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SOLAR COMPANIES CA – LA Solar Group Explains How

Aerial photo of LASG carport installation

Installing rooftop solar panels and home battery storage allows Southern California homeowners to dramatically cut their monthly electric bills. With optimized energy use habits and a properly-sized solar system, some fortunate homeowners can even eliminate their entire bill!

LA Solar Group has installed more rooftop solar energy systems across Los Angeles and surrounding areas than any competitor. This firsthand experience shows how impactful embracing renewable solar energy can be for household budgets.

We have guided thousands of regional homeowners through every aspect of “going solar” – from initial consultation to system design to permitting/install to long-term monitoring and maintenance. Let us show you how affordable and advantageous solar has become thanks to new technologies and ample sunshine!

The Key Factors That Determine Your Post-Solar Electric Bill

There are several key factors that influence what your monthly electric bill total will be after installing solar panels on your home’s rooftop:

Size of Your Rooftop Solar Energy System

LASG residential solar installation

The physical size and generating capacity of your photovoltaic solar panel system determines how much of your home’s real-world energy needs can be offset by clean solar energy. Generally speaking, the solar array’s size directly impacts the portion of your home’s total consumption that can be powered renewably rather than from the grid.

Unless a homeowner can dependably take advantage of net metering programs from their utility provider, typically the best financial bet is sizing your system to cover 100% or more of your household’s annual energy requirements.

Be sure to also calculate appreciably increased future energy usage into the appropriately-sized system, like anticipated electric vehicle charging, a hot tub, or expansions like a swimming pool or ADU (accessory dwelling unit). Some larger homes in Southern California may need rooftop solar panel systems of 8 kilowatts or more to fully offset existing and expected future power loads.

Figuring exact system size needed for a particular home depends on carefully examining its average power consumption based on past electric bills, while also accounting for future increases. Ultimately, maximizing rooftop space used for solar panels and system generation capacity will help ensure enough renewable energy can be produced onsite to eliminate conventional utility-sourced power usage over the course of each year.

Your Household’s Energy Consumption Habits

Before investing in a rooftop solar transformation, homeowners should analyze how much grid-supplied electricity their household actually uses on a daily, monthly and annual basis. Examining past electric bills closely provides these usage insights, and hints at where conservation efforts might help reduce overall loads.

The statewide average is roughly 500 kWh monthly for California households. But specifics vary considerably based on the home’s size, number of residents, appliances/devices used, local climate zone adjusted thermostat settings, and conservation habits of residents. It is not uncommon for large families in sizeable properties to use double or triple the averages for smaller homes and apartments.

By combining solar array size calculations with usage minimization efforts, LA Solar Group aims have homeowners generate at least 100% of their annual energy usage, or come as close as the particular home’s parameters allow. The closer consumption can be aligned with solar kilowatt hour generation, the less outside utility-sourced power will be required. In turn monthly bills can be reduced more, or even eliminated entirely in some cases!

Local Electricity Rates & Utility Providers

The household rates your local electric utility company charges significantly influence the magnitude of cost savings achievable when switching to rooftop solar. According to California government data, state residents currently pay just over 22 cents per kilowatt hour on average across all utility providers.

But notable differences exist between utility territories. For example, PG&E customers currently average 28 cents per kWh – partially a reflection of wildfire related costs and lawsuits. Meanwhile LADWP (Los Angeles) and SDG&E (San Diego) customers pay closer to 19 and 22 cents per kWh respectively.

And the State’s three big investor owned utilities – PG&E, SCE and SDG&E – employ tiered rate structures under which prices per kWh increase substantially the more electricity used over set baseline amounts each month. So potential savings stack even faster in these regions for higher-usage households who can curb power appetites.

In general across the diverse Golden State, higher prevailing electric rates equate to bigger savings after installing solar. This is especially true for residents moving into solar battery storage systems that maximize self-consumption of renewably generated power around the clock.

Looking ahead, electricity costs across California are certain to keep inching higher for the foreseeable future even as solar costs hold steady or decline further. So locking in ultra-low solar prices for decades to come provides remarkable stability and insulation against rising rates.

Adding Solar Battery Storage Systems

By adding home battery storage systems, rooftop solar customers can further minimize reliance upon the traditional utility grid. This avoids paying their painfully high delivery fees and per kilowatt charges.

