Resources | Financial Incentives
Going solar is a solid reliable investment for your home or business. Since your roof is probably never going anywhere, and, perpetual utility rates increases are an unfortunate reality … solar electric panels are the best secured investment you can make in today’s market. Compare going solar to traditional higher risk investments that seem to be becoming less desirable. Along with increasing your property value, going solar will protect you from rising electric rates. Now coupled with the state rebate and federal tax credits solar is a very smart long term investment.
California has limited funds for these programs, and the rebates become less generous as participation increases. If you are able to order and connect soon you will be getting the best of both worlds! Combine the federal tax credit with the state rebates and you can save yourself a large portion off the cost of going solar that ranges anywhere from 35% in San Diego on upwards to 80% in Los Angeles.
Financial incentives in the form of tax credits, grants, and rebates offer assistance towards purchasing renewable energy systems. These innovative programs make renewable energy systems more affordable than ever.
California Solar Initiative Program (CSI)
The CSI program provides a financial incentive for the installation of solar photovoltaic panels on a home or business. In order to qualify for an incentive, you must have an electric account. Please note, the CSI program is still accepting residential applications. Although the program has reached its MW target in many service areas, there is still limited funding available to continue the program.
Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing Program (MASH)
The MASH program provides higher incentives to offset the costs of installing solar on multi-family affordable housing buildings in California such as apartment buildings. In order to qualify, electric service must be provided to the building by a local utility participating in the program.
New Solar Housing Partnership (NSHP)
The NSHP program provides incentives for the construction of new, energy efficient homes that install solar. In order to qualify for a rebate, the home with the solar panels will have to receive electric services. (Existing homes should apply under the CSI program.)
Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing Program (SASH)
The SASH program provides higher incentives to offset the costs of installing solar on low-income single family homes in California. GRID Alternatives is the Program Administrator. For more information on this program, please visit their website.
Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)
The SGIP program provides financial incentives for the installation of qualifying systems. In order to qualify for an incentive, you must have a PG&E electric or gas account. While residential customers are not excluded from the program, the minimum system size is 30 kilowatt (kW).
Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
The Federal Investment Tax Credit provides a credit of 30% of the net cost of the system installed and applies to a variety renewable energy options. Please consult a tax professional for more information before making any purchasing decisions.
MACRS Federal Tax Credit For Depreciation
Depreciation is one aspect of the tax code that facilitates greater investment in renewable energy and ultimately lower costs for consumers. The Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS), established in 1986, is a method of depreciation in which a business’ investments in solar electric panels are recovered, for tax purposes, over a 5 year period through annual deductions. Qualifying solar energy equipment is eligible for a cost recovery period of five years. The market certainty provided by MACRS has been found to be a significant driver of private investment for the solar industry and other energy industries.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing
The PACE programs enable local governments to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency projects on privately owned properties through an additional assessment repaid in fixed payments as part of the property owner’s property tax bill.
Leasing and Power Purchase Agreements
Leasing allows customers interested in installing solar to rent a system from a company while benefitting from the energy produced. This options may help you eliminate the high up-front costs as there may be little to no money down required. Financing can potentially be obtained from your financial institution or a commercial lender in the form of green loans, home equity loans, personal loans and other loan products. Similarly, under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) model, a third party owns and maintains the system and sells the power produced to the customer at a pre-determined annual price.