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September 18 2023

In addition to reducing their carbon emissions, electric vehicle (EV) owners across the U.S. can access special incentives and rebates offered by local governments, utility companies, and renewable energy programs when buying an electric vehicle and installing a Level 2 home charger.

In this article, we'll guide you through many of the rebates for residential electric vehicle purchases and Level 2 charging installations in California.

We’ve tried to cover many of the discounts that are available as of this writing, but California is a large state — and things are changing all the time. So if you’re interested in all the possible savings available to you, reach out to your utility company and local government for more details.

Better yet, stay tuned to learn how to connect with Kopperfield’s network of expert electricians to get all the rebate info you need in one quick, digital EV charging installation proposal. 

Are there any other states that offer rebates for electric vehicles and chargers? Yep — a lot, in fact!

To learn about EV-related discounts across the U.S., keep coming back to the Kopperfield blog, where we’ll be covering electric vehicle rebates by state.

California programs offering EV rebates and incentives

Let’s dive into the many residential-focused programs that aim to help Californians get a discount on EVs as well as the electricity and equipment needed to power them.

Clean Vehicle Rebate Project

The Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) offers rebates on light-duty electric vehicles, fuel cell electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid vehicles that have been approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). 

Rebate amounts range from $1,000 to $7,500 when you purchase or lease a new, eligible zero-emission vehicle. 

The amount of rebate California residents can expect will be based on annual income. People with a household income that comes up to less than or equal to 400% of the federal poverty level (which is $14,580 for individuals in 2023 and increases with each new member) can expect to receive a higher rebate.

To learn more about this program and how to apply, visit the CVRP website. Don’t wait — funds can run out before the end of the year.

Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District's Alternative Fuel Vehicle Incentive

As of 2022, the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District (AVAQMD) is offering up a $500 rebate on battery-operated plug-in vehicles — as long as they’re purchased by Antelope Valley residents from a dealership in Antelope Valley. 

Apply or learn more about the requirements for this program on the AVAQMD website

Bay Area Air Quality Management District's Clean Cars for All

From the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s (BAAQMD) Clean Cars for All project comes an interesting incentive — cash or rebates for residents who trade in their non-electric vehicles for an electrified upgrade. 

Under this program, eligible applicants receive an average incentive of $8,500, which can be used toward the purchase of an approved electric vehicle, electric bike, or public transit. If you choose a plug-in hybrid or battery-powered vehicle specifically, the program also includes up to $2,000 for the purchase and installation of a level 2 charger.

Clean Cars for All prioritizes applications for folks in areas that are most impacted by pollution. Find out if you qualify here

El Dorado County Air Quality Management District's EV & Charger Incentives

The El Dorado County Air Quality Management District (EDC AQMD) has two different EV-focused incentive programs. 

First, the Drive Clean! Vehicle Incentive Program is offering a $599 rebate to county residents who buy or lease a new, eligible vehicle as defined by the CVRP. It’s important to remember that pre-approval is required, so if you’re interested in this incentive make sure to apply before you go shopping. 

In addition, the CHarge At your Residence and Go Electric (CHARGE) incentive program may provide up to $300 for residents who purchase a level 2 electric vehicle charger. 

To date, these programs from the EDC AQMD have helped reduce tons of emissions! Learn more at the EDC website.

South Coast Air Quality Management District's Residential EV Charging Incentive Program

As of late 2023, the Residential EV Charging Incentive Program from South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) offers rebates for low-income residents to offset the cost of a permanent, level 2 EV charger.

South Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Drive Clean Rebate Program

Finally we have the Drive Clean! Rebate Program from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD). 

Residents who purchase or lease a new, eligible vehicle — including battery-powered EVs, low-emission vehicles, and many options in between — can receive up to $3,000 in rebates. 

Applications are accepted first-come, first-served and funds are limited, so if you live in the San Joaquin Valley, find out if this rebate is right for you today. 

And why you’re visiting the SJVAPCD website, check out their programs for repairing and replacing (currently suspended FYI) higher-emission vehicles.

California Utility Company EV Rebates & Incentives

Looking for more deals? 

In this section, we’ll cover some of the larger markets where utility providers provide rebates and incentives for customers with electrical vehicles. 

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power Residential EV Charging Station Rebate Program

As the name implies, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) offers rebates to customers who purchase EV chargers — as well as a discount on their electric bill. 

Eligible customers may be able to get up to $1,000 when they purchase and install a qualified level 2 charger. An additional discount is available for getting a dedicated EV meter put in. Income-eligible customers may see even more in rebates. 

The company invites anyone interested in a rate discount for charging their EV at home to contact one of their EV program specialists. Find all the necessary information on the program page.

Pasadena Water & Power Residential Electric Vehicle & Charger Incentive Program

The Residential Electric Vehicle and Charger Incentive Program at Pasadena Water & Power offers customers $250 back after the purchase or lease of a new or used EV. The unique thing about this program is that customers can receive multiple rebates — up to two (for different EVs) per household every three years. 

