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Solar in California: Use These Programs and Save Some Green

Updated on July 23, 2010

California is often called "The Sunshine State," so it is no wonder that the installation of solar powered systems have been used extensively in California since the early 1970s. But if you are interested in installing a solar PV or hot water system, there are some huge incentive programs you can take advantage of in order to complete these projects that will save you money on the installation and equipment, and on your taxes.

Solar Rebate Program

The Solar Rebate Programs are being sponsored by multiple utilities in California and offer up to a 50% rebate of the total cost of a solar PV systems with a total cost of up to $50,000. The PV system must be installed by a California licensed PV installation professional and have a 5 to10 year warranty on the panels depending on the utility company. This incentive differs from utility to utility. Not all utilities participate in this program.

PACE Financing

These programs let you finance any solar PV or solar hot water project that will account for at least 75% of the power used in a home. The financing terms vary depending on the project and personal credit history of the program applicant. The minimum loan amount is $5,000 and the max is $50,000 and payments can be spread out over a 20 year period. Not all areas participate in the program and there are no guarantees as to program qualification.

Property Tax Incentive

By installing a solar system that complies with California solar, you can use the full value of your project against your property taxes. In other words, you won't be paying property taxes for a while.  This program is available to ALL California state residents that install solar systems.  This savings will allow you to use the money that would normally be used for property taxes, to make other energy improvements, or to simply have a little bit of fun with.


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