With abundant sunshine and the Pacific Ocean in its back yard, San Diego has always been an eco-friendly, forward-thinking place. That’s why it leads the U.S. in solar energy installments. In fact, going solar in San Diego is a common theme for America’s Finest City and its residents. The county increased its solar capacity 60 percent in the past year to 303 megawatts.
If you’re looking to live in sunny San Diego (or even if you already call it home), here are the top neighborhoods to go solar based on key factors that add to the overall quality of living.
The coastal city of Del Mar (Spanish for “by the sea”), takes the number one spot for the top neighborhood in San Diego County. It’s ritzy, yet laid back beach-town vibe makes it a pleasant place to live for many residents.
Just about 30 minutes north of downtown San Diego, the area is home to many families and its public school system receives an A+ rating, ranking the #4 suburb with the best schools in the state of California. When it comes to fun activities, Del Mar is famously known for being home to the historic Del Mar Racetrack, where horse races take place all summer long and the town is also one of the only places where Torrey Pines, the rarest pine tree in the United States, grow.
Hike, surf, bet on the ponies or just enjoy a stroll in the sunshine – Del Mar boasts breathtaking views around every turn and excellent beach-front weather, making it a go to place to install solar panels in San Diego.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Solana beach, the neighboring town of Del Mar, ranks second as a top neighborhood for solar in San Diego.
Solana Beach has a population of 13,000 and is known for its beach, eclectic shops, dining, nightlife, golf courses and hiking scene. It averages a comfortable 62 degrees during the winter season and 77 degrees during the summer time, with a near two-mile stretch of coastline to enjoy. Locals frequent Fletcher Cove Park, a favorite spot to catch beautiful sunsets.
Commuter-friendly Solana Beach houses a major train station stop (one of only three in San Diego County) that serves both Amtrak and the Coaster and residents have easy access to San Diego’s major freeways, including the 5 and the 101 interstate highways. With its outdoor-friendly sentiment, this town upholds environmental consciousness, making it a chief contributor to a more solar San Diego.
Moving further up the cost, the town of Encinitas is another top pick for places to go solar in San Diego.
Encinitas was named among the 20 best surf towns in the world by National Geographic and sits along the historic coastal Highway 101. It’s home to 62,000 residents and is segmented into five different areas: Old Encinitas, New Encinitas, Olivenhain, Leucadia and Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Each of these communities has its own personality offering a range between an oceanfront beach life to more rural, family-oriented suburbia.
Old Encinitas sits along the coast and is known for its famous surf break, Swamis. In Olivenhain, you can find private equestrian facilities and mainly single family homes. New Encinitas boasts numerous golf courses and shopping centers, while Leucadia is a place of tree-lined streets, art galleries and eclectic stores. Cardiff-by-the-Sea is an oceanfront community and home to the San Elijo Campus of Mira Costa College.
Encinitas has something for everyone, which makes it extra appealing to live and reap the benefits of solar year round!
Just south of downtown San Diego, across the signature Coronado bridge is an island called Coronado.
The island community is a top tourist attraction because of its famous Hotel Del Coronado, where Marilyn Monroe used to frequent. But aside from being a major San Diego destination for visitors, it’s also a very family-friendly place to live. Coronado has a small-town charm to it, with shops, art galleries, restaurants and theatres for its residents to enjoy.
And don’t think the beach is just any old beach. Its signature gold sand makes it extra beautiful and mesmerizing as the year round sun reflects off the golden flecks floating in the ocean. The town is also home to a U.S. Naval Base, which instills an all-American pride in Coronado locals. Those who reside here get to enjoy views across the water of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline as they bask in their private escape that is Coronado.
Living in Coronado, however, comes at a price. The median home value is $1,332,500 while average rent is $2,268 per month. These higher end costs make solar power even more appealing as it saves residents money in their electricity bills, making Coronado a big proponent of solar San Diego.
Carlsbad is a large suburb in North County San Diego. Its population of 112,000 includes many families and the city is one of the most affluent in the state of California. It’s filled with seven miles of beaches, nature trails and endless family attractions, including Legoland.
Carlsbad divides into four different quadrants, each with its own distinct attractions. The northwest quadrant encompasses the “Village” (downtown) and Old Carlsbad— the first part of Carlsbad to be settled. Houses here include everything from cottages and bungalows to mansions overlooking the ocean. The northeast quadrant of Carlsbad consists of mainly single-family homes while the southeast quadrant has a handful of master-planned communities along the hillsides, golf courses and parks. The southwest quadrant stretches along the Pacific Ocean, where constant sunshine makes it solar energy friendly.
