2024 Solar Incentives Guide for Walnut Creek, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Walnut Creek.

You'll learn about:

  • Local & State Solar Incentives
  • Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2024 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 Walnut Creek solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated February 03, 2024

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We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Walnut Creek?

Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems and Solar Plus Storage System

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
100% of system value; 75% of system value exemption for dual-use equipment

Western Riverside Council of Governments - Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Financing Program

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Eligible products can be financed for up to 25 years, depending on the useful life of the eligible product.
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

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Locally determined

Self-Generation Incentive Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
For projects 30 kW or larger, 50% of incentive will be received up-front; 50% will be received based on actual kWh production over the first 5 years. For projects under 30kW, 100% of the incentive will be paid up front.
Incentives will step down over time. See below for incentive amounts.

Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT)

Incentive Type:
Feed-in Tariff

LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program

Incentive Type:
Feed-in Tariff
$0.17/kWh adjusted by a time of delivery multiplier
Base price will step down over time as certain MW goals are met

California Solar Initiative - Solar Thermal Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Step 1 Incentive Rates (contact utility to determine current incentive levels):
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
Commercial/Multifamily Incentives:
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

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


The term "solar incentives" broadly refers to financial incentives that are in place to encourage people to use renewable energy by making installing and using solar panels more affordable. Various kinds of incentives, including cash back, discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill, may be available to you. Certain incentives may be handled by the California government, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Categories of solar incentives include:

  • Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase for your solar system. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the value added by your solar system when calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay.
  • Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar system. These might be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The rebates are usually applied before calculating tax credits.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the total amount of tax you owe the federal government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives are typically handled at the state level. Once your solar system meets a predetermined threshold (usually a small amount of energy production), you are eligible to receive SRECs that can then be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you receive is usually considered part of your taxable income.
  • Net Metering: You can sign a net metering contract with your Walnut Creek utility company. This agreement may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity your solar panels generate. Your utility company will then deduct this value from your monthly utility bill.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication
  • Slightly limited service offerings

Best for Leasing

Sunrun

★★★★★
4.0

  • Expansive service area
  • Many financing options
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Some reported issues with door-to-door sales

Federal Solar Incentives

When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. One of the incentives many people are likely to be familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC can be applied to a solar system installed on your primary or secondary residence in the United States. The solar panels must have been installed on a property you own after January 1, 2006, for you to claim the credit. Initially, the ITC applied to 30% of all system installation costs (panels, labor, accessories and equipment), although the total amount has fluctuated slightly over the years between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you are eligible for. There is no cap on the claim amount.

Your local Walnut Creek solar panel installer can provide more information about the ITC and how it might 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). For solar systems installed between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2032, homeowners can receive a credit for 30% of the total cost. After 2033, the percentage will decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. The expansion also makes claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before, starting in 2023.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you, reach out to your local Walnut Creek solar installation expert.

State & Local Solar Incentives

There are more than just federal solar incentives; rebates, tax credits and more might also be offered at the state and local level. Incentives might be given by your county or municipality, or by the state of California. Some incentives are available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Walnut Creek

The variety of solar incentives available has contributed greatly to the increase in the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the last 15 years. You might qualify for solar incentives from your local utility company, the California government or the federal government. When you're ready to switch over to solar energy, talking to your local Walnut Creek solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.

EcoWatch's Walnut Creek, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?

To find the best solar panel installer in your area, check out our guide to Walnut Creek's top solar panel companies.

How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?

The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now titled the Clean Energy Credit, is slated 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 solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?

You can use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Be sure to discuss your ideas with your local Walnut Creek solar installation expert. They can help you plan your project and give you an understanding of various incentives that you may or may not qualify for.

What if I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Can I still qualify for incentives?

Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property you own that is located within the United States, and most secondary residences fall into this category. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend reaching out to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what incentives apply to your specific situation.

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.

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