San Francisco Solar Savings, Costs, Rebates, Tax Breaks and Incentives
Situated in the bay area, San Francisco is a prime candidate for taking advantage of the region’s ample sunlight and putting it towards renewable energy production.
San Francisco has garnered a reputation in both California and throughout the rest of the United States as being a pricey abode to settle down in.
Between living expenses and utility prices, living in San Francisco certainly isn’t cheap. But San Francisco residents have an ace up their sleeves.
By taking advantage of the incredible power of solar energy, San Francisco residents can shave off a significant portion of their electric bill and help combat rising costs of living and the pollutive effects of using fossil fuels.
San Francisco Solar Power Cost and Savings
The average cost of a 5kW solar panel system in San Francisco is approximately $20 thousand dollars.
Add in your rebates and tax credits and you can obtain a solar panel system for around $11,350, which is quite amazing.
This isn’t counting leases, loans, or PPAs. Over the lifetime of the panel system, San Francisco residents can actually make a profit of up to $29 thousand dollars through their energy production.
On average, most San Francisco residents save about $499 dollars per year on their electricity bills, and a solar panel system in San Francisco can pay for itself on average within ten years.
How do we know all this? We work with local San Francisco solar installers we trust in providing solar quotes for residents interested in switching to solar power across the nation.
Out of our experience from thousands of installation in the greater San Francisco Bay area, we concluded the above figures.
Off course the figures are just an example for an average 5KW system.
San Francisco Solar Panel Installation
For homeowners interested in installing a solar panel system, the process is fairly simple:
1. Fill in our solar form. You’ll be providing basic information about your home situation, giving our trusted solar installation team we work with in San Francisco an idea of your home, including the layout, your roof shading, your utility company and several other factors, when approaching your unique quote.
2. Receive solar quotes from trusted installers and select a company.
Once you receive the quote and chat with installers in your area, you should have a good idea on how solar will benefit you, and the exact cost. Also, your solar panel installation team will typically want to take measurements and asses your home situation so they can better help you in providing accurate quote.
3. Select and Install. Once you selected the company of your choice, they will install your new PV system in 2 to 3 days.
You now can enjoy great savings, and know you did a little but meaningful thing in helping our environment.
San Francisco Solar Power Incentives, Tax Breaks and Rebates
San Francisco residents have a lot of incentive to adopt solar energy.
Between incredible rebates and property tax exemptions, residents can help save on installing a solar panel system and be able to almost immediately benefit from the reduced cost of utilities in their home.
Regardless of circumstance, residents who install a solar panel system can expect to gain up to $2,000 off the bat.
An additional $700 is available to residents who utilize a local solar panel installation team. Residents in certain zip codes might also be able to benefit from an additional $800.
If your income is low enough to qualify you for the PG&E Care Program, meaning you’ll be paying reduced utility bills, or if you qualify for the Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes Program, you may even be able to gain an additional $7,000.
You may even be able to qualify for a free 1kW solar panel system.
For more info, check out the GoSolarSF program, to see what else you can expect from San Francisco’s amazing solar rebate program. I
San Francisco RPS
California itself has a very impressive renewable portfolio standard or RPS, which calls for utility companies to draw a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable means.
By 2033, California is hoping to produce up to 33% of their power from renewable energy resources, making their RPS one of the most ambitious in the nation.
While there is no specific RPS carve-out for solar energy, there’s still a lot of motivation for San Francisco residents to produce their own solar energy due to high demand to meet RPS standards over the next decade or so.
San Francisco Tax Credits
At this time, California does not offer a state-wide tax credit for solar energy. This was phased out in 2005.
It allows solar panel system owners to claim 30% of the system’s value on their taxes, helping bring their tax bill for that year down. After 2016, the Federal solar tax credit is set to run out so if you’re looking to install a solar panel system and still want to take advantage of this amazing offer, act now.
Tax Exemptions in San Francisco
As any solar panel installer knows, a solar panel system has the potential to add up to $20 thousand dollars of increased property value to the average home in San Francisco.
While normally the increase in property value can also lead to an increase in property taxes, California offers a 100% property tax exemption for solar panel systems.
That means that you won’t be taxed on the increased home value that solar panel systems provide.
