2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Santa Rosa, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Santa Rosa.
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
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Santa Rosa?
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 a solar panel system on your home. These financial incentives are in place to encourage more people to switch to renewable energy. You might be eligible for various kinds of incentives, including cash back, discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill, 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. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar other performance-based incentives may be available to you if the solar system on your home produces more than a specified (typically small) amount of electricity. These types of incentives are typically handled at the state level. You can sell your SRECs to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you make is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the federal government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, which is applied at the time you purchase your solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to exclude the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your house.
- Net Metering: Don't forget to speak to your Santa Rosa utility company about signing a net metering contract. This allows you to get a credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You may receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar system. These may 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 tax credits are calculated.
Federal Solar Incentives
When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is probably the most commonly known federal solar incentive. The ITC allows you to claim a tax credit for a set percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar panels must have been installed after January 1, 2006 on a property you own for you to be eligible for the credit. Originally, the ITC covered 30% of all system costs (panels, labor, accessories and equipment), although the amount has fluctuated over the years between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you are eligible for. There is no cap on the claim amount.
To know exactly how much money the ITC could save you, contact your local Santa Rosa solar panel installation expert.
The ITC was renewed and increased in scope after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. Homeowners are now eligible for a credit of 30% of the total solar system installation costs for projects that began after January 1, 2022 and will be finished by the end of 2032. The credit percentage will then begin to decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. The expansion to the program also makes credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim, beginning in 2023.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you, get in touch with your local Santa Rosa solar installation expert.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more can be claimed at multiple levels. In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. These incentives might be handled by your county or municipality, or by the California government. Some incentives may be available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Santa Rosa
Solar incentives might be provided by the federal government, the California government or your local utility company. The large number of available incentives has contributed to a large increase in solar energy use in the last 15 years. Reaching out to your local Santa Rosa solar panel installation company is a great first step towards making sure you get all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.
Best Regional Coverage
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EcoWatch's Santa Rosa, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I add a solar system to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Can I still qualify for incentives?
While we recommend getting in touch with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what solar incentives apply to you, many incentives can be claimed on a second home, as long as it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the details.
What are the best solar panel installation companies near me?
To find the right solar panel installer for you, check out our guide to Santa Rosa's top solar panel companies.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my house?
You can lower your carbon footprint by 250 pounds of CO2 a year by installing 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 switching your home over reduces the drain on our planet's resources.
I want to switch my appliances out for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any incentives I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act creates a number of new financial incentives that are available when you make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details on these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I use multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
You can use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Be sure to go over your plan with your local Santa Rosa solar installation expert. They can help you with the plan for your project and give you an understanding of various incentives that you may or may 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.