It’s an interesting question. After all, it’s possible to have a “zero” carbon footprint. But can you have a “negative” carbon footprint?
It actually is possible. And not just theoretically. At Sunline Energy, we’ve helped many solar customers more than offset their carbon emissions with affordable photovoltaic (PV) installations.
But first a little background.
Achieving a Zero Carbon Footprint with Solar
There are already tons of net zero buildings across the country. We’re talking about commercial buildings whose total energy consumption is equal to the total amount of renewable energy created on-site.
Less talked about are the tens of thousands of residential properties that accomplish the same thing. There are countless homes throughout California that produce more solar electricity than they can possibly use. Technically speaking, these homes have zero carbon footprints.
So How Much Solar Capacity Do You Need To Become Net Zero?
It really depends on your current electricity consumption. A family of 4 will need more solar panels than a family of 2 does. But remember that solar is a 100% scalable technology. So you can keep adding more and more capacity – depending on your budget and goals.
Without looking at your property in person, we can’t say exactly how many panels you’ll need. But you’ll definitely need enough to qualify for $0 electricity bills (which is fairly easy to do thanks to the San Diego net metering program). Once you reach that point, the solar electricity that you sell to SDG&E exceeds the grid electricity that you buy from SDG&E.
But although this “technically” counts as net zero, it doesn’t meet OUR definition of a truly zero (or negative) carbon footprint.
After all, most San Diego homeowners drive cars. In our book, this still counts as pollution. One easy fix, however, is to replace your gas-guzzler with an electric vehicle (EV) that you charge with solar panels. In fact, 40% of EV owners in California do precisely that.
But even this isn’t enough.
You also produce trash (food scraps, disposables, etc.). Conservation and recycling can help reduce this somewhat. But if you install enough solar capacity, you can dramatically offset the CO2 pollution that your trash produces.
When you reach this point, you’ve achieved a truly zero carbon footprint.
How Much Smaller Will Your Carbon Footprint Become?
Achieving $0 electricity bills is pretty easy. We help San Diego solar customers do this every day. Adding enough solar capacity to completely power your EV is also relatively simple. And installing enough panels to offset your trash pollution is also possible (although this can get pretty expensive).
But the great thing is, no matter how much solar capacity you add, you still come out ahead financially. Even with an oversized, overpriced system, you end up saving money in the long run.
Don’t believe us? See for yourself.
Request a free, no-obligation quote today. It costs you nothing to begin exploring your solar options. And we’ll outline in detail exactly how small your carbon footprint can become – and how much money you’ll save over the 25 – 40 years of your installation’s lifetime.