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INCENTIVES

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency around the country.

Non-Residential On-Bill Financing Program
SoCalGas' On Bill Financing (OBF) program offers qualified business and taxpayer funded institutional customers 0% financing from $5,000 to $250,000 for qualifying natural gas equipment. The program is open to all non-residential customers, including governments and owners of multifamily units who do not reside on premises. Business customers are eligible for a minimum amount per meter of $5,000 to a maximum per meter of $100,000, with a maximum project payback period of five (5) years or useful life of measure(s), whichever is shorter. Taxpayer funded institutional customers such as counties, cities, school districts, etc, are eligible for a minimum amount per meter of $5,000 to a maximum amount per meter of $250,000 with a maximum project payback period of ten (10) years or useful life of measure(s), whichever is shorter. The project payback is based on projected annual energy savings. Eligible measures include various commercial, industrial, and agricultural equipment. Participants must have had an active account for the past two years, and the customer's account from the Gas Company must be in good standing. [top]

 

Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program
The Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) offers The Home Energy Upgrade Financing (HEUF) program to its residential customers interested in making energy efficient improvements to their homes. Customers can qualify for loans ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to purchase and install energy-efficient upgrades. Terms range from one to ten years. Eligible technologies include: Water heaters, refrigerated air conditioners, evaporative coolers, double-paned windows, building and equipment insulation, roofing, spa/pool heaters, insulated plantation shutters, and permanently installed natural gas barbecues. [top]

 

SOLAR
Solar consumers are eligible for federal tax incentives for the purchase and installation of eligible solar systems, including both solar photovoltaics (PV) and solar hot water (solar thermal) systems, as well as other renewable energy investments.

The following information regarding taxes, tax credits and depreciation is meant to make the reader aware of these benefits, risks and potential expenses. It is not tax advice. Please seek professional advice from a qualified tax advisor to check the applicability and eligibility before claiming any tax benefits or exemptions.

Solar tax credits were enacted in 2008 as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, which included $18 billion in incentives for clean and renewable energy technologies, as well as for energy efficiency improvements. The 2008 legislation extended the solar investment tax credit (ITC) through December 31, 2016 and made other modifications to the tax credits. The solar ITC offers:

  • A federal investment tax credit for both residential and commercial consumers is available for both photovoltaics and solar water heating systems.
  • A consumer must have a federal tax liability to take advantage of the solar investment tax credit.
  • Prior to 2009, residential solar installations had a per project cap of $2,000 tax credit. As of 2009, the solar ITC for residential system owners is 30% of the total system cost.
  • The federal tax credit is a one-time credit, but may be carried forward (and possibly back) if not completely useable in the system installation tax year. Rules about carrying forward and backward may vary between residential and commercial tax filers; please consult a tax professional for the current rules.
  • Eligible projects may take a "grant in lieu of tax credit" under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (Section 1603). The 1603 grant program is administered by the United States Department of the Treasury (Treasury). By receiving payments for property under section 1603, applicants are electing to forego tax credits with respect to such property for the taxable year in which the payment is made or any subsequent taxable year.
  • Residential customers in higher income tax brackets see comparatively more value because residential electricity expenses are paid with after-tax dollars—they aren't tax deductible.
  • The IRS current federal tax form for the Investment Credits is Form 3468 is available at www.irs.gov/formspubs.
  • Business owned systems may also be eligible for MACRS 5-year Accelerated Depreciation using IRS federal form 4562 available at www.irs.gov/formspubs. For more info on commercial tax benefits please contact your tax preparer or a tax attorney.
  • Municipal and non-profit entities do not have to worry about these tax issues, as they are generally tax-exempt.
  • The solar system owner has the ability to take advantage of the solar tax credit. Entities without a federal tax liability sometimes use third-party system owner arrangements to install solar since a third-party can take advantage of the solar investment tax credit, passing along some savings to the solar system host customer.
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