Government Rebates and Tax Credits

Federal, state and local governments offer incredible financial incentives to encourage businesses to invest in renewable energy. These incentives dramatically lower the cost of a solar system and can make the difference in turning your project into a profitable investment.

State and Local Rebate Programs

Many states, cities and utility companies have created programs to encourage businesses to switch to solar power. The amount of the rebate subsidy varies by program, but some are generous enough to cover up to 40% of your system cost. However, these programs are designed to reward early adopters of solar power, so the rebate amount per project continues to drop as the allotted funds are consumed. SolarCity will identify all of the qualifying programs for your business and file the required paperwork for you.

Federal Tax Credits

The federal government offers a number of solar incentives, including a 30% investment tax credit (ITC) on the solar system cost.

Renewable Energy Credits

Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) are tradable commodities that were developed to place a value on clean, renewable sources of energy. These credits can be sold in compliance markets to utility companies who need to meet mandated renewable energy standards or the credits may be sold in voluntary markets to organizations who wish to meet renewable energy goals. As a producer of solar energy, you will be credited with one REC for every 1,000 kWh (1 MWh) of electricity you produce. You can also purchase RECs to further offset the consumption of fossil-based fuels by your business.

Additional Information on Solar Incentive Programs
  • Incentive programs vary considerably from state to state. Find out more about programs in your area by visiting the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE).

  • In California, rebates are administered through the California Solar Initiative (CSI). Depending on the size of your project, you will qualify for either an Expected Performance Based Buydown (EPBB) or a Performance Based Incentive (PBI). The EPBB program offers an upfront rebate for systems less than 50 kW in size. The PBI is intended for larger systems and pays out based on energy production over the course of five years.

  • To find out exactly how much your business can save through solar incentive programs, call SolarCity to set up a free solar consultation.