Do home solar panels make sense in Tustin, California?

Summary:

The median price of a 6 kilowatt home solar system in Tustin is about  $10,343.
That 6 kW system would generate about  $1,928 worth of electricity every year.
In 2019, you can qualify for a  30% federal tax credit. In California, there are additional solar rebates available.
There are at least  20,813 homes in Buffalo with solar panels.
Learn more

Table of Contents:



How much do solar panels cost in Tustin, CA?

The average cost per watt of residential solar in California is $4/watt. For comparison, the national average is $3.70/watt.

Cost per watt is the total installed cost of a system, including taxes, divided by the size of the system in watts (DC). It includes the cost of hardware plus installation costs. Cost per watt is always the gross cost, before incentives. This means, at a minimum, you can take 30% off the price of the system in 2019 because of federal tax incentives.

The cost of a solar panel system for your house in Tustin will depend on how much electricity you want to generate, which affects the size of the system you’ll need. The following is an example price estimate for a home solar panel system in Tustin, with an electricity generation estimate based on the local climate and the following assumptions:

• 554 kWh is the amount of electricity that the average California home uses every month.
• 3.79 kilowatts is the size of the system you’ll need to generate 100% of this electricity from solar panels.
• 9 to 15 panels is what that translates to (depending on panel efficiency, which commonly ranges from 260 watts to 400 watts)
• Panels oriented due south and mounted on a shade-free roof at a 30° angle.

Gross system price$14,776This is the price of your system plus taxes but before incentives, based on an average cost of solar in your state of $4 per watt.
Federal tax credit of 30%$4,433The most important solar incentive in the nation, the federal solar tax credit, gives homeowners 30% off the cost of their system in 2019. It drops to 26% next year. Read more
Net system price:$10,343

This estimate is based on averages but your home, of course, may be different. For a personalized estimate, grab a copy of your utility bill and use our calculator to plug in the numbers for your home.



Can you save money with solar panels in Tustin, CA?

Every year, that hypothetical Tustin home solar system described above would produce about $1,928 worth of electricity. This is based on the California state average price of electricity of $0.18/kWh and the average local climate.

But that’s just a home with average electricity usage. You might need more or fewer solar panels, depending on how much electricity you want to generate. Also, shade matters a lot. If you have trees or buildings throwing shadows on your roof, that could reduce your solar production by a lot.



Houses in Tustin with solar panels

In Tustin, our data shows that there are at least 858 houses with solar photovoltaic panels installed. This means that a lot of neighbors in your city are interested in solar, and have already made the leap. Added up, the total generating capacity of all these home solar systems equals 5,189 kilowatts. That’s a lot of clean energy being generated by your neighbors.

If you’re on the fence about going solar and trying to research whether solar is viable in the Tustin area, this is good news. It means many of your neighbors have made the calculation and decided that solar is a smart move for them in the long term. Next time you’re driving or walking around, take a look at the roofs in your neighborhood. You might find a surprising number of solar panels. Try talking to your neighbors with solar, and see how it’s worked out for them.



Solar photovoltaic panels turn sunlight into electricity, and the more sunlight you have, the better. However, one misconception is that solar panels only work in very sunny climates. While it’s true that you will generate more electricity in a sunny state like Arizona, you might be surprised to learn that solar can generate plenty of electricity in most places in the United States - even cloudier places like New England or the Northwest.



Tustin solar energy potential

To make a fair comparison of how much sunlight different cities get, we use a measurement called Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI). It takes into account the position of the sun in the sky throughout the year, cloud cover, airborne particulates, precipitation, and other climate variables.

The DNI for Tustin is 6.58, which means that it has excellent solar potential.

6.58

In Tustin, you’ll generate a lot of solar electricity throughout the year, which helps to shorten the amount of time is takes for a solar panel system to pay for itself.

In the continental United States, DNI ranges from about 3.0 to 8.5 kWh/m2/day. In the most northern parts of Alaska, the DNI reaches a low of 0.5.

A higher DNI is better, but even if your city is average or even below average for the US, it’s still possible for solar panels to generate plenty of power. For example, solar is very popular in Germany, where the DNI is only around 2.5.

This DNI data comes from GEOS geostationary satellite data and NREL climate models.

Tustin
US low
US high

Different locations in the US will see a wider range of solar energy generation from winter to summer. These charts show you what to expect in Tustin.

Solar Energy by Month (DNI)


The graph below estimates how much a 6 kilowatt south-facing solar panel system would generate in Tustin.

Power Generation by Month (kWh)


The graphs above show you that a home solar panel system in Tustin will produce pretty close the same amount of electricity throughout the year. While the highest producing month, on average, will produce 149% more electricity than the darkest month, this is a small difference compared to most other locations in the US. If you don’t have net metering, this is a good thing because it means you won’t have extreme differences in electricity production that cause you to send a lot of power back into the grid.



