When it comes to solar power in the United States, California is pretty much the undisputed champion of the solar sector. The state has long since been a trailblazer for the solar industry thanks to its sunny climate and innovative approaches to both commercial and residential solar installations. Add an environmentally-friendly, financially-savvy population and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a great solar location. Of course, a number of fantastic incentives, rebates and initiatives are vital ingredients in this recipe for solar greatness. Unfortunately, certain incentive programs have expired recently, but California remains the strongest solar state in the US in spite of these setbacks. So, let’s examine some of the remaining incentives and the great value they provide.
#1. Federal Investment Tax Credit
The federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) remains a huge draw for prospective California solar customers in 2019. This tax credit allows you to reduce your federal tax liability by up to 30% of your solar system’s value, provided you have purchased your solar system outright. Unfortunately, this tax credit will begin its step-down next year. In 2020, the percentage drops to 26, then down again to 22 percent in 2021, until finally the ITC will be unavailable for homeowners from 2022 onwards. This impending step-down means that 2019 is a great year for California solar customers to take full advantage of the ITC.
#2. Net Metering
California’s commitment to net metering, and the resultant benefit, plays a huge role in making the Golden State the solar leader in the United States. Net metering has been a hotly-contested issue across a number of states in recent times, but thankfully this great incentive remains available in California. Utilities across California must provide a net metering option for solar customers, allowing those generating excess solar power to make a huge dent in their monthly electric bill. Be sure to check out the net metering program on offer from your utility as you prepare to go solar. You can learn more about net metering here.
#3. California Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)
This isn’t a direct incentive for end users of solar energy, but the ripple effect should lead to beneficial rebates and incentives for solar consumers down the line. The RPS has set a target of 100 percent of electricity production coming from renewable resources by the year 2045. This will really put pressure on utilities, who will have to pay huge fees if the target isn’t reached, and should result in more favourable energy policies across the state of California.
#4. Local Rebates
Depending on your specific location in the Golden State, there may be rebates available from your city, town, or municipality. These rebates may be offered in the shape of a lump sum payment or a per-watt rate, the amount of which will differ greatly based on the particular rebate in question.
These are just a few of the main incentives to pursue a solar project in the state of California in 2019.
By Shane Croghan