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Map Provides Solar Panel Information to Belmont Shore Homeowners

The Los Angeles County solar map and green planning tool can help homeowners gather information about their property to see how viable solar power is.

Are you considering solar energy for your home, but don’t know where to start?

Adding solar panels to your house can be a great way to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint. You just have to be sure you’re ready to shell out up to of $20,000 at the outset. Solar panels won’t typically start saving you money for 10-15 years, so it should be viewed as a long-term investment.

Visit the California Energy Commission’s go solar California clean power estimator for a snapshot of potential costs.

The estimator will show you how much you can expect to spend after applying thousands of dollars in state and federal incentives.

To learn more about rebates and incentives, visit the Los Angeles County Regional Environmental and Sustainability Programs website.

You can also use the county solar map and green planning tool to gather information about your property and see how viable an option solar power is.

Input your address and the map will zoom in, showing you a bird’s-eye view of your house. It will also display helpful information like how much available square footage your roof has for panels and hot water heating potential. The map can estimate your carbon- and cost-savings over 25 years.

The solar map uses more than 250 million calculations in measuring 3,000 square miles of satellite imagery to measure the landscape for solar potential. Trees, the features of roofs and nearby buildings all play a roll in how much sun reaches different parts of your house.

Use the planning tool to get a list of recommended energy efficient projects and local contractors who can help you get the job done.

The planning tool also offers a list of incentives to help you more economically plan your next green upgrade.

Dave Newell March 04, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Jared, I would like to clarify your comment of "Solar panels won’t typically start saving you money for 10-15 years, so it should be viewed as a long-term investment." If a homeowner has a monthly SCE bill of $400 a month, a $20,000.00 investment would pay for itself in 50 months, or just over 4 years. I believe your estimate may be based on lower bills, but when you plug in the regular increases we all get from SCE, I would have to say that about 6 years would be a good estimate to begin seeing a return on inevstment. But also look at it this way. If you were to purchase a new car for the same amount, you would be paying for it for 5 years. Also, if you do finance a system for $20,000.00 and pay $200.00 a month for it and end up with a bill from SCE of zero, it is a wash. Except that once you have finished paying for the system you still have many years to keep saving what you were once paying. One item you did leave out was that after 25 years you will probably want to change out your panels. However, the cost of that will be significantly lower (about $5,000.00) as solar technology is always improving and becoming more cost effective all the time.

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