2023 Solar Incentives Guide for San Mateo, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in San Mateo.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in San Mateo?
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 mitigate the cost of installing solar panels on your home. These financial incentives are in place to encourage more people to make the switch to renewable energy. The incentives may include cash back, upfront discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the California government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the point of sale for your solar system. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the value that your solar panels add when calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay on your home.
- Net Metering: Be sure to talk with your San Mateo utility company about signing a net metering contract. This will allow you to get a credit towards your monthly utility bill for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You might receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar other performance-based incentives may be available to you if your solar system produces more than a specified (typically small) amount of electricity. This category of incentives is typically handled at the state level. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you receive in return is generally considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are typically applied before any solar tax credits are calculated. These rebates might be provided by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the total amount of tax you owe the government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you hear the term "solar incentives," federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is likely the best-known federal solar incentive. The ITC offers a tax credit for a set percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC applies to the total cost of installing a solar system, including the panels themselves as well as equipment, accessories and labor. This credit can be claimed for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own, as long as it is located in the United States. Originally set at 30% of total costs, the credit has fluctuated over time, and you may qualify for different amounts depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
Speaking with your local San Mateo solar panel installer is the best way to learn more about how the ITC may apply to you.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, added more provisions to the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). The new Clean Energy Credit extends until 2035. American homeowners 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 new credit will then decrease annually until its expiration. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to claim credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local San Mateo solar panel company is the best resource for answering your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Not all solar incentives are federal; tax credits, rebates and more may be offered at the state and local level. Incentives may be provided by your county or municipality, or by the state of California. Certain incentives may be available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in San Mateo
You can qualify for solar incentives from the federal government and the California government, as well as from your local utility company. Growing availability of solar initiatives in the past 15 years has helped increase solar adoption nationwide. It is a good idea to talk to your local San Mateo solar installation company for more information about these incentives and to ensure that you're getting the most money possible for your solar system.
EcoWatch's San Mateo, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
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