2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Stanford, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Stanford.
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 Stanford solar installers to see how much you can save.
Please enter a valid 5-digit zip code!
By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated March 14, 2023
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Stanford?
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
City of Palo Alto Utilities - Solar Water Heating Program
Single-family residential electricity or propane-displacing systems: $0.54 per kWh displaced
Multifamily and Commercial gas-displacing systems: $14.53 per therm displaced
Multifamily and Commercial electricity or propane-displacing systems: $0.42 per kWh displaced
Low-Income Multifamily gas-displacing systems: $19.23/therm displaced
Low-Income Multifamily Electric or Propane Displacing systems: $0.56/kWh displaced
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable through financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. Incentives may include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are handled federally, while others are provided by the California government or by your utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant after your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Stanford utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some areas, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other places you might receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: Solar rebates can be offered by your county or state, or by your local utility company. These rebates work as cash back that is applied after your purchase of solar panels and before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Exemptions: These could come in the form of property tax exemptions, which 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.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the government.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other similar performance-based incentives are typically handled at the state level. Once your solar panel system meets the threshold (typically a small amount of energy production), you can receive SRECs that can then be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make from the sale is usually considered part of your taxable income.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have heard of. The solar incentive that you may be most familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a credit on your taxes equal to a percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC originally covered 30% of the total cost of installing solar panels, and has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The total cost of installation includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of equipment, accessories and labor. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be owned by you and in the United States.
To best understand how the ITC may apply to your situation, reach out to your local Stanford solar panel installer and request more information.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, added more provisions to the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). For solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032, homeowners may be eligible for a credit equal to 30% of the total cost. The percentage will then decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to claim credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you, speak with your local Stanford solar installation expert.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Not all solar incentives are federal; rebates, tax credits and more may be offered at the state and local level. These incentives — which might be handled by your county or municipality, or by the state of California — may be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Stanford
Solar incentives might be offered by your local utlity company, the California government or the federal government. The growing number of available incentives has helped nationwide use of solar energy increase greatly in the last 15 years. Talking to your local Stanford solar panel installer is the best first step towards getting the most money possible when you switch to solar energy.
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 Stanford, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I get any financial incentives when I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property located within the United States that you own, and most secondary residences will fall under this distinction. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what incentives apply to your specific situation.
How much will a solar system save me on my electric bill in Stanford annually?
Generally, Stanford homeowners who install solar panels save around $1,643.19 per year, or around $31,220.63 over 20 years after making the switch.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my home?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by changing where you get your energy, you can help reduce the strain on our planet's resources. A solar system can also reduce your home's CO2 emissions by 250 pounds a year, or roughly 5,000 pounds over 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 scheduled 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 a combination of 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 use both renewable energy sources and a backup source of non-renewable energy. You should discuss your plan with your local Stanford solar installation expert, to get an understanding of what will be needed and what incentives 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.