Solar Panels Los Angeles
HOW MUCH DO
COST in Los Angeles?
Take a look at your electric bill
How much electricity have you used in the last 12 months? You can see it on your bill or call your utility and ask.
How much roof space do you have?
No matter your electricity needs the size of your roof will decide how many solar panels you can add. Solar panels measure 3.5′ x 5′ and you need to leave a foot of space at the edges.
Your solar panels should face south for optimum efficiency. No matter your roof’s direction, having solar panels installed will still provide plenty of solar energy to offset your bills.
Cash or loan?
Solar loans will increase your costs but they’ll allow you to spread out the payments. Some people will qualify for rebates towards their installation costs.
Sell your excess energy.
Sell your unused energy back to the municipal grid at the full retail price. You’ll also build your credits that you’ll get as an end-of-year payment. All these will dramatically reduce your energy bills.
N325 Photovoltaic Module HIT®, 40mm
“The 96-cell high-efficiency HIT® N325 solar panel provides your home with a powerful combination of immediate energy savings, long term performance, and sleek beauty. A remarkably low temperature coefficient of -0.258%/°C helps generate greater electricity output even on the hottest days. Panasonic home solar panels are backed by our industry-leading parts and performance warranty that guarantees minimum power output of 90.76% after 25 years.”
N330 Photovoltaic Module HIT®, 40mm
“The 96-cell high-efficiency HIT® N330 solar panel provides your home with a powerful combination of immediate energy savings, long term performance, and sleek beauty. A remarkably low temperature coefficient of -0.258%/°C helps generate greater electricity output even on the hottest days. Panasonic home solar panels are backed by our industry-leading parts and performance warranty that guarantees minimum power output of 90.76% after 25 years.”
Table of Contents
What are the next steps?
- Get your energy usage from most recent utility bill
- Create initial system design from a satellite image and map of your home
- Meet with Total Power Solar to review payment options and system savings
- Confirm the system with an onsite survey where we confirm our measurements and system size
- We take care of permitting with the city and your utility
- It’s now installation time. This will take 2-3 days.
- Finally we arrange a city inspection where we will get a final sign off on the system
- Then it’s go time. Your system is turned on and your cleaner and cheaper electricity flows.
Want Solar Panels on Your Roof? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
As the price of electricity continues to rise, homeowners are now looking at other alternative sources of energy that will cut down on the costs, without sacrificing comfort and convenience. One of those alternative sources of energy is solar energy, which has become a popular, go-to solution for most cost-conscience American consumers. An increasing number of homes are being powered with solar energy than ever before.
Unlike yesteryears, solar-panels have come a long way. They are much more powerful now and more sensitive than they were decades or so ago. America’s major cities, especially those lying along the sunbelt such as Los Angeles, have played a vital role in the clean energy revolution. Thanks to good average sun exposure, favorable state solar power policies, and high electricity demand, the solar energy Los Angeles industry is booming, making it the number one solar city in America.
In the Golden State, home and business owners can get an excellent return by installing residential solar panels. But, how do you know if solar panels Los Angeles are right for your home or business? Well, if you’re considering adding a solar system to your home’s or business’ roof, here are some vital considerations that can help you figure if you should go solar.
Are Solar Panels Worth It?
Is solar energy Los Angeles worth it? This is one of the most common questions among many California homeowners. And for most households, installing solar panels Los Angeles is worth it. While the initial costs of having solar panels installed on your roof may seem unaffordable even with the tax incentives, tax rebates and credits available, solar energy Los Angeles will save you money in the long run.
To determine if going solar is worth it, you’ll first need to ask yourself:
· How much do I pay for electricity per kilowatt-hour (kWh)?
· How much will a good residential solar panel system cost? While installation price may vary depending on the solar company you choose and the equipment you’ll install, solar incentives and rebates can reduce your net cost by up to 50%.
· Are you going to buy or lease your solar panels Los Angeles? Either of these options has a significant impact on your solar PV system’s long-term value.
Here’s an at-a-glance description of why going solar in Los Angeles is all worth it:
· Los Angeles has excellent solar potential. This means maximum energy throughout the year.
Solar power is best generated when the panels collect continuous, bright sunlight for many days. Solar panels Los Angeles can, therefore, produce maximum amounts of energy all year round since the city receives up to 300 days of sunlight on a typical year. With such excellent solar potential, your investment will take a shorter time to pay itself.
