Bay Area Mandate Could Mean Lower Prices For Solar Customers
Although many cities in California’s Bay Area have long enjoyed solar power, many residents pay more than the national average for the service.
Per a report from Energy Sage, an online marketplace featuring both customers and providers of solar energy, Bay Area residents pay about 20 cents more than the national average of $3.91 per watt of solar power. Solar customers in the Bay Area pay about 10 cents more than similar customers in Los Angeles County. Despite this, the average annual cost for solar in the Bay Area is $13,000 — $5,000 less than the national average.
It’s not just solar. San Francisco residents pay more than 40 percent more than the national average for electricity in general. Increasing the amount of solar power in the area could help drive energy prices down.
Costs are high for Bay Area solar customers because of the expense required to install and maintain solar panels and related equipment. Solar power systems in the bay area are much smaller than the national average, as well as the state-wide average.
But that could soon change.
San Francisco requires solar panels on all new construction
A law that went into effect Jan. 1 requires each new building in the city 10 stories high or shorter to devote 15 percent of the rooftop to solar readiness. These solar ready rooftops are not covered in the shade and are designed to maximize solar panel efficiency.
New buildings under construction at the time the law took effect must add them to their projects. The change is expected to decrease costs to install solar power units by about 5 percent.
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