The city of San Diego is positioned perfectly for solar power, not just because of its geographic location, but also because of the cost of power. City grid To have a successful solar panel system you’ll need some pretty sunny skies. Meteorologists estimate that the city experiences more than 260 days of sunny or partly sunny skies.


Your interest in installing solar power for your home might be for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons could be financial, while others might stem from you wanting to be more environmentally conscious. We hope this guide will help you in determining whether solar panel power, for your San Diego home, is right for you.


Solar in San Diego – Advantages

There are plenty of advantages when it comes to going solar in San Diego, so let’s break down some of those major advantages so you know what you are getting in return for your investment.


  • Renewable EnergyScientists say that the sun is going to be around for at least 10 billion more years. Solar energy is truly a renewable energy source and can be used widely throughout the world. While the production of solar panel systems may require standard energy use, the overall benefit is that you will truly be harnessing the power of the sun.
    • Your Energy Bill – Solar panel systems typically connect to a standard city grid so that you can ensure to have power, even when the sun is not present. The best part about this is that you will likely make a surplus of energy coming from your solar panel system, which allow you to sell that energy back to the city and earn either credits or cash-back from your solar panels. The amount of money that you save will depend on your solar panel system and the size that you are using to power your home.


    • Return on Investment – Unlike paying a city utility bill, solar panel systems will actually give you a return on your investment. This can come in the form of your monthly bills as mentioned above, but also can add value to your home and neighborhood.


    • Tax Incentives – Solar panel installation tends to reap some tax benefits that very few people are aware of. Some of these incentives are federal tax breaks, while others come from the state in the form of a rebate (as mentioned above). The current federal tax incentives are around 30% of the installed equipment.


    • Social Impact Benefits – The installation of solar panels extends beyond the boundaries of your home. Not only is the solar energy industry growing and creating employment, but it also impacts less dependence on foreign oil and fuel sources. Finally, going solar is better for the environment over the lifetime of use than depending on grid-based energy.


    Solar in San Diego – Disadvantages


    As with anything, there are some disadvantages of using solar-based power systems. To be fair about how solar power impacts homeowners, we have to also talk about any downsides you might experience when deciding to go solar.


    • Space – To install a solar panel system you’re going to need an appropriate amount of space for the panels and battery banks required for the system to work properly. some homes are simply not equipped or composed to accommodate this sort of system.


    • Weather Dependent – As you can imagine solar panel systems require sunny days. No geographical location can promise sunshine every single day. This is partially why you will connect to the city utility grid. While you can still capture solar power on overcast days and during the winter months, you might not capture enough to power your daily needs.

    Solar in San Diego – Cost Breakdown and Savings


    San Diego Gas and Electric estimate that the average home in San Diego needs around 500 kW hours per month. This would require a solar panel system that consists of 3.85 kWh, which breaks down to an eleven 350-watt panel system.


    The national average, according to Home Advisor, estimates that a solar panel system will cost about $23,000 after all equipment is installed. This price point could be higher or lower depending on your home’s energy needs and what you and your family use on a daily basis. While that number may sound a little scary, if you plan to be in your home for a while, this has proven to offer homeowners significant savings. According to decision data, the national average time it takes a homeowner to see their return on investment for a solar panel system is just over 8-years.


    Let’s do a sample for solar on San Diego home. On a solar system size of 3.85 kWh, a homeowner in San Diego can expect to pay about $9,000 on the overall price, after tax incentives are adjusted. At San Diego Gas and Energy rates, a homeowner would see an ROI in about 5-years. After 25-years, that same homeowner could see over a $70-thousand dollar savings in energy costs.


    Encōr Solar offers multiple $0 down solar programs for those you do not want to pay for the system out of pocket. These programs create energy savings the first month your panels are installed by replacing your current bill with lower one. To learn more about the zero down programs, request a custom solar quote.


    Solar in San Diego – Install Process


    If you are still interested in installing a solar panel system you might be curious about how the installation process works. Below you will see a step by step guide and how you can acquire your own system and start reaping the benefits of the sun.


    1. Meet with Encōr – There are a number of ways to find a qualified solar panel installer. The best way to start is a custom quote from Encōr Solar that tailors the quote to your energy usage and needs.
    2. Site Visit – After you have hired a solar panel expert, they will visit your home and do an evaluation of what your home needs to go solar.
    3. Permits and Documentation – Larger home projects typically require some type of permit and documentation in order to complete the project. Your solar panel expert will be able to guide you through that process to ensure that you are following protocol or city-state requirements.
    4. Install Planning – After the paperwork logistics are wrapped up, you and your installer will work on ordering the right equipment and setting up your install date.
    5. Installation Day – Your solar panel install day will have your home busy with activity. The installer will be preparing the roof, conducting tests, running wiring and placing battery banks as applicable. After those tasks are complete the installer will make sure you’re connected to the grid, so you can reap the rewards of making solar energy, and flip the switch to go solar.


    Going Solar in San Diego


    You should know that deciding to go solar in San Diego means you’ll be in good company. Environment America released a report in April of 2018 that stated that San Diego ranks number two in solar power installs and ownership, falling only second to its neighbor Los Angeles.


    The report deemed the city a “Solar Star” due to its record of 50 or more watts installed per capita. Cities also making the top ten list include Phoenix, Honolulu, Denver, Las Vegas, and Indianapolis.


    Another exciting piece of California legislation passed in May of 2018 that requires solar be installed in all new construction. This was a bill lead by the California Energy Commission. Formal approval will be needed from the California Building Standards Commission but is expected to pass.


    In detail, this mandate will impact homes that receive a new building permit and includes apartment complexes and condo builds over three stories in height. Some homes will be exempt from this mandate if obstructions like trees or other structures make solar panels insufficient for normal energy needs.


    In Conclusion, going solar in San Diego has to make sense depending on the price point, the neighborhoods and how long you anticipate staying in your home. For instance, if you are buying a starter home that you think you’ll only be in for 5-years, solar might not be the right match for you. Likewise, if you rent, a solar panel investment is not going to be a good option especially since you aren’t eligible for tax incentives if you are renting a property.


    To get started, get a quote from Encōr Solar today.