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Considerations for Using Solar Power


Policies and programs in California, combined with ample solar radiation, make solar power a sensible choice. The state has set ambitious goals for renewable energy and has incentives in place for residents who install solar panels on their homes.


  • Lower electric bills. The northern California region receives more than enough solar radiation to generate $30,000 of savings from a solar installation over a 20-year period.
  • Dependability. As long as the sun is shining, youandrsquo;ll have another source of electricity during power outages.
  • Clean and quiet. Using power from the grid wastes natural resources and contributes to climate change. Using generators for emergency power pollutes the air and creates a good deal of noise.


Homeowners are eligible for a hefty 30 percent federal tax credit for installing a solar system through 2019. The tax credit has no upward limit and includes the cost of the equipment and its installation. The credit applies to primary and secondary homes. The percent of the credit diminishes in 2020 and 2021.

Customers of Pacific Gas & Electric (PGandE) who are income-qualified will receive cash back for a solar installation from the California Solar Initiative Program. PGandE also participates in net metering, which pays you for the solar power you generate and donandrsquo;t use.


The benefits of using solar energy are many compared to its disadvantages, which include:

  • Storing the unused electricity requires batteries, which take up space.
  • Manufacturing solar panels does use natural resources. However, most panels last 20 years or more. Once theyandrsquo;re completed, they have no impact on the environment. Instead, they prevent countless tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.
  • The amount you generate depends on the size of your roof and its orientation to the sun.

Between the financial incentives that help you use solar power and the immediate payback on your electric bills, it makes sense to put your roof to good use. To learn more about the benefits of solar and home energy efficiency, contact Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical by calling us at (408) 868-5500 or visit our website today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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