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
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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" 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.
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
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