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

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

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 Windsor solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 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 Windsor?

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 encourage people to switch their home over to renewable energy by offering financial incentives that lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. Various types of incentives, such as cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, may be available to you. Certain incentives may be offered by the state of California, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Types of solar incentives might include:

  • Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
  • Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar system. These could be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The cash back that you get from the rebates is normally applied before tax credits are calculated.
  • Net Metering: Don't forget to speak with your Windsor utility company about signing a net metering contract. This allows you to get a credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You might 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. Typically, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system qualifies for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are normally handled at the state level.
  • Tax Exemptions: Your solar panels may qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions let you exclude the value that solar panels add when calculating property taxes on your house.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that you think of when thinking about solar incentives. The solar incentive that you may be most familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a credit on your taxes equal to a specified percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC applies to the total cost of installing a solar system, including the panels themselves as well as accessories, equipment and labor. This credit can be claimed for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own and that is located in the United States. From its original value of 30% of the total cost, the credit has fluctuated slightly between 26-30%, and you may qualify for varying percentages depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum amount you can claim.

To better understand how the ITC might apply to your situation, speak to your local Windsor solar panel installer and request more information.

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). The Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Your solar installation project undertaken between 2022 and 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit. This amount will then decrease slightly on a yearly basis until the current program ends. Beginning 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. The easiest way to fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you is to reach out to your local Windsor solar panel installation expert with your questions.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Some solar incentives may be provided by state and local governments. Similar to federal incentives, these may include tax credits, rebates and more. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are offered for only a limited time. Local solar incentives might come from your county or municipality, or from the California government.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Windsor

There are many types of solar incentives: those given by local utility companies, those given by the federal government and those given by the California government, to name a few. The use of solar energy has increased enormously in the last 15 years, partially thanks to these incentives. Your local Windsor solar panel installation expert can provide you with more details about which incentives you may qualify for, and get you on track to switch to renewable energy today.

Best National Provider

SunPower

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Best Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

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  • Price-match guarantee
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  • Customer service varies by local dealer

EcoWatch's Windsor, CA Solar Incentives FAQs

What if I am planning to add a solar system to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property? Do I still qualify for incentives?

While we recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what solar incentives apply to you, many will apply to a second home, as long as it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the specifics.

I already have solar panels installed. Do I qualify for any incentives?

If your solar system was installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the recently increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you had your system installed between 2006 and 2021, you may qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the date of installation. Talking to the company that installed your solar system, or any local Windsor solar installer, can help you learn more about what incentives you might want to apply for.

Who installs solar panel systems near me?

To discover the best solar panel installation companies near you, take a look at our article on Windsor's best solar panel companies.

What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar energy?

You can decrease your carbon footprint by 250 pounds of CO2 a year by switching to solar panels. This adds up to approximately 5,000 pounds in 20 years. Solar is also a renewable energy source, which means that switching your home over reduces the drain on our planet's resources.

Can I claim 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 receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Get in touch with your solar installer or a local tax professional to verify you are claiming all the incentives you are eligible for and applying them in the correct order.

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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