Ready to Go Solar?
Installing solar panels is a big decision for a resident. Anaheim Public Utilities is here to help you go solar at your property, while we continue to invest in renewable resources for the benefit of all our customers. When properly sized, solar can be a great way to use sunlight for a portion of your energy needs, while also reducing your carbon footprint.
Here are nine steps to installing solar in Anaheim:
- Right-size your solar panels by making your home as energy efficient as possible. You can schedule your free Home Utility Check-Up that will help you understand your energy usage by calling 714-831-0025.
- Know how much solar energy is needed for your home. Obtain your annual energy usage by logging on to your account online to check past consumption. If you don’t have online billing, then always feel free to call our customer service staff at 714-765-3300.
- Know the income tax credits available to you.
- Understand how net energy metering (NEM) 2.0 works.
- Decide on payment options: complete purchase, power purchase agreement, or lease. Research how your choice may affect a future sale of your property. And don’t forget about a warranty for your entire system – not just the solar panels.
- Obtain contractor bids from reputable firms who are properly licensed and insured. We recommend a minimum of three bids prior to signing a contract. The solar equipment being provided to you should be listed on the state’s website.
- Contractor submits plans to the Anaheim Planning and Building Department for a building permit.
- Construct your solar panel system.
- Obtain final building permit sign off in order to have a bi-directional meter installed by Anaheim Public Utilities.
Important Things to Know
Under NEM 2.0, it is recommended to install storage along with solar to get the most benefit. The excess energy produced during the day is best stored on your property instead of sending it back to the grid at the wholesale credit rates offered under NEM 2.0. With storage, the homeowner manages their production, storage, and how much energy they use from the grid. We also offer a $2,500 rebate for the installation of a battery storage system.
Early NEM 1.0 programs in California were intended to encourage private investment in solar and to increase the amount of renewable energy used in California. While early NEM 1.0 programs were successful in meeting these goals, they also had a tendency to shift the cost of excess solar to non-solar customers. To limit such subsidies, customers on NEM 1.0 seeking to expand their solar panels will be placed solely on NEM 2.0 for their entire system.
Reducing your energy use is the easiest way to reduce your electricity bill and by doing so, you can install a smaller less costly solar system. Simple efficiency measures to start with are ensuring all your light bulbs are LED’s, replace old appliances with ENERGY STAR® units, and recycling spare refrigerators or freezers. Get a free Home Utility Check-Up by calling 714-831-0025 to have an energy professional prepare a detailed report on how to reduce energy use in your home.
Purchase System – Whether paying cash or with a loan, homeowner will be eligible for the income tax credit. Similar to purchasing a car.
Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) – Contractor will install and own the solar system and the homeowner will purchase the power from the system at a negotiated rate. Be careful of the annual escalator percentage and be aware of any issues that may arise when (if) selling your home. Contractor will get the income tax credit.
Lease – Contractor will install and own the solar and the homeowner will pay a flat monthly lease rate, just like leasing a car. Be careful of the annual escalator percentage and be aware of any issues that may arise when (if) selling your home. Contractor will get the income tax credit.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) – A private lending organization will finance your solar panels by assessing your property, that will increase your property taxes. PACE is not issued through the government, so be wary of marketing materials that indicate this is a free government program. Be careful to review any terms associated with a future sale of a home. For more information about PACE and consumer protections, click here.
Contractors will provide free estimates. You want to ensure the contractor is licensed and their license is currently valid. Ask your neighbors and friends for references and compare contractors and rates. It’s recommend that you obtain at least three quotes from licensed contractors prior to making a decision. Anaheim Public Utilities cannot recommend contractors as a municipal utility.