Solar power in Orange, California
Orange County is one of the best places in the nation to install solar panels for your home. It has a lot of sun and utility power is expensive. This combination, as well as some great incentives makes installing solar panels for your home in Orange County a great investment.
Most residents of Orange County their purchase power from Southern California Edison( SCE), although residents of Anaheim purchase power from Anaheim Public Utilities and some residents in the Southern part of Orange County are serviced by San Diego Gas and Electric.
Does Southern California Edison and SDG&E offer an upfront rebate for the installation of solar panels in Orange?
The cost of solar has fallen a lot in California over the last 5 years and so SCE and SDG&E no longer offer up front rebates to install solar panels on your home, other than some specific low income and multi-family programs.
To find out if your home might be eligible for one of these specific programs you really need to speak to a local solar company.
Is net metering available for SCE and SDG&E customers in Orange County?
Southern California Edison (SCE) and SDG&E are required by law to provide net metering to all their solar customers.
The 30% federal solar tax credit
Assuming you pay federal income tax, then 26% of the cost of installing solar panels can be claimed as a tax credit in 2020.
This is the biggest single incentive for installing solar power.
Is your home suitable for solar ?
Whether or not your home is suitable for solar depends on a variety of factors, most importantly your roof size and amount of shade. In some instances homeowners may have to cut down trees around their property to gain the maximum use out of their solar system.
Net Metering Broken Down
How does net metering work?
When a solar system produces more power than what is being used in the home excess power is sent to the grid and credited by your utility provider at the retail power rate per. Electricity is sold and measured in kilowatt hours (kwh). A kilowatt hour is equivalent to 1,000 watts of electricity used continuously for an hour.
Each kWh of power your solar system exports offsets the cost of another kWh drawn from the grid at a time your solar system couldn't service the demand of your home (such as at night or on a cloudy day).
Net metering is a very valuable incentive since most homeowners use little power during the day and so quite a lot of solar power generated can be exported to the grid.
Net metering gives you the financial benefit similar to storing your excess solar in a battery without the cost of needing to install a battery.
What if my solar system exports more energy in a month than my home draws from the grid?
SCE carries over any unused credit at retail rates to the next month.
Any remaining credit at the end of the yearly billing cycle (where you have exported more to the grid than what you have used from the grid) will be paid out at a lower rate. This lower rate is called an avoided cost rate (3-4 cents per kWh) and deposited into your account.
NEM-2 changes and how it affects the net metering programs of SCE and SDG&E
At the end of 2016 the PUC (Public Utilities Commission) passed a new net metering scheme that applies to all investor owned utilities in California, including SCE and SDG&E. This scheme, known as NEM 2, required all new customers going solar to convert to a time of use power plan. Consumers that dont go solar have to go to a time of use plan by 2019 anyway and so this wasn't a significant issue. NEM 2 net metering also introduced a concept of non-bypassable charges.
On this new plan each kWh of power your home draws from the grid receives a "non-bypassable charge" of about 2¢/kWh (non-bypassable charges vary slightly accross the SCE and SDG&E territories) which cannot be offset by energy your solar system sends to the grid.
Overall these changes only reduce returns from installing solar very slightly. The solar industry in Southern California is still booming because even under NEM 2 the returns from installing solar are still amazing.
The average cost of installing residential solar panels in Orange,
California in 2020 is
$2.72 per watt. The average system size
in the US is 6 kilowatts, which means the average price of a solar system
in Orange, CA
(after claiming 26% tax credit and other rebates)
The 26% federal solar tax credit explained
If you have a federal income tax liability, 26% of the cost of your solar system can be claimed as a deduction to your taxes. This incentive is claimed when you do your taxes. In order to receive the tax credit quicker it's best to do your taxes as soon as possible after installation.What if my tax liability is less than 26% of my systems cost
There is the option to claim this incentive over several years if your tax liability is less than 26% of the system cost.
How much will solar panels on my home save me?
The answer to this question depends on your electricity usage. Generally speaking the greater your power usage the greater the potential savings from installing solar.
The average monthly usage in California is only 573kWh per month however, you are most likely using a lot more than this since this average includes condos and small apartments.
The Orange solar panel savings calculator below will convert your monthly power spend into power usage (in kWh's) and then work out exactly how many solar panels you need to offset your usage, how much they will cost based on the prices of local solar companies and the amount you will save. Our California solar savings calculator can do this because it contains a database of the electric rates charged by City of Anaheim, San Diego Gas & Electric Co, Southern California Edison Co
How much can solar panels save you in Orange
What does the cost of a real solar system look like?
Facts about installing a 9.81kW solar system in Orange, CA
This system would offset 100% of your energy usage if your typical monthly bill is $258, however your situation may vary so try our Orange solar calculator to get a result tailored to you.
Net cost of system
5 Years 3 Months
Average payback time
Annual power production
Levelized cost of solar energy
If you don't get solar
Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of this 9.81kW system
Life-time savings on this system over the next 25 years
(Prices shown after repayments of capital)
Solar companies in Orange, CA that provide pricing through the Solar-Estimate marketplace.
Average total cost of solar panel installation in Orange
After 26% solar tax credit
After 26% solar tax credit
Find out what system size you need for your home
Going solar in California
Check out all of the ways energy providers of California can help you be more energy efficient and save money.
The following programs are available:
Find your local rebates and incentives
Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.