Can San Diego Become #1 in Solar Power?

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Fletcher Miller, a professor of mechanical engineering at San Diego State and the secretary of the San Diego Renewable Energy Society, called on San Diegans in this morning’s Union Tribune, to commit to Solar Energy.

He notes San Diego will be the host city for three major conferences on solar energy this year. The first occurs this weekend and offers public sessions on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $5 and advanced online ticket purchase is recommended. Attendees will have access to over 150 businesses involved with renewable energy, expert presentations on choosing and buying a solar system, and much more on how you can “save energy, save money and save the planet”.

Meeting and getting an evaluation from a certified solar installer is probably the best way to get started. As the Go Solar California government web site states, the process for existing homes generally works like this:

“…a solar installer typically will contact a California Solar Incentive program administrator on your behalf to apply for an incentive and arrange for your system to be interconnected to your utility company’s power grid. The installer may also apply for local permits, if applicable.

The program administrator will provide you or your installer with an incentive application form. After the program administrator receives your completed application, it will reserve funds based on the size of your solar project. These funds will be reserved for periods of time indicated in each program, by which time you must provide adequate proof of progress towards installing your system. The administrator will require you to provide documentation to show that you are moving forward with the project.”

By installing a solar energy system, you can earn a rebate from the state to defray some of the solar installation costs in addition to earning a one-time federal tax credit . You will lower your utility costs because you generate your own energy. You can also earn Renewable Energy Credits for excess electricity the solar power your home generates and distributes to the local power company.

To give you some idea on the return, I recently did an analysis for my dad who is looking into purchasing a solar energy power system and found it would pay for itself within 10 years. Although that may seem like a long time to some, the comfort in knowing you can produce your own energy and the fact you are using renewable energy to power your home is well worth the wait on the return on investment, not to mention the future financial security of having small utility bills when you are retired and on a fixed income. The returns will vary widely depending on the amount of energy your solar panels can produce (your roof position affects how much sun light can be absorbed) and the incentives for which you can qualify.

Take a look into solar power. Maybe we can make Professor Miller’s dream a reality and one day and I can write a post that San Diego is #1 in solar power energy.

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One Response to “Can San Diego Become #1 in Solar Power?”

  1. George says:

    I recommend checking with a professional before looking into whether solar panel installation is affordable for you. http://www.getsolar.com is a great resource to find someone in your area.

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