Author: Robert Sarai

16 posts

If you haven’t heard, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is pushing for all new residences to consume zero net energy (ZNE, aka net zero) by 2020. ZNE homes produce at least as much energy as they consume, on average, over the course of a year. The push is just a goal for now, but is very close to becoming a mandate in the 2019 building code cycle, according to a CPUC consultant.

Solar is usually the power source of choice for NZE, but that still leaves many California homeowners with questions. How does this push affect the size of the system you’ll need? How about for ZNE retrofits? Let’s look at how this building trend might affect your choices when it comes to solar.

Read more Net Zero Solar Systems: What California Homeowners Need To Know

The days are getting longer and the weather’s heating up. For most LA residents, air conditioning is a summertime necessity, and relief from the heat comes with an unwelcome spike in electric bills. The season’s increased energy usage is just one of the many reasons to have your solar system installed and activated before summer starts. Let’s take a look at why, and at how solar power generation varies from summer to winter.
Read more Solar Power Generation In Summer vs. Winter: LA Homeowner’s Guide

Since SolarCity introduced their glass solar tiles, the first thing many people have asked is “How much do they cost?” It is estimated that the average 2,500 sq.ft. home with of a 70% solar roof (the percentage that the average home needs to generate to cover all its electricity consumption), including a storage battery, would be $58,200. That does not account for incentives or electricity savings, but it does provide a good starting point for comparison. Elon Musk said the material will average $21.85/square foot.

Of course, that still leaves us with the question: “How does that compare with other solar options?” These new solar tiles are still a very early technology. Today’s traditional solar PV systems are the most affordable and productive in the market. That having been said, although every installation is somewhat different and uniquely fit to your home’s specifications, we can offer a solid baseline for price point comparisons.

Read more The Price of Solar in Los Angeles: Solar Roof vs. Solar Panels

If you’ve ever tracked your exercise, nutrition, or finances, you’ll know how useful monitoring can be. The same can be said of tracking your new solar system’s power production and consumption. Power consumption monitoring systems can help you make informed decisions about your energy usage. This is especially useful if you have a net metering agreement that credits you for sending power from your system to the electrical grid, or if you pay a time-of-use (TOU) rate for power.

Let’s look at what power consumption monitoring systems are available for your LA home, including their similarities and differences.

Read more Power Consumption Monitoring Systems for your LA Home

There are usually a lot of questions that pop up when you consider going solar. One important question is how going solar affects your financial relationship with your local electric utility. If you go solar and connect your system to the electrical grid, how does that change your relationship to the utility? What if you lease your rooftop solar system instead of buying your own? Let’s look at a few common scenarios to illustrate what California homeowners can expect when going solar.

Read more California Solar Utility Companies and Panel Connectivity