Can You Really Make Money from a San Diego Solar Installation?

We often talk about the energy savings that solar offers.  By installing panels today, you can dramatically reduce your monthly utility bills.  Some lucky customers even receive negative electricity bills from SDG&E.

We also talk about the environmental benefits of going solar.  The more panels you install, the smaller your carbon footprint becomes.  We’re talking less pollution and a greener overall planet.

Saving the environment and saving money are obviously great.  But is it possible to actually make money from your solar panels?

The short answer is yes.

Many San Diego customers do make money off of their PV installations.  But based on our experience, this should never be the main selling point of going solar.  Income generation potential is there – but it’s usually not worth all of the hassle.

Let’s review.

How Do People Make Money from Solar Panels?

There are a handful of different ways to make money from your installation.  But the most popular is through renewable energy credits (RECs), which are essentially green stocks generated by your solar panels.

How do RECs work?

The process is pretty straightforward.

In states that have mandated renewable portfolio standards (RPS), utility companies are required to produce a portion of their electricity from green energy sources.  Utility companies can do this directly (by investing in their own green power sources).  But they also buy green energy indirectly through the open market.

As a solar installation owner, your panels continue generating clean electricity every time the sun rises.  This renewable power qualifies as a “green energy” source.  For every 1 MWh of electricity that your panels produce, you receive one green certificate – a tradable option that you can sell on the open market.

For easy reference, a standard 5 kW solar PV system will produce a new REC every 60 days or so (or about 6 RECs a year).

How much money you make from these RECs is entirely out of your hands.  It’s similar to the stock market or to Bitcoins.  The underlying price is 100% dependent on demand and availability.  And because solar installations are becoming more popular across the country, the supply of RECs is also going up.

In other words, you probably won’t make a whole lot of money in passive income from your solar panels.  This is why we don’t recommend making “income generation” the primary motivation for embracing solar technology.

To further complicate matters, California doesn’t even have a robust REC market.  Assuming that your installation qualifies, you may have to look outside the state in order to sell and trade your renewable energy certificates.  Click here to learn more.

So Is a San Diego Solar Installation Still Worth It?

Okay.  So installing solar panels won’t necessarily make you rich.  But remember that it won’t make you poor either.  A well-installed system shields you from utility rates – both today and tomorrow.

Moreover, your panels help reduce global reliance on fossil fuel.

Even if solar doesn’t put money directly into your pockets – it definitely prevents others from taking money out of your pockets.  And solar also helps to make the planet more livable.

It’s an easy choice.  And at Sunline Energy, were here to make the choice even easier.

Contact us today for a free solar consultation.