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California Solar Property Tax Exemption: What You Need to Know in 2023

Imagine reducing your electricity bills while also contributing to the environment. It may seem like a dream, but Solar power can make this dream a reality. What’s even better is that the California solar property tax exemption can make it more affordable for you. What does this mean for homeowners like yourself? Let’s take a journey to understand this opportunity.

Brief Summary

The Solar Property Tax Exemption in California ensures that homeowners are protected from increased property taxes from installing panels. To be eligible, homeowners must install qualifying devices through certified contractors. To successfully apply for the exemption, necessary forms must be submitted by April 30th each year.

Understanding California's Solar Property Tax Exemption

Investing in power is not only beneficial for the environment but also for your wallet. However, you might be concerned about the installation costs and how they could impact your property taxes. Here’s some good news: California’s solar property tax exemption prevents any increase in property taxes due to adding panels to your home. It is one of the tax incentives offered by the state to make solar energy more accessible and affordable.

How does it work?
When it comes to property taxes, the assessed value of your home is reduced by the value of the installation. Although solar panels increase your home’s worth, they won’t lead to property taxes.

Let’s delve into the details of California’s Solar Property Tax Exemption. This exemption means that active solar systems are not assessed for tax purposes until there is a change in ownership. So, homeowners are protected from any property tax impact until January 1, 2025. The exemption applies specifically to properties with installed solar energy systems and prevents property tax increases resulting from the added value of these solar panels.

By installing panels, you can enhance your property’s value, which may typically result in property taxes. However, in California, this exemption ensures that homeowners don’t need to worry about concerns. Moreover, the state also provides a sales tax exemption for energy systems so that their purchase remains free from sales tax.

Now, let us understand what it takes to qualify for this exemption. To begin, you need to:

1. Install an energy system that doesn’t impact your existing property value assessment.

2. Be the owner of the system.

3. Hire a certified contractor for the installation.

It’s important to note that not all properties with panels automatically qualify for exemptions. Instead, this exemption is designed to reward homeowners who have made a commitment to power by purchasing and professionally installing a system.

Understanding How Solar Panel Installation Impacts Property Value and Taxes in California

Installing panels offers more than savings on electricity bills and contributes to an eco-friendly environment; it also adds value to your property. According to a 2015 study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley, installing panels in California can increase property values by $20,000.

What does this mean for your property taxes? In states without personal property tax exemptions for projects, the increased property value can result in taxes. However, California provides a property tax exemption that safeguards against this. Now, let’s explore how it works.

Increasing Property Value with Solar Panels

Opting for solar panel installation is a decision if you aim to enhance the value of your home.
Numerous studies reveal that installing panels can have an impact on the market value of a home. In fact, on average, homes in the US see an increase of around $32,880 in value when equipped with panels. This aligns with the NREL’s “20 for 1” guideline, which suggests that for every dollar saved on utility bills, a home’s value goes up by $20.

However, it’s essential to consider factors that influence this boost in property value;

The size and location of the home
 The type of installation implemented
 The local electricity prices
 metering laws to each state

In essence, the more energy your solar system generates and the more significant savings it offers, the higher your property value is likely to rise.

Property Tax Assessment Process

When it comes to property tax assessments in California, solar panels are taken into account. Fortunately, homeowners who qualify can benefit from a property tax exemption and won’t experience any increase in taxes despite their increased property value.

While this exemption provides relief for homeowners residing in states without such tax exemptions, solar installations should be mindful of how their property taxes might be affected by installing solar panels. In situations like these, it’s advisable for homeowners to reach out to their assessor’s office and get an understanding of the potential impact.

California Sales Tax Exemption for Solar Energy Systems

California offers a sales tax exemption for energy systems, which adds to the advantages of going solar in the state. This exemption helps reduce the costs associated with installing a system, making solar energy even more affordable.

So not only can homeowners save on their electricity bills and property taxes by switching to power, but they can also enjoy additional savings on the initial cost of the system. It’s an incentive that makes opting for power a wise financial decision.

How the Sales Tax Exemption Works

The California Sales Tax Exemption for Solar Energy Systems provides a reduction in state sales and uses tax rate by 3.9375%. This deduction applies to purchases related to panels, batteries, and other types of equipment. Keep in mind that this exemption is set to expire on July 1, 2030. By taking advantage of this sales tax exemption, you can significantly cut down on the cost of your energy system.

