Programs in California that make going solar easier & simpler for Bay Area homeowners

California’s ambition for renewables is matched by its inhabitants striving to make living here a reality for themselves and their families. The state of California announced its goals to generate 100% of its electricity needs with clean electric power by 2045. This includes generating electric power from wind, hydro, geothermal and solar.

California Incentives

California utilizes both state and federal programs that incentivize homeowners to consider solar as an option to power their homes. Several other states take advantage of federal programs as well as their own to add residential and commercial solar to their energy grid. Programs like the California Solar Initiative Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) help offset the upfront cost of a solar system to qualified low-income homeowners. Homeowners are also able to take advantage of the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) when going solar.

Solar Tax Credit

The Solar ITC is a 30% tax credit aimed towards residential and commercial properties in the US. The tax credit was first implemented in 2006 and has been a mutual benefit to businesses and consumers alike. The residential portion of the ITC allows homeowners to apply the credit to their personal income taxes. This credit is only available to the homeowner with the purchase of their system.

The solar tax credit is set at 30% of the cost of their solar project and will remain through 2019. It will then be reduced to 26% when applied to construction through 2020. Then, reduced even further to 22% through 2021. Once the credit has run its course it will only apply to commercial and utility projects at a permanent 10%.

Sonoma County Incentives

Homeowners can check with their local government for different programs that can make it easier to purchase a solar system. In Sonoma County, homeowners can benefit from the different incentives offered. These include- the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) as well as the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. The SCEIP and PACE programs offer financing for energy efficiency and water improvements through the property tax system. These are available for projects ranging from residential and commercial to agricultural and nonprofit. With SCEIP, you can find in-depth information on installing solar panels with the help of finance programs in Sonoma County. Additionally, you can get in touch with local solar energy contractors.

While solar power has been on the rise in California, there are few financial programs available in the Bay Area. But don’t fret! Many local municipalities offer plenty of resources on how to apply for solar energy by checking your local government’s website. In addition to resources and advice to help you be more informed and prepared in going forward towards energy independence. You can even go a step further and get in touch with a local solar contractor!