Why Choose California Solar Power
There are many reasons why California residents have chosen to power their homes with solar energy. As the price of solar panels decreases and the panel technology improves, the benefits of solar have become even more enticing. Most consumers who invest in solar are drawn to lower energy costs, independence from the power grid, and environmental reasons as the primary factors.
Diy Or Not Solar Power Is Highly Rewarding
If youve read through this very lengthy blog post, kudos you are definitely serious about going solar! You are now on a journey that Im sure youll find highly rewarding.
Here are some of the best things about having solar panels:
- The satisfaction of receiving a much lower utility bill and thinking of all the things you can do with the money youll be saving over the years
- Monitoring your solar panel production and usage from day to day
- Pride in producing clean energy and doing your part in combating climate change
If you have a lot of time on your hands and the skills to pull it off, you can achieve all these benefits at the minimum possible cost.
However, if youve read through this guide and feel that a DIY solar installation is just too much work, then fret not: you can still get all the benefits by getting a professional solar company to do the work for you.
Either way, we encourage you to check out our solar calculator. It will recommend a system for you that offers 100% offset of your utility bills, and can show you what the panels will actually look like on your roof.
Best of luck on your solar journey!
How Are Solar Panels Installed
In a sense, all the research youre doing now is the hardest part of installing solar panels on your home. The time between when you get a quote from a solar energy company to solar panel installation can be anywhere between one and four months. The whole process can be described in six steps:
Consider hiring a good electrical engineering consultant to look over the proposed system prior to purchase as well. This will help ensure that you get the right system for your needs.
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Evaluate Your Sunlight Exposure
More sun means more energy produced and a greater potential to save with solar. Certain states, like Arizona and California, average more sunlight hours per day.
Your home’s orientation toward the sun, the amount of shade and its roof type also affect a solar system’s output. You can estimate the efficiency of panels in your area by using the SolarReviews calculator. Enter your address and the average cost of your monthly energy bill.
Solar Panel Installation Costs Per Kw
Considering that the average price of labor per watt is $0.50, the following chart reflects the average cost of labor for the various system sizes.
Cati O’Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.
The costs of your system break down into roughly:
- 49% equipment including solar panels, batteries, inverter, mounting hardware and wiring.
- 35% Installation permits and labor costs.
- 18% Operational costs including overhead, maintenance and monitoring.
When you are shopping around, do your research and get multiple quotes. You may be surprised by the difference in offers. This is owed to the significant chunk of “soft costs” integrated into the overall rate. As you can see above, the “other” category takes up about a third of your total project budget.
Buyers who explore the market thoroughly could save thousands of dollars on their installation by getting multiple quotes from both large and small installers. Expect a higher budget if the surface of your roof is more difficult to work with.
Compare Solar Panel Quotes for the Best Price
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What Is The Solar Panel Cost In Los Angeles
Los Angeles is a fantastic solar destination. SCE, or the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, is most likely your service provider. Both utilities have high rates, which contribute to solar being a significant investment.
The federal tax credit of 26 percent is the most significant incentive for solar panels in Los Angeles. However, the tax credit is projected to be reduced to 22% by the end of the year. That means that the optimum time to go solar in Los Angeles is right now to optimize your savings.
Is It Worth Going Solar In California
As a general rule, solar power is worth it in California. The investor-owned utility companies operate near-retail buyback programs and other rebates include low-income family incentives.
Do you really save money with solar panels?
Review your electric bill Solar panels generate their own power and can therefore greatly offset your monthly electricity bill, if not eliminate it. The higher your bill, the more likely youll benefit from switching.
Does solar increase home value in California? Yet recent studies show an average increase in resale value between $4,020 and $5,911 for each 1 kilowatt of solar panels installed. Or in California at $5,911 per kilowatt, a small 3.1 kilowatt system would add an average of $18,324 to the value of a mid-sized home.
Are solar panels worth it 2020?
By reducing or eliminating your electricity bill, taking advantage of federal tax credits, increasing the value of your home, and much more going solar is definitely worth it. Your exact return on investment is also affected by which solar payment option you choose.
California Has Too Much Solar Power That Might Be Good For Ratepayers
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California set two renewable energy records last week: the most solar power ever flowing on the states main electric grid, and the most solar power ever taken offline because it wasnt needed.
