A few months back in May, my neighbors, Diane and Andy Monheit, asked for advice on a rooftop solar system for their home. I told them about the Cool Davis Double Up on Solar campaign, shared our solar Planning Guides, and answered questions based on my own experience … before they went out to talk to contractors. Now their beautiful system is in place installed by the longest standing solar contractor in Davis, Roberts Solar.

Now, Diane and Andy are anxiously awaiting their first bill, hoping to see up to a $400 savings. “We’re excited to be doing our part for the environment and making a livable planet for our grandchildren.” Diane and Andy are not alone. Despite current challenges in the economy, it is another record year in our community for solar installations! More and more local owners of homes and businesses have made this choice because it just makes sense.

Diane and Andy Monheit with their new solar array. Courtesy photo.

Tax credit boosted

Due to passage of the Inflation Reduction Act at the federal level, the renewable energy tax credit has been increased to 30 percent starting this January 2022 through December 2032, stepping down to a 26 percent credit through 2033, and 22 percent through 2034. This credit applies to the full cost of installation including systems with battery storage and there is no maximum credit amount.

Additionally, other incentives are available for energy efficiency measures like replacing gas space heating and water heating with electric heat pumps. Check out Cool Davis’s 2021 Clean Energy Home workshop video and learn how to make a plan today and our recent article about home electrification.

Now is a great time to make a plan to go solar and switch to clean energy at your home.

Other qualifying renewable energy sources:

  • Small wind-energy property
  • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Small wind-energy property
  • Battery storage systems (standalone)

See our Incentives page for details and links.

Best single source of information about these incentives: DSIRE

Learn more about the changes: https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/articles/solar-investment-tax-credit-what-changed

The community and Cool Davis together

Starting in 2016, Cool Davis has been helping neighbors with solar to help other neighbors make the decision to go solar with the goal to double the solar adoption at neighborhood level.

As of Sept 30, 2022, Davis now has 4,867 residential photovoltaic systems. We are currently on track for a record year. All categories are ahead of last year’s record pace at this time with 448 new residential, 10 new commercial and 3 new government, schools, non-profit or industrial systems approved (State of California interconnection dataset). Solar is your hedge against energy cost increases in the future.

Investment in local solar — whether on personal rooftops or in larger scale arrays — helps each of us shape our power future and keep our overall energy costs down. Over the last two years, all of us have experienced a remarkable increase in the cost of energy (over 50 percent) for both natural gas and electricity. These costs will continue to increase in the foreseeable future as natural gas prices rise responding to global shifts in demand.

Our local electricity energy provider Valley Clean Energy (VCE) is dedicated to adding new local renewable energy sources as well as back-up energy installations to achieve our community resilience and sustainability goals. The new solar array and storage facility near Winters is an example of growth in local renewable energy sources contracted with VCE.

Local contractors deliver

Local contractors are engaged in a remarkable effort to deliver solar services in a volatile supply environment. Even as households and businesses have faced the challenges of increasing costs in all aspects of their lives and work, they are still making the decision to install solar. Contractors working in our community report another remarkable year of work. Despite COVID and the resulting supply chain challenges, our local solar companies and contractors have managed to establish timelines that work for their customers.

Net Energy Metering changes still on hold

The Public Utilities Commission has been considering new regulations guiding rooftop solar net energy metering (NEM) standards for over a year with no end in sight. Net energy metering is the program that buys excess generation from homeowners and other producers. Local providers and energy suppliers continue to urge households to move forward and not wait for the new standards. They advise customers to take advantage of the return of the 30 percent tax credit and the potentially more advantageous rules for the existing NEM 2.0 program and get the work done before changes are made.

Now is the time to act up on solar!

Solar still beats the ROI of other investments with little risk. If you have control of your own roof and access to capital, now more than ever is the time to consider rooftop solar. Talk with your financial advisor. Some local credit unions and other institutions offer special green loan rates because solar and home energy improvements usually pay for themselves and then some in energy bill savings.

Energy Saver Loan


Can’t get solar? Then opt up with Ultra Green!

If you rent your home or apartment but want to make the switch to renewables, you still have a choice to opt up to 100% renewable energy for a few cents more per kWh. Both VCE and PG&E have this option. Also check out Cool Davis’s resources on managing your home energy and advocating with your landlord to make sensible improvements in the energy efficiency of your space. Valley Clean Energy offers the UltraGreen 100% renewable and carbon-free energy sources rate plan

For help and advice check out all of Cool Davis’s solar resources.

Cool Davis Incentives webpage

Find out more at our solar campaign page

Solar Stories

Read these local stories about adding solar PV to local homes and businesses.

Classic Central Davis Home Becomes a Solar Energy Producer


Plant Nerd and Fish Guy Updated Home with Solar


Solar panels at Davis Community and Other Churches


Cool Davis and Partner Resources

Rooftop Solar webpage

Check out our new YouTube channel LiveCoolDavis

Want to Add Solar Panels to Your New Home? Five Considerations – Cool Davis

Cool Solutions Planning Guide: Is Solar Right for Me? – Cool Davis

“Understanding Common Solar Installation Problems” – Citadel Roofing & Solar