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Looking for solar answers?

SMUD representative
Looking for solar answers?

When it comes to solar, there's a lot of information to sift through. We're here to help make sense of it all.

Spend a few minutes with us and we'll help you make an informed decision.

Having solar on your roof does not mean you are "off the grid." The reality of solar is that you need electricity from the grid during the night and on cloudy days when a solar system is not producing any power. And you need the grid to sell back excess generation, too.

No matter what solar installation company you're considering, negotiate, negotiate, negotiate the price per kilowatt. Better yet, get estimates and quotes from three different companies and then negotiate with all three.

Chances are you can lower the original quoted price by negotiating.

Once your solar system is installed, you'll still have a monthly bill from SMUD. The bill will be smaller... hopefully much smaller, but it's a near certainty that your solar system will not be able to produce all of the electricity you will need.

Be cautious of any solar company claiming you will no longer have an electric bill if you install their system.

Learn more.

Installing a solar system may not save you money. Solar makes the most sense for a home that has the majority of its usage in the second tier. If your home uses less than 1,000 KWH per month, solar may not make financial sense. Additionally, tiered residential rates end after 2016. You will see a single seasonal price for all energy in 2017. Time-of-use rates will begin in 2018. Make an informed decision by using SMUD's Solar System Estimator.

To get the full picture of what you would pay on a monthly basis with solar, remember to combine your projected lowered SMUD bill with the monthly payment of your solar system.

Simple fact: These two combined bills will be your true monthly cost.

Does your roof face south? What's the slope? Both of these factors are key in determining if solar makes sense for you.

The farther you get from having your solar system face due south and slope 15-30 degrees, the less annual production you will see.

Yes! In fact, you're helping the environment just by being a SMUD customer. In a normal year, factoring in the hydroelectricity produced in the Upper American River Project, upwards of 45% of SMUD's power is carbon-free. If solar ultimately makes sense for you, you’ll make Sacramento even greener.

There are numerous options available to pay for a solar system. You can pay with cash, take out a loan, lease or enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a solar company. Just make sure you understand all the details and options, including fees, escalators, starting price points, loan terms and more.

SMUD's Solar System Estimator can help you review the costs and savings over time and help you make the choice that's right for you.

Keep researching and learning before you commit and make the move to solar.

Attend one of our solar seminars at our Energy & Technology Center and get all of your questions answered from solar experts.

Lastly, why are you considering solar? If it's a financial decision, please do your homework and make sure it makes financial sense. If it's an environmental decision, finances don't matter as much, but you'll still want the best deal you can get.

Learn what you need to know at one of SMUD's free seminars. Check the calendar and sign up online.