What are the California Solar Rebates and How to Apply

California is one of the best states for solar energy. Not only does the Golden State have more sunny days than not, but it also has some of the best solar rebates in the US. The state is dedicated to the growth of solar energy and many organizations offer incentives that make residential solar more affordable for homeowners. If you’re curious as to what solar rebates are available in California and which ones you can apply for, read on to learn more!

Federal Solar Tax Credit

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) increased the amount and extended the deadline for the federal investment tax credit (ITC). The solar investment tax credit can be claimed on federal income taxes for a percentage of the cost of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Qualified homeowners can be eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost of the solar system. For example, if your solar system cost $20,000 you could be eligible for a federal tax credit of $6,000. The $6,000 credit can be used to decrease your tax liability. You would be able to deduct $6,000 from the amount of taxes you owe for the year your solar PV system was installed. 

Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) Program

The Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program has installed over 9,600 solar PV installations and provided  $137.9 million in incentives. The program aims to provide low-income homeowners with fixed up-front incentives for solar PV system installations. 

To be eligible:

Disadvantaged Communities Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (DAC-SASH) Program 

The Disadvantaged Communities – Single-family Solar Homes (DAC-SASH) program was created to help encourage low-income homeowners to install solar energy. The program offers up-front financial incentives for the installation of rooftop solar panels. The program provides $8.5 million in incentives each year. 

To be eligible:

Solar Energy System Property Tax Exclusion

The Solar Energy System Property Tax Exclusion offers homeowners an exemption for the amount of value a solar PV system adds to their property. If you add solar to your house you are exempt from paying property taxes for the property value increase from the addition of the solar system. The tax exclusion proves that adding solar to your home can increase its property value. 

Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

The California Public Utility Commission’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) provides incentives to support the growth of wind turbines and energy storage systems among other qualifying technologies. If you decide to install a solar + storage system you’ll be able to participate in this program. A solar + energy system refers to a solar panel installation paired with battery storage. A solar battery allows you to store your solar energy for later use, like during peak demand times or during power outages. Depending on your eligibility, you could receive a rebate of $850 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) or $1,000 per kWh. Through SGIP, an energy storage system could end up being free of cost.

Net metering Programs

California solar customers are eligible for the state’s net metering program. With net energy metering (NEM), a homeowner receives credits from utility companies for the extra solar power they generate and send to the electric grid. 

The top net metering programs in the state include:

The most current NEM rules, adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission apply to customers of PG&E, SDGE&E, and SCE. If you apply for NEM with those three utilities you will have to:

  • Pay a one-time interconnection fee. PG&E fee is $145; SCE $75; and SDG&E $132.  Customers with systems that generate over 1 megawatt (MW) must pay an $800 interconnection fee and pay for all transmission/distribution system upgrades.
  • Pay non-bypassable charges.  Participants must pay small charges for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity they consume from the grid. 
  • Transfer to a time-of-use (TOU) rate.  To participate in NEM, you must transfer to a TOU rate plan.

Local Solar Rebates

Many Golden State local agencies provide solar rebates. Depending on where you live and which utility company provides your electricity, you could save even more on top of the incentives mentioned above! Here are some local solar incentives you may be eligible for:

Rancho Mirage Energy Authority (REMA) Solar Rebate Program: REMA offers a $500 rebate to any residential customer who installs a new solar system or expands on an existing solar system. REMA also offers a NEM program.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Solar Incentive: SMUD offers a $150 rebate for residential solar systems and will install a PV production meter for free. SMUD also offers a net metering program. 

Applying for California Solar Incentives

If you’re wondering how to apply for any of mentioned solar incentives or if you’re eligible for more than just the ones mentioned here, consider WattLogic for your California solar installation. WattLogic is a trusted solar installer on a mission to maximize the potential of every watt. WattLogic hopes to help all of its customers lower their carbon footprints, increase their energy efficiency, save on energy costs, and become less reliant on utility providers through renewable energy. WattLogic offers a no-hassle turnkey package, which includes finding and applying for rebates on customers’ behalf. WattLogic wants its customers to worry less about the installation and instead focus on how they plan to reap all the benefits of going solar. Reach out to a WattLogic solar expert to learn how much you can save on your home solar project through California solar incentives.