Installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems is a great way to utilize the sun's energy while cutting your utility bills!
New, innovative applications of solar include:
solar shade parking structures
windows using thin solar film
Solar and Your Home
Utilizing solar power is a great way to offset your home electricity usage. However, before putting solar panels on your roof, CivicSpark recommends that you take this important step: make sure your home is energy efficient. The more efficient your home is before installing solar, the fewer panels you’ll need and the less money you’ll spend.
Remember: Homeowners should reduce before they produce! Visit our energy efficiency page for more information.
Once your home is energy efficient, the first step toward solar success should be to evaluate your roof. This should be done as part of the solar consultation, but there are some things you will easily be able to identify:
Leaking, sagging or distressed roofs cannot support the weight of panels.
South or southwest facing roofs are ideal - peak production happens at mid-day, making south facing ideal.
No shading or obstruction from trees or nearby buildings during mid-day.
If you pass these preliminary steps, you will be ready to contact a solar contractor.
Getting a Solar Permit:
CivicSpark is working to help streamline solar permitting throughout SLO County. This will lessen the time between permit application and approval, and give roof-mounted, small-scale solar arrays priority in the permitting process. Your solar contractor will likely handle the permitting process, but here are the steps you can see for yourself.