Home Backup Battery Systems​

Today’s solar storage options like the Tesla Powerwall 2 allow solar households to store excess renewable energy generated during peak daylight hours for nighttime usage. New smart home technologies also enable intelligent, automated power management to use self-generated clean energy versus grid sources when rates are highest.

By strategically using more of the solar electricity generated from panels onsite, adding Powerwall or similar solar storage batteries creates even bigger utility bill savings compared to solar alone. Batteries also provide invaluable backup power during increasingly common grid outages caused by California’s wildfires and PSPS blackouts. So they deliver greater resilience and peace of mind too.

Financial Benefits of Going Solar

The financial and economic benefits of installing rooftop solar panels include:

– Greatly reduced and predictable monthly electric bills – Insulation from volatile utility power rate hikes – 30% Federal solar tax credit plus additional CA state incentives that sharply discount system cost – Added property value from having an array of premium solar panels overlooking LA – Improved environmental sustainability from utilizing only clean, renewable energy

Properly sized rooftop solar energy systems typically offer a short return on investment period of 5-7 years in sun-drenched California, followed by over two decades of nearly free household electricity. Total electric bill savings over a 25+ year equipment lifespan easily sum to many tens of thousands of dollars for most households.

For a tangible example, let’s consider a Californian with high annual electric bills of $3,000 currently. By offsetting all grid usage with a solar+storage system, their new annual costs could be as little as $500 per year assuming a small monthly connection fee to keep the home grid-tied. This represents yearly savings of $2,500, which would accumulate to over $60,000 in just 25 years!

While upfront installation costs can seem intimidating to some homeowners, the reality is most Southern California families cannot afford NOT to go solar when weighing its considerable long term cost savings. And many incentives plus financing options make purchase more affordable.

Components of Your Electric Bill

To best understand how monthly bills evolve before/after solar, it helps to breakdown the key elements that comprise them from major California utilities like LADWP, SCE and SDG&E:

Mandatory Surcharges & Fees

Even with 100% solar usage and zero grid energy consumption directly, you will still face various mandatory monthly charges. These bill adders reflect utility company infrastructure investments, wildfire mitigation efforts, approved profit guarantees, and other system costs.

They come in the form of CPUC-authorized minimum bills, service fees, grid access charges, departure fees, public purpose program fees, Nuclear decommission charges, and more. Unfortunately California does not currently prohibit these unavoidable charges that hold back bill savings. But efforts by Solar Rights Alliance seek to curb fee abuses, and ensure fair solar compensation plus free access to rooftop solar for all.

Property Taxes

Local property taxes represent another fixed cost component that cannot be eliminated entirely. However since adding solar panels may increase assessed home values in some areas, it indirectly heightens property taxes slightly. Compared to electric bill savings however, this incremental property tax difference is usually marginal.

Charges for Grid Electricity Usage

For utility customers that add solar, monthly bills primarily reflect any residual use of grid-supplied electricity not served by their PV solar generation. Such usage charges appear under line items like “Delivery Charges” and “kWh Usage”.

The goal of course becomes minimizing those residual grid power draws as much as possible thanks to sunny daytime and nighttime (battery) solar usage. And California’s net metering policy fairly compensates excess solar kilowatt hours sent back to the grid.

During sunny times when your solar panels produce more than a household requires instantaneously, the excess solar electricity feeds into the larger utility grid. Net metering traks these valuable generation additions. By law California homeowners must then be proportionately credited at full retail rates for their excess kilowatt hours.

Net metering and underlying calculation policies do vary significantly between major utility providers like SCE and PG&E across the state though. So modeling projected grid usage and bill savings requires factoring in these nuances when LA Solar Group generates your free proposal.

Net Metering Credits & Annual True-Up Statements

Many utilities provide monthly roll-over bill credits to solar customers for their excess net energy generation. But precisely how these work differs across providers like LADWP and SDG&E.

In any case, at the end of a 12 month billing cycle an “annual true-up” accounting occurs. This reconciles all accumulated solar credits against that year’s grid usage to yield a final net bill or reimbursement.

Unfortunately the State’s big three investor owned utilities – PG&E, SCE and SDG&E – have fought hard to slash historical net metering credits. Their lobbying resulted in newer solar customers receiving far smaller compensation rates through schemes called NEM 2.0 and NEM 3.0.

