California to make "Solar "mandatory for new Homes!!!!!!

222 Replies

Originally posted by @Steven Picker :

The first state in the nation to make solar mandatory for new builds starting in 2020  . Pros? Cons?

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/15/california-solar-p...

 I've run the numbers for Arizona which is kind of sunny ;-) and the numbers don't work. Solar operates in day light but at night you need batteries. The cost of installation and maintenance just isn't there yet. Also, firemen tell me they don't like them since the solar units prevent firemen access to put out fires and there is always a possibility of them getting shocked. I would be a strong proponent if the batteries were affordable and kept the charge longer.

Hi Steven,

In Las Vegas it will heat a pool nicely.

Hi @Steven Picker

Pros:

1) It is a recognition of the need to move away from dependency on fossil fuels. CA is simply leading the way in the inevitable. The 5th largest economy on the planet making solar mandatory is huge.

2) It is far cheaper to produce power from solar than fossil fuels in CA - and as a national average but not all States.

3) It is giving control of power production to individuals rather than monopolies.

4) In CA it raises the value of the home according to the Berkeley Institute as well as NAR and CAR. This home value raise does not happen everywhere but is pronounced in CA because of the underlying cost of utility power and the savings that solar produces.

5) The homeowner has an asset on the roof instead of the roof being a liability.

Cons:

1) Developers will add minimal systems to "check boxes" for codes and not necessarily add appropriately sized systems.

2) This will lead to resentment of solar as homeowners will in many cases still have large utility bills because of the "too small" systems.

3) It will add to the initial purchase price of new homes.

4) It will force existing homeowners to go solar to compete in resale (this part is great for me as I'm in solar for full disclosure but I'd rather homeowners made the shift willingly than under and perceived duress).

That's a few + and - I'm sure there are more. I'm in the solar industry because I believe in it and not simply to make a living. For me then this is an incredibly positive, progressive move that will in time be applauded.

@Mike M. I'm happy to run numbers with you in AZ, because what you have posted is certainly no reflection of the reality I work with there. My latest customer, for example in Prescott Valley had a utility bill averaging $183. We eliminated that bill with a solar system that costs him $149/month for 20 years with no increase. If you factor in inflation on the utility at 4% annually then he will save tens of thousands over 20 years. He did not come out of pocket one cent to do that with the zero down loan.

For sure batteries are the next massive step that is and will happen in solar and renewable, but for now the utility is the "battery" through net metering. The over-production from solar is purchased by the utility. At night power is purchased back from the utility. The goal to offset that overall bill to zero - depending on the roof space etc.

There are some small utilities in AZ that have punitive conditions for solar, but for the overwhelming majority, the numbers for solar in AZ are excellent. Batteries are already economically viable in CA because of the cost of utility power. It will be around 24 months before that's the case in AZ

Originally posted by @Andrew Smith :

Hi @Steven Picker

Pros:

1) It is a recognition of the need to move away from dependency on fossil fuels. CA is simply leading the way in the inevitable. The 5th largest economy on the planet making solar mandatory is huge.

2) It is far cheaper to produce power from solar than fossil fuels in CA - and as a national average but not all States.

3) It is giving control of power production to individuals rather than monopolies.

4) In CA it raises the value of the home according to the Berkeley Institute as well as NAR and CAR. This home value raise does not happen everywhere but is pronounced in CA because of the underlying cost of utility power and the savings that solar produces.

5) The homeowner has an asset on the roof instead of the roof being a liability.

Cons:

1) Developers will add minimal systems to "check boxes" for codes and not necessarily add appropriately sized systems.

2) This will lead to resentment of solar as homeowners will in many cases still have large utility bills because of the "too small" systems.

3) It will add to the initial purchase price of new homes.

4) It will force existing homeowners to go solar to compete in resale (this part is great for me as I'm in solar for full disclosure but I'd rather homeowners made the shift willingly than under and perceived duress).

