Living in Corona, you know that there is plenty of sunshine to capitalize on. You may be wondering if it’s worth it to invest in solar panels for your home. With numerous expenses and budgets to think through, it can feel like a tough decision to make. Semper Solaris is here to lay out all your options and help you understand what’s to gain out of going solar! While the promises of savings and added property value sound nice, is there really evidence to back it up? We are here to provide the insight you are looking for!

Top Reasons to Consider Solar Panels

Experience Real Solar Savings

Having solar panels in Corona can result in significant savings. You are looking at much more affordable electric bills, added property value, and long term savings. With electricity prices going up, the projected savings could spike even more for the homeowner with a solid solar panel system set up already! Paired with the more affordable cost of solar panels and extensive local rebates, incentives, and tax credits available, solar offers real savings to homeowners in Corona.  

Enjoy More Energy Independence

Electricity rates are projected to fluctuate more and more over the next few years. That’s why going solar has become such an attractive option to homeowners throughout California. Why stay dependent on the grid when you can ensure your rates stay relatively the same with solar panels? Specially with time-of-use rates and other things that could cause your electricity bills to fluctuate, with solar panels you are looking at more stability and control — especially with growing solar storage options become more available to homeowners.

Add Value to Your Property

Studies have found that having a solar energy system added to a home can add significant value. For example, homebuyers are reportedly more willing to pay a price tag of around $15,000 higher for homes with an average solar panel system installed. Other evidence from the study even shows that solar panel homes are selling faster than homes without these renewable energy systems. Who wouldn’t love to have their home sell quicker and for more money than other comparable homes on the market? When it comes to determining if solar panels will add real value to your property, the proof is definitely there!

Numerous Financing Options to Fit Your Budget

Solar panels have never been more accessible to consumers, with numerous financing and leasing options available. While leasing may seem like a viable option for those who want to be more budget-friendly, the savings may not be as great as they would be if a system was financing for purchase. Either way, you can still save with solar, it just comes down to how much you want to save. If you choose to go with a solar lease or power purchase agreement, you won’t have to put any money down, however, you are more so just enjoying a more aSemperble electricity bill, so the savings are smaller. Once you’ve thought through your budget and what you want to spend on solar upfront, you can discuss the best solar financing options with our team at semper Solaris. We help you understand how to maximize your savings from solar without busting your budget!

Sunny Corona Offers Optimal Sunshine to Harvest

Living in Corona, you know that the weather doesn’t get much better than this. There is plenty of sunshine, with average high temperatures hitting just below that perfect 80°F mark. Southern California is notorious for its beautiful sunny weather, with most areas averaging well over 200 sunny days year-round. That means your solar panels will get plenty of use during the average clear day in Corona, making your solar installation well worth it.

Extensive Lifespan & Warranties to Guarantee Performance

At the end of the day, anything home improvement should be something you can expect to last a long time. You wouldn’t spend all that time and money remodeling your kitchen if you thought you’d have to do it all again in just five years. Purchasing new windows or insulation is done with the assumption that you won’t be faced with the same upgrades again just a few years down the road. That is something that solar panels offer as well — peace of mind about the long-term benefits of your investment. So how long can you expect your solar panels to last? The average warranty on solar panels can range from 20 to 25 years (some reaching up to 30 years), meaning you can trust that your panels are guaranteed to perform for a long time. These panels are designed to endure the elements for decades — often performing efficiently with minimal degradation after 30 to 40 years.

Solar Isn’t a Trend — It’s Here to Stay

Just a few years ago it seemed crazy to think that solar power would gain any ground on fossil fuel sources. Now, solar panels are becoming more and more affordable and accessible to homeowners. It is pretty evident that solar isn’t just a quick trend or fad that will go away — it’s a renewable energy solution that is here to stay. If you want to enjoy all the benefits and flexibility of having a solar panel system installed on your roof, don’t wait another day. The windows are closing on some tax credits and other incentives that make going solar all the more affordable for Corona residents. If you are ready to talk to a solar contractor in Corona, Semper Solaris is here to help.

Contact us today to find out if going solar is right for you!

With 266 days of sun per year, San Diego is a prime candidate to become the leader in solar power. After all, the average number of sunny days is just 205 across the country. We nearly have the type of sun towns in New England could only dream of, especially in January. You can contribute to the city’s emergence as a green community by putting solar panels on your own home. From Mission Beach to Alpine and Chula Vista to Carlsbad, San Diego County properties are in a great position to generate their own energy using the power of the sun. Even better, solar energy is contagious. If you put solar panels on your own home, your neighbors are more likely to consider becoming energy independent, too. Before you know it, San Diego may be on the road to freedom from fossil fuel dependence.

Getting It Right with Solar Panels in San Diego

If you’re new to the idea of solar power it’s easy to get overwhelmed. How many panels do you need? When is the best time to get them installed? Will you recover the costs of the solar panels when you sell your home? The world of solar energy is growing and changing every day — keeping up is easier with some expert advice. Before you make any decisions, let’s take a look at some of the basic do’s and don’ts of going solar in Sunny San Diego.

Do: Consider Getting Panels Installed During the Off-Season

Solar professionals have a busy season and an off-season, just like any business. It’s no surprise that the summer months get people thinking about going solar. AC means escalating utility bills and the everpresent sunshine is top of mind. If you want to go solar in San Diego, consider getting your panels installed during the off-peak season.