Theres no contradiction: As California utilities buy more and more solar power as part of the states quest to confront climate change, supply and demand are increasingly out of sync. The states fleet of solar farms and rooftop panels frequently generate more electricity than Californians use during the middle of the day a phenomenon that has sent lawmakers and some climate advocates scrambling to find ways to save the extra sunlight rather than let it go to waste.
But for ratepayers, an oversupply of solar power might actually be a good thing.
New research published in the peer-reviewed journal Solar Energy suggests California should embrace the idea of building more solar panels than it can consistently use, rather than treating oversupply as a problem to be solved. It sounds counterintuitive, but intentionally overbuilding solar facilities and accepting theyll often need to be dialed down in the absence of sufficient demand may be the best way to keep electricity prices low on a power grid dominated by renewable energy, the research found.
Traditionally, that reserve margin has come from fossil fuels. Overbuilding renewables is a similar concept.
Is It Worth Having A Solar Panel In Downtown La
Buyingsolar panels online in Los Angeles has hiked by more than 80% in the previous ten years. They will also continue to be supported by the federal tax credit of 26 percent and the net metering law in 2021, making them a great investment. They provide a return that is far higher than the long-term average return from both the stock market and property investing. To buy solar systems online in LA is a great saving in your pocket too,
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The State Of California Also Offers Incentives
California supports homeowners investments in solar power by providing a wide variety of solar incentives and tax rebates. The following incentives are available through the state:
- Single Family Affordable Solar Housing 6
This program provides incentives to qualified low-income homeowners to help offset the cost of a solar electric system.
- Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing 7
This program provides incentives to qualifying customers of Pacific Gas & Electric Company , Southern California Edison Company , and San Diego Gas & Electric .
- Net Energy Metering8
You wont always consume all of the energy that is produced by your solar system. Thats why California offers solar customers the benefit of Net Energy Metering , a special billing arrangement which provides credit to customers with solar systems for the full retail value of excess electricity generated by their system.
What Is Solar Panel Efficiency
The solar panels efficiency is the percentage of energy that a solar panel converts into electricity and has nothing to do with a panels size or wattage. Efficiency is measured in an area like a square inch. Higher efficiency panels produce more energy per square inch. Solar panels today have efficiencies ranging from 14% to 23 %. A panels efficiency is the primary consideration if your home has limited roof space or youd like a smaller solar footprint on it.
Solar panel wattage is always increasing. Sunpower panels are highly efficient, and their wattage is over 400 watts. What does that mean to you? The best analogy is a light bulb: if you want 100 watts of light in your kitchen, you can use one 100 watt light bulb or four 25 watt light bulbs. The higher wattage of the panel can reduce the number of panels you need on your roof to offset your electric bill. Say you need a 12 kW system you can get thirty 400 watt panels or forty 300 watt panels. A limited amount of good solar roof space would make the 400-watt panel system a must for you.
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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In California In 2021
As of December 2021, the average solar panel cost in California is $2.81/W. Given a solar panel system size of 5 kilowatts , an average solar installation in California ranges in cost from $11,942 to $16,158, with the average gross price for solar in California coming in at $14,050. After accounting for the 26% Federal Investment Tax Credit and other state and local solar incentives, the net price you’ll pay for solar can fall by thousands of dollars.
Importantly, these costs are typical for solar shoppers comparing solar quotes on the EnergySage Marketplace. When you compare quotes for solar panels on EnergySage’s competitive solar marketplace, you can expect to see prices up to 20% lower than working with a single solar company. Read our to compare solar panel costs across states and by panel brand.
How Many Solar Panels Do I Need
Your energy needs determine how many panels you need, which affects the overall price of your solar system installation. To eliminate your electric bill entirely, you must generate 100% of the electricity your home needs. Most homeowners need between 25 and 35 panels to achieve complete energy independence.
Average households need867 kWh/monthin electrical power
A solar panel typically produces about one kilowatt-hour per day, so if your daily kWh usage is 30, you would need 30 solar panels to generate all of your energy needs. If you need to generate extra energy to heat a pool or run the air conditioning for most of the year, this adds to your energy costs.