· Clean energy = good for the environment
Solar energy is an environmentally friendly energy solution. This then means that, by choosing to install this clean, renewable, and sustainable energy solution, you’ll be protecting the environment while still contributing towards the zero-carbon emission economy. By just investing in a 6kW PV system on your home or business, you’ll be preventing 2,305 kilograms of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere. This is a huge carbon offset!
· Saves money spent on electricity bills
The average price of electricity in Los Angeles in the last ten years is 15.86 cents per kWh, which is 31% higher than the US average. This cost is expected to continue rising. Installing solar panels will cut down on this bill significantly or even eliminate your electricity bills entirely. Since solar energy is a modular technology, you can install as many panels as you like, hence giving you a chance to amp your photovoltaic capacity.
· If you invest in solar energy Los Angeles, you can get an excellent internal rate of return (IRR) of about 10-20%, which is more secure than the stock market and significantly better than a savings investment.
· Net Metering Results in Money Saved.
The net metering incentive is one of the biggest reasons why going solar energy Los Angeles is all worth it. It allows you to sell your unused energy back to the municipal grid at the full retail price. You’ll also build your credits that you’ll get as an end-of-year payment. All these will dramatically reduce your energy bills.
· You’ll receive a federal solar investment tax credit that allows you to take 30% of the system’s value off your taxes. This is one of the most important solar incentives in the country. Once you install your system, you qualify for a 30% solar tax credit in 2019. However, this solar tax rebate will begin to drop after 2019 to 26% in 2020/2021, 22% in 2022, and fall to 10% for business solar and 0% for residential solar in 2022.
· You’ll be eligible for 100% property tax exemptions. Solar panel systems increase the value of your home. However, you’ll not be taxed for the increase in home value as a result of adding solar panel systems on your roof.
· There are multiple payment and financing options to choose from. If you’re considering solar energy Los Angeles, you can either: do an outright purchase that will pay itself in about 7 years, and every kWh after that goes right to your bottom line; go for solar loans that should pay-off in 12-15 years; enter into a solar lease for a locked-in monthly rate that is considerably lower than the city’s utility charges; or if you have a low income, you can enter into 20-25-year contract power purchase agreements with a third party.
· If you’re a homeowner in Los Angeles, having a solar panel system means that you’ll be protected with the Solar Easement, Solar Rights Act, and Solar Shade Control acts, which offer protection for solar access with easements and keep HOAs from placing unreasonable restrictions on solar energy systems.
· After the initial investment has been recovered, your solar energy Los Angeles will be practically free for at least 25 years.
Will Solar Panels Save Me Money?
Yes! Solar panels will save you money.
In recent years, electricity prices have continued to snowball in California, with utility companies raising their rates by at least 5% annually, and they’re only getting higher! United States Energy Association puts the current average cost of electricity in California to be 17.97 cents/kWh. On the other hand, if you choose to go for solar energy Los Angeles, you’ll be paying an average price of about 7 cents/kWh, a significantly lower price than the cost of grid electricity.
And while the initial installation cost can be assumed to be high, available tax incentives, tax credits, and solar rebates will bring this cost down considerably.
Even if your electricity rates are not as high as they are in California, you’ll still realize two types of savings when you go solar:
· Short term savings: You’ll start enjoying these savings immediately your PV system is switched on after installation. Whereby the loan or lease payments are often lower than your current electricity costs.
· Long term savings: While you’ll not necessarily feel the savings after you’ve bought, loaned or leased a solar PV system, your solar panels will save you money when your investment or loan is fully paid in years to come. After that, you’ll end up saving thousands more within your solar panels Los Angeles lifespan.
How Solar Panels Work Step-By-Step
The sun is the ultimate source of energy that is transmitted to the earth in the form of photons. Solar power is generated when photons from sunlight strike the surface of photovoltaic cells in solar panels, resulting in the generation of Direct Current ( DC). Let’s look at a step-by-step look at how we finally get AC from solar energy.
i. Solar Panels Collect Sunlight And Covert It To DC
A standard solar panel consists of a layer of silicon photovoltaic cells. They are usually sandwiched in such a way that they can be doped to let electric currents flow through them.
Once these semiconductor cells absorb incoming photons from sunlight, they become ionized, and their electrons are set in motion. These electron moves from the upper layer to the lower layer, hence initiating an electric flow. A single cell generates 0.5 V of electricity, which increases with the size of the solar cell and its number.
The electric flow from the silicon photovoltaic solar cells is directed to an electrical circuit within the panel as direct current (DC) electricity. By connecting multiple solar panels together, a huge amount of electricity can be produced.
