“Is solar worth it in California?” you ask. Well, there are over a million solar rooftops in the state of California, generating 33,208.6 megawatts of solar energy. Currently, those solar photovoltaic (PV) systems generate enough to power over 9 million homes. The total solar generation is made up of about two-thirds of residential and commercial; the rest are government installations. Know what that means? A lot of Californians would say that solar is definitely worth it.
And who can blame them? With almost 300 sunny days a year, California hits the list of the sunniest cities in the U.S. quite a few times. The state is an ideal place to use solar as a reliable energy source. From solar savings to blackout protection, here are some reasons why solar panels in California are a no-brainer.
Is Solar Worth It in California?
If you live in the Golden State, chances are you know a thing or two about the heat. Rooftop solar installations are blazing with over 230,000 solar panels installed to date. For those wondering, “Is solar worth it in California?” – the answer is definitely yes.
Let’s take a look at why so many homeowners have chosen to power their homes with solar panels.
Pretty Awesome Solar Savings
One of the biggest allures of solar is the amount of money homeowners could save. There are so many solar incentives and rebates available for California residents. So, why wouldn’t everyone want solar in California?
In the summer, Cali is downright burning up. Air conditioning units might run up to 24-hours a day just to make the hottest months of the year bearable. And who’s to blame when the electricity bill comes?
Bail on the Average Utility Bill in California
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Californians pay an average of nearly 24 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). That’s one of the highest rates in the country. And we’ve got other news too. Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter who yearns for a more energy efficient future, the rates of local utility companies are guaranteed to rise. That goes for the mansions and the single-family bungalows.
Consequently, each household uses energy in different ways. Bills may range from as little as $40 to $800 a month or more. Factors depend on air conditioning use, how many people are in the home, and when appliances are in use. All of these factors certainly prove solar is worth it in California.
How Much Money Will I Save with Solar Panels?
No matter where you fall in your monthly average utility bill, solar can definitely still save you money. Add a powerful battery storage to your optimal running solar system, and it’s possible to take full advantage of California solar savings. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the cost of solar panels have dropped more than 70% over the last five years. It’s a win-win, even if you don’t own your home. Let your landlord know about the federal tax credit and reap some benefits for yourself.
Still wondering is solar worth it in California? Here are a few financial incentives that have already sweetened the deal for many homeowners:
California Net Metering Programs Put Money Back in Your Pocket
Net metering is a mutually beneficial partnership between you and your utility company. When your solar panels produce excess energy, you’ll be able to roll it back to your electric company for a credit. Many who utilize this program have found their bills dropping to the negatives with solar credit. While savings will vary, net metering is a chance for homeowners to save money on their electric bills. The bottom line: solar panels are definitely worth improving your chances of a lower electricity bill.
Federal Solar Tax Credit Shave Off the Cost of Solar
Solar savings get a nice boost from the federal government. The federal solar tax credit, also known as the investment tax credit (ITC), allows you to subtract 30% of the cost of your solar energy system from your federal tax bill. And there’s more good news! This federal incentive has just been increased, so now is the perfect time to take advantage of having the federal government help pay for your solar system.*
California Solar Rebates and Incentives: Evaluating Solar Financing
Is solar worth it in California? The answer comes down to the true cost of electricity. No matter what your electric bill looks like today, it’s still possible to save money when you power your home with solar energy. And the cost of residential solar panels has never been so sweet. Whether you’re buying or leasing, there are cost-effective options for your purchase. Let’s check out a few that California has to offer.
- Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) – This program is a lofty incentive for adding a battery to your solar system. In fact, in preparation for the next wildfire season, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has authorized funding of more than $1 billion through 2024 for SGIP.
- Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) – This is another California solar incentive offered through the CPUC. For eligible, low income households, your access to solar just became a profitable possibility. This capacity-based incentive offers $3 for every watt of home solar and energy efficiency training.
Other Local California Rebates
Californian cities also offer their own perks to residents choosing to power with solar. For instance, San Francisco’s GoSolarSF program provides a nice incentive. SanFran residents could receive anywhere from $100 to $2,000 per kW of home solar installed for up to 4 kW.
Another solar advocating city is Sacramento! The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) offers a California solar rebate program as well. It puts $300 back into residential customers’ pockets when they choose to install a new rooftop solar system.
But solar rebates and incentives don’t stop there. In fact, here’s a whole guide of resources to help you pay for your solar panels. Or, you could chat with a Solar Energy Specialist about your options.
Top Reasons Why Solar Is Worth It in California
#1 Show Some California Love for Clean Energy
Savings isn’t the only reason folks have decided to go solar. There’s also the fact that solar installation produces several benefits to the environment, including a reduction in air and water pollution. The U.S. is a big time energy guzzler and with great generation comes an even greater environmental cost. Researchers warn that a dramatic shift in climate change could alter the ways we generate and consume energy as we know it. Good thing the state of California is leading the charge with ground-breaking clean energy policies to meet renewable energy goals.
#2 Reliable Solar Energy Keeps Blackouts At Bay
California power outages are becoming more common than anyone would like to admit. While solar panels are a great first step in creating a reliable blackout protected fortress, you need a solar battery backup for true security. Often, a homeowner’s best bet is to include a solar battery like the epitome of efficient technology, the Enphase IQ. With the increase of wildfires and natural disasters in California, power outages have become more than common. A great alternative to sole reliance on an inefficient utility grid for electricity is a solar panel system with a solar battery backup.
Yes, Solar in California is Totally Worth It
Is solar worth it in California? Yes – look at how many homes in California have solar panels! But judge for yourself. Solar energy offers a low carbon footprint, clean, reliable energy that can support your electricity even when the grid fails, and savings for any budget. Whether you’re a homeowner or a tenant, solar is more than a distant dream. It could be your future!
Contact one of our Solar Energy Specialists today for a free solar energy consultation. It’s time to save money and find out for yourself what all that solar buzz is about.
(First published on July 19, 2021)
*Tax and credits or incentives including those provided by federal, state, or local governments may change or end. This can impact the amount of money you might save. Consult a tax professional to understand any tax liability or eligibility for any tax credits that may result from the purchase of your solar system.
If you have taxable income and own the system, you may qualify for the federal investment tax credit (ITC). It is your responsibility to determine your eligibility and to apply. Consult a qualified tax professional for assistance and details.