By James Kennedy, Founder and President Beach Cities Solar Consulting LLC
If you are reading this blog you have probably already decided that you are going solar at your California home. How do you choose the best home solar panels in California?
The answer to this question is more complicated than you think, and requires you to answer questions about your project. These questions are:
- Do I have a limited amount of roof space or vacant land to install on?
- Am I concerned about where the solar panels are manufactured?
- Is the brand name of the solar panels important to me?
- Do I want the most competitive offering?
The reality is that in the very crowded solar panel marketplace it typically comes down to two factors when choosing the best solar panels for your California home. Neither is brand or location of the manufacturer! The first factor is how much roof space or vacant land you own to install the solar modules on? The second, price. I dive into each factor below.
Roof or vacant land space.
The first step in building a home solar system is analyzing your current and future energy consumption. You will want to build a system that offsets at least 100% of that consumption with your solar system (we typically recommend a 110% offset). Of course, this is all dependent on the available roof space or vacant land you have for the solar panels. If you have a large roof, and a lot of available roof space, you are probably OK with going with a lower wattage standard solar panel (the current solar panels in this range are around 300-325 watts). However, if you do not have a lot of available roof space you will need to install a higher wattage panel to make up for the shortage in roof space. These premium panels typically go up to around 360 watts, and of course, cost more than the standard panel.
All solar installers have standard solar panels; and premium solar panels. The solar panels in the standard range are all similar in output (watts), efficiency (18%), and warranty (typically 25-year production warranty). The solar panels in the premium category are all also similar in output (watts), efficiency (20%), and warranty. The difference in price between a standard solar panel and a premium solar panel can range from 10%-25% above the standard solar panel cost. If your home has plenty of roof or vacant land space a standard solar panel will do the job fine.
Interested in hiring Beach Cities Solar Consulting LLC to provide a turnkey solar and solar battery proposal for your home? Get started by uploading your last electric bill, pictures of your electrical panel outside the home, and picture of your roof here: https://www.beachcitiessolarconsulting.com/residential-solar/