Do I need a permit to install solar panels in California?

Do I need a permit to install solar panels in California?

If you’re considering installing solar panels in your California home, one of the biggest questions is whether you need a permit to install. The short answer is yes.

But the good news is that it’s relatively simple and straightforward to do, especially when you work with a licensed Solar Panel Installer.

It is essential to speak with an experienced professional, as installing photovoltaic panels without applying for the proper permissions can have serious consequences. In some instances, there can be fines, or you may be required to remove the panels.

Permit requirements for Solar Panel installation in California

A great resource to review is the California Solar Permitting Guidebook, produced by the Center for Sustainable Energy.

Since 2015, the requirement for installing solar panels has been somewhat expedited for homeowners.

The Assembly Bill 2188 (Muratsuchi, 2014) requires local governments to adopt an administrative ordinance that creates a streamlined permitting process for small rooftop solar system installations on or before September 30, 2015. It also limits the number of inspections that may be required.

To comply, you must ensure that your solar panel system meets the following criteria.

1. Are no larger than 10 kilowatts alternating current nameplate rating or 30 kilowatts thermal

2. Conform to all applicable state fire, structural, electrical and other building codes as adopted or amended by the city, county or city and county and paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 714 of the Civil Code

3. Are installed on a single-family or duplex family dwelling

4. Do not exceed the maximum legal building height as defined by the authority having jurisdiction

Most solar panel installers will know about and abide by these conditions, which will ensure the process for application is relatively straightforward. They will guide you through each step and explain what is possible for your home.

 

If you have questions about getting a permit for your home for solar panel installation, you can contact GCE, based in San Diego, California. We employ experienced engineers and solar installers to ensure that your system will be installed according to the highest quality of workmanship available in the industry. We custom design each project based on your needs and pay close attention to all details.

solar panel installer san diego

The 5 Components of a Solar Panel System

Ever wondered how Solar Panels work? How does that light get stored, converted, and even sent back and forth to the Utility company?

Here is a basic guide to help you understand how the sun on your roof turns into savings and free energy for you.

To make it simpler, each solar panel system has five different components

1) Solar Panels

These are sometimes known as solar modules and are made up of silicon cells that absorb photons (sunlight) to create a ‘photovoltaic’ effect. This is the process that converts sunlight into electricity. When the panels are connected together, they are called a ‘solar array’. This solar array is then connected to your home via an inverter, delivering the electricity you need.

2) Solar Inverter

A solar inverter is an electrical box that turns the direct current (DC) electricity that is produced by solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity that is used in your home. When solar inverters are connected to the grid, this allows the AC electricity to be sent back to the grid if you solar panel system produces more energy than you use.

3) Solar Meter

A solar meter monitors the electricity your system produces to ensure it is working well. With most solar meters today, you will have access to assess your solar system’s performance, both online and from your mobile device.

4) The Grid

The ‘grid’ is basically the network of power lines that carries and transmits electricity from power plants to individual homes. A lot of systems today are grid-tied (ie. connected to the grid), so you are still able to power your house when the sun doesn’t shine, and take advantage of tax incentives and rebates.

5) Utility Service

Depending on where you live, either a local municipality or a large power producer will send power to you via the grid. At the end of the year, if you’ve produced more energy than you used, some utility services may compensate you for this extra power. To find out if this is an option where you live, contact your local utility service provider or visit their website.
Of course, as a solar-enabled home, it is unlikely that you will need to be dealing with any of these components, except to engage a solar panel installer. They will set up and connect your home, and arrange all the paperwork for you to connect to the grid.

If you need help getting started with Solar Panels, you can trust GCE. We are known as one of the top San Diego solar panel installers. Our experienced engineers and solar panel installation team will ensure that your system is installed according to the highest standards of workmanship available in the industry. Speak to us today to learn more about Solar panels installation for your home.

solar panel installation san diego

7 Factors that affect the cost of Solar Panels

“How much does it cost to set up solar in your home?”

