The Coast News Group
Solar’s Smart business focus is on installing large solar systems that are elegant and modeled on the timeless architectural elements such as pergolas and ramadas. Courtesy image
Marketplace News

Solar’s economic benefit to run out up to a year early

San Diego County homeowners are taking advantage of the economic benefits of installing solar systems at higher rate than other counties, so much that the benefits will soon be gone.

One of the two main economic drivers behind the stellar growth of solar, over $4 billion in the last three years, is on track to expire up to a year early.

The Net Energy Meter policy, which allows early adopters to sell their surplus energy to SDG&E at full retail price, will be exhausted early.

The expiration date of the tariff states the end of 2016, but a clause also capped the benefit to consumers at just 5 percent, and this trigger could be enacted as soon as the beginning of 2016.

The other primary economic driver, the IRS 30 percent Investors Tax Credit (ITC) Tax Credit, in which you get a tax credit for almost one-third of the system’s price against your tax liabilities, will expire at the end of 2016.

Together, these policies bring the cost of delivered power down to less than 6 cents a KiloWatt, which is about the wholesale price that the State’s Electric Utilities pay on the wholesale market, known as CA ISO, or California Independent System Operator.

The latest analysis of the amount of solar deployed, conducted by the energy firm, Solar’s Smart, using SDG&E’s interconnection data, states that the solar reserve is already 75 percent exhausted.

The firm is introducing the Solar Ramada tm that is a dual use solar structure that also provides an elegant, upscale outdoor entertainment space for large estates.

By designing a pergola like structure that architecturally blends into the estates design line homeowners can avoid the unsightly look of solar modules stuck all over the roof. The Solar Ramadatm costs the same as roof mounted or industrial-looking ground mount systems but serves as an architectural complement to the estate instead of a net negative, which some aesthetically perceive the retrofitted systems to be.

Solar’s Smart is focused on large energy consumers who have tasteful, large estates by designing and installing elegant, upscale solar structures that are modeled on the timeless architectural elements of pergolas and ramadas in the tradition of noted architects Irving J. Gill and Lillian Rice, who supplemented their outstanding San Diego estate designs with these structures that also provided shade, outside entertainment space and a focal point off the courtyards and rear yard areas which were elegant in their simplicity and beautiful.

Solar’s Smart repurposing of these structures for hidden solar arrays, designed to harvest the sun for you day after day, attest to the firm’s sensitivity to high-end architectural residences in the Rancho Santa Fe area and inland coastal areas.

Many owners who have invested millions in their estates don’t like the look of solar panels scattered all over the roofs of their residences, for those owners, Solar’s Smart has an integrated property enhancement solution that is a double-duty, upscale element that not only is structured to save you money but also provide you energy independence for the next 25 years, as well as a great outdoor entertainment space.

The firm’s analysis of the solar deployment rate indicates that once the information about the expiration of the NEM economic benefits become widely known that an accelerated market reaction will absorb remaining CAP percentage quickly.

The California Law makes the NEM contract available, “On a First-Come-First-Served basis” until the 5 percent cap is reached, afterwards SDG&E is not obligated to offer the NEM contract to additional customers, which directly affects the investments rate of return and payoff schedule, according to Mark Miller, CEO of Solar’s Smart, who is a certified NABCEP energy professional.

For those early adopters, independent researchers have found that a purchase of a solar system for your home is a better investment than the stock market, according to the report, “Forget Stocks, Invest In Solar Panels,” from the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, which is available at