24th November 2020
All California Solar Panel Tax Credits Explained
  • BY : Ellen Ra
  • BY : Ellen Ra
  • 24th November 2020

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All California Solar Panel Tax Credits Explained

According to statistics, there has been significant growth in the U.S. solar industry over the last decade. Reports have shown that the capacity has increased from 2.5 gigawatts in 2010 to over 81 gigawatts by mid-2020. One of the main factors that have led to growth is the availability of the federal solar panel tax credit, which stands at 26% as of 2020.

However, the states have not embraced solar energy at the same rate as the solar rebate offer. Currently, California produces over 30% of the country’s solar generation. Before other jurisdictions started investing in solar power, the state had over 50% of the nation’s installed solar panel capacity.

Have you heard about solar panel tax credit? Are you wondering about the meaning of solar panel tax credit or solar rebate? What’s the cost of solar panels in California? In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the solar panel tax credit and solar rebates.

Top Reasons Why Residents Choose to Install Solar Panels

It’s Environmentally-Friendly

It’s common knowledge that solar energy is clean. By investing in solar panels, you reduce your carbon footprint significantly. Solar power has no negative impact on mother-nature. It doesn’t release any greenhouse gases. Also, it’s self-sufficient, and installing solar panels is an effective way of contributing to a sustainable future, and going solar shows that you care about the environment.

Traditional electrical power relies heavily on fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. Other than their negative impact on the environment, they are also limited resources. The scarcity of support means a volatile solar panel market, where energy prices change throughout the day.

It’s a Free Source of Energy

The sun provides excess energy, and nobody can monopolize sunlight and solar panel energy. You’ll start saving money the moment you install solar panels on your roof. However, property owners realize the cost benefits of solar energy in the long run. The longer you use a solar system, the longer you’ll enjoy the solar panel benefits. Other than solar electricity, there’s another way solar energy can be applied.

Tax Rebates Vs. Tax Solar Panel Tax Credit

How much solar refund can you get? A solar rebate is the amount of money that can be returned to you if you qualify for it. The federal government, states, or local authorities can offer solar panel financial incentives after installing solar panels in a property. California offers solar panels and system rebates after the purchase of solar panels and other alternative energy systems. Much of the funding for solar rebates come from the federal government, but individual states administer them.

For example, the City of Long Beach, California, offered solar rebates of up to $500 to encourage residents to purchase solar water heaters and tankless water heaters. The solar rebates aim to encourage residents to embrace solar panels and renewable energy. You can get solar discounts even if you have no tax liabilities.

How do you get solar rebates? How do you speed up the process of getting solar rebates? Filing returns online and requesting a direct deposit is the simplest way to get your solar discounts. The IRS issues a significant percentage of solar rebates within 21 days. State rebates may take longer.

Nowadays, it has become easy for individuals to check the status of their solar rebates. You simply use the IRS’s rebate-tracking service. If you want to check your solar rebates’ status after filing returns online, you need to do so within 24 hours. On the other hand, if you mail your paper return, check your solar rebates’ status within four weeks.

Usually, the IRS updates its system overnight to enable people to check their solar rebates. When you visit the visit to check solar rebates, you need your social security number, the exact rebate amount, and filing status.

When can you get solar rebates? After processing your returns, which takes up to three weeks after the filing date, the IRS will deposit the solar refund in a maximum of three accounts.

You can also receive solar rebates in a joint statement with your spouse. If you opt for traditional filing and request your refund as a check, it’s likely to arrive via mail within six weeks after filing. Online filing is the best option for individuals who would want to get their solar rebates fast. However, in case of errors when requesting solar refunds, this may take longer. Therefore, ensure the accuracy of your request to speed up the processing of your solar rebates. If you also intend to claim credits, reimbursements may take more time. The sooner you file your returns, the sooner you can enjoy solar discounts. Failure to do so may result in the stealing of your rebates.

Nowadays, tax refund theft is a common problem in the country. One can steal your solar rebates by using your personal information if you bought and installed solar panels.

On the other hand, a solar panel tax credit offset tax balances that you owe the government. Therefore, if you owe no tax, there will be nothing to compensate, and you can enjoy the tax benefits. Although many people qualify for the solar panel tax credit, some may not be eligible to enjoy the benefits.

People with fixed income or those who have retired may not have enough tax liability to take full advantage of the legal provisions.

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The History of Solar Panel Tax Credit

A bill was passed in December 2015, making solar panel tax credit and solar power rebate available to homeowners until 2021. From 2016 to 2019, individuals would get 30% of the installation cost of solar panels as a solar panel tax credit.

You can get significant discounts on the price of installing a solar power system. In 2020, owners of residential and commercial solar projects can deduct 26% of the total cost of solar panels from their taxes. The benefits would reduce to 22% in 2021. From 2022 onwards, owners of new commercial projects can enjoy a 10% tax solar panel tax credit. Solar Tax Rebates and Solar panel tax credit Eligibility

How do you become eligible for a solar panel tax credit? Who can get a solar panel tax credit? Read on to understand eligibility requirements for solar panel tax eligibility. To get a solar panel tax credit or solar rebate, you must meet several needs.

First, you must be the owner of the house in which you intend to install solar panels. Renters cannot enjoy the solar panel tax credit. Secondly, your federal tax liability must be sufficient to qualify for a solar panel tax credit.

You must also own the solar panels installed. Therefore, people who lease solar panels from third-party companies are not eligible for the solar panel tax credit and solar rebate. Although leasing may be a viable option in some situations, it means firms will claim a solar panel tax credit or get solar rebate instead of you.

