Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy has multiple advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.
- Better energy independence: Photovoltaic systems with energy storage operate through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to depend on the power grid for your safety and comfort.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Using clean solar power lowers your dependence on fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases that damage the environment.
- Lowered energy bills: Solar panels allow you to generate your own energy to power your home, reducing your monthly electricity costs. You can eliminate your bills completely if you go off-grid.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to San Jose Homeowners?
California agencies and electric companies offer a number of solar incentives to help reduce your solar system costs. Here is a breakdown of eligible 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: Rebate ProgramWebsite: cityofpaloalto.org
Single-family residential gas-displacing systems: $18.59 per therm displaced
Single-family residential electricity or propane-displacing systems: $0.54 per kWh displaced
Multifamily and Commercial gas-displacing systems: $14.53 per therm displaced
Multifamily and Commercial electricity or propane-displacing systems: $0.42 per kWh displaced
Low-Income Multifamily gas-displacing systems: $19.23/therm displaced
Low-Income Multifamily Electric or Propane Displacing systems: $0.56/kWh 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 San Jose
Choosing a company is the first step toward a well-oiled and cost-efficient solar system. Make your choice based on the following essential elements.
Licensing and Training
California requires solar companies to hold licenses for each type of equipment they install, which can include solar HVAC, pool heaters, photovoltaic (PV) systems, boilers, and water heaters. Contractors must complete a highly comprehensive educational series, gain four years of experience as an apprentice or journeyman, and pass written exams to earn a license. Look for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), among the solar sector's most trusted trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.
Cost of Solar Panels in San Jose
The style of solar panels you purchase determines how much electricity you can generate. Monocrystalline panels cost more but give you the best performance. Polycrystalline panels work with a tried-and-true mechanism and cost less, but produce less power. Thin-film panels aren't the best for large residential installations, but they are excellent accessories for non-traditional roofs.
Additional system add-ons, such as battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, will raise your overall costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not all solar companies offer these additional features, so look for a contractor that sells them if it's crucial for you.
If you're a resident of San Jose and want a five-kilowatt solar energy system, you could expect to pay about $17,350 for parts and installation. See more information on specific component and panel costs in the table.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in San Jose
Solar contractors offer multiple different financing options to lower your costs and increase your savings. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs), cash payments and solar loans. Most solar experts recommend paying cash or using a solar loan. Cash payments require 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. Like a car or home loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with potentially $0 down. Solar leases allow you to rent your panels for a set monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay only for the energy you use, much like an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and don't grant you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. Look for companies that offer several 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 San Jose.
You are eligible for a 26% federal tax credit for new solar energy devices until the year 2032. Municipal and state governments and utility companies might also offer discounts, rebates, and unique financing solutions that could save you more.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in San Jose
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