A report released earlier this month reveals that solar installations in California nearly doubled in 2013. Several recentstudies corroborate that installing a solar panel array on your house will see anywhere from an immediate return in costs or within roughly ten years of implementation—not to mention the immense value it adds to your property should you wish to sell it.
In 2013, California’s overall solar capacity grew by 48%, to 5661 MW—enough to power over 5 million homes for an hour.
Considering the massive financial benefits of going solar, it’s no surprise that the number of households with solar panels doubled in just one year. It is estimated that per kilowatt of rooftop solar capacity, $5,911 is added to a home’s resale value.
This article in Forbes from 2011 shows that with federal tax credits included, about 97% of the roughly $20,000 average installation cost is recouped merely through home resale value—and that doesn’t factor in the monthly savings on energy bills, which would pay back the investment on its own in about 10 years.
California also happens to be the most solar-friendly state in the nation, according to stringent grades by solar energy policy center, Freeing the Grid. One factor in California’s rise to the top is the practice of net metering, where homes or businesses who have installed their own solar systems are paid in full for the electricity they generate but don’t consume and put back onto the grid.
In other words, with the cost of conventional energy only on the rise, and the threat of global climate change—including widespread drought in California—ever-present, yesterday was probably the best time to switch to solar, but today will do just fine.