COOL SOLUTION

Rooftop Solar

Make a solid decision about solar

Davis, CA Home Solar Panels

DOUBLE THE SYSTEMS • DOUBLE THE POWER Davis CA

Davis Solar Systems

3923 of 4500
87%

as of January 31, 2020

Cool Davis Solar Pledge

BEST Eager Davisites at Solar Fair 2016 Photo Credit Yvonne Hunter RESIZED

It’s never been cheaper

The cost of rooftop solar systems has continued to fall while the expertise and number of local and regional contractors has continued to climb.

Tax credits and exclusions are still available

For those who purchase a solar system, a federal tax credit offsets up to 26% of the installation cost through 2020. This percentage will fall to 22% in January of 2021. The state of California provides a property tax exclusion up to 100% though 2024.

Good return on investment

Paying in cash makes a lot of sense. You own the system and with costs declining, you can expect to fully recoup your up front costs within 5 to 10 years with an internal rate of return of 15 to 25%. Even if you don’t pay cash, your PG&E bills will likely be much lower right away.

DSC_6100_edited-2_1 RESIZED

Payment options for every budget

  • Pay cash for your solar system for an instant return on investment
  • Loans from a credit union or bank allow you pay directly for your own solar system
  • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing offers flexible repayment plans up to 20 years and is paid through property taxes
  • Power purchase agreements (PPA) and leases allow you to buy solar power without owning the system

Davis gets it done!

The City of Davis, local contractors, and local organizations have supported the installation of over 2,000 solar systems. Our community is now well practiced in this process. We are ready for you!

Rooftop Solar

Produce your own power

Renewable energy in the form of a solar photovoltaic array on your rooftop has the potential to fully power your home as well as provide excess power.

Protect future generations

Energy independence is a critical step in the journey towards a stable and secure future for our children.

Power your electric vehicle

Work with your contractor on your solar system plan to power an electric vehicle. You can live and drive solar!

Cool the climate

Temperatures are rising but solar energy deployed across our community will contribute to a cooler planet and a better quality of life for all.

DOUBLE UP ON ROOFTOP SOLAR BY THE END OF 2020!

In May of 2016, our City Council adopted a cumulative goal of 4,500 single family household solar installations totaling 21 megawatts capacity by the end of 2020.

Solar - Is it right for me?

Is Solar Right for Me? Planning Guide  

Do you plan to stay in your home 3 to 5 years?

If you plan to live in your home for 3 to 5 years or more, installing a solar system could pay for itself depending on the financing you choose and your electricity usage.

Is retirement in your future?

Some homeowners view solar systems as a solid financial investment as well as an effective way to downsize their monthly bills. PPAs can ensure a set monthly bill amount for those on fixed incomes, and create a buffer against rising electricity costs. Folks thinking about their grandchildren see solar as a way to invest in a bright future and show a hopeful way forward for the younger generation.

Looking for the most effective way to reduce climate impacts?

Pairing an electric vehicle with a solar system tackles both energy and transportation impacts. Going all-electric is another way to reduce your impact on the environment, and a properly sized solar system can help you get there.

Does your roof face south, west, or east?

The ideal rooftop faces south or west and has a 7/12 pitch (7 inches rise for every 12 inches run). East facing roofs may still have potential. Panels can also be installed on flat roofs facing upwards or on frames tilted toward the south. If a rooftop cannot be used, other potential surfaces include carports, detached garages, window awnings, and roofed patios.

Solar - Hire the Right Contractor

Hire the Right Contractor Planning Guide 

Ask about experience and reputation

Don’t be shy to ask about the number and type of installations including rooftops. Check out their license with the state and look for online reviews.

Get at least 3 bids and reasonable warranties

If possible, try to get a general idea of the system you want before asking for a formal bid, then ask each of the three to bid on a similar system so it’s easier to compare. Expect at least a 5-year workmanship warranty on the installation, about 25 years on panel module production, and 10 to 20 on module construction.

Check that bids are fair

Compare the average cost per kilowatt hour of power produced across all three bids. Use an online calculator to get a ballpark idea of average costs per kilowatt hour in your area. Consider having an independent third party review the bids.

Get a thorough roof assessment

Solar systems usually last about as long as a roof, roughly 25 years. At the same time, sections of roof can often be repaired to accommodate a solar system. Remove and replace clauses can protect you if the roof fails before the solar system.

Solar - Ways to Save

Ways to Save Planning Guide  

Paying in cash has benefits, so does a lease

If you have the funds, paying in cash is certainly an attractive option. But leases help you get in the door with no out of pocket costs and no responsibility for monitoring or maintenance.

Loans come in lots of flavors

Local banks and credit unions offer a variety of secured and unsecured loan options, while a PACE loan attaches the payments to your property tax bill. Yolo County-approved Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs include California First, HERO, and Ygrene.

Take advantage of tax credits and exclusions

The federal tax credit reduced to 26% in January 2020 and will fall to 22% in January 2021. Scroll down to our Resources section under Solar Tax Credits and Other Incentives for more details.

