Why Solar ? Types of Solar Power

California > Los Angeles Solar

California Realtor Makes Massive Bills Manageable With Solar

Tuesday, October 4th 2011 1:14 PM
By GetSolar Staff.
California Realtor Makes Massive Bills Manageable With Solar Particularly as fuel prices rise, electricity can prove costly. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the average American household used 908 kilowatts of electricity each month in 2009. With an average residential price per kilowatt-hour of 11.51 cents, that comes to a monthly utility bill of more than $100. According to the EIA, these costs have not improved in the past two years, with the country averaging 11.58 cents per kilowatt-hour through June of this year. Eric Yap, a realtor with Long Dragon Realty in Arcadia, California, near Los Angeles, had it much worse than most Americans, however.

With constantly increasing electricity needs, California's electricity rates have risen to some of the highest levels in the country. At 15 cents per kilowatt-hour, the state ranks 10th-highest behind only the congested northeast and the two non-contiguous states, according to the EIA. The agency reports that between 1999 and 2009, the state saw residential electricity rates rise 38.5 percent from 10.64 cents per kilowatt-hour to 14.74 cents per kilowatt-hour. With prices so high, Eric was paying electricity bills of around $700 per month, seven times the national average.

"I run my business from my home," Eric explained to MSLSolar. "That is why my electric bill is very high every month."

Realtors generally make extensive use of their computers, sometimes with as many as four monitors running at once, which can drive up electricity costs dramatically. Even in the best of times, $700 per month can prove too much, but with the fallout of the recent financial crisis hampering the real estate market it only makes sense to invest in something to reduce those expenses.

"To me solar makes sense because of all the incentives and increase in home value," Eric noted.

California offers a broad range of solar incentives, in the form of rebates, tax exemptions and a variety of other programs, according to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency. Even Los Angles County offers its own rebate program for residential solar installations, worth as much as $2.20 per watt of solar capacity. All of this comes on top of the federal tax rebate program that offers as much as 30 percent of the total cost of the system.

Between extraordinarily high costs and plentiful solar incentives, it took little convincing for Eric to call up California solar installer MSLSolar about the possibility of investing in solar panels. He eventually decided upon a 5.6 kilowatt rooftop solar installation. Comprising more than two dozen panels, is expected to produce as much as 8,207 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, more than three quarters of the average American household's annual energy needs. For Eric, the difference amounts to utility bills roughly $350 smaller than before the installation. Over the course of the system's 25-year warrantied lifetime, that could come out to $180,646 of savings. Even better for Eric, producing his own electricity can help protect him from future fluctuations in the price of electricity, paying only a fixed amount to cover cost of his solar installation.

Living in Arcadia, the environmental benefits of these types of solar installations cannot be overlooked as well. Arcadia lies right along the border of the Angeles National Forest, a 655,000 acre national park stretching to the northeast of Los Angeles. With 141 tons of carbon dioxide offset over the course of the solar installation's lifetime, roughly the equivalent of planting 5,620 trees, Eric can feel that he is helping preserve the natural areas around him, without even denting his wallet.

Solar Helps Homeowners at Just the Right Time

The people of California have plenty of reason to want to invest in solar power. Aside from its plentiful sunlight, the state boasts some of the country's most stunning natural ...

Solar Power Purchase Keeps Things Cool in Sunny Southern California

There are a lot of ways for electricity bills to run high in a place like southern California. With high temperatures year round and blistering summers, almost every home features ...

Los Angeles Woman Takes on Pollution and Smog Through Solar Power

California is well known for its warm, sunny days and beautiful beaches. Despite that, Californians cannot always brag of clear, blue skies and fresh air. KPCC Southern California ...

California Software Engineer Enjoys the Economic Benefits of Solar Power

As Paul Ng looks at the readout on his AC/DC converter early in the morning, his new solar installations have already generated 5.6 kilowatt-hours of electricity. This is nothing n ...

Search Full Solar Directory