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Solar Incentives and Rebates in california

Peak Sun Hours (PSH): 5.8 - 6.7
Cost of Grid Power: $0.19/kWh
Number Of Installations: 1,140,780

Data from DSIRE. For more info visit: https://www.dsireusa.org/

Name Implementing Sector Program Type Administrator DSIRE ID
City of Davis - Green Power Purchasing Local Green Power Purchasing 122
Small Business Energy Loan Program State Loan Program California Energy Commission 126
City of Los Angeles - Zoning Code Local Solar/Wind Access Policy 253
City of Sacramento - Zoning and Subdivision Regulations Local Solar/Wind Access Policy 255
City of San Diego - Planned Development Regulations Local Solar/Wind Access Policy 258
Public Benefits Funds for Renewables and Efficiency State Public Benefits Fund 407
Palo Alto - Solar Access Local Solar/Wind Access Policy 445
Los Angeles - Contractor Licensing Utility Solar/Wind Contractor Licensing 472
Self-Generation Incentive Program State Rebate Program California Public Utilities Commission 552
Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems State Property Tax Incentive California State Board of Equalization 558
Tax Deduction for Interest on Loans for Energy Efficiency State Personal Tax Deduction California Franchise Tax Board 657
Tax Rate on Ethanol or Methanol State Corporate Tax Exemption California Franchise Tax Board 890
City of San Francisco - Solar Program Local Green Power Purchasing 1039
City of Santa Cruz - Solar Access Ordinance Local Solar/Wind Access Policy 1107
Santa Cruz County - Solar Access Protection Local Solar/Wind Access Policy 1113
Marin County - Solar Access Code Local Solar/Wind Access Policy 1114
City of Palo Alto Utilities - Renewable Energy Credit Purchase Program Utility Performance-Based Incentive 2873
California Solar Initiative - Multi-Family Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) Program State Rebate Program SCE, CCSE, PG&E 3305
Local Option - Municipal Energy Districts State PACE Financing 3526
Local Option - Municipal Energy Districts State PACE Financing California Energy Commission 3527
California Solar Initiative - Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) Program State Rebate Program GRID Alternatives 3673
County Wind Ordinance Standards State Solar/Wind Permitting Standards 3729
Sales and Use Tax Exclusion for Advanced Transportation and Alternative Energy Manufacturing Program State Industry Recruitment/Support State Treasurer's Office 4054
City of Los Angeles - Green Building Retrofit Requirement Local Energy Standards for Public Buildings 4708
LADWP - Net Metering Utility Net Metering 4855
Orange County - Development Standards for Small Wind Energy Systems Local Solar/Wind Permitting Standards 4924
Riverside County - Sustainable Building Policy Local Energy Standards for Public Buildings 4934
CaliforniaFIRST State PACE Financing Renewable Funding 5309
Statewide Solar Permitting Standards State Solar/Wind Permitting Standards 5315
Partial Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Agricultural Solar Power Facilities State Sales Tax Incentive California State Board of Equalization 5351
LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program Utility Performance-Based Incentive 5365
Burbank Water and Power - Solar Water Heater Rebate Program Utility Rebate Program 5428
PG&E - Non-Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Program Utility Loan Program 5620
City of Lancaster - Mandatory Solar Requirement for New Homes Local Building Energy Code 5624
City of Sebastopol - Mandatory Solar Requirement for Residential and Commercial Buildings Local Building Energy Code 5625
Bear Valley Electric Service - Solar Initiative Program Utility Rebate Program 5649
Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT) State Feed-in Tariff 5665
LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program Utility Feed-in Tariff 5685
City of Palo Alto Utilities - PV Partners Program Utility Rebate Program 5788
Lodi Electric Utility - Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Loan Program Utility Loan Program 5854
San Bernardino County – Accessory Wind Energy System Permit State Solar/Wind Permitting Standards 5899
San Bernardino County – Accessory Wind Energy System Permit Local Solar/Wind Permitting Standards 5901
Los Angeles County - WECS-N and Temp Met Towers Local Solar/Wind Permitting Standards 5904
San Bernardino County - Solar Energy Development Standards Local Solar/Wind Permitting Standards 5905
City of San Francisco - Green Building Requirements for City Buildings Local Energy Standards for Public Buildings Municipal Green Building Task Force 5906
City of Long Beach - Green Building Policy for Municipal Buildings Local Energy Standards for Public Buildings 5907
City of Oakland - Green Building Policies and Requirements Local Building Energy Code City of Oakland Planning and Building 5908
Anaheim Public Utilities - Comprehensive Energy Audit Utility Energy Analysis Anaheim Public Utilities 14221
Anaheim Public Utilities - Customized Energy Incentives Utility Energy Analysis Anaheim Public Utilities 14222
Anaheim Public Utilities - Small Business Energy Management Assistance Utility Energy Analysis 14234
Burbank Water & Power - Business Bucks Program Utility Energy Analysis Burbank Water and Power 14247
California Center for Sustainable Energy - Energy Efficiency Programs Non-Profit Energy Analysis California Center for Sustainable Energy 14255
Glendale Water & Power - Business Energy Solutions (BES) Utility Energy Analysis Glendale Water & Power 14271
