2023 Solar Incentives Guide for San Pablo, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in San Pablo.

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.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted San Pablo solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

Why you can trust EcoWatch

We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in San Pablo?

Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems and Solar Plus Storage System

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
100% of system value; 75% of system value exemption for dual-use equipment

Western Riverside Council of Governments - Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Financing Program

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Eligible products can be financed for up to 25 years, depending on the useful life of the eligible product.
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

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Locally determined

Self-Generation Incentive Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
For projects 30 kW or larger, 50% of incentive will be received up-front; 50% will be received based on actual kWh production over the first 5 years. For projects under 30kW, 100% of the incentive will be paid up front.
Incentives will step down over time. See below for incentive amounts.

Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT)

Incentive Type:
Feed-in Tariff

LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program

Incentive Type:
Feed-in Tariff
$0.17/kWh adjusted by a time of delivery multiplier
Base price will step down over time as certain MW goals are met

California Solar Initiative - Solar Thermal Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Step 1 Incentive Rates (contact utility to determine current incentive levels):
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
Commercial/Multifamily Incentives:
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

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


The term "solar incentives" generally refers to financial incentives designed to encourage the adoption and use renewable energy by making solar panels more affordable. Different types of incentives, including cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, might be available to you. Certain incentives may be offered by the state of California, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while others are federal. Categories of solar incentives include:

  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Generally, solar systems that produce over a threshold (generally small) amount of electricity qualify for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically provided by your state government. SRECs can be sold to your utility company or another buyer, and this is usually considered part of your taxable income.
  • Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar system. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The cash back that you get from the rebates is normally applied before calculating tax credits.
  • Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar panels are up and running. If you have in place a net metering agreement with your San Pablo utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your monthly utility bill. In some places, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other areas you might receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can 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, which allows you to exclude the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your home.
  • Tax Credits: Unlike tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind when you think about solar incentives. An incentive many people are probably familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a given percentage of the cost of your solar system.

The ITC can be applied 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 that you own, as long as it is located in the United States. The tax credit ranges from 26-30% of total costs depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum amount you can claim.

Your local San Pablo solar panel installation expert can provide you with more information about the ITC and how it might apply to your situation.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). For solar system installations that begin after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032, homeowners may be eligible for a credit for 30% of the total cost. The percentage will then decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the program expansion 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 might apply to you, get in touch with your local San Pablo solar installation expert.

State & Local Solar Incentives

In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often also state ones. Rebates, tax credits and more can be offered at a more local level. These solar incentives — which may be handled by the state of California, or by your county or municipality — might be offered for only a limited time, or on an ongoing basis.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in San Pablo

The large number of solar incentives available has contributed greatly to the increase in the adoption of solar energy nationwide over the past 15 years. You may receive solar incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the California government. We suggest talking to your local San Pablo solar installation expert to learn more about these incentives and to ensure that you're getting the most money possible for your solar panels.

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EcoWatch's San Pablo, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

What if I add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Can I still qualify for incentives?

Many solar incentives apply to a property you own that is located within the United States, and most secondary residences will fall into this category. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what incentives may apply to your specific situation.

Who installs solar panels near me?

To find the right solar panel installer for you, check out our guide to the top solar companies in San Pablo.

What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my house?

Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by changing where you get your energy, you help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. You can also lower your home's CO2 emissions by 250 pounds a year, or roughly 5,000 pounds in 20 years.

When does the federal solar tax credit end?

The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now named the Clean Energy Credit, is set to end on January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.

Can I use multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?

Yes, you can utilize 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. Be sure to discuss your plan with your local San Pablo solar panel installer, so that you understand what you'll need and what types of incentives you will or won't 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.

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