How Much do Solar Panels Cost in Riverside?
Solar panels in Riverside cost around $2.65 per watt, and most solar panels are sold in 250 watt increments. This means an average solar panel is going to cost you something close to $665. An average house requires somewhere between 20 and 28 solar panels to be fully self-sufficient, meaning you’re looking at a cost between $13,500 and $18,650 for your solar panels. And while that is a lot of money, fear not- there are a ton of incentives, tax credits and other benefits available that could lower your startup cost substantially.
What are the benefits of going solar?
California has a lot of incentives for customers looking to go solar. Before you consider how much it’s going to “cost” to install solar panels, consider some of these benefits and rebates, because your cost is going to be substantially less than what it may look like.
- RPS (Renewable portfolio standards): The state of California is one of the most progressive states when it comes to the amount of their energy they want to come from renewable sources. The state has mandated that by 2030, at least 50% of its energy must be generated from green sources, meaning utilities have every reason to encourage customers to produce solar energy.
- Electricity Rates: At 23.35 cents per kilowatt hour, California has the 2nd highest rates in the entire U.S. Therefore, adding a solar power system can save you more money in California than almost any other state, and your solar panels will therefore “pay” for themselves much faster in California than almost anywhere else.
- Net Metering Laws: California’s net metering laws are a huge plus for anyone considering installing solar panels. If your system produces more energy than you use, you are going to want to be able to sell that energy back into the grid, and strong net metering laws will make that more accurate and efficient.
- State Interconnection Standards: California has state standards that should theoretically make it both faster, easier and ultimately cheaper to connect your solar energy system to the ‘grid’.
- Rebates: California has a rebate program for consumers who install solar panels under the California Solar Initiative, but not all customers qualify. For more details see cpuc.ca.gov/industries-and-topics/electrical-energy/demand-side-management/california-solar-initiative.
- Performance Based Incentives: Based on how much power your system feeds back into the grid, you can receive solar credits toward future electric bills in months where your energy use outstrips your system’s output.
- State Property Tax Exemption: State law exempts your property taxes from changing based on the addition of solar panels- Meaning your taxes wont go up.
- Federal Tax Credit: Any taxpayer who installs solar panels is eligible to claim up to 26% of the total cost of the installation as a credit to their federal income tax liability.
Will the addition of Solar panels increase the value of my home?
You can expect the addition of solar panels to increase the value of your home anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. This depends on a number of factors, including the age or condition of the system when the house is put up for sale, the size of the system, etc. Keep in mind that some buyers will not be interested in solar panels and therefore won’t be willing to pay more for a home that has them.
What effect does net metering have on my system?
Net metering allows your utility company to not only measure the output of your solar energy system but also to to measure how much energy is fed back into the “grid”. Obviously this is very important for solar customers who want their solar panels to earn free credits toward future energy bills.
How many solar panels do I need to power my home?
Every house is different, but you can expect to need between 20 and 28 solar panels to be completely self-sufficient. Your solar company should be able to give you a good idea of how many solar panels you will need to get your home completely energy self-sufficient by looking at your past electric bills.
How long do solar panels take to “pay” for themselves?
In Riverside, due to California’s progressive stance on renewable energy and very high electric rates, you can expect your solar panels to pay for themselves in a very short time- 8 to 9 years. This is extremely fast, much faster than in almost any other state, and after they have “paid” for themselves, you can expect “free” solar energy for many years to come.
How long do solar panels last?
Solar panels are generally warrantied for 20 to 25 years, so you can expect to have them for around that length of time.
Things to look for in a solar company:
- Time in industry- How long has the company been in business? The longer the better is the general rule of thumb, as the more experience a company has, the better chance they’ve dealt with whatever little problems might arise and know how to fix them. Also any company that has been in business for a long time probably does good enough work to not get run out of town.
- Types of panels- More info on different kinds of panels later in the article, but just know that there are lots of different kinds, and not every company uses every kind of panel. So if you have a strong opinion on what kind of solar panels you want to use on your home, make sure the company you’re looking at uses them.
- Payment options- Some companies expect you to pay 100% of the cost of an installation up front and don’t offer any form of financing. Obviously that is not possible for all customers, so make sure the company you’re dealing with has a payment plan you can live with.
- Warranties- Most companies offer some kind of warranty, though not all warranties are as good as others. Some companies will offer a warranty but still ask customers to pay a service charge for any kind of on-site visit. Other companies will cheerfully offer completely free maintenance and service for the lifetime of your solar panels. Make sure you know what kind of warranty you’re getting up front.
- Review- The reviews you can find online for various companies tell you a lot about what you can expect in terms of a company’s customer service and their general work. Make sure you scour the internet for any and every review you can find about a company- both good and bad- before making a decision. Anybody can say the right things and put the right things on their website, but what their customers say will tell the real tale.
Types of Solar Panels & inverters
There are basically two types of solar panels that are generally used in home installations- Monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline are smaller and more efficient, but also more expensive. They also work with less direct sunlight, which is a big benefit for homeowners that have a lot of shade. Polycrystalline panels are the bigger ones, usually mounted on the ground rather than on a roof. They tend to be less efficient and don’t last as long, but they are also cheaper.
