There are two major forms of solar energy: photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar thermal systems. PV cells convert sunlight into electricity, powering everything from lamps to electronic devices and even electric cars. They work any time the sun is shining, and more electricity is produced when the sunlight is more intense and strikes the PV modules directly. Solar thermal systems use the sun’s heat to make electricity or are used in water heating applications to displace gas use. Solar thermal can also be used in large-scale electric generation. In PV systems, a flow of direct current (DC) electricity is produced when sunlight strikes an array of solar panels. Appliances and machinery, however, operate on alternating current (AC), as supplied by your utility. The DC energy produced by the panels is fed into an inverter that converts the DC power into AC power, which then feeds into the main electrical panel that powers your home or business. For more information about Solar (PV) for your Home visit “Go Solar California” website at: http://www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov/
California is #1 in cumulative Photovoltaic (solar) capacity per person in the U.S. with 69% of all Solar Systems installed in the country. Californians have installed about 33,000 out of the nation’s 48,000 solar systems.
The Clean Power Estimator is an online software program, available through Go Solar California, that provides California residential and commercial electric customers a personalized estimate of the cost and benefits of investing in a PV solar electric generating system. The calculator takes into consideration customer-specific information to provide the best estimate of a given system’s cost and benefits. This information includes the estimated cost of the particular system under consideration, the customer’s location, the applicable incentive level, electric rate schedule and other customer information. The calculator provides a variety of consumer-specific analyses based on the variables provided by the consumer. Please keep in mind that the Clean Power Estimator provides an estimated incentive amount. http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/tools/calculators.php
Solar for Existing Homes – Photovoltaics $0.35 / Watt Photovoltaic Systems. California Solar Initiative incentives for homeowners in investor-owned utility territories (PG&E, SCE, SDG&E) to install photovoltaic systems. Contact an eligible solar installer or your utility to get started or visit the Go Solar California website at www.GoSolarCalifornia.ca.gov. As of August 2011 rebates are: $0.35 per Watt for PG&E and SDG&E. http://www.waterheatedbythesun.com/ Solar Water Heating – Water Heaters Up to $1875 / Unit The CSI-Thermal Program offers cash rebates of up to $1,875 for solar water heating systems on single-family homes. The program incentives are currently in step level 1. Homeowners can get $12.82 per therm for natural gas displacing solar water heating systems or 37c per kWh for electric displacing systems. Natural gas displacing systems cap at $1,875 while electric displacing systems cap at $1,282. Save money on gas or electricity bills by harnessing the heat of the sun! http://www.gosolarcalifornia.org/solarwater/ Phone: (877) 333-7947 Solar for Low-Income & Affordable Housing – SASH $4.75 – $7 / watt Single-family Affordable Solar Housing Program. In addition to incentives ranging from $4.75 to $7.00 per watt, the program will also provide fully-subsidized 1kW photovoltaic (PV) systems to qualifying homeowners who cannot afford to take out loans to cover the cost of the system. http://www.gridalternatives.org/learn/clients/
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