That's a few + and - I'm sure there are more. I'm in the solar industry because I believe in it and not simply to make a living. For me then this is an incredibly positive, progressive move that will in time be applauded.

@Mike M. I'm happy to run numbers with you in AZ, because what you have posted is certainly no reflection of the reality I work with there. My latest customer, for example in Prescott Valley had a utility bill averaging $183. We eliminated that bill with a solar system that costs him $149/month for 20 years with no increase. If you factor in inflation on the utility at 4% annually then he will save tens of thousands over 20 years. He did not come out of pocket one cent to do that with the zero down loan.

For sure batteries are the next massive step that is and will happen in solar and renewable, but for now the utility is the "battery" through net metering. The over-production from solar is purchased by the utility. At night power is purchased back from the utility. The goal to offset that overall bill to zero - depending on the roof space etc.

There are some small utilities in AZ that have punitive conditions for solar, but for the overwhelming majority, the numbers for solar in AZ are excellent. Batteries are already economically viable in CA because of the cost of utility power. It will be around 24 months before that's the case in AZ

 I was quoted something like $10,000 for the batteries alone if I recall correctly and that provided limited functionality for "most" of the night. I wasn't told how long the batteries would last and how many times I'd have to replace them. They simply said "the industry is working on that". When I need power, I need power now, not some hopeful time in the future.

Have things changed?

Important notes about the CA mandate: 

The California Energy Commission (CEC) worked closely with the California Building Industry Association (CBIA) on this since 2008. 

Applies to new homes and MF buildings of 3 stories and fewer.

Also applies to major remodels.

Approved by CA Energy Commission 5 votes for, 0 against.

Approved by CBIA.

Includes flexibility for building designs/locations unsuitable for solar.

Solar panels do not have to be on the roof, if builders do not want to include rooftop solar in they can choose to access a nearby central community solar array. Community solar arrays are already widespread and available in CA, so shares can be purchased to virtually offset consumption just like one would buy energy from a coal, nuclear, or hydro power plant. 

Arguments for:

Reduction in green house gasses

Improves home owner’s cash flow position by lowering energy bills (estimated average of $80/month in savings)

Solar already widespread and cost effective in CA

Important part of overall effort for CA to get 100% of it's energy from carbon free sources by 2045

Arguments against:

Raises housing prices (expected to raise mortgage payments by ~$40/month on average)

Raises barrier to entry for home ownership

Will double the amount of solar on the grid by 2025, which will be problematic for utilities to manage

Info from the California Energy Commission Website:

http://www.energy.ca.gov/releases/2018_releases/20...

FAQ’s:

http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2019standards/doc...

Infographic:

http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2019standards/doc...

Originally posted by @Mike M. :
Originally posted by @Andrew Smith:

Hi @Steven Picker

Pros:

1) It is a recognition of the need to move away from dependency on fossil fuels. CA is simply leading the way in the inevitable. The 5th largest economy on the planet making solar mandatory is huge.

2) It is far cheaper to produce power from solar than fossil fuels in CA - and as a national average but not all States.

3) It is giving control of power production to individuals rather than monopolies.

4) In CA it raises the value of the home according to the Berkeley Institute as well as NAR and CAR. This home value raise does not happen everywhere but is pronounced in CA because of the underlying cost of utility power and the savings that solar produces.

5) The homeowner has an asset on the roof instead of the roof being a liability.

Cons:

1) Developers will add minimal systems to "check boxes" for codes and not necessarily add appropriately sized systems.

2) This will lead to resentment of solar as homeowners will in many cases still have large utility bills because of the "too small" systems.

3) It will add to the initial purchase price of new homes.

4) It will force existing homeowners to go solar to compete in resale (this part is great for me as I'm in solar for full disclosure but I'd rather homeowners made the shift willingly than under and perceived duress).

That's a few + and - I'm sure there are more. I'm in the solar industry because I believe in it and not simply to make a living. For me then this is an incredibly positive, progressive move that will in time be applauded.

