Rebates and Tax Credits

Electric Vehicle Credits and Rebates


There are currently three main financial incentives plus a fourth for UC Davis folks:

  • Federal tax credit for buyers, offering the most money (up to $7500) (IRS form 8936)
  • California state rebate for buyers and lease holders, offering up to $2500 for most EVs, $5000 for fuel cell vehicles, and $2000 more for people who meet low-income guidelines. The state is considering increasing its base EV rebate to $4,500.
  • PG&E payment of $500 to any energy customer who purchases an EV including Valley Clean Energy customers!
  • Rebates for UC Davis affiliates

Federal tax credits were designed to phase out as automakers reach certain sales numbers. Currently, the phaseout trigger for each automaker is 200,000 plug-in vehicles sold in the US. When an automaker reaches this sales number, a reduction in the tax credit will begin at the start of the following quarter. (For example, if a manufacturer hits the 200,000 mark in January, a reduction will start in April.) For the next six months, buyers will qualify for half of the original tax credit. For the six months after that, the tax credit is reduced to a quarter of the original. Then the tax credit ends.

Tesla reached its 200,000th US sale earlier in 2018. In 2019, Tesla buyers will only have access to a $3,750 federal tax credit. GM, which sells the popular Bolt and Volt, is close behind. Nissan, maker of the Leaf, should reach 200,000 EV sales in mid-2019, and Ford, Toyota, and BMW in 2020.

For more details, visit our blog post on ways to save on EVs:

Buying or Leasing an Electric Vehicle? Get Money Back!

Federal Rebates and Tax Credits

Find out more:

Renewable Energy Federal Tax Credit – Solar and Solar Hot Water

energy-star-logoTaxpayers may claim a credit of 30% of qualified expenditures for a system that serves a dwelling unit located in the United States that is owned and used as a residence by the taxpayer. Expenditures with respect to the equipment are treated as made when the installation is completed. If the installation is at a new home, the “placed in service” date is the date of occupancy by the homeowner. Expenditures include labor costs for on-site preparation, assembly or original system installation, and for piping or wiring to interconnect a system to the home. If the federal tax credit exceeds tax liability, the excess amount may be carried forward to the succeeding taxable year. The maximum allowable credit, equipment requirements and other details vary by technology, as outlined below.



  • 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2021
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2020 and before 01/01/2022
  • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008.
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2021.
  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer’s principal residence.

Solar water-heating

  • 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2021
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2020 and before 01/01/2022
  • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008.
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2021.
  • Equipment must be certified for performance by the Solar Rating Certification Corporation (SRCC) or a comparable entity endorsed by the government of the state in which the property is installed.
  • At least half the energy used to heat the dwelling’s water must be from solar in order for the solar water-heating property expenditures to be eligible.
  • The tax credit does not apply to solar water-heating property for swimming pools or hot tubs.
  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer’s principal residence.

IRS Form 5695

SunPower Solar Rebate

SunPower has partnered with Ford Motor Company to bring solar to your roof and a solar mail-in rebate.  Visit SunPower to receive a special $1,000 mail-in rebate with the purchase or lease of a SunPower home solar system.

Renewable Energy Federal Tax Credits  – Other Measures


Energy Upgrade California

Energy Upgrade California offers rebates and incentives for a wide range of projects and entities or go directly to PG&E to see your options.

  • Rebates for energy-saving measures done to homes
  • Discounts for energy reductions
  • Rebates for energy-efficient appliances
    • Rebates and incentives for solar installation


Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing Programs

Davis property owners are eligible to participate in three Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing Programs within Yolo County. The programs include energy and water use efficiency financing options including solar panels, lighting, and indoor and outdoor water use efficiency projects. PACE is a financing tool offered by a third party vendor that property owners can use to make energy and/or water efficiency upgrades to their home or business.

The three vendors authorized to provide PACE Programs in Yolo County are CaliforniaFirst, HERO, and Ygrene. PACE financing programs are offered in many parts of the state through both public agencies (Sonoma County Water District, Placer County) and public/private and public/non-profit partnerships (California First, Ygrene, HERO, Fig Tree, etc.).

