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.
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:
- Los Angeles Department of Water and Power: If you’re a customer of LADWP, you’re eligible for a rebate of $0.25/W of installed solar power, which means you could get nearly $1,500 back when you install a standard 6kW system. Like Silicon Valley Power’s incentive, the value of the rebate drops as more people participate in the program.
- 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).
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.
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: the California Solar Initiative
When looking at solar programs on the West Coast, homeowners get the benefit of having access to one of the best renewable initiatives in the United States: the California Solar Initiative. The benefit of this program is simple and direct: income-eligible homeowners can receive cash back in return for installing solar panels on their home.
The California Solar Initiative has funds for both single-family affordable housing (SASH) and multi-family affordable housing (MASH). Rebates can be as high as $10,000, and homeowners must be customers of Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) or San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) to be eligible. Thanks to the California Solar Initiative, solar is more accessible than ever in California.
Don’t forget about the Federal ITC (solar tax credit)
When focusing on state-specific benefits of going solar, it’s easy to forget about the federal solar incentive that is making solar so appealing to homeowners across the country: the Investment Tax Credit, also known as the ITC. Now that the ITC has been extended through 2021, every homeowner who buys a solar panel system will benefit from a 30 percent discount on top of all additional state rebates and incentives.