The expense of solar installations has long been the biggest barrier to new customers entering the market. Despite the fact that solar costs have been steadily trending downward, it still remains a steep financial hurdle for most average homeowners.
Luckily, California is making it easier for residents to access solar by providing a variety of financing programs and incentives. As these initiatives expand and more homeowners can take advantage of them, the state’s contractors will see a boost in their solar panel lead generation.
To battle solar power inequity, California helps low-income residents cover upfront system costs via a $3 per watt incentive. This assistance is offered through their Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) program, which is available to customers of PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E. Household income must be less than or equal to 80% of the area’s median income, and the home must be officially designated as “affordable housing”.
California extended its tax exemption program that prevented property taxes from increasing after installing a solar system. This program is set to expire in 2025, but until then, homeowners can have peace of mind that increasing the value of their home with a PV installation will not result in more taxes owed.
Many of California’s local governments are also offering incentives to homeowners who adopt solar.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs supported by city governments have been around for a few years, but they have recently grown in their reach and popularity. Cities fund the initial cost of solar for PACE loan recipients, then receive payback via property taxes over time. The CaliforniaFirst PACE program is available in a number of locales statewide.
Specific city programs exist to help relieve solar costs. Ukiah, for instance, has a PV Buydown Program supplying a $0.28-per-watt AC rebate for systems up to 1 MW, limited to $7,000 per residential installation. Meanwhile, San Francisco’s residents are able to get cash assistance with solar installations via the GoSolarSF program. Those who qualify for the low-income DAC-SASH designation may be able to get installations at no cost.
Some of the state’s largest utility providers offer credits for solar installations. For example, SMUD gives customers $300 to put toward their new solar panel systems. PG&E also has a Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), which gives a 15-20% rebate on the price of solar storage batteries.
All of the initiatives outlined above help bring more people to California’s pool of solar customers. But if you’re still struggling to get as many sales as you need, you can get hand-picked leads delivered directly to you with appointments already set.
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