California Solar Incentives and Rebates

California has long been a leader in promoting the use of solar power. The state offers a wide range of incentives and rebates for homeowners, businesses, and organizations that install solar panels on their property. These incentives and rebates help to offset the cost of solar installation and make it more affordable for people to make the switch to clean, renewable energy.


The Federal Investment Tax Credit in California

One of the most significant incentives available to Californians who install solar panels is the Federal Investment Tax Credit. This credit allows homeowners to deduct 26% of the cost of their solar system from their federal taxes. This credit is available to all homeowners who install solar panels on their property, regardless of their income level.


State-level Tax Incentives in California

While California does not offer any state-level incentives for solar power, the state has implemented a number of initiatives to encourage the use of solar energy. One such initiative is the California Solar Initiative (CSI), which provides rebates to homeowners who install solar panels on their property. Under the CSI, qualified homeowners with home solar systems could be eligible for a tax credit of up to 30% against the cost of the system. 


State-wide Solar Initiatives in California

The California Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) provides rebates for buying and installing a solar battery along with a rooftop panel system. The amount of the rebate varies depending on the utility and the storage capacity of the battery. Additionally, homeowners who install a rooftop solar system may be eligible for a property tax exclusion on the added value to the home from the system.

Low-income homeowners who get their electricity from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), or San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) may be eligible for cash incentives for every kilowatt (kW) of solar power installed. Additionally, low-income households can receive a one-time up-front, capacity-based incentive of $3,000 for every kW of home solar installed.


State-wide Tax Exemptions in California

California also offers a state-wide tax exemption for solar power. Qualified homeowners with home solar systems could be eligible for a tax credit of up to 30% against the cost of the system. This credit can be applied to state taxes and helps to further reduce the cost of solar installation.


Solar Easements in California

California’s Solar Easements laws are in place to ensure that solar access is not blocked by the buildings and trees of neighboring properties. California’s Civil Code (801.5) allows for neighbors to voluntarily sign solar easements to ensure that proper sunlight is available to those who operate solar energy systems. SB 1399 of 2008 amended the Public Resources Code to exempt trees and shrubs planted prior to the installation of a solar system, as well as trees and shrubs that are subject to a local ordinance or the replacement of trees or shrubs that had been growing prior to the installation of the solar device.



In conclusion, installing solar panels in California can bring many benefits to homeowners. Not only will you be able to save money on your electricity bills, but you will also be able to take advantage of tax incentives, increase your property value, and promote a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. Net Metering also credits homeowners for the power generated by their solar panels, and it helps to offset the cost of electricity and can result in reduced electricity bills for homeowners.




What are the benefits of solar energy in California?

Solar energy in California can provide clean and renewable electricity, reduce energy bills, and increase home value. Check out all the benefits of going solar on SolarEmpower.


How much will it cost to install solar in California?

The cost of solar in California can vary greatly depending on the size of the system and the installation costs. On average, a 5 kW system will cost around $15,000-$20,000.


How long does it take to install a solar system in California?

It typically takes 1-2 weeks to install a solar system in California. You can find reviews of solar installers and companies in your area on SolarEmpower.


Are there any incentives or rebates available for solar in California?

Yes, there are several incentives and rebates available for solar in California, including the California Solar Initiative, the New Solar Homes Partnership, and the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes Program.


Is solar energy reliable in California?

Yes, solar energy is reliable in California and can provide clean and renewable electricity for homes and businesses. Find out more on SolarEmpower.