2023 Solar Incentives Guide for San Clemente, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in San Clemente.
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
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in San Clemente?
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 encourage homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy by providing financial incentives meant to lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. Various types of incentives, including cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, might be available to you. Some incentives may be provided via the California government, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while others are federal. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Rebates: Some solar companies will help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar system. States or counties will also sometimes offer limited-time rebates. Any rebates you receive will usually be deducted from the total price before any tax credits are calculated.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives are normally handled at the state level. Once your solar system meets a certain threshold (normally a small amount of energy production), you can receive SRECs that you can then sell to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make from the sale is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering contract with your San Clemente utility company. This agreement may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity that is generated by your solar panels. Your utility company will then subtract this value from your monthly utility bill.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits decrease, dollar-for-dollar, the total amount of tax you owe the government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in one of two forms. The first is sales tax exemption, which is applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to ignore the value added by your solar system when calculating property tax for your home.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. A federal incentive many people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC applies to the total cost of solar panel installation, including the panels themselves as well as accessories, labor and equipment. This credit can be claimed for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence located in the United States that you own. The tax credit ranges from 26-30% of total costs depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.
Your local San Clemente solar panel installation expert can give you more information about the ITC and how it may apply to your situation.
The ITC has been renewed and expanded following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Any solar installation project that is completed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit; this amount will be decreased slightly on a yearly basis until the end of the current program. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To best understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you, reach out to your local San Clemente solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Rebates, tax credits and more can be provided at multiple levels. Along with federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. The incentives — which might be provided by the state of California, or by your county or municipality — might be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in San Clemente
There are a variety of solar incentives: those offered by local utility companies, those offered by the California government and those offered by the federal government, to name a few. Solar energy use has grown tremendously in the last 15 years, partially thanks to these incentives. We suggest talking to your local San Clemente solar installer for more information about these incentives and to make sure that you're getting the largest number possible for your solar panels.
Best Regional Coverage
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EcoWatch's San Clemente, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
How much will solar panels save me on my electric bill in San Clemente annually?
After adding solar panels to your home in San Clemente, you can expect to save approximately $1,597.65 per year, or approximately $30,355.35 over the next 20 years.
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To find the right solar panel installer for you, check out our guide to San Clemente's top solar panel companies.
I want to trade in my old appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can apply for?
Under the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are several new financial incentives that are available when you make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details about these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I qualify for incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can claim both tax credits and rebates towards the cost of solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are claiming, they may apply in a different order. Be sure to talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to verify that you are claiming incentives correctly and that you're getting the most money possible.
Can I use a combination of multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
Yes, you can employ multiple types of renewable energy to power your home, such as a combination of wind and solar. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a non-renewable backup source of energy. Make sure that you discuss your proposed plan with your local San Clemente solar installation expert, to make sure you know what you'll need and what kinds of incentives you might or might not qualify for.
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.