@Mike M. I'm happy to run numbers with you in AZ, because what you have posted is certainly no reflection of the reality I work with there. My latest customer, for example in Prescott Valley had a utility bill averaging $183. We eliminated that bill with a solar system that costs him $149/month for 20 years with no increase. If you factor in inflation on the utility at 4% annually then he will save tens of thousands over 20 years. He did not come out of pocket one cent to do that with the zero down loan.

For sure batteries are the next massive step that is and will happen in solar and renewable, but for now the utility is the "battery" through net metering. The over-production from solar is purchased by the utility. At night power is purchased back from the utility. The goal to offset that overall bill to zero - depending on the roof space etc.

There are some small utilities in AZ that have punitive conditions for solar, but for the overwhelming majority, the numbers for solar in AZ are excellent. Batteries are already economically viable in CA because of the cost of utility power. It will be around 24 months before that's the case in AZ

 I was quoted something like $10,000 for the batteries alone if I recall correctly and that provided limited functionality for "most" of the night. I wasn't told how long the batteries would last and how many times I'd have to replace them. They simply said "the industry is working on that". When I need power, I need power now, not some hopeful time in the future.

Have things changed?

It depends on how many batteries you have but yes they net out to about $7K for true daily use batteries. When you need power you always have power. You are either using power from your solar system or using power from your utility when your system cannot produce. During the day, assuming you produce excess (and systems are designed with this in mind) your utility purchases that excess in the form of a credit. At night you buy power from your utility. In that way you are using the grid as a "battery" or "piggy bank" through the process called net-metering. It used to be considered that your meter "spins backwards" but in reality it is a digital meter tracking in and out.

When financed, batteries add to the cost of a system such that for the most part it costs more for the system with batteries than the monthly usage people have with their utility. That means it's not economic for most to add a battery now though some - especially in places like FL and Houston are adding them as a life-choice so they maintain power even when the grid goes down. In CA it's almost there economically. Battery cost is dropping as solar panels did 15 years ago. Storage both on residential and utility scale remains the area of renewable energy that needs the most development.

So... in the state with the highest level of homelessness - in which homelessness is growing at about 14% per year, they decide to increase the cost of building new housing. 

All pros, cons, and politics aside, the problem with this is simple - California does not need more solar power!!!  They are nearly bumping up against too much supply in peak sunshine hours already and as someone else mentioned, it is becoming difficult for utilities to manage.  Search "California Duck Curve" and that is all you need to know, or here's one fact sheet from California's grid operator:

https://www.caiso.com/Documents/FlexibleResourcesH...

When storage technologies grow and improve, the equation may change, but right now a policy to mandate even more solar is perplexing to me.

@Mike M. Batteries are rarely included in modern solar installations. Instead net metering is used. Net metering is when your billing meter is replaced with a bi-directional meter, which spins backwards during the day when the sun supplies a surplus of electricity, and then spins forward at night like a normal meter would. The surplus kilowatt hours produced during the day are credited to your account in what is called your "solar bank". Solar installations are designed to match a buildings usage as closely as possible so that the surplus energy produced during the day offsets the energy consumed during times when the sun is not shining. Essentially the energy is stored in the grid much like a battery, but without the need to install actual batteries. Net metering policies vary by utility but most are calculated annually so that the surplus produced during summer months offsets winter months when days are shorter and panels are covered in snow, etc.  

Battery backup systems are used primarily for remote locations when it is less expensive to include batteries than it would be to get access to utility power, for example a remote cabin where running overhead lines in and possibly adding a transformer will cost a lot of money, solar with batteries may be cheaper. Also some people desire battery backup for reasons like critical power loads that can not be without power for even a fraction of a second such as life support systems/ important electrical equipment, or "preppers"/survivalists that desire full energy autonomy for peace of mind, or locations prone to power outages where people work from home and require reliable power, etc. But batteries are not common. 

