Comprehensive Guide

The guide to solar incentives for California and Texas

If you’re thinking about going solar, you may be wondering what kind of incentives are available to you. While no matter where you live, you could take advantage of the Federal Solar Tax Credit, but a lot of states have their own incentives. Here we break it down by two states

  • California
  • Texas

Guide to Solar Incentives in California (2023)

If you live in California, you may have noticed all that glorious sunshine. Why not make that sun work for you by using solar power for your home? And it’s not as expensive as you would think to go solar, especially because there are several California solar incentives available to homeowners that make the choice easier. And if you’re having a hard time figuring out what solar incentives are available to you and what they all mean, we have good news for you: we’re about to break it all down for you in this guide to California solar incentives.

In this guide, we will go through every solar incentive in California and what it means for you, a homeowner interested in going solar.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Ready to dive into all the incentives for going solar? Let’s get started.

Why California may be the very best state for solar energy

California is the nation’s leader when it comes to solar power. California has the largest number of solar installs in the nation (over 1 million), the highest percentage of electricity generated from solar (over 22%), and comes in first place in national growth projection.(1)

As of 2020, California currently ranks 1st in the nation in terms of total installed solar capacity at 28,471 MW.(2)

California is also the national leader in blackouts, crowned the ‘Blackout Queen’ in 2018 by Eaton’s Blackout Tracker research.(3) This was thanks to the over 4,297 blackouts within the last decade.

If you live in California and have been wondering if switching to clean, renewable solar energy is right for you, you’ve come to the right place. We answer all of your questions and help you decide if solar panels are right for you.

What solar rebates are available in California?

Solar rebates are offered through your utility company and provide money back to customers who have chosen to go solar. This varies depending on your location and who your utility provider is. The most valuable program offered through your utility company is something called net metering. Keep reading, we’re about to get into that next

All about NEM 2.0

California has a generous net metering program called NEM 2.0. This was put in place in 2016 by the California Public Utility Commission. This new policy maintains the key components of the first policy which includes the ability of solar panel owners to sell back any unused energy to their utility company.

In California, it works like this: for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar electricity you feed into the grid, you get a bill credit for one kWh of utility-generated electricity.


According to the California Public Utilities Commission, here is the outline of NEM 2.0:

  • Pay a one-time interconnection fee. Customer-generators with facilities under 1 MW must pay a pre-approved one-time interconnection fee based on each IOU’s historic interconnection costs. PG&E fee is $145; SCE $75; and SDG&E $132. Customer-generators with PV systems over 1 MW must pay $800 interconnection fee and pay for all transmission/distribution system upgrades.
  • Pay non-bypassable charges. Customer-generators, similar to other utility customers, will pay small charges on each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity they consume from the grid. These charges fund important programs such as low-income and energy efficiency programs.
  • Transfer to a time-of-use (TOU) rate. If a customer-generator is not already on one, they will be required to take service on a TOU rate to participate in NEM.

What does all of this mean for you, a homeowner that’s considering going solar? It means with the right size system, you can drastically reduce, zero out, or come out with a negative electricity bill each month.

To view SCE For Time of Use rate comparisons, see Southern California Edison’s website.

What is the SGIP?

The Self Generation Incentive Program, or SGIP, provides perhaps the best incentives for California homeowners to install energy storage systems. The program is one of the first incentives of its kind in the U.S. It has been extremely successful in helping California lead the nation in the adoption of home battery technology. The program is paid for and available to the utility ratepayers of SDG&E, SoCal Gas, SCE and PG&E.

There’s a more than $1 billion budget for SGIP incentives available in California through 2024. Nearly 60% of the SGIP budget is dedicated for “Equity Resiliency” projects.

If you’re a homeowner that meets certain qualifications, such as living in a high fire risk area, the Equity Resiliency projects portion of the SGIP could work for you. All of this can be a bit overwhelming so we’d be happy to have one of our experts help you navigate the SGIP process – it’s part of what we do!