Not only can you get better discounts if you get solar installed during the off-season, but you’ll get more attention from your solar installers. A slower schedule for solar companies means they can spend more time walking you through the process and devoting extra energy (no pun intended) to your job.

Don’t: Rush to Get Your Panels Installed Before the First Heat Wave

You see the summer season approaching and you know the peak season will arrive with it. Better get those panels installed right away… right? Not so fast. Rushing to get your panels installed could present its own problems. For one, you should get your roof assessed before you install solar panels.

Like all types of roofing materials, the Spanish tiles popular in Southern California have a limited lifespan. It would be a shame to install solar on a failing roof that needs to be replaced soon. Give yourself a few months for inspection and repairs instead of rushing to get panels installed before the first big heat wave, even if your favorite installer can fit you in. Overall, winter is the best time to make an appointment for solar installation.

Do: Examine Which Direction Your Roof Faces to Maximize Panel Access to the Sun

The ideal orientation for solar panels is facing south. You can also orient your solar panels to the east or west, though they will produce about 20 percent less energy than south-facing panels. If you only have the option to place your panels on a north-facing rooftop, you may want to consider installing panels on the ground or using a creative tilting system.

The direction your solar panels will face may have a tremendous effect on the type of panels you choose and the number of panels you need to have installed. Planning ahead is key. For instance, you may discover that while your roof faces south, a neighboring building casts a shadow that hinders the roof’s daily sun intake. You may also have a small south-facing portion of your roof that can’t accommodate all of your panels. Most situations can be altered to make solar work but being aware of your roof’s relationship with the sun is the first step to developing a plan.

Don’t: Assume That Sea Fog or Tall Palms Mean You Won’t Get Enough Sun

It’s true that solar panels work at maximum efficiency when they get regular direct sunlight. If you live in Ocean Beach, you might worry that the frequent ocean fog means your panels will be starved of sufficient UV rays. The good news is that even under fog, solar panels can absorb about half of what they need to operate at full potential. When the fog burns off at about noon, your panels are fully back in business. Likewise, tall trees that provide tons of shade to your roof can be a problem, but they don’t rule out solar panels. Trimming fronds and tilting the panels can mean your trees and solar panels live in harmony.

Do: Look for Rebates to Enjoy More Cost Savings

Your solar installer may offer great discounts during the off-peak season, but that’s not the only way to save cash on your panels. While the San Diego Gas and Electric (SDGE) solar rebates are currently exhausted for San Diego residents, the solar thermal rebate program is still active and has a total of $28 million to hand out. Keep your eyes peeled for other city or state rebate programs that will cut back on your initial costs. SDGE has a helpful guide that explains the various ways you can leverage various types of savings for solar installation. With the California push toward solar (most new builds will be required to have panels as of 2020), it’s always possible that new rebates could become available for current homeowners in San Diego.

Don’t: Give Up on Solar If You Don’t Qualify for State Discounts

If you don’t have access to city or state rebates, all hope for major savings is not lost. You can still apply the federal tax credit for solar investment (ITC) to your taxes next year. The tax rebate allows you to deduct up to 30% of the cost of your PV panel installation. Be aware, however, that you only have until 2019 to deduct 30%; after that, the credit tapers off through 2022 for residential properties.

You should also consider the annual savings from switching away from the grid and the increased value of your home. Even if you don’t save money in a lump sum rebate up front, you still stand to make a lot of money in the future. SDGE will also compensate you for excess energy generation that you give back to the grid if you apply and are approved for the Net Energy Metering (NEM) program.

Do: Work with a Local Solar Company That Understands San Diego Climate

A company that knows San Diego weather and climate patterns will be able to explain exactly what financial returns you can expect from going solar, and how many panels you need to fully power your home. Only a company familiar with the entire county will be equipped to understand the different needs of a home in Mission Valley versus a property near the coastal fog at the beach. In addition to considering price, it’s savvy to place value on how well the solar company understands the unique needs of a San Diego homeowner. Will it be worth it to pay less up front in your work with a company that only has a history of working in the desert?

Don’t: Be Shy About Vetting Your Solar Company Thoroughly

You have the right to ask as many questions as you want of any solar company. After all, going solar is not only a big financial investment: it’s also a change in lifestyle. You want to work with an organization that knows the solar industry and is comfortable being asked about their practices, costs, and knowledge of San Diego installations.

So, are you ready to get serious about going solar in San Diego? You won’t be left wanting for sunny days to shower your new panels with energy. Between the increased value in your home and the ability to become energy independent, getting solar panels in San Diego has too many benefits to pass up. Contact Semper Solaris today to find out more about going green in SD.

 

Under California’s new energy storage mandates, SDG&E is required to create solar battery storage facilities for a total of 331 megawatts. So far, SDG&E has been granted approval for 5 facilities, which will cover about 83.5 megawatts, while currently a 30-megawatt battery storage center is already in function. The locations for the facilities include Escondido, Poway, San Diego, Fallbrook, and San Juan Capistrano.

