Applied Solar, Inc. announced the start-up of the Solar Communities program in San Diego. This program plans to increase the number of homes using clean solar energy by getting rid of cost by eliminating the most expensive Tier 3 and Tier 4 energy purchases, which usually is at least 60% of the typical San Diego Gas & Electric customer’s yearly bill.
Without the expensive upfront costs, Americans are more likely to install rooftop solar panels, especially during the economic crisis when green energy is seen as the wave of the future. Usually, projects such as rooftop solar panels cost over US$10,000, but even though federal tax incentives can potentially pay for much of the cost of solar power, homeowners find it hard to take advantage due to the initial starting price.
With Applied Solar’s new program, power purchase agreements (PPAs) that had been introduced to the San Diego market in 2008 as unattractive rack-mounted solar panels are now available as more aesthetically pleasing solar tiles. While developed by Applied Solar, the panels were manufactured by Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
President and CEO of Applied Solar, David Field, said, “Any proposition to switch to solar power must also entail a way to save on household costs in the near term. If we are able to bring the payback period for solar down to three or four years versus the traditional 10 years, it makes a lot more financial sense for consumers.”