Solar Panels San Diego

What should you consider before having solar panels installed in San Diego ? How should you decide which installation company is right for you? What type of solar should you choose? photovoltaic or solar thermal? Are there upkeep or maintenance costs?

All of these are valid and common questions when considering solar panels. It’s a big investment and so it’s understandable that you will have questions and concerns. I’ve collated some basic knowledge, tips and advice on how to ensure you find a good company to install your solar panels and highlight some of the points you should consider when having photovoltaic panels installed at your property.

Solar Power System For Home

1. MCS Approved Installers

Firstly, and most importantly, ensure that your chosen installer is an “MCS approved installer”. MCS stands for Microgeneration Certification Scheme and it is an indication to consumers that the installer has been assessed and adheres to standards and regulations that are set by the MCS.

MCS Approved Installers are awarded certification as a result of a thorough assessment of the supply, design, installation, set-to-work and commissioning of renewable microgeneration technologies, solar panels.

2. MCS Approved Solar Panels

Alongside MCS Approved installers, make sure that your panels are also MCS approved. MCS Approved Solar Panels also undergo rigorous standards.

To receive certification, MCS Approved Solar Panels not only receive product testing, but the manufacturing processes, materials, procedures and staff training also undergo assessment. Certification is only awarded if every step and stage meets the criteria.

3. NIC EIC Certification

All electricians who provide services in the UK should be NIC EIC certified. Solar installers are no different and you should make sure the company you choose has received certification. You will then be safe in the knowledge that your system complies with national safety requirements as stipulated by the governing body responsible NIC EIC certification.

4. Solar Panel Quotes

Don’t rely on the first or cheapest company you find – ask for quotes from a number solar installation companies, and let the companies know that you plan to do this. This should help ensure that you receive competitive quotes and it also gives you a benchmark from which you can compare quotes against quotes. It might give you some leverage to “play” companies off against one another to get that quote figure knocked down a little. Companies only exist to make money, so they won’t want to lose a potential customer.

Talk to companies who visit your property to provide you with quotes and ask plenty of questions. This will give better understanding and knowledge of what to expect and what you are told. Consider all your quotes before committing to any one in particular.

5. Cheapest Doesn’t Mean Best

As with most things in life, the cheapest quote you can find won’t necessarily get you the best end result. That doesn’t mean you should opt for the most expensive solar panels either. Find a quote which you feel is fair and just as importantly, choose a company that you feel comfortable about dealing with, a company who answers your questions and takes time to explain the technical side of things in a manner that you understand.

This doesn’t just apply to the company’s bottom line figure, but also the individual materials and equipment the company quotes for. If you haven’t been provided with a detail or itemised quote, ask for one. This way, you will know what equipment and materials you are paying for, and you can compare this to your other quotes.

Solar Energy For Home

6. Research!

The technology is constantly evolving and in terms of energy generation for the masses, it is still quite new so there will always be improvements and enhancements being made. Ask your company what products they will be using for your install and take some time to do some background research on them: Are there any problems with the panels? Are there newer versions? Is the price about right? Are there any forums which advise for or against them? Learn about solar panel technology and the terminology used, this will help you avoid being “blinded” by jargon.

7. Calculate Potential Feed in Tariff Earnings

The Government’s Feed in Tariff has been extremely influential in the popularity of solar panels. You get paid for all electricity generated from your solar panels, even if you consume it personally. As a general overview, from 3rd March 2012, the rate is 21p/kWh and then from 1st July 2012 the rate of return will be between 16.5p/kWh – 13.6p/kWh. This rate will depend on the number of panel installations completed between March and April 2012. You can also use one of the many online calculators to see how much money you could be earning on your potential investment.

The Feed in Tariff means that whilst your initial investment may be a big outlay, not only will you save money on your energy bills, but you will also generate an income. This takes the investment in solar panels way beyond most returns from other “normal” monetary investments. If you have money invested in savings accounts, maybe consider solar panels.

8. Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic Panels

Take some time to decide whether solar thermal or photovoltaic systems would be more beneficial to your property. Solar thermal generates hot water, whilst photovoltaic panels will generate electricity.

