2023 Solar Incentives Guide for South San Francisco, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in South San Francisco.
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 May 04, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in South San Francisco?
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 help mitigate the cost of installing solar panels on your home. These financial incentives are intended to encourage more people to switch their home over to renewable energy. Solar incentives could include upfront discounts, cash back or monthly credits towards your 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 Credits: These credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much income tax you owe the federal government.
- Tax Exemptions: These can come in the form of property tax exemptions, which can let you ignore the value added by your solar panels when calculating the taxes you pay on your house. You may also qualify for an exemption on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get after your solar system is up and running. If you have in place a net metering agreement with your South San Francisco utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some locations, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other places you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar system. Rebates could be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The rebates are usually applied before tax credits are calculated.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that 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 qualifies for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are typically handled by your state government.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have some familiarity with. You might have heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a predetermined percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.
The ITC can be applied to the total cost of installing solar panels, including the panels themselves as well as equipment, labor and accessories. 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 claim amount.
Reaching out to your local South San Francisco solar panel installer is the best way to learn more about how the ITC may apply to your situation.
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. The Clean Energy Credit has increased the current credit up to 30% for solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032. After this, the percentage will be reduced slightly each year until the end of the program in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local South San Francisco solar panel installation experts can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are not your only option; tax credits, rebates and more might also be offered at the state and local level. These incentives — which may be provided by your county or municipality, or by the state of California — might be offered for only a limited time, or on an ongoing basis.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in South San Francisco
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. Your local South San Francisco solar panel installer can give you more information about which incentives you should apply for, and get you started on the path to switching to renewable energy today.
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EcoWatch's South San Francisco, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
If I installed solar panels on my house a few years ago, can I still claim incentives?
If your solar system was installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If your system was installed between 2006 and 2021, you may qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the date of installation. Speaking with the company that installed your system, or any local South San Francisco solar installer, can help you understand what incentives you qualify for.
How much can I save on my electric bill annually if I add solar panels to my South San Francisco home?
Typically, homeowners in South San Francisco who install solar panels save around $1,716.16 per year, or around $32,606.96 over 20 years after making the switch.
Who installs solar panels near me?
To learn about the top solar panel installers near you, read our article on South San Francisco's top solar panel companies.
What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my home?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by changing where you get your energy, you help reduce the strain on our planet's resources. Solar panels can also reduce your home's CO2 emissions by 250 pounds annually, or roughly 5,000 pounds in 20 years.
Can I receive incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can claim both rebates and tax credits towards the cost of your solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are receiving, they may apply in a different order. Be sure to talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to verify that you are claiming incentives correctly and that you're getting the most money possible.
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.