2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Salinas, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Salinas.
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 Salinas solar installers to see how much you can save.
Please enter a valid 5-digit zip code!
By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated May 04, 2023
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Salinas?
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 encourage homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy by providing financial incentives meant to lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. Incentives could include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are handled federally, while others are offered by the state of California or your utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, which is applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to exclude the value added by your solar system when calculating property tax for your house.
- Net Metering: Be sure to talk to your Salinas utility company about signing a net metering agreement. This allows you to receive credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You could receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar other performance-based incentives might be available to you if your solar system produces over a specified (typically small) amount of electricity. This category of incentives is generally 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 normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much income tax you owe the government.
- Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are normally applied before any solar tax credits are calculated. These rebates can be given by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you think about solar incentives, you probably think of federal incentives first. An incentive that most people are probably familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a given percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC applies to solar panels installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system must have been installed after January 1, 2006 on a property you own for you to claim the credit. The ITC originally paid out 30% of all system costs (panels, accessories, labor and equipment), although this amount has fluctuated slightly over the years between 26-30%. The amount you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
To understand exactly how much the ITC could save you, contact your local Salinas solar panel installation expert.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). Homeowners can now qualify for a credit equal to 30% of the total solar system installation costs for projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed before the end of 2032. The percentage will then begin to decrease yearly until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to get credits for energy storage systems with the new act.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Salinas solar panel installation experts can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also offered at the local or state level. Like with federal incentives, these may include rebates, tax credits and more. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are offered for only a limited time. Your local solar incentives might come from the California government, or from your specific county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Salinas
The variety of available solar incentives has enormously increased the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the past 15 years. You might qualify for solar incentives from the federal government, the California government or from your local utility company. It is a good idea to talk to your local Salinas solar installer for more information about these incentives and to ensure that you're getting the most money possible for your solar system.
Best Regional Coverage
- Great warranty coverage
- Representatives are experts on local policies
- Concierge service ensures steady communication
- Slightly limited service offerings
Best Warranty Coverage
- Industry-leading warranty coverage
- Expansive service area
- Some reported communication issues
- No leases or PPAs
EcoWatch's Salinas, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I am planning to add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Can I still qualify for incentives?
Many solar incentives apply to a property located within the United States that you own, and most secondary residences will fall into this category. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what incentives will apply to your specific situation.
If I installed solar panels on my house a few years ago, can I still claim incentives?
An excellent idea would be to talk to the company that installed your solar panels — or speak to a local Salinas solar installer — to better understand which incentives you might 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%.
How much can I save annually on my electric bill if I install solar panels on my house in Salinas?
Generally, Salinas homeowners who install solar panels save around $1,814.45 per year, or around $34,474.51 over 20 years after they make the switch.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The federal solar tax credit, formerly called the ITC and now titled the Clean Energy Credit, is slated 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.
Can I use solar and another type of renewable energy in combination to power my home?
You can power your home with multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy. Be sure to discuss your plan with your local Salinas solar installation expert. They can help you with the plan for your project and educate you on the various incentives that 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.