If you are unsure as to the system you want, contact companies and ask which system they would recommend. There’s no reason why you cannot have both systems installed and if you decide that solar thermal panels are your best option, still consider photovoltaic panels, if for no other reason than it could in theory pay for itself and your solar thermal panel system.

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Solar Panel

9. RHI – The Renewable Heat Incentive

The Renewable Heat Incentive does not provide such a good return on your investment as the Feed in Tariff, but it is still a good incentive that deserves careful consideration. The scheme’s aim is to encourage property owners to reduce their heating energy consumption and carbon foot print by providing the following benefits:

0.085p per kWh return for 20 years
energy consumption reduction
A Government payment contribution
10. Maintenance Costs
You will undoubtedly be told that there are no upkeep or maintenance costs involved with solar, and throughout life expectancy of a solar panel installation, there should in fact be little maintenance or upkeep in regards to the panels themselves. However, the inverter, which converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), will, at some point in the 25 years, need replacing. The cost to replace your inverter will be somewhere near 1000, and so this should form part of your calculation and consideration for solar panels.

Solar Installation Cost

Normally, solar systems will be installed on rooftops or high up above the ground in order to get the best exposure to direct sunlight especially in San Diego. The result of this is that less able-bodied people may require assistance to have the solar panels cleaned or to clear any fallen leaves or debris from on and around the panels to keep them working at their maximum capacity.

Solar Power, Inc: Why This $1 Billion Company Could Fall By More Than 80% - Solar Power, Inc. (OTCMKTS:SOPW)

Cost Of Solar Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images If the power goes out at your home for a significant period of time, or if you have a home that is beyond the reach of the power lines, heating and lighting your home without electricity may be a bit more difficult, but it can be done using alternative energy sources. For heating and temporary lighting, appliances that burn kerosene, propane, wood or other fuels are a viable option, but for long-term lighting, battery or solar-based technologies may be safer. Wood A fireplace or a wood stove is a reliable way to provide both heat and a small amount of light for your home, as long as you have a steady supply of wood available. Harvesting, cutting, splitting, transporting and storing enough wood for a season can be a lot of work, and it may not always be possible, such as for those who live in cities. Many wood stoves can also be used for cooking and heating water, and newer models are both much safer for your health and much more efficient. Kerosene Kerosene heaters are a popular way of heating homes in many areas, especially for emergency or supplemental heating purposes. While kerosene burns relatively cleanly, it still has the potential to produce carbon monoxide, so proper ventilation and a working carbon monoxide detector are recommended. Local building codes may forbid or regulate the use of kerosene heaters, so check with your city building and permit department before buying one. Kerosene is also commonly used as a fuel in oil lamps for lighting. Propane/Natural Gas Many propane or gas-fired forced-air furnaces will not run without electricity, even models that use pilot lights, as they require the blower fan to distribute the heat. Some steam or hot water boilers will run without electricity, but in many cases, you will need to rely on alternative heating sources. Wall-mounted space heaters are available in versions that burn either natural gas or propane. Most models do not require electricity to operate, though some may have optional fans for distributing the heated air that require electricity. Externally vented wall heaters are the best choice, because they allow the combustion gases to exit the home through the flue or vent. Models without external vents, also called ventless heaters, are available, as well, but you must ventilate the room properly to avoid excessive carbon monoxide buildup. Check your local building codes before installing either type of heater. Solar Photovoltaic panels, also called solar panels, can be used to generate your own electricity during the daytime and, by storing it with deep-cycle batteries, that power can be used for lighting purposes at night. Automotive-style 12-volt light fixtures can be connected directly to the battery bank, or regular 120-volt household lighting could be used through an inverter, which converts the 12-volt DC current from the battery into the 120-volt AC current a typical house uses. Solar energy can also be used to provide supplemental heating for your home. Simply opening the curtains covering south-facing windows during the day can allow heat from the sun to warm your home, but you can also build or buy passive solar heaters to increase the heat output. Materials like stone and concrete used indoors can regulate your home's temperature. Because such materials are so dense, they take time to adjust to temperature changes. During the day they absorb heat from the sun, then slowly release it at night. Other Candles and lamps fueled by lamp oil can be used for lighting, as well as rechargeable solar lights or lights powered by disposable batteries. Both lamp oil and batteries may get expensive in long-term situations, however. For temporary situations, portable generators can be used for lighting and for powering the central heating system in some cases. Related Searches References EPA: Does Your Wood Stove Have A Dirty Little Secret? Web MD: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning - Topic Overview CSPC: CSPC Stresses Kerosene Heater Safety Fairfax County, Virginia: Ventless Fireplace Saftey Department of Energy: Planning for Home Renewable Energy Systems Home Power Magazine: Solar Electricity Basics Department of Energy: Passive Solar Home Design Photo Credit Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images Promoted By Zergnet Comments Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. You May Also Like How to Heat Your House Without a Furnace With heating bills rising all the time, it’s no surprise that people cannot longer afford to keep their furnace on like they... 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San Diego Solar Panel Installation Companies

