Government incentives are a big part of what makes solar affordable for most Americans. Depending on where you live you could have a wide variety of state government rebates that can help you afford a solar battery, or even help cut down on the installation cost of your system.
California has more solar installed every year than any other state. This is because the combination of a very sunny climate plus the great government incentives virtually guarantees that a homeowner will save tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the system!
The most important incentive to consider when shopping for solar energy is the federal residential solar energy credit. Previously that government incentive was equal to 26% of the total cost of your system, and it was set to expire in 2024. But new legislation has increased that credit to 30% and extended it for the next 10 years! This amazing benefit will help homeowners for years to come by making it more affordable to make the switch to green energy.
What Is the Tax Credit For Solar Panels in California?
At the state level, the California rebates that you qualify for can depend on what electrical utility company you have, the city you live in, or even the type of solar energy system you get installed.
The most important benefit of installing solar is the net energy metering program. This program ensures that you are compensated for the excess energy that your system generates and exports to the grid.
Some smaller utilities in California do not offer net metering to new solar projects that are installed. In this case, you should consider buying a solar battery. If you do this, you could qualify for the Self-Generation Incentive Program or SGIP. This California rebate is meant to give you a cash rebate of up to $1,000 per kWh of solar generation when you pair it with a solar battery. This program operates on a first come, first served basis so make sure to ask one of our solar experts for more information.
Here is an example of how a California resident could take advantage of all of these government programs and rebates to make solar affordable:
Tony has a home that uses 7,500 kWh’s of electricity a year. He speaks with a solar expert at Pineapple Energy who gives him a quote. The system is 5 kW in size and due to Tony’s south-facing roof plane, it will be an efficient system and will produce 8,000 kWh’s a year. This leaves Tony a little bit of extra energy in case he goes over the previous year’s usage. Tony also installs a backup battery because his utility company has experienced emergency energy shutoffs in the past. The initial price tag on the solar energy system is $29,000. This is much higher than Tony originally wanted to pay, and he doesn’t know if solar is going to be as affordable as he thought.
The solar expert walks Tony through the different programs that will bring this price down. First is the investment tax credit. 30% of the $29,000 price tag is $8,700 that Tony can get back during tax season; this brings his net cost down to $20,300. Next, Tony decides that since he is going to install a solar battery he should apply for the California SGIP rebate. His system is set to produce 8,000 kWh’s of energy a year, meaning that Tony is eligible to qualify for up to $8,000 in additional rebates. Finally, Tony is going to take advantage of the California Net Metering program. This will ensure that Tony does not pay his utility company for electricity anymore, and he will be completely independent and generate all of his usage.
Over a few years, Tony will recoup the cost of the investment that he made in solar, and he can rest assured he is saving money for the rest of the life of his warranted solar energy system.
Ready to Switch to Solar?
If solar is something that you are curious about, or if you want to hear more about how our customers are taking advantage of government programs to save money on their energy usage, then feel free to reach out to our solar experts!