California State Incentives For Solar Panels

California Preserves Solar Incentives In Defeat for Utilities KQED
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California State Incentives for Solar Panels


As we enter the year 2023, California continues to lead the way in promoting renewable energy sources, particularly solar power. The state offers a range of incentives and programs to encourage residents and businesses to adopt solar panels. These incentives not only help reduce electricity bills but also contribute to a greener and more sustainable future. In this article, we will explore some of the key state incentives for installing solar panels in California.

1. Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a federal incentive that allows homeowners and businesses to deduct a percentage of their solar panel installation costs from their federal taxes. Currently, the ITC provides a 26% tax credit for residential and commercial solar installations. However, it’s important to note that the percentage may change in the future, so it’s advisable to take advantage of the ITC as soon as possible.

2. California Solar Initiative (CSI)

2.1 Residential Solar Rebates

The California Solar Initiative (CSI) offers rebates to residential customers who install solar panels. The rebate amount depends on the system size, performance, and location. However, it’s worth mentioning that the CSI program is gradually phasing out, so homeowners should consider applying sooner rather than later to maximize their benefits.

2.2 Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) Program

The Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) Program provides incentives for installing solar panels on low-income housing units. This program aims to increase access to clean energy for low-income residents while reducing their energy bills. The MASH program offers cash incentives based on the system’s expected performance and other factors.

3. Net Energy Metering (NEM)

California’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) program allows solar panel owners to receive credits for the excess electricity they generate and feed back into the grid. These credits can then be used to offset the electricity consumed from the grid during periods when the solar panels are not producing enough energy. NEM helps solar panel owners save money on their electricity bills and promotes the growth of renewable energy.

4. Property Tax Exclusion

Under Proposition 60 and Proposition 90, homeowners aged 55 and older can transfer their current property tax base to a new property if they purchase a new home. This means that if you install solar panels on your new home, the increased value of the solar system will not affect your property taxes, providing additional financial benefits to senior residents.

5. Sales Tax Exemption

California offers a sales tax exemption for qualifying solar energy systems. This means that when you purchase and install solar panels, you will not have to pay sales tax on the equipment. This exemption reduces the upfront costs of going solar and makes it more affordable for homeowners and businesses to invest in renewable energy.


California’s state incentives for solar panels make it an attractive option for homeowners and businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint and save on electricity bills. From the Solar Investment Tax Credit to the California Solar Initiative and Net Energy Metering, there are various programs that provide financial benefits and encourage the adoption of solar power. By taking advantage of these incentives, Californians can contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future.