At a time when the cost of electricity has significantly increased, people are looking for alternative, more affordable ways to power their homes and businesses. One alternative that millions of people worldwide have embraced to solve the high-cost-of-electricity problem is going solar, and for good reasons. Solar energy is renewable, reliable, and the cleanest as it reduces carbon emissions. You can also choose not to be left behind and start enjoying the benefits of solar energy.
However, before going solar, you must understand everything to do with it. That is why you want to work with an expert to guide you on what is required before going solar, the cost of switching to solar power, and the installation process.
At Sun Solar Electric, we are readily available to help you with all matters regarding solar energy, be it installation, maintenance, repair, inspection, or even advising on relevant matters. Once you have decided to go solar, we will ensure you reap all the benefits of your decision. If you wish to install a solar panel system for your home or business in Lagunitas, CA, call us for a consultation.
The Cost of Going Solar In Lagunitas
As of now, the average cost of a Lagunitas solar panel system is $3.09 per watt. Considering a size of 5 KW (kilowatts), the average cost for solar installation in Lagunitas ranges between $13,132 and $17,768, while the average gross solar price is $15,450. After factoring in the 30 percent ITC (federal investment tax credit) and other local and state solar system incentives, the net price you will pay for a solar system could fall by thousands of dollars.
These estimates are generated based on real solar quote data from the market. Actual savings are based on the amount of electricity your solar panel system generates, the amount of money you pay for your system, the amount of energy you consume, et cetera. The estimate is not inclusive of the utility's net billing rates.
Factors Determining Lagunitas Solar Panel System Costs
The charges you will pay for your Lagunitas solar panel system will depend on various factors, including:
- The size of the solar system— the larger the panel system, the higher the price will be. More importantly, the average price per unit for solar energy reduces with the increasing solar panel system size.
- Panel type— the solar panel system you install (generally thin-film, polycrystalline, or monocrystalline) directly affects the general installation quality. Higher quality equals higher prices.
- Panel quality and brand— like any appliance or product, solar panels vary in quality, which could be highly contingent on the brand.
- Installation company— not two solar companies charge the same labor rates. You could select to pay a little bit more for a reputable installation company with positive reviews and a shorter period until installation.
- Your roof—solar panel system installation cost does not just depend on equipment alone. Your system installer will further charge for the challenges of installation. That means your solar panel system could cost more if your roof is complex.
- Interconnection and permitting— Although not a significant factor, paying interconnection fees to the grid and permits will add some cost to your system installation price.
Are Solar Panel Systems Worth It In Lagunitas?
Installing a residential or commercial solar panel system in Lagunitas is worth it. However, factors such as the sun angle, electricity cost, climate, and available incentives will affect how quickly you break even in your investment in Lagunitas compared to other places. Over twenty years, you can save $68,427 if you install an average-sized solar panel system, assuming you pay upfront with cash. If you finance your solar panel system with a zero-dollar down loan, you could start saving on day one, although your long-term savings will be less.
How to Obtain the Best Prices for Lagunitas Solar Panel Systems
A solar panel system is a big purchase, often with its complexities. Considering this, many solar panel shoppers in Lagunitas compare up to five solar panel quotes before deciding. That is because comparing several quotes will save you money.
Comparing several Lagunitas solar panel quotes could save you cash for two main reasons: transparency and competition. Competition means that every additional quote you receive for a solar panel system will assist you in finding the right system at a good price. Transparency is trickier to place a price on, but for a market that has since been opaque, being aware of what equipment you will have installed on your house or commercial building and its quality ensures you receive solar solutions that suit your needs.
What To Do Before Installing Solar Panels
The following are some of the things you should do before installing either residential or commercial solar panels on your roof:
- Calculate the cost— the first thing to do is calculate the total cost of setting the size and type of the solar panel system. Note that California offers incentives to encourage people to install solar panels and use renewable energy. These incentives differ across states. For example, the incentives offered in California may differ from those offered in Florida.
- Equipment required— prepare a checklist of all the equipment required to install a solar power system, including solar panels, power inverter, charge controller, and battery.
- Determine system size— the third thing to do is determine the solar system size you require. Add up the wattage of any electrical appliance you plan on using. Calculate the number of hours per day you will use the appliances.
Following the above stages will let you know the solar battery required, wattage requirement, and wire size. Note that the correct wire size will prevent the wires from overheating and ensure maximum energy transmission to your batteries.
Residential and Commercial Lagunitas Solar Panel Warranties
A solar panel warranty refers to a promise from a solar company that it will replace or fix home or commercial panel systems if they have defects or do not work properly. Manufacturer warranties generally cover solar batteries, solar inverters, material defects, and workmanship. Panel warranties, or material or equipment warranties, cover the actual equipment.
