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 736 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 4,135 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 means more sunshine and more electricity generation by solar panels, but solar can be viable even with a lower DNI. For example, Germany has widespread solar PV, but a DNI of only about 2.5.

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

Tustin
US low
US high

In some climates, you’ll see a big difference in sunlight and solar electricity generation from summer to winter. 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
360 SOLAR ENERGY1122015
A PLUS SOLAR SOLUTIONS162016
A1 SOLAR POWER7412016
ACRO ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES4212013
ADVANCED IMPROVEMENTS162015
ADVANCED SOLAR ELECTRIC142013
AIKYUM2112016
AKEENA132007
ALL STAR CONTRACTORS162016
ALLAN HELLER CONSTRUCTION272008
ALLAN MAGNUS ELECTRIC122010
ALLIANCE ENERGY CO192016
ALTAIR SOLAR INC2162016
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY132016
AM GREEN SOLAR & ELECTRIC142015
AMBASSADOR ENERGY132015
AMECO SOLAR4252016
AMERICAN SOLAR9452014
AMERICAN SOLAR DIRECT12742016
AMERICAN VISION SOLAR LP5302013
AMERICAN WEST CONSTRUCTION1282016
APPLIED SOLAR ENERGY SOLUTIONS2142016
B & B ELECTRIC122011
BAKER ELECTRIC1162016
BARNES SOLAR132015
BELMONT SOLAR152015
BRIGHT LIFE SOLAR2112015
BRIGHT PLANET SOLAR142016
BRITE ENERGY8442015
BRITE SOLAR I162015
BURKE ELECTRIC172014
CALIFORNIA GREEN2112011
CALIFORNIA SOLAR2142013
CALIFORNIA SOLAR SYSTEMS142015
CALSTATE SOLAR162016
CLEAN ENERGY SOLUTIONS3142015
CLEAN POWER SOLUTIONS142016
CLEARVIEW HOME IMPROVEMENTS292010
CM SOLAR ELECTRIC152015
CONTACT ELECTRIC132014
CURRENT SOLAR CONTRACTING182016
DAILY ELECTRIC152015
DELTA SOLAR ELECTRIC152016
DJH CONSTRUCTION132013
DR. HANS J. KUGLER,122001
ECOSOLARGY132016
ELITE ELECTRIC2172013
EMARD'S EHT DBA SOLAR UNIVERSE152010
ENVER ENERGY IMPROVEMENT4182016
EVOLUTION ENERGY132016
FREEDOM SOLAR2142016
GALKOS CONSTRUCTION5112013
GCI SOLAR122013
GENERIC INSTALLER3142010
GENSELF CORP142003
GIGAWATT192014
GNRG SOLAR152015
GOOD EARTH ENERGY LLC142013
GREEN TECH182014
GUYOU CONSTRUCTION INC132016
HELIOPOWER2132014
HERITAGE SOLAR5302015
HI - TECH DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION132013
HORIZON SOLAR6382016
HORIZON SOLAR POWER172013
HOT PURPLE ENERGY152012
IES RESIDENTIAL3162016
INTEGRITY GENERAL SERVICES162016
LA POWER CENTER CORP2122015
LA SOLAR ENERGY5362016
LUKE ROOFING142016
MAVERICK WOODWORKING122009
MIMEOS CORP142013
MOHR POWER SOLAR3132010
MOORE SOLAR & GREEN CONSTRUCTION152013
N V CONSTRUCTION132014
NATURAL ENERGY172013
NEXUS ENERGY SYSTEMS152016
NUERA172015
O C HOME IMPROVEMENT2112015
PACIFIC SUN SOLAR TECH3152015
PEAK POWER SOLUTIONS9532016
PETERSENDEAN191292016
PIERRO CONSTRUCTION132015
PLANET EARTH SOLAR LLC3112014
PRECISION REMODELING5372016
PROGRESSIVE ENERGY SOLUTIONS1112014
PROGRESSIVE POWER GROUP132011
PURE PWR POOLS, INC152015
PV GURU162016
R S ENERGY CALIFORNIA5232014
REC SOLAR341732014
REFERRAL DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION3212013
RENEW SOLAR162014
RENEW SOLAR CONSTRUCTION162014
RESTART SOLAR1142015
REVCO11602016
RGS/REAL GOODS162015
SCOTT'S ELECTRIC142012
SEA BRIGHT SOLAR192013
SELF3142015
SEMPER SOLARIS6262016
SHOREBREAK ENERGY DEVELOPERS12392012
SIMPLY SOLAR142017
SMART ENERGY SOLAR132015
SMART ENERGY USA192014
SO CAL MASONRY152013
SOCAL SOLAR ENERGY282015
SOL RELIABLE182013
SOLAR - TEC SYSTEMS152008
SOLAR 360 BUILDING SERVICES4182015
SOLAR ALLIANCE OF AMERICA132013
SOLAR CONSTRUCTION152014
SOLAR ENERGY122013
SOLAR OPTIMUM2132016
SOLAR SERVICE CENTER8412015
SOLAR SOLUTIONS 4 U, INC162015
SOLAR SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL3192010
SOLAR UNIVERSE152015
SOLAR VAST292016
SOLAR WEST162015
SOLAR-360 BUILIDING SERVICES INC3162016
SOLARCITY1548192016
SOLARMAX152015
SOLARMAX RENEWABLE152015
SOLARRITE172017
SOLCIUS162015
SOUTH WEST SUN SOLAR3202016
STELLAR SOLAR192016
STOUT & BERG ELECTRIC, INC132012
STOUT & BURG ELECTRIC17572015
SULLIVAN SOLAR POWER151002016
SUN BEES GROUP3172016
SUN SOLAR ENERGY SOLUTIIONS152015
SUN SOLAR ENERGY SOLUTIONS2172015
SUN TIME ENERGY142016
SUNCREST SOLAR181202016
SUNGATE ENERGY222012
SUNGEVITY211112016
SUNLIFE RESIDENTIAL CONTRACTING1112017
SUNLIGHT SOLAR ENERGY132015
SUNLIGHT SOLAR INC132015
SUNLINE ENERGY172016
SUNPOWER22832016
SUNPRO SOLAR5282016
SUNRUN201272016
SUNSOLAR U S INC2142016
SUNSTRAND ENERGY262011
SUNTREK INDUSTRIES132010
SUNWIZE3142011
SUNX SOLAR192016
SWAN SOLAR192010
TESLA7292017
TITAN CONSTRUCTION & SOLAR292015
TLP ELECTRIC INTEGRATIONS7312016
UNITED FIELD132014
UNITED FIELD REMODELING132016
UNLEASH SOLAR272013
UPTOWN SOLAR152015
URBAN ENERGY152012
URBAN ENERGY SOLUTIONS162015
VALLEY UNIQUE2182014
VERENGO643442016
VIA SOLAR CORP162014
VIVINT8492016
WILSON ELECTRIC SERVICES CORP142012
WIN-DOR292012
ZERO ENERGY, LLC11162015

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


In California, homeowners pay an average of 18.31 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity. Meanwhile, the average price of residential electricity in the US in 2019 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.