 

Why are California policymakers pushing for solar energy storage? Currently, renewable energy faces challenges with intermittency — or consistency due to limited hours of sunlight or a lack of wind. While overall reliable, there is some issue with slumps in power. On the other hands, sometimes there is an overproduction of renewable energy without enough immediate demand to use up the energy created, which has forced California Independent System Operator to face the decision of sending this unused power to other states — or even curtail the production.

 

The solution? Create battery storage facilities to store the power rather than give it away or shut it off. This allows cities to capitalize on more production during peak times and rely on reserves during the lulls in energy production.

 

Ultimately, the goal of battery storage facilities is to help reduce California’s (and other states taking this approach) dependency on natural gas, which still holds a major grip on the state’s electric generation.

Are Battery Facilities the Right Answer?

While policymakers are onboard for battery storage facilities, promoting projects across Southern California, not all people share this viewpoint. Some skeptics believe that current energy storage technologies are too expensive an investment. This mindset doesn’t take into consideration the current challenges of overproduction during peak hours (and loss of that overproduction due to lack of storage or usage), as well as issues with over-demand during lulls in solar production. Though the cost may be several cents higher, the reality is that overtime, prices can be driven down with better technology and efficiency. In addition, there are other benefits to consider when it comes to renewable energy storage.

 

What makes battery storages facilities beneficial:

 

All together, these benefits point to the reason California policymakers are pushing for storage facilities and calling upon utility companies like SDG&E to pick of the mantle in this area of renewable energy.

Energy Storage Technology Helps Fill in the Gaps

While there is still some debate about the cost-benefits of solar battery storage, the reality is that the technology is still new and continually improving. The more the use of solar battery spreads, the more the technology will become more affordable and accessible. That means with more and more residents in San Diego going solar, the state will be able to better capitalize on solar energy production.

Where previously California would have to funnel energy out to other states during excess times, the battery facilities will now allow more of that energy production to be kept in the state and used for dips. The battery facilities will ideally continue to become more affordable over time, becoming a practical way to store up the “harvest” of solar power during the sunniest of days so that homes can draw upon these reserves when needed. Essentially, solar battery facilities help fill the gaps in energy needs and demands so that renewable energy sources can be used more widespread.

There is no denying that electrical costs in San Diego and nearly all of Southern California are on the rise. As the state continues to move towards renewable energy resources like solar, the cost for grid-tied, traditional electricity continues to rise.

San Diego residents are going to see clear spikes in their electric bills over the next few years. In fact, you’ve probably already noticed some serious increases with San Diego Gas & Electric. SDGE has even requested another round of major rate increases that would go into place in 2019. The increases would total up to 28% by 2022, which means major cost increases for San Diego residents.

 

It is pretty clear that having solar panels installed is now more crucial than ever for residents who don’t want to see such major spikes in their energy bills. Our 

 

San Diego solar company is happy to help local homeowners understand their options when it comes to going solar.

Take Advantage of Cost-Saving Opportunities

While solar providing savings by cutting back on electrical expenses, there are also other cost-saving opportunities that can make going solar even more affordable and attractive to homeowners. Semper Solaris is extremely familiar with installer solar panel systems in San Diego. We’ve helped countless customers take advantage of lowering their SDGE bills and know the process inside and out.

Solar is Worth it in San Diego!

 

Making solar worthwhile can include capitalizing on rebates and tax credits offered to residents. These include the 30% federal solar tax credit and the NEM 2 net metering law passed that helps homeowners to sell their excess electricity produced by their panels. You can also see if you qualify for the numerous other programs for San Diego residents.

So how can you tell if it will be worth the investment for your home? The biggest factor is ensuring the cost of installation is covered and exceeded by the production of your solar panels. That means some factors like panel type and size, roof size and adjustments needed, weather, functionality over a 25-year period, and financing choices all come into play. If you payback your solar panels in an average of 5 to 6 years, you could be looking at significant savings over the lifespan of solar panels.

Find Out How Much You Can Save with Solar

At Semper Solaris, we make it our mission to help our customers truly maximize their savings on solar. That means we will go over your options when it comes to selecting the right solar panel type, battery storage options, and potential rebates and offers that may apply to you. We want to make sure that going solar is worthwhile for you. Interested in finding out just how much you could save on your electric bills by having solar panels installed? We are here to provide the answers. Connect with Semper Solaris today to learn more.

As one of the leaders of solar power usage, San Diego has added another piece of renewable energy infrastructure to the city. The San Diego Padres’ Petco Park began installation of a new 336,520-watt solar power system in January of this year and wrapped up the project by March, ahead of Opening Day for the team. This is just another example of the Padres commitment to leading the league in energy sustainability. The new solar polar system is now considered the biggest system in the Major League Baseball.

 

Exactly how big was the project? To put it in perspective, more than 715 high-efficiency solar modules were used, each generating up to 470-watts of energy. It is projected to generate 330 kilowatts of solar power, which is sufficient to cover the energy needs of the whole front office for the Padres. In the next 25 years, the system is estimated to produce more than 12 million kilowatt hours, resulting in millions of dollars in savings throughout its years of usage.

 

For San Diego, this is a great achievement in promoting energy sustainability. Petco Park is considered one of the top sporting venues in the city, making a serious statement about their dedication to promoting cleaner energy and capitalizing on the real savings offered by solar power.  

