Tired Of High Electricity Bills
Electricity bills are a major expense for California home and business owners, especially in Northern California. Solar energy system owners will enjoy decades of significantly lower electricity bills or even eliminate their electricity bill altogether. With a lifespan of 25-30 years, a solar power system offers more than just clean energy it saves you money.
In many cases, a solar system can produce all the electricity your home will need to function properly, eliminating your energy bill altogether. In some cases, you can even gain credits from your electric company. The American renewable energy and efficiency act protects the homeowner from utility companies acting fraudulently with the energy theyve purchased from the homeowners solar power production.
Not only can you eliminate your energy bill, but you can get paid by the utility company, which means if at any point your solar power system needs maintenance or accrues damage from a natural disaster, you can use the credit towards utility grid energy use.
California Solar Tax Incentives And Rebate Programs
There are also a handful of California solar incentives to help lower the cost of solar for residents. Some of these include rebates, loans and property tax exemptions. Though any quality solar company will be knowledgeable about the local incentives in your area, it’s always worth doing some independent research. We recommend using the DSIRE solar incentive database to find money-saving opportunities in your area.
The Sgip Equity Budget For Home Battery Storage
SGIP also has what is known as the equity budget. This budget has money set aside for solar batteries that are installed in low-income and disadvantaged areas.
The goal of the residential equity incentive is to catalyze more battery storage deployment in low-income areas.
Residential equity systems will receive a rebate of $0.85 per watt hour installed.
Low income homes that are located in either a Tier 3 or Tier 4 fire district, or that are in areas that have experienced two or more planned safety power shutoff events can qualify for an even higher incentive when they install battery storage on their home – this is known as the equity resilience incentive.
Projects that qualify for the equity resiliency incentive program will receive a rebate of $1.00 per watt hour of storage installed.
This covers almost the entire cost of a solar battery system. Check our blog on SGIP’s equity resiliency program for more information.
So Who Does Residential Solar Make Sense For
Jason Brown: Heavy electricity users who live in states with the highest electric costs and adequate sunshine. At Gen110, we are focused on the raw economics of residential solar we must match or beat the current electric rate in order for it to make sense to the homeowner. We believe that currently, residential solar only makes sense in California, Hawaii, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
In California, anyone who pays over $120/month for electricity should investigate residential solar as a means to protect themselves from future rate hikes.
How Much Do Solar Panels Save In California
Wondering how much money solar panels save in Cali? Solar Panels can save the average California homeowner an average of $56,203 in electricity savings over 25 years depending on several factors. EnergySage suggest homeowners will save $31,307, while Solar-Estimate states you can save upwards of $73,714 by installing solar panels in California.
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Should I Go Solar Or Not
Why should I go solar? Everyones got an opinion. And in the age of information, everyones got an opinion online. Which is handy for wasting years of your life. But not so for finding anything resembling the truth.
Thats where we come in.
See, we know a thing or two about solar. And its our mission to wade through the flotsam of speculation to find the solar facts, so you dont have to.
So, sit back, relax and pop a cold one while we answer the topic of the day:
Should I go solar?
One Reason To Go Solar Now: Increased Electricity Prices Cut Into Savings
If you wait to go solar, youre stuck paying your utility electricity bill every month, which can be an increasingly expensive proposition: electricity prices have risen almost 30% on average in the last 10 years, and depending on where you live, could increase by another two or three percent per year.
The typical U.S. home spends over $1,400 a year on electricity. If you buy a system that meets 100 percent of your electricity needs today, you can eliminate your electricity costs and have an extra $1,400 in your pocket a year from now. The following year, when prices go up, youll save as much as $1,500 and the savings will continue to grow for the 25 to 35 years that your system is operational. For every year that you dont buy solar, you lose out on all those electricity bill savings.
Also Check: How Many Years Does A Solar Panel Last
On One Hand: The Case Against The Mandate
Energy wonks and practitioners have offered a range of arguments against the mandate.
1) Rooftop solar is an extremely expensive way to reduce carbon emissions.
That is the subject of the short but pointed letter that UC Berkeleys Severin Borenstein sent to CEC Commissioner Robert Weisenmiller, arguing that residential rooftop solar is a much more expensive way to move towards renewable energy than larger solar and wind installations. Rooftop solar generates energy anywhere from two to six times the cost of energy from big renewable energy farms.
2) Cheaper emission reductions are easy to find.