The top neighborhoods for solar in San Diego all have a common thread—the residents appreciate the environment they live in and take advantage of their ideal setting in the sun.
With the ocean and beaches in close vicinity, there’s an extra amount of respect to keep the place they live in clean—and solar energy is a part of that. As the sun keeps shining, these communities will continue to keep San Diego #1 in solar installation.
If you live in one of the communities (or anywhere in San Diego) and don’t already have solar panels on your home, we’d be happy to give you a free energy analysis so that you can see how to start taking advantage of the year-round sunshine we have in Southern California!
San Diego gets an average of 261 days of sunlight a year, so it’s not surprising so many Southern California homeowners and businesses are embracing solar installation as a way to save serious money on their electricity bills and lower their energy footprint. Making the investment in solar panels is a big decision. In this article, we’ll walk you through some important ways you can prepare for your solar panel installation at three major milestones: before your consultation, after your consultation, and before the installation.
Before you set up your initial consultation with a solar contractor, there are a few things you can do to make sure the first meeting goes smoothly and that the solar contractor has the information needed to make the best recommendations possible.
Unfortunately, certain roofs are just not a good match for solar panels. Roofs need to be at least 200 square feet to offer enough space for solar panels, and ideally your roof will be at least 400 square feet. At least one side of the roof should face south or southwest to have access to the most sunlight possible. Certain roofs with a very extreme pitch may also make it difficult to install solar panels.
If you suspect your roof might not be ideal for solar panels, not to worry! Installing solar panels on the ground may also be an option.
A solar installation specialist will need to know how much energy your home uses on average throughout the year in order to recommend the ideal solar panel array size for your home. You can help the specialist by presenting a year’s worth of electricity bills, which will include monthly usage. Most electric companies have online customer websites. Create an account or log in to access your previous bills.
If you know that your electric usage will change in the coming years, then it’s a good idea to invest in a solar array that will give you all the juice you’ll need tomorrow rather than just what you’re using today. For example, do you want to purchase an electric vehicle in the next year or so, or do you have plans to install a hot tub? These items will require a lot of electricity, so make sure you let your installation specialist know about potential future electricity needs during your consultation!
The most important decision you’ll make when it comes to installing solar panels is the contractor you hire. Your contractor can make the process stress-free or leave you feeling completely frustrated. The ultimate success of the installation will depend upon the training and expertise of your solar contractor as well as their understanding of your budget and your solar needs. Don’t skimp on doing your research to make sure you find an experienced, highly regarded, and honest contractor. There are many great solar contractors in San Diego, including Semper Solaris.
During a solar consultation, the solar specialist will assess your roof, make a recommendation on the solar panel array that is right for your needs, give you financing options, and answer your questions. Many homeowners and business owners come out of the consultation excited and ready to schedule the installation. However, there are important steps you’ll need to take first to prepare for the installation.
Your solar installation specialist will lay out your financial options during the consultation. The two most popular options are to buy the solar panels or to lease them.
Leasing solar panels often requires little to no upfront payments, which might be the right option if you are working on a limited budget. However, you’ll be paying a fixed rate for your electricity, and the solar company can take back the panels when the leasing period is up. Buying your solar panels will require a significant upfront payment, but then you own the panels. Ideally, the array will pay for itself and more over its lifetime.
You’ll need to look at your finances and your personal preference to determine what is the best option for your situation.
As you work out a budget for this project, you’ll need to know what solar incentives you can rely on from the federal government, state government, and your solar installer. Currently, the federal government offers a 30% tax credit through 2018 for qualified expenditures for home solar systems. At Semper Solaris, we try to make solar as affordable as possible for our customers by offering a $500 online coupon, $2,000 off a new roof, and additional discounts for veterans and first responders.
It’d be a shame if you went through the entire process of installing solar panels only to have to replace your roof two years later! Before installing solar panels, ensure that your roof is structurally sound enough to hold the extra weight. If your roof is old, leaks, or has damaged shingles, you’ll need to repair all of these things before your solar installation.
Consider that solar panels last roughly 20 to 25 years. If your roof is aging, even if it’s not falling on top of your head yet, it may be a good idea go ahead and replace it. It’ll be a big investment, but a new roof will increase the value of your home and allow you to get the most out of your solar panels.
At Semper Solaris, we also offer roof repair and replacement services so our customers only have to deal with one contractor for the entire solar array installation process.
If you have a home owner’s association, you’d better bet that they will want to know if you are making major changes to your roof. Additionally, the city and public utility company will need to know that you intend to change the way you power your home, especially if you want to give excess electricity back to the grid.