San Diego Leads the Way in Solar Power

As the eighth largest city in the U.S., San Diego is poised to make a serious impact when it comes to renewable energy. The current population sits just around 1.4 million, with nearly 490,220 households – many of which are considering adding solar panels to their properties. The goal of the city to become more sustainable should come as no surprise after Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s words: “San Diego continues to lead the way on climate action as we march toward our ultimate goal of 100 percent renewable energy.”

He hopes that Petco Park’s commitment to this vision will help spur other major business and homeowners to take similar action. The Mayor and all of San Diego are looking towards a future goal of cutting greenhouse gases in half by the year 2035. He also aims to have the city run on 100 percent renewable energy by this time. Though his goals are ambitious, it’s a vision that is resonating with more and more San Diego residents, especially considering the rising cost and impact of traditional electricity production.

Join the Clean Energy Movement

The great news about the solar movement? It doesn’t just benefit the environment and make San Diego’s energy consumption more sustainable — it also makes it more affordable and can even put money back in the pocket of homeowners thanks to Net Metering laws. What more incentive do you need to join the clean energy movement? Going solar in San Diego can help you protect your beautiful city and your long-term savings all in one.


Ready to join the movement? Start by learning how much going solar can save you. Give Semper Solaris a call today.

As solar energy becomes a more popular renewable energy source, switching becomes more and more attractive to homeowners. There are numerous factors to weigh, especially the cost of investing in solar panels compared to the rising cost of electricity. Any type of change can be somewhat intimidating at first. You may be wondering if switching to solar power would be too much of a hassle or if the panels will even last long enough to make the switch worth it. If you need a little motivation to push you over to the solar side, Semper Solaris is here to help.

Top Motivations for Going Solar

Promotes a Healthier Environment

The earth is full of precious resources that people have been harvesting and using for countless years. However, other resources — such as certain fossil fuels — have been causing serious damage to the environment. The health of our environment should far outweigh the benefits of fossil fuels – which is why solar energy has gained significant popularity in the last few decades. The more homes and businesses that switch to solar, the less our world is reliant on more harmful fossil fuels. Instead of being dependent on fossil fuels, a switch to primarily solar can significantly cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.

Not only that, but studies have found that if solar energy was adopted on a wider scale, various respiratory problems could be lessened as well. For example, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that an increase in solar energy usage vs. fossil fuels would cut back on harmful emissions that can sometimes result in bronchitis, respiratory issues, and even cardiovascular problems.

Solar Helps Boost the Economy

There is no denying that the market for solar is booming. In fact, the International Renewable Energy Agency reported that solar employment has grown 17 times faster than the rest of the country’s economy. More than 250,000 people were employed in the solar industry in 2017, with numbers expected to continue to grow.

Gives You Back Control of Your Utility Bills

Having to stress over the rise and fall of electricity costs can be stressful. You have to monitor and track your use, be conservative with your usage at times that may be convenient, and ultimately, don’t have any control over the prices you are charged. The good news? Switching to solar energy gives you back control. With a solar panel system, you are able to convert the sun’s rays into usable energy for all your household needs. Another positive? In most areas, any excess electricity created will go to the grid and be credited back to you, which means during the evening or on cloudy days, you still have your electricity needs covered.

These are just a few of the most compelling reasons to switch to solar, so if you’d like to learn more about going solar, our solar panel experts can provide insight.

With many rooftop solar panels appearing on houses all over the city, it would come as no surprise if the city of San Diego became known as “Solar San Diego.” The city has become so energy aware that San Diego has been recognized as one of the leading solar energy producers in the United States, and a majority of that solar energy is coming from residential construction. Is it time for you to join the solar movement in San Diego and make the switch to solar energy?

When it comes to solar, San Diego generates more power from grid-connected solar panels on residential, commercial, and government buildings than any other city in California, according to an analysis released on Tuesday by the Environment California Research & Policy Center.

The study heralds San Diego’s role as a leader in the deployment of rooftop and similar on-site solar installations. There were more than 4,500 solar installations within city limits as of August 2011, ahead of runners-up Los Angeles and San Jose, the analysis found.

“San Diego has been an early and consistent leader in terms of embracing robust solar policies,” said Michelle Kinman, co-author of the study.

The report focuses on solar photovoltaic systems mostly owned by ratepayers or third-party financing companies, as opposed to electric utilities. Data was provided by state regulators, the state’s private and public utilities, and the California Center for Sustainable Energy that administers state solar initiatives in the San Diego area.

The report did not include solar energy systems that are not connected to the grid because of limitations on data.

Regarding California’s Top Cities for Solar, San Diego Leads

California’s top 10 solar cities Peak capacity in megawatts Number of installations
San Diego 37 4,507
Los Angeles 36 4,018
San Jose 31 2,733
Fresno 22 2,146
San Francisco 17 2,405
Bakersfield 16 1,643
Sacramento 16 1,119
Santa Rosa 14 1,467
Oakland 10 1,010
Chico 9 1,170

Source: Environment California Research & Policy Center

For all its solar progress, San Diego trails other areas in per capita measurements. The greatest penetration rates for solar are in the Bay Area, the Sierra foothills, and the Central Valley.

In several small towns in northern California, there are roughly 10 solar installations for every 100 residents. San Diego has between three and four solar installations for every 1,000 residents.

