its expiration. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Richmond solar panel installer can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be provided at the state and local level. As with federal incentives, these might include tax credits, rebates and more. These solar incentives — which may be given by the state of California, or by your county or municipality — might be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Richmond
You can apply for and receive solar incentives from the California government and the federal government, as well as from your local utility company. The increased availability of solar initiatives in the past 15 years has helped increase nationwide solar energy use enormously. We suggest talking to your local Richmond solar installation expert to learn more about these incentives and to be sure that you're getting the most money possible for your solar panels.
Best Regional Coverage
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EcoWatch's Richmond, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
How can I find out if I qualify for certain solar incentives?
It's best to speak with your local Richmond solar installer for a better understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. Usually, solar incentives apply to new solar systems installed on property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, like those provided by the California government, may have other requirements.
If I already have solar panels, can I still claim incentives?
If your solar system was installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you had your system installed between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the date of installation. Speaking with a representative from the company that installed your solar system, or any local Richmond solar installer, can help you learn more about what incentives you qualify for.
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To learn about the top solar panel installation companies near you, read our article on Richmond's top solar panel companies.
I want to trade in my old appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can claim?
With the passage of the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a number of new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details about these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I use solar and another type of renewable energy in combination to power my home?
Yes, you can utilize multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of wind and solar. You can also use both renewable energy sources and a non-renewable backup source of energy. You should discuss your plan with your local Richmond solar panel installer, to get an understanding of what will be needed and what types of incentives you might or might not 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.