Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy provides several advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Adopting solar is a surefire way to minimize your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
- Smaller power bills: Producing some or all of your own power will spend less on electricity long-term.
- Better energy independence: Solar energy can keep your home running through blackouts and emergencies, giving you additional security. You can use your solar energy anytime with an optional battery backup system.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Fresno Homeowners?
The state of California offers several solar incentives to help cut your solar system costs. Below is a breakdown of relevant solar programs where you live.
Incentive Type: Property Tax IncentiveWebsite: boe.ca.gov
100% of system value; 75% of system value exemption for dual-use equipment
Incentive Type: PACE FinancingWebsite: wrcog.us
Eligible products can be financed for up to 25 years, depending on the useful life of the eligible product.
Minimum financing: $5,000
The financing may not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the market value of the property, up to the first seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) of the property’s market value, and ten percent (10%) of the remaining value of the Property above seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) minus any PACE assessment on the property The total amount of any annual property taxes and assessments shall not exceed five percent (5%) of the property's fair market value, determined at the time program financing is approved.
Incentive Type: PACE Financing
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: selfgenca.com
For projects 30 kW or larger, 50% of incentive will be received up-front; 50% will be received based on actual kWh production over the first 5 years. For projects under 30kW, 100% of the incentive will be paid up front.
Incentives will step down over time. See below for incentive amounts.
Incentive Type: Feed-in TariffWebsite: ladwp.com
$0.17/kWh adjusted by a time of delivery multiplier
Base price will step down over time as certain MW goals are met
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov
Step 1 Incentive Rates (contact utility to determine current incentive levels):
Single Family Residential Incentives:
Systems that displace natural gas: $29.85 per estimated therm displaced
Systems that displace electricity or propane: Funding has been exhausted
Systems that displace natural gas: $20.19 per estimated therm displaced
Systems that displace electricity or propane: $0.42 per estimated kWh displaced *** Note, funding has been exhausted in this category for SCE and PG&E
Solar Pool heating: $5.00 per estimated therm displaced
Incentive Type: Personal Tax CreditWebsite: ecowatch.com
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.
How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Fresno
The cost and efficacy of solar panels often depend on the provider that mounted them. Make your choice based on the following vital factors.
Licensing and Training
California requires solar companies to hold licenses for each type of equipment they install, which can include solar water heaters, HVAC, photovoltaic (PV) systems, boilers, and pool heaters. Contractors must take a highly comprehensive educational series, gain four years of experience as an apprentice or journeyman, and pass written exams to earn licensure. Check for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), among the solar industry's most respected trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.
Cost of Solar Panels in Fresno
Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels offer the best energy production but cost more than other options. Polycrystalline panels provide a lower price point but produce less power. Thin-film panels work well for small projects like RVs and sheds, but they're not ideal for larger installations due to their low performance.
You can also add electric car (EV) chargers and battery backup systems. These will increase your total project price, but they can maximize your solar system's efficiency. Not every solar contractor offers these extras, so look for a company that sells them if it's essential for you.
A majority of Fresno homeowners opt for solar systems designed for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems cost about $17,350 to install, considering both parts and installation. You can see more specific cost information in the table.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in Fresno
There are various ways to pay for a new solar system, and the right one will reduce your expenses. A few of the most common options include loans, leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and cash payments. We recommend paying with cash or using a solar loan for the best return on investment (ROI). Cash payments require a hefty sum up-front, but you’ll pay the least long-term by avoiding interest. You’ll also have full ownership of your system and can apply for solar incentives to cut your total costs. Solar loans are another good option if you don’t want to make a big initial investment. You can pay for your system in installments while still enjoying energy bill savings and solar incentives. However, you’ll spend more in total due to accruing interest. Solar leases let you use your panels for a set monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay just for the energy you use, similar to an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and do not provide you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. Look for installers that offer two or more payment plans to find the right fit for your budget.
The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Fresno.
You are eligible for a 26% federal tax credit for new solar power systems until the year 2032. City and state officials and utility companies might also offer rebates, discounts, and dedicated financing plans that could save you more.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Fresno
How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?
Is solar energy easily accessible in Fresno?
Will a solar PV system increase my Fresno home worth?
How do I care for my new solar system?
What size should my new Fresno solar system be?
What is the average payback period for Fresno solar panels?
How can I maximize my solar array's performance?
- optimize the panels' position with your solar installer
- regularly clean your solar panels
- upgrade to a more efficient inverter trim or cut down trees in the way of your panels
- use energy-efficient appliances
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