Among larger cities, Santa Rosa and Clovis stand out in terms of solar-power adoption, with about 10 installations, or 80 kilowatts of capacity, per 1,000 residents.

Small Towns Embrace Solar

Top solar towns per capita Installations per 100 residents
Sebastopol 10.3
Newcastle 10.2
Nevada City 9.9
Penn Valley 8
Coarsegold 6.3
San Diego 3.5 per 1,000

Source: Environment California Research & Policy Center

Kinman said some of the geographic imbalances can be traced to higher levels of home ownership in some small communities. Rental properties and multifamily dwellings have been slower to add solar equipment.

“That happily is changing as the state is promoting policies that promote renters and multifamily projects getting access to solar,” Kinman said. 

California leads the nation in rooftop solar generation, surpassing the 1-gigawatt capacity mark last year. Gov. Jerry Brown has set a goal of producing 12 gigawatts of distributed electricity generation capacity, mostly through rooftop solar, by 2020. The state’s total peak electricity demand was about 64 gigawatts in 2011.

The on-site generation goals are separate from requirements that electricity retailers procure 33 percent of their electricity from renewable energy by 2020.

The Environment California Research & Policy Center provides research on government incentives and public policies that can lead to more distributed solar installations. It is not a political lobbying group.

Those on-site solar installations are seen not only as a way to decrease dependency on fossil fuels but also as a way to reduce the size and number of power lines by producing electricity closer to where it is used.

The report released on Tuesday recommends maintaining or enhancing state provisions for “net metering” that allows utility customers who generate a one-kilowatt hour of energy to buy one less from the utility. San Diego is about halfway toward a cap on net metering currently set at 5 percent of peak demand.

Utilities including San Diego Gas & Electric have begun to question the fairness of net metering provisions that they say force non-solar customers to pay a greater share of infrastructure costs. The intermittent nature of solar power also presents future challenges in balancing electricity production and demand.

SDG&E has proposed its own pilot programs that would allow customers to offset electricity bills with solar-generated electricity from installations within the utility’s service territory.

The Environment California study was financed by several private foundations: Arntz Family Foundation, the Energy Foundation, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the Michael Lee Environmental Foundation, the Sidney Stern Memorial Trust, and the Tilia Foundation.

If you’re interested in joining the rest of “Solar San Diego” in making the switch to solar energy, contact Semper Solaris for more information.

The report released on Tuesday recommends maintaining or enhancing state provisions for “net metering” that allows utility customers who generate a one-kilowatt hour of energy to buy one less from the utility. San Diego is about halfway toward a cap on net metering currently set at 5 percent of peak demand. Solar Energy in San Diego.

Utilities including San Diego Gas & Electric have begun to question the fairness of net metering provisions that they say force non-solar customers to pay a greater share of infrastructure costs. The intermittent nature of solar power also presents future challenges in balancing electricity production and demand.

SDG&E has proposed its own pilot programs that would allow customers to offset electricity bills with solar-generated electricity from installations within the utility’s service territory.

The Environment California study was financed by several private foundations: Arntz Family Foundation, the Energy Foundation, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the Michael Lee Environmental Foundation, the Sidney Stern Memorial Trust and the Tilia Foundation.

Receive an instant text quote in seconds and see how much you can save on our highest efficiency solar panels.

The summer days are heating up in San Diego, which means it’s time to shimmy into your favorite swimsuit and enjoy your backyard pool! We San Diegans love our pools, and with good reason! What better way to relish our gorgeous weather than to lay out by the pool, float on a raft, or invite friends over for margaritas and cannonballs? However, owning a pool comes with a price. That includes both the price you’ll see on your electric bill and the environmental price of your energy-hungry feature. Residential solar in San Diego can help you lower your energy bill and your carbon footprint without giving up your relaxing outdoor oasis. Let’s look at what a pool is really costing you and how solar panels can help!

A Popular California Pastime

Residential-Solar-in-San-Diego-Pool-Girl

Do you absolutely love your background pool? We get it. Pools offer a perfect, screen-free activity for the kiddos, especially during the summer months when they’re out of school. A pool can also increase your status as the host-with-the-most when you hold family gatherings, invite the neighbors over for some BBQ, or just want to catch up with friends.

You are not alone. California is home to the most residential pools in the entire country. According to The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (yes, there really is an association for everything), roughly 1.23 million Californians own a residential pool. Another 1.12 million own hot tubs just for good measure.

All those pools and hot tubs require a lot of energy. No doubt you’ve noticed the big jump in your energy bills whenever you start up the water pump and heater. How much energy does your greedy pool require and what is that doing to your bottom line and to the environment?

An Energy Gobbler

All of your appliances and electrical products require energy, but your pool is a particularly hungry beast. Aside from your air conditioner, your pool is likely to be the biggest energy user in your home! The amount of energy your pool uses will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of your pool, the equipment you use, how actively you maintain it, and whether the pool is also heated.

Still, averages can be helpful. According to Think Progress, the average pool contains 20,000 gallons of water. It takes a lot of energy to filter and clean that much water and to keep it warm if you have a heat pump. ThinkProgress cites a study by Opower (which has since been purchased by Oracle) that found pool pumps can use up to 2,500 kilowatt hours (kWh) to circulate and filter water each year.

