Solar Rebates by State
In addition to the 26% Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, homeowners may also have access to additional solar incentives from their state or local utility.
Here’s a summary of solar rebates by state.
California Solar Rebates
Due to high energy costs and ample sunlight, California is a great state for solar. It isn’t the best state in terms of rebates, however.
Unfortunately, the state’s California Solar Initiative (CSI) rebate for the three major utilities (PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E) has reached its limit, along with the New Solar Homes Partnership (NHSP) rebate for new construction.
There are still a few local rebates! Hopefully you live in one of these areas:
- San Francisco – GoSolarSF is a program launched by the city of San Francisco to encourage solar installations by providing one-time incentive payments to reduce project costs for homeowners, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.
- Glendale – Glendale Water and Power’s Solar Solutions Incentive Program is a lottery system that offers a select few a rebate of $1.39/Watt on up to 50% of the system cost. The rebate reduces by 7% per year and the application window for the lottery is very short. Last year, the open period was August 1-15 and this year opens on July 1st.
- Pasadena – The Pasadena Solar Initiative from Pasadena Water and Power offers $0.30/Watt on systems between 1 kW and 100 kW through their expected performance-based buydown option.
- Sonoma & Mendocino Counties – Sonoma Clean Power offers the Advanced Energy Rebuild Program, for homeowners in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties who were affected by the October 2017 firestorms. Homeowners can rebuild energy efficient, sustainable homes with up to $17,500 in incentives.
Massachusetts Solar Rebates
Massachusetts SMART Solar Rebate
Under the SMART Program, the state’s three investor owned utilities, National Grid, Eversource, and Unitil, will directly compensate participating solar system owners for their solar power generation.
The program features a declining block structure that is capped statewide at 1600 MW in incentivized solar projects. Each utility supports a percentage of the program proportionate to the amount of electricity they distribute in the state.
This means that residents residing in a smaller utility’s coverage area may see the SMART Program end more quickly.
The starting incentive for projects under 25 kW that do not qualify as low-income are listed below.
|Utility||Block 1 Incentive Rate|
|Unitil (Fitchburg Gas & Electric)||$0.31|
Mass Solar Loan
Mass Solar loan is a state-run program that connects homeowners with low-interest loans for their solar energy systems.
As it helps the homeowners to own a PV system by making fixed, low-interest loan payments instead of complex third-party ownership agreements, this program is considered as the biggest reason behind the increased solar adoption in the state.
Massachusetts State Tax Credit
If you have installed a PV system on your property in Massachusetts, you can get a credit of $1,000 or 15% of qualifying project costs, whichever is less.
New York Solar Rebates
New York may be the best state for solar, in terms of incentive programs available to homeowners going solar. In a best case scenario, you could reach up to 80% of your project costs covered by some form of incentive.
MW Block Rebate
New York state has a great solar rebate program under the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) NY-Sun Program. This rebate incentive is called the Megawatt Block incentive, as the $/watt rebate amount varies based on which “block” the incentive is reserved under for different areas.
Here’s a look at where the block reservations were in March 2019:
New York State Tax Credit
New York’s System Equipment Credit is one of the best state tax credits available for solar. For people who purchase solar systems in New York, they are given a credit worth 25% of their system cost, or $5,000 (whichever is less).
New York City Property Tax Abatement
People living in New York City can take advantage of this property tax abatement run by the NYC Department of Buildings. Homeowners who have installed a solar PV system are eligible for a property tax abatement equal to 20% of the total system cost (after rebate), applied against their property taxes over four years.
New Jersey Solar Rebates
New Jersey has a great State Renewable Energy Credits (SREC) program.
In addition to your net metering savings, for every megawatt-hour your solar energy system generates, you will be credited with one SREC. The earned SRECs can then be sold on a market to utilities to help them meet the New Jersey Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS).
The whole purpose of the SRECs is for the utilities to produce a certain percentage of their power from green sources.
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