2023 Solar Incentives Guide for San Bruno, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in San Bruno.
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 San Bruno?
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 meant to help mitigate the cost of installing solar panels on your home. This category of financial incentives is intended to encourage more homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy. The incentives might include upfront discounts, cash back or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, some by the California government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the federal government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panels may qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the value added by your solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your house.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that normally counts as part of your taxable income. Typically, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system qualifies for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically handled at the state level.
- Rebates: Solar rebates may be provided by your local utility company, or by your state or county. These rebates work as partial refunds that are applied after you purchase a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering contract with your San Bruno utility company, that may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. Your utility company will then deduct this value from your utility bill each month.
Federal Solar Incentives
When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. 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 set percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to solar panels 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, equipment, accessories and labor — although it may range from 26-30%, depending on the installation date of your solar system. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
Reaching out to your local San Bruno solar panel installation expert is the best way to understand how the ITC applies to you.
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 now runs until 2035. You are now eligible for a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032. This 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.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To best understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, get in touch with your local San Bruno solar installation expert.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also provided at the state and local level. Similar to federal incentives, these may include rebates, tax credits and more. Incentives may be offered by your county or municipality, or by the state of California. Certain incentives might only be available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in San Bruno
The variety of solar incentives available has contributed greatly to the increase in the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the last 15 years. You might qualify for solar incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the California government. We recommend talking to your local San Bruno solar installation company to learn more about these incentives and to be sure that you're getting all of the money you can for your solar panels.
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EcoWatch's San Bruno, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I claim incentives for adding solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?
While we recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what solar incentives apply to you, many will apply to a second home, so long as that home is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the details.
How do I learn if I qualify for certain solar incentives?
It's a good idea to talk to your local San Bruno solar installer to get an understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. Typically, solar incentives apply to new solar systems installed on property you own (in the U.S.) between the dates specified by the incentive. Some incentives, such as those given by the state of California, may have other requirements.
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 system — or reach out to a local San Bruno solar installer — to learn about which incentives you might qualify for. If your system was installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar panels installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
Who installs solar panels near me?
To find the best solar panel installer in your area, check out our guide to San Bruno's top solar panel companies.
What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my home?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by switching where you get your energy, you can help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. Solar panels can also lower your home's CO2 emissions by 250 pounds annually, or around 5,000 pounds over 20 years.
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.