More recently, Canstar Blue, a consumer review site in Australia (where pools are almost a necessity during the sizzling summer down under), estimated that the average pool requires between 2,000 and 3,000 kWh of energy per year!

Just to put that number into a little perspective, running your clothes washer for two, hour-long loads per week will require just 26.5 kWh per year. A desktop computer running 10 hours every day of the year will only need 273.75 kWh per year. You could keep your LCD television on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (though we don’t recommend it), and it would only take 1,314 kWh per year. That still pales in comparison to the amount of energy your pool is slurping away right now. (These numbers are brought to you by this nifty energy calculator from the U.S. Department of Energy.)

In other words, your pool is energy expensive, which means it’s also expensive when it comes to dollars and cents.

Are You Getting Soaked?

Residential-Solar-in-San-Diego-Pool-Girl-Woman-Studying

 

Your pool is an investment. All that water isn’t free. Neither is pool equipment, like the water pump, or the cleaning products you need to buy on a regular basis. If you hire someone or pay your kid to clean the pool each week, that’s just another big expense.

What you might not realize is that your pool is costing you in another way. If you’re wondering why your electric bills suddenly rocketed up the month after you turned the pool on, just glance into the backyard and you’ll have your culprit.

Pool manufacturer River Pools and Spas helpfully breaks out the monthly electrical costs of common pool systems:

In a best-case scenario, if you don’t heat your pool, don’t have a hot tub, and have invested in a variable speed pump, you’re still looking at $360 to $600 a year just in electricity costs to maintain your pool. In a worst-case scenario, if you have a one-speed pump, a heat pump, and a cozy hot tub to complete your backyard empire, your energy costs could increase by as much as $8,400 a year!

That’s a pretty serious expense even a relaxing day by the pool might not be able to make you forgot. Of course, it’s also worth remembering that energy has a price beyond money. Your pool is also taking an environmental toll.

The Carbon Cost of Your Pool

Unless you’ve already invested in residential solar in San Diego, the energy needed to power your pool comes from a public utility company, like SDG&E. California and San Diego are doing a great job of getting more and more of their energy from renewable resources, especially solar, but a majority of it still comes from fossil fuels, like natural gas and coal. Turning these fossil fuels into energy releases carbon dioxide into the environment, which contributes to climate change.

Energy-hungry home features, like your pool, can play an outsized role in increasing your home’s carbon footprint. The Carbon Fund, which sells carbon offsets, calculates that every kilowatt hour of energy results creates roughly 1.22 pounds of CO2.

By this calculation, a pool that requires 2,000 to 3,000 kWh of energy per year will produce approximately 2,444 to 3,666 pounds of CO2 annually. Even on the low end, that’s more than a metric ton of CO2 released into the atmosphere each year.

If you care about fighting climate change, your pool may be undermining the hybrid car in your driveway, the low energy appliances installed throughout your home, and the other efforts you’ve made to lower your carbon footprint. Does this mean that it’s time to close your outdoor water sanctuary forever in order to rescue your budget and save the world (at least a little bit)?

Before you turn off that water pump and drain away your kids’ favorite summer activity, consider a few options that can lower or even eliminate the energy costs of your pool.

How to Lower the Energy Needs of Your Pool

There are a variety of ways to lower the energy your pool requires. Let’s start with the small changes:

Use a Pool Cover

One of the easiest and least expensive ways to save energy is to buy (and use!) a cover for your pool. A cover prevents water from evaporating, which will also help you conserve water – a big deal in drought-sensitive San Diego. Evaporation also leads to significant heat loss, which can force your heat pump to work overtime (and drink up more energy).

Buy a Variable Speed Pump

The majority of pools in the United States use a single speed pump. As its name implies, the single speed pump only has a single setting. Because it can’t be dialed up or down, it always operates at maximum capacity. Though single speed pumps are less expensive upfront, they require a huge amount of energy. You’ll save money and energy in the long run by paying a few hundred dollars more for a dual speed pump, or ideally, a variable speed pump, which uses the least amount of energy.

Maintain Your Pool Equipment

A clogged or poorly performing filter will force your pool’s pump to work harder than it needs to, which will increase its energy needs. Clean your filter regularly, assess your pool equipment, and make sure the water’s pH is balanced. If you have to hire a company to maintain your pool, it could be money well-spent if it keeps your energy bills down and your family safe.

These are the small updates you can make to lower the energy your pool requires, but if you want to go big and possibly eliminate the energy and environmental costs of your pool altogether, you only have one option – solar panels.

One More Reason to Consider Residential Solar in San Diego

Residential-Solar-in-San-Diego-Pool-Yard

 

If you are already considering solar panels as a way to eliminate your entire electric bill each month, then the high energy costs of your pool are just one more good reason to go solar. With the right sized solar system, you could save hundreds of dollars each month on your energy bills. In fact, the average solar panel system in San Diego pays for itself in just four to five years! After that, it’s savings all the way.

Don’t forget that you’ll be saving big in another way. By investing in the clean, renewable energy of the sun, you can help keep over a metric ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere each year, and that’s just for the energy needs of your pool. If you like to crank the air conditioning during the summer months or have an electric car to charge each day, you could lower your carbon footprint even more!

