The Current Solar Landscape: For Home Builders in Central California

California is one of the best places in the world for photovoltaic solar power. It has a high amount of solar exposure and some of the most expensive electricity.  Today, California generates more clean energy from solar than any other state and recently became the first state to require all new single and multi family homes to be constructed with solar panels on the roof.

Based on the average number of homes built per year in California, there will be approximately 40,000 new homes that will need solar in 2020.The large building corporations in the state have already adopted the code and solar providers, such as A.M. Sun Solar, are looking to help our local builders transition.

There are immense benefits to going solar. For example, it is less expensive to live in the house with solar. The Energy Commission estimates that over a 30 year period, solar will save a homeowner roughly $19,000.  These savings are crucial as the mortgages on the Central Coast are expected to rise significantly.

A Photovoltaic solar system increases the value of a home, however, there are ways that solar might not have to increase the cost of the house. The Purchase Power Agreement allows the homeowner to lease a solar system through a finance company who sells the clean energy at a reduced cost from PG&E.  The average cost per kwh is approximately $.18 per kwh compared to PG&E at $.40 per kwh. There is no upfront cost on the leased PV system, only the cost of the energy it creates. This effectively saves the homeowner money from the day of their residential purchase. Currently, the trend for the larger California builders is to opt for the Purchase Power Agreement. This is primarily because it is zero cost for the builder, offers a savings right away and meets the new building requirements.

The logic and benefit to installing solar energy on a new home is clear.  However, the process of adding a solar system can increase the complexities to the project for a builder.  For this reason, it is beneficial to work with a local solar provider, such A.M. Sun Solar, that is well versed in financing options, PG&E and other local utility paperwork, system size and design certifications, service and warranty work for renewable energy. By trusting a solar expert, not only is the project less complex for the builder but  the homeowner’s overall building experience is enhanced.

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