Go Solar

Considering solar for your home? You can claim a federal solar tax credit worth 26% of the total cost of instalation! (It goes down to 22% in 2021. Learn more about the federal solar tax credit here.) Increasing solar installations is a priority for Hayward's City Council and staff is here to help. 

Project Sunroof login screen

What is the solar capacity of your roof?

Google has released a new tool, Project Sunroof, which allows residents in the Bay Area to look up their building’s capacity and how much money they can save with a solar rooftop, and directs you to companies that can help install solar panels.

East Bay Energy Watch’s Smart Solar team provides free assistance for planning a solar hot water or solar photovoltaic system, selecting a contractor, and financing.

How much will solar cost?

The US Department of Energy developed this Solar Estimate Calculator to help you see how much solar panels should cost before you speak to installers.

Smart Solar and Energy Sage have teamed up to provide residents with the SmartSolar Marketplace, a resource that provides instant online quotes from a variety of pre-screened solar installers. The tool allows you to compare offers side by side to find the best installer for you.

Financing & Incentives

It can be overwhelming to figure out how to pay for such an important investment as a solar system. Here are some options:

  • Solar Leases and PPAs - You can opt for a third-party model known as a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA), in which a private entity owns the equipment and you pay a monthly fee for the use of it (lease) or you pay a set price for the electricity generated by your solar system (PPA). This model is designed to require little to no upfront cost and allow you to pay less for your solar power than you would pay to PG&E (new monthly bill + monthly solar payment < old monthly bill).
  • Cash Purchase - You can buy the system outright, which requires upfront capital. The benefit of this option is no monthly payments and free electricity for the 25+ year life of the system. As the system owner, you are responsible for system maintenance or you can hire someone to service the system when necessary.
  • Incentives - The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is a comprehensive resource on U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency incentives and policies. Learn about the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit of 30% for solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, wind turbines, and fuel cells.
  • Solar Hot Water Rebates: CSI-Thermal Program offers cash rebates of up to $2,719 for solar water heating systems on single-family homes.


Permits are required for solar panel installations. The City of Hayward strives to encourage residents to install solar by streamlining our processes and providing support.

rooftop solar panels

More Resources

Resilient Home with EBCE: Resilient Home is a limited-time program from EBCE that makes it simple for property owners to see if a solar and battery backup system is right for you by providing free quotes and pre-negotiated pricing. To learn more about the program and the $1,250 incentive for homeowners, go here.

Solar and Renewables with PG&E: PG&E provides helpful resources to customers regarding the steps to installing a solar system. Learn more about what guidance PG&E provides.

Go Solar California: The California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission have joined efforts to create Go Solar California, a program to encourage Californians to install 3,000 megawatts of solar energy systems by the end of 2016. The program also aims to install 585 million therms of gas-displacing solar hot water systems by the end of 2017.

California Solar Statistics: View information on the total number of solar PV systems installed under the CSI program from 2007 to present by utility, county, city, zip code, customer type, and installation size.

Solar Energy Industries Association: Check out the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power, where you can find general guidance on how solar works, your ownership options, and understanding your agreement.

The Open PV Project: The Open PV Project, sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is a collaborative effort between government, industry, and the public that is compiling a comprehensive database of photovoltaic (PV) installation data for the United States.