Inverters are the devices that actually transform solar energy into usable electricity. There are three kinds that are used in home installations- String inverters, micro inverters and power optimizers. They break down like this:
- String inverters don’t work well in shade, they’re the cheapest and they’re the standard inverter in the industry
- Micro-Inverters- Work well in shade, allow individual panel monitoring, and are good for rooftops where panels may face different directions
- Power Optimizers are more efficient than string inverters, less expensive than micro-inverters and offer individual panel monitoring, but are also more expensive
How does weather affect solar panels?
Depending on where you live, you may want to consider the effects of weather patterns on your solar panels. Some things to think about:
- Fog / Cloud Cover: In times of heavy fog or cloud cover, your solar panels may only produce 10 – 30% as much electricity as they would under normal conditions
- Rain: Aside from the cloud cover, rain can actually be a positive for solar panels, cleaning them off and keeping the panels clear.
- Snow: Snow accumulation on your solar panels can stop them from producing completely
- Temperature: Temperatures below 77 degrees fahrenheit care considered most efficient for solar panel, with efficiency decreasing by an estimated 1% for each degree above 77.
How do I get solar panels installed in Riverside?
Great news- you don’t have to look very far in Riverside to find a qualified solar installer. In doing this study, I found some of the most qualified solar installation companies I’ve seen. Here are just a few:
Company : Solar Max Technology
Address: 3080 12th St, Riverside, CA 92507
Years in Business: 14
Reviews: 1 / 5 BBB (1 review), 3.5 / 5 Facebook (55 reviews), 5 / 5 Yelp (202 reviews), 5 / 5 Solarmaxtech (40 reviews), Birdseye 1 / 5 (9 reviews), 3.9 / 5 Angi (16 reviews), 5 / 5 Finduslocal (1 review), 5 / 5 Houzz (9 reviews),
Business Quote: “Premium roof installation and quality solar energy systems, designed, engineered and assembled right here in the USA.
The Good: 14 years in business, TONS of mostly good reviews out there to look at
The Bad: A few bad reviews, 3 complaints with the BBB
Summary: Overall this looks like a super solid company with a lot of upside. They have obviously done a lot of work and have gotten a LOT of reviews, maybe the most of any company I’ve ever seen in writing these articles. They have a few negative reviews out there, but the sheer volume of good reviews far outweighs them. This looks like a company to definitely check out.
Company: New Power LLC
Address: 887 Marlborough Ave, Riverside, CA 92507
Years in Business: 12
Reviews: 4.2 / 5 BBB (5 reviews), 4. / 5 Yelp (43 reviews), 3.5 / 5 Birdeye (67 reviews), 5 / 5 Homeadvisor (1 review)
Business Quote: “Save Money. Go Solar. All we need is your roof- not your pocketbook”
The Good: Nifty website that breaks things down very plainly
The Bad: 3 complaints with BBB,
Summary: Another company that looks to have done a whole lot of work in a relatively short amount of time. They’ve got a lot of reviews to look at, which will give you a very good idea of what to expect from them. Overall, this is another company that seems to have a good reputation and looks like they do good work. Check them out for sure.
Company: Optimum Solar Power
Address: 9990 Indiana Ave Ste 8, Riverside, CA 92503
Years in Business: 4
Reviews: 5 / 5 Facebook (2 reviews), 5 / 5 Yelp (1 review), 5 / 5 BBB (1 review),
Business Quote: “With the core aim to lower down your electric bills and promote sustainability, we actually bring something for you that you will cherish for your entire lifetime.”
The Good: One of the coolest logos in the business. Really pretty website
The Bad: 4 years in business
Summary: So I’ll be honest- the first thing I noticed about this company was their neato logo that I assume it supposed to look like some kind of phoenix bird. But as I checked them out, they looked more and more like a very solid company that appears to do excellent work. They’re very new, only 4 years old, but have not managed to accumulate any complaints or negative reviews that I can find. So feel free to check them out, I see no reason to steer clear.
Company: Sullivan Solar Power
Address: 2111 Iowa Ave Ste J, Riverside, CA 92507
Years in Business: 21
Reviews: 5 / 5 Yelp (56 reviews), 3.2 / 5 Birdeye (20 reviews), 2.45 / 5 BBB (20 reviews)
Business Quote: “ Regardless of project size and scope, Sullivan is committed to providing the best products and the most qualified professionals in the industry for their customers.”
The Good: 21 years in business, lots of reviews
The Bad: A lot of bad reviews with the BBB, and 61 complaints (!!!)
Summary: Hold your horses on this one kiddos, because they may no longer be operational. Their website doesn’t appear to be working and the BBB report, quote, “Government Action: BBB reports on known government actions involving business’ marketplace conduct:
Contractors State License Board v Sullivan Solar Power of California Inc”. The BBB reports that they no longer appear to be in business, so apparently something went terribly wrong with these guys after their 5 good Yelp reviews.
So there you have it. Given all of the above, I can’t think of a good reason to not go solar if you are in a position to consider it. So get off the fence and get it done!