To estimate the amount of energy youll need, you need to know your average kilowatt-hours . This number should be on your utility bill as kWh used. To get your monthly average, look at bills for the past year, add up the stated kWh used and divide by 12.
Next, divide your monthly kWh average by 30 to calculate your daily average. For instance, if your average monthly kWh is 900, then your average daily kWh is 30.
For a more accurate calculation, try to factor in times when there is not as much solar power available, like when its cloudy or in the evening. There are two main ways to account for this:
These additional calculations can be difficult, but they are necessary if you want the optimum solar power system for your home.
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Con: Its A Lot Of Time And Effort
I know, in the point immediately above this one I framed the challenging nature of a solar installation as a positive. Yes, it can be rewarding but only if youre actively seeking a difficult and time-consuming DIY challenge.
If, however, your idea of a DIY project doesnt expand far beyond assembling some Scandinavian flatpack furniture, then you might want to steer clear of taking on solar. It is a very time-consuming project. From conception to commissioning, a DIY solar installation for a home usually takes between one to four months.
Want To Save On Solar Panel Cost In California Work With Solarmax
At SolarMax, we have a wide selection of California assembled solar panels, and we engineer all of our systems in- houseallowing us to make customized adjustments to improve system efficiency and ultimately lower costs. We also provide helpful solar energy resources so that our customers can better understand their systems and make educated installation decisions.
If you need help calculating your solar panel cost or would like to learn more about the various systems available, contact SolarMax today. Just give us a call or use our online form to request a free consultation covering system design, incentives and rebates, and solar tax credits!
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Choose The Right Solar System Type
The next decision is to choose the right solar power system type to match your goal.
There are three main types of solar installations:
- Grid-tied solar panel system
- Hybrid solar panel system
- Off-grid solar system
All of these system types have many features in common: they all involve solar panels, inverters, mounts, and wiring. There are, however, some crucial differences, and they can impact the projects cost and complexity. Heres a brief summary of each.
Grid-tied solar panel system
A grid-tied solar panel system is a solar setup that is connected to the grid and uses it as a battery through net metering. Grid-tied solar panel systems are usually smaller than the other types and have the lowest upfront cost.
Best for: Maximum financial savings
Pros: Lowest cost, simple design and installation
Cons: The system will shut off during a grid outage. Your system will need to pass inspection before it can be connected to the grid.
This video shows how a grid-tied solar system works for a typical home: https://www.youtube.com/embed/A5Wb61nEoZc?rel=0
Hybrid solar panel system
A hybrid solar panel system is also connected to the grid the key difference here is the inclusion of a battery storage solution.
As with a regular grid-tied system, a hybrid solar system can import and export power from the grid as needed. But a hybrid solar system can use the battery system for two additional uses: for backup power during a grid failure, and to take advantage of Time of Use arbitrage.
How Much Electricity Do You Use
First things first, you need to establish what your monthly electricity consumption is. Simply look at your annual electricity bill and divide the kWh usage by 31 to get your monthly consumption.
If you do not have the resources to figure out your monthly electric bill, we have listed the average monthly consumption in California to be 532kWh, according to EIA.
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Important Solar Installation Factors To Consider
Before installing solar panels on your property, there are several factors to take into account because they can impact the effectiveness of your solar system. A few of the most important factors to consider include:
- The age, angle, and condition of your roof. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, solar panels are most effective on south-facing roofs with slopes of between 15 to 40 percent. They may not be well suited to older roofs that will need to be replaced in the near future.
- How much sun your home receives. California gets a lot more sunshine than some other states, making solar power particularly attractive. But its important to consider how much sun your home receives in your location.
- HOA and neighborhood rules. In some states, HOAs and other neighborhood associations may have restrictions around the installation of solar panels or require prior approval. However, California law prevents HOAs from banning solar panels, so just be sure to follow any requirements outlined in your area.
City Of Los Angeles Feed
The City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power initiated a program on January 11, 2013, to pay up to 17 cents/kWh for electricity generated by up to 100 MW of solar power in a feed-in tariff program. 20 MW is reserved for small projects of less than 150 kW each. The program could be expanded to 150 MW in March.
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