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California Solar Installers
California leads the country in solar installation for good reason. With over 3000 hours of sunshine annually, California is an ideal location for installing solar photovoltaic panels and solar heating systems.
Solar power in California includes local distributed generation (primarily from rooftop photovoltaics) as well as utility scale solar power plants. The Renewable Portfolio Standard in California requires one-third of the state’s electricity by 2020 to come from renewable sources. Much of this will come from concentrated solar power facilities and PV facilities.
In 2019, the SEIA reported that California had 27,400 MW of solar installed capacity, comprising 20 percent of the total electricity generated in the state. At present, California ranks as the foremost solar power generating state in the country, generating enough solar capacity to power nearly 8 million homes. Over the next five years, the state is expected to add another 16,000 MW of solar capacity (but the lockdown and virus situation on top of public unrest will have an economic effect on the largest west coast state).
Moreover, California also has great rebates and incentives for homeowners and businesses that install solar like the California Solar Initiative. These and other popular programs are available to California residents who install solar power systems. To find out more, talk to one of the many California solar installers in our network today. We have solar installation professionals servicing San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, Glendale, San Francisco, Oakland, Fresno, Sacramento and just about everywhere else in California.
If you are thinking of going green, this is the perfect time in terms of the maturity of the technology, the price, the local conditions, and the state incentives. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you research your options.
Grasping the Installation Process
The process of a solar installation at home involves several important steps that you must keep in mind and prepare for. Here is a rough breakdown of the process:
- The installers come to your home and inspect your plans.https://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-resources/what-is-net-metering
- They take control of accessible work areas for installation. This can include having access to your roof, attic area, garages, and electrical panels.
- The solar equipment and all the related wiring can then be installed.
- Once the installers leave, you await approval from the city or county inspector.
- Post-approval, the net meter is installed and the utility company provides the Permission to Operate or PTO.
Planning Electricity Usage Over Time
You need to review the current and future consumption of electricity at your home to ascertain whether your solar installation would be adequate for those needs. Take a look at your power bills from the last year and keep them ready to be assessed by interviewers from your preferred solar installer.
It is also critical to plan for increases in demand over time. Calculate for the possibility of increasing power demands with future family growth. Plans that can be power-hungry, including solar heating for your pool or a hot tub, should be taken into account. Another possibility is keeping room for an EV charger installation if you choose to adopt an electric vehicle.
Owning vs Leasing
While you end up with the same technology in both cases, it’s vital to understand the distinction between owning and leasing your solar infrastructure. Both approaches have advantages and your choice can be guided by your current situation and needs.
These are the pros and cons of owning your solar system:
- Free electricity for your home
- Income potential through selling extra power to the local grid
- Tax benefits available immediately
- Recouping your initial costs over time
- High up-front costs
- Additional expenses if you apply for a loan to cover initial costs
Consider these pros and cons for a lease or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA):
- Low or zero upfront costs, making it a poignant choice for cost-constrained homes
- The company takes care of installation and maintenance
- Option of outright purchase before or after the lease ends
- You do not own the system
- Regular payment to use the electricity
- Outright purchase might be complicated and expensive
Local vs. Out-of-Town Installers
Relevant local knowledge is essential when installing solar systems. This covers tax incentives and credits on local, state, and federal levels, permit processes, building codes, and other local regulations. The installer also needs to be familiar with the net energy metering program (NEM) of your local utility.
Warranty support is crucial for your system post-installation. Your distance from the installer can have an impact on consistent support. You need clear answers regarding these matters before choosing an installer.
Solar Installation Timeframe
While the installation process can be fairly quick, there can be a wide variation of the timeframe between finalizing your installer and getting the actual installation finished between different installers. Government regulations, backlogs, and administrative red tape can cause delays and you might have to wait up to a year before your panels arrive. It’s prudent to acquire detailed information about the expected timeframe from installers before you finalize your choice.
If you don’t feel like undertaking a research project or don’t have the time to make the inquiries yourself, then let us do the work for you. Simply fill out our short inquiry form, we will find you reputable and experienced California solar installers in your area to provide free proposals for you to review.