One should keep in mind that there is no sales tax exemption for solar panel systems installed in San Francisco or anywhere else in California.
You’ll still need to pony up the extra cash to purchase the solar panel system with the sales tax considered.
Electricity Rates in San Francisco
San Francisco residents pay almost $0.21 per kilowatt hour of energy. This is higher than many cities in California pay on average for electricity and places San Francisco among the costliest cities to live in for utility bills alone.
And like most other cities in California, San Francisco certainly isn’t immune to rising costs of electricity.
But by adopting solar energy, you can help combat rising energy prices and become less dependent on the energy grid, helping you save significant amounts of money over the long run, regardless of the energy market.
San Francisco Net Metering
Net metering is a process which allows you to hook up your solar panel system to the electric grid, monitoring your energy production. Any excessive energy produced by your solar panel system can be sold back to the utility companies or redeemed for credits later on.
In California/San Francisco, utility companies are required to pay you retail rate for any excessive electricity you’ve produced and sent back through the grid.
San Francisco Solar Financing Options
We get it. Twenty thousand dollars is a lot of money to spend on a solar panel system. Even when you consider all possible rebates and tax credits available in San Francisco, investing in a solar panel system can still be a hefty investment for a lot of people.
Luckily, there’s an array of financing options for the average homeowner in San Francisco.
San Francisco residents can qualify for solar leases, solar loans, or even PPAs (Power Purchase Agreement), allowing them to benefit from solar energy for zero money down.
A solar lease is, by far, one of the most popular options when it comes to obtaining a solar panel system in San Francisco.
Leasing a solar panel system allows you to obtain it for zero money down and begin benefiting almost immediately from producing your own electricity.
By choosing the leasing option, your utility bills should drop almost immediately, meaning you’ll only need to pay on your lease and whatever energy you still have to draw off the grid.
Most solar leases last for about 20-25 years but the length of your lease depends on the terms and conditions you’ve agreed upon with your lender.
Since you don’t technically own the system, you should keep in mind that you won’t be able to personally obtain any rebates or tax benefits that someone who owns their solar system can benefit from.
However, you will have the option of purchasing the solar panel system once your lease, according to agreed upon terms, expires. It’s an option worth considering if you would like to benefit from solar energy without a hefty initial investment.
A solar loan is another option you may want to consider.
Many financial institutions offer solar loans as an option in San Francisco because of the growing interest in renewable energy production.
Solar loans are an option to consider if you would like to own your system but don’t have the means to make a giant, up-front investment.
Consider possible interest rates and your ability to make regular payments on your loan before deciding. Purchasing your system through a solar loan can mean you’ll still be able to benefit from rebates and tax credits, a great alternative to simply leasing a system.
A PPA or Power Purchase Agreement is another option if you live in San Francisco, and would like to simply benefit from reduced utility costs without having to invest anything in the purchase or maintenance of the system.
A solar PPA is an agreement which allows a third party to install a solar panel system on your rooftop. Since they technically own the system, you’ll purchase your energy through the third party, whether it’s another company or your landlord.
This allows you to enjoy cheap energy rates. However, you don’t own the system. The owners of the system will be able to take advantage of potential rebates and tax credits as well as net metering.
But it’s certainly an option worth considering if you don’t have the money for the initial investment and just want to enjoy the energy benefits of solar and help your environment.
For many residents in San Francisco, there’s a lot of motivation when it comes to adopting solar energy as a renewable energy mean.
Thanks to California’s aggressive RPS, there’s high demand for residential production of clean energy, giving a lot of incentive to local utility companies to buy or credit you for your solar panel system’s energy production.
San Francisco may not be the sunniest city in California but there’s a lot you can expect to gain from going solar in San Francisco.
And considering the fact that electricity can be a pricey .21/kWh in San Francisco, solar energy can help offset high electricity prices, a huge bonus when you consider San Francisco’s infamous high costs of living.
San Francisco also offers very generous city-wide rebates through their GoSolarSF program. Depending on your unique situation, you can help offset the initial cost of a solar panel system by up to $2000 or more.
Residents can offset the cost of a PV system even further by considering various financing options. A lease, loan, or a solar PPA can allow you to benefit almost immediately from a solar panel system for zero money down.