Top Reasons to go Solar at Home

Installing solar panels for your home can save you thousands of dollars in energy bills, increase your home’s value, and protect the environment by producing green, renewable energy. When you add in tax credits and exemptions, going solar is a great long-term investment.

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Save money

Pay less on energy bills…forever.

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Protect the planet

Be part of the green solution.

family in solar home

Improve your home

Increase your property value.

Save on your monthly electricity bills

Once you have a solar system installed, your home energy bills will be dramatically reduced, with savings of thousands of dollars each year. And by generating your own power, you protect your self from future increases in the costs of electricity.

Talk to a Sandbar Solar representative, and we can do the math with you — and you can then decide if going solar is right for you. We will look at the costs of a solar system and project the savings from reduced energy bills over the next several years. After 5 to 7 years, most homeowners save far more money than the initial costs of installing the solar energy system.

Understanding how the utilities bill their customers in different ways helps to show why creating your own sustainable source of power makes sense. PG&E’s standard Tiered Base Plan has four tiers. As you use the amount of electricity allotted for each tier during your bill period you move to the next, higher-priced tier.

Tier 1: Each monthly billing period, the price of your electricity begins at the lowest rate. Average consumers use all of Tier 1 in about 15 to 20 days.

Tier 2: After you use the allotment in tier 1, the rate for your electricity goes up to the second rate. If your Tier 1 allotment lasts 15-20 days, Tier 2 could last another 5-6 days.

Tier 3: Consumers who enter Tier 3 are consuming significant amounts of electricity, and the rate for this additional electricity rises dramatically.

Tier 4: Finally, if you enter Tier 4, you are using more than twice Tier 1 total, and the rate increases to the highest level.

tax credit levels

If you install a solar system, it may be possible to reduce the amount of electricity you purchase from PG&E so that you only pay only the lowest Tier 1 rates. It makes financial sense to secure your energy independence and produce your power rather than buying it from the utility.

Remember: Utility company rates have been steadily increasing by approximately 4% a year, with a 30% jump in the last three years alone. With a solar system, you can lock in your electricity rates for decades to come. Solar power allows consumers to pay a considerably less, fixed cost for their energy without the volatility of fluctuating rate increases.

Increase the value of your home

solar panels homes sell
The Home Appraisal Institute did a case study of 30 homes — with installed solar systems — that were sold in 2013. “The case studies, as well as general market data, support the conclusions that PV (photovoltaic) systems (that are owned) generally increase the market value and almost always decrease the market time.” Read more ›

Research by Berkeley Lab in the largest-ever study quantifies the value of rooftop photovoltaics on homes that sold across eight states and 12 years. In this study, they show that buyers consistently have been willing to pay more for homes with host-owned solar systems, about $15,000 for a typical system. Read more ›

Reduce costs with the Solar Investment Tax Credit

30 tax credit

Every solar powered homeowner may qualify for a 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the income taxes that a person or company claiming would otherwise pay the federal government. Congress recently extended this credit through 2019. Learn more about solar tax credits ›

A solar system may also qualify for a property tax exemption, meaning the value of the solar system is subtracted from the total property value for the tax purposes. For example: a $500,000 home – $10,000 solar value = $490,000 new property tax basis. Sandbar recommends speaking with your tax attorney to confirm eligibility for and property tax exemption.

Environmental benefits of going solar

Your carbon footprint will be reduced by going solar. Over the life of a 4.25 kW system, 166 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) will be eliminated from your footprint. 166 Tons of CO2 is Equivalent to:

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Planting 3,868 trees

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Recycling 5 tons of waste

coal burning power plants

Reducing 80.9 tons of coal burned

Going solar helps reduce the effects of climate change, decreases immediate pollution, and supports a movement to establish a sustainable energy system based on renewable power.

FAQs about solar systems

Q: Does my solar system work if there is a power outage?
A: Your solar system will not be operational during a power outage. Safety requirements prohibit energy feeding back to the grid when the power is out. Your system will automatically turn on when power is restored.
Q: Should I lease or buy solar for my home?
A: We encourage customers to buy solar for their home. The financial incentives are much better with a purchase and you can actually own your power. However, Sandbar Solar does have loan and leasing programs that we can provide if needed.
Q: How should I maintain and clean my solar panels?
A: We wrote an article outlining the exact steps. Take a look at the article here.
Q: How do I know my solar system is working?
A: Most Sandbar Solar systems will provide you with a monitoring system where you can view your kilowatt hour production. You can also check the inverter. The inverter screen provides information about how much power the system is generating. It also has the ability to display historical generation data.
Q: Will I have an electrical bill?
A: Yes, utilities typically have a service charge. Net metering insures you get credited for all the energy you produce. Solar will significantly reduce your bill, no matter how much power you use.
Q: When do I pay my bill?
A: Depending on your utility and agreement you may receive a bill monthly or an annual “true up” will occur 12 months after the homeowner solar system is interconnected. If you are “trued up” you will receive a monthly notice, but not be charged for consumption on a monthly basis.
Q: How do I store energy?
A: You can only store energy with a battery backup system that we can provide for you. Sandbar Solar will work with you to see if a traditional grid tied solar system or battery backup solar system is in your best interest.
Q: Are there any state or government incentives?
A: The California state incentives have expired. However, there is still a federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) still available. The ITC is calculated at 30% of the net system cost. We recommend speaking with your tax attorney about the ITC.
Q: Will solar affect property taxes?
A: Your solar system will qualify for a property tax exemption. The value of your solar is subtracted from the total property value. Sandbar recommends speaking with tax attorney.
Q: How long will my solar system operate?
A: Your solar panels are under warranty for 25 years. However, solar panels are expected to produce for well over 30 years.