Power your electric vehicle with solar

Tell your solar contractor that you plan to charge an electric vehicle with your system. If you’re a PG&E customer (and not VCE), you can select Time of Use rates favorable to overnight electric vehicle charging.

Go energy efficient first

Energy efficiency measures can lower your energy use and the size and cost of a new solar system. Consider re-insulating your attic, installing attic and whole house fans, investing in energy efficient windows, switching to LED lighting, and always buying energy efficient appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, heating and cooling equipment, and washing machines.

OPT UP TO 100% RENEWABLES

Valley Clean Energy customers can opt up to 100% renewable energy by choosing Ultra Green: valleycleanenergy.org/opt-up. PG&E-only customers can select the Solar Choice rate plan.

SOLAR STORIES

The cost of installation, materials and labor, was $17,500, but, with the 30% federal tax credit, the cost was reduced to $12,285. Nancy and Richard’s out-of-pocket cost for power has been reduced to less than $300 per year. The original estimate was that the system would save $48,000 during its 25-year lifetime. So far, everything seems on track to do just that; system installation costs should be paid back by savings in 8 years.

Nancy and Richard, Central Davis

Local Businessman Saves Money by Installing Rooftop Solar “When my energy bill comes, instead of a few hundred dollars a month, it’s now three bucks.”

Mike, South Davis

They Waited Forty Years for Solar to Be Affordable – Now It Is Paula likes "the idea of a movement, an increasing national consciousness. The fact it is in the national agenda and that there is a local movement we could join was a motivation. Our individual contribution is not going to have a lot of impact; but, if we all step it up, there may be a chance to reduce the worst impacts of climate change.”

Craig and Paula, West Davis

Neighborly Support Aids ‘No Brainer’ Decision to Go Solar Getting solar was “pretty much of a no-brainer. It was the right thing to do. Environmentally, solar is the best form of energy we have. We were happy to move towards greener energy.”

Tim and Karen, West Davis

Shade Issues No Problem for This Solar System “Our ever increasing PG&E bill motivated us to try rooftop solar. We tried to conserve generally and wait until night-time with lower rates to use the washer and drier and other appliances. But that was not conducive to our lifestyle. So we asked why not look at solar power. We don’t want to waste power, but we do want to be able to use it when we need it.”

Richard, South Davis

“I think it’s a really good investment and especially if you can actually pay less per month for utilities. . . . In December I would get into the third tier but this year I never got into that tier. By having solar, it kept me in that first tier even though I was using a lot from PG&E.”

Chrissy, Birch Lane

Local Family Produces More Energy Than They Consume “We want to walk the walk. We want to use very little water and as little energy as possible… Efficiency is always the beginning point. We would like a car with a couple of hundred miles range. The idea is to be self-sufficient with the house and the car from the solar on the roof.”

Steve, Village Homes

Tell us your story! Email newseditor@cooldavis.org

FEDERAL TAX CREDIT NOW 26 PERCENT

In January of 2020, the federal tax credit for renewable energy systems declined to 26 percent. The tax credit is scheduled to reduce again to 22 percent at the beginning of 2021.

RESOURCES

Updated January 2020

As of January 1, 2020, taxpayers may claim a credit of 26% of qualified expenditures for a system that serves a dwelling unit located in the United States that is owned and used as a residence by the taxpayer. Expenditures include labor costs for on-site preparation, assembly or original system installation, and for piping or wiring to interconnect a system to the home. If the federal tax credit exceeds tax liability, the excess amount may be carried forward to the succeeding taxable year. The maximum allowable credit, equipment requirements and other details vary by technology, as outlined below.

Solar-electric

  • 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2021
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2020 and before 01/01/2022
  • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008.
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2021.
  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer’s principal residence.

Solar water-heating

  • 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
  • 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2021
  • 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2020 and before 01/01/2022
  • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008.
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2021.
  • Equipment must be certified for performance by the Solar Rating Certification Corporation (SRCC) or a comparable entity endorsed by the government of the state in which the property is installed.
  • At least half the energy used to heat the dwelling’s water must be from solar in order for the solar water-heating property expenditures to be eligible.
  • The tax credit does not apply to solar water-heating property for swimming pools or hot tubs.
  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer’s principal residence.

SOURCES AND MORE

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

National listing of all incentives by state for renewable energy and efficiency projects. Solar Investment Tax Credit US Department of Energy redirects to DSIRE page.

Instructions for IRS Form 5695

IRS Form 5695 is used to claim a tax credit for solar, solar water heating, geothermal heat pumps, wind, and fuel cell installations.

Active Solar Energy System Exclusion, CA Board of Equalization

The installation of a qualifying solar energy system will not result in either an increase or a decrease in the assessment of an existing property. The exclusion should be automatically granted when the assessor receives a copy of the building permit.

Solar Investment Tax Credit (SEIA) Industry association site.

 

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