Tustin, CA solar companies

This is a list of solar home installations we know about within the city limits of Tustin, CA.

# of homes refers to the number of installations by the installer in the Tustin area that we have a record of. It’s possible that the installer has done more installations in the local area.
Total kW installed is the cumulative solar generation capacity of all the residential installations by the installer in Tustin.
Year of the most recent install is the most recent record of work done by the installer in Tustin. This lets you know if the company is active in the area, or hasn’t done work in some time (or even gone out of business).
Installer# of homesTotal kW installedYear of most recent install
1ST LIGHT132018
360 SOLAR1122015
A PLU SOLAR172016
A1 SOLAR POWER4232016
ACRO ENERGY2112013
ACTIVE SOLAR2112017
ADVANCED IMPROVEMENT2132017
ADVANCED SOLAR ELECTRIC142013
AIKYUM3172018
AKEENA132007
ALLAN HELLER CONSTRUCTION272008
ALLAN MAGNU ELECTRIC122010
ALLSTAR CONTRACTOR HB172016
ALPHA ELECTRIC AC DC2112018
ALTAIR SOLAR4322018
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY132016
AMECO3152016
AMERICAN SOLAR DIRECT251352017
AMERICAN VISION2172013
AMERICAN VISION WINDOW292011
AMERICAN WEST CONSTRUCTION1292016
AMGREEN142015
ANTONIO ZULLO ELECTRIC142017
AS ELECTRIC2162017
BARNE SOLAR4312017
BELMONT ENERGY142017
BLALOCK ELECTRIC1112018
BLLDOG CONSTRUCTION2112017
BRIGHT LIFE SOLAR4232018
BRIGHT PLANET SOLAR142016
BRITE ENERGY172015
BRITE SOLAR I162015
BROTHER142017
BURKE ELECTRIC CONTRACTOR172014
BUSY BEE CONTRACTOR1112017
CALFORNIA SOLAR142015
CALIFORNIA GREEN2112011
CALSTATE SOLAR162016
CERTIFIED SOLAR PRO152010
CLEAN ENERGY142015
CLEAN POWER142016
CLEAN VIEW HOME IMPROVEMENT292010
COMPLETE SOLAR142017
CORONA CONTRACT CONSTRUCTION162017
CURRENT ELECTRIC182016
DELTA SOLAR152016
DJH CONSTRUCTION132013
DYNAMIC ELECTRIC132017
ECO N AIR152018
ECO SOLAR GY132016
ECO SOLAR USA2132018
ELECTRIC ARE162010
ELITE ELECTRIC2172013
EMARD S EHT152010
ENERGY EFFICIENCY272003
EQUISOLAR182017
FREEDOM SOLAR5532017
GALKO372012
GCI SOLAR132013
GKRW1102018
GREEN CONVERGENCE152018
GREEN TECH SOLUTION182014
HELIO POWER2132014
HERITAGE SOLAR5302015
HI TECH HOME INTERIOR132013
HORIZON SOLAR POWER10632018
HOT PURPLE152012
IES RESIDENTIAL292016
INFINITY2132018
INTEGRITY GENERAL162016
JAMAR ELECTRIC SAN DIEGO1102017
JES STONE ELECTRIC1102017
JOHN AUSTIN152008
KEUETZFELDT CONSTRUCTION132016
KING SOLAR1112016
LA POWER CENTER2152018
LA SOLAR14972018
LUKE ROOFING142016
MAVERICK WOODWORKING122010
MCFERRIN AND2142014
MIMEO142013
MOHR POWER SOLAR262010
MURDON2142016
NATURAL ENERGY USA2102017
NB BAKER2202018
NERD POWER CA152018
NEW POWER142018
NEW VISION TECHNOLOGY3142004
NEXGEN CONSTRUCTION3102017
NEXU ENERGY3162018
NORTH AMERICAN DIVERSIFIED122011
NUERA172015
OC HOME IMPROVEMENT152013
OPTION ONE2182017
ORANGE COUNTY SOLAR CONTRACTING SERVICE4312018
PACIFIC STONEGATE4272018
PACIFIC SUN3122017
PACIFIC SUN TECH1102015
PARAGONSUN2232018
PEAK POWER191292018
PETERSEN DEAN191442018
PHOTON BROTHE152017
PINGO SOLAR1132016
PLANET EARTH SOLAR182017
PRECIS DEVELOPMENT2112018
PRECISION REMODELING6472017
PRO GRESSIVE POWER132011
PURE POWER POOL162015
PV GURU162016
QUICK SYSTEM162018
REC SOLAR341712014
REFERRAL DESIGN3212014
RELIABLE REMODELER182014
RENEW SOLAR162014
RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVANTAGE142018
RESTART SOLAR1142015
REVCO SOLAR13732018
RS ENERGY CALIFORNIA5232014
SCOTT S ELECTRIC142012
SEA BRIGHT192013
SEBASTOPOL HEAT COOL122017
SELF282014
SEMPER SOLAR12752018
SHOREBREAK ENERGY DEVELOPER12392012
SIMPLY SOLAR142017
SMART ENERGY192014
SMART SOLAR MARKETING6332018
SO CAL MASONRY152013
SO CAL SOLAR122008
SOLAR 360 BUILDING9472018
SOLAR ALLIANCE OF AMERICA132013
SOLAR CONSTRUCTION SERVICEING CENTER152014
SOLAR CONTRACTOR2142017
SOLAR DEPOT SACRAMENTO152002
SOLAR ENERGY EXCHANGE272018
SOLAR I192017
SOLAR ITE172017
SOLAR OPTIMUM14802018
SOLAR POWER SUPPLY292018
SOLAR SERVICE CENTER7372015
SOLAR SOLUTION 4U2132018
SOLAR SYMPHONY1152017
SOLAR SYSTEM INTERNATIONAL3192010
SOLAR TECH152008
SOLARCITY2011,0742018
SOLARMAX RENEWABLE ENERGY PROVIDER9532018
SOLATRON TECHNOLOGY152007
SOLCIU162017
SONPOWER192017
SOUTH WEST SUN SOLAR4352018
SST CONSTRUCTION132017
STAR SUN SOLAR3142018
STELLAR SOLAR192016
STOUT BURG9202012
SULLIVAN SOLAR POWER13842018
SUN BEE3172016
SUN CREST13922016
SUN DYNAMIC122018
SUN FINITY SOLAR CA182017
SUN GATE ENERGY112012
SUN LIFE RESIDENTIAL CONTRACTING1112017
SUN LIGHT132015
SUN LINE ENERGY172016
SUN LUX3192018
SUN PRO SOLAR3212017
SUN SOLAR US4422017
SUN STRAND ENERGY392011
SUN TREK132010
SUN WIZE3142011
SUN X SOLAR192016
SUNGEVITY181042017
SUNPOWER311382018
SUNRUN402422018
SUNTIME142016
SWAN SOLAR192010
THE GREEN STORE152015
THE KALMAN COMPANY152017
TITAN SOLAR REMODELING162015
TLP ELCTRIC INTEGRATIONSINFINITY7402017
UNDERLINE ENERGY192018
UNITED FIELD REMODELING132014
UNLEASH SOLAR132013
URBAN152012
VALLEY UNIQUE182013
VERENGO563082017
VIVINT9542018
WILSON ELECTRIC142012
WIN DOR292012
ZERO ENERGY ASSOCAITE2132017

