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Is Solar Worth It In California

Solar Ev Charging Station In California

Is Solar Worth It In California?

If you already drive an EV or are planning to buy one, solar charging is a great idea in the Golden State.

If you charge your EV with grid power, your utility costs will of course increase and youll put more demand on the grid.

California recently launched an appeal for people not to charge their electric vehicles in peak hours because the power grid is under severe strain and the growth of EV use is accelerating.

It makes sense to use solar for charging, particularly as kWh prices are so high and there are still good incentives in place. It could also save rolling blackouts in the future.

Are Solar Panels Worth The Investment In California

by brightplanet | Feb 3, 2020 | Solar Financing |

According to the Department of Energy , the average cost for a 5kW residential solar installation is more than $16,000. This national estimate is even higher in California due to our states more expensive installation and labor costs.

Either way, going solar can be a hefty investment for many homeowners. They want the benefits that installing solar panels can deliver. But they lack the upfront money required to receive:

  • Monthly electricity bill savings .
  • Massive environmental savings .

If youre also on a tight budget, you may have your own doubts as well. Does it really make sense to shell out thousands of dollars to receive these benefits?

The short answer is YES. Even in an expensive state like California, going solar is worth the investment.

Lets explore why that is.

Homeowner Solar Inquiry Form

Do you live in California? If you are interested in solar, would like more information or would like a survey of your property, please complete the following form.


There is no commitment of any kind, its simply a request for home solar information. Your personal details will not be saved or sold. You will be contacted by an approved solar professional in your area.

Solar panel sizing its worth doing it right

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A Bruising Political Battle

Not all researchers agree with that assessment.

UC Berkeley energy economist Severin Borenstein who leads an institute that receives small amounts of utility funding said Vibrants models exaggerate the case for rooftop solar. Borenstein has that net metering hurts the poor. Its that simple.

State officials seem sympathetic to that argument.

The California Public Utilities Commission which will decide what changes, if any, to make to solar incentives recently cited net metering as one of several factors driving up electricity rates. The costs of the solar program are disproportionately paid by younger, less wealthy, and more disadvantaged ratepayers, many of whom are renters, commission staff wrote.

Decide Whether Solar Is The Right Choice For Your Home

Is Solar Worth It In California? Solar Costs and Savings Ca  Solar Website

If you live in an area with high energy rates and a suitable solar rating and can afford the initial investment, its worth installing solar panels on your home while the 26% tax break is in place for the good of the environment and your wallet. But don’t expect to eliminate your power bill overnight.

If you decide to purchase solar panels, shop around and search for incentives. Consider financing with a solar loan if youd rather spread out the cost. Keep in mind that you dont have to buy solar panels you can lease them, too. That offers a lower upfront cost, although since you dont own the panels, they wont raise the value of your home, and you may not be eligible for incentives.

Going solar isnt the only potential way to save money. Learn more about what you can do to lower your bills.

Also Check: Will Solar Tax Credit Be Extended

History Of Solar Policy In California

California has taken significant steps to grow in-state solar: from reaching nearly 23 gigawatts of solar capacity across almost 900,000 solar installations to receiving in-state solar investments of $42 billion through 2018, California leads U.S. states in many solar categories. The states commitment to solar in the US is acutely apparent in SEIAs Top 10 Solar States list: notably, not even the next eight ranked states combined had installed as much solar energy capacity as California in 2018. The history of solar energy in the Golden State spans back to the industrys earliest roots and is a story of steady progress.

California first began promoting solar energy in 1976, when the state passed tax legislation to provide financial incentives for investment in the technology. Building upon this initial commitment solar, the state quickly passed the Solar Rights Act in 1978, which bars restrictions by homeowners associations on the installation of solar energy systems. The states commitment to the solar industry fostered an environment of growth that ultimately led to ARCO Solars 1980 completion of a 1 megawatt photovoltaic facility in Camarillo, an impressive capacity for solar at that time.

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Benefits To Going Solar In California

California is one of the best states to go solar, and there are obvious reasons as to why. Californias official state nickname is the Golden State. With its explosive growth following the discovery of gold, to the golden poppies in Antelope Valley, the golden gate bridge California is truly the golden state. Brea, Carlsbad, and Fountain Valley are cities that are starting to see a dramatic emergence of solar. From EV chargers to solar batteries, you can now turn sunlight into gold! Even though we Californians are typically some of the most Eco-friendly individuals in the entire world, one of the biggest reasons you should switch to solar energy is for the savings.

