It would be challenging to find any spot in California that isn’t prime for solar energy, but Bakersfield‘s sunny location makes the city an especially great area for residential solar installations. Installation costs for photovoltaic (PV) systems can vary throughout California.
For pricing on a solar system in your area, click here.
For a breakdown of how much solar costs today, and how much money can be saved tomorrow in Bakersfield, California, read on.
The Basic System
The average American uses 908 kilowatts of electricity a month. In Bakersfield, that electricity is accompanied by a monthly electric bill of about $150. The average solar system is sized between 3 to 5 kilowatts. The panels would cover about 400 square feet of roof area. The gross cost for the system, before rebates, would be about $30,000.
Average Costs with Incentive Programs
To help meet national renewable energy goals, the federal government offers a tax credit incentive that pays for up to 30 percent of the installation costs for a home solar system. This reduces the cost of a $30,000 system to $21,000.
The utility company Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) serves Bakersfield. Through a program operated in conjunction with the California Public Utility Commission, PG&E is currently offering a $.25 per watt solar rebate. For the sample Bakersfield solar system, this results in about a $1,000 rebate, further reducing the cost of the panels to $20,000.
- Average Monthly Utility Savings: $125 to $275
- Average Annual Utility Savings: $1,500 to $3,225
- 25-year Utility Savings: $38,000 to $80,000
Additional Solar Savings
PG&E offers Bakersfield customer tiered rates, TOU metering and net metering, measures that can save Bakersfield customers with home solar systems even more money.
PG&E uses a base rate for a limited amount of the electricity that its customers use. Once a customer uses more than this base amount of electricity, they’re charged more per watt for additional power. Powering a home even partially by solar energy can allow customers to stay in the lower, base rate.
PG&E uses Time-of-Use meters that allow the utility to charge more for electricity during peak periods. Fortunately for you, peak periods often occur when solar panels are operating most efficiently during the afternoon, reducing the need for conventional electricity when it is most expensive.
Combined with TOU metering, net metering compounds solar savings. Whenever a PV system is generating more electricity than the home is using, the meter spins backwards, sending excess energy back into the grid. In California, this electricity is credited to the customer’s account. In sunny Bakersfield, homeowners with residential solar systems can expect this phenomenon to occur frequently, paying in advance for the conventional energy they may need later.
Bakersfield homeowners who install the solar system described above can expect to increase the resale value of their home by about $18,000 to $38,000. A solar panel array also acts as insulation to the roof, further reducing heating and cooling costs.
This sample residential solar system would save about 110 tons of greenhouse gases emitted over the life of its system, the equivalent of a car driving about 225,000 miles.
With such strong environmental and financial incentives, there has never been a better time to go solar.
Photos via Bakersfield.com
Last 5 posts in Residential Solar
- CEGA Welcomes Ralph Krongold as Chief Solar Trainer - June 1st, 2012
- The Myths Behind Offshore Drilling - March 29th, 2012
- Solar Thermal + PV = Efficiency x 3 - March 23rd, 2012
- Solar Gets Bailed Out! - March 22nd, 2012
- Solar Coming Out of the Shadows - March 18th, 2012