Make the best decision about investing in solar power in California
Sunny California produces one third of all solar energy generated in the US making it the number one state for solar. Over 20% of Californias total energy generation comes from solar. The adoption of solar in California has been shaped by the states environmental goals, ideal weather conditions, and economic benefits.
While California is home to several utility owned large-scale solar farms the amount of of residential installations have been a large contributor to solar growth.
The average price for a home solar panel system in California is $14,250 or about $2.85 per watt. Systems will vary depending on the types of solar panels you choose and the size of your system. When shopping for solar panels you should consider getting multiple quotes from various installers.
The average payback period for solar panels in California is around 6 years years. Your payback period will depend on the cost of your system and the amount of power it generates. The more energy your system generates the faster it will pay for itself.
Everyone has their own method for determining if solar is “worth it”. If your objective is to leverage solar to eliminate or reduce your electric bill you have different expectations of someone who is more interested in reducing their carbon footprint.
To help you determine the best option for you you can use this solar calculator that will weigh different solar options and other renewable energy options.
While the weather in California makes for ideal solar efficiency there are a lot of factors to consider before investing.
Solar has roughly 20 times less carbon output than coal-powered energy sources. After three years of use, solar systems are completely carbon neutral and remain so for the duration of their lifespan.
In short, if you want to reduce your carbon footprint going solar is a great option.
When you have your own solar system you are putting energy back into the grid. Your utility rewards you by crediting back the value of the energy you put into the grid. For example, if your system generates 2,500 kWh in a month and you use 2,500 kWh in that month you would have a $0 electric bill.
In most cases, if your system generates more energy than you use the credits will roll over to the next month.
With the right solar system, you could potentially have a self-sufficient power system for your home. This means you don’t have to rely on the grid for energy. If the grid has an outage you could still power your home with your solar system.
Those who are trying to become energy independent often pair their solar system with a battery. This allows you to store electricity and use it when you need it.
California does not currently have a statewide solar credit, but there are many local incentives and rebates. Many of these rebates also include options for home energy efficiency as well as solar.
A fund that helps fund solar panel installations on low-income housing. Learn more about this program on their website.
The City of Riverside California has rebates for a laundry list of home energy efficiency projects like HVAC tune-ups, smart thermostats, solar powered attic fans and much more. You can learn more here.
Glendale Water and Power offers incentives to small business customers (monthly electric bill is less than $3,000) to encourage energy efficiency through the Smart Business Energy Saving Upgrade Program.
Like every other state, new solar panel systems in California are eligible to receive the federal solar tax credit of 26%. This credit is applied on your annual income tax credit.
There are many options when it comes time to purchase our solar panels. You can finance, lease, or pay the entire cost upfront. The right choice will depend on your financial situation and the costs of your system and other factors. Our solar calculator will help you weigh your options. You can find more information on leasing vs buying solar panels here.