So, what exactly is involved in calculating solar panels cost in San Diego? When thinking about solar power very few people know the way the cost of solar panel systems is actually measured. Or even, for that matter, do we automatically grasp the connection relating to the cost of solar power and the value of solar power. We all know that gasoline prices are in dollars per gallon. We likewise are all aware of approximately how far we’ll be able to drive after spending 40 bucks for a tank of gas. In contrast to a tank of gas, the value of which can be consumed pretty much instantly, solar panels deliver their value across a period of time.

Solar Energy Pros And Cons

San Diego 3 Undervalued Solar Leaders

SolarCity Stock Should Continue to Rise As Solar Becomes More Affordable

Energy is one of the world's largest sectors in the market; therefore energy stocks comprise a large amount of the portfolios of institutional and individual investors. Oil, of course, is the largest in the energy sector at roughly 36%, followed by natural gas at 24%. Interestingly one of the most talked about sources of energy, solar energy, still only comprises one quarter of one percent of today's energy supply. However those numbers should shift upward over the next decade as witnessed by last year's 86% growth in the solar industry. In the U.S, solar energy consumption grew by nearly 34% reaching 0.212 quadrillion Btu. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that solar will gain 24%, second largest share of new power capacity behind wind power, added in terms of GW by 2030.

Though the "green" movement does play a role to some extent, what may actually be driving the shift toward solar energy in residential and commercial buildings may be simple economics. People want to use cleaner energy to run their houses or businesses, but most are not willing to spend the extra money, or simply do not have the financial means to pay the extra costs to convert to solar. In 2005, solar panels typically cost $3.50 per watt of power, however, by 2012 prices had tumbled to 75 cents a watt, and some experts predict the prices will continue to fall, making it more cost effective for the consumer to have installed on their home or business.

But buying and installing solar panels is still costly, and could take upwards of twenty, for solar to pay for it. That's why the biggest shift in solar has come from companies leasing the panels to the customer and selling them the electricity at a reduced price compared to what the utility companies charge. It appears to be a win - win situation; as the industry has appeared to overcome a major obstacle eliminating the large upfront costs, and the solar company that leased and installed the panels makes money selling back the energy to the customer. For that reason, I believe the money to be made by the investors might be better placed in companies that buy the panels and install them, then have the customers lease them, thus making it affordable to the consumer.

That is what SolarCity (SCTY), a San Mateo CA company does. SolarCity designs, installs and sells or leases solar energy systems to residential and commercial customers, then sells the electricity generated by the solar energy systems back to customer at 10% to 20% less than the utility companies. And its business model appears to have attracted plenty of investors, as witnessed by the stocks run-up of over 250% since its December 2012 public offering.

In June, SolarCity announced the launch of a Zero-Down solar financing program for the home building industry, giving builders the opportunity to offer solar in new residential communities without the builder or the new homeowner incurring any upfront costs. In the first five months of 2013, the total kilowatts [KW] of SolarCity's installations for new home builder construction grew by more than 300% compared to the same period the previous year. Through its Homebuilder Partner Program, SolarCity has formed partnerships with over 30 national and regional home builders in 125 communities across the U.S.

