Financial Incentives for Solar PV

GoSolarSF, San Francisco’s Local Incentive Program

The GoSolarSF Program offers financial incentives to residents, businesses, and non-profits within the City of San Francisco for installing grid-tied solar photovoltaic energy systems. To be eligible for the GoSolarSF incentive, installers must be a GoSolarSFcertified installer by participating in the City’s workforce development program. Incentive payments are tied to individual electric meters, meaning that buildings with more than one meter or applicants owning more than one property are eligible for more than one incentive payment.

Incentive Structure for Fiscal Year 2013-2014
Residential 1-1.24 kW 1.25-
1.49 kW
1.5-1.74 kW 1.75-
1.99 kW
2-2.24 kW 2.25-
2.49 kW
2.5-2.74 kW 2.75-
2.99 kW
3-3.49 kW 3.5 kW &
Select One:
Environmental Justice
Add on if eligible:
City Installer
$250 $300 $350 $400 $450 $500 $550 $600 $650 $700
Add on if eligible:
$2,000 $2,500 $4,000 $4,500 $5,000 $6,000 $6,500 $7,000 $7,000 $7,000
$1,000/kW. Cap: $50,000 cap per service site.
Non-profit residential:
$1,000/kW. Cap: $50,000 per service site.
$500/kW. Cap: $10,000 per meter and $50,000 per service site.
Multi-unit residential virtual net metering:
$500/kW. Cap: $500 multiplied by the number of assessed units at the building plus $10,000. Under no circumstances will a service site receive more than $50,000.


Go Solar California, State Rebate Program

As part of California’s $3.3 billion “Million Solar Roofs Program,” the Go Solar California! campaign has a goal to install 3,000 megawatts (MW) of new solar electricity capacity on homes and businesses by the end of 2016, making renewable energy an everyday reality. 

  • California Solar Initiative (CSI): The California Solar Initiative is managed by PG&E in San Francisco and will provide incentives through 2016 for existing residential homes and existing and new commercial, industrial, and agricultural properties. For more information about the current incentive levels, please visit the CSI Rebate Tracker.
  • Single Family Affordable Solar Housing Program (SASH): Managed by the non-profit solar organization, GRID Alternatives, this program offers incentives to eligible low income households.
  • New Solar Housing Partnership (NSHP): Managed by the California Energy Commission, the New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) will provide $400 million worth of incentives through 2016 to encourage solar in new residential construction.
  • Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing Program (MASH): Building owners can install solar PV systems to offset energy used in common areas and utilize virtual net metering (VMN) to offeset tenant loads. (*Please note, the incentive budget for the PG&E territory has been fully spent. Customers may still be added to a waitlist for funds as they become available. 

Federal Tax Credits and Accelerated Depreciation

A 30 percent federal tax credit is offered for the installation of both residential and corporate solar energy systems. The tax credit is applied to the net cost after other rebates or grants have reduced the initial system cost. The current federal tax credit program is available through 2016.

  • Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit. Homeowners installing new solar PV and solar water heating systems are eligible for the this 30 percent tax creditDownload IRS Form 5695
  • Business Energy Investment Tax Credit. Businesses installing new solar PV and solar water heating systems are eligible for this 30 percent tax credit. Download IRS Form 3468.
  • Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS) + Bonus Depreciation. Under the federal Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS), businesses may recover renewable energy investments through depreciation deductions. For more information visit the US Department of Energy's DSIRE website.

Additional Information for Financial Incentives for Solar PV

Federal ITC
The Federal Government provides tax credits for businesses that invest in renewable energy.
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The Federal Government provides tax credits for residential renewable energy
California Solar Initiative
The State of California created the California Solar Initiative to promote solar energy in the state.
Solar in Action in San Francisco
San Francisco's Challenges and Successes on the Path toward a Solar-Powered Community