California's Orange County is known for its sunshine, Disneyland, beautiful beaches, and popular state parks.
That solar also powers many residents' homes, more than 93,000 in a county of 3.1 million people, said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy and Storage Association. of homes are using solar panels.
“The more sunlight you get where you live, the better the solar system functions,” Del Chiaro says. “The further south you go in California, the better it is for solar power. Orange County, with its sun and surf, is one of the best places for solar power.”
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Orange County's geography makes it a favorable location for solar panel installations. Not only can we generate electricity because of the sun, but we also need that electricity to run our air conditioners. “Orange County is a hot place, so we use a lot of energy and we get a lot of sunlight,” Del Chiaro said. “This cross-section is very special when deciding whether or not to go solar.”
If you are interested in solar energy for your home, incentives and credits are available. This coincides with the sharp decline in solar power prices dating back to 2010. Solar power could be of particular interest in California, where electricity prices have risen sharply in recent years.
Orange County's Premier National Solar Panel Company
Many national solar panel installation companies operate in Orange County, including some of the nation's top solar companies. Here are CNET's top picks:
Local Solar Installation Company in Orange County
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If you conclude that solar panels are the right choice, the next step is to hire an installer.
Del Chiaro suggests verifying that the installer is legal by obtaining multiple bids and ensuring that the installer is properly licensed by the California Contractors Licensing Board. doing.
A good contractor will come to your home and explain why your home is a good candidate for solar power, detailing how much you can save, how you will benefit from the installation, and any incentives available. She says she should make a written bid. she said.
“A good contractor will take the time to work with you for free,” she says.
What is the price of solar panels in Orange County?
The cost of solar panel installation varies depending on the size of the system being installed. The larger the system, the higher the cost. Therefore, since system sizes vary in kilowatts, it is advantageous to know the cost per watt.
The average residential price per watt in California is about $4, Del Chiaro said. She said a typical Orange County home would cost her about $24,000 upfront to install a 6-kilowatt system. That's before federal tax credits.
Orange County residents can expect to see a return on their investment in solar power through standalone systems within about 11 years, Delchiaro said.
Another cost to consider is the purchase of solar cells. The batteries will protect you in the event of a power outage, but Del Chiaro estimates the cost will probably be an additional $15,000.
“The battery adds about $15,000 to the cost, but it also qualifies for a federal tax credit, which adds $10,500 to the cost of the system. “It can ‘shine’ and save you more money than a stand-alone solar power system,” she said.
More than 7,600 batteries have been installed in solar systems built in Orange County so far, Del Chiaro said.
According to FindEnergy.com, common costs and system sizes are:
cost of solar panels in california
|Typical system size (kW)
|price per watt
|Total installation cost
|Cost after 30% federal tax credit
Orange County Solar Power Incentives and Rebates
There are various federal and state programs to make solar power a more affordable option. If you live in Orange County, consider ways to reduce costs.
The biggest incentive, of course, is the federal solar power tax credit, officially known as the Residential Clean Energy Credit. This tax credit allows you to get up to 30% of the total cost of your solar installation back in your next year's taxes.
Installation factors to keep in mind
There are several other considerations that homeowners should take into account before proceeding with a solar installation. These include roof angles, homeowner association regulations and permits.
Roof condition: Del Chiaro said the biggest issue related to roofs is whether they are overly shady and may not allow enough sunlight to reach the home.
The second question is whether the roof faces south or west.
“If you have a flat roof, you can handle it, but if your roof only faces north and the south side is in the shade, it’s not very good for solar power,” she said.
Homeowners Association Rules: If you live in a home with a homeowners association, that can be an issue. “They can be very painful,” Del Chiaro said.
California has a law that prohibits homeowners associations from turning members away from solar power, but HOAs could still push back or impose other restrictions, she said.
permission: Obtaining a solar power permit in California can be an arduous process. Del Chiaro said it may be necessary to consult the building department or local fire department. “Often our local governments don’t take the time to streamline their processes, which creates a lot of red tape,” she said.
All of California's separate governing bodies can lead to potential problems. “Everyone has their own construction department, so it's a patchwork quilt of chaos,” Delchiaro acknowledged.
Real estate energy requirements: If a customer lives in a small house or apartment and doesn't use much electricity, it could take a while for the solar investment to pay off, Del Chiaro said. If you spend more than $100 a month on electricity, you're probably a good candidate for solar power, she says.
How to pay for solar panels in Orange County
Although there are ways to reduce costs, installing solar panels requires a large investment costing thousands of dollars. You need to decide how best to fund your project.
cash: If you have cash on hand, this is the easiest way to pay for solar panel installation. It will cost you a lot of money initially, but you won't have to pay interest or fees in the future.
Solar power loan: Some solar companies offer loans specifically for solar power, offering financing and installation opportunities from the same company and simplifying the process.
Other types of loans: Some homeowners take out a personal loan or consider a home equity loan or line of credit to finance the installation. Be wary of high interest rates, and if you're borrowing against your home equity, be aware of the risk of losing your home if you can't make the payments.
Power purchase agreement: Power purchase agreements create a system in which a third party owns the solar power system and sells the power at a discount. California allows power purchase agreements.
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