According to Walter Cuculic, SolarCity's national manager of Builder Programs:

Home builders today are investing heavily in adopting green construction practices and solar is a linchpin in the success of a modern, energy efficient home. SolarCity's full-service offering and our new Zero-Down financing option helps home builders meet their aggressive construction timelines and stay within their budgets, and solar will save money for the homebuyer on their energy bills for years to come.

The company's initiative, where it plans to build more than $1 billion in solar projects to provide power to up to 120,000 military homes in the United States, continues to show success. On July 23rd SolarCity announced plans to add 12.8 megawatts of new solar generation capacity for up to 7,500 military homes at Lend Lease-managed Island Palm Communities throughout the island of Oahu. SolarStrong projects are already underway at nine other military bases throughout the U.S.

SolarCity was chosen by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) to install solar panels in 60 stores in California. SolarCity will own and maintain the solar power systems, and has added more than 500 new full-time employees since it initiated its first Wal-Mart solar project, and expects to hire hundreds more employees before year's end. Wal-Mart's solar power initiative will total more than 130 stores by the close of 2013.

Mack Wyckoff, senior manager of renewable energy at Wal-Mart, commented on the solar project:

Our solar efforts in California have proven to be a great way for Wal-Mart to build our renewable energy program. We are confident that we will continue to grow our solar energy program in the U.S. and around the world because of the initial success we have had in California.

While the business model and growth all sound positive, and SolarCity, which has a $3.12 billion market capitalization, has seen its customer base rise 106% year-over-year to over 57,400 and though the company increased its long-term contracted cash flow to $1.22 billion, it has yet to turn a profit. The reason is that though leasing the solar panels has shown to be the most successful method to attract clients, the long term leasing model requires upfront costs for the panels and the instillation, thus the company does not see any profits until the customer base expands enough to produce offsetting lease income. However, with panel prices continuing to drop, the company's upfront costs will drop as well. According to Kevin Landis, manager of the Firsthand Alternative Energy fund, in reference to SolarCity's business model:

When the price of panels goes down, their business gets better. The sweet spot is buying the panels and owning the output.

SolarCity stock closed on Wed. July 31 at $41.35 per share. For the first quarter of 2013, core operating lease revenue rose 85% to $15.1 million compared to $8.1 million in the first quarter of 2012. Total revenue grew 21% year-over-year to $30.0 million. Gross Profit rose 25% to $12.7 million, up from $10.1 million in the first quarter of 2012. Total operating expenses, however, rose $34.5 million in the first quarter compared to $24.7 million in the first quarter of 2012, due in part to the continued investments in development capabilities. For the second quarter 2013, SolarCity expects operating lease revenue to come in be between $16 million - $18 million, with solar energy systems sale revenue between $5 million - $10 million, and an operating expenses to be between $38 million - $42 million.

SolarCity does have its competitors like the larger SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR), a high quality solar panel producer based in San Jose, CA, that designs, manufactures and delivers solar panels and systems to residential, business, government and utility customers. SunPower has also built its leasing business to be the largest U.S. both residential and commercial, and globally the company has installed over 100,000 residential systems. Shares of SunPower have had an amazing run year to date, up 391%. After hours on July 31st, the company reported net income for the second quarter of $19.6 million or $0.15 per share, compared to a net loss of $84.2 million or $$0.71 per share for the same quarter last year. SunPower forecasts for the third quarter adjusted revenue of $550 million to $600 million and adjusted earnings of $0.15 to $0.35 per share. For fiscal 2013 the company expects adjusted revenue of $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion and raised its adjusted earnings from $0.60 to $0.80 per share to $1.00 to $1.30 per share. On August 1st, shares of SunPower dropped 10% on high volume to $25.20 in mid-day trading.

Conclusion

Solar power in residential and commercial is clearly on the rise with plenty of room to grow. Interestingly, what might accelerate the growth is that instructional investors have not gobbled up solar company shares; roughly 20% of SunPower shares are held by institutional investors, and only 17% of SolarCity is owned by institutional investors.

