Here in California, we lead the forefront in the nation for our clean energy initiatives and green living. It should come as no surprise then, that so many people are switching over to Solar Power for their homes. Sunny California is home to the top two solar installers(Telsa/SolarCity) as well as the world’s most efficient solar pane manufacturer(SunPower). Factor that in with the state’s high cost of electricity and notably lower solar prices and its a no brainer. Read below for our tips on switching over to Solar Power and save your energy of searching the web on your own!
1. Compare all your options: get as many quotes as possible
If you are considering installing solar, research and consider every option that you can. Various resources such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the California Solar Initiative and others can offer pricing data. Additionally, there is a long list of companies in the state that can provide free PV quotes.
2. The largest installers will not necessarily offer the best price
Although large companies will often bring out superlatives like ‘biggest installer’ in their sales pitches, this does not mean that they offer the best value. The premise is simple: massive installers already have market share and brand awareness and thus do not need to offer the best prices and value. When small installers compete in a price auction, on the other hand, the result is some of the lowest bids you can find in the U.S. for a PV installation. Make sure you price compare to ensure your getting the best value!
3. Different products for different people
Just as a Lamborghini might not be the right choice for everyone in the market for a car, the same concept applies with solar. Not everyone needs to shop for the most expensive solar PV equipment. There are many different types of solar panels and inverters for different needs and preferences. For the price-oriented, value-focused consumer, it is easy to save thousands simply by choosing standard solar panels instead of a premium top-of-the-line brand.
There is a hefty list of solar panel brands that offer a wide range of features and prices.
How much could I save?
Solar panels offer homeowners a wide range of financial benefits. This is largely based on the sizes of the rooftop solar systems, average electricity rates, and local incentives.
As an example, let’s assume that you live in Los Angeles and fit the average profile for an L.A. homeowner:
- You are paying 20.3 cents per kWh (48.2% more than the national average)
- You’ll purchase 7,200 kWh of electricity each year
- You pay an average of $92 per month for your power bill (but that’s climbing)
If you were to install a 2.4 kW solar power system on your home, you could see the following savings over the course of the system’s 25- to 30-year lifetime:
- Monthly Savings: $80-$145 (more over time depending on rate hikes)
- Lifetime Savings: $25,000-$43,000 (more over time depending on rate hikes)
Investing in your home
Saving on power bills isn’t the only financial benefit to going solar. A commonly overlooked personal benefit is how it affects your property value.
While some expect rooftop solar to devalue a home, it actually increases your home’s value. Most homebuyers save on electric bills with a solar home and are willing to pay more for it.
The National Bureau of Economic Research found that solar panels add, on average, between 3% and 4% to a home’s value. In fact, it’s one of the smartest investments you can make on your home.
In the San Diego area, the price premium added from 3.1 kW of solar panels reached $22,554. This is roughly the cost of installing those panels. That means you could easily recoup your solar panel expenses if you needed to sell your house.