San Diego is an excellent place to go solar. People install rooftop solar systems across America’s Finest City every day of the week, and over two hundred thousand installations throughout San Diego speak for themselves.
This article shares more insights into why more San Diego residents should consider going solar. If you’re brand-new to the solar energy world, don’t worry. We’ve provided a short guide to help you understand how this sustainable energy approach can benefit you.
Why Go Solar?
Going solar comes with plenty of benefits for the individual consumer, but also for the environment and wider society. Let’s explore each one in more detail.
Going solar in San Diego saves you money. Here’s how doing it can have a positive financial impact on your savings.
- Lower electric bills. Solar panels help generate free power for more than 25 years (average solar system lifespan).
- Prevents the rise of energy costs throughout the country. Electricity prices go up each year. The more people that switch to solar energy, the more stable electricity bills are.
- Higher property value. This one’s a no-brainer. A solar home is worth more than a non-solar home.
- Great return on investment (ROI). Solar energy is a significant investment. Average purchasers in the US see an ROI of up to 20% and higher, as most systems pay off multiple times over their lifespan.
Going Solar Is Environmentally Friendly
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that the electric sector is responsible for almost a third of the country’s carbon emissions. The power plants that run on fossil fuels pollute the air around San Diego and the rest of the US.
Solar energy significantly reduces our global carbon footprint. An average residential solar system eliminates up to four tons of carbon emissions each year – This is the equivalent of planting a hundred trees.
Going solar isn’t only beneficial for our financial stability and planet’s sustainability. The solar industry also creates new jobs. Investing in solar panels means more people become employed.
Also, homeowners and businesses rely on solar plus storage during power outages as storms become more severe. If you’re not familiar with the term, solar plus storage includes a battery under the solar system. This provides energy at night or when there’s no sunlight.
And let’s not forget the perks of being on high-end in terms of technology as well as the visual appeal of the solar panels on rooftops.
Is Solar Worth It? San Diego Facts
There are some facts you should know if you’re thinking of switching to solar in San Diego. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has released a solar consumer guide for California residents aiming to familiarize consumers with the concept as well as the false claims they should watch out for.
We recommend you read the full guide on this page.
One of the common misconceptions is that you won’t pay electricity bills after going solar. This couldn’t be further from the truth. According to the guide, you will pay a small bill each month and a larger one at the end of a 12-month cycle.
Payback Period for Going Solar in San Diego Residential Installations
You need to consider two factors to determine your payback period and ROI on going solar in San Diego:
- Solar panel installation cost
- Solar system revenue
Determining the cost of solar installation is relatively straightforward. The solar company will give you a quote, including the solar panel cost along with approvals, inspections, and permits needed for the jurisdiction authority and the SDG&E.
The revenue you produce with your solar system is the function of the energy amount it creates each year. This figure is compared to the money you’d pay for that same energy had you paid for it without the panels.
Also, the solar energy your system produces depends on the climate, especially the sunshine. Southern California and San Diego can go for weeks without a cloud, making it an excellent location for installing solar panels. A single kW of peak direct current (DC) from solar panels in San Diego generates around 1,700kWh per year, which is certainly attractive.
Finally, financial incentives are an important segment of whether it’s worth going solar or not. The incentive amounts are different across the country. In California, the essential ones include the 26% federal solar tax credit as well as net metering. Read more about these incentives below.
Introducing the Federal Solar Tax Credit
The federal solar tax credit is currently among the most important incentives for going solar. It refers to a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the income tax amount. If you claim $1,000 in a federal tax credit, it reduces the federal income tax by $1,000.
Congress passed a 26% tax credit for solar systems installed from 2020-2022 and 22% for systems installed in 2023. The tax credits are redeemable up to 2024. After that period, all credit expires unless they are renewed by Congress.
As you can see, from the tax credit point of view, it’s better to invest in solar energy as soon as possible to maximize your profits.
Introducing the Net Metering Incentive (NEM)
A second important incentive for everyone considering going solar in San Diego is net metering for solar PV systems. Basically, under net metering, you sell extra energy to your local utility company for a profit as a solar customer. They credit you for the amount of solar energy you add to the grid and let you use these credits for monthly electric utility payments.
This system is great because it delivers ongoing dividends throughout your solar experience. The bad news for those planning to install solar panels in 2022 is that the value of solar credits will be reduced compared to the NEM 2.0 model. If you want to maximize your return on investment, consider enrolling on NEM 2.0 before it’s too late. However, given the overall environmental benefits and financial benefits in the long-term, it’s still more than worth it to go solar in San Diego, even in 2022.
SDG&E Electricity Rates and ROI for Solar Users
San Diego is among the leading US cities in terms of installed solar energy capacity per capita. It’s also a well-known fact that SDG&E, the city’s electric utility company, has some of the nation’s highest electric rates. Combine extremely high electrical bills with plenty of sunshine days in San Diego, and it won’t take you long to realize why residential solar panels in the city have a high return on investment.
How Does San Diego’s Climate Work in Favor of Solar?
Measuring how much solar energy a residential solar system generates isn’t always straightforward. We calculate the solar radiation amount in kilowatt-hours per square foot per day. Some other valuables, such as radiation type, also play a role.
From what we know so far, a single KW from solar panels in San Diego can make almost 1,650 kWh worth of energy each year. We mentioned this already, but if you take into account that some northeast towns only produce up to 1,200 kWh for the same time period, you can see why San Diego profits from using solar panels.
Ready to Go Solar in San Diego?
California is the first-ranked US state in terms of installed solar capacity for a good reason. The combination of robust solar policies, high electricity bills, and plenty of sunshine make solar systems favorable solutions in the state. Even though the net metering system is projected to lower the credit value, San Diego residents can still benefit from other incentives and see a huge return on investment in the long-term. Is solar worth it? San Diego says yes.