2023 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 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 Walnut Creek?
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
The term "solar incentives" includes a range of financial incentives implemented to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. You may qualify for different types of incentives, including discounts, cash back 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 solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much income tax you owe the government.
- Tax Exemptions: These can come in the form of property tax exemptions, which would allow you to exclude the value of your solar system when calculating the taxes you pay on your house. They may also include exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other similar performance-based incentives are normally handled at the state level. Once your solar system meets the threshold (typically a small amount of energy production), you are eligible to receive SRECs that can be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you receive is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: Solar rebates may be provided by your local utility company, or by your state or county. These rebates are essentially cash back that is applied after you purchase solar panels and before tax credits are calculated.
- Net Metering: Be sure to speak with your Walnut Creek utility company about signing a net metering contract. This allows you to get a credit towards your monthly utility bill for the value of excess energy your solar panels generate. You might receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is the best-known federal solar incentive. The ITC provides a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Initially, the credit applied to 30% of the total cost — for panels, accessories, equipment and labor — although it may range from 26-30%, depending on the installation date of your solar system. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
Have questions about how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Reach out to your local Walnut Creek solar panel installation expert to get more information.
In August 2022, the ITC (now referred to as 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 installations undertaken between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. At this point, the credit percentage will be reduced slightly each year until the program expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Walnut Creek solar panel installers are the best people to answer your questions regarding the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are more than just federal solar incentives; rebates, tax credits and more are often offered at the state and local level. These incentives may be offered by your county or municipality, or by the California government. Some are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Walnut Creek
Solar incentives can be provided by your local utlity company, the California government or the federal government. The growing number of solar incentives available has helped nationwide use of solar energy increase greatly in the last 15 years. Your local Walnut Creek solar panel installation company can help you learn more about which incentives you should apply for, and get you feeling good about making the change to renewable energy today.
Best Regional Coverage
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EcoWatch's Walnut Creek, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I want to add a solar system to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Do I still qualify for incentives?
Many solar incentives apply to a property located within the United States that you own; most secondary residences fall into this category. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what incentives apply to your specific situation.
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To find the right solar panel installer for you, check out our guide to the top solar companies in Walnut Creek.
What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my house?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by changing where you get your energy, you can help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. A solar system can also lower your home's CO2 emissions by 250 pounds a year, or roughly 5,000 pounds over 20 years.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The Clean Energy Credit (formerly named the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), is scheduled to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
I want to change out my appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any benefits I can claim?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act provides multiple incentives designed to reward homeowners for making eco-friendly upgrades. Some incentives include rebates and tax credits for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
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.