Solar panel lease companies in Tustin

If you’re thinking about going with a solar lease or PPA, you should first read our guide to solar financing to make sure that you understand the pros and cons of a lease or PPA versus purchasing a system outright. In most cases, you will come out on top by buying your solar panels, even if that means taking out a loan.

That said, leases/PPAs continue to be popular, and they can be a good choice in some cases. There are several national solar installers that offer leases/PPAs, but not all of them operate in every state. Here’s a breakdown of some of the major solar installers that offer these types of contracts, and whether they operate in your state:

CompanyOperates in California ?
SungevityYES
SunnovaYES
SunrunYES
Vivint SolarYES

Looking for solar panel cleaning companies in Tustin?

If you’re trying to find a local company that specializes in cleaning solar panels, you should know that it’s probably not worth the cost. For the vast majority of people, what you end up paying to a company to clean your solar array will never be recouped by the small increase you get in electricity generation. In fact, rain is sufficient to keep solar panels clean for most people. If you live in a dry and dusty area or frequently find bird poop or leaves on your panels, invest in some inexpensive equipment to take care of cleaning yourself. Read our guide to solar panel maintenance, which includes tips on solar panel cleaning and a some recommended cleaning equipment.

Contact solar companies in Tustin

Want to work with one of these companies? We screen companies to make sure that you work with qualified installers. Use our service to get multiple quotes from quality Tustin solar contractors.

Get quotes from solar installers in Tustin



Average California electricity prices


The average price of residential electricity in California is 18.31 cents per kilowatt hour, while the average price across the nation is 13.34 cents per kWh.

In other words, you’re paying 37% more for electricity than the average American, making your cost of electricity fairly expensive compared to the nation.

Higher than average prices like this are a good argument for going solar.

Regardless of what your electricity prices are, by adding solar panels to your house and generating your own electricity, you’re locking in your cost of electricity for as long as your system is working, which will protect you from future rate increases by your utility. Given that many panels come with 25 year warranties, this is an investment that can last a long time.

Keep in mind that the price of electricity varies by utility, sometimes by a lot. The table below lists the average price of electricity for utilities in California state. For current rates, check with your utility.