While I think both SolarCity and SunPower have the potential to continue to see their stocks rise significantly in the next few years, what I like about SolarCity is that it does not manufacture the solar panels, so it does not have to compete with the Chinese manufacturers. SolarCity focuses primarily on the design, installation, the finance and the management of the system. Though with the high run up on both companies, I would like to see the stocks dip on some profit taking for a better entry price.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Solar Water Fountain

What Does My Dream Mean? Find Out for Free

Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images With increasing concern about urgent environmental issues like global warming, many people have turned to local initiatives to reduce their environmental impact. Home energy use, the most local of environmental impacts, has become one focus of environmental advocacy. Although the feasibility of domestic renewable energy systems varies widely depending on local conditions and house architecture, many homes can operate green energy systems, like wind and solar power, to offset all or part of their home energy use. Best of all, these systems are relatively easy to install, with the connection of wind turbines and solar panels to a battery pack requiring only a few simple steps. Things You'll Need Electrical cable Wire cutters Wire strippers 2 Ammeters 2 Charge controllers 2 Fuses Electrical tape Solar Panels Cut lengths of electrical wire to make each of your connections. You will need a total of eight lengths, two for each connection between components (panels, ammeter, charge controller, fuse and battery pack). Cut the lengths to the appropriate distance between each of the components in your home layout, leaving a bit of extra slack in case you have to make changes. Strip the ends of each length of cable with a pair of wire strippers, exposing the interior copper wire in order to make electrical connections. Connect one length of cable to the positive output from your solar panel by wrapping the exposed copper wire around the output. Connect the opposite end of cable to the positive input in your ammeter, a device used to measure electrical current that will be useful for system maintenance. Insulate both connections with electrical tape. Connect a second length of cable to the negative output from your solar panel, with the opposite end connected to the negative input in the ammeter. Insulate the connections with electrical tape. Connect the ammeter to the charge controller by repeating the process, running cables between the appropriate inputs and outputs in the two devices and insulating the connection. Connect the charge controller to the fuse inputs with another two lengths of wire, insulating all of your connections. The fuse will interrupt the current in the case of unexpected power surges and protect your system. Connect the fuse outputs to the appropriate terminals in the battery using the last two lengths of wire. Connect the positive output from the fuse to the positive terminal in the battery and the negative output to the negative terminal in order to close the circuit. Insulate all your connections with electrical tape. Other People Are Reading How to Combine Solar & Wind Power How to Use Solar Panels & Wind Turbines Together Adding a Wind Turbine Cut eight lengths of electrical wire to make all of the necessary connections and strip the ends with a wire stripper. Wind turbines are a popular choice for home renewable energy systems. Connect the outputs from the wind turbine to a separate ammeter in order to monitor the current from the wind turbine without interference from the panels. Make and insulate the connections just as you did with the solar panels. Connect the wind turbine ammeter to a second charge controller, a device that regulates power flows during changes in wind or solar conditions in order to avoid damage to your batteries or wind turbine. Connect your wind turbine charge controller to a second fuse, allowing you to interrupt the flow from either the wind turbine or the solar panels while still accumulating power from the remaining system. Connect the fuse to the battery pack. You can use the same batteries for both systems or separate them if your want to store energy in different voltages. Tips & Warnings Make sure your energy generators (solar panels and wind turbine) are producing energy with the same voltage as your batteries. You can modify the connections in your battery pack with series and parallel circuits to manipulate voltage and accommodate the voltage from your generators. Your generators, however, must be compatible and have the same voltage in order to feed the same battery pack. Consider separating the battery packs from wind and solar energy if they use different voltages. Be sure your solar panels and wind turbine are not generating energy while you make the connections. Always be careful when handling electrical wire, and only touch the interior copper wire when absolutely necessary. Related Searches References Vela Creations: How to Build a Chispito Wind Generator Free Sun Power: Solar Power System Free Sun Power: Solar Energy System Example Wiring Diagram Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images Promoted By Zergnet Comments Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. Resources Battery University: Series and Parallel Battery Configurations

San Diego

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Solar Panels San Diego