California is leading the solar revolution; the combination of sunny days and favorable clean energy policies have created what is being called the “solar boom.” As a result, more homes have switched to solar in the Golden State than anywhere else in the country, earning it a long list of impressive statistics.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), California achieved the following in 2016:
- Total Solar Installed: 18,919.8 Megawatts (MW)
- Solar Installed in 2016: 5,211.7 MW
- National Ranking: 1st
- Homes Powered by Solar: 4,885,000
- Percentage of State’s Electricity from Solar: 13.39%
- Solar Jobs and Ranking: 100,050 (1st in the nation)
- Solar Companies in State: 2,625 companies total; 455 Manufacturers, 1,261 Installers/Developers, 870 Others
- Total Solar Investment in State: $44,007.43 million
- 2016 Solar Investment in State: $8,451.10 million
- Price Declines: 64% over last 5 years
- Growth Projections and Ranking: 13,670 MW over next 5 years (ranks 2nd)
What Does This Mean for You?
If you are a California homeowner, you’re in a great place. The cost of going solar is at its lowest in history for a number of reasons. Zero-percent down financing is available to help homeowners escape the rising rates of utility companies and add value to your home. Additionally, government incentive programs unique to California provide homeowners with an added financial reason to make the switch. All this together means you are in the best position to move to solar energy now.
How Do You Choose the Right Company?
A vibrant solar market also means healthy competition among installers—and that has led to great companies. The other side of that coin, however, is it can be pretty tricky finding a trustworthy solar provider, as the spike in popularity has brought out those simply looking to make a quick buck in the latest technological boom.
There are three things to keep in mind when addressing this challenge:
- Cost. “Cheap” isn’t always best. If a company is touting prices lower than typical market value prices, beware. Solar is a big purchase that should last a very long time, which means it is better to aim for a reasonable rate that will add value to your home and longevity to your savings. Remember the old adage: “You get what you pay for.” Cheap panels usually degrade quickly, leaving you with a system that under-produces in just a few years’ time, and an increased utility bill.
- Experience. If you’re looking to avoid one of these companies that offers a sub-par product, the company’s portfolio and experience level is a good indicator of trustworthiness. Some installers reel in homeowners by offering low prices then install cheap panels with amateur labor. This high-risk proposition can end up costing you more both in the short and long term. The roof on your home is an expensive asset that you won’t want compromised, and if accidents do happen, you’ll want to be sure you’re with a company that is properly licensed, bonded and insured, and offers a strong warranty on their labor.
- Longevity. Your 10-year warranty on labor won’t be worth much if the installation company is no longer in business to honor it. Check the history of your prospective installers to be sure they have a high number of jobs already on their resumes and that they have been in business for long enough to have developed a good track record.
Switching To Solar: A Best Case Scenario
There are a few simple things that determine a smooth process, and researching these aspects ahead of time is the first step to a wise purchase.
- The install will run smoothly. There are a lot of little steps when switching to solar, and a good provider will manage all of this process for you and provide transparency. The installation itself is critical, so be sure to have a company with a strong reputation and a stronger warranty.
- You’ll start saving immediately. Going with a loan or lease option? Given the competitive nature of the solar industry, seek out providers with $0-down financing and start saving as soon as you turn on your system. High quality system that is both efficient and durable.
- Keep saving for the long term. Beware low-grade panels that degrade and stop offsetting your full energy bill far too soon. Solar technology is advancing, so research your panel manufacturer and get cutting-edge technology on your home. You’ll often find that it pays to go premium, as fewer panels can produce more energy than low-grade alternatives.
If you are looking to install solar power in your home, Sunpower® by Precis can provide you with high-quality products and expert installation to help you start saving money on your utilities! We are proud of our reputation as one of the leading Southern California solar installation options, and we work with you to develop the perfect solution for your home’s needs. We can also help you take advantage of the many great benefits and incentives available to Californians who make the investment in their home and switch to solar power.See how much you can save! Call Sunpower® by Precis today at (951) 800-7926 to request a free solar quote.