If you’re a California resident with green sustainability concerns, the ideal lifestyle would be owning a plug-in electric vehicle, replacing your lawn with native plants, and powering your electricity through solar panels. That would get rid of your tailpipe smog emissions, reduce your water usage, and get electricity from a clean, renewable source instead of “dirty coal.”
Consumers with green priorities also care about what it will cost, and make efforts to access incentives and rebates that would even out the monthly budget. Homeowners and businesses are learning that going solar will reduce your monthly electric bills, but there’s a cost to having these panels installed before the dollar savings happen.
Companies installing photovoltaic solar panels on roofs are talking to California homeowners about available installation incentives, but qualifying for the state program usually means your electricity bill is up there a ways – maybe $150 per month instead of $75, and your credit report is clean. The solar installer might also check out a Google map photo of your house to get a glimpse of how many trees are hovering over the house, which affects the amount of available needed sunlight.
It’s part of the California Solar Initiative, a solar rebate program for California consumers that are customers of investor-owned utilities – Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). It comes from previous Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Million Solar Roofs Program where the state has set a goal to create 3,000 megawatts of new, solar-produced electricity by 2017.
When doing your homework about the benefits of going solar, you’ll need to review the options you have and savings you’ll be getting long term on your electric bill. The Go Solar California nonprofit group offers resources worth checking out.
A solar home partnership calculator explores options the homeowner can review on the types of solar panel technologies that could be installed on the roof and available incentives – which helps determine what the wisest investment might be. The Trigger Tracker shows how many California Solar Initiative megawatts worth of rebates are available.
The choices are getting better for making sound environmental and pocketbook decisions. There are several solar installation companies in California, and some of them do offer a wide range of financing programs that could keep your monthly payments at an affordable level. Seeing your monthly electric utility bill reduce is another bright spot.