2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Santa Ana, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates

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

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 Santa Ana 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 Santa Ana?

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/


Solar incentives help mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. Financial incentives like these are intended to encourage more Americans to make the switch to renewable energy. Incentives may include things like discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, while others are provided by the California government or by your specific utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:

  • Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering agreement with your Santa Ana utility company that will apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. Your utility company will then subtract this value from your utility bill each month.
  • Tax Exemptions: These may come in the form of property tax exemptions, which would allow you to ignore the value added by your solar panels when calculating the taxes you pay on your home. You could also look for exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for money that typically becomes part of your taxable income. Generally, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system can earn SRECs or other performance-based incentives. Incentives like these are generally handled by your state government.
  • Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar panels. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The cash back that you get from the rebates is normally applied before tax credits are calculated.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the government.

Federal Solar Incentives

When you think about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. 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 specific 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 that you own in the United States. Initially, the credit applied to 30% of the total cost — for panels, labor, equipment and accessories — 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.

To better understand how the ITC will apply to you, call your local Santa Ana solar panel installation expert and ask for more information.

In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. With the new provisions, solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032 can qualify for a 30% tax credit. This credit amount will then see a slight annual decrease until the end of the current Clean Energy Credit in 2035. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to claim credits for energy storage systems with the new act.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Santa Ana solar panel company can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.

State & Local Solar Incentives

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

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Santa Ana

The large number of solar incentives available has enormously increased the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the last 15 years. You may receive solar incentives from the federal government, the California government or from your local utility company. Talking to your local Santa Ana solar panel installation expert is the best first step towards getting the most money possible when you switch to solar energy.

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EcoWatch's Santa Ana, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

How do I learn if I qualify for different solar incentives?

Generally, solar incentives apply to:

  1. a new solar system
  2. installed on property that you own
  3. within the U.S.
  4. between the dates specified by a particular incentive.

Specific incentives, including those given out by the California government or by your county/municipality, could have additional qualifications. Talk to your local Santa Ana solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project will qualify for.

If I already have solar panels, can I still claim incentives?

You should plan to talk to a representative from the company that installed your system — or reach out to a local Santa Ana solar installer — to learn about which incentives you might qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the recently 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%.

How much can I save on my electric bill annually if I add solar panels to my house in Santa Ana?

Once you add solar panels to your home in Santa Ana, you can anticipate savings of about $1,301.50 per year, or about $24,728.56 over 20 years.

What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?

To find the right solar panel installer for you, check out our guide to Santa Ana's best solar panel companies.

Can I use both solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?

You can power your home with multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy. Make sure you go over your plan with your local Santa Ana solar installer. They can help you plan your project and educate you on the various incentives that 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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