When thinking about solar, it is important to know that the price of solar has been decreasing year after year, making the idea of solar more and more attractive whether you are environmentally minded or just looking to make a good financial investment.
Solar technology itself has advanced to offer you more power per square inch of roof space. Many homeowners have gone solar and have offset their entire energy usage to be net energy neutral (your home is self-sustaining without the grid), enjoying the benefits of avoiding utility rates that continue to rise.
Here's an overview of key things to know about going solar in California via Pick My Solar LIVE!
But how can solar be so affordable? Rebates are also one of the major reasons why now is a great time for you to consider going solar.
Available Solar Rebates and Incentives in California
The first thing to be aware of is that there are federal, state and local rebates, not all of which will apply to every project.
Federal Solar Incentive
The most important national incentive is the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). You can claim 30% of the total system cost as a tax credit. You must still pay for the full cost of the system, but when you file your taxes, you can get back 30% of what you paid for your solar system in a one-to-one tax credit.
If you don’t have enough in taxes to claim the whole thing in one year, don’t worry - the tax credit rolls over to the next year, so that you can claim the rest on next year’s tax form. While the residential solar ITC has been around since 2005, it has also survived on extensions. The
current one only offers a 30% credit on systems installed before the end of 2019. After that, it drops to 26% in 2020, and 22% in 2021, before disappearing for residential customers.
California State Solar Rebates
- Unfortunately, the state’s California Solar Initiative (CSI) rebate for the three major utilities (PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E) has reached its limit, but if you are looking to pair a solar system with a new home built, then the New Solar Homes Partnership (NHSP) can offer a substantial rebate. It is currently in its second to last stage, but still offers $0.35-$1.00/Watt off of up to the first 7.5kW of system size or 50% of the whole system cost, depending on the energy efficiency of the new home.
- You may also have heard of a NHSP rebate for up to $500 on west facing arrays on new homes, but it is scheduled to end in March
Local Solar Incentives in California Utilities
- The largest of these utilities is the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power whose Solar Incentive Program offers $0.25/Watt off of systems larger than 1.5 kW. As of the beginning of 2017, there is $20 million remaining for this rebate, but it expires when the funds are exhausted.
- Glendale Water and Power’s Solar Solutions Incentive Program is a lottery system that offers a select few a rebate of $1.39/Watt on up to 50% of the system cost. The rebate reduces by 7% per year and the application window for the lottery is very short. Last year, the open period was August 1-15 and this year opens on July 1st.
- The Pasadena Solar Initiative from Pasadena Water and Power offers $0.30/Watt on systems between 1 kW and 100 kW through their expected performance-based buydown option.
- San Francisco Public Utilities Commission GoSolarSF rebate is available to residents of the San Francisco area. The basic rebate is $500-$2,000 based on system size. Additional considerations can boost the adder considerably. Another $100-$800 is available for specific zip codes under the Environmental Justice rebate rate structure. If the solar installer is San Francisco based, there is an additional $250-$700, and those residents who qualify as low income may receive an added $2,000-$7,000 incentive.
With California’s electricity rate being the highest in the country and with so many rebates available to you as a homeowner, now is a better time than any to go solar. Let us find you the best deal, the best equipment, and the best installer.
More questions on rebates? Looking to start the process of having a solar system customized specifically for your home please call (888) 454-9979 or click here to get started.