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - Energy Load Monitoring (ELM) Program Utility Energy Analysis Los Angeles Department of Water and Power 14296
PG&E - Energy Training Center Utility Training and Information Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) 14321
PG&E - Food Service Technology Center Utility Energy Analysis Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) 14322
PG&E - Pacific Energy Center Utility Energy Analysis 14325
Sacramento Municipal Utility District - Savings by Design: New Construction and Major Remodel Projects Utility Energy Analysis Sacramento Municipal Utility District 14369
San Diego Gas & Electric - Business Energy Solutions Program Utility Energy Analysis San Diego Gas & Electric 14382
San Diego Gas & Electric - Premium Efficiency Cooling Utility Training and Information San Diego Gas & Electric 14400
San Diego Retrocommissioning Program - Retrocommissioning Program Other Energy Analysis San Diego Retrocommissioning Program 14402
San Francisco Department of the Environment - Energy Watch Commercial Program Local Energy Analysis San Francisco Department of the Environment 14403
Southern California Edison - Saving Solutions for Business Utility Energy Analysis Southern California Edison 14434
Modesto Irrigation District - Energy Survey Utility Energy Analysis Modesto Irrigation District 16033
Riverside Public Utilities - Energy Load Profiler Utility Energy Analysis Riverside Public Utilities 16054
San Diego Gas & Electric - Small Business Energy Efficiency Workshops Utility Training and Information 16059
Southern California Edison - SCE EnergyManager Utility Energy Analysis Southern California Edison 16065
SoCalGas - Energy-Efficiency Assessments for Industrial Customers Utility Energy Analysis Southern California Gas Company 16462
Glendale Water & Power - Smart Business AC Tune-up Utility Other Glendale Water & Power 16568
City of Palo Alto Utilities - Right Lights+ Local Energy Analysis City of Palo Alto Utilities 16580
City of Palo Alto Utilities - Solar Water Heating Program Local Other City of Palo Alto Utilities 16583
Berkeley Office of Energy and Sustainable Development - SmartSolar Program Other Energy Analysis Berkeley Office of Energy and Sustainable Development 17443
Berkeley Office of Energy and Sustainable Development - Commericial Solar Photovoltaic Permit Guide Other Training and Information Berkeley Office of Energy and Sustainable Development 17445
Berkeley Office of Energy and Sustainable Development - Solar Thermal Hot Water Installations Other Training and Information Berkeley Office of Energy and Sustainable Development 17446
PG&E - InterAct Energy Management Tools Utility Energy Analysis PG&E 17506
Merced Irrigation District - eMeter Manager Utility Energy Analysis Merced Irrigation District 17507
U.S. Department of Energy - Industrial Assessment Center (IAC): San Diego State University Federal Energy Analysis U.S. Department of Energy 17597
U.S. Department of Energy - Industrial Assessment Center (IAC): San Francisco State University Federal Energy Analysis U.S. Department of Energy 17598
Southwest Gas Corporation - Industrial Energy Assessments Other Energy Analysis Southwest Gas Corp., California Div. 17886
Palo Alto Utilities Dept. - Right Lights+ Program Other Energy Analysis Palo Alto Utilities Dept. 18115
Sacramento Municipal Utility District - Online Energy Audit for Businesses Utility Energy Analysis Sacramento Municipal Utility District 18927
Anza Electric Cooperative - Free Energy Audit Utility Energy Analysis Anza Electric Cooperative, Inc. 19037
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - RCx Express program Utility Energy Analysis Los Angeles Department of Water and Power 19331
Sacramento Municipal Utility District - Learn Energy Efficiency Utility Training and Information Sacramento Municipal Utility District 19489
Silicon Valley Power - Energy Design Assistance Utility Energy Analysis Silicon Valley Power 20400
Roseville Electric - Facility Assessment Wizard Utility Energy Analysis Roseville Electric 20577
Pasadena Water and Power - Green Power Program Utility Other Pasadena Water and Power 20946
Southwest Gas Corporation - Industrial Services Utility Energy Analysis Southwest Gas Corp., Arizona Div. 21558
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) - Savings by Industry Utility Training and Information Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) 21976
Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Electrical Power Generation and Storage Equipment State Sales Tax Incentive 22047
Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Electric Power Generation and Storage Equipment State Sales Tax Incentive California Department of Tax and Fee Administration 22048
Burbank Water and Power - LEED Certification Incentive Program Utility Green Building Incentive 22065
Burbank Water and Power - LEED Certification Incentive Program Utility Rebate Program Burbank Water and Power 22066
Plumas-Sierra REC - Commercial and Irrigation Rebate Program Utility Rebate Program Plumas-Sierra REC 22067
energy storage State Corporate Tax Credit 22069
Redding Electric - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program Utility Rebate Program Redding Electric Utility 22070
Electrify Marin - Natural Gas Appliance Replacement Rebate Program Local Rebate Program 22106
Marin County Residential Rebate Program State Rebate Program 22107
Energy Storage Procurement Target State Energy Storage Target California Public Utilities Commission 22112