Your solar contractor should handle all these requirements, from receiving permission from your HOA to pulling an electrical permit, filing the right documents with the city utility, and getting the necessary electrical inspection completed.
You’ve decided how to pay for your solar panels, your roof is ready to go, and your installer has permits and HOA permission in hand. Now can you start? You’re almost ready. Here are the last two things to prepare for before the work gets started.
California’s utility companies have done a good job of embracing the solar panel revolution and allowing homeowners and businesses to send excess energy back into the grid in exchange for credits. In order for this to happen, the utility company will need to install a production meter to measure the amount of electricity your new panels produce and feed back into the grid. Your installation company should take care of this process.
Alternatively, you may decide that you want to keep all of the electricity your solar panels produce, thank you very much! If this is the case, then you’ll need a way to store the excess power during the day so that you can use it at night or on overcast days. Your solar contractor can recommend the right battery option and even build a utility nook to house the battery, along with the other extras that you’ll need, including electrical inverters and integration equipment.
Solar panel installation day is exciting… and also loud. People will be walking on your roof all day long, as well as drilling and hammering. If you have skittish pets or young children at home, you’ll need a plan to either keep them calm during this time or to remove them from the home during the installation. You’ll also need to be on call during the day in case the installers have questions or run into unforeseen challenges. It also doesn’t hurt to alert your neighbors of the coming commotion as a curtsey. With a little planning, you can make sure your installation goes quickly and smoothly for every member of your family!
Hopefully this article gives you an idea of what to expect as you begin your solar panel planning.
A huge component to a successful solar array installation is choosing the right contractor. We know you have the choice of many solar contractors in San Diego, and we hope you will consider allowing us to compete for your business. At Semper Solaris, we are dedicated to providing you with the best customer service, the highest quality solar panels, and the best installation possible. Please schedule a free onsite energy analysis when you are ready to get this process started.
If you’re ready to buy solar panels for your home, there are a few questions you should ask. While you are indeed making the smart decision to go solar, you still need to do your due diligence in order to make this transition to renewable energy a successful one.
From questions that can help reinforce your choice to switch to solar and understanding exactly what solar energy can be used for, to finalizing the details of costs, installation and which solar panels you should buy—there’s a lot to know about installing a solar power system.
Here are five crucial questions you should be asking before installing a home solar power system – with answers to match – so you can go solar with full confidence.
There’s a long list of benefits to going solar that should make you feel comfortable in changing your home energy source.
For starters, using solar energy reduces your carbon footprint. Unlike fossil fuels and gas, solar is considered a clean source of energy, meaning it doesn’t pollute the air with harmful emissions. So, while you’re doing good for the environment, what’s in it for you?
The bottom line is, going solar will save you money in the long run. Based on the average household electricity usage, solar energy has been shown to save $10k – $30k over a course of 20 years, when compared to what’d you pay for a traditional electric bill. Furthermore, you will never have to deal with unpredictable electricity bills again. Once you have a system installed, the cost of solar energy is fixed and free, since you are essentially getting power from a free energy source (the sun, that is).
Solar panels for home energy can be utilized in a multitude of ways. The primary use most people think of is using the energy collected from your panels to power everything in your house, from the electricity to the heating and cooling.
Here’s how it works: The solar panels installed on your roof capture particles of sunlight (aka, photons). These photons are then converted into electrons of direct current electricity. This current then flows through a solar power system that converts it to alternating current power, which is the type of electricity that comes from the wall outlet that connects to your TV, computer, lamps and kitchen appliances.
On top of solar panels providing your home with electricity, you can also opt to heat your water through a solar collector that heats water directly or via a “working fluid” that is used to heat water.
It’s easy to ask the question, how much do solar panels cost? But when it comes to solar systems, they are not one-size fits all, and an easy answer isn’t always easy to find with a quick Google search.
That’s because there are many factors that come into play when determining how much solar panels will cost to install. The size of your home and the amount of electricity needed to power it are the major factors in determining many of the initial costs.
To give you a rough idea, this 2018 year, homeowners will pay between $2.71 to $3.57 per watt to install solar, with the average U.S. system calling for 5000 watts. What it boils down to is around $9,485 to $12,495 (after tax credits) for a total system.
Don’t be alarmed by these numbers because we’ve seen solar systems pay for themselves relatively quickly.
If you’re looking at it from a big-picture perspective, the tax credits you get for going solar and the overall amount of utility savings make the actual value of the panels great. They will pay for themselves and even help you save money over time.
For an exact idea of how much solar panels will cost for your home, we’ll give you a free energy analysis that can determine exactly how much energy your home needs and how many panels should be installed.
