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Solar Power: Worth the Investment?

Take a drive through any neighborhood in the North County and you’re likely to see plenty of rooftops generating solar power. As far back as 2010, 160 per 1,000 homes in San Diego County had solar panels. Between the tax credits and financing incentives, using solar energy continues to make sense for home energy generation.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Generating your own electricity takes a bite out of the monthly electric bill and increases the value of your home. You’ll have reliable power during daytime power outages and when the sun is in full force, you can earn back some of your investment by selling back the power to SDG&E. Add storage batteries and you’ll have free energy day and night to power your home.

The federal government has extended its tax credit program for homeowners who install solar panels. Through 2019, you can get a 30 percent tax credit for the total cost of equipment and installation. The credit declines by a few percentage points through 2021. Regardless of the year, there is no cap on the amount of the credit.

The California Solar Initiative (SCI) offers rebate programs for California residents and businesses who install solar. The rebates are based on the total output of the solar systems.

Solar energy is clean. It takes a burden off the power grid and may keep new, expensive plants from being built in the future.

Cons of Solar Energy

The amount of solar power you can generate depends largely on the size of your roof. More surface area translates to more power. Features like skylights lower the usable surface area.

Upfront costs can be high. The federal tax credits will help offset a sizeable chunk of a solar installation, but the costs have to be incurred upfront. You may be able to finance the installation using a home equity line of credit or local programs.

Few places match the potential of the San Diego area to take advantage of solar power. To learn more, contact Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning, providing HVAC services for North County homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).