2023 Solar Incentives Guide for West Menlo Park, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in West Menlo Park.
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 May 04, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in West Menlo Park?
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
City of Palo Alto Utilities - Solar Water Heating Program
Single-family residential electricity or propane-displacing systems: $0.54 per kWh displaced
Multifamily and Commercial gas-displacing systems: $14.53 per therm displaced
Multifamily and Commercial electricity or propane-displacing systems: $0.42 per kWh displaced
Low-Income Multifamily gas-displacing systems: $19.23/therm displaced
Low-Income Multifamily Electric or Propane Displacing systems: $0.56/kWh displaced
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are designed to mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. Financial incentives like these are in place to encourage more homeowners to switch their home over to renewable energy. Incentives may include things like discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are handled federally, while others are handled by the California government or by your utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits lower, dollar-for-dollar, how much income tax you owe the government. These are different from tax deductions.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, which is applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to exclude the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your home.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar panels. Rebates may be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The rebates are usually applied before calculating tax credits.
- Net Metering: Be sure to talk to your West Menlo Park 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 generated by your solar panels. You may receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that is generally considered part of your taxable income. In most cases, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system qualifies for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are typically handled by your state government.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think about solar incentives. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a certain percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.
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. Originally, the tax credit was for 30% of the total cost — for panels, labor, equipment and accessories — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Speaking with your local West Menlo Park solar panel installer is the best way to understand how the ITC applies to you.
In August 2022, the ITC (now titled the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Your solar installation project undertaken between 2022 and 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit; the amount will be decreased slightly each year until the current program ends. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to obtain credits for energy storage systems with the new act.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you, speak with your local West Menlo Park solar installation company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
There are often also state solar incentives in addition to those provided by the federal government. Tax credits, rebates and more might be available at a more local level. These incentives — which might be given by your county or municipality, or by the state of California — might be offered for only a limited time, or on an ongoing basis.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in West Menlo Park
Solar incentives can come from the federal government, the California government or your local utility company. The large number of available incentives has helped nationwide use of solar energy increase greatly in the last 15 years. Getting in touch with your local West Menlo Park solar panel installation company is the best first step towards getting the most money possible when you switch to solar energy.
Best Regional Coverage
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- Industry-leading warranty coverage
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- Some reported communication issues
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EcoWatch's West Menlo Park, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I want to add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Can 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 reaching out to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what incentives apply to your specific situation.
How much will solar panels save me on my electric bill in West Menlo Park annually?
Typically, West Menlo Park homeowners who install solar panels save around $1,598.02 per year, or around $30,362.33 over 20 years after they make the switch.
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To find a top-rated solar panel installer, check out our guide to the best solar companies in West Menlo Park.
I want to switch my appliances out for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any incentives I can get?
The new Inflation Reduction Act creates several new financial incentives for making eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details on these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I apply for incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can receive both rebates and tax credits towards the cost of solar panels. Depending on precisely which incentives you are receiving, they may apply in a different order. Make sure that you talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure that you are claiming incentives correctly and that you're getting the most money possible.
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.