5 Tips for Increasing Your San Diego Solar Power Returns

As covered in a previous article, San Diego is ideally suited for solar energy:

Consequently, San Diego solar power customers traditionally enjoy very handsome returns on their investments.  The average payback period of a standard residential installation is 4 to 6 years, which is remarkably fast.

But even with this already high ROI, it’s possible to increase your solar returns even more.

Let’s explore how.

1.  Install High Efficiency Solar Panels
It goes without saying, but you should only install high efficiency solar panels.  Doing so allows you to generate as much electricity per square meter as possible.

While it’s true that high efficiency panels cost more upfront, they pay for themselves many times over.  Your monthly electricity bill savings will more than cover the higher ticket price.

2.  Join San Diego’s Net Metering Program
San Diego’s net metering program is fantastic – and we hope it lasts forever.

This incentive allows you to sell excess solar electricity to your local utility at a profit.  At the end of every billing cycle, if you sell more electricity than you buy from the grid, it’s possible to have a $0 or even negative utility bill.

Keep in mind that in order to enroll in net metering, your solar panels must be installed by a licensed contractor.  DIY solar panels don’t qualify.

3.  Make Your Home Energy Efficient

In 2 previous articles, we covered a range of energy efficiency strategies you can use to reduce your total electricity consumption.

The less electricity you use, the more profit potential you enjoy (thanks to net metering).

To read all 10 of our energy saving tips, click here and here.

4.  Maximize Your Solar Exposure

At Sunline Energy, we’re self-proclaimed tree-huggers.  Trees are awesome because they:

  • clean the air
  • prevent soil erosion
  • help regulate the global climate

In short, trees are powerful weapons in the fight to protect the environment.

But there are cases in which it actually makes more environmental sense to trim or remove trees.  It’s counterintuitive but true.

When you run the numbers, the CO2 offset of a 5kW residential solar installation equals the carbon absorption capacity of nearly 100 trees.

This means that if your roof is partially shaded, both the environment and your bank account may actually benefit if you trim back a few trees.  Doing so allows you to increase your solar generation potential and help offset more pollution than you could otherwise.

If you’re not entirely comfortable with tree removal, the next point may be more to your liking.

5.  Explore Ground-Mounted Solar Power Solutions
Is your roof relatively small?  Or maybe it receives too much shade (due to nearby trees)?

Then perhaps you should consider ground-mounted solar installations.  It’s the same technology, but instead of using roof space, you install your panels in the yard.

There are a few advantages of ground-mounted solar systems:

  • Cost – ground-mounted solar power usually carries lower installation costs (but not always).
  • Orientation – if your roof doesn’t have a south-facing surface, you won’t be able to maximize your energy generation potential.  But ground-mounted solar power solutions can face any direction you want.
  • Maintenance – although there’s considerable debate over the importance of solar panel cleaning, ground-mounted solutions are easier to access, wash, and maintain.
  • Scalability – ground-mounted solutions usually face fewer spatial constraints.  This means it’s easier to scale up and add more solar capacity.

More Ways to Boost Your San Diego Solar Power Returns?

Looking for more ways to boost the ROI of your solar investment?  Stay tuned for future articles that cover new best practices and energy saving tips.

In the meantime, if you have questions about installing solar panels on your property, contact us for a free consultation.