Today, the technology behind PV cells has advanced so much that the PV cells can still produce electricity even in low sunlight levels.
ii. Inverters convert DC current into usable AC power.
Most of the household devices and appliances operate on AC since. So, once the solar panels have converted sunlight to DC, this current needs to be converted into usable AC power.
This is done using an inverter, which is like the brain of the solar PV system. Besides converting DC-AC, the inverter also helps to monitor the systems, display the system’s statistics, and provide ground fault protection.
Unlike yesteryears, when consumers needed to buy a single inverter for all their panels, today’s solar panels come fitted with micro-inverters that have more enhanced performance. The micro-inverters ensure that each panel performs at its maximum potential and that the entire solar PV system is not susceptible to a single point of failure caused by partial dirt or sudden shade on a panel.
iii. AC Electricity Flows Into Net Meter
Net Metering ensures that electricity produced from your panel during the day is fed to the grid and that you still get to draw power from the grid at night when your solar PV system is not generating electricity.
Once your DC solar energy has been converted into AC, it will run through a net meter, which will record excess power fed to the grid during the day and measure the power drawn from the grid during the night or on cloudy days. This excess power supplied to the local grid is exchanged for energy credits. In some cases, these credits can be checked off by the utility companies at the end of the year.
How Do Solar Panels Help The Environment?
Well, we’ve mentioned that solar energy is good for the environment, but how and why is it so great?
i. It Reduces Air Pollution
While traditional fossil fuels energy sources create a lot of air pollution such as high CO2 emissions and smog, solar panels create clean, renewable energy just using the sun. Therefore, installing solar panels in your home or business helps combat harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
ii. It Uses Less Water
Traditional electricity sources can use copious amounts of water to produce – from cooling generators to processing and refining fuel – yet we run the risk of lacking fresh water. Solar power generation uses absolutely no water, hence installing the solar PV systems helps us reduce the strain on these precious resources.
iii. It Reduces Dependence On Nonrenewable Energy Sources
Nonrenewable energy sources such as fossil fuels are running out, fast. Investing in free sources of energy such as solar energy Los Angeles gives us the power to reduce our dependency on these nonrenewable sources of energy at a community level. This way, we can extend the lifespan of some of these nonrenewable resources as we look for alternatives while ensuring a stronger and more energy stable future.
iv. It Helps Fight Climate Change
Imagine the levels of toxic gases released to the atmosphere when burning fossils fuels for energy. We can reduce the amount of CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide that contribute to the greenhouse effect by just going solar on a more massive scale. And this can only happen if more homes and businesses install solar systems.
v. Solar Energy Reduces Our Household Carbon Footprint
If we are going to get to a near zero-carbon lifestyle in the coming years, solar energy generation is one of the cleanest, most viable sources of energy to get us there. By just installing a small system on your home or business, you’ll be preventing up to 2 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere. This is a considerable carbon offset that will help contribute to the national renewable energy goals.
vi. It Reduces Hazardous Waste
Besides releasing CO2 and other toxic air pollutants into the atmosphere, coal-fired plants are responsible for tons of toxic wastes that are damped daily in mines and landfills across the globe. Using solar energy ensures that we combat the release of these wastes. Ultimately, this is good for our environment and our health.
Why Do Solar Panels Face South?
Solar panels’ efficiency is highest when the sun’s rays hit its surface perpendicularly. Having your solar panels installed in the right direction and tilt will significantly increase the amount of electricity you’ll be getting from your solar PV system.
Well, as a rule of the thumb, solar panels should face south in the northern hemisphere and north in the southern hemisphere. Since the US lies in the northern hemisphere, your solar panel should face south for optimum efficiency.
But, really, why should the solar panels face south? Is there any logical reasoning behind this?
Yes, and it’s quite simple.
It’s a no brainer that the sun moves from east to west. Unless you’re on the equator, the angle of the sun varies throughout the year and usually have a southern offset. It’s is lower in the sky in winter and high up the sky in summer, but always on the south side.
Think about your house. The northern facing roof is for the most part of the day, always in the shade. Similarly, the western end of your house is shaded in the morning, while the eastern is shaded as the evening unfolds. However, the southern side of your house has the most prolonged hours of sunshine exposal throughout the day.
It then turns out that the best location is to have your solar panel Los Angeles facing true south and tilted at an angle that is approximate to your location’s degrees of latitude. The professional installer who’ll fix your solar panels will help you determine the best direction.
