San Francisco is the fourth largest city in the state of California and spans an area of almost 47 miles. This kind of vastness creates an enormous demand for electricity. Owning property in the area allows consumers a chance to invest in renewable solar energy in San Francisco. Investing in solar energy systems already has its share of economic and environmental benefits, but there are also several other incentives that encourage people to invest in those.

The Solar Energy Incentives in San Francisco

The incentive programs for installing solar energy systems in San Francisco may surprise the average consumer. Due to the following incentives, the renewable energy source is a positive investment for the environment…and your wallet!

1. Immediate Savings

One of the biggest incentives and a major component of all solar energy programs is the immediate savings on monthly utility bills. Significantly lowered utility bills mean more space in the monthly budget and extra cash on hand is always a pretty good incentive.

In some situations, the installation of the solar panels will actually produce too much electricity for the home or business owner. Luckily for him or her, because utility companies are participating in California’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), they must use electricity from renewable resources. When connecting the local grid, the consumer begins to work with the utility company as part of the performance-based incentive offer. As part of the program, a consumer will sell the excess amount of produced electricity back to the utility company at a predetermined amount per kilowatt hour. Depending on the enrollment terms, a customer may receive additional credit on monthly utility bills or refund.

2. Tax Credits

Because installing solar energy systems in big cities has many positive impacts on the country’s environment and its energy independence, the United States government encourage people to invest in solar panels by making sure various tax credits are available.

Depending on the current tax season, local, state and federal tax credits may actually offset the initial investment of a solar energy system in San Francisco. The federal solar tax credit or the investment tax credit is specifically available to help absorb the installation costs at tax time. Savings of 30 to 50 percent of the installation may occur due to the tax credit. Similar to the federal investment tax credit, state and local credits may allow a further reduction of solar panel system costs.

3. Cash Rebates

Depending on availability, solar energy systems in San Francisco may be eligible for cash rebates. The rebate offers may be part of a state, municipality or utility company incentive program. Cash rebates may also be part of the solar company installation program or other interested parties that want to promote further solar energy usage. In any case, the programs are usually time sensitive for enrollment.

4. Reduced Finance Rates

Along with government incentive programs, lending institutions may be able to help reduce the overall costs of the solar power installation. Upon meeting the preset eligibility guidelines, potential customers in San Francisco may finance their solar energy systems with a subsidized loan. The true significance of the subsidized loan lies in the lowered interest rates. When a consumer qualifies for lowered rates, the savings will be throughout the terms of the loan.

5. Sales Tax Exemption

Depending on the current availability, solar energy in San Francisco may be eligible for a sales tax exemption program. The sales tax incentive allows for significant savings on the purchase of the solar panel system.


When purchasing solar energy systems in San Francisco, the best way to begin is to research the availability of California’s incentive programs. Incentives, rebates, tax credits and other offers may vary, have specific requirements or be time sensitive. However, with basic researches, an interested buyer will always be able to find good incentives that contribute to offset the installation costs. When the financial aspect makes sense, who can say no to a better environment?

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