Are solar panels worth it in Los Angeles? We think so, and the state of California seems to think so, too. Currently, the Golden State is placing its sunniest step forward. It ranks #1 for solar installations in the U.S. with enough solar to power over 10 million homes. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), California has also invested $80.8 billion in solar and gets over 25% of its electricity from solar.

But are solar panels the best option for you and your home? Only you can make that decision. Let’s do a deep dive into why we think solar panels are totally worth it in L.A. and beyond.

Is solar worth it in Los Angeles?

L.A. has pretty much everything a person could ask for — perfect weather, picturesque beaches, and natural beauty that’s hard to come by. But along with all that beauty comes a pretty price tag for electricity. Let’s get into the facts! And you can decide if solar is really worth it in your area.

sunshine over downtown los angeles california

An Abundance of Sunshine

One of the things California has going for it is the bountiful sunshine available. Los Angeles has more than enough sun to go around, with a magnificent 284 sunny days in a year. That’s more than the national average, which means plenty of opportunities to generate electricity with solar panels. The more sunshine your roof has access to, the more electricity your solar energy system can generate.

A solar solution

Are solar panels worth it in Los Angeles? Well, let’s take a look outside. While the U.S. only generates about 3% of its electricity from solar, California leads the charge for good reason. Solar panels generate clean, renewable, and abundant energy for your home by harnessing sunlight. While specific factors of your home may vary, as a homeowner in Los Angeles, you probably have plenty of sunshine at your disposal.

overhead powerlines in front of wide shot of los angeles california

Defense Against Rising Electric Bills

According to the California Center for Jobs and Economy, Californians paid $9 billion more than people in other states who used the same amount of electricity in 2021. More than likely, this was due to rising electricity costs. Since the U.S. generates most of our electricity from natural gas, the increasing wholesale cost of natural gas has affected how much it costs to generate electricity(1).

California already has an electricity rate 29% higher than the national average. Los Angeles, in particular, has an average residential electricity rate of 25 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is 38% higher than the national average rate of 18 cents per kWh (2, 3).

A solar solution

Solar could be a good way to take the guesswork out of your electric bill. Through California’s net metering program, homeowners could receive credits on their utility bills for the surplus electricity their home solar panels generate.*

They also can maneuver their usage with time-of-use rates in mind. We’ve got a great resource for maximizing your savings through time-of-use rates.**

overhead powerlines in california in front of wildfire

Stronger Resilience Against Blackouts

Unfortunately, with blackouts becoming more common in the U.S. now, there are many reasons the power grid might fail to deliver electricity to your home. Here are a few key things to consider:

  1. Many of the 600,000 miles of the transmission and distribution lines across the U.S are in need of replacement. While there’s no way to pinpoint a specific cause, many people believe the old power lines are to blame for some wildfires(4, 5).
  2. Climate change increases the amount of wildfires and heat waves we experience every year. In California, wildfires destroy some of the power infrastructure in place, causing blackouts(6).
  3. As a technologically advanced society, we demand more power. Electricity consumption in the United States was about 3.9 trillion kWh in 2021, which is 13 times greater than it was in 1950(7).
  4. California was under threat of rolling blackouts all summer because of increased demand around the heatwave(8).

Ultimately, all of these factors result in a strained power grid that struggles to keep up with the need for reliable electricity.

enphase solar batteries

A solar battery solution

With a solar battery backup, you can power your home through the darkness. As a Los Angeles homeowner, you’ll most likely have access to ample solar energy during the day. That energy can be stored in a solar panel battery to power your home through the night or through a power outage. Solar also relieves some of the demand on the power grid(9).

Los Angeles Solar Incentives

Solar installation prices in California have decreased 53% in the last 10 years(10). With rising electricity bills and more affordable solar options, many homeowners are starting to see the value in solar panels. Here’s a glimpse at the solar savings available to you in California:

  • Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) — Under this legislation, homeowners may be able to take advantage of a tax credit valued at 30% of the cost of their solar system.***
  • California net metering (NEM) program — As we mentioned this above, the California Public Utility Commission offers bill credits for excess solar that’s rolled back to the electric grid.
  • Self-Generation Incentive Program — This program provides financial incentives to qualified installers who live in high fire risk areas.

solar panel farm outside of los angeles california

Are Solar Panels Worth it in Los Angeles?

Taking into consideration the many days of sunshine, the statewide support, and the bountiful solar incentives available, going solar could definitely be worth it for homeowners in Los Angeles. In addition to all of the above reasons, solar panel installations can increase home value and can be beneficial for the environment(11).

Need a little extra help deciding if solar really is worth it for your home? Have a chat with one of our trusted Solar Energy Specialists, who can provide an accurate estimate for how solar could fulfill the specific needs of your home.

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Disclaimer:

*Net metering and similar excess or buyback programs vary by location and utility provider and are subject to change. Rates may go up or down and the money you may save, if any, may vary. For more information about rates, contact your power company.
**Savings vary depending on your energy consumption, system cost, home location and characteristics, and your utility’s policies.
***If you have taxable income and own the system, you may be able to take advantage of the solar federal investment tax credit. It is your responsibility to determine if you will benefit from the ITC and to apply. Consult a qualified tax professional for assistance and details.

Sources:

  1. https://www.electricitylocal.com/states/california/
  2. https://www.energysage.com/local-data/electricity-cost/ca/los-angeles-county/
  3. https://infrastructurereportcard.org/cat-item/energy-infrastructure
  4. https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-utility-wildfires-20171017-story.html
  5. https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/climate-change-and-wildfires
  6. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/use-of-electricity.php
  7. https://abcnews.go.com/US/california-blackouts-power-grid/story?id=89460998
  8. https://news.energysage.com/how-solar-helps-the-grid/
  9. https://www.seia.org/state-solar-policy/california-solar
  10. https://www.seia.org/initiatives/climate-change