And, if you get your car from a Pasadena auto dealer, you can double your rebate! Income-qualified customers can even get an additional $1,000 in rebates. 

As for chargers, customers can also get a $600 rebate for the purchase of a Wi-Fi enabled and connected in-home EV charger — or $200 for a less “smart” option. 

If you’re a customer, learn more about this deal on their rebate page.

Riverside Public Utilities Electrify Riverside

As part of the Electrify Riverside program, Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) is rewarding sustainable practices with up to $1,000 in rebates for customers who purchase or lease a used EV or plug-in hybrid in 2023. Lower-income folks may be eligible to receive a higher rebate — as much as $,2500. 

Even if you got your EV earlier, you may still be eligible for a rebate through the program. 

EV owners who installed level 2 chargers at home after July of 2021 may be able to receive a $500 rebate. Plus RPU offers a special time-of-use EV meter, and a $805 rebate on its purchase and installation. 

Alameda Municipal Power EV, Charger and Rate Discounts

Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) provides a time-of-use rate plan for EV owners that can help them save on home electricity. 

In addition, customers can apply for a cash rebate of up to $500 on the purchase and installation of a level 2 home charger. The utility says this program is their way of encouraging EV drivers to take advantage of the clean energy they provide to homes. 

Best of all, customers may be eligible for a whopping $6,000 in rebates with the purchase of a used, fully battery-powered EV! 

Find out if you can take advantage of this deal at AMP’s EV website. 

Sacramento Municipal Utility District Charge@Home

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)’s Charge@Home program incentivizes EV owners to do their charging at their residence through discounts on chargers and/or electrical upgrades.  

Rebates are up to $500 for EV chargers and $300 for circuit sharing or energy management instruments. An electric circuit install for an EV charger, done by someone in the SMUD Contractor Network, may bring in up to $500 in rebates. 

Check out SMUD’s Charge@Home page for info on eligibility, requirements, and more. 

Modesto Irrigation District EV Charger Rebate

Customers who purchase and install certain energy-efficient home equipment are eligible for rebates from Modesto Irrigation District (MID).

For EV chargers, people can get up to $500 back per charger — one per vehicle, up to two per household. 

Learn more about MID’s home rebates, how to apply, and what to know before hiring a contractor to do electrical work on your home.  

Silicon Valley Power Electric Charging Station Rebate

The Electric Vehicle Charging Station Rebate program from Silicon Valley Power in Santa Clara offers rebates for EV chargers installed in non-profits, schools, multifamily housing units, and single-family homes. Residential customers in particular can receive up to $550 in rebates.

It’s important to note that this program specifies that a permit from the City of Santa Clara is required when installing a level 2 charger in a single-family residence.

In fact, you will need a permit to install an EV charger at home in many instances. 

What exactly is a permit, why are permits important, where are permits required for EV charger installs, and most importantly how can you get one when you need it? 

Find your answers in our guide Do I need a permit to install an EV charger at home?

Federal electric vehicle purchase and charging incentives

Californians may be able to continue to layer on the savings with federal tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

Under this act, a home EV charging station may bring taxpayers up to $1,000 in tax credits (in rural or low-income communities). 

In addition, U.S. taxpayers may receive tax credits up to $7,500 in value for the purchase of a qualified EV or plug-in hybrid.

New vehicles may be worth $2,500 to $7,500 in tax credits, but the amount ranges based on year purchased and battery capacity. Used vehicles may qualify for up to $4,000.

To find out if you qualify and how to get your credit in your pocket, give the IRS website a read:

In addition, the U.S. Department of the Treasury is working to make tax credits for new and used EVs more accessible in 2024. Their proposal is to format tax breaks as discounts, available at the time of purchase. We’ll continue to cover developments on this front.

Do I need a permit to get an electrical vehicle charger installed?

The California Building Standards Code governs electrical code in California. In order to hold electrical work to this standard, cities and counties throughout the state require permits for electrical work.

Different locations have slightly different rules for when a permit is required. But, generally speaking, the work required to install a new 240-volt breaker, hardwire the charger to it, and even potentially upgrade your electrical panel to support the additional load will require a permit. 

Cost and process range widely here, but plan to set aside $200 to $1,000 to cover any required permitting expenses. Some homeowners can be tempted to skip the expense and get unpermitted work done, but we recommend against this. In addition to ensuring the work is done safely, obtaining a permit is the best way to ensure you’ll be able to take advantage of rebates and incentives. Plus, most homeowners insurance policies require permits. 

Get your home EV charger installed by Certified Professionals

You’re probably starting to see there is a ton to know about getting an EV charger safely installed in your home.

And, there's even more to learn about navigating all the different discounts and incentives to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to your electrical vehicle and charger. 

Let us do the work for you. 

With Kopperfield, all you do is request a quote and give us a few details about your home and charger. 

We’ll hook you up with a Kopperfield certified electrician in your area who will include all the details — from incentives to permits — in a digital quote. 

Then, use our platform to approve your quote and easily manage the whole installation process.

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