All of these reasons make residential solar in San Diego worth considering for pool owners and all homeowners in America’s Finest City. If your pool is humming and your electric bills are climbing, contact Semper Solaris today to schedule a free energy consultation.

Imagine this scenario: A few decades in the future, your granddaughter (or great-granddaughter) wakes up in a home completely powered by solar power in San Diego. By that time, solar panel efficiency has far surpassed the 20% efficiency panels we have today. Even though the day is overcast, the panels on her roof still generate more than enough energy to keep all the electronics functioning in her home.

During breakfast, your granddaughter glances at the news headlines and sees that, for the third year in a row, seasonal temperatures have dropped. This is good news after years of record-breaking heatwaves and big storms. It seems as if the significant worldwide drop in CO2 production is having a positive effect on the environment.

Your granddaughter is driven to school in an electric car that was charged at home. It emits no CO2 into the atmosphere. During the trip, your granddaughter gazes out the window and doesn’t see anything strange in the fact that solar panels dot almost every roof. In fact, the roofs without solar panels seem out of place.

At school, your granddaughter is asked to present a report on her family. She proudly explains that her father works in the solar industry as a warehouse manager. This job is what allows her to live in a beautiful home and enjoy the pleasures of life, like gymnastic lessons and a trip to Disneyland in the summer. Several of the other children in her classroom also have parents who work with solar in some way.

That night, as the sun goes down, she flicks on the lights. Your granddaughter doesn’t think twice about firing up the computer to do her homework or turning on the television. Solar batteries are so good these days that they can power most homes using energy generated by the solar panels during the day.

This is the solar future we are working for in San Diego. It may seem idealistic, but solar has come an incredibly long way in just the past decade. Most indicators point to the fact that the sector will continue to grow, advance, and mature.

How far can solar in San Diego go? To answer that question, we need to understand what’s happening in the solar world today and what these trends portend for the future.

San Diego’s Solar Push

Transitioning from old to new technology doesn’t happen in a void. Whether or not a country, a state, or even a local city is willing to step up and support the transition can make a huge difference in its successful adoption. Fortunately, San Diegans live in the leading solar state and in a city that has put itself on an aggressive path toward adopting renewable energy.

But bfore we can understand where we’re going with solar energy in San Diego, we must first appreciate how state and local legislation affects these efforts.

The Clean Energy & Pollution Reduction Act

In 2015, California put the rest of the country on notice when Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 350. The Clean Energy & Pollution Reduction Act requires the state to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This is a highly aggressive goal, and yet California is currently on track to meet it 10 years early according to an annual report submitted by California regulators!

It’s worth mentioning that in 2017, a bill that would require California to produce all of its energy from “100 percent greenhouse-gas-free” sources by 2045 was only narrowly blocked. Many of the bill’s supporters vowed to present it to legislators again in the near future.

 Solar Panels on All New Homes

Just because California isn’t quite ready to go 100% into renewable energy doesn’t mean the state has lost its appetite for bold initiatives. The Golden State proved this earlier this year when the California Energy Commission unanimously voted to require that all new housing built in the state after January 1, 2020 include solar panels.

Not only will California residents start seeing a whole bunch of additional solar panels on roofs in new housing complexes, but a CEC press release explained that the new standard will also “reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 115,000 fossil fuel cars off the road.”

San Diego Vows to Go 100% Clean Energy

California prides itself on being a renewable energy leader, but the Golden State may need to take a backseat to its second largest city. That’s because San Diego is going all in on its renewable energy bet. In 2015, America’s Finest City became the first municipality in the United States to commit to transitioning to 100% renewable energy as part of a larger Climate Action Plan.

And so far, the city is walking the walk. In 2016, the city’s public utility, San Diego Gas & Electric, reported that renewable sources accounted for an impressive 43.2% of its electricity production.

Where Solar Power in San Diego Is at Right Now

San Diego has set itself a challenging goal of generating all of its energy from renewable resources in the future. Solar energy will certainly play a central role in helping the city hit that goal. If you’ve lived in San Diego for the past decade, there’s no doubt that you’ve noticed solar panels popping up on more and more houses. What is the current state of solar in our city, and what can these trends tell us about the future of solar energy in San Diego?

Solar Continues to Grow Across the Country but Dips in California

Row of houses, each with a solar panel on the roof

It looks like the rest of the country is beginning to catch up to San Diego and California in adopting solar. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), in 2016, solar energy capacity grew more than any other energy source for the first time.

SEIA estimates that in the next five years, the U.S. solar market will triple in size. A big portion of this growth will happen outside of California as other states dramatically increase their solar capacity. While San Diego may not see the red-hot growth in the solar market that it did in previous years, at least some of the national growth can be attributed to California’s example. Our state and our city has been a willing role model in how to embrace and incorporate solar energy into our current energy infrastructure.

Solar Prices Keep Dropping

One major driver in the growth of solar panels has been the speedy drop in price. As solar panels have increased in popularity, more solar companies have jumped into the fray to meet consumer needs. This has encouraged economies of scale as manufacturers become better at making solar panels, as solar technology improves, and as competition rises among solar installation companies.

As the price of solar panels comes down, more homeowners and utilities will be enticed to invest, which will drive even greater competition, technological improvement, and economies of scale. In other words, solar will just keep getting better and cheaper!

