2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Waterford, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates

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

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.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Waterford solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated March 14, 2023

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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 Waterford?

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/


Solar incentives are intended to encourage homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy by providing financial incentives that lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. You might be eligible for various types of incentives, including cash back, discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill, depending on your situation. Certain 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:

  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives may be available to you if the solar system on your home produces more than a specified (typically small) amount of electricity. These types of incentives are usually handled at the state level. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you receive in return is generally considered part of your taxable income.
  • Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar system. Rebates could be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The rebates are usually applied before calculating tax credits.
  • Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions go into effect at the point of sale for your solar system. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value that your solar panels add when you're calculating how much property tax you need to pay.
  • Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get after your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Waterford utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some locations, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other areas you may make back a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Credits: Tax credits lower, dollar-for-dollar, the total amount of tax you owe the federal government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that you think of when thinking about solar incentives. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is probably the most well-known federal solar incentive. The ITC provides a tax credit for a specific percentage of the cost of your solar system.

The ITC initially applied to 30% of the cost of installing a solar system, and has fluctuated slightly over the years between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The total installation cost includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of equipment, labor and accessories. There is no maximum amount you can claim. The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be in the United States and owned by you.

To know exactly how much money the ITC could save you, get in touch with your local Waterford solar panel installation expert.

The ITC has been renewed and expanded following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. For solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032, homeowners can apply for a credit for 30% of the total cost. After 2033, the percentage will decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. The expansion to the program also makes credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim, starting in 2023.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The easiest way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you is to get in touch with your local Waterford solar panel installation expert.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Tax credits, rebates and more might be claimed at multiple levels. Along with federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. These incentives may be provided by your county or municipality, or by the California government. Some incentives may be ongoing, while others are available for a limited time.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Waterford

Solar incentives can come from the federal government, the California government or your local utility company. The large number of incentives available has contributed to a large increase in solar energy use in the last 15 years. Reaching out to your local Waterford solar panel installation company is a great first step towards getting all the incentives you qualify for when you switch to solar energy.

Best National Provider

SunPower

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EcoWatch's Waterford, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

I already have solar panels. Are there any incentives that I qualify for?

An excellent idea would be to talk to a representative from the company that installed your solar system — or get in touch with a local Waterford solar installer — to clarify which incentives you might qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.

Who installs solar panel systems near me?

To find the top solar panel installers near you, take a look at our article on Waterford's top solar panel companies.

If I change out my appliances for ones that can utilize solar energy, are there any incentives I can claim?

Under the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are several new financial incentives that are available when you make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details about these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.

Can I receive incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

The order that incentives will be applied in might vary depending on which incentives you receive but usually yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Talk with your solar installer or a local tax professional to confirm you are claiming all the incentives you are eligible for and applying them in the correct order.

Can I use both 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 plan with your local Waterford solar installation expert. They can help you with the plan for your project and also help you understand the various incentives that 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.

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