If one buys solar panels through financing or a solar panel or system loan, they can still get a solar panel tax credit. For residential projects, the panels must be providing energy to your home. One must also meet all utility fire and electrical code rules to get solar rebates and credits. For the installation of solar panels on business premises, the equipment must be new. The system to be installed must be located in the U.S and cannot help with heating swimming pools.

How Can You Get Federal Solar panel tax credit?

With a solar panel tax credit, you only subtract your solar panel tax credit amount from your tax liability. The government has not set limits on the cost of solar panels you can install for your property. It’s different from a tax deduction, where your taxable income reduces. If you have a $100 solar panel tax credit, it’s worth $100 irrespective of your current tax rate.

If you buy solar panels, but you cannot use all the solar panel tax credit in a single year, you can carry the benefits over the following years. For example, if you qualify for a solar panel tax credit worth $5,000, but you only owe the federal government $3,000, you can claim $2,000 as a solar panel tax credit for the following year. Some solar installations or expenses are not eligible for a solar panel tax credit.

What’s the Break-Even Point?

Despite high energy savings after solar panels installation, investing in the systems is viable if you stay in your home for a few years. Before you buy solar panels for your property, calculate the break-even point for the project. Your exact savings will start after that. The salesperson in a retail store may not help you to do the math.

You can use some online tools to determine the payoff from your solar power project. Some of them can help you to calculate the potential savings in the next few decades. The savings will be expressed based on whether you acquired solar panels through outright purchase, leasing, or a loan. The break-even point may vary depending on several factors. Note that the average lifespan of most solar panels is 20 to 30 years.

Insights for Solar Panel Shopping

If you have plans to buy solar panels for your residential or commercial property, you may have many questions about what to look for in a solar company. Other than visiting websites and checking online reviews, here are some considerations for solar power firms:


Word of mouth is the best way to know more about how a company operates, and it is quality. Referrals will help you to identify issues that you cannot through online reviews. Talk to your friends about your plans and ask them to suggest some of the best firms.

You can also ask about the cost of solar panels from different suppliers. The cost of solar panels varies from one dealer to another, depending on a variety of factors. For example, the cost of solar panels may depend on the brand, size, and location.

Consider Several Solar Energy Options

Get a sense of all the options you have. You may be surprised by the number of providers in your area. Ensure you only purchase solar panels from reputable dealers. Ask for several quotes from different companies before you make your final decision.

Consider buying from dealers that stock a wide variety of products. If a company has several products, it means you’ll have more options to choose from depending on your unique needs. Products vary in size, price, warranty, and features.

Professional solar panel retailers are more concerned about pairing you with systems that match your energy requirements. However, you may find sellers who can sell you any product without considering your needs. For example, a salesperson may convince you to buy a solar system with a high capacity even if smaller ones can work for you.

The cost of solar panels is a critical consideration when shopping for the equipment. By considering several options, you’ll notice manufacturers with an affordable price of solar panels.

The Amount of Solar Panel Installation Experience

When you start shopping for solar panels, you’ll notice that there are many service providers. Some of them got into the market without the necessary skills. Such firms may offer cheap but sub-standard products. Choosing the wrong products will result in losses and may cost you more money in the future.

Factors Affecting Cost of Solar Panels Installation

What’s the cost of solar panels installation in a property? Experts use a wide range of factors to determine the final value of solar panels. The cost of solar panels is always one of the most common questions that many people ask before hiring an installer. Some sellers may not offer a straightforward response when you inquire about the cost of solar panels. Although they may want to disclose the exact cost of solar panels right away, solar energy is not a one size fits all solution. However, professional firms may offer a detailed explanation of the cost of solar panels.

Such companies recognize the fact that the cost of solar panels is a crucial consideration for many buyers. Before you decide on the solar firm to hire, you can ask for a quote to get an estimate of the cost of solar panels for your project.

Advanced features translate to a higher cost of solar panels. The cost of solar panels should not be the only consideration when buying and installing. One of the main factors that affect the cost of solar panels is the type of installation you need.

There are many types of solar power installations. Ask about the cost of solar panels for every kind of installation type. Some of them require more resources, and this translates to a higher cost of solar panels. The second factor that will affect the cost of solar panels for your project is the equipment you need.

The main differences between various panels are power density and color. They are significant considerations when manufacturers are setting prices for their products. High power density in equipment means a high cost of solar panels. If you opt for ones with black frames, you’ll pay a higher price of solar panels.

If you decide to go for units with micro inverters, you’ll pay more for solar panels. To lower the cost of solar panels, you can choose equipment with power optimizers. Your roof type is also a critical consideration when it comes to the cost of solar panels. Some roof types require more components and labor, which translates to a higher cost of solar panels.

For example, shingle roofs require a specific flashing piece for installation—many systems designed to

offset as much energy consumption as possible. However, more energy requirements mean you need more groups, and this will lead to the high cost of solar panels installations. Additionally, more distance to the connection point means more loss of solar panels. Finally, there are numerous benefits of choosing solar energy. One of the reasons you should consider investing in solar panels in California is that you may qualify for solar rebates or solar panel tax credit. There has been a significant increase in solar energy usage since the introduction of solar panel tax credits and solar deductions.

The government decided to extend the period residents can get a solar panel tax credit and solar rebates after realizing there was ed for energy dependence. After 2021, you will get 10% solar panel tax credit. You will be allowed to deduct 10% of the cost of solar panels from the amount of tax you owe the government.

Thank You so much for your time,

Ellen Ra
Love Solar Energy

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