As a Southern-California Solar Panel installer, this is always one of the first questions we are asked. And understandably so.

However, the answer can be a little complicated. Even though we would love to have an exact dollar amount to give each person immediately, solar energy is not a one size fits all solution.

Each solar system is custom designed to meet a home’s specific needs, and also takes into consideration their tax and rebate benefits.
This is why several variables will impact the final cost.

A solar panel system is designed to cover as much of your energy usage as makes economic sense for you. It’s our goal to provide you with a system that fits your needs while delivering the shortest payback period and best return on your investment.

7 Pricing Factors for Solar Panel Systems

1) Type of Installation

There are many different types of solar panel installations. Roof mounts are the most common. However, ground mounts and carports installations can require additional posts that must be anchored into the ground. This can sometimes create higher labor and component costs.

2) Type of Equipment

The two basic variables with solar panels are power density and color.

Power density is the amount of power that a solar panel produces per unit of size. As a rule, the more ‘power dense’ the panel, the higher cost per watt. Color is the other variable with solar panels.
A basic panel has a blue cell, a white back sheet, and a silver frame. Modules with a black frame, will have a black back sheet, or black cell and are generally more expensive.

String Inverters: solar Panels are linked together in one or more groups. Each group feeds into a ‘string inverter,’ which feeds several panels into one inverter. String inverters tend to be more cost-effective than other types of inverters, and hence are a popular choice for homeowners.

Micro Inverters: microinverters are mounted next to individual solar panels and prevent performance issues if one or more of your solar panels are shaded. Although this type of inverter does have its benefits, they tend to be the more expensive type of inverter.

Power Optimizers: power optimizers have many of the benefits of micro-inverters. They are generally more expensive than string inverters but are less costly than micro-inverters.

3) Roof Type

Solar panels can be installed on metal, shingle, and flat roofs. Each type of roof requires different components and varying levels of labor to install.

Shingle roofs require a specific flashing piece to attach the panel racking to the roof. For a ribbed or standing seam metal roof, racking is connected directly to the metal. Panels are installed on a flat roof using a ballast mount – a tray held in place by a concrete block.

4) Energy Consumption

Most solar systems are designed to offset as much energy consumption as possible.\. However, the more energy production needed, the more panels and equipment the system will require. There can often be a ‘sweet spot’ of cost and energy production that each homeowner needs to consider.

5) Shading & Weather

The environment surrounding your solar panels is critical to consider. Depending on how much shade your yard will impact the number of panels needed and the location. A system that is in full sun will potentially produce the more energy with fewer panels, whereas more shade will mean more panels to provide the same amount of energy.

As well as this, weather patterns in each region are different. In areas like San Diego solar panels are an ideal solution because the sun shines almost every day. In cloudy or snowy regions this is not the case. Today, most solar panel systems are designed with shade and weather variables in mind, and it will impact the system size and the equipment needed.

6) Interconnection Cost

Interconnection is the process of connecting your solar panel system to the community power grid. Each local utility has specific requirements that must be followed, and some of these could impact the type of meter you need, or whether transformer upgrades are required.

The interconnection cost is different for each project, depending on how much solar is already in your area, the age and strength of the equipment on your line, and the size of the solar array itself.

7) Distance to the Interconnection Point

Any unused power that is repurposed for net metering must be transported to the utility meter. The farther the solar panels (sometimes called a solar array) is from the interconnection point with the utility, the higher the cost can be. This is due to the conduit installation and the trenching required, as well as the size of wire needed. The farther the distance, the larger the wiring required.

The seven factors can affect the overall cost of solar panel installation and can require a custom quote for the solar installation. This is why working with a professional solar installer can help.

G C Electric Solar is one of the top-rated San Diego solar panel installers. You can trust in our experience helping to reduce energy costs for many homeowners. Contact us today to learn more about Solar panels installation for your home.

