Solar in California: Opportunities and risks to know

June 3, 2021 | 3min read

Going solar in California makes a lot of sense. In fact, with planned blackouts becoming a fact of life in California, solar and batteries make a tremendous amount of sense. There are a few risks to consider when going solar in California, but the most significant risks can be managed by installing home batteries. Before the lights go out the next time, be prepared.

The risks of going solar in California without batteries

Did you know? If you have solar panels without batteries, when the utility company shuts off the power, you go dark along with everyone else. How come? Because when the power company shuts off the grid, a solar system automatically isolates itself from the grid. Because of that, the system also isolates itself from your home.

Home batteries fix the California blackout problem

A solar system with batteries can provide power to a home during blackouts. During the day, the home receives power from the solar system and charges the home battery system.  A battery can fully power a home for about half a day. Therefore, if there is an extended blackout, the homeowner needs to carefully manage power usage to get through the evening and night after the sun has gone down. There won’t be as much power available as there is when you are connected to the grid.  By managing power carefully during a blackout, the solar system can power at least part of the home continuously through a blackout that lasts several days.

The risk of high utility bills after going solar

The three major utility companies charge solar system owners a higher rate in the evening for electricity than the rate they pay for electricity during the day. Because of that, there is a risk of still getting a high utility bill if a homeowner uses a substantial amount of power in the evenings.

Thankfully, the home can be powered with batteries during those high evening rates. The batteries get recharged during the day by the solar system. Thankfully, available as of the date of this blog the state of California offers an incentive for home batteries called the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). The program offers an incentive as high as $400 per kilowatt-hour of installed battery capacity.

Some homeowners use more power after going solar

Another risk of going solar in California (or anywhere) is that homeowners may receive unexpectedly high electric bills if they use more power after going solar than they used before going solar. A solar power system is designed to meet current power needs. If there is an increase in the amount of power used, homeowners will have to pay the electric company for that extra power.

Thankfully, there is a way to deal with this risk if you find yourself needing extra power after going solar. If there is room on your roof, you can add solar panels to your system to increase its power output. 

Freedom Forever can help you go solar in California and mitigate the risks

There are so many good reasons for going solar in California. Saving money on electricity, providing backup power for your home, and helping fight climate change are all excellent reasons to go solar. Freedom Forever can help you with all of those reasons. We can build a solar system to meet your energy needs. We have home batteries and can build a system that can provide some power to your home during blackouts. Should you need more power in the future, we can expand your solar system if there is room for it on your roof. Best of all, our solar power systems are backed by our 25-year production guarantee.* 

* Home batteries are backed by their manufacturer’s warranty.

Ready to go solar in California? Call us at 800-685-1850 or click below to get a quote.