Stimulus Bill Extends Federal Energy Tax Credits

By: DSIRE Insight Team | January 27, 2021

In a nearly annual tradition, Congress made a number of important changes to the tax code in the waning days of 2020. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Relief Act of 2020 extended the expiration date of a number of tax incentives, giving system owners and developers additional time to place their systems in service or begin construction.

Investment Tax Credit

Legislation enacted in previous years established a step-down in the credit amounts for the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The deadlines for solar systems were extended by two years. Projects placed in service before December 31, 2022 will qualify for a tax credit based on 26% of the installed cost. Projects placed in service before December 31, 2024 will qualify for a 22% tax credit, before permanently dropping to 10%. Projects started before the end of 2024 and placed in service before the end of 2026 will also be eligible for a 22% tax credit.

The amendments to the ITC also made offshore wind projects eligible for the credit. Offshore wind projects started before the end of 2025 can qualify for a full 30% tax credit. The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit has a similar step-down schedule, except the credit phases out entirely for system installed in 2024 or later.

Federal Investment Tax Credit Step-Down Schedule for Solar Energy Systems


Production Tax Credit

The Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) was also modified in recent years to include a step-down for wind systems, and an expiration date for all systems requiring construction to start by the end of 2020. The new deadline established by the 2020 stimulus bill is the end of 2021. Wind projects started in 2020 or 2021 can qualify for a production tax credit based on 60% of the full rate. Interestingly, the step-down was not applied to the other PTC-eligible technologies, including biomass, landfill gas, waste heat to energy, and certain hydroelectric systems. Instead, the PTC for these systems was initially allowed to expire. When they were later reinstated, the step-down was not applied to them. Thus, the extended expiration date for these technologies allows such projects started by the end of 2021 to claim the full PTC.

Energy Efficiency Tax Credits

The expiration date for the Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit and the Energy-Efficient New Homes Tax Credit for Home Builders were both extended by a year, making eligible projects completed by the end of 2021 eligible. And the Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction was made permanent with the exact value of the deduction being adjusted annually for inflation.

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Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program

The FiT program allows property owners and developers to sell the output of local eligible renewable energy projects directly to LADWP (as opposed to consuming the energy onsite to satisfy the customer’s load). This program generates local renewable capacity through a public-private partnership while helping LADWP achieve Renewable Portfolio Standard mandates.

How does the program work?

LADWP will purchase energy, for a term not exceeding 20 years, from projects via a Standard Offer Power Purchase Agreement at a set price dependent on system size and location. This price includes all energy, capacity rights, and environmental attributes associated with the project.

 Total = 200 MW
67.7 MW
81.8 MW
50.5 MW

Updated as of 1/6/2020

FiT Pricing Table
Project Capacity In-Basin Projects Owens Valley Projects
Solar PV Non-PV Solar PV
30 kW – 500 kW 14.5¢ per kWh 11.5¢ per kWh 11.5¢ per kWh
> 500 kW – 3 MW 14.0¢ per kWh 11.0¢ per kWh Not Available
> 3 MW 13.5¢ per kWh 10.5¢ per kWh Not Available

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Commercial EV Charging Station Rebate Program

LADWP is expanding its Charge Up LA! Program to help accelerate electric transportation adoption for its customers. The Program offers rebates to help offset the cost of installing commercial charging equipment, including:

Level 2 charging stations to charge light-duty EVs, up to $5,000 per charging station.
Direct current fast chargers (DCFCs) to charge light-duty EVs, up to $75,000 per charging station depending on its power output.
Charging stations to charge medium and heavy-duty EVs, up to $125,000 per charging station depending on its power output.


See our weekly dashboard for the latest information on application and funding status. Application processing time is currently 90-120 days (provided submitted applications are complete). We are working to improve the reservation and application processing duration and appreciate your patience.
Updated Terms and Conditions for Level 2 Charging Stations for light-duty EVs
LADWP now offers rebate reservations!

For more details click here

NEM 2.0

In January 2016, California regulators voted to extend Net Energy Metering (NEM) in its current form for California solar customers, with some modifications. Commercial, industrial, and public customers in PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E service territories can continue to invest in grid-tied solar projects.

The original NEM program ends for the three utilities when penetration of distributed solar generation in its territory reaches 5% of the utility’s highest aggregated peak customer demand. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) hit its cap in April 2016, and Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) reached its cap in December 2016. Both utilities are now offering NEM 2.0. Southern California Edison (SCE) has enough remaining capacity under its NEM 1.0 cap to reach the statutory deadline of July 1, 2017, after which point SCE will also offer NEM 2.0.

The new NEM 2.0 program will largely maintain the same favorable design as the current NEM program with a few modifications.

Interconnection Application Fees: While current NEM customers have historically been exempt from paying a one-time interconnection application fee, customers installing solar under NEM 2.0 pay that fee, which is utility specific and for systems under 1 megawatt (MW) is $132 for SDG&E, $145 for PG&E, and $75 for SCE. The cost increases for systems larger than 1 MW. This one-time fee goes to the utility to cover some of the interconnection costs associated with a solar power installation and are paid when the system owner applies to interconnect their solar power installation to the utility grid.

Non-Bypassable Charges (NBC): Customers continue to receive a full retail credit for all energy exported onto the grid, although they now have to contribute more to public programs through NBCs than they were previously paying. NBCs fund public purpose programs considered by law to benefit society, such as low-income ratepayer assistance, Department of Water Resources bond charges, nuclear power plant decommissioning, and energy efficiency activities. These charges are approximately a 2 to 3 cent reduction per kilowatt-hour of credit for exported energy.

Grandfathering: The decision calls for a re-evaluation of NEM 2.0 starting in 2019. However, it provides customers who decide to install solar before that time a 20-year grandfathering of their specific NEM mechanism. This provides customers with confidence to install solar in the next few years knowing that they will maintain NEM 2.0 for the lifetime of their investment.

System Size: Another positive change in the NEM 2.0 program is the lifting of the 1 MW system size cap, so long as the system is sized to customer load. This change will have the greatest impact on larger energy consuming entities in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors. Under NEM 2.0, a single solar array can be larger than 1 MW and tied into a single utility meter as long as the installation does not have a negative impact on the utility grid. California regulators determined that in order to ensure this, customers of systems larger than 1 MW are responsible for all interconnection and upgrade costs. The Net Energy Meter Aggregation (NEMA) program will also continue, and the lifting of the 1 MW system size cap will apply to NEMA customers as well.


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