A local installer that specializes in off grid/ battery backup systems would be able to provide you with a detailed quote for a solar electric system coupled with a battery bank sized specifically to meet your energy loads. Prices vary dramatically depending on what loads you're trying to back up, quality of equipment used etc. but a ballpark estimate is $250-300 per battery and each battery provides 3-4kWh of backup power. How long it takes to recharge them depends on the size of the solar array the batteries are coupled with and how sunny it is that day. 

Most solar installers don't even offer battery backup as an option because these systems are very rare and the batteries add a lot of unnecessary expense and complication. Additionally batteries only last 8-10 years whether they're being used or not and add significantly to the embodied energy in the system (batteries are not "green" technology like solar panels are). A normal solar installation will replace the energy it took to produce the equipment in 1-4 years, but when batteries are added the energy payback period is stretched out considerably. For backup power a simple generator remains a more cost effective solution than batteries in most applications. 

Originally posted by @Andrew Smith :
Originally posted by @Mike M.:
Originally posted by @Andrew Smith:

Hi @Steven Picker

Pros:

1) It is a recognition of the need to move away from dependency on fossil fuels. CA is simply leading the way in the inevitable. The 5th largest economy on the planet making solar mandatory is huge.

2) It is far cheaper to produce power from solar than fossil fuels in CA - and as a national average but not all States.

3) It is giving control of power production to individuals rather than monopolies.

4) In CA it raises the value of the home according to the Berkeley Institute as well as NAR and CAR. This home value raise does not happen everywhere but is pronounced in CA because of the underlying cost of utility power and the savings that solar produces.

5) The homeowner has an asset on the roof instead of the roof being a liability.

Cons:

1) Developers will add minimal systems to "check boxes" for codes and not necessarily add appropriately sized systems.

2) This will lead to resentment of solar as homeowners will in many cases still have large utility bills because of the "too small" systems.

3) It will add to the initial purchase price of new homes.

4) It will force existing homeowners to go solar to compete in resale (this part is great for me as I'm in solar for full disclosure but I'd rather homeowners made the shift willingly than under and perceived duress).

That's a few + and - I'm sure there are more. I'm in the solar industry because I believe in it and not simply to make a living. For me then this is an incredibly positive, progressive move that will in time be applauded.

@Mike M. I'm happy to run numbers with you in AZ, because what you have posted is certainly no reflection of the reality I work with there. My latest customer, for example in Prescott Valley had a utility bill averaging $183. We eliminated that bill with a solar system that costs him $149/month for 20 years with no increase. If you factor in inflation on the utility at 4% annually then he will save tens of thousands over 20 years. He did not come out of pocket one cent to do that with the zero down loan.

For sure batteries are the next massive step that is and will happen in solar and renewable, but for now the utility is the "battery" through net metering. The over-production from solar is purchased by the utility. At night power is purchased back from the utility. The goal to offset that overall bill to zero - depending on the roof space etc.

There are some small utilities in AZ that have punitive conditions for solar, but for the overwhelming majority, the numbers for solar in AZ are excellent. Batteries are already economically viable in CA because of the cost of utility power. It will be around 24 months before that's the case in AZ

 I was quoted something like $10,000 for the batteries alone if I recall correctly and that provided limited functionality for "most" of the night. I wasn't told how long the batteries would last and how many times I'd have to replace them. They simply said "the industry is working on that". When I need power, I need power now, not some hopeful time in the future.

Have things changed?

It depends on how many batteries you have but yes they net out to about $7K for true daily use batteries. When you need power you always have power. You are either using power from your solar system or using power from your utility when your system cannot produce. During the day, assuming you produce excess (and systems are designed with this in mind) your utility purchases that excess in the form of a credit. At night you buy power from your utility. In that way you are using the grid as a "battery" or "piggy bank" through the process called net-metering. It used to be considered that your meter "spins backwards" but in reality it is a digital meter tracking in and out.

