2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Tulare, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Tulare.
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
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Tulare?
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 are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. Solar incentives may include upfront discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are given by the federal government, some by the state of California and some by your utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Tax Exemptions: These may come in the form of property tax exemptions, which would allow you to exclude the value of your solar system when paying property tax on your home. You may also qualify for an exemption on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Typically, solar systems that produce over a threshold (usually small) amount of electricity can qualify for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and the like are typically given by your state government. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or another buyer, and the money you receive is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in once your solar panels are up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Tulare 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 credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other areas you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: Solar companies may help you claim a rebate, or partial refund of your purchase, for your solar system. Counties or states will also offer limited-time rebates at various times. The value of a rebate will usually come off your total price before any tax credits are calculated.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about solar incentives. The solar incentive that you're most familiar with is probably the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which gives you a credit on your taxes equal to a specified percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and under this program you can deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, equipment, labor and accessories. This credit can be claimed on a solar panel system installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Originally, you could claim 30% of the total cost, although depending on when the project was completed, your credit may range from 26-30%. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
To better understand how the ITC could apply to you, get in touch with your local Tulare solar panel installation expert and ask for more information.
In August 2022, the ITC (now called the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Clean Energy Credit has increased the current credit up to 30% for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. After this, the credit percentage will see a slight decrease annually until the program expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, reach out to your local Tulare solar installation expert.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also provided by state and local governments. Similar to federal incentives, these can include rebates, tax credits and more. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are offered for only a limited time. These local incentives may come from your county or municipality, or from the California government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Tulare
Nationwide solar energy use has gone up tremendously in the last 15 years, in part due to the proliferation of solar incentives. You can obtain these incentives from the California government, the federal government or your local utility company. It is a good idea to talk to your local Tulare solar installation expert for more information about these incentives and to be sure that you're getting the largest number possible for your solar panels.
Best Regional Coverage
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EcoWatch's Tulare, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I receive any incentives when I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
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 apply to a second home, provided that it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the specifics.
How do I know if I qualify for specific solar incentives?
Broadly, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel 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, may have additional qualifications. Get in touch with your local Tulare solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project may qualify for.
If I already have solar panels, can I still claim incentives?
An excellent idea would be to talk to someone from the company that installed your solar system — or speak to a local Tulare solar installer — to learn about which incentives you may qualify for. If your system was installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.
How much will a solar system save me annually on my electric bill in Tulare?
When you add solar panels to your home in Tulare, you can anticipate savings of approximately $1,524.27 per year, or approximately $28,961.04 over the next 20 years.
Can I claim incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can receive both rebates and tax credits towards the cost of your solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are eligible for, they may apply in a different order. Make sure that you speak with your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure that you are claiming incentives correctly and getting the most money you can.
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.