Solar energy is one of the state’s brightest success stories, in what otherwise would have been a downward economy.  The industry has been able to grow by leaps and bounds due to the policies and incentives that have been put in place in the nation and state.

The statewide policy that has been crucial for solar generating customers is “net metering.” Net metering is the annual billing arrangement that you enter into the utility with once you have gone solar. Net metering is basically a balance of debits and credits for energy that you produce and put onto the grid, and energy that you consume and take from the grid. During the day you are putting energy onto the grid and at night you are pulling energy from the grid. Net metering is similar to “roll over minutes,” in that they credits and debits carry from month to month until you true up at the end of the year. Currently, you will receive full retail credit for all energy that you produce that you also consume!

Property owners who go solar are able to receive a one-to-one federal tax credit that will cover 30 percent of the overall solar project cost.  This is the most significant incentive available for the purchase of a solar power system. The tax credit is set to expire in 2016. In order to receive a tax credit for 2013, you will need to have your solar power system energized by the end of the year. Most reputable companies have a significant backlog of about 2-3 months, so time is of the essence for this incentive. If you want to receive your tax credit for this year’s filing, now is the time to go solar.

Prices on solar panels have dropped significantly over the past several years, which might be attributed to the successful California Solar Initiative (CSI) state rebate program. The CSI program created significant demand in the state of California for solar power projects. The program is near full subscription for the general market across the state, with new funding unavailable to residential property owners. However, one company is continuing to give back to local residents.

Sullivan Solar Power, a leading Southern California solar energy company, is working with property owners to assist them in declaring energy independence. The company, in most cases, is able to provide property owners solar energy for a monthly payment that is less than the avoided cost of power with the incentives that are currently in place.

For each property owner that signs up to go solar with Sullivan Solar Power this year, the company will donate one locally-manufactured panel to non-profit organization, GRID Alternatives, to be installed on rooftops for low income homeowners. It is estimated that 90 families, that need solar energy the most, will receive free solar installations as a result of Sullivan Solar Power’s program.

For a free estimate or to learn how you can go solar, call 1-800-SULLIVAN or visit sullivansolarpower.com.


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