The federal government currently offers a 26% solar tax credit. It is important to note that as a renewable energy credit, and not a deduction, you will receive the 26% back on your federal taxes (until 2021). 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.
Although the state of California does not offer rebates or tax credits, there are many local 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.
The IRS Form 5695 for Residential Energy Credits 2017 is the current form available for those who are looking to claim energy credits on their 2017 taxes. You are eligible to apply for this credit if you purchased and installed a solar power system during 2017.
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