Is 2017 the year to Go Solar in San Diego?

Is 2017 the year to Go Solar in San Diego?

Is 2017 the year to go solar? San Diego Solar prices have never been lower…

Do you feel like you’re throwing money away every time you pay your electric utility bill? Well, you are. Why not invest your utility payments into your own solar system and free yourself from the monthly utility bill “surprise”.

Cash purchase Solar systems have a Return on Investment (ROI) of less than 5 years, with financing adding little more than one year. You can recover  your initial investment in less time than it takes most people to pay off a car loan. Then you can live free from the dreaded monthly electric bill. Solar electric systems are designed to last 25 years or more. Most systems we install are warranted for that time period.

Financing is available with no money down and can be tied to your home’s tax bill through the Home Energy Renovation Opportunity program (HERO) leaving you free from the added burden on your credit report. Unlike a lease or traditional financing which needs to be transferred to a new buyer upon the sale of the home, HERO financing stays with the home. It doesn’t need to be paid off or transferred, making the sale of your home much easier.

One question I’m always asked is “I hear technology is getting better in the solar industry, what new products are coming out and should I wait until they arrive to go solar?”. The simple answer is this. The technology exists today to eliminate your electric bill, and it will pay for itself in five years. The technology we use today is more than 100 years old. Any new technology is at least 5 years away (if at all) and will be more expensive. Why keep throwing away your cash on utility bills while you wait for the latest technology? You could instead own your system and have your initial investment returned by the time “new technology” arrives.

Some time factors that are ticking away while you wait to go solar. These include a 30% federal tax credit and Net Energy Metering, imposed on the utilities by the State of California.

Tax Credit

By installing a solar electric system you are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit for the cost of installation. This is a tax credit not a deduction. The difference being a credit reduces the amount you owe in taxes while a deduction merely reduces the amount of your income for your tax base. There’s no cap on the tax credit amount and it carries forward if not fully consumed the first year. The tax credit will begin to reduce by 4% per year starting at the end of 2019.  It’s set to expire for residential customers at the end of 2021.

Net Energy Metering

In order for a solar system to zero out an electric bill, it must produce more electricity than a home is using during the day. That excess electricity is sent back onto the grid and consumed by the closest utility customer in demand of electricity. The electric meter at the home tracks how much power is sent to and used from the grid, at night or on cloudy days. By having a net metering agreement in place a customer is allowed to send (sell) power to the grid at full retail rates and buy that power back at full retail rates at any time. The “Net” effect allows you to zero out your bill, minus any meter fee imposed by the utility (currently about $5.00). When this agreement was imposed by the public utility commission on the utilities it was a major “win” for consumers. The utility companies have been fighting to get it changed ever since. There is a limit to the number of solar systems the utilities must allow to have net metering agreements.

These are some of the reasons why it’s a better time than ever to go Solar. San Diego County provides one of the best environments for households that are interested in going solar.


Contact us with any questions you have, or to schedule a free consultation to go over your options.


Brian Milholland

SunPower by Milholland Electric


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