Davis Enterprise: Why don’t more homeowners go solar?

Belated thanks to the Enterprise for sharing, in Sunday's election-packed edition, our perspective r.e. why (and why not) homeowners go solar. You can read the full article here ... below's a synopsis:

Solar energy is booming in our community. More than 20 percent of single-family residences in Davis have solar electric systems churning out clean and inexpensive electricity atop their rooftops.

The confluence of ever-inflating PG&E rates, significant reductions in the cost of solar panels and solar net-metering (whereby solar homeowners are credited at the full retail price for their clean energy) has swelled solar adoption in Davis.

Going solar always has been an idealistic decision — it’s the right thing to do — and now it’s a pragmatic, sage investment decision, too.

However, solar is not a panacea; it does not make sense for everyone. At RepowerYolo, our solar assessment begins with a qualitative and quantitative homeowner interview. One of the first things we do is try to talk homeowners out of going solar. 


But, the No. 1 reason homeowners do not go solar is less obvious: They do not have to. Solar is a choice; nobody has to do it. Paying your PG&E bill is not a choice; you do it or it’s lights out.


Candid pessimism to the side, solar is booming in our community for one primary reason: economics. The average cost of PG&E electricity for homes in Davis we have assessed is 24 cents per kilowatt hour. The average amortized cost of solar-generated electricity for Repower homeowners is 9 cents per kilowatt hour. Net-net, if a homeowner in our community intends to live in his house for at least five years, solar pencils out.

You do not have to pay PG&E when you can profit from the sun.