What If You Don’t Have a South-Facing Roof? Will Your Solar Panel System Still Be Worthwhile?
Yes, it will still be worthwhile! Because, no matter your roof’s direction, having solar panels installed will still provide plenty of solar energy Los Angeles to offset your bills. If you don’t have a south-facing roof and would like to follow the true south rule, you can compensate the lost PV potential by either:
· Increasing the number of solar panels or having larger solar panels to increase your solar collector surface area.
· You can also have your solar panels Los Angeles installed on an unobstructed space other than your roof – this can be on a south-facing wall or the ground.
But there is another catch. In areas with Time-of-Use electricity plans such as California, it is becoming more viable to have west-facing solar panels Los Angeles to maximize energy production during the afternoons when peak energy prices are in effect. This will give you the much-needed dollar savings. A qualified solar system installer will help you determine the optimal direction and tilt angle for your solar PV systems.
Why Solar Panels Are Good
Here are some reasons why going solar is good:
1) It drastically cuts down on skyrocketing electricity bills
2) Solar electricity makes your home go off-the-grid
3) Solar power will give you higher returns on investment
4) Installing solar panels increases the value of your property drastically.
5) Going solar helps boost U.S. energy independence
6) It is a renewable, free source of energy
7) Solar energy is environmentally friendly.
8) With solar power, low/no maintenance is needed hence associated costs are significantly reduced
9) Business and homeowners can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by going solar
10) As a business, you’ll increase your competitiveness as an early adaptor of solar energy Los Angeles.
11) Installing solar creates sustainable jobs and contributes to economic security – from solar designers to commercial/residential solar panels Los Angeles installers.
Will Solar Panels Work On My House?
If you’re considering going solar, you’re probably wondering if installing solar panels will make any tangible economic sense to you as a homeowner or business owner. There is no silver bullet answer as to whether your solar panels will work on your house or not. But some considerations can help you decide if your home is best suited for solar power generation.
· How much is your energy bill?
If you’re spending less on your solar energy than you’re currently paying your utility company, then going solar will be a good fit for your home.
· How much sunlight does your roof receive?
If you live in California or other equally sunny states, and your home receives a good amount of sunlight, having solar panels Los Angeles installed will help you produce sufficient electricity for your home.
· How much room do you have?
Do you have enough unobstructed roof/ground space for the required solar collector space? Will the required solar panels fit on your roof or ground space? If you don’t have space, then you might want to reconsider going solar.
· Does your roof need to be replaced?
If your roof is almost nearing the end of its useful life, installing solar panels might not be a good idea. Solar panels have a lifespan of more than 25 years; hence, your roof’s integrity should be a huge consideration before you go solar.
· What kind of roof do you have?
Consider having a robust and durable roofing material such as concrete tiles, asphalt or composite shingle, or standing seam metal roofs before going solar. A professional solar panel installer will help you figure if your roof is good enough, and curate solutions that will work well for your solar PV system.
· What is your local climate like?
While your local climate will impact the amount of solar energy you can possibly produce, you can choose to install high-efficiency solar panels if you’re skeptical about your weather. However, areas such as Los Angeles, California, have reasonable amounts of sunshine running throughout the year hence have massive solar power potentials.
· Can you afford to buy, lease or loan the solar panels
This is also an important consideration when checking if solar energy is a good fit for your home or business. Be sure to explore the various solar energy ownership options to see which fits you best.
Will Solar Panels Work In The Shade?
Yes, indeed, modern solar panels can work even in shaded areas. However, their output potential is significantly reduced. Shades from trees, roof parts such as chimneys, neighboring taller buildings, other panels, snow, or even cloud cover lower the power generated by your solar. Besides the decrease in efficiency, continued exposure of your solar PV system to shades can lead to shorter life spans since some of the photovoltaic cells in your panels are constantly overworking and will wear out faster than expected.
Can Solar Panels Store Energy?
Solar panels, by themselves, do not store energy. Any energy that the solar panels produce exits the system immediately. This is one of the shortcomings of solar energy generation, especially when experience lower production during days with less sunlight or at night. But there are solutions.
· Net metering in grid-connected PV systems: Whereby, you’re able to sell your excess energy to your utility company through the local grid system and draw power from the grid at night or during those rainy days when your panels aren’t producing enough energy.
· Solar batteries: This is another option you can use to store excess solar energy generated by your system. The panels charge the batteries during the day, and this power can be drawn at night or during low sunshine days, giving you more independence from the grid.
How Do Solar Batteries Work?
