Saturday, May 11, 2024

Is Solar Worth It In Southern California

An Overview Of Tou Rates

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

Today, most residential SCE customers are on a tiered rate plan. This means your per kilowatt hour electricity rate is determined by how much electricity you use in a given month. When you use more electricity than the baseline allocation, you move up tier levels and have to pay a higher rate per kWh for that excess electricity. TOU rate plans are different: your per-kWh rate changes based on your total monthly electricity use and the time of day you use it.

There are specific times during the day when electricity is more expensive to generate these are known as peak hours. When you draw electricity from the grid during peak hours, SCE charges you more for it. Alternatively, you can experience lower electricity rates if you consume energy during the specified off-peak hours.

Solar Ev Charging Station 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.

Estimate Residential Solar Panel Cost

The brunt of the expense with solar panels is in installation and the purchase of the actual panels.

» MORE: Compare solar loans and apply

Minimal long-term expenses can make up for the upfront costs. Most systems dont require much maintenance and are designed to last for 20 years or more with little change to the amount of electricity produced, Nilsen says.

When calculating the total price, consider how much energy you regularly consume your usage is listed on your monthly utility bill and what size system will generate the amount needed. Some tools, like the SolarReviews calculator, estimate the system size for you.

With installation, an average residential 5kW size system costs between $3 and $5 per watt, according to the CSE, which results in the $15,000 to $25,000 range. That cost is before any tax credits and incentives.

If you know your current energy usage, you can calculate how much youll need to pay for solar panels.

» MORE: Calculate your monthly payments on a solar loan

Then comparison shop for solar panels as you would other big-ticket items, such as a car or TV, says Vikram Aggarwal, CEO of the solar marketplace EnergySage. Some companies lower installation costs through rebates and other programs.

Aggarwal recommends getting quotes from three to five contractors. EnergySage compiles solar companies customer reviews, certifications, Better Business Bureau profiles and other information to help you find reputable providers.

Also Check: How To Design Solar Power System

How Do I Choose A Solar Company

10 Tips on Choosing a Solar Company

  • Have the right mindset.
  • Dont rely on solar price comparison sites.
  • Get more than one budget.
  • Avoid leases and energy purchases.
  • Never choose a company just for the price.
  • Prefer local businesses that have been running businesses for a long time.
  • Read reviews online, but be careful.

Is Solar Worth It In 2021

Southern California Edison Customers Can Now Go Solar at ...

You may have heard about solar power from a friend, on TV, or maybe your neighbors got solar panels during COVID.

  • In 2020 solar power experienced a 37% growth in the United States.
  • According to SEIA, 42% more solar power installed 2021 and 2025!
  • Research piloted during the pandemic revealed incredible growth projection for the market over the next 18 months.
  • According to, Global renewable energy market growth from $184.3 billion in 2020 to $226.1 billion by 2021, with solar leading the way.
  • The reasons for rapid growth:

    • Homeowners who switch to solar power are saving thousands in electricity costs every year by choosing to produce their own. Southern California homeowners return on investment is usually 4 7 years and over 20% ROI.
    • Flexible financing: Financing for your PV solar system is easier than ever, with low interest rates and shorter terms
    • Increased property value: In 2020 you can still take advantage of the 26% Federal Tax Credit on the entire cost of your PV solar system. But is scheduled to drop to 22% by 2023!
    • Cost of installing solar panels has drastically decreased over the past 15 years.

    Recommended Reading: Do I Qualify For The Solar Tax Credit

    Utility Bill Rate Design

    Good electricity rate design allows you to save money when you save energy. This might sound intuitive but not all provinces are same. Superior designs have low fixed monthly fees and tiered electricity rates. Inferior designs have high fixed fees and flat electricity rates.

    Alberta score near last in this respect having flat rates and high fixed monthly fees averaging $40.

    For example, reducing your electricity bill from 1,500 to 750 kWh per month will save you 54% on your electricity bill in British Columbia, 48% in , but only 41% in Alberta!

    Note that fixed monthly fees dont disappear even if you switch to solar youll pay them as long as you remain connected to the grid. But this isnt a bad thing $40/mo is a small price to pay for using the grid as your back-up energy source!

    The only way to completely remove your fixed costs is to go off the grid, something most homeowners in Alberta dont do because of high battery costs.

