Why you can trust EcoWatch
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
Solar incentives are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives to help people install solar panels on their homes. These incentives could include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the state of California and some by your utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Net Metering: Don't forget to speak with your San Bernardino utility company about signing a net metering agreement. This allows you to get a credit towards your monthly utility bill for the value of excess energy your solar panels generate. You could receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the federal government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
- Rebates: Some solar companies will help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar system. Counties or states will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. Any rebates you receive will usually come off the total price before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Exemptions: These may come in the form of property tax exemptions, which would allow you to exclude the value of your solar system when paying property tax on your home. They may also include exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other similar performance-based incentives are usually handled at the state level. Once your solar system meets a predetermined threshold (normally a small amount of energy production), you are eligible to receive SRECs that you can then sell to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make is usually considered part of your taxable income.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is likely the most well-known federal solar incentive. The ITC provides you with a tax credit for a specific percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC applies to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. The credit initially covered 30% of the total cost — for panels, labor, accessories and equipment — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
Curious how the ITC might apply to your specific situation? Contact your local San Bernardino solar panel installer to get more information.
In August 2022, the ITC (now called the Clean Energy Credit) was bolstered by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Clean Energy Credit runs until 2035. Solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit; this amount will decrease slightly each year until the current program ends. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to qualify for credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. The best way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to reach out to your local San Bernardino solar panel installers with your questions.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be offered at the local or state level. Like with federal incentives, these could include tax credits, rebates and more. Some incentives are ongoing, while others may only be available for a limited time. These incentives might be provided by your county or municipality, or by the California government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in San Bernardino
There are a variety of solar incentives: those offered by the federal government, those offered by the California government and those offered by local utility companies, to name a few. The use of solar energy has increased tremendously in the last 15 years, partially thanks to these incentives. Speak with your local solar panel installation company today to discover more about the various programs and to save the most money possible on a solar system for your San Bernardino home.
EcoWatch's San Bernardino, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
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.