This exemption leads to savings for homeowners. It is estimated that California homeowners can save an average of $980 to $1,700 through this sales tax exemption designed explicitly for energy systems.

Eligible Solar Equipment and Services

When it comes to equipment and services covered by this exemption, what type of equipment and services qualify for this exemption from sales tax? The eligible items include panels, inverters, and the professional installation services required. It’s not about the components; even the installation services are included in this exemption.

This means the overall cost of transitioning to an energy system can be significantly reduced. From purchasing the equipment to having it professionally installed, homeowners can enjoy an affordable option with solar power.

Navigating California Solar Incentives and Programs

When it comes to navigating through California’s incentives and programs, there are benefits beyond property tax exemptions and sales tax exemptions. Homeowners in California can take advantage of incentives and programs such as the property tax incentive. These include incentives like the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and local rebates – all designed to make solar power more cost-effective.

By utilizing these incentives and programs, homeowners can further reduce their expenses associated with installing and operating solar systems. This makes going solar a feasible choice for homeowners. So now, let us explore some of these incentives and programs in detail.

Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

One such program is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This federal tax credit is crucial in making solar power more affordable. It allows homeowners to deduct 30% of their solar installation costs from their taxes.
When you install an energy system, you can get some of the money back through tax deductions when you file your taxes.

However, it’s essential to remember that the Federal Solar Tax credit will decrease to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034, and there won’t be any tax credit in 2035. So, if you’re considering going solar, it’s best to take action to secure these tax benefits.

Local and Utility Rebates

In addition to credits, utility rebates are available, which can further reduce the cost of installing solar panels. These rebates vary depending on where you live and your utility company. Some examples include programs like the GoSolarSF program offered by the City of San Francisco and the Rancho Mirage Energy Authority rebate program.

There are also state programs such as the Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) and Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program. By exploring these options, homeowners can maximize their savings to make solar energy an affordable and appealing choice.

How to Apply for California Solar Property Tax Exemption

Now, let’s talk about how to apply for California’s solar property tax exemption. It’s not about filling out forms – documents are required, and specific timelines to follow for this process.
Understanding the value of your property as the value of your solar system and how they interact with California’s property tax law is crucial.

Required Documentation and Forms

Homeowners must submit the necessary forms and documentation to their county assessor’s office to claim the exemption. This includes proof of system ownership and installation details.

One important form is Form 50-123, which must be presented to claim exemption for the entire cost of solar installation. This form, along with other necessary documents, will serve as the foundation for your exemption application.

Application Timeline and Deadlines

The application process has timelines and deadlines, even though the exemption is available until 2023-24. The application should be. Submitted before April 30th of the year in which you are seeking exemption. It is advisable to start this process as soon as possible. For dates and deadlines, homeowners should consult their assessor’s office.


Harnessing solar power is a fantastic way to reduce your energy bills, contribute to a cleaner environment, and boost the value of your property. And with California’s solar property tax exemption and other solar incentives, the financial feasibility of this switch becomes even more attractive. From understanding the basics of the property tax exemption to applying for it, we’ve covered everything you need to know to make the most of these benefits. Remember, the sun is more than just a source of light and warmth; it’s also a powerful ally in your journey towards financial savings and environmental responsibility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answer: California offers property tax exemptions for solar installations, providing homeowners with protection from any increases through January 1, 2025.

This is great news for homeowners who are looking to invest in solar energy, as they can now enjoy the benefits of lower taxes and a more sustainable energy source.

Answer: In California, the property tax exclusion for qualifying new solar installations means that installing solar on your property will not increase your property taxes.

Answer: California does not offer a residential solar tax credit, but residents are eligible for the federal solar tax credit, which reduces their total installation cost by up to 30%.

This tax credit can be claimed on the federal income tax return and is equal to 30% of the total cost of the solar installation.

Answer: California offers a Homeowners’ Exemption, providing homeowners with an annual discount of $70-$80 on their property taxes, for which an application is required.

Property owners, co-owners or purchasers named in a contract of sale are eligible to apply.

Answer: Installing solar energy equipment at your residence could entitle you to a nonrefundable tax credit of up to 30%, depending on your eligible expenses.

This is a great incentive to make the switch to solar energy and start saving money on your energy bills..

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