California Solar Rebates, Tax Credits, and Incentives

When it comes to sunshine, California is right up there in the top producers category and is only beat out by Arizona. This fact along with some strong leadership by California’s state government, cities and municipalities has put California on top of the leader board for home solar power system installations. On this page you will find information about California solar rebates, incentives, and tax credits but if you still have questions feel free to post a comment or question below.
The California Solar Initiative – The State Rebate for Solar – The CSI is part of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Million Solar Roofs Program. California has set a goal to create 3,000 megawatts of new, solar-produced electricity by 2016. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) administers the majority of this program while The California Energy Commission (CEC) manages the remainder, which comprises a 10-year, $400 million program to encourage solar in new home construction through the New Solar Homes Partnership.

The tables below show the current and future rebate levels for home solar power systems.

AdministratorCustomer ClassCurrent StepEPBB Payments (per Watt)
PG&EResidential7$0.65
SCEResidential4$1.55
CCSEResidential7$0.65

 

 

Step
Statewide MW in Step
Residential
1
50
N/A
2
70
$2.50
3
100
$2.20
4
130
$1.90
5
160
$1.55
6
190
$1.10
7
215
$0.65
8
250
$0.35
9
285
$0.25
10
350
$0.20

The way this rebate works is that after each Statewide MW goal is achieved the rebate moves to the next step (starting at 1 and ending at 10). The MW difference between each step ranges from 20 to 45 MW or when an additional 6,500 or 15,000 homes go solar. The rebate levels for PG&E and CCSE have just moved to step 7 resulting in a smaller state rebate. While the rebate reduction from $1.10 to $0.65 is significant, the overall cost increase for a home solar power system has been minimized due to the continuing federal tax credit. Read more here.

Example 
Location
Los Angeles
Av. Monthly Electricity Bill
$150
System Size
4.6 kWh
% Reduction in Electricity Bill
91
Cost / Watt (installed)
$7
Cost Breakdown
Total Cost
$32,200
Rebates
SCE State Rebate
$7,130
Federal Tax Incentive
$7,521
NET COST
$17,549
Payback period
11 years
Cash Flow
New Av. Monthly Electric Bill
$13.50
Monthly Loan Payment
$105 (30yr, 6%, 0 down)
Tax Saving
$33*
NEW MONTHLY NET COST
$85.50
Environmental Benefits
CO2 Emissions Saved
 8,546 lbs/year
Trees Planted
 0.7 acres
 * Tax savings will decrease as the principal is paid down. Please consult your tax preparer.

To run different scenarios click on the Clean Power Estimator logo on the right. This is a great tool offered by the Go Solar California Initiative.

Or alternatively simply fill out our free solar evaluation form and we will have a knowledgeable California solar professional contact you to discuss how you can benefit from going solar and provide you with a free installation estimate.