When it comes to installing solar panels on your home, you want to make sure they are the most efficient on the market. Some of the top-rated solar panels, according to SolarReviews, include Enphase Energy and LG Solar. These ratings are based on homeowner reviews, but keep in mind that you should also consider your specific energy-saving goals and how much you’re willing to invest upfront.
Getting the most trusted name in solar panels is key to ensuring satisfaction in your switch to home solar energy and that’s exactly what our team at Semper Solaris looks for in solar panel manufacturers.
While using the best panels the solar industry has to offer is a must, choosing the right solar energy system provider to install them is just as important. You want to look for a company that has had proven experience and expertise in the solar roofing field. Word-of-mouth can be one of the best ways to find out who does solar in your area. You can also opt to do a quick internet search. From the list of providers that pop up, be sure to do your research.
We recommend looking for testimonials from homeowners that have used that company’s services.
You also want to make sure that you receive personal attention from the solar company you choose to hire. Open communication between contractor and customer builds trust. Knowing that your solar needs are the top priority for the company you are working with will help to keep your mind at ease while you are installing your new system.
If you reside in California, Semper Solaris provides solar power services up and down the state, installing only the best solar panels for homes.
Making the decision to go solar is a big one that can lead to endless benefits in home energy usage.
Understanding what exactly solar energy can power in your home along with the kind of financial investment it will take, can inform your decision on what solar panels to buy and have installed on your home roof.
Congress passed a law that created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on July 29, 1958. NASA was created to be a civilian agency with the job of coordinating America’s activities in space. Since this time, NASA has been in charge of many different expeditions into space. Some of these expeditions involved human astronauts, while others were performed with computers and machines. Thanks to NASA’s work, satellites have been sent into space that help us to explore the solar system, forecast the weather, and communicate in faster ways.
The Cold War and the Space Race
During the 1950s, the United States and the Soviet Union were military rivals. At the same time, the two countries engaged in a competition that has become known as the space race. Each country tried to outdo the other in many ways, and when it came to science, space exploration was the focus.
On Oct. 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, which was the first satellite to be sent into space. This satellite weighed a little more than 183 pounds, and it went around the Earth in a space trip that took 98 minutes. The United States was surprised by the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik I, and the world was excited about this event. Less than a month later, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik II, this time sending a dog into space. The Soviets knew that they had no way of returning the dog to Earth, and their plan was to keep it comfortable with food and water until it ran out of oxygen after about 10 days. But temperatures inside the aircraft were higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the dog only survived for about two days.
NASA launched the first American satellite on Jan. 31, 1958, called Explorer I. Explorer I’s main job in space was to measure the radiation present in Earth’s orbit. Explorer I orbited around the Earth one time every 114.8 minutes, making more than 12 orbits a day. After it finished its work, it returned to Earth’s atmosphere on March 31, 1970, burning up as it fell.
Apollo 11 landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. Pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the lunar module, called the Eagle, and Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon. Aldrin and Armstrong spent about a day exploring the moon.
In 1975, scientists began working on a special telescope that would be able to get a clear view of space, unobstructed by the water and gases that surround Earth. This telescope is named after Edwin Hubble, an astronomer. After 15 years, scientists finally launched the telescope. Through the Hubble Space Telescope, people can see parts of the universe that are billions of light years away.
Pioneer 10 was a spacecraft that left Earth in 1972, bound for Jupiter. Pioneer 10 made it to Jupiter, recording data about the planet, and then it kept going. It left the solar system in 1983 and traveled into interstellar space.
Designing and inhabiting the International Space Station has also been an extraordinary accomplishment, not only for the United States but also for Russia and other countries. Astronauts have spent hundreds of days aboard the International Space Station, studying space and how humans respond to extended periods without gravity.
Initially, the spacecrafts designed by NASA were built to be used just one time, since scientists had not yet figured out how to get them back down to Earth without destroying them. Designing reusable spacecrafts was an important achievement. The goal was to make some kind of heat shield that would protect the vessels from the high temperatures that come with re-entering the atmosphere. Then, there was also the problem of getting the spacecraft back down to Earth and landing it in one piece. In 1981, the space shuttle Columbia flew a successful mission as the first reusable spacecraft.
Using satellites that NASA has put into orbit around the Earth, scientists can get real-time images that help predict the weather. Satellites have also revolutionized the way people communicate around the world. An intricate web of telephone circuits has enabled people to communicate easily and relatively inexpensively. Satellites also make it possible for TV and radio channels to broadcast worldwide. Newer types of satellites enable cell phone service.
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