How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar in Fresno California
If you own property in Fresno California and are considering installing solar panels, the following information will help to point you in the right direction. In sunny California, there are a bevy of solar rebates and incentives available for both home and business owners alike.
The California Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is the leading driver pushing the various incentives offered by the state, counties, municipalities and utilities for renewable energy. The RPS requires all utilities within the state to source 33 percent of electric generation from renewable resources by the year 2020. By taking advantage of California’s solar initiative, you may be able to reduce your out of pocket expense significantly.
Before installing a solar system and participating in one of California’s solar power incentive programs, the state prefers that your home and its components — windows, insulation and appliances — be at maximum efficiency. The best way to achieve this is by scheduling an energy audit to ensure your home meets or exceeds the standards set forth by California’s Home Energy Ratings System (HERS) building efficiency standards.
About Solar Power
Solar power is electricity produced from the sun’s energy. Photovoltaic cells create the magic that powers a solar panel system. In short, they utilize a semi-conductor to absorb the sun’s radiation. A byproduct of this absorption process is electrons, which are then harnessed to produce electricity.
A basic solar panel system produces between 2KW and 10 KW of electricity. An average sized home of around 2000 square feet is often equipped with a 4 KW solar panel system. Under optimum conditions, the solar arrays — panels — are installed on your roof at a 30-degree angle in areas where they will receive the most hours of sunlight each day.
The rooftop area provides the most advantageous location for the panels because most homes have a limited amount of land. If you have the space available, the panels can be installed on the ground. Some cities such as Los Angeles have passed ordinances restricting or prohibiting your neighbors from certain landscaping and/or construction that might hinder or reduce the amount of sun reaching existing solar panel systems.
Benefits of Solar
Solar energy is both a sustainable and renewable energy source. As long as the sun shines, we can use this resource to produce electricity. Simpler forms of solar power have been in use for decades including solar water heaters to provide domestic hot water and skylights to provide interior lighting during the day.
Solar panels are almost self-sufficient requiring only periodic cleaning. The silent systems do not include any mechanical or moving parts, which could fail. This makes them a very dependable power system.
Considerations before Going Solar in Fresno
The number one drawback to solar power is that it is an intermittent energy source. This means they do not produce electricity during the night and their output will diminish during cloudy or overcast days. Another drawback is due to their fixed proximity in most applications. For example, since solar panels are most efficient when directly facing the sun, the electrical output of panels in a fixed position, such as your rooftop, will decrease as the sun passes. Some systems address this problem by utilizing panels affixed to towers that allow them to track and maintain optimal angles throughout the day. Finally, solar panel installation can be expensive and require a hefty cost upfront. To combat this obstacle and to promote solar energy use, many city, state and federal agencies offer various incentive and rebate programs.
Rules and Regulations in Fresno
Solar panel installation in Fresno requires following the rules, regulations and permit process set forth by the city, state and federal governments, especially when it comes to meeting the requirements of any incentive or rebate programs. Residents and business owners of Fresno, California must follow the city’s residential photovoltaic submittal requirements to obtain the necessary permits:
- Provide the site address, property owner’s name and address as well as a site plan highlighting property lines, setbacks and existing structures.
- Provide an electrical diagram detailing the entire system, its components and expected output.
- Provide a detailed structural plan for both ground based systems and those that will mount to existing roof structures.
- A Solar Photovoltaic permit is required for all PV solar systems.
- In addition, an electrical may be necessary for any modifications to the existing electrical system.
- Structural modifications may require an additional building permit.
- A separate building permit may be required for solar panel installation on new structures such as trellises, patio covers, carports, ground mounted structures that will support the PV system.
It is to your advantage to hire an experienced and certified solar contractor to install your system. Not only will they be up to date regarding available rebates and incentive programs, but will also handle the entire installation, from the permitting process all the way through the final inspections.
Rebates and Incentives
There may be rebates and incentive programs offered by your city, state and federal agencies. It is to your advantage to keep up-to-date on city, state and federal rebates and incentives as they are subject to change or cancellation.
- The federal government allows a taxpayer to claim a credit of 30-percent of qualified expenditures for a system that serves a residence by said taxpayer.
- The state of California has enacted laws exempting property taxes for property values rising due to solar panel installation.
- Many financing and lease options are available that could eliminate all of most of your upfront costs.
Weather in Fresno
If you live in Fresno, you can expect a minimum of 194 days of sunshine with 73 partly cloudy days for an average of 267 days with sunshine per year. Taking advantage of this abundance of sunshine — crucial to a solar panel system — can lower your monthly energy costs and help the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.