If you have a grid-tied solar PV system, the grid works like an infinitely large battery for your system. But there are instances when you’d like to collect and store some of the power you’ll be generating in a way that gives you independence over the grid using solar batteries or solar banks.
This arrangement is called solar-plus-storage systems. Solar batteries offer an exciting opportunity to have control over your energy consumption needs. You might consider having an off-grid battery if:
· You want to store excess solar energy and use it when your solar panel potential is low to augment your household consumption.
· You want to have a backup power source to keep your appliances running even when the grid is down
· If you’re on a time-of-use payment plan and would wish to use your grid electricity only when your batteries are low.
Ideally, solar batteries act as storage for the excess solar energy produced during the day for use at night or on cloudy, rainy days. A typical solar-plus-storage co-location system consists of solar panels, bi-directional inverters, and a solar battery. You can either choose to go for an AC-coupled storage system or a DC-coupled system depending on your budget and needs.
Let’s look at the functions of each of the components in an AC coupled storage:
· Solar panel: The solar panel generates DC electricity from sunlight’s photons using the photovoltaic effect.
· Bi-directional Inverters: The PV inverter converts the DC from the solar panel array to AC electricity that is used to charge the battery and power your home appliances during the day, while the excess is routed to the municipality grid if your system is net metered.
At night, the energy stored in solar batteries starts to be drawn to power your home. Since this energy is stored as DC, the bi-directional inverters convert the battery’s DC electricity to usable AC electricity.
This means that in a solar-plus-storage system, you’ll only be sending electricity to the grid when your solar battery is fully charged, and only draw power from the grid at night when the battery is depleted, or when your house electricity consumption exceeds the maximum capacity of your solar batteries.
· Solar battery: The solar battery is charged during the day by the solar panels to full capacity. Depending on the battery’s size and the weather conditions, this can take anywhere between 4 to 6 hours. This energy is then stored in the battery as DC. It is then drawn at night to power the house, hence allowing an affordable source of electricity during peak times. The solar battery can also be used as an ad hoc backup if there is a power outage in your area.
Remember, even if you have battery banks to store your excess electricity, most states require that your home remain tied to the public grid.
What Should I Look For In A Solar Battery?
There are numerous battery types and brands available in the market today. You can go for a lead-acid, lithium-ion, or a saltwater battery depending on the needs of your solar-plus-storage systems. When looking for a solar battery to use in your solar-plus-storage system, there are a few considerations/specifications that you need to take into account:
· Power Rating and Battery’s Capacity
The battery’s capacity is the total amount of electricity that can be stored in a solar battery and is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). If you need a higher kWh source than one single battery can offer, you can stack several batteries to reach your consumer capacity.
The power rating of the battery is also an essential factor to look out for. It is the amount of electric charge that the battery can deliver at a go, and is measured in kilowatts (KW).
A battery with a low capacity and high power rating can deliver massive electricity to power the entire home for a few hours. On the other hand, you can go for a high-capacity battery with a lower power rating to deliver lower electricity that is only enough to power a few crucial home appliances for longer hours.
· Depth of Discharge
The DoD is the maximum electricity that should be drawn from the battery and is specified as a percentage. A higher DoD means that you can use more of your battery’s capacity.
· The battery’s warranty and lifespan
Since solar batteries have a daily cycle of charges and drains, the battery’s ability to hold electricity gradually wanes off. The batteries span and warranty is a guarantee from the manufacturer that your battery will have a certain number of cycles for several useful years.
Can Solar Batteries Be Recharged?
In a solar-plus-storage system, batteries are recharged daily by the solar panels. Surprisingly, by using the newer hybrid inverters that are more grid-interactive, the off-grid battery units can also be recharged from the grid during low peak periods for use in high peak periods such as night.
Bringing It All Together
Going solar is becoming more and more critical. In some cities such as California, policies are already in place to have every home installed with solar panels Los Angeles to ease the pressure on the already overloaded grid system.
Besides the massive financial savings associated with solar energy Los Angeles, there other environmental and health benefits that make solar technology such a formidable source of energy. Furthermore, with technological advancement over the past few years, solar systems are now cheaper and more reliable than ever before, and homeowners are using the solar + storage systems to run their homes almost entirely on solar power.
If you’re considering having a solar PV system installed at your home, the insights discussed above should help you weigh the available options and help you make an informed decision. Ultimately, if you have the capacity and resources to convert to solar energy Los Angeles, it is unquestionably a good investment towards a brighter, safer, and more sustainable future.