The beef against residential solar panels for so many years is that they have been too expensive to install upon one’s home. But, at least in California the price of residential solar panels will be coming down considerably.
A bill passed by state Assemblyman Mark Leno (no relation to Jay Leno) has just passed 76-0 and now moves on to the Senate where it is expected to be approved. The bill endorses power purchase agreements whereby private photovoltaic companies take on the task of installing solar panels on homes and apartments at eat the upfront costs.
In return, residents pay these private companies for the power that the solar panels generate at a rate much lower than they are paying to the local electric companies. This kind of creative solar incentive program has in the past only been offered to business and industry and now will be available to residents statewide.
In Santa Cruz, California they are also adopting the idea of power purchase agreements in regard to residential solar panels. But, the city is also offering another interesting option as well. In Santa Cruz, the city is proposing that they will provide the upfront costs for anyone who wants to buy and install residential solar panels on their homes.
In return, the city will recoup the costs over 20 years through higher property taxes. With the combination of creative solar incentives and the prices of residential panels coming down (like the one I’ve linked to for $945), there will be fewer and fewer reasons this summer for homeowners not to profit from the sun.