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How To Get A Rebate for Going Solar In California

California is the leading produce of solar electricity in the United States. One of the reasons for this is a rebate program second to none.

How To Get A Rebate for Going Solar In California

The solar rebate system in California comes under a program known as the Emerging Renewables Program. Through this program, utility companies in California provide rebate programs for solar, fuel cell and wind power systems used on residences. In this article, we focus on the solar rebate plans.

Under California law, all utility companies in the state must provide rebates to homeowners that purchase, install and use solar panel systems. Put another way, you get the rebate regardless of whether San Diego Gas and Electric, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison or Bear Valley Electric Service is your provider.

On January 1, 2006, new rebate designations took effect. For solar panel systems, the rebate is $2.80 per watt until June 2006. The system is limited to a 30 kilo-watt capacity or less. For solar thermal electric systems, the rebate is a whopping $3.20 per watt.

To get your solar rebate, you have to choose whether to get the rebate upfront or over a three-year period on your electric bill. The upfront rebate sounds good, but the program only has ten million dollars budgeted, so you better hop on it now.

Between state, federal and local governments, financial incentives in the form of tax credits, rebates, property tax discounts, net metering and so on have exploded. In some situations, it was actually possible to make a profit on the purchase of a system, particularly if you paid massive property taxes and got a major discount for going solar. The State of California has figured this out and now puts caps on financial incentives. You can take advantage of the incentives to pay for as much, if not all, of your solar system. You are no longer allowed, however, to use the incentives to pay for the system and get cash back!

To take advantage of the solar rebates, there are a few basic requirements. You must be on grid with one of the utilities mentioned above. You canít produce more than 200 percent of the power typically used by your residence, i.e., you are not allowed to build solar power plants in your back yard. The solar panel system must have at least a five year warranty, must be new and must meet basic national solar panel standards for quality and energy production. On top of this, it is important to remember that your system must be installed with a performance meter, which will be audited from time to time.

The rebate program in California is very strong. With the 3.2 billion dollar solar program just approved, it is going to get even stronger.

Rick Chapo is with SolarCompanies.com, a directory of solar energy companies. Visit us to read more articles on solar power and renewable energy.

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