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.

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 Salinas?

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/


The phrase "solar incentives" covers a range of financial incentives put in place to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. Incentives might include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, while others are offered by the California government or your utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:

  • Tax Exemptions: These may come in the form of property tax exemptions, which can let you exclude the value of your solar system when paying taxes on your house. They may also include exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
  • Rebates: Some solar companies will help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar panels. States or counties will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually come off your total price before any tax credits are calculated.
  • Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In most cases, solar systems that produce over a threshold (usually small) amount of electricity can qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically given at the state level. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or another buyer, and the money you receive is normally considered part of your taxable income.
  • Net Metering: Net metering factors in once your solar panels are up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Salinas utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some areas, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in others you might make back a percentage of the value.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that you think of when thinking about solar incentives. A federal incentive that most people are probably familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a tax credit for a specific percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC is applied to the total cost of solar panel installation, including the panels themselves as well as accessories, equipment and labor. This credit can be claimed for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own, as long as it is located in the United States. The tax credit ranges from 26-30% of total costs depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.

To better understand exactly how much the ITC could save you, speak with your local Salinas solar panel installer.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, added more provisions to the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). Homeowners can now qualify for a credit of 30% of the total costs of solar system installation for projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed before the end of 2032. This percentage will then begin to decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The best way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you is to get in touch with your local Salinas solar panel installation expert.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Some solar incentives may be provided by state and local governments. Like with federal incentives, these can include tax credits, rebates and more. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are only available for a limited time. Incentives may be provided by the California government, or by your county or municipality.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Salinas

The expanding number 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 California government, the federal government or your local utility company. If you're ready to make the change to solar energy, calling your local Salinas solar panel installation expert is a great first step.

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EcoWatch's Salinas, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

How do I learn if I qualify for solar incentives?

In most cases, solar incentives apply to:

  1. a new solar system
  2. installed on a 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, could have additional qualifications. Speak with your local Salinas solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project will qualify for.

My home already has solar panels installed. Does my system qualify for any 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 exact installation date. Speaking with the company that installed your solar system, or any local Salinas solar installer, can help you learn what incentives you can apply for.

Who installs solar panel systems near me?

To find a top-rated solar panel installer, check out our guide to the top solar companies in Salinas.

What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my house?

Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by changing where you get your energy, you can help reduce the strain on our planet's resources. You can also reduce the CO2 emissions from your home by 250 pounds annually, or around 5,000 pounds in 20 years.

If I trade in my appliances for ones that use solar energy, are there any benefits I can claim?

With the passage of the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a number of new financial incentives for making eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details on these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.

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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