March 28, 2023
California Solar Incentives and Rebates: How to Maximize Your Solar Savings with Mango Power
The West Coast state of California is often considered a peak tourist attraction. Its sunny weather, famous landmarks, and beachside demeanor make it a popular choice for holidays. However, the Golden State does also suffer from the nation’s highest electricity prices. According to Energy Sage, California residents spend an average of US$ 2,556 per year on electricity which is 8% higher than the national average electric bill of US$ 2,362.
Due to these conditions, many Californian residents have taken to using solar-powered energy sources to save money and take advantage of the warm sunshine they’ve been blessed with. This sustainable shift has naturally been encouraged by the government and several incentives have been created for those looking to include solar energy in their lives.
What Are Californian Solar and Battery Incentives?
Solar incentives are set up by the government to encourage people to take part in activities that will benefit society. This is exactly what the California solar and battery incentives aim to do. They are in essence a set of programs created for the state to give homeowners and businesses a financial incentive to install solar panels or battery storage systems in their homes or for their businesses.
Now, these can be divided into two categories of incentives and rebates. Incentives offer a certain benefit or payment for doing a specific action while a rebate allows you to get a refund on the amount spent. California has several of these programs running to inspire sustainable actions.
California Solar and Battery Incentives
Some of the incentives provided by the state of California over the few years have successfully allowed solar options to become more accessible. The California Solar Initiative (CSI) is a prime example of this after the program was closed in 2016 due to the reduced pricing of solar equipment. The government-led program was pivotal in offering rebates for residential and commercial solar installations.
A few other incentives and rebates offered by the state of California include:
Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)
The Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) is an example of a state-made program that provides incentives for existing, new, and emerging distributed energy resources – including battery storage systems, wind turbines, waste heat to power technologies, microturbines, and more.
The program describes its purpose as contributing to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reductions, the demand for reductions, reduced customer electricity purchases, and electric system reliability through improved transmission and distribution system utilization combined with market transformation for distributed energy resource (DER) technologies.
Active Solar Energy System Exclusion
It’s common knowledge that solar panels increase the value of a property and have the potential to boost the property value of entire communities. California knows this which is why the Active Solar Energy System Exclusion was put in place. This program offers a property tax incentive for the installation of an active solar energy system.
According to the California State Board of Equalization, active solar energy systems use solar devices, which are thermally isolated from living space or any other area where the energy is used, to provide for the collection, storage, or distribution of solar energy. The incentive does not, however, apply to solar swimming pool heaters or hot tub heaters.
Federal Solar and Battery Tax Credits
In 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 into law which offers several rebates and tax incentives to Americans for making use of clean energy solutions. This paved the way for the federal tax credits available for solar installations on personal or business properties across the country today.
Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)
This is a model aimed at evaluating commercial and residential properties - allowing property owners to finance the initial costs of energy or other eligible improvements on a property and then pay the costs back over time through a voluntary assessment.
Also known as the Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) program in California, the Office of State and Community Energy Programs describes PACE assessments as unique in that “the assessment is attached to the property rather than an individual.”
Disadvantaged Communities – Single-Family Solar Homes (DAC-SASH)
This program provides qualifying low-income homeowners with up-front rebates for installing solar electric systems. The GRID Alternatives organization that runs the program believes that “a rapid, equitable transition to a world powered by renewable energy needs to benefit everyone.”
The Californian state program provides $8.5 million in incentives annually to help homeowners in disadvantaged communities go solar after they meet a set of requirements. The program runs through 2030 and was modeled after California’s long-standing and successful Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program.
Is Going Solar in California Worth It?
The short answer is yes, it is entirely worth it in the long run. Even without the benefit to the environment, going solar has a long list of benefits for your business and home. The cost reduction alone is enough to make you consider the transition – solar energy saves you from high utility bills and increases fuel hikes.
Naturally, the government and state-sanctioned incentives are a major reason that people consider the solar energy route, but even without them, you’ll be saving money. Solar energy also ensures that your home and business can be run independently from the grid – this means that your family and your production processes won’t be affected by power cuts and can stay functional 24/7.
Solar energy solutions also guarantee a return on your investment at the end of the day. The amount that you spend to install and implement a solar-powered energy system will pay for itself in the long run. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy also reaffirmed that solar panels are manufactured products that take significantly less energy to fabricate than they produce over their lifetime.
Forbes noted that California is also a pioneer in solar energy production and a leader in residential solar in the U.S. This, combined with its sunny weather makes it the perfect place to choose solar energy.
FAQ About California Solar Incentives
How much do solar panels cost in California?
According to Forbes Home, the average cost of residential solar panels in California comes up to an average range of US$ 3 to US$ 5 per watt while the total cost of solar panels generally ranges between US$ 15,000 and US$ 25,000.
How does the California solar tax credit work?
While California doesn’t have a state solar tax credit, the federal solar tax credit is worth 30% of the installed cost of a solar and/or battery system - which can be used to decrease your federal tax liability and increase your tax refund.
On a US$ 15,000 solar system, the federal solar tax credit can be used to lower your tax liability by US$ 4,500. If you don’t have enough tax liability to use at all at once, the tax credit can be rolled over into future years. Please ensure that you consult with a licensed tax advisor about applying for the solar tax credit.
Can you get free solar panels in California?
As mentioned before, certain solar initiatives in California can drastically reduce the price of solar panels and sometimes cover the costs entirely. However, these programs are specific to disadvantaged communities and low-income households.
The California Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP) provides low-income households with solar systems at no cost to residents in farming houses or low-income households.
The Disadvantaged Communities/Single-Family Solar Homes (DAC-SASH) program also offers an upfront rebate for low-income homeowners in disadvantaged communities.
Mango Power Solar Generators
Mango Power offers a comprehensive sustainable solution for all your home and business energy backup needs. The Mango Power E needs just 400w of easily portable solar panels and a sunny day to completely recharge in 4.5 hours. The advanced Mango Power Solar Panels are also built with ETFE Solar Cell Lamination that is higher than most conventional solar panels and features magnetic pads for convenient transportation.
With the purchase of six additional 200W solar panels that are sold separately, you can easily go from 0 to 3.5kWH in just 1.75 hours – which is enough to power your entire home.
The Mango Power E easily meets the requirements for both California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program and the federal ITC for rebates and tax credits. With the Mango Power E solar generator, you can achieve full grid independence with its impressive 3.5 kWh Capacity and 3kW Output.
The Mango Power Union can also be with your home’s solar system and is the best way to maximize value, allowing you to use solar power day and night. With its 2 built-in PV inverters that support twice the input, you can easily connect the device to both roof solar systems and portable solar panels without any additional accessories.
The Mango Power E solar generator also provides a 0.79 kg reduction in carbon emissions with every recharge - equivalent to the amount of carbon captured by 48 trees in a day. Using the Mango Power E gives back to the environment.
Appreciate the full range of benefits of solar energy solutions with Mango Power while enjoying the splendid Californian sun, saving money, and saving the planet.
For more information on Mango Power products and our commitment to a better world, visit mangopower.com