frsolar_header_3California Incentives

All the upfront monies (rebates) to offset the cost of a photovoltaic (PV) system at the time of purchase have expired.  This applies to local, utilities and state rebates and applies to grid-tied and off-grid solar electric systems.   Even though its not “upfront” money, your property taxes will not be increased despite the increased resale value of your home.

  • Fortunately, the purpose of these rebates was to lower the cost of solar electric systems and this goal has been met.  PVs are about 80+% less expensive than they were just seven years ago.  There are of course other costs associated with a professionally installed, code compliant PV system but this decrease in PV costs have dramatically decreased overall system prices.
  • Over the years state and federal income tax credits come and go, increase and decrease. Please visit for an excellent, current resource for tax incentives at all levels. The 30% federal ITC (income tax credit) is still available until January 2020, taper to 22% before stopping January 2022, commercial will continue to be eligible for a 10% ITC.  This applies to residential and commercial installations.  Please always check with your tax person for detailed information for your application.
  • PG&E is mandated to buy the electricity you produce at the same retail rate at which they sell it to you. This is “net metering”.  All PG&E grid inter-tied customers are required to change to their ETOU-A rate schedule.  This rate schedule can work out quite well when most power is used during off-peak times. That’s about 2 1/2 times the basic Tier 1 rate.
  • From the moment the sun first shines on your new system, your electric bill will drop. The reduction in your bill will vary based on factors such as: How large of a system was installed, how much sun you are receiving (seasonally), your scheduling of power usage to benefit the time-of-use rates, outside air temperature, upgrading to more efficient appliances when replacements are needed and other factors.  Most systems will pay for themselves in 7-12 years, with the current incentives.  After your system has paid for itself, there has never been a better definition of FREE electricity.
  • In some cases, PV panels on a roof can reduce the air conditioning load on the house.
  • If you do sell your home, certainly touting a low or non-existing electric bill is a desirable attribute and many studies have shown that a solar electric system increases the value of your home at the time of sale.



Other Incentives

  • A solar electric panel produces enough electricity in approximately one year to pay back the energy it took to create it.  This means after that one year is over, for the next 20, 30, maybe 40 years, no carbon dioxide, no sulfur, no acid rain, no mercury, no nuclear waste, etc will be created to provide you with decades of electricity.
  • And, well, politics? They’re there, but I’m not going there….you’re on your own.