Lagunitas solar panel installers also offer warranties. The workmanship warranty from solar panel installers covers defects or damage during home or commercial solar panel installation. A weatherization warranty covers your solar panels and roof from damage from rain, wind, or leaks. A power output, performance, or production warranty guarantees your panels will generate a given quantity of their original output or energy over time. Installer and manufacturer warranties are valid for some time, usually ten to twenty-five years. They vary based on the installer or manufacturer, location, and type of solar panels. There are restrictions and caveats.
Your warranty may state that your solar panels are only covered if you maintain them properly. For example, your warranty might not cover the panels if you fail to clean them routinely, and accumulated debris shortens their useful life. To determine what you require in a solar panel warranty, assess the time you plan to stay at your company premises or home, the chances of you having to tap into the coverage a warranty provides, and your budget for out-of-pocket expenses.
The Process to Acquire Lagunitas Solar Panel System
Transitioning to solar power is a thrilling move for home and business owners. Several steps are involved in the installation process to ensure the customer receives a reliable and safe installation. The steps are as follows:
For this step, the installer visits your premises to validate the system design you plan to use. They will inspect the attic, roof, battery placement, and electrical setup. For some installers, if there have been changes in the scope of work (SOW), the original contract becomes void, and they make amendments.
Approval of the System Design
Site evaluation results have come in at this stage, and any necessary changes are pending approval. If the initial design has changed, you may review the changes and provide your feedback before permit approval. The design aesthetics, system production, and electrical work are some of the things checked.
The permit approval stage is imperative so everybody going solar complies with safety codes (structural, electrical, and fire). The installation company will present permitting documents, like the system design, to the city for approval. Permitting fees are included, and they vary from one city to another, although restrictions exist on the amount of fees the city may charge. In Lagunitas, the fee should be below $500. Some installers have the permitting fees already factored into the total system cost.
The roof is the most prevalent location where solar panels are installed. Many roofs generally meet the required specifications for installation, so panels absorb the maximum amount of sunlight. Nonetheless, if roof installation is not desired or applicable, the installation company may mount the panels on the ground. You only need to ensure that no objects are blocking the sunlight. These steps explain the installation of a solar panel system on the roof:
- Setting up scaffolding: the first thing the installer must do is erect scaffolding, which ensures safety throughout the installation procedure while on the roof.
- Installing panel mounts: the installer will set up the mounting system to support the base of the solar panels. The mounting system should be tilted at an angle between 18 and 36 degrees for maximum exposure to sunlight.
- Installing the panels: once the installer has erected the mounts, they will fix the panels onto them and tighten the nuts and bolts to remain stable.
- Wiring the panels: the stage that follows is installing electrical wiring. Mostly, installers use NC4 connectors, as they are suitable for any type of solar panel. You will likely have to turn off your power supply during this step.
- Installing solar inverter: the installer will connect the solar inverter to the solar system. Generally, the inverter is connected close to the main solar panel and could be outdoors or indoors. Inverters are highly efficient when kept in a cooler place. If they are indoors, the utility or garage room is often the ideal place to keep it as they have ventilation and remain cool for a significant part of the year. If they are outdoors, the afternoon sunlight should not reach them.
- Bond solar battery and solar inverter: the installer will connect the inverter to the solar battery. The battery storage will ensure a constant supply of usable power during cloudy periods. It also lowers the system costs of battery storage during installation.
Note that installation takes a few days, often up to two days. You do not necessarily have to be around during installation. You can let the experts do the job while you relax.
Final Inspection by the City
After installation, the Lagunitas solar panel inspector will visit the site to ensure everything is done in line with the SOW that was approved.
The last step is for the utility company to approve the solar panel system for power grid connection. You or the installation company will apply for a utility connection, presenting the SOW and contract for the work done. A utility representative inspects the installation to ensure it complies with utility guidelines. They might also upgrade the meter if necessary for net metering. Once you have received approval or PTO (permission to operate), you can turn on your system and start producing energy.
This multiple-step solar installation process regulates the solar energy industry and protects utility companies and individuals. Installing a solar panel system will not only improve your home or company and provide grid independence, but it will also play a role in creating a sustainable environment.
Find a Solar Installation Service Near Me
You have decided you are ready to go solar and need the right person to do the installation. There are so many Lagunitas solar panel installers, and choosing among them can be challenging. However, once you have reached Sun Solar Electric, you need not look further. We boast thoroughly vetted installers who will guide you through every requirement of solar system installation before doing the actual installation. Our services are fast and affordable, and since professionals will do all the work, you will never regret your decision to go solar. Call us today at 707-658-2157 and join the thousands of people enjoying solar energy across California.