2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Seal Beach, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Seal Beach.
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 Seal Beach?
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. This category of financial incentives is intended to encourage more homeowners to switch to renewable energy. Incentives could include things like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits. Some incentives are handled federally, while others are offered by the state of California or by your utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Exemptions: These can come in the form of property tax exemptions, which can let you exclude the value added by your solar panels when calculating the taxes you pay on your home. They may also include exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Seal Beach utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some areas, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other areas you might be refunded a percentage of the value.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Typically, solar systems that produce more than a predetermined (generally small) amount of electricity will qualify for SRECs or other similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and the like are typically offered by your state government. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and generally the money you make is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are normally applied prior to any solar tax credits being calculated. Solar rebates may be given by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. You've likely heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a predetermined percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.
The ITC can be credited towards the value of solar panels installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar system has to have been installed after January 1, 2006 on a property you own for you to claim the credit. Initially, the ITC applied to 30% of all costs (panels, labor, equipment and accessories), although the covered amount has fluctuated over time between 26-30%. The amount you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
Have questions about how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Contact your local Seal Beach solar panel installation expert to get more information.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended the ITC, now called the Clean Energy Credit. For solar system installations that begin after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032, homeowners can receive a credit equal to 30% of the total cost. This percentage will decrease annually after 2032 until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to get credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. The easiest way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you is to reach out to your local Seal Beach solar panel installation expert with your questions.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also provided by state and local governments. As with federal incentives, these can include rebates, tax credits and more. These incentives — which might be handled by your county or municipality, or by the state of California — might be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Seal Beach
You can receive solar incentives from the federal government and the California government, as well as from your local utility company. This increase in availability of solar initiatives over the last 15 years has helped greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. We suggest talking to your local Seal Beach solar installation company for more information about these incentives and to make sure that you're getting all of the money you can for your solar system.
Best Regional Coverage
- Great warranty coverage
- Representatives are experts on local policies
- Concierge service ensures steady communication
- Slightly limited service offerings
- Price-match guarantee
- Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
- Best solar battery on the market
- Some reported issues with customer service
- Customer service varies by local dealer
EcoWatch's Seal Beach, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I claim incentives for adding solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
Many solar incentives apply to a property located within the United States that you own, and most secondary residences will fall into this category. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what incentives apply to your specific situation.
How can I learn if I qualify for solar incentives?
In most cases, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar system
- installed on a property that you own
- within the U.S.
- between the dates specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including those run by the California government or by your county/municipality, sometimes have additional qualifications. Speak with your local Seal Beach solar installer to find out what incentives your project may qualify for.
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 the best solar companies in Seal Beach.
Can I receive incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order your incentives will be applied in could vary depending on which incentives you receive but usually yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Check with your solar installer or a local tax professional to be sure you are claiming all of the incentives you qualify for and applying them in the correct order.
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 — for example, a combination of solar and wind power. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a backup source of non-renewable energy. Be sure to discuss your proposed plan with your local Seal Beach solar panel installer, so that you understand what you'll need and what types 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.