Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy comes with multiple benefits. Here are some highlights.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Solar is one of the universe's most abundant clean energy sources, meaning you can reduce or eliminate your home's dependence on "traditional" sources.
- Better energy independence: Solar systems with battery storage work through blackouts and emergencies, and you won't have to depend on the power grid for your safety and comfort.
- Lowered energy bills: You can dodge the expensive cost of grid-tied power by producing some electricity right where you use it.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Fresno Homeowners?
California homeowners who decide on solar could qualify for tax credits, reimbursements, rebates and special financing. Here are just a few of the region's incentive programs.
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 price and efficiency of solar panels often depend on the provider that mounted them. Consider all of these elements in your company search.
The kind of solar panels you select decides how much electricity you can generate. Monocrystalline panels cost more than other options, but they generate the most power. Polycrystalline panels generate less, but they're a great traditional option for low budgets. Thin-film panels aren't recommended for large residential installations, but they are ideal for small projects like converting RVs and sheds.
If you want to charge an electric vehicle (EV) or use your solar power in inclement weather, you'll usually pay extra for add-ons. These upgrades extend your system's efficiency while adding more conveniences to your home. Not every solar company offers these extras, so look for an installer that has them if it's crucial for you.
Licensing and Training
California requires solar companies to hold licenses for each type of equipment they install, which can include solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, water heaters, boilers, HVAC, and pool heaters. Contractors must complete a highly comprehensive educational series, gain four years of field experience, and pass written exams to earn a license. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private certifications. Two of the most prestigious are the PV Installation Professional and Solar Heating Installer certificates, backed by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Some companies don't publish this information online, so you should also ask your estimator about them.
Solar installers use multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. A few of the most common options include power purchase agreements (PPAs), loans, leases, and cash payments. Most solar experts recommend paying cash or using a solar loan. Cash payments demand a large up-front sum, but they save you from paying interest, grant you system ownership, and qualify you for cost-saving incentives. Solar loans have the same benefits, though you'll pay more in total due to interest and fees. Much like a auto or home loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with as little as $0 down. Solar leases involve paying a set monthly rate to use rooftop panels. A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) permits you to pay a monthly rate based only on the energy you use, as with an electric bill. We generally don't recommend these two choices because you won't own the solar system and are disqualified from using solar incentives. Ask each provider you're considering about the payment plans it offers. A consultant can help you determine the most suitable option for your pocketbook.