Solar Tax Credits
The federal government currently offers a thirty percent solar tax credit. It is important to note that as a renewable energy credit, and not a deduction, you will receive the 30% back on your federal taxes (until 2016). Additionally, commercial customers can take a 5-year accelerated tax depreciation on their system cost.
Customers who lease solar panel systems cannot outright claim the federal tax credit, but the benefits are passed to them from the system’s owner/installer, lowering their monthly payment substantially.
Solar Rebates and Renewable Energy Credits
Although the California Solar Initiative (CSI) has now ended, there are many cities and counties that offer homeowners in their communities solar rebates or renewable energy credits. To find out what programs are offered in your area, see the DSIRE website.
For Northern California residential and commercial customers, your utility company will issue energy credits for excess power your system produces through their net-metering program.