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Solar Panels In California

Solar panels in California are becoming more and more popular with homeowners. California, in general, has one of the best environments to make solar worth it for every home: a sunny climate, high electricity costs, and government incentives, in addition to competitive financing options. And, every year, the cost of electricity rises across the entire state of California. As a result, homeowners are looking for alternatives to decrease grid-based electricity consumption and save money on monthly utility bills.

How To Figure Out If Solar Panels Are Worth It In California

Are Solar Panels Worth it in Southern California? (I.C.E. Chats)

Even though California is the number one state in the country for solar conversions, going solar wont be right for every homeowner in the area. Determining if solar will benefit you takes some careful calculations, and there are several things that can influence your decision. Well discuss the most significant factors below.

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Getting Started Without A Signed Contract

A trusted solar company will always provide you with a free estimate. This quote will outline how much you can expect to pay after all is said and done. However, this estimate is NOT a contract!

Some sketchy solar companies in Southern California will try to begin working before all contract papers are signed. This can lead to a higher bill than expected. Always make sure youve signed a contract that outlines both the cost and the work you are paying the contractor to perform.

If a contractor attempts to get on your roof and begin working without your permission, call the police.

Californias Next Frontier In Fighting Climate Change: Your Kitchen Stove

Curtis Stone has been using induction cooktops for years.

To show grass-roots support for their rooftop solar stance, the utilities launched the Affordable Clean Energy for All campaign, which hasattacked net metering. The campaign lists more than 100 supporters, including the California Latino Leadership Institute, the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment and the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce.

But two-thirds of those supporters received funding from Edison, PG& E, SDG& E or SDG& E sister company Southern California Gas Co. last year, or currently list a sponsorship from one of those utilities on their website, a Times analysis found.

Kathy Fairbanks, a partner at the public relations firm running the campaign, said in an email that each group weighed the policy on its merits and concluded it needs reform. Still, she acknowledged the utilities are the campaigns only funders.

The solar industry has also hired PR firms, just like ours, she said.

Solar advocates say theyre the ones with true grass-roots support on their side. About 350 groups including organizations focused on climate action, public health, conservation and equitable housing are part of the Save California Solar campaign, which has received solar industry funding and is urging the Public Utilities Commission to protect net metering.

Read Also: What Will 300 Watts Of Solar Power Run

Posing As A Government Or Utility Representative

Recently, California has seen an uptick in telemarketing calls from solar scammers posing as government or utility workers. The goal of these fake phone calls is to schedule a free energy audit of your home.

Many feel pressured to go through with the audit since its being suggested from a so-called trusted authority. Once the sales team gets to your home, theyll try to sell you solar panels, still under the guise of something mandated by the state.

Learn some background information on the company to ensure theyre trustworthy and legitimate.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost In California

California Solar Farm Produces Power At Record Low Price  Solar Tribune

The average cost of a solar panel installation in California ranges from $11,815 to $15,985. On a cost per watt basis, a solar panel installation in California ranges in price from $2.36 to $3.20. See how California compares to solar panel costs across the U.S.

A critical question many property owners have when they are considering installing solar panels is the amount of time it will take to recover their initial investment through electricity savings. This question is defined as the solar payback period. For California, the average solar payback period is 6.05 years.

Another choice that solar shoppers have to face is how to pay for a solar panel system. Fortunately, there are many financing options available for property owners looking to invest in solar energy. Cash purchases are one common method to pay for solar and often lead to the most long-term value for your money. For those who prefer $0-down options, solar loans and solar lease/PPAs are available to help finance a solar energy system.

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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost For Homes

On average, solar panel installation and the system together can run between $15,000 and $25,000, according to the latest information from the Center for Sustainable Energy.

Location largely affects electricity rates. The national average is about 14 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to year-to-date 2022 data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Before you make the leap, learn how your electric bill, location and incentives can impact your wallet over time. Here are six steps to take to determine whether youll save more than you spend on solar panels.

» MORE: Find ways to save with NerdWallet

Rapidly Rising Electricity Costs

Lets face it, domestic electricity costs are rising rapidly across the nation, especially in Los Angeles, California where residential electricity rates have increased by over 10% from June 2020 to June 2021. Across California, prices have risen by 7% in the same time period.

There is no reason to expect that the rapid increase in electricity and home energy costs will be curtailed any time soon. In fact, with the rapid adoption of sustainability and ESG policies such as moving away from coal and fossil fuels, domestic energy costs are likely to continue to rise over the next decade, especially in states with limited natural resources.

