San Francisco, CA goes solar with SunPower®
Solar in the City of the Bay
The state of solar power in San Francisco, CA
A solar PV system allows you to use a free and abundant energy source - the sun's light - and convert it into electricity that you can use to power appliances in your home. If you live in San Francisco, CA, you are in one of the best places in the U.S. for solar power.
California has well above average peak sun hours per day. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, it also ranks first in the US when it comes to renewable energy investments and incentives to promote the installation of solar PV systems.
How much solar power does San Francisco, CA produce?
Despite being a relatively small and foggy city, San Francisco’s solar power production is significantly higher than that of most other cities in the United States.
In 2016, the city mandated that all new buildings that are less than ten stories have solar panels that cover at least 15 percent of the roof. At that time, the city had 24.8 MW of solar capacity. Today, the municipality alone has 23 installations pumping out 8.6 MW to power libraries, high schools, and even city hall.
Is solar power genergation feasible in San Francisco, CA?
Solar power generation is highly feasible in San Francisco. The city gets an average of 259 sunny days per year, which is significantly higher than the national yearly average of 205. During those sunny days, San Francisco has approximately six peak hours of light in the summer and 3.5 peak hours in winter, during which solar panels produce electricity at optimal capacity.
Another factor that contributes to San Francisco’s solar feasibility is its Global Horizontal Irradiance of 4.35 kilowatt-hours per square meter per day, which is 7 percent higher than the average. The climatic and environmental conditions in San Francisco allow for high solar energy potential and relatively short solar cost offset times.
What legal considerations affect solar power in San Francisco, CA?
If you feel apprehensive about these high costs, the good news is that there are several incentives from local, state, and federal governments to make it easier to switch to solar.
The most significant incentive is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which is currently a 26 percent income tax credit for residential and commercial customers who purchase solar.* In 2021, the federal government will reduce this credit from 26 percent to 22 percent, so don’t wait too long before installing your system.*
Incentives that the state of California offers include SGIP, which is a rebate for installing an energy storage system. California also allows for net-metering, which is a mechanism you can use to supply the grid with your excess solar energy in exchange for a credit.*
These incentives can reduce the costs of going solar significantly, and you should explore all the options to maximize your savings.
Another legal consideration is the mandated installation of solar panels to cover at least 15 percent of your roof if you are building a new house.
- *. Tax credits subject to change. SunPower does not warrant, guarantee or otherwise advise its partners or customers about specific tax outcomes. Consult your tax advisor regarding the solar tax credit and how it applies to your specific circumstances. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.
- *. Utility credits and incentives vary by location and are subject to change. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.
How can I start using solar in San Francisco, CA?
If you are looking to benefit from solar energy, the first step is to contact a reputable solar service provider in San Francisco, CA. SunPower will take you through the entire process of switching to solar, from determining your energy needs to sizing your system, to installation and routine maintenance.
Whether you are a homeowner, business or homebuilder, SunPower has services and products to suit your needs. Request a free savings estimate to get started and find out how much you can save with SunPower® solar.
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