The non-profit Center for Sustainable Energy provides a useful FAQ section on PACE programs.

Cool Davis highlights PACE programs as a service to Davis property owners but does not necessarily endorse any individual providers.

The Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District is now offering a new incentive program to residents that live within the District to replace their old, non-EPA certified wood stove, fireplace insert, or open-hearth fireplace with a newer, cleaner burning device, such as an EPA certified woodstove/insert or a natural gas, propane, or electric heating device. This program is available to both homeowners and renters. In the case of rental properties, formal approval from the property owner will be required as part of the approval process. Approved applicants will receive a voucher to redeem at participating retailers. This project is supported by the California Climate Investments (CCI) program, a statewide initiative that puts Cap-and-Trade dollars to work.

To be considered for this incentive program, residents must meet the following requirements:

  • Applicants must live within the District’s boundaries. For a map of the Air District, please click here.
  • Applicants must have an old, non-EPA certified wood stove, fireplace insert, or open hearth fireplace that is used as the primary source of heat in the home.
  • Low-income residents who are in a low-income assistance program (WIC, CARE, or LIHEAP) or make a total household income of less than $49,454 a year are eligible to receive a $3500 voucher.
  • Non low-income residents are eligible for a $1000 voucher.

To apply Click here for the complete list of items needed.

Participating retailers Click here for the list of participating retailers.

Why Reduce Wood Smoke?

There are approximately 10 million wood stoves currently in use in the United States, and 65 percent of them are older, inefficient, conventional stoves. Swapping out one old, inefficient wood stove is similar to taking 5 dirty, old diesel trucks off the road. Wood smoke is not only bad for the environment but can also affect your health. Wood smoke is made up of a complex mixture of gases, like carbon dioxide, methane and air toxics, and fine, microscopic particles, called PM2.5. PM2.5 is so small, it can easily bypass the human body’s natural defenses, causing short term health effects, like coughing and sneezing, and worsening existing conditions, such as asthma and heart disease.


If you are unsure about your eligibility, please call the District office at: (530) 757 – 3650 or email: and ask about the Wood Smoke Reduction Program. If you live in Solano County but outside Dixon, Rio Vista and Vacaville, contact the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to ask about their wood smoke reduction program by clicking here.

Turf Replacement Rebate


A new statewide rebate program is now available to help residential customers replace thirsty lawn with beautiful low-water use plants. The Save Our Water California program will be run entirely through the State, not individual cities.

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is offering residential customers $2 per square foot (up to $2,000 total) for removing their lawn and replacing it with drought-tolerant plants, mulch, permeable pavers and efficient drip irrigation. Artificial turf is not eligible for the rebate, and projects must be completed within 90 days.

About $12 million in rebates is available statewide, including for the Sacramento region, while $10 million is reserved for disadvantaged and drought-impacted communities, primarily located in the San Joaquin Valley.

Statewide rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are expected to go fast. The program implements Governor Brown’s Executive Order issued in April directing DWR and local water agencies to replace 50 million square feet of turf statewide with drought-tolerant landscapes.

Most household water is used for landscape watering, with lawn typically one of the thirstiest plants in a garden. Reducing or eliminating lawn can make a significant impact on the state’s water use.

Details, eligibility guidelines and an application are available at

Toilet Rebate

FUNDS NO LONGER AVAILABLE: The Department of Water Resources (DWR) is offering a rebate program for replacing toilets at California single-family residences to support the State’s drought response. Up to $100 will be rebated for purchase and installation of one qualified high-efficiency toilet (1.28 gallons per flush or less) per household for replacement of a less-efficient toilet (using more than 1.6 gallons per flush).

The $6 million toilet rebate program, also funded through Proposition 1, will help Californians replace approximately 60,000 old, inefficient toilets.

Details, eligibility guidelines and an application are available at


PG&E provides rebates for appliance and home systems plus other ways to save on energy. Check out the links below for more information.

Residential Rebates

Business Rebates

City of Davis

For more information about rebates and incentives, visit the City of Davis Conservation Rebates page.



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