Company# CustomersAvg Price (¢/kWh)
Aha Macav Power Service898.18
Anza Electric Coop Inc4,33817.93
Bear Valley Electric Service22,47027.71
City of Alameda30,81118.07
City of Anaheim - (CA)111,34716.52
City & County of San Francisco23817.00
City of Azusa14,66713.33
City of Banning - (CA)10,98520.18
City of Burbank Water and Power46,21516.51
City of Colton - (CA)16,66116.16
City of Corona - (CA)98615.59
City of Glendale - (CA)74,78319.96
City of Healdsburg - (CA)4,82317.13
City of Lodi - (CA)21,94017.48
City of Moreno Valley - (CA)5,57620.03
City of Lompoc - (CA)13,16515.55
City of Palo Alto - (CA)25,57914.28
City of Pasadena - (CA)55,76318.23
City of Redding - (CA)37,87816.76
City of Riverside - (CA)97,34716.12
City of Roseville - (CA)52,18115.54
City of Santa Clara - (CA)46,85912.27
City of Shasta Lake - (CA)4,16617.36
City of Ukiah - (CA)6,44913.62
City of Vernon7311.85
Imperial Irrigation District132,63212.93
Lassen Municipal Utility District9,03215.70
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power1,329,96816.65
Liberty Utilities42,32313.79
Merced Irrigation District7,41816.02
Modesto Irrigation District97,93517.81
PacifiCorp35,70413.88
Pacific Gas & Electric Co.3,998,18721.18
Sacramento Municipal Util Dist552,67814.06
San Diego Gas & Electric Co1,280,26422.09
Southern California Edison Co4,362,15016.60
Pittsburg Power Company34822.60
Plumas-Sierra Rural Elec Coop6,60618.58
Surprise Valley Electrification2,8258.79
Truckee Donner P U D12,23715.60
Turlock Irrigation District73,39316.01
Valley Electric Assn, Inc1213.11

Historical California electricity prices, 2008 to 2017


The average price of residential electricity in California, over the past ten years, is 15.86 cents per Kilowatt hour. This is 31% more than than the US average price of 12.07 cents per kWh. Because your state historically has had high electricity prices, there’s a good chance that prices will continue to be high in the future. This is a good argument for going solar.

Why is this important to know? Depending on the size of your system, owning home solar reduces or eliminates the effect of electricity price increases.


Historical California electricity prices (cents per kilowatt hour)

CA prices
US prices
2008200920102011201220132014201520162017
CA prices13.81¢14.74¢14.75¢14.78¢15.34¢16.23¢16.25¢16.99¢17.39¢18.31¢
US prices11.26¢11.51¢11.54¢11.72¢11.88¢12.13¢12.52¢12.65¢12.55¢12.89¢


One of the big financial advantages of going solar is that you basically lock in your price of electricity for the next 20 to 30 years (because most solar panels come with 25 year power warranties). When you look at the graphs above and see the historical trend of electricity prices in the United States, you’ll notice that prices steadily increase over time. While prices from your utility may bounce up and down, the cost of electricity eventually increases over time. Going solar will protect you from those increases.



Environmental report for California electricity

Depending on the type of fuel they use, power plants produce differing amounts of air pollution. This is measured as units of pollution per megawatt hour (mWh) of electricity.

For every mWh of electricity generated, California power plants produce on average:

  • 216 kilograms of CO2, which is 53% less than the US average of 459 kg.
  • 7 grams of SO2, which is 98% less than the US average of 411 g.
  • 332 grams of NOx, which is 11% less than the US average of 373 g.

In the power generation estimate listed above, The Solar Nerd calculator determined that an unshaded, south-facing 6 kilowatt PV system would generate about 10,528 kWh in an average year.

This means that putting a 6 kW solar panel system on your house would prevent 2,274 kilograms of CO2, 74 grams of SO2, and 3,495 grams of NOx from being emitted into the atmosphere.

The carbon offset of these solar panels would be about equivalent to planting 132 trees every year! (One deciduous tree left to grow for 10 years offsets 17.2 kg of CO2, according to the EPA.)

CA state average electricity emissions
CA
US
Glossary:
CO2 is carbon dioxide and is a primary greenhouse gas.
SO2 is sulphur dioxide. It damages the human respiratory system and contributes to acid rain.
NOx refers to nitrogen oxides, which contribute to smog, acid rain, and lung damage.


Calculate your home solar incentives for Tustin

Use our calculator to determine the financial payback of a home solar systemand to get a solar performance estimate customized to your home, including federal, state, and local incentives.



Ready to go solar in Tustin?

Use our free service to find qualified solar contractors and get multiple quotes on a solar panel installation in Buffalo.

Home solar quotes in Tustin
Sources:
This report was prepared with data from the good people at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Data, the US Energy Information Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.