Can I install solar panels myself?

Can I install solar panels myself?

When people contact us a solar panel installer, we often get the question “why can’t I just install these panels myself?”

This is a valid question, and obviously, yes, you can do anything yourself. However, there are several benefits to having a professional installer. Here are the main reasons our customers usually decide to work with a professional.

1) Solar panels require a lot of research

If you are the type of person that loves to look into the details of every different product you purchase, then this might be appealing. For most of us, however, the idea of reviewing a whole list of solar products can be mind-numbing. This is where a professional can help. We have worked with a variety of brands and know the pros and cons of each type. We can give you an experienced overview of the best solar panels for your style of home, and electricity needs.

2) Quality of the DIY solar panel kits can vary

Most DIY low-cost solar panels are made overseas and travel thousands of miles from to reach your home. Many of them are made with outdated photovoltaic technology and provide less efficiency. If you do choose to purchase the DIY solar panels, ensure you get high-quality, top-output panels as part of your kit.

Also, keep in mind, any returns for broken or damaged solar panels may not be a simple process. Especially if bought from overseas, or through a third party distributor. While the appeal of cheaper panels is tempting, remember that often the add-on costs and risks can cause more expenses.

3) Understanding the correct sizing

In just about every case, panels from a kit designed for DIY installation won’t be as effective as a custom-designed system. This is because a custom solar panel installation is based on your property’s specific energy needs. When installing, it is important to consider what size solar panel system is best suited for your electricity usage, today, tomorrow and potentially 25 years from now?

4) Understanding the requirements of your home

A lot of the role of a professional solar panel installer is to do with measuring up your roof and considering the needs of your home. We will look at issues such as:

  • If your roof has sufficient space at the correct angles for sunlight
  • Where solar panels should be positioned and the optimal tilt
  • If your roof can bear the load of solar panels

Also keep in mind that if solar panels are not placed correctly, it is difficult to get the optimal amount of power. Over time, this may be the biggest issue that causes your costs to rise. The offset cost over time may not be worth the initial investment.

5) Getting the paperwork completed

Even if you decide on a DIY solar power installation, you’ll require a local licensed electrician to prepare the sign-off paperwork for connection to the grid. This is crucial if you are planning to take advantage of net metering.

Also, keep in mind that many of the local, state, and federal rebates which solar savings actually require the installation be completed by a licensed installer.

In conclusion: The most significant part of the process of getting solar panels isn’t just putting them up on the roof. It’s taking the time to research and plan every part of your system beforehand. The assistance of a licensed solar panel installer can help you understand how solar panels work and the basic principles in the planning process. Even though you may appear to save a few dollars up front, the small cost savings over time can work against you.

G C Electric Solar is known as one of the top San Diego solar panel installers. You can trust in our experience helping to reduce energy costs for many homeowners. Our experienced engineers and solar panel installation team will ensure that your system will be installed according to the highest standards of workmanship available in the industry. Speak to us today to learn more about Solar panels installation for your home.

What is Net Metering 2.0 (NEM 2.0) and how does it work?

What is Net Metering 2.0 (NEM 2.0) and how does it work?

Many homeowners install solar panels because they can see the value of saving money through net metering.

Net metering is when a solar panel system produces more power than what is being used in the home. The excess electricity is sent back to the grid, and a credit from your utility provider is given at the retail power rate per hour.

Each kWh of power that your produce offsets the cost of another kWh drawn from the grid at a time your solar system can’t produce power (at night or on cloudy days).


How Net Metering 2.0 (NEM 2.0) works:

As more homes install solar panels, and the volume of energy being sent back to the grid, the percentage of energy coming from solar started to become significant. This is excellent news for the environment, however, the state Public Utilities Commission, decided it was time for a new NEM standard.

The new standard was named NEM 2.0, and it’s actually still a great incentive for solar panel owners.