    Disconnecting from the grid also means that you wont be able to participate in the your utilitys net billing program.

    How We Guarantee Your Solar Investment

    At Bright Planet Consulting, we carefully design our solar installations to deliver payback periods of 8 years or less â 100% guaranteed.

    There are never any surprises and the breakeven point of your solar investment is set in stone.

    In addition, we can also help you:

    • Qualify for affordable solar financing â whether you want to use cash, a loan, or PPA.
    • Apply for relevant solar incentives to help drive down the total cost of your installation.

    And for qualifying PV systems, weâll even throw in a free electrical panel upgrade.

    The question isnât whether you can afford to go solar. Itâs whether you can you afford NOT to.

    Read Also: Is Getting Solar Panels A Good Idea

    How Does The Federal Solar Tax Credit Work Irs In California

    Who can claim the solar tax credit?

    The solar tax credit is an incentive introduced by the federal government enabling home-owners to claim a refund of a certain percentage of the cost of installing a solar power system.

    Its done by entering the capital cost in the next years IRS return and your tax owed is reduced dollar-for-dollar. With a tax rebate of $1600 and say you owe $4600, you will pay only $3000.

    Example: The solar tax rebate for 2021 is being maintained at 26%. If a solar power installation costs $17000, then your tax rebate is calculated like this:

    17000 x 26% = $4420 refund against taxes

    The rebate started out at 30% in 2019, went down to 26% in 2020 through 2022 and will go down to 22% for panels installed in 2023.

    The tax credit is supposed to stop after 2023, but it will probably be extended as President Biden just announced a renewed commitment to all things solar .

    Review Your Electric Bill

    Is Solar Worth It In California – Solar Panel Cost Calculator California

    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 you’ll benefit from switching. But you should note that electricity rates and usage the main charges on your statement are volatile.

    “If a utilitys electricity prices fluctuate, so could the amount of savings,” says Garrett Nilsen, deputy director for the U.S. Department of Energy’s solar energy technologies office. “Similarly, if energy consumption changes, the amount of savings can also vary.”

    Visit the EIA website to view the most recent prices per state.

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    Initial Costs / Breaking Point

    Last and most concerning factor is the initial cost, and when you as a homeowner will break even. On average, depending on your usage, roof and more, homeowners are breaking even at the 5 year mark. This is with some useful financing through 3rd party home improvement loans. Paying your loan in verse making your utility company rich is a far better way to spend your hard earned dollars. Additionally, you know your loan stays the same, unlike your utility company charging you more for using less.

    Start Your Solar Journey Today With Energysage

    If youve decided that solar is worth it for you, check out the EnergySage Marketplace to maximize your savings! Youll receive up to seven quotes from our network of pre-vetted solar installers, which will allow you to compare installers and equipment. If youre still not convinced or are unable to install solar on your property, you can also take advantage of solar savings by joining a community solar farm on the EnergySage Community Solar Marketplace.

    This article was adapted from a post that originally appeared on Mother Earth News.

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    Are Solar Panels Worth It In Southern California With Action Solar Installers Of San Diego Absolutely

    Weve answered the question Are solar panels worth it in Southern California?, now let us show you! At Action Solar Installers of San Diego, we use premium quality equipment and our team of professionals will make sure to find the best solar energy solution for your home and conduct the installation without a hitch. Were here for any other questions you may have, so shoot us a call today!

    How Long Do Solar Panels Last On Average

    Solar represented 13% of Californias power in 2016  pv ...

    The best quality solar panel manufacturers give guarantees and normally specify 20 to 30 years life, in general.

    That said, they can work quite effectively for years more, perhaps 50 years of useful power generation. Solar panels are tough. The output does reduce as the solar cells efficiency falls, but but this occurs at a pace of about 0.5 to 0.8% per annum.

    The specification sheet provided details the warranty conditions and what to expect. Usually specifying 90% of original rated generation after 10 years working life and 80% after 20 years from the installation date.

    Associated equipment is protected by separate warranties to protect the home-owner against early component failure. If a vital component such as an inverter becomes faulty within so many years, a new one will be provided free of charge.

    Solar panels are the most durable part of the whole system, while inverters generally come with a product guarantee period of between 12 to 15 years.