When financed, batteries add to the cost of a system such that for the most part it costs more for the system with batteries than the monthly usage people have with their utility. That means it's not economic for most to add a battery now though some - especially in places like FL and Houston are adding them as a life-choice so they maintain power even when the grid goes down. In CA it's almost there economically. Battery cost is dropping as solar panels did 15 years ago. Storage both on residential and utility scale remains the area of renewable energy that needs the most development.

 My goal isn't to supplement (reduce costs), my goal is to replace the power grid with an affordable & reliable "off the grid" solution even though I live in a gargantuan city and not in some remote location. The batteries just aren't there yet.

Originally posted by @Mike M. :
Originally posted by @Andrew Smith:
Originally posted by @Mike M.:
Originally posted by @Andrew Smith:

Hi @Steven Picker

Pros:

1) It is a recognition of the need to move away from dependency on fossil fuels. CA is simply leading the way in the inevitable. The 5th largest economy on the planet making solar mandatory is huge.

2) It is far cheaper to produce power from solar than fossil fuels in CA - and as a national average but not all States.

3) It is giving control of power production to individuals rather than monopolies.

4) In CA it raises the value of the home according to the Berkeley Institute as well as NAR and CAR. This home value raise does not happen everywhere but is pronounced in CA because of the underlying cost of utility power and the savings that solar produces.

5) The homeowner has an asset on the roof instead of the roof being a liability.

Cons:

1) Developers will add minimal systems to "check boxes" for codes and not necessarily add appropriately sized systems.

2) This will lead to resentment of solar as homeowners will in many cases still have large utility bills because of the "too small" systems.

3) It will add to the initial purchase price of new homes.

4) It will force existing homeowners to go solar to compete in resale (this part is great for me as I'm in solar for full disclosure but I'd rather homeowners made the shift willingly than under and perceived duress).

That's a few + and - I'm sure there are more. I'm in the solar industry because I believe in it and not simply to make a living. For me then this is an incredibly positive, progressive move that will in time be applauded.

@Mike M. I'm happy to run numbers with you in AZ, because what you have posted is certainly no reflection of the reality I work with there. My latest customer, for example in Prescott Valley had a utility bill averaging $183. We eliminated that bill with a solar system that costs him $149/month for 20 years with no increase. If you factor in inflation on the utility at 4% annually then he will save tens of thousands over 20 years. He did not come out of pocket one cent to do that with the zero down loan.

For sure batteries are the next massive step that is and will happen in solar and renewable, but for now the utility is the "battery" through net metering. The over-production from solar is purchased by the utility. At night power is purchased back from the utility. The goal to offset that overall bill to zero - depending on the roof space etc.

There are some small utilities in AZ that have punitive conditions for solar, but for the overwhelming majority, the numbers for solar in AZ are excellent. Batteries are already economically viable in CA because of the cost of utility power. It will be around 24 months before that's the case in AZ

 I was quoted something like $10,000 for the batteries alone if I recall correctly and that provided limited functionality for "most" of the night. I wasn't told how long the batteries would last and how many times I'd have to replace them. They simply said "the industry is working on that". When I need power, I need power now, not some hopeful time in the future.

Have things changed?

It depends on how many batteries you have but yes they net out to about $7K for true daily use batteries. When you need power you always have power. You are either using power from your solar system or using power from your utility when your system cannot produce. During the day, assuming you produce excess (and systems are designed with this in mind) your utility purchases that excess in the form of a credit. At night you buy power from your utility. In that way you are using the grid as a "battery" or "piggy bank" through the process called net-metering. It used to be considered that your meter "spins backwards" but in reality it is a digital meter tracking in and out.

When financed, batteries add to the cost of a system such that for the most part it costs more for the system with batteries than the monthly usage people have with their utility. That means it's not economic for most to add a battery now though some - especially in places like FL and Houston are adding them as a life-choice so they maintain power even when the grid goes down. In CA it's almost there economically. Battery cost is dropping as solar panels did 15 years ago. Storage both on residential and utility scale remains the area of renewable energy that needs the most development.

