Solar New Construction Exclusion- Frequently Asked Questions

Expand All | Collapse All
  1. I just installed solar heating panels on my roof to heat my swimming pool water. Is this excluded from new construction assessment because it is an active solar energy system?

    No. Revenue and Taxation Code section 73(b)(2) specifically states that "active solar energy system" does not include solar swimming pool heaters or hot tub heaters. An active solar energy system must be a system that uses solar devices to provide for the collection, storage, or distribution of solar energy (for example, produces electricity or heats a hot water heater).

  2. How does the new construction exclusion for solar energy systems work?

    Generally, when something of value is physically added to real property, the addition is assessed at current market value and this value is added to the existing base year value of the real property. When an active solar energy system is installed, it is not assessed, meaning that the existing assessment will not increase.

  3. Recently I added an active solar energy system to a home that I have owned for 10 years. Do I need to complete any form or notify the assessor that I have installed an active solar energy system to receive the exclusion?

    No. There is no form or filing required to receive the exclusion. The assessor usually discovers the installation of the active solar energy system by means of the building permit that was taken out. If you think you have been assessed for the installation of an active solar energy system, you should contact your county assessor. You may find your assessor's contact information by clicking on the name of your county at the following link: www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/assessors.htm.

  4. Last year I purchased a new home from a builder that included an active solar energy system. Now the developer has sent me a form called the "Initial Purchaser Claim for Solar Energy System New Construction Exclusion." What is the purpose of this form and where do I send it?

    The completed form should be mailed to your county assessor. A list of county assessors and their addresses is posted on our website at www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/assessors.htm. Under certain circumstances, as the initial purchaser of a new building, your new base year value may be reduced by the value of the active solar energy system, less any rebates or tax credits received. Your builder will be able to provide you with the value of the system and any rebates or tax credits that they received.