2023 Solar Incentives Guide for San Carlos, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in San Carlos.
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 Carlos?
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" broadly refers to financial incentives that are in place to encourage the adoption and use renewable energy by making solar panels more affordable. You might be eligible for various types of incentives, such as discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits, depending on your situation. Some incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the state of California and others from the federal government. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Rebates: Some solar companies will help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar panels. Counties or states will also sometimes offer limited-time rebates. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually come off the total price before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in the amount of tax that you owe the federal government.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in one of two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, applied at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to ignore the value added by your solar system when paying property tax on your home.
- Net Metering: Don't forget to speak to your San Carlos utility company about signing a net metering agreement. This will allow you to receive credit towards your utility bill every month 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.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In general, solar systems that produce more than a predetermined (normally small) amount of electricity will qualify for SRECs or other similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically given by your state government. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or another buyer, and this is usually considered part of your taxable income.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have heard of. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit equal to a predetermined percentage of the money you spend on solar panels for your home.
The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Originally, the tax credit was for 30% of the total cost — for panels, accessories, labor and equipment — although it may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
To know exactly how much the ITC could save you, speak with your local San Carlos solar panel installation expert.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. Now, solar installation projects begun after January 1, 2022 and finished by December 31, 2032 may be eligible for a 30% tax credit. The amount of the credit will then decrease slightly each year until the current Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The easiest way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you is to reach out to your local San Carlos solar panel company with your questions.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are not your only option; tax credits, rebates and more are often offered at the state and local level. Incentives may be given by your county or municipality, or by the state of California. Some incentives may be available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in San Carlos
Solar energy use nationwide has gone up significantly in the past 15 years, in part thanks to the increase in availability of solar incentives. You can obtain these incentives from your local utility company, the California government or the federal government. Your local San Carlos solar panel installation expert can provide you with more details about which incentives you can apply for, and get you feeling good about making the change to renewable energy today.
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EcoWatch's San Carlos, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
How much will solar panels save me on my electric bill in San Carlos annually?
After adding solar panels to your house in San Carlos, you can expect to save about $1,716.16 per year, or about $32,606.96 over 20 years.
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To learn about the best solar panel installation companies near you, read our article on the top solar companies in San Carlos.
What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?
You can reduce your carbon footprint by 250 pounds of CO2 annually when you switch to solar panels. This adds up to roughly 5,000 pounds over 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, which means that making the switch reduces the drain on our planet's resources.
If I trade in my appliances for ones that can use solar energy, are there benefits that I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions for a number of incentives that reward homeowners who make eco-friendly upgrades. Some incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
Can I apply for incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order in which incentives are applied could vary depending on which incentives you are claiming but usually yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Check with your solar installer or a local tax professional to be sure you are claiming all of the incentives you qualify for and applying them in the correct order.
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.