Here’s an 8 step breakdown of Net Metering 2.0:

  1. You decide to buy a solar panel system and install it on your roof.
  2. The utility company sets them you with an interconnection agreement, which includes a small fee of $75-$150. This agreement allows your to get your solar panel system connected to the grid and start earning credits.
  3. You also signs up for Time-of-Use (TOU) billing, meaning you pay more for electricity when the demand is high (peak time) and less when people aren’t using as much (off-peak).
  4. You then receive bigger credits for solar energy sent to the grid at peak times, and lower credit for energy sent at off-peak times.
  5. The resulting kWh are netted monthly, meaning that the amount used is offset by the amount sent to the grid. The homeowner also has to pay a minimum monthly fee (the same as non-solar owners), and a small fee for each solar kWh sent to the grid (approx 2 cents per kWh.)
  6. At the end of each month, the homeowner pays the bill for the monthly charge.
  7. At the end of the year, all the kWh that were sent to the grid are subtracted from all the kWh that the customer used, and a final bill called the “true-up” is due. (Here is an example True Up bill from PG&E).
  8. If your solar system is sized to meet your usage and you hit that number, your true-up bill could be $0. If you used more electricity than you sent to the grid, you have to pay for the balance. If your panels made more than you used all year, you will receive about 3-4 cents per kWh for the extra.

 

Getting Started with Net Metering 2.0

These 8 steps will help you get started with Net Metering for your solar panels. If your home is served by SDG&E, SCE or PG&E, your NEM 2.0 arrangement will likely very similar to what this scenario shows.

If you have specific questions about the best rebates for your solar panels, then GCE can assist you.


G C Electric Solar is widely known as one of the best solar panel installers in San Diego. We employ experienced engineers to perform our solar installations, to ensure that your system will be installed according to the highest quality of workmanship available in the industry. We custom design each project based on your needs and pay close attention to all details. Call us today to learn more about our Solar panel systems and how we can help you.

how to clean solar panels

A Quick Guide to Cleaning Solar Panels

If you purchase your electricity from a conventional supplier, then any maintenance that is needed is done by the electricity company.

However, when it comes to solar panels it’s not as simple. The solar panel system is purchased by the homeowner, and although there is a warranty on parts, the responsibility of maintenance falls to the homeowner.

Regular solar system maintenance can ensure a better energy efficiency for the panels, and a greater amount of electricity being generated for net metering and home use.

Helping your solar panels to remain efficient

Most solar panels installed today will have a lifespan of approximately 25-30 years. They typically come with 20-year manufacturers warranties stating they’ll produce at least 80% of the rated power after two decades of usage.

On top of this, some solar panel providers offer comprehensive maintenance packages for the life of their products to ensure they efficiently continue generating clean, affordable, and reliable energy for years to come.

Cleaning Your Solar Panels

So you’ve decided you want to clean your solar panels yourself. The good news is that in most cities, rain will take care of keeping your panels clean.

Solar panels that are installed at steeper tilt won’t tend to get covered in dust and pollen, and it will typically be washed off with every rainfall. If they are flatter, the dust may not wash off as easily.

In cities such as San Diego and most of Southern California, rain is not as common. (Remember that old Albert Hammond song?)

If your solar panels start to accumulate dust or pollen, you can easily clean them with plain water. A simple hosing of the rooftop every 3-6 months is typically all that is needed.

Cleaning with Soapy Water

If you are willing to climb onto the roof, the most effective way to clean your solar panels is with a hose and a bucket of soapy water.

When washing by hand, there can be a danger of scratching the glass, which will reduce the light that gets to the solar cells. For this reason, when you choose solar panel cleaning products, it’s important to avoid any type of abrasive cleanser. As a rule, if you wouldn’t use it on your car, then don’t use it on solar panels.

Detergent cleaners can cause problems if they leave streaks and smudges that may be hard for you to see. These can also decrease the light that passes through.