    Microinverters and power optimizers have better longevity, and can last as long as the solar panels, therefore they usually come with a longer guarantee period.

    Micro-inverters are really the best option for generating optimum power output in partial shading situations.

    Read Also: Are Solar Panels Harmful To Your Health

    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

    What Incentives Tax Credits And Rebates Are Available Tosce Customers For Installing Solar

    The major financial incentive currently available until the end of 2021 is the 26%federal solar tax credit. The way this works isthat the full cost of the system needs to be paid to the installer, and this tax credit can then be claimedback as cash when you next do your taxes.

    Many states, local governments and utilities also offer incentives for homeowners who go solar. This helpcan take the form of state tax credits, rebates, tax breaks, SRECs or even performance-based incentives. The best part is that all of these incentives apply in additionto the federal credit.

    Here is every incentive you may be eligible for as a SCE customer:

    Table 1: Incentives

    Installer1 of1

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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.

    Are Solar Panels Worth It For Southern California Edison Customers

    Is Solar Worth It In California?

    Yes! With available solar property tax exemptions, battery storage incentive through the SGIP program, and available net metering, home solar panels make sense for Southern California Edison customers in California. SCEs net billing rate allows you to get near full credit on your power bill for the excess solar electricity your panels produce which you cant use onsite. Your credits accrue at the same rate as retail rates, less a small non-bypassable charge, and roll over onto your next months bill.

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    What Are The Two Main Factors That Influence The Pv Generation

    Solar panel power output is reduced by several things, and most of them are beyond our control.

    Tilt angle and shading from nearby buildings or trees can combine with other factors we cant change, such as local weather conditions.

    7 of the main factors reducing solar system power output are listed below:

  • Irradiance is a direct measure of how much sun energy can falling across the solar panels surface.
  • Shading. Solar panel need clear skies if they are to generate maximum power.
  • Maintenance. Regular cleaning will save losses of up to 15%.
  • Orientation. Solar panels should face South for best results .
  • Tilt angle. The best title angle is 60 degrees for a fixed solar installation.
  • Temperature. Over-heating brings down the efficiency of solar cells, which is why space is left. between the roof and the panels.
  • California Debating The Future Of Rooftop Solar’s Biggest Incentive

    3 Min Read

    – Californias power utilities have asked state officials to reduce the amount of money homeowners make selling excess electricity from rooftop solar panels into the grid, a proposal that could slow widespread solar adoption.

    Policies made in California, the nations biggest market for rooftop solar panels, often serve as a template for other states that are seeking to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy to fight climate change.

    This week utilities, solar industry representatives, ratepayer advocates and others are presenting their ideas on potential reforms to officials at the California Public Utilities Commission, who will make a decision later this year. The new policy would likely take effect in 2022 or 2023.

    The competing proposals presented on Tuesday and Wednesday focus on a decades-old policy called net metering, which allows homeowners with solar panels to sell the excess power to their utility at or near the full retail rate.

    The incentive has propelled installations, helping residential solar behemoths like Sunrun Inc and Tesla Inc, as well as hundreds of small local firms.

    The power industry, however, argues that the policy is overly generous, and shifts billions of dollars in grid maintenance costs to their customers without panels, who tend to be less affluent than solar owners.

    Reporting by Nichola Groom Editing by Aurora Ellis

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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.

    How Do New Sce Tou Rate Changes Affect Your Solar Panel System

    In California, aggressive energy goals encourage utilities ...

    Prior to the implementation of TOU rates, many solar installers in SCE territory would install a solar panel system that could offset enough of your electricity usage to remain in the lowest tier of electricity rates. However, the new rate schedules may change how you approach your solar savings.

    When your solar panels produce excess electricity during the day, its sent back to the gird in exchange for net metering credits. Under SCEs new TOU rate plans, most viable sun hours are during off-peak periods, meaning youll receive lower compensation for the kWh than if they were generated during peak hours. Your solar panels may not produce enough electricity to cover your usage during peak hours, resulting in a higher electricity bill.

    TOU rates are one of the primary reasons many homeowners choose to install a battery with their solar panels. With a solar battery, you can store your excess solar electricity production at home instead of sending it back to the grid. Then, during peak hours when your solar panels arent producing electricity, you can draw from the battery instead of having to pay a higher rate to your utility.

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