Over the last couple of years we’ve seen a few early adopters go solar in the Pasadena area, including our own Mel Malmberg, who lives in Altadena. But now the floodgates may be opening. Suddenly solar is looking a whole lot more affordable.
Just a year or so ago, it cost in the range of $30,000 to $50,000 to convert a 2,000- to 4,000-square-foot Pasadena home to solar power. That put it out of reach for all but the wealthiest or most committed greenies. But now a perfect storm is happening, with rebates/incentives from three sources combining to bring the cost down to $12,000 to $18,000. We heard about this from our friend Joann Turovsky, who’s currently converting her 3,500-square-foot Pasadena home to solar for just $15,000.
Here are the three reasons why the cost has plummeted:
1. A co-op group called 1BOG (One Block Off the Grid) is pooling groups throughout the state to get significant discounts on solar panels. If you buy your panels through them — which means using their L.A. County installer, SolarCity, the largest and most experienced solar contractor in the state — the per-kilowatt cost drops from about $8.15 to about $6.08. This program ends on October 15th.
2. The city of Pasadena is offering an amazing cash rebate of $3.15 per kilowatt for residents who add a solar system. So now that already-large discount to $6.08 (an estimate) per kilowatt drops to $2.93. You can read the details here. This is a long-term program.
3. The federal government, as part of the stimulus package and commitment to green energy, has extended the tax credit for the cost of going solar through 2016. You get a tax credit (no income limits, no caps) for 30% of whatever you spend. Here’s a fact sheet with details.
I’m hoping to convert our Prospect Park home soon — this trifecta of opportunity is too good to pass up.