Rubbing alcohol dissolved in water can take care of any oily residue or other dirt that may have found its way onto the glass.

When wiping down your panels, you can use a soft cloth or squeegee. As solar panels are made of glass, you don’t really need to shop for specialized solar panel cleaning tools. It’s basically the same products that you would use to wash your car.

Sun and Shade Monitoring

When they are first installed, solar panels are placed in a location that allows maximum sun exposure. Over time, trees can grow taller, and cause the patterns of sun and shade can change. Also, new construction on adjacent properties may have an effect on how much sun your installation gets.

Because of this, during the lifetime of your panels, it’s important to make sure that they are still located with the optimum sunlight orientation.

Overall, solar panels don’t require a lot of maintenance as there are no moving parts.

Always remember to be safety conscious when inspecting your panels and if your panels are too high up on the roof, consider hiring a professional cleaner.

G C Electric Solar is known as one of the best solar panel installers in San Diego. We employ experienced engineers to perform our solar installations, to ensure that your system will be installed according to the highest quality of workmanship available in the industry. We custom design each project based on your needs and pay close attention to all details. Call us today to learn more about our Solar panel systems and how we can help you.

Do solar panels increase the value of a property?

Do solar panels increase the value of a property?

The verdict is in: an increasing number of homeowners are installing solar panels to save money. But on top of this, there is another type of value that is worth considering.

One question we as solar panel installers often get is, do solar panels increase property value?

The good news: yes they do.

According to a study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBL), installing solar panels can significantly increase your property’s value. according to their 2015 study from over 3,000 homeowners with solar panel systems, “We find home buyers are consistently willing to pay PV home premiums across various states, housing and PV markets, and home types.”

This builds on previous research which concluded that California homes with solar panels sold for more than those without solar. In some cities, the retained net value was 46$% higher than the actual cost of the solar panel installation.

How much solar panels can increase home values depends on some factors:

  • Whether the solar panels are owned
  • What area of the country you live in
  • The type of home you own, and the appearance
  • What the starting value of the home already happens to be. (Higher-valued homes will tend to receive more value)
  • How much energy you will be saving (can be a drawcard for future owners)

1 Kilowatt in energy savings can grow home values by $5000

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory also offers a handy guide to determine how much a property’s value will increase. Their research shows that each additional $1 in energy bill savings (from a solar installation) adds $20 to a home’s total value.

Of course, the exact numbers vary with each property and installation. However, in a state like California, a small 3.1-kilowatt (kW) system could add an average of $18,324 to the value of a medium-sized home.

The property value advantages of solar energy will increase as you scale up. Installing 5kW of solar panels adds an average of $29,555 to the retail value of a medium-sized home.

With all these numbers, it’s important to note that these statistics only apply to today’s current housing prices and current utility rates. But of course, as electricity prices go up, the savings potential of solar energy rise will continue to rise as well.

G C Electric Solar is a San Diego-based solar panel installer. Our solar panel installers will ensure that your system is installed according to the highest quality of workmanship available in the industry. We custom design each project based on your needs and pay close attention to all details. Call us today to learn more about our Solar panel systems and how we can help you.

average lifespan of solar panels

How many years will solar panels last?

When considering a solar panel installation, one of the top questions we get asked is “How long can I expect solar panels to keep working?”

While a residential solar system might be about the environmental benefits for some people, but for most people, it’s also the savings that are possible. For this reason, people are concerned whether the investment in a home solar panel system is worth it.

What is the Lifespan of Solar Panels?

When looking at different brands of solar panels, you will notice a similarity. Almost every solar manufacturer offers a 25-year standard solar panel warranty. This means that power output should not be less than 80% of rated power after 25 years.

This is quite impressive when you think about it. How many other types of technology can you find with a 25-year guarantee?

