This is not really a San Diego-specific question. Nationwide, prospective solar customers are asking the same thing. They want to know (in advance) what size solar system they need before committing to an installation.
But as you’ll soon see, the answers vary considerably – from region to region and from customer to customer.
Why Recommended Solar Installation Sizes Vary by Region
You can create clean solar electricity anywhere the sun shines. Even in Antarctica (during the summertime at least).
But not all regions of the world enjoy the same solar energy potential.
In San Diego, we’re blessed with unusually abundant sunshine. On average, we receive about 266 sunny days a year, which is pretty remarkable. This makes our region ideally suited for solar energy.
In addition, San Diego benefits from a number of very attractive incentives to help reduce the total cost of your installation. Some of these incentives are only available in our part of the country. With solar rebates, net metering, and tax credits, you’ll almost never pay full price for a new system.
Lastly, utility rates are different all over the country. The more expensive grid electricity is, the more attractive going solar becomes (relatively). For better or for worse, San Diego, CA has some of the most expensive power in the nation. And it keeps going up every year (40% for some unlucky customers in 2013 alone).
Why Do Recommended Solar Installation Sizes Vary by Customer?
Although the average solar system size is about 5kW for a residential San Diego installation, this figure is somewhat misleading.
Every property is unique. And every home in the County faces slightly different challenges when it comes to orientation, shading, and obstructions. Some properties don’t have enough roof space and must explore ground-mounted solutions. Other homes are surrounded by trees or have roofs facing in the wrong direction.
To further complicate matters, no 2 customers have the same environmental and financial goals:
- Some want to reduce their electricity bills by 25%
- Others want to reduce their utility bills completely
- And still others install extra large solar systems to charge their electric vehicles (no joke)
And then you have another class of customers who go solar purely for environmental reasons. They install as many panels as they can afford in order to reduce their carbon footprints as much as possible.
So What Size Solar Energy System Do You Need for Your Home?
We can talk in averages. The average installation size is about 5kW. And the average cost for a residential system in San Diego is about $10K (after incentives).
But many systems are smaller and cheaper. And many are much larger and more expensive.
Where do you fit in exactly?
Answering this is what we’re all about. By scheduling a free appointment today, you can have our expert survey team come out and analyze your home’s solar potential.
You’ll know (in advance):
- What size solar PV system you need (based on your financial and environmental goals)
- Your CO2 offset (i.e. how much smaller your carbon footprint will become once your system is up and running)