 My goal isn't to supplement (reduce costs), my goal is to replace the power grid with an affordable & reliable "off the grid" solution even though I live in a gargantuan city and not in some remote location. The batteries just aren't there yet.

 Depending on your local authority requirements, you will be connected to the grid with or without batteries unless you are far enough away from utility power. There are many people currently living off-grid with solar power or other renewable with battery technology.
If your home has the right conditions such as enough unshaded roof space, a solar system won't simply reduce costs, it will eliminate your utility bill. The cost is in purchasing the system. In most cases in AZ the cost of that ownership is less than you were paying for utility. Ownership of a solar system would be something you would have whether you were on or off-grid.

@Jim David there are a lot of solutions currently in the works for solving the duck curve issue. NREL first recognized the issue in 2008 and since then many steps have been and are being taken to modernize the grid to be able to handle 100% renewables: 

1) Target energy efficiency to the hours when load ramps up sharply

2) Acquire and deploy peak-oriented renewable resources 

3) Manage water and wastewater pumping loads (7% of load)

4) Control electric water heaters to reduce peak demand and increase load at strategic hours

5) Convert commercial air conditioning to ice storage or chilled-water storage

6) Rate design: Focus utility prices on the "ramping hours" to enable price-induced changes in load

7) Deploy electrical energy storage in targeted locations

8) Implement aggressive demand response programs

9) Use inter-regional power exchanges to take advantage of diversity in loads and resources

10) Retire inflexible generating plants with high off-peak must-run requirements

Our electrical infrastructure is dated and in need of improvement anyway, adding more solar just forces us to deal with an already underlying issue. 

@Mike M.   what about Tesla's power wall and solar roof ?  not cheap but pretty cool

Also when i have traveled around the Med.. Greek Islands and especially Cyprus one will notice every building has a black water tank on top of the roof.. this gives all the hot water one would need.. that would be a nice step forward for desert areas of US.. not that expensive and totally basic.. just a black tank.. on the roof.. gravity floor water in black tank is very warm/hot. 

When i used to sell Ranch's in N.. ca there are all sorts of alternative energy thingee's.. I like little wind mills.. and if you have a stream on your property there are some cool devices for small hydro.. 

as a small  home builder i see this as just cost of doing business.. regs change all the time. ( tougher not easier). could cause those that own the dirt to have to back off on what they can sell to a developer for if the market cant absorb the price on the other end. 

biggest issue is going to come with major remodels and wholesalers who will get caught with their pants down

I know the rule is "no politics" here but that's pretty difficult considering this topic is about a law passed PURELY for poitical points. But hey, I'm sure requiring thousands of dollars in add-ons will definitely help the "We need affordable homes" movement here in California.

👍

@Andrew Smith Haha we're stepping on each other's toes again. I need to refresh my screen more often. You got this buddy, I need to go shovel snow now anyway lol. 

Originally posted by @Steve K. :

@Jim David there are a lot of solutions currently in the works for solving the duck curve issue. NREL first recognized the issue in 2008 and since then many steps have been and are being taken to modernize the grid to be able to handle 100% renewables: 

1) Target energy efficiency to the hours when load ramps up sharply

2) Acquire and deploy peak-oriented renewable resources 

3) Manage water and wastewater pumping loads (7% of load)

4) Control electric water heaters to reduce peak demand and increase load at strategic hours

5) Convert commercial air conditioning to ice storage or chilled-water storage

6) Rate design: Focus utility prices on the "ramping hours" to enable price-induced changes in load

7) Deploy electrical energy storage in targeted locations

8) Implement aggressive demand response programs

9) Use inter-regional power exchanges to take advantage of diversity in loads and resources