Some solar panels last beyond 40 years

Solar panels are still a reasonably new technology, with their popularity starting in the late 1970s or early 1980s. This means that today most solar panels are within the 25 year age range, and some being up to 35-40 years old.

The good news is that experts are finding most solar systems are outperforming all expectations, lasting between 25-40 years.

The results of 2012 studies are showing that solar panels are only losing approximately 0.5% amount of efficiency annually, meaning if you install solar panels they could last as long as initially expected.

When you combine this long-term lastability with incentives such as net metering or government rebates,  it is easy to see why so many homeowners are choosing to install solar photovoltaic panels in their homes.

G C Electric Solar is one of the best rated solar panel installers in San Diego. You can trust in our experience helping to reduce energy costs for many homeowners. Our experienced engineers and solar panel installation team will ensure that your system will be installed according to the highest standards of workmanship available in the industry. Contact us today to learn more about Solar panels for your home.

How long do solar panels take to pay for themselves?

How long do solar panels take to pay for themselves?

One of the biggest questions people have about installing solar panels is ‘how long will my solar panels take to pay for themselves?’ In technical terms, this can be called system payback time

As the cost of electricity rises and solar panel prices fall, it may take less time than you think to recoup the cost of a solar system. Some solar panel installation experts estimate it can take as little as six to 10 years to recoup the initial investment.

Thanks to federal rebates, and net metering, there are many ways that solar panels can save you money, especially over a long period of time.

The best way to calculate how long it takes to achieve system payback is to consider three variables:

  • Up-front cost of the solar panel system
  • Incentives that reduce that initial cost (such as state or federal rebates)
  • Ongoing savings from net metering

 

What rebate incentives are available for solar panel installation?

Without considering net metering, there are also other incentives that can greatly affect the cost of the solar panels.

In California, the cost of solar has dropped over the last 5 years, so SCE and SDG&E no longer offer upfront rebates to install solar panels on your home (other than some specific low-income and multi-family programs).

But there is still good news. In late 2015, Congress approved the 2016 federal spending bill and extended the solar panel tax credit. The bill contained a 5-year solar tax credit extension, which makes solar more affordable for all Americans. The tax credit is now available to homeowners in some form through 2021.

Here is the breakdown:

  • 2016 – 2019: Tax credits remains at 30 percent of the cost of the system. This means that in 2018, you can still get a major discounted price for your solar panel system.
  • 2020: Owners of new residential and commercial solar panel systems can deduct 26 percent of the cost of the system from their taxes.
  • 2021: Owners of new residential and commercial solar panel systems can deduct 22 percent of the cost of the system from their taxes.
  • 2022 onwards: Owners of new commercial solar energy systems can deduct 10 percent of the cost of the system from their taxes. After 2022, there is (currently) no federal credit for residential solar energy systems.

 

How does net metering for solar panels work?

Electricity is sold and measured in kilowatt hours (kwh). A kilowatt-hour is the equivalent of 1,000 watts of electricity used continuously for an hour. In 2016, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,766 kilowatt-hours (kWh), an average of 897 kWh per month, or approximately 29 kWh per day.

When a solar panel system produces more power than what is being used in the home, the excess power is sent back to the grid. This is then credited by your utility provider at the retail power rate per hour. This is known as net metering.

Each kWh of power your solar system exports offsets the cost of another kWh drawn from the grid at a time your solar system couldn’t produce power (at night or on cloudy days).

Net Metering 2.0 makes a few minor changes to California’s original net metering policy, but it preserves the key element that makes solar economical for California residents: retail rate bill credits. Homeowners and businesses that enroll in NEM 2.0 will still receive per-kWh credits for their solar electricity that are equal to the value of a kWh of utility electricity. This means that the economics of solar are still very favorable under NEM 2.0.

Net metering can prove to be a very valuable incentive since a lot of homeowners use less power during the day. Therefore quite a lot of the solar power generated can be exported back to the grid.

Net metering essentially gives you the financial benefit of storing solar power in a virtual battery without the cost of needing to install a battery.

