Take a look at your energy The first step to getting started and designing any solar panel installation is to calculate your average annual kilowatt-hour consumption. This information is available to you by signing on to “My Account” at the SDG&E website. If you haven’t set up your account, you can do so here. The SDG&E website is a terrific resource, where you can learn
A residential solar electric system can be a great investment for homeowners that live within SDG&E territory, but it’s not for every homeowner. Cut through the jargon and the misinformation to learn the strategies you need in order to make a truly informed decision. Hot does net metering work with SDG&E? What are the pros and cons of solar? How do the tax credits work? What does solar cost? What are the different finance vehicles available? When does it make sense to buy vs. lease? In what
Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov first mentioned in 1941 the concept of collecting solar energy in space and transmitting it back to Earth. There is no nighttime in space. Solar electricity could be produced 24/7. Scientists today are working on prototypes of this technology. In laboratory conditions that mimic the conditions in space, they currently can power an LED that is 20″ away from the solar collector. Clearly this technology is many, many years from being deployed in the real world.
We’ve been in the residential solar industry since 2006, and have witnessed a lot. We install only within SDG&E territory, but oftentimes our friends and family in other areas ask us what to look out for. So here’s a list of questions that homeowners should be asking, but infrequently do: Does the solar company have a contractors license in good standing? If they don’t, then they’re sub-contracting out their installations to someone who does. In recent years, there’s been an onslaught
The California solar electric industry has been around since the late 1970’s. In the early days, solar was mostly used for back-to-the-woods off-grid living, and illegal marijuana growing. Solar was very expensive. Solar became more accessible when it became economically justifiable for regular people. This happened in California when net-metering laws were enacted in 1996. These laws forced utilities to compensate for daytime solar production so that customers could offset both daytime and nighttime electric charges. Solar in California grew dramatically
The rules take effect in 2020 for all new home construction and major renovations. Though it will increase the upfront cost of a new home (a little), overall it will decrease total monthly costs for the homeowner. Current estimates are a $40 monthly increase in mortgage payments in exchange for an $80 monthly savings on utility bills. Mandatory solar is part of the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Title 24 rules, along with more stringent energy efficiency standards. The efficiency and the
Having started in solar in 2006, we saw a need for higher-quality solar installations. Many contractors choose to save a few dollars by using cheaper footing, cheaper racking, plastic flex tubing instead of metal, and even plastic zip ties (instead of metal clips) to hold the wires off the roof. Homeowners were buying solar panels with 25 year warranties, without realizing that the balance of system (BOS) was simply not designed to last that long. We started San Diego County Solar
Because we are in North County San Diego, we are frequently asked to install solar panels on homes with clay tile roofs. As you can see in this photo of a recently installed solar power system in Rancho Santa Fe, clay tile roofs can accommodate solar panels quite nicely. When San Diego County Solar takes on a solar project like this, we treat the home as if were our own. The key to successful solar panel installation on homes like
Recent changes to utility rates will not be as favorable for solar power installations after the March 30, 2018 deadline. There is still time to avoid mandatory time of use rates and go solar with a more solar friendly, tiered rate structure. To realize this benefit, solar power systems in SDG&E territory must have permission to operate by March 30, 2018. We can still have most San Diego County solar installations completed in time to beat the d
Tariffs and higher solar panel prices are probably coming soon. It’s highly probable we’ll see a decision from the Trump administration to impose tariffs on imported solar panels. This will increase the cost of going solar, whether you choose to have a solar power system installed with imported or domestic panels. San Diego County Solar has sufficient resources to install pre-tariff solar panels prior to the March 30, 2018 deadline.
Available Space There is no substitute for a site visit by a qualified solar professional. They can measure roof surfaces, perform a shade analysis, check the condition of your roof and assess the compatibility of a solar installation with your existing electric service. The available space and other conditions will help determine the design of any solar installation. Common residential solar modules are about 3-1/2’ x 5-1/2’ in size. While size is similar for most solar modules, power output can vary widely. If space