In California, solar energy systems
are growing leaps and bounds. For over a decade, the state has been the national leader in overall kW of solar energy produced . While it’s true that the perpetual sunshine certainly helps, so does the government’s commitment to make solar an affordable choice for it’s residents.
Solar rebates for California homeowners that receive electricity for municipal utilities, such as Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, can receive a single lump sum cash incentive. The amount varies depending on the performance of the system installed, but it combines an upfront bonus with estimated payments for future performance. Other municipalities offer feed in tariffs and as much as 50 percent repayment on the cost of the system.
The California Solar Imitative (CSI) is a program for homeowners who receive electricity from investor owned utility companies. This includes Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric. There are a variety of plans under the Initiative that award cash solar rebates for California homeowners.
There is currently no means of predicting when funding on each of the various programs will dry up, so those interested in applying should consider doing so as quickly as possible. SolarAmerica.com has a list of qualified dealers and installers that offer eligible equipment and submit applications for eligible CSI rebates.
The General Market Program is for anyone who doesn’t meet the criteria for other programs. It funds any new or existing home, as wells as commercial government or not for profit organizations. Eligible equipment includes traditional California solar panel systems and other alternative solar technologies.
Other types of rebates available include:
- CSI Thermal Program funds homes and businesses that helps pay for solar hot water heaters.
- Single Family Affordable Solar Homes program is for low income homeowners. Those earning less than 50 percent of the median for the area qualify for a free 1 Kw system. Other rebates are calculated on a sliding scale based on income and system kW.
- Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing allows building owners to participate in a virtual net metering program, reducing overall electricity bills and receiving credit for energy shared among tenants. This program is currently out of funds and applicants are on a waiting list.
- The New Solar Homes Partnership is part of the California solar energy initiative, providing financial incentives to home builders.
There are also property tax exemptions and federal tax credits available. Any of the state sponsored initiatives can be applied for through a qualified solar contractor. For a list of dealers and installers of California solar panel systems, visit SolarAmerica.com.