In summary, the sooner a homeowner decides to install solar panels, the more ability they have to save via rebates.

This is just one more reason, above and beyond the environmental factors that encourage many people to choose solar panels for their home.

 

G C Electric Solar is widely known as one of the best solar panel installers in San Diego. We employ experienced engineers to perform our solar installations, to ensure that your system will be installed according to the highest quality of workmanship available in the industry. We custom design each project based on your needs and pay close attention to all details. Call us today to learn more about our Solar panel systems and how we can help you.

solar panels environmental benefits

What are the Environmental Benefits of Solar Panels?

One of the main reasons that people want to look at installing solar panels is to save money. However, for others, a big reason is that they believe it will have a positive impact on the environment, and the future generations of the planet.

It is true that solar panels have both financial and environmental benefits, and here are some significant ways that solar panels are having a positive impact on the environment.

Fossil Fuels still create most of our electricity supply

Did you know that approximately over 60 percent of the electricity generated in the United States comes from fossil fuels?

When burned, these traditional energy sources are used to produce electricity. However, they simultaneously produce substantial amounts of greenhouse gasses. These are gasses that get released into the atmosphere and trap heat within the earth’s atmosphere. The most prominent of these gasses is carbon dioxide.

As well as this, the way that fossil fuels are extracted from the earth can be devastating for the local environment. Practices such as strip mining, drilling, and fracking all have negative impacts on the local environment. For example:

  • Strip mining leaves ecosystems more vulnerable to catastrophic flooding.
  • Drilling can unearth toxic minerals and also contaminate fresh groundwater.
  • Fracking for natural gas releases toxic chemicals and minerals into the surrounding area and can cause seismic events.

In addition to these extraction processes, searching for oil can have its own negative effects. Seismic techniques for searching for oil under the ocean floor can do serious harm to fish and marine life, not to mention when there are oil leaks, such as the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010.

In contrast, the benefits of solar panels do the reverse to the environment. They provide clean, efficient energy, using a resource that is not reducing the resources of the planet.

Here are three significant environmental benefits of solar panels:

Solar panel technology reduces air pollution

Generating electricity with solar panels produces no greenhouse gasses. The current solar capacity currently installed across the United States offsets as much as 16.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. This is a massive step towards mitigating the human impact of climate change.

Solar energy reduces water pollution

Most power plants today need a significant amount of water to produce steam to spin turbines and cool down the system afterward. The amount of water used in the process makes up almost half of all freshwater withdrawals in the United States, which adds up to billions of gallons every day.

This is one of the biggest, yet least talked about the environmental benefits of solar panels. Solar photovoltaic cells don’t need water to generate electricity. Solar energy creates no pollution of local water sources and does not strain domestic supplies through the competition with agriculture, drinking systems, and other vital water needs of each community.

Solar technology reduces the need for finite resources

The sun is the world’s most abundant energy source, creating an incredible 173,000 terawatts of solar energy every second. To put that into perspective, that is more than 10,000 times the world’s total combined energy use! Best of all, this resource is renewable, meaning it doesn’t deplete after one use.

In contrast, all fossil fuels are non-renewable, meaning once they are used, they can’t be reused a second time. While fossil fuels seem in abundance today, it’s a fact that they will deplete and eventually run out.

The financial and environmental cost of finding and extracting fossil fuels is proving very expensive. Solar energy is the opposite, the more we use it, the less it costs us. It actually begins to reward us for using it over time, through healing the environment and lowering energy costs.

If you are looking to work with the best solar company in San Diego, look no further than G C Electric Solar. We are a San Diego Solar Panel installer with years of experience. We employ experienced engineers to perform our solar installations, to ensure that your system will be installed according to the highest quality of workmanship available in the industry. We custom design each project based on your needs and pay close attention to all details. Call us today to learn more about our Solar panel systems and how we can help you.