They could be had through regulations mandating more urban density, tougher home and vehicle efficiency standards, an increase in the renewable energy mandate, transmission expansion, or almost anything else, really.
3) The mandate will arguably produce no additional emission reductions at all.
California is operating under statewide mandates to reach 50 percent renewable energy, a doubled rate of energy efficiency, and 40 percent carbon reductions by 2030. Mandating one form of renewables doesnt increase the total amount that will be deployed it just shuffles the mix around. In this case, the CEC is mandating a more expensive form of renewables, which, all things being equal, will raise the cost of hitting the targets.
4) This rule was rushed into effect without comment from outside energy experts or economists.
6) Solar eats its own lunch.
Should I Get Solar Panels An Interview With Jason Brown Of Gen110
Recently we discussed whether you can save money by installing solar panels on your home. To follow up, we sat down with Jason Brown, CEO of Gen110, a distributed energy company that provides a cost-effective, alternative way for heavy energy users to purchase residential electricity. Gen110 serves over 2,000 customers in California, protecting them from rate hikes by producing ~13 gigawatt hours of electricity annually at their own homes.
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Peak Sun Hour Values 12 Months For San Francisco Ca Power Output Vs Tilt
Insolation by month for San Francisco, Ca by month
A sun-tracker could be installed to point the solar panels towards the sun constantly, which would increase the power output by as much as 40%.
The downside is that sun tracking systems cost something like 25% of the total installation costs and they arent that cost-effective for relatively small home solar installations.
If at any time you need more power its generally best to simply install more solar panels it would be much less expensive than sun-tracking.
Solar Power In California
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Solar power in California includes utility-scale solar power plants as well as local distributed generation, mostly from rooftop . It has been growing rapidly because of high insolation, community support, declining solar costs, and a Renewable Portfolio Standard which requires that 33% of California‘s electricity come from renewable resources by 2020, and 60% by 2030. Much of this is expected to come from solar power via facilities or concentrated solar power facilities.
In 2019, the Solar Energy Industries Association reported a total of 27,400 MW of solar capacity installed , making up 20% of all electricity produced in the state. In October 2020, California ranked as the highest solar power generating state in the nation, producing enough solar capacity to power 8.4 million homes in the state. In 2020, SEIA estimated that California will increase its solar capacity by over 19,000 MW over the next 5 years, second behind Texas at 20,000 MW.
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Why Choose Sunrun In California
As the nations leading residential solar and energy storage company,6 weve helped hundreds of thousands of people gain energy independence and security.
*We recommend contacting a tax professional to accurately determine the impact of the solar Investment Tax Credit on your federal taxes.
**Customers ability to monetize rebates, incentives and tax credits depends on several factors, including, without limitation, continued state subsidization of these policies, the applicable Sunrun product type and whether a customer purchases or leases a home solar system from Sunrun.
***One Tesla Powerwall stores 13.5 kilowatt-hours of usable electricity, which can be used to back up the home for a day. An LG Chem solar battery holds 9.8 kWh, which can be used to back up essential parts of the home from 8 to 12 hours.
Srec Programs Earn You Money But Also Wont Be Around Forever
Some states and utilities have solar renewable energy certificate programs and other production-based incentives that pay you for the solar electricity you produce. However, these programs wont be around forever either. If you live in a state with an SREC program, you could miss out on the opportunity to generate thousands of dollars in extra income from your solar energy system while you wait to go solar.
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Why Should I Get Solar Panels
Even if you arent required by law to get solar panels for your home, you should still consider them. A PV system will reduce your annual electrical usage, helping your wallet as well as the environment.
With the current market, the cost of electricity is continually going up, which makes solar panels more and more cost-efficient. Solar panels will also help ensure your home always has electricity. Even when the grid is offline due to a flood, fire, or earthquake, your system will still be able to provide your home with the electricity you need, as long as you have a solar battery system.
Waiting Means Missing Out On Thousands Of Dollars In Potential Savings
Waiting to install solar panels means waiting to save on your energy bill, and continuing to pay more for that energy as prices rise.
- Over the last decade, electricity prices have increased about 2.2% per year in the U.S. .
- In 2016, the average American households energy bill was $112.59 per month, or about $1,350 annually .
- If you were to install a solar photovoltaic system that generated enough power to offset this bill entirely, you would be saving $1,350 in year one. With a 2.2% increase each year, your savings in year two grow to $1,380 and would reach $1,500 in annual savings in less than 5 years.