California solar panel property tax exemption

A common motivation for investing in a home solar panel system is the resulting benefit of your property value increasing due to them. Naturally one would think an increased property value=increased property taxes. But that’s not the case in California. Another California solar incentive is the Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems. This tax exclusion exempts 100% of the assessed value of the solar system from the homeowner’s property taxes

All that being said, it’s pretty easy to see why going solar in California is worth it. Not only do you get to power your home with all that sunshine, you also get more control over your home’s energy and rising electricity costs. Not just now, but forever!

And in case you needed any more reasons, here’s more!

Protection from blackouts

California has the most amount of blackouts in the nation, clocking in over 4,000 in the last decade, and climbing (Eaton).

Solar is the new normal

As of 2020, solar is now mandatory on every new home build in California.(4) Don’t be left in the dark when everyone else on your block is harnessing the power of the sun, especially during all those blackouts.

Offset your carbon footprint

Renewable energy is good for the environment: it produces no waste in the air, oceans or land, unlike harmful oil and gas. California is one of the most progressive states in the nation for renewable energy policies, and ranks second only after Washington for installed renewable energy capacity.(5)

Solar technology advancements

As with any other technology, the more it develops, the more affordable it becomes. The solar technology field has made huge advancements over the last few decades making it more reliable, affordable and more appealing than ever. Whether it’s the newest solar panel technology, or the Tesla Powerwall battery, you’ll be satisfied with your purchase. Choosing a solar installer (like ADT Solar) who only uses the latest technology with the most reputable brands will give you peace of mind in your investment. Plus, we put the power in your hands with advanced app monitoring technologies.

With GT POWER, Take the maximum advantages of GOING SOLAR

The Guide to Texas Solar Incentives (2023)

Solar panels are one of the greatest smart home investments that a homeowner can make. But it always comes down to cost. How much do solar panels cost? The answer to that question lies in the unique energy profile of your home. Most Texans pay almost 20% over the national average in monthly electricity expenses (3). That’s about $128.

While Texas electricity rates are still about 8% less than the U.S. average at 10.98¢/kWh, Texas is a gas guzzling state, where they produce the highest amount of carbon dioxide gas in the U.S. (4) Solar just might come in to save the day and, believe it or not, going solar could save about $2000 on your electricity bill. And Texas solar savings don’t stop there!

Let’s take a look at a few solar incentives and solar rebates that dirty energy just can’t mess with.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

One awesome benefit to going solar is a tax credit at a federal level. The solar Investment Tax Credit is a great incentive offered by the federal government. This credit, renewed by the federal government in 2022, increases the income tax credit up to 30% and keeps it there until 2033. Check out our page about the credit here.*

Property Tax Exemptions and Solar Rights Laws in Texas

Do solar panels increase home value? They definitely can! Texas homes could be sold at an additional $10,000 or more when solar panels are installed. Additionally, Texas has solar rights laws that prevent a homeowner’s association from banning home solar panel system installations (5).

Residents have access to the renewable energy property tax exemption, which doesn’t raise property taxes when solar panels inevitably increase the value of your home (6).

Net Metering in Texas

From Odessa to Houston, and all around the state of Texas, homeowners have access to a number of solar incentives and programs that can help lessen the cost of installing solar panel systems by thousands of dollars. But that’s only the icing on the cake. While there is no statewide policy on net metering at the moment, some local utility companies do offer net metering.

Solar Buyback Programs in Texas

Solar buyback programs are another way to describe the net metering opportunities that utility companies have available. Texas has one of the biggest, deregulated electricity markets in the U.S. This means Retail Electric Providers (REP) have steep competition to supply your energy needs and offer solar buyback programs to entice you to send them your business. There are so many REPs in the state of Texas and each might offer a different program.

Often, solar buyback programs mean a dollar-for-dollar solar buyback in return for credits. If going solar is a dream of yours, there are also local solar rebates available.