California Solar Rebates 2021: An Overview

If you have a property in California and looking forward to getting solar, then you are in luck. Installing solar panels in California has been made easier with a bevy of incentives for you to choose from. The state has a portfolio that encourages all utilities to source at least 50 % of their power from renewable sources. This goal is the main drive for the incentives being offered all over the state. They are meant to encourage the state’s residents to integrate the initiative into their homes and hasten the realization of the state’s portfolio.

Installing a solar system and perhaps adding its battery for energy storage has several benefits that Californian residents enjoy. The incentives are useful in covering the cost of the purchase of the solar system. The net energy metering allows solar system owners to sell some of their extra energy to the national electricity grid system and compensate for their electrical bills. The incentives are being offered by the state, different municipalities, and counties. Here is what you need to know about these solar rebates:


Like many other credits or rebates, the California solar credit has its requirements, which you need to meet before enjoying the incentives. You need to follow these guidelines and meet the requirements if you want to enjoy the promised rebates, and nothing helps you achieve this more than by using a reputed company for installation. In line with this, Santa Cruz’s Sandbar Solar & Electric promises professional workmanship for affordable custom solar installations to property owners within the region. With solar energy systems, businesses can also reduce their energy costs, as well as lower their carbon footprint while making tax savings. When you are getting solar for your home or business, you need to meet a list of requirements, some of which include the following.  

Residential Requirements

  • A solar system must be installed in your home. It must be providing you with energy, should be approved and working correctly.
  • All electrical and fire codes should be appropriately met.
  • Your system must have been placed and been running after 1.1.2006 and before 12.31.2021
  • The system must be owned, either purchased through cash or financed. Leased systems do not make you eligible.

Business Requirements

  • Your solar equipment should be new
  • Your system must have been placed and been running after 1.1.2006 and before 12.31.2021
  • The solar system must be used by someone who pays income tax to the government. 
  • The solar system should be within the US.
  • The energy produced by the system shouldn’t be used to heat a swimming pool.

Incentives Offered By the State of California  

The offer has been existent for quite a while. It is only recently that the installation of new solar systems has ceased attracting incentives or rebates, especially after the popular California Solar Initiative (CSI) came to a close in 2016. What is available at the moment is the rebate for installing an energy storage system. 

The rebate has been named the Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). Once you have installed this storage system, then you claim the rebates alongside the solar tax credits. The funding of the SGIP was added to $800 million by the Governor, and the program was extended to 2025.

If you are a homeowner and you are using SCG, PG&E, SDG&E, or SCE, you are eligible for an incentive totaling up to $400 per single kilowatt/ hour your battery can store. The incentive is huge enough to cover almost all your battery costs. The size of the battery determines the value you get per kilowatt. Let’s do the math so you understand better. If you have a battery with a 14kWh capacity and under SGIP, you will receive a $400 /kWh incentive for the first 10 kWh. The remaining is eligible for an incentive worth $200/kWh. This amount can be a lifesaver when you are getting that solar battery.

Here is a simplified way of understanding the solar incentives, Tax credits, and Rebates in California;

  • Solar Investment Tax (ITC)- this tax, with a tax credit of 26%, is available to people who had their solar systems installed by December 31 of this year.
  • Exclusion from Property Tax- you will not pay for the added value of your home for having the solar system.
  •  Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) is usually an incentive for purchasing and installing a solar system that combines a solar panel and a solar battery.
  • Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) is for low-income households where they can receive incentives for every kilowatt of solar energy they install. 
  • Local Utility Company Rebates are incentives you receive to install a solar panel in California and vary by utility.  

Net Energy Metering 

This is a method that has been introduced where your solar panels are producing enough power; you can contribute some of it to the grid and get paid. Net metering allows utility customers to sell some of their excess solar energy to the national grid system and reduce their electrical bills. This system aims at increasing the value of your rooftop solar system. Once you have decided to participate in NEM, you get a bill credit for the energy you’re contributing to the grid system. The credits given for the contributed energy are equal to the same amount you would have paid for the electricity bill.

Benefits of California Solar Rebates 2021

While the system was meant to make use of the sun in California and increase the chances that the dream of making 50% of the energy in the state to be from renewable sources, it has brought with it several advantages;

  • The cost of owning a solar panel has been reduced. The cost of solar panels has greatly reduced.
  • Having solar on your roof cuts down on some of the taxes you could have been paying.
  • If you produce enough energy, you can contribute to the grid and, in turn, be compensated at the same rates as you pay electricity bills.
  • The initiative has made California one of the leading states in terms of having renewable energy.

California has a goal it aims at achieving by 2031. She aims at ensuring that 50% of her energy sources are renewable. This is why her leaders have seen approaching the issue by getting incentives to people who make an effort to acquire and install solar systems and panels more promising. This piece looks at how exactly these incentives are being offered to solar owners.