Remember, the total cost savings from waiting three years to go solar came out to $900. This figure would be eclipsed in year one by getting solar panels for your house now. Savings would more than triple by year three and would only continue to grow with time, as you are avoiding paying for the rising cost of energy. And that is a good reason to get solar panels for your home right now.
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Check Out Smaller Installers
These inflated solar prices often come from some of the larger solar installers in the industry so its important to consider all of their solar options, not just the installers large enough to pay for the most advertising. The same 2017 NREL report referenced above found that quotes from large installers were typically 10 percent higher than those from mid- and small-sized installers. If you receive quotes from some of the bigger companies in the industry, just be sure to compare them with quotes from local installers so you dont overpay for solar.
Financial Incentives Will Be Reduced As The Popularity Of Solar Grows
While there are significant rebates, tax credits and other incentives in place to encourage homeowners to go solar, incentives programs usually get phased out as solar becomes more popular and costs decrease. The current federal renewable energy tax credit is 30 percent through 2019 but after that point, it will be phased out for residential systems. Some state and local governments offer similar programs that will be reduced over time. A few examples:
- California used to have rebates up to $15,000. But thanks to the popularity of solar in the Golden State, those rebate programs have been eliminated.
- In New York, the Megawatt Block Incentive Structure gives solar energy system owners a rebate based on the size of their system . As more property owners install solar, the value of the rebate is reduced. The highest incentives available through the program are $1/watt, but will eventually be reduced to $0.15/watt as adoption increases.
- Massachusetts had a solar rebate program that initially gave rebates in the $9,000 range. Now, the rebate program has ended and homeowners are only eligible for a tax credit, which is capped at $1,000.
While incentive programs differ from state to state, make sure to explore the incentives that are available where you live so you can determine how putting off your solar purchase will impact the tax credits or rebates you could receive.
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What Direction Is Best For Solar Panels In California
The best direction to point solar panels in any location in the Northern hemisphere is due South, but its not a disaster if this cant be done. Professional installers can always find innovative solutions to this kind of problem.
A solar panel array can face Southwest or Southeast, and can even generate good amounts of power facing the West or the East. North-facing should really be avoided, because theres very little direct sunlight.
Faq: Average Cost Of Solar Panels In California
Is it worth going solar in California?
One of the sunniest climates in the country makes California one of the best states in the U.S. for generating energy with solar power. The ample sunshine, generous net metering policies and pre-existing availability of solar installers provide a great deal of value for solar customers in California.
How much does it cost to install solar panels in California?
As of 2021, the average cost of solar panels in California is $2.73 per watt. This means a 5-kW system would cost around $10,100 after the solar tax credit. Heavy investment in renewable energy has lowered the cost of solar in the state significantly, and this cost offers great value relative to high local energy prices. The best way to assess how much solar would cost you is to consult local providers near you for free estimates.
Do solar panels increase home value in California?
Solar panels increase home value everywhere, but mostly in areas with generous net metering policies and solar rebates. As such, the areas in California where solar panels increase home value the most correspond with the areas that have the most solar-friendly policies. It’s worth noting that even if your home’s value increases, California has laws in place to ensure your property taxes don’t rise as the result of a solar installation.
How much do solar panels cost for a 2,500-square-foot house?
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Who Pays And Who Profits
As the net metering debate nears its endgame, leading environmental justice advocates are carefully weighing in.
Groups including the California Environmental Justice Alliance and Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability said in a that the solar program disproportionately benefits wealthier, white, single-family homeowners.
But they didnt take a position on the cost shift question. Instead, they offered ideas for helping low-income renters and people of color benefit from clean energy, such as building community solar facilities that serve entire neighborhoods.
Solar incentives, they wrote, must prioritize the needs of the communities most harmed by historic pollution.
Theres an excitement about solar, especially among the folks we work with. But theres a lot of support needed, said Amee Raval, policy and research director at Asian Pacific Environmental Network, one of the groups behind the statement.
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Other environmental justice activists are defending net metering. The newly formed Coalition for Environmental Equity and Economics, which has received funding from Save California Solar, sent Newsom a letter accusing the utilities of race-baiting.
We have to tell the truth, which is that is and can be readily available for most communities, said the Rev. Ambrose Carroll, founder of Green the Church and one of the equity coalitions leaders. We have to fight for it.