2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Tustin, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Tustin.
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 Tustin?
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 encourage homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy by offering incentives that lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. You might qualify for various types 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 California government and others from the federal government. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar system. These may be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The rebates are usually applied before tax credits are calculated.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in once your solar panels are up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Tustin utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some places, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other areas you might get refunded a percentage of the value.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar other performance-based incentives might be available to you if the solar system on your home produces more than a specified (usually small) amount of electricity. This category of incentives is generally handled at the state level. You can sell your SRECs to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you receive in return is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Exemptions: These might come in the form of property tax exemptions, which would allow you to ignore the value added by your solar panels when paying taxes 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.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are probably the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about solar incentives. You've likely heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit equal to a predetermined percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and allows you to deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, labor, accessories and equipment. You can claim this credit for solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Originally, you could claim 30% of the total cost, although the amount you can claim may range between 26-30%. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
Talking to your local Tustin solar panel installer is the best way to understand how the ITC may apply to your situation.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). The new Clean Energy Credit extends until 2035. Homeowners are now eligible for a 30% credit for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. This credit will then see a slight annual decrease until its expiration. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Tustin solar panel company can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more can be provided at multiple levels. In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. Incentives might be offered by the state of California, or by your county or municipality. Some incentives may be available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Tustin
Nationwide solar energy use has gone up tremendously in the past 15 years, in part thanks to the proliferation of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from the federal government, the California government or your local utility company. Talking to your local Tustin solar panel installer is the best 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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- Some reported issues with customer service
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EcoWatch's Tustin, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I get any financial incentives when I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
While we recommend speaking 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 for commercial properties specifically, depending on the details.
How do I learn if I qualify for solar incentives?
Generally, 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 given out by the California government or by your county/municipality, could have additional qualifications. Speak with your local Tustin solar installer to discover what incentives your project will qualify for.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my home?
You can decrease your carbon footprint by 250 pounds of CO2 annually by switching to solar panels. This adds up to around 5,000 pounds in 20 years. Solar is also a renewable energy source, meaning that making the switch lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
Can I claim incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order in which incentives are applied might vary depending on which incentives you are eligible for but usually yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Speak to your solar installer or a local tax professional to be sure you are claiming all possible incentives and applying them in the correct order.
Can I use a combination of solar and another type 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 combine renewable energy generation with a backup source of non-renewable energy. Be sure to discuss your proposed plan with your local Tustin solar installation expert, to get an understanding of what will be needed and what 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.