Bay Area provides one of the best potentials for solar in the country. Bay Area offers the ideal climate for the installation of both a grid tie and off grid solar systems. Bay Area's net metering law originally took effect in 1996 and applies to all utilities with one exception. The law has been amended many times times since its enactment, most recently by AB 327 of 2013. Credited to customer's next bill at retail rate. After a 12-month cycle, customer may opt to roll over credit indefinitely or to receive payment for credit at a rate equal to the 12-month average spot market price for the hours of 7 am to 5 pm for the year in which the surplus power was generated. Today's state of art solar electric systems are virtually maintenance free and have reached near plug and play capability making DIY solar installations far more easier than years past. While most incentives in the country have expired, Bay Area residents do qualify for the 30% Federal income tax credit. In addition, pricing for solar systems have dropped dramatically. It wasn't uncommon to find solar system pricing in the $12 to $15 per watt back in 1998. Today, modern, name brand grid tie solar systems are being installed in for less than $3.00 per Watt before the Federal 30% tax credit is applied or as little as 7 cents per kilowatt hour for a purchased system in many parts of the country.
"Today, modern name brand grid tie solar systems are being installed in for less than $3.00 per Watt before the Federal 30% tax credit is applied or as little as 7 cents per kilowatt hour for a purchased system."
For years, the solar market was dominated by solar lease and PPA financing with their high system pricing and annual payment increases but that has all changed, now that easier to qualify for, $0 down solar loans coupled with much lower system pricing are available. Some of these new $0 down loans that are available to residents even offer tax deductible interest. The solar leases and PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) that are offered in do not offer tax deductible and they tend to be priced much higher than purchased systems.
Much has changed since the early days of solar PV. Today's grid tie and grid tie battery backup systems have reached a level of reliability that was once thought to be impossible. Grid tie inverters now come standard with 10-12 year manufacturer's warranties with optional warranty extensions to 25 years. Modern solar panels now come standard with 25 year manufacturer's warranties making these products some of the most dependable products in the world. With pricing at their lowest levels ever and the 30% federal tax credit expiring in the next few years and laws concerning net metering changing in many states, now is the ideal time to get grandfathered under the old far more beneficial policies and beat the rush and install a solar system on your Bay Area home and finally say goodbye to those high electric bills.