Solar Power Spreads Across San Diego
Sunny with a Chance of Solar Power
San Diego solar panels
With our famous sunshine in San Diego across seasons, our city is an ideal target for solar power. But in addition to abundant sunlight, San Diego also has one of the highest electricity rates in the country. It’s no surprise that many local businesses, school districts and residents have “solar fever” and are upgrading from traditional electric systems to solar power. Saving some hard–earned cash while promoting a cleaner environment is a win–win. According to SDG&E, San Diego is one of the highest ranking cities for solar power installation. Currently, more than 25,000 of SDG&E’s customers have rooftop solar.
Home solar installations reduce electricity rates, a persuasive fact that convinces homeowners to either purchase or lease solar panels. With the lease option, the solar provider installs and owns the panels and wiring, and the homeowner pays a monthly fee to the solar company. Regardless of your decision to buy or lease, depending on the size of your system and home, solar panels can reduce your energy bill from 20 percent up to 80 percent. Another bonus: residents and companies investing in solar and other clean energy programs are eligible for federal tax credits through the end of 2016.
So how exactly is sunlight converted into electrical energy? According to the Center for Sustainable Energy, solar photovoltaic systems capture sunlight and convert it into electricity to be used in homes for general appliances, lighting and charging electrical cars. Solar system installation costs range from $20,000 to $40,000, depending on the size. Websites such as solar–estimate.org help interested homeowners determine the size of their system based on energy usage. Fortunately, installed solar panels don’t require much maintenance. The biggest disadvantage of solar is, of course, its limitation to generate electricity during daylight hours.
And why is solar power favored by the environmentally– conscious? The panels help resist greenhouse gas emissions and make us less reliant on fossil fuel. Non–renewable electricity is derived from coal and natural gas, which are limited resources and environmentally hazardous. Not to mention, burning fossil fuels to create energy contributes to global warming and pollution.
But solar doesn’t just benefit homeowners. School districts and businesses in San Diego have begun taking advantage of solar generated electricity too. According to Michael Simonson, Assistant Superintendent for the Escondido Union High School District (EUHSD), reducing energy usage has been a priority for the District since 2012. By summer 2016, solar panels will be installed throughout the sites in EUHSD.
“Rather than spending precious dollars on the rising costs of electricity, our District wanted to take steps to ensure the majority of expenditures remain student–focused. To this end, our solar initiative will provide us with greater budgeting control against increased utility costs over the next twenty years, while at the same time reducing our impact on the environment.”
Vista homeowner Bev Pardi was elated when she received her first SDG&E bill after solar panel installation. “Our SDG&E bill continued to increase, so we decided to contact Solar City. They installed the rooftop panels. We agreed to purchase our electricity from them at a fixed rate for the next twenty years. So we didn’t lease or purchase our system, but stabilized our kWh. Our usual bill was around $350 a month, and our first solar bill was only $66. We are definitely enjoying the extra cash every month!”
With our famed sunshine, San Diego is an ideal location for solar energy. Thanks to recent innovations, technology and options for installation, going solar is becoming even more widespread across our sun–drenched city.