If you live in the Golden State, you probably already know that the plentiful sunshine available every season of the year makes a great climate for solar power. That’s just one of the many reasons to go solar in California – some of the best solar rebates and incentives in the country are another. Learn more about why solar is a smart financial move in California.
The best way to compare your solar options and save money at the same time is by registering on the EnergySage Marketplace. When you compare quotes for solar panels on EnergySage's competitive solar marketplace, you can expect to see prices up to 20% lower than working with a single solar company.
What are the main California solar tax credits and rebates?
Check out our top list of incentives to go solar in California:
Local solar rebates
Homeowners have access to rebate programs in many areas of the Golden State. These rebates can pay solar shoppers anywhere from $500 total to $0.95 per watt of installed capacity. Here are just two examples:
- Rancho Mirage Energy Authority: If you're installing solar on a home in Rancho Mirage, the RMEA will provide a rebate of $500 to cover the cost of your permit fee. The rebate is given after the utility company has granted permission to operate (PTO).
Net metering in CA
Though there have been some recent state battles involving net metering, this incentive is still available and is undoubtedly one of the biggest reason to go solar in California. In the Golden State, any solar homeowner will receive bill credits for their extra solar power at the retail rate from his or her utility. The capacity limit is 5 percent of aggregate customer peak demand for California's net metering program - a statewide incentive.
Check out the top utility net metering programs in California:
Additional benefits of going solar in CA
There are a few more solar incentives in California to keep in mind aside from the top options:
The Disadvantaged Communities - Single-family Solar Homes (DAC-SASH) program provides upfront rebates to income-eligible, single-family homeowners installing solar panels. Homeowners must be customers of Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) or San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) to take advantage of the incentive.
PACE solar financing: a leading CA solar tax credit
California has a great Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) offering in many cities and counties known as the Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Financing Program. PACE financing allows homeowners to finance their PV installation and pay it back through their property taxes. In addition to the HERO program, there are also many county-specific versions of this program such as Sonoma County’s Energy Independence Program – make sure to investigate the incentives available in your county.
The federal solar tax credit
Don’t forget about federal solar incentives! With the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), you can reduce the cost of your PV solar energy system by 26 percent. Keep in mind that the ITC applies only to those who buy their PV system outright (either with a cash purchase or solar loan), and that you must have enough income for the tax credit be meaningful.