Sacramento, CA goes solar with SunPower®
America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital brings clean energy to the table
The state of solar in Sacramento
Sacramento is one of the sunniest places in the nation, making it an ideal place to go solar. On average, the city has 269 sunny days a year, far exceeding the national average of 205 days.* Roughly 89% of buildings in Sacramento are solar-viable, with the potential to generate 3.5 million megawatt-hours of power each year (a megawatt is one million watts).*
How much solar energy does Sacramento produce?
Sacramento produces a large amount of solar energy. Ranking 16th nationally, the city generates 112.82 watts of solar capacity per capita. Sacramento is one of the state’s leading solar cities, thanks to a 2018 California law that went into effect in 2020 requiring all new houses to have solar panels.*
- *. KSBY.com, "New California law to require solar panels on new construction" (December, 2019)
What are the advantages of going solar in Sacramento?
Air quality isn’t ideal in Sacramento. The city currently has an annual average Air Quality Index of 24 (out of 100), while the national average is 58.* Air pollution from burning fossil fuels contributes to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause the low rating.
In contrast, solar power is a clean, sustainable energy that doesn’t generate harmful emissions. Going solar will reduce your carbon footprint and contribute less to the city’s low Air Quality Index.
A reduction in energy expenses is another reason to go solar in Sacramento. With the city’s abundance of sunshine and long summer days, your solar panels will generate the electricity you need to power your home, reducing your dependence on the municipal grid. Even on cloudy days, the panels will generate solar energy.
The inclusion of solar panels on your home also boosts your property value at a national average of more than 4%.* In addition, California offers a 100% property tax exemption on solar systems so that you retain the total increase in value.
How much does solar cost in Sacramento?
The cost of a home solar system can vary due to a range of factors, even in the same city. These include:
Solar panel quality
Roof size and angle
Household energy needs
To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we’ve analyzed SunPower price quotes as well as quotes gathered by third-party sources* for thousands of homeowners across the country.
In Sacramento, we found that the average investment to own a 5 kW solar system ranges from $14,400 to $27,000, or, in other words, from $2.88 to $5.40 per watt—and that’s before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.
A kilowatt is 1,000 watts of power. A measure of energy output, a kWh (kilowatt-hour) is 1,000 watts (a kilowatt) producing energy for one hour. The average U.S. household uses just over 900 kWh per month.*
One of the best incentives for going solar in Sacramento is the federal tax credit for solar systems. If you own a new solar system, you can claim the 26% tax credit under the Investment Tax Credit or ITC. The credit applies to the total cost of installing a new solar system, including the panels, contractor labor, energy storage devices, and permitting.
Sacramento residents can also participate in California solar incentives like the SASH (Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes) program from GRID Alternatives. It provides up-front, fixed, and capacity-based incentives to help low- and fixed-income households afford solar systems.
Sacramento utility companies may also offer immediate rebates and incentives for going solar through various programs, such as the $300 stipend from SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) to offset the purchase and installation cost. Your contractor can apply for this stipend on your behalf.
Homeowners can also earn extra funds when their solar systems produce more solar energy than the residence consumes, returning the surplus to the SMUD power grid. This process is called net metering, and SMUD publishes a Net Energy Metering Rate Schedule.
Please note that tax credits and incentives such as net metering are subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
What’s the best way to go solar in Sacramento?
It’s crucial to note that there is not a one-size-fits-all solar solution. A solar system that works for another Sacramento resident may not work for your residence. The best way to ensure that you install high-quality solar panels that best suit your household’s needs is to work with a licensed and reputable solar contractor.
These experienced solar energy contractors understand how to analyze each contributing factor to efficient solar panel installations. They will examine everything from your home’s exterior aesthetic to the size and structure of your roof. Solar professionals will also know various ways to help their clients save money while going solar.
Before meeting with a solar installer, it’s worth using a solar savings calculator to quickly build a custom solar system design for your roof with an estimate of how much money you’ll save on electric bills and the amount of power it will produce.
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