Thankfully net metering profits flowing to IOUs contribute toward easing non-solar rate burdens now. But the Solar Rights Alliance continues pushing the CPUC for fairer, improved compensation rates over time.

Federal, State & Local Incentives Adding to Solar Savings

Beyond direct bill savings from transitioning California households to renewable rooftop energy, solar incentives at various governmental levels make financing easier. This further lowers out-of-pocket costs to buy or lease solar panel systems.

For example, eligible homeowners who purchase solar can currently deduct 26% of their system costs from Federal taxes owed thanks to the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). While this solar tax credit gradually steps down over the next couple years, it significantly defrays purchase costs today. Additional state solar tax credits and rebates also assist in many locales of California.

Meanwhile homeowners who lease rooftop solar through providers like LA Solar Group can similarly capitalize on the financing structures and state incentive programs open to them. Ultimately we help optimize available solar incentives when determining your optimal system configuration and financing path.

Rest assured that between direct electric bill savings and thousands in upfront cost reductions from assisting incentives, California rooftop solar delivers exceptional value – whether buying or leasing!

Electric Rate Trends – Past Increases and Future Hikes

Another prime advantage of solar panels or solar shingles comes from long term insulation against frustrating electric utility rate increases. According to state data, inflation-adjusted California residential electricity costs have risen by ~5% annually over the past 15 years.

And experts foresee this steady upward rate march continuing for years ahead across IOUs like PG&E and SCE given the increasing risk factors they face, from wildfires and grid infrastructure replacement needs, to enhanced profit guarantees authorized by the CPUC.

While this year’s savings from rooftop solar may seem relatively modest in some utility regions, they compound each year as electric rates rise while equipment production costs hold steady or decrease further. Solar panels essentially lock-in ultra low power pricing for decades while conventional grid electricity inflation accelerates.

Projected Electric Bills – Non-Solar vs. With Complete Rooftop Solar

To demonstrate the transformative bill savings potential of upgrading to rooftop solar, let’s compare projected monthly costs over 25 years across three example regions of California:

Los Angeles (LADWP) – Current Non-Solar Bill: $145 per month – Equivalent Solar Bill: $20 per month – Monthly Savings Today: $125

Sacramento (SMUD) – Current Non-Solar Bill: $180 per month – Equivalent Solar Bill: $15 per month – Monthly Savings Today: $165

San Diego (SDG&E): – Current Non-Solar Bill $215 per month – Equivalent Solar Bill: $35 per month – Monthly Savings Today: $180

The key takeaway is that properly sized residential solar energy systems can cut average household bills by 80% statewide when paired with intelligent energy management. Actual savings increase further when financing incentives are considered.

Go Solar in 2024 to Lock-In Peak Savings

The bottom line is clear – between recent solar equipment cost improvements, generous but time-limited tax credits, and retail electric rates continuing to creep higher across California, the 2020s promise to be a golden age for rooftop solar adoption.

The stars are truly aligned right now thanks to LA Solar Group’s solar expertise and leverage to make the switch to renewable energy independence more affordable than ever before for Southern California households. Far greater energy freedom awaits. There is no better time than now to explore solar!

Achieve Energy Freedom & Financial Security with Rooftop Solar

Rather than needlessly spend thousands per year on frustrating electric bills subject to endless rate increases largely outside your control, join the hundreds of thousands of California families choosing personal energy independence through residential solar panel systems. Keep your hard-earned money by unlocking free sunshine!

If interested in finally learning whether solar makes sense to electrify your specific home, contact the installation experts at LA Solar Group for a zero obligation consultation and proposal. Speak to one of our solar advisors at your convenience to have all your questions answered.

We will review your prior electric bills to estimate your annual household consumption, factoring in coming trends like an EV purchase. Then experts will use satellite imagery of your roof size, angles and sun exposure data tailored to its specific area to design a custom solar system. Detailed savings projections across financing options are provided to simplify your decision.

Go solar with confidence thanks to over a decade of hands-on expertise. For warranted equipment peace of mind across decades to come, our installation and monitoring teams based right here in Los Angeles have your back. The time to seize control of your energy future is now…so let’s discuss at no cost today!



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