There are several great reasons that range from financial to environmental.

On the financial side, solar energy can help you save thousands of dollars on utilities over time. In fact, some people have had their electric bills greatly reduced or even eliminated after residential solar installation. Especially with fluctuating energy costs on the rise, investing in solar now can simplify electricity costs and safeguard you from the financial stress of traditional ways to power your home. Let's not forget how the federal solar tax credit makes this investment affordable too.

Additionally, solar power can increase your home or building's value. One study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) concluded that homes with solar panels sell 20% faster and for 17% more money.

And on the environmental side, going solar is a prime way to reduce your carbon footprint. Solar power is safe and sustainable, and you can feel good about supplying your home with clean, renewable energy.

Unlike other firms that advertise solar installation, we got our start as builders. This means that we know how your house is built and we know how to protect your investment. We aren't an upstart company touting solar because it's the hot new trend. Instead, Strata is a smart choice because we understand both roofing and solar power. We'll know the best setup for your home or business building, and we'll install your system with professional quality and care.

Residential or commercial solar is a wiser investment than a lot of people realize. First of all, solar installation opens up a 30% federal tax credit for those who qualify. If you were to take the money out of your pocket to pay for solar and qualified to receive the full tax credit, with the savings from your electric bill, you would be able to pay yourself back in 5 to 6 years. People think of solar as being an additional expense when it actually saves you money very quickly.

If you finance solar, your monthly payment would be very close to what you’re already paying SDG&E. You would essentially be swapping a bill instead of tacking an additional one on, with the expectation of more savings down the road.

For more info on how solar power can save you money, contact us!

The most common question asked about solar financing is whether to buy or lease. The answer depends on your financial situation, your future plans regarding your home, and desired savings.

Most San Diego homeowners are choosing to own their own solar panel systems with a cash purchase or one of several zero-down loan options. Choosing to own the system allows you to take advantage of the 30% Federal Tax Credit and provides the opportunity to continue saving long after the loan has been paid off.

In the past few years, more solar financing options have become available than ever before. These options for financing a residential solar energy system helps homeowners capture the value solar panels. Acquiring a home equity line of credit has always been an option, but now many banks and credit unions are offering special unsecured solar loans to finance your home solar installation with no out of pocket costs.

These are great options that carry competitive interest rates as low as 1.99%. Financing options still allow you to take the solar tax credit—saving an additional 30% of the cost of your whole system. PACE programs such as HERO and YGRENE are also available to fund your residential solar installation and other energy-efficient home improvements through your property taxes.

PACE stands for “Property Assessed Clean Energy,” and is a financing method that includes the HERO Program, YGRENE, and California First. These programs utilize the property taxes associated with your home to finance improvements, such as installing a residential solar energy system. Typically these programs offer zero-down financing for terms of 5, 10, 20, or 25 year terms.

By attaching the loan to the property instead of the individual, these programs have lower qualification standards and don’t include credit scores as a deciding factor. Though interest rates tend to be higher than other loan options, they also carry some added tax deductible benefits (consult your tax professional for more information).

Solar photovoltaic (PV) devices create the process of turning sunlight into electricity. For most residential solar energy systems, this is done using silicon cells. When sunlight hits the solar panels on your roof or ground-mounted system, it energizes charged particles that pass from one layer of the cell to another.

The energy produced via solar PV is called direct current (DC). DC is then converted to an alternating current (AC), which powers your home through a solar inverter. That energy is then fed into the main electrical panel to be consumed by your home's devices, including appliances and lights. Otherwise, it is sent back to the electric company through the grid for Net Metering credits to be used later.

Net Energy Metering is an arrangement with the utility company that compensates a homeowner for producing more energy than they utilize. Instead of disconnecting from the utility grid (which would require significant on-site energy storage capabilities), most homeowners opt to remain as a customer of the utility, then install enough solar panels to offset all or most of the electricity they consume.

About half of the energy your solar panel system produces is consumed immediately by the home. The rest is sent to the utility company to generate credit at rates close to, or equal to, retail rates for electricity. These credits are then used later at night when the solar panels aren’t producing electricity. The best part is that you’ll be able to grandfather this agreement for 20 years, ensuring the value of your residential solar energy system investment.

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