What’s the Cost of Solar in California?

Cost of Grid Power

California electricity prices average $0.19/kWh, well above the national average of $0.14/kWh. This may help explain why California has the second-lowest per capita residential energy consumption in the country.

In 2018 renewables accounted for nearly half of in-state power generation. While California does need to import one third of all the electricity consumed in the state, about half of that is from renewables. California leads in automotive greening - in 2019 a quarter of all electric vehicle charging stations were located in the state. Perhaps most importantly, as of 2020 California requires solar PV installs on all new homes.

Cost of a Solar Install

Cost of a typical 5kW PV install in California from 1999-2018

A graph of falling prices for a typical 5kW PV install in California from 1999-2018.
Figures include design costs. Data from Berkeley Lab.

The average cost of a 5kW (equivalent to saving almost 100 trees a year) solar system starts around $16,000. Before any incentives, in the first year you’d save about $1,200, compared to if you had been paying the normal rates for the energy you used. These savings can continue for well over 25 years, improving with inflation.




Just How Much Can I Save With Solar in California?

This depends on may factors such as your system size, power output, and financing. Here are the main ways you can finance your home solar power system, and the kinds of returns you may expect to see:

Out-of-Pocket

From our example above, the homeowner purchased a 5kW system to offset their energy bill. Overhead cost was $16,640, with a significant proportion returned in the first year through incentives, rebates, and savings, then paying itself in full over 6 years.

Most solar power systems have a warranty lifetime of 25 years.In that time, between incentives and paying lower rates you could make a profit of around $45,000 - more than twice the up-front cost of the system! Even with occasional maintenance or part replacement, that is a massive savings. Solar panel power output falls on average 0.8% per year, so with a little TLC and load management you can extend the life of your system well beyond the warranty’s expiration date, continuing to save indefinitely.

Solar Loan

Whether or not you can afford the up-front cost of the install, you may want to consider a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). With equity in your home, or good credit, you may qualify for a 15-year solar HELOC with fixed rate of 4% or lower.

Starting with that same 5kW system costing $16,640 but with zero up-front cost, accounting for incentives, credits, rebates, and annual energy savings starting around $1,200, you could see a revenue surplus of about $4,300 at the end of the first year.

In the first fifteen years, while paying off the loan, you could expect to make only $4 per month as your energy savings slightly outpace the loan payments. Once the loan is paid off, you can expect to save about $1,200 a year. Over 25 years you could expect to make about $39,000.




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