10) Retire inflexible generating plants with high off-peak must-run requirements

Our electrical infrastructure is dated and in need of improvement anyway, adding more solar just forces us to deal with an already underlying issue. 

one cool thing i like is what they did in Lake Co. CA with the Geo thermal plants in the mountains between Lake and Sonoma county.

they ran all the small community sewer sytems into one large tertiary system and pumped that grey water up to the steam wells and inject it .. causing steam that causes ;power and gets ride of all that grey water.. this opened up Hidden Valley Lake subsidivion that was hereto for all on septic and many lots would not perc.. now its mainly all on sewer which as stated ends up creating power in the geo thermal wells.. :)

Originally posted by @Steve K. :

@Andrew Smith Haha we're stepping on each other's toes again. I need to refresh my screen more often. You got this buddy, I need to go shovel snow now anyway lol. 

 Ha Ha! We're on the same page for sure though I have zero desire to shovel snow! For sure it is a massive statement of intent when an economy the size of CA makes solar mandatory and as you said a much needed impetus to modernization. Enjoy the shoveling!

Originally posted by @Danny Grey :

I know the rule is "no politics" here but that's pretty difficult considering this topic is about a law passed PURELY for poitical points. But hey, I'm sure requiring thousands of dollars in add-ons will definitely help the "We need affordable homes" movement here in California.

👍

 affordable housing is the biggest Oxymoron in real estate today.. at least how it relates to new construction on the West coast. 

you can still do it in many other markets were dirt is Well Dirt cheap and construction costs are ridiculously low..   and then of course for much of the mid west you dont need it as the existing stock is AFFORDABLE housing.  It sells for pennies on the dollar what it would cost to replace

@Steve K.   Indeed, I am familiar with most of those points and agree.  I'm also heavily in favor of grid modernization.

But while those things may have already started happening, it has not slowed the duck curve and in fact the CAISO still predicts it worsening.  I'm all for solar but would focus on allowing other technologies to catch up a bit before mandating more solar.  Who knows, maybe the next DC line will be exporting power from CA instead of importing :)

@Mike M. Backup power is a luxury item for those that desire or require it, mostly unrelated to the CA mandate that this thread is about, as the mandate doesn't require battery backup so we're getting off topic. Just buy yourself a cheap generator and install a critical loads panel with manual transfer switch if you want the cheapest option for backup power. Problem solved and you don't have to go solar if you don't want to. If you want it to be silent, seamless and not require fuel, you can pay more for solar with battery backup and auto transfer switch, but like I said it's a luxury item and uncommon, just a tiny percentage of most solar installations.  

@Danny Grey I design and sell solar for a living, and I can tell you, you'd be surprised how many of my customers are conservatives (some as far right as it gets). Originally solar got it's start as a solution for unmanned remote oil extraction facilities, it's not as black and white politically as you might think. Janet Brewer (R-AZ) and Chris Christie (R-NJ) support solar in their states, Georgia as well. Conservatives like having the freedom to make the best choice. 

@Steven Picker the biggest argument against it is generally cost, which is exaggerated. Two things to factor in:

1. New home prices are already very high in CA, so $10K is relatively small percentage of the overall cost. It is a pass through for every builder, so doesn't put anyone at a disadvantage.

2. The net cost savings for the home owner in electricity and sell back recoups the cost.

The main problem with solar is the uneven generation. During the day, you get massive amounts of energy and it has to go somewhere. Sometimes the utility has so much power that there can be challenges on where to dump it. In the past this has resulted in California paying states like Arizona to take the power. 

It also puts financial strain on utilities (not that most people care). They cover operating costs by selling power. If you take away their revenue, how do they cover costs for generation and power line distribution equipment upkeep? Look at the recent wild fires. The amount of money to rebuild the electrical infrastructure is massive, but all those "new" houses will now have solar, so really no paying customers. 

Lots of people are working on solving the storage issue and modernizing the grid, which will help. It is just there are short term problems that were not planned for.

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