Solar Power San Diego | Solar Panels, Battery Storage, Roofing, HVAC

  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” – 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. 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” – Michelle Kinman 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. 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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 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? 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: $30 - $50 for a two-speed or variable speed pump/filter system $75 - $150 for a one-speed pump $50 - $250 for a heat pump $100 - $300 for an in-ground hot tub 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 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 like Tesla Powerwall 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 before 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 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 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 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 by 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 effects 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 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.

Are you ready to embrace the solar revolution and get solar panels for your home? Solar power in San Diego is a big investment that will affect your monthly energy costs and impact the value of your home. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right solar installation company. You have many solar installation companies to choose from in San Diego, but how do you find the right one? Every solar panel company will be more than happy to point you to their testimonial page, which (surprise, surprise) is usually filled with ecstatic praise. How can you find honest, unbiased customer reviews to help you determine if a solar company in San Diego is a diamond or a dud? Why Reviews Matter Solar energy in San Diego is big business, and a lot of companies are jumping on the solar installation bandwagon. One of the best ways to determine if a solar installation company will do a good job for you in the future is to find out how they’ve performed in the past. If a company has done shoddy work for previous customers, chances are they won’t miraculously change their behavior and provide you with an excellent result. This is why reviews are one of the most useful tools for evaluating and ultimately choosing a solar power company in San Diego. What to Look for in Reviews When you begin searching for solar company reviews, you may be surprised by how many you find. Top solar companies may have hundreds of reviews. How do you evaluate each of these reviews and effectively compare them with the reviews of a different company? Keep in mind that reviews are a tool that you can use to better understand the characteristics, strengths, and benefits of each company. When reading reviews, here are some important factors to look for: Location Is the company national, or is it local? If the company has multiple offices, make sure to read reviews for the nearest location to you. It’s important to ensure that a solar installation company has worked in your area, understands the popular roofing styles in your region, and is well-versed in the local permitting rules and regulations. Communication Good communication is at the heart of every successful solar installation. While you read a company’s reviews, look for indications that the company thoroughly explained the installation process to the homeowner and guided them in choosing the solar system size and the best financing option. Look for notes on if the company answered all the consumer’s questions and responded quickly to their concerns. Timing This one is simple. Was the company able to send a team out to perform the installation in a timely manner, and did the company meet its deadline? Budget Did the reviewer feel that the company listened to and abided by their budget requirements when recommending a solar system size and the brand of solar panels? Did the company stay within the budget? Problems Even if a solar company does everything right, problems and other surprises are still bound to happen. Maybe there’s an issue pulling a permit, the solar panels don’t arrive on time, or the project manager discovers a roofing issue that needs to be repaired. The true test of a company is how they handle the unexpected. When problems arise, did the company communicate with the homeowner? Did they provide solutions? Was the homeowner ultimately happy with how the problem was resolved?   Overall Satisfaction When reading the reviews, note how many customers were happy versus unhappy. The best endorsement a homeowner can give is to say that they would recommend a company to their family and friends. Company Response Even the best solar companies can’t satisfy everyone, and not every homeowner has reasonable expectations. Just because a company has a few bad reviews doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be taken out of consideration. Most review sites allow companies to respond to reviews. If a company has one or two particularly bad reviews, take the time to read their response (a good company should respond to all negative reviews). This will give you a chance to understand their side of the story. Where to Find Solar Company Reviews Now that you know why reviews are important and what to look for in reviews, there’s just one more thing you should know – how to actually find reviews of solar installation companies! Fortunately, you have plenty of options. Here are the top four review sources that can give you great insights into your local solar power companies in San Diego. Better Business Bureau The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been around since 1912 and is one of the most trusted and well-respected consumer protection institutions in the world. It allows consumers to write reviews of companies and file complaints against companies, which the BBB will then attempt to resolve. It currently includes more than four million consumer reviews. Businesses can seek special accreditation from the BBB, which signifies that they agree to abide by the BBB’s strict ethical standards and agree to be monitored for compliance. We strongly encourage consumers to only work with BBB-accredited businesses when possible. Accreditation shows that a business is serious about providing the very best customer service. Where We Stand: Semper Solaris has been accredited by the BBB since 2013 and currently has an A+ rating with the organization. See our BBB reviews. Angie’s List  Angie’s List is a customer review site that specializes in gathering reviews for home service companies, including plumbers, remodeling contractors, and solar installers. Angie’s List has a strong reputation for quality, honest reviews and takes a lot of precautions to remove fake reviews. For example, all reviews are vetted by the company’s staff, and members can only submit one review every six months. The company receives roughly 60,000 reviews every month for over 720 different services. Reviewers on Angie’s List can rate service providers on a number of factors, giving you a better sense of how the company performs in areas like Response Time, Professionalism, and Quality of Work. Where We Stand: Semper Solaris currently holds an “A” rating on Angie’s List for Price, Quality, Responsiveness, Punctuality, and Professionalism. We earned a Super Service Award in 2016. See our Angie’s List reviews. Yelp  Founded in 2004, Yelp is the biggest crowdsourced review site in the U.S. The site has collected over 155 million reviews on just about everything you can imagine, from your favorite brewery to the doggy daycare down the street. Yelp can usually provide the highest quantity of reviews, but the site has also struggled at times to effectively filter out fake reviews. It also does not require reviewers to provide their names, which can lead to anonymous reviews that might not be entirely trustworthy.   How We Do: With more than 200 reviews on Yelp, Semper Solaris has a 4.5 star rating (out of 5 possible stars). See our Yelp Reviews. SolarReviews As its name implies, SolarReviews is a company that specializes in the solar industry. While the company’s main business is providing solar installation company referrals to consumers, it also includes robust crowdsourced reviews of installation companies, solar panels, and solar batteries. SolarReviews also offers a “Solar Pro” accreditation program to help consumers pre-screen solar installation companies. The accreditation requires, among other things, that a company have at least three years of experience installing solar panels, possess the correct licensing, and achieve a satisfaction score of at least 4.5 out of 5 stars. How We Do: With more than 200 reviews, Semper Solaris holds a 4.9-star score with SolarReviews. We are also proud to be an accredited Solar Pro and to be ranked as one of the company’s top 10 solar installers for 2018! See our reviews on SolarReviews. Do Your Solar Homework Don’t trust your solar panels and your roof to an unknown company. Check out their reviews. Any solar energy company in San Diego can slap a couple of positive (and possibly edited) customer testimonials on their site. The true test of a good installer is whether they invite you to check out their reviews on crowdsourced sites, like the BBB, Angie’s List, Yelp, and SolarReviews where they can’t pick or edit the reviews. The best companies, in the end, will earn the best reviews. At Semper Solaris, we work extremely hard to make sure every customer is thrilled when they choose us to install their solar power system in San Diego. Our great customer service has resulted in hundreds of positive reviews and high rankings on every major review site. We invite you to read all of our reviews and then to schedule a no-pressure, no-cost energy analysis. We hope that you’ll be writing a great review of our service someday soon!