Solar Puts San Diegans to Work

Worker installs solar panels on rooftop

It takes a lot of talented people to run a successful solar company. Trust us, we know! Solar energy doesn’t just benefit a community by cutting down on pollution. It also puts local people to work. According to the Solar Foundation, the solar industry employed over 250,000 people in 2017, an astounding 168% increase from 2010. The Solar Foundation also notes that, “Solar makes up just under 2% of overall U.S. energy generation, yet it employs twice as many workers as the coal industry, almost five times as many as nuclear power, and nearly as many workers as the natural gas industry.”

Here in San Diego, 7,934 of our friends, neighbors, and family members made their living in the solar industry in 2017. Solar jobs are uniquely valuable, because they offer a living wage and most don’t require a bachelor’s degree. Solar companies are also a great option for veterans. Roughly one-in-ten solar worker is also a veteran, according to the Solar Foundation. Here at Semper Solaris, we are a veteran-owned company that makes a special effort to hire veterans in the San Diego community.

As solar installation continues to grow across the country, solar jobs will grow with it. The solar industry will continue to offer new generations of Americans a fair wage and a middle-class lifestyle no matter their background!

What’s on the Line

Helicopter drops fire retardant on La Tuna fire in Los Angeles in 2017

Whenever we discuss the future of solar power in San Diego, we must take a step back and appreciate why our city and our state has gone through so much trouble and pushed so hard to free itself of fossil fuels.

According to the EPA, the electric power sector accounted for 32% of U.S. total greenhouse gas emissions in 2012. Those numbers have increased over 10% in the last ten years.

The scientific consensus tells us that fossil fuels contribute to climate change, which in results searing heat waves, choking smog, more intense storms, degradation of wildlife habitats, and the increase of insect-borne illnesses, like Lyme disease and West Nile virus. Here in San Diego, we are already feeling the affects of climate change as our state suffers from more severe droughts and increasingly catastrophic fires.

Solar energy is one potent option to fight climate change. In a massive 2015 study called, “The Future of Solar Energy,” the MIT Energy Initiative explained that, “Massive expansion of solar generation worldwide by mid-century is likely a necessary component of any serious strategy to mitigate climate change.”  Every solar panel that goes up on a rooftop creates energy that doesn’t have to be produced by burning natural gas or by coal. If we want to preserve our beautiful planet for the future generations, solar energy in San Diego can be a part of that solution.

The Future of Solar in San Diego

Remember at the beginning of this article when we described your future granddaughter’s solar-powered day? When you read that scenario, it may have seemed far-fetched or naively optimistic. However, the political decisions that California and San Diego are making today will help pave the path to  that future. So will the manufacturing and technological trends that are quickly upping the efficiency of solar panels while dramatically cutting their costs. Finally, renewable energies offer one of the most effective ways to combat climate change.

The decisions each of us makes can bring your grandchild’s future to fruition. If you want to combat climate change and protect the environment for future generations, it’s time to consider investing in your own solar-powered future today.  At Semper Solaris, we want to help you decide if solar is the right choice for your home and budget. Contact us today to schedule a solar consultation.  

Having a solar panel system installed can be an environmentally and economically savvy move. In fact, the Solar Energy Industries Association reported that the market doubled in 2016 compared to the previous year. Solar power is not a fading trend – it is here to make the world a greener place. With the wave of solar power comes additional renewable energy options for homeowners, including options like solar batteries for storing solar power not used right away.

What Exactly Do Solar Batteries Do?

When a homeowner has a solar energy system installed, it includes solar panels, mounting equipment, a monitoring system, and an inverter to make the power from the sun usable electricity in a home. Most homes are tied to an electricity grid, which means any additional or unused power created by your panels will flow into the grid. In return, homeowners are able to draw excess power needed when their solar panels aren’t producing enough (such as at night). Typically, a credit will be given to homeowners for any extra electricity their solar panels produce and send to the grid. That means these credits will usually cover any excess electricity needed to be drawn back from the grid when the panels aren’t generating enough power– also referred to as net metering.

So what does this have to do with solar batteries? In theory, the batteries would take that excess solar power, convert it, and then store it for later use. The solar battery would then be the secondary power source your home draws from depending on how much power your solar panels produce.

Any excess electricity produced by panels once the battery is charged is then sent back to the grid. It essentially gives your home an extra storage of usable electricity. If your solar battery is depleted when your panels aren’t producing power, only then will your home draw from the grid. Additionally, solar batteries can act as a quick backup power supply in power outage situations.

Do I Need a Solar Battery for My Home?

Having a solar battery may seem like a natural step to take when you have a solar panel system up and running for your home, but it isn’t always necessary. In large part, whether or not a battery is practical depends on how your utility processes the power produced by your solar panels. If you get compensated through a credit for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced (net metering), a battery may not make as much sense. If a battery is storing that power, you won’t get any extra savings on your electricity bill. On the other hand, if you are under time-of-use rates or demand charges, you may benefit greatly from having the flexibility of a solar battery to provide previously produced power during those times. Also, if you like the idea of being able to store additional solar power and reducing dependence on the local electricity grid, a solar battery can be a great option.

Still have questions? You can get answers when you trust your solar panel system installation to Semper Solaris. Contact us now to get more insight on how to go solar the smart way.

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