As if going solar didn’t have enough benefits (lowering utility bills and protecting the environment to name a few), solar owners qualify for rebates and incentives that help lower the cost of installing solar panels. These discounts on your solar system make it even more affordable to go solar.
No need to worry about filling out complicated forms. As part of our solar services, we will take care of the utility rebate paperwork and enroll you in the net metering program.
Federal Tax Credit
California homeowners can receive a 30% federal tax credit for solar electric panels installed between now and December 31, 2016. You will receive a credit against your income tax liability for 30% of the total installation cost and any unused credits can be carried forward to the next year. Learn more about how the Federal Tax Credit works by visiting the AMECO Solar blog.
Net Energy Metering
Utilities based in California still currently offer Net Energy Metering (NEM) programs to solar owners. The idea of net metering is relatively simple. Whenever your solar panels create more energy than is being used, the meter will “spin backwards” and energy will be credited to your account. In essence, you will be selling excess energy during the day to your utility, and buying it back at night, all at the same rate ($/watt).
If you have excess energy production at the end of the year, your utility company will either pay you for it at a lower rate or credit the amount to your account.
Utility Rebates for Residential Photovoltaic Installations
LADWP offers homeowners rebates for solar electric panels at $0.30 per watt. Many other cities such as Burbank, Anaheim, Glendale, and Pasadena and Riverside (among others) have their own municipal rebate programs. We recommend visiting your utility’s website to see if they offer incentives for going solar.
Unfortunately, funds for the SCE rebate for residential solar electric customers through the California Solar Initiative ran out in Spring 2014 and the rebate for SCE customers is no longer available.
Commercial Solar Electric Rebates and Incentives
Federal Tax Credits and Accelerated Depreciation
The federal government offers a 30% federal tax investment credit on commercial solar power systems, and allows businesses an accelerated depreciation schedule (MACRS) over 5.5 years.
Utility Rebates for Commercial Projects
SCE offers substantial rebates for both large and small commercial solar electric systems through the California Solar Initiative (CSI). Depending on the size of your facility, you will qualify for either the Expected Performance Based Buydown (EPBB) or a Performance Based Incentive (PBI) program.
LADWP’s commercial solar rebate program is an incentive of $0.40 per watt.
Commercial Solar Pool Heating Rebates
Public and semi-public pools are now eligible for rebates through the CSI Thermal Rebate program when a solar pool heating system is installed. Organizations and companies that can take advantage of the rebate include schools, universities, fitness centers, apartment buildings, hotels, and waterparks.
The rebate will pay $7.00 for every therm that is displaced by the installation of a solar pool heating system. This could reduce the cost of a solar pool heater by 50% . Paybacks for a solar pool heater without a rebate are usually less than four years.
Residential and Commercial Solar Hot Water Rebates
All solar hot water owners qualify for the 30% Federal Tax Credit, which will be offered through December 31, 2016.
Additionally, So Cal Gas (“The Gas Company”), PG&E and SDG&E customers are eligible for solar hot water rebates through the California Solar Initiative. Residential solar hot water customers can expect to receive up to $2,719 while commercial solar hot water owners can receive up to $500,000.