California’s energy sector is hurtling towards the point of decision. Despite its reputation as a green leader, this is the #3 American state for crude oil production. In the past few years, solar energy production has grown to supply around 16% of the state’s electricity.1 A significant portion (5.7%) is supplied by rooftop solar. Though there is considerable push back from Big Oil, the California legislation’s goal of 50% renewable electricity by 2030 seems attainable. What are residential solar installation costs in America’s battleground state?
As their name suggests, San Diego Gas & Electric’s #1 energy source is natural gas. They obtained 54% of their electricity from gas burning plants in 2015. Yet they also operate in a state which intends to produce 33% of its’ electricity from renewables by 2020. SDG&E has already exceeded that target, using renewables like solar, wind and hydro to provide 35% of their supply. Now, in compliance with California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) guidelines, SDG&E unveiled the World’s largest lithium ion energy storage facility.
The days when close to 70% of California’s residential solar installations were leased may be over. Tara Kelly, chair of the San Diego chapter of CALSEIA, said now most residential customers prefer buying solar panels.
California’s original rooftop solar program, Net Energy Metering 1.0 (NEM 1.0), continues in each utilities’s area until homeowners supply more than 5% of the peak load. The first city just passed that threshold. NEM 2.0 starts in San Diego.
Installing solar panels on San Diego’s existing homes used to involve a 4-6-week long process. San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) Renewable Meter Adaptor cuts solar installation costs by eliminating the need for costly panel upgrades.