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 Panels in Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles, California area is well known for its abundance of sunshine. Residents can take advantage of this natural resource to help reduce their carbon footprint and lower their monthly utility bills by installing a solar power system.
About Solar Panels
A solar array or panel captures the sun’s energy — photons — through a series of photovoltaic “PV” cells and converts them into electricity. Since the millions of rooftops in the Los Angeles area are subjected to an abundance of sunlight throughout the year, it makes them ideal locations for solar panel installation. This does not mean you cannot install the panels on the ground; however, most properties do not have the available land space necessary to accommodate the panels.
Rules and Regulations
Enlisting the services of a qualified solar energy contractor is your best bet when installing a solar panel system. They have the knowledge and expertise required to guide you through the entire process. Both the City of Los Angeles and the State of California have their own set of rules and regulations to follow. The City of Los Angeles outlines in detail all solar PV incentives, financing mechanisms, the permitting process and interconnection information.
Visit the California Solar Permitting Guidebook to learn about the permit review and approval process regarding small PV systems in detail. As you might have guessed, a lot of work is required before the actual installation begins. This highlights the importance of hiring a seasoned contractor, who can maneuver through all this red tape and make your project run much smoother.
Solar Energy Incentives
The State of California and the United States are world leaders in the renewable energy industry. Many city, state and federal rebate and incentive programs are available to promote solar energy use:
- The Solar Incentive Program (SIP) offers customers a lump sum payment to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers who qualify. Qualifying customers who complete an installation are also provided a “net meter” which calculates excess energy and appears as a credit on their utility bill.
- Through the Federal Solar Tax Credit Program, solar panel owners can receive a tax credit equaling 30 percent of the installation costs of a solar energy system.
- California law prohibits property tax increases related to higher property values driven by a solar energy system.
- CLEAN LA Solar is an energy initiative that is designed to supply zero-carbon renewable energy and create jobs for the Los Angeles area. The programs motive is to utilize the vast, rooftop areas of the Los Angeles area neighborhoods. The program is supported by both the (7) CLEAN LA Coalition and the Los Angeles Business Council. Upon completion, the CLEAN LA Solar will be the largest urban rooftop program in the United States.
Pros of Going Solar
- Solar energy can supply the world with a sustainable energy source that its inhabitants can never consume.
- Solar energy is abundant providing 20,000 times more power that the earth consumes in a day.
- Solar energy is a renewable energy source as opposed to traditional fossil fuels, which can be exhausted.
- Solar energy is eco-friendly causing little to no pollution.
- Reduces our dependency on fossil fuels, which reduces carbon dioxide — a leading contributor to the greenhouse effect — in our atmosphere.
- Solar panels are low maintenance requiring only periodic cleaning.
Things to Consider before Going Solar
- Initial costs are high but can be reduced through rebate and incentive programs.
- Solar energy is intermittent. The system can only produce electricity by accessing sun light. Reduced production can be expected during cloudy or overcast days.
- Ample space is required for solar panel installation.
Los Angeles Weather and Solar
Weather, particularly the amount of daily sunshine plays an important role in solar panel operation. Inclement weather — cloudy, rainy days — will have a negative impact on your solar panels, as their electrical output will diminish. Since Los Angeles has approximately 284 days of sunshine a year, you can count on your solar panels to pay off.