2023 Solar Incentives Guide for San Bernardino, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in San Bernardino.
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 May 04, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in San Bernardino?
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
The phrase "solar incentives" includes a wide 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 can include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are offered federally, while others are offered by the state of California or by your utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are typically given before any solar tax credits are calculated. Solar rebates might be offered by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system could qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions come into effect at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the added value of the solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your house.
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your San Bernardino utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some locations, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in others you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Typically, solar systems that produce more than a predetermined (normally small) amount of electricity can qualify for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically offered by your state government. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and the money you receive is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. You might have heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This incentive is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a predetermined percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.
The ITC initially applied to 30% of the total cost of installing a solar system, and has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you qualify for. The total cost of installation includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of accessories, equipment and labor. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be owned by you and in the United States.
To understand exactly how much the ITC could save you, talk to your local San Bernardino solar panel installation expert.
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. Under the new program, solar installation projects begun after January 1, 2022 and finished by December 31, 2032 might qualify for a 30% tax credit. This percentage will then see a slight annual decrease until the current Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. The best way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you is to get in touch with your local San Bernardino solar panel installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Rebates, tax credits and more might be provided at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. Certain incentives are offered for only a limited time, while others are ongoing. Local solar incentives could come from your county or municipality, or from the California government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in San Bernardino
You can apply for solar incentives from the federal government and the California government, as well as from your local utility company. This increase in availability of solar initiatives in the past 15 years has helped greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. Reach out to your local solar panel installation company today to learn more and to save the most money possible on a solar system for your San Bernardino home.
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EcoWatch's San Bernardino, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I want to add a solar system to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Will I still qualify for incentives?
While we recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what solar incentives apply to you, many incentives can be claimed on a second home, provided that it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the details.
I already have 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 recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you installed your system between 2006 and 2021, you may qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the year it was installed. Speaking with the company that installed your solar system, or any local San Bernardino solar installer, can help you understand what incentives you might want to apply for.
How much will solar panels save me on my electric bill in San Bernardino annually?
Typically, homeowners in San Bernardino who install solar panels save approximately $1,403.03 per year, or approximately $26,657.57 over 20 years after making the switch.
What are the top solar panel installation companies near me?
To learn about the best solar panel installation companies near you, read our article on San Bernardino's best solar panel companies.
If I change out my appliances for ones that utilize solar energy, are there benefits that I can claim?
With the passage of the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a variety of new financial incentives that are available when you make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details regarding 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.