A growing adoption of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles also puts an increasing demand on the electric grid and existing infrastructure. Expanding and upgrading the existing infrastructure to support rapidly rising number of BEVs and PHEVs on the road will likely continue driving up electricity rates over the next 5-10 years. These dynamics are projected to accelerate as states like Washington, Oregon, California, and others incentivize or mandate policies that foster adoption of electric vehicles by 2030 and/or beyond.

If you are concerned about the rising electricity rates in your home state, then investing in a PV solar power system will help offset the effects of rising energy rates while also reducing or even eliminating your current electric utility bills.

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Whats The Outlook On Solar In California

California was an early adopter of solar energy, and the industry within the state has only grown since. Residential solar installations have grown consistently over the past decade, and there are no signs of a downturn in the near future. The State of California is environmentally friendly in general, so the current solar incentives make it one of the most solar-friendly places in the country. The policies and incentives are likely to improve, if anything, going forward.

Home Resale Value Increase

4 Year Update – Are Solar Panels for Home Still Worth It?

One of the most significant benefits enjoyed by solar customers is the fact that panels may increase home value. According to a research study done by Zillow, solar panel installation will bump up your home value by an average of 4.1%.3 In California, where the average property sells for around $758,360, thats an expected value increase of approximately $31,093! This bump in value could be even higher in more expensive areas, like Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Its worth mentioning that this value increase is only expected if you use cash or a loan to acquire your panels. Leases and power purchase agreements will not boost your home value.

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Do Solar Panels Increase My Home Value In California

Yes, solar panels can increase your home value in California by up to 2%-3%. According to Berkeley Lab, in partnership with appraisers, universities, and Sandia National Laboratories found that home buyers are willing to pay more for homes with Solar Panels. On average, home buyers are willing to pay about $4 per watt of Solar installed. The study included various states and PV markets, housing, and home types.

This means home buyers are willing to pay $15,000 more for a home that has solar installed on top of it. For example: at $4 per watt, if you have a home with a 5kW solar system installed on it, that value is around $20,000 . So, with the average cost of a solar 5kW system in Arizona being around $14,700 your solar panels literally pay for themselves home value!

Co-author Sandra Adomatis noted, Our findings should provide greater confidence that PV adds a quantifiable premium to a wide variety of homes in California and beyond.

Is Solar Worth It In California

Solar power is worth it in California. There is no doubt about that. Especially in the summer, solar power can help take the edge off high electricity bills associated with high AC usage. Not to mention, the energy produced through solar panels is clean and renewable, making it better for our planet.

California is especially the best state for solar power because of how much direct sunlight the solar panels will have access to. Since the sunlight is beaming down practically all summer in Cali, solar panels can potentially convert a lot of energy to buffer your electricity bill.

California also has a lot of programs, rebates, and buy-back offerings to help lower the costs associated with solar panel installation. This further makes solar worth it in the state since there are incentives to get it installed in your home for less money.

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How Long Do Solar Panels Last On An Average In California

Just like any other machinery, solar panels, too, have their own life span. They can last for a maximum time period of 25 to 30 years on average in California. After this phase, their energy generation capacity gets reduced to a great extent. The retirement age of every solar setup varies as per the brand of the solar panels.

Do You Really Save Money With Solar Panels

How Much Does A Solar System Cost In California

Solar panels and solar panel systems will save you money and bring you a return on your investment in no time. Rising property values, lower utility costs, and a federal tax credit ease the upfront costs of installing solar panels.

How long does it take for solar panels to pay for themselves?

If you stay at home all day, it will take you less time to make your money back. You will recoup installation costs on average between 11 and 13 years, depending on where you live. In comparison, if youre only home at night, its between 22 and 27 years old. Its all about how much electricity you are using.

What are the 2 main disadvantages to solar energy?

However, solar energy still has significant disadvantages that we should be aware of. The 2 main disadvantages of solar energy are dependence on weather conditions and the inability to store electricity. The production of solar energy mainly depends on direct sunlight.

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How Much Money Will I Save

Since every system is different and the cost of electricity fluctuates, we cant tell you exactly how much money you can save. However, we can give you a general idea. If we base the amount on the current average price of electricity you could be looking at a savings of $35,400 over the 24 years after youve made back the cost of the system. This amount does not include any amounts that you may save or earn through net metering or energy storage.

This also does not include any amounts that you would still be saving after the initial 30 years of peak efficiency expire. You can always work with your installer to replace solar panels as they wear out so you dont have to worry about losing efficiency as quickly which will help you save even more.

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