Mendocino Solar Service provides information for dozens of county residents each year who are seeking financing for solar energy systems. Finance options include solar leases, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs, and traditional methods of financing, such as home equity loans.
As an authorized dealer for SunPower’s highly effective and globally-recognized solar energy systems, Mendocino Solar Service offers SunPower solar leases with guaranteed output and savings.
Mendocino Solar Service can also assist our clients to access Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) funding to fund clean energy improvements using property tax self assessments. Ygrene PACE and CaliforniaFirst PACE assessments are now available to both homeowners and businesses throughout Mendocino County.
PACE funding is not based on your credit rating or income, there is no money down, and does not tie up the equity in your home. Payments are made through your property tax statements, and may be tax deductible.
Home improvement loans are another good source of solar financing, and a route that many of our customers explore, finding favorably low interest rates.
Some customers chose to sell other lower-performing assets to fund investment in solar systems, as solar energy systems are show to have a strong return on investment. As one customer told us: “Hands down, it’s the best investment I’ve ever made.”
Tax credits can also increase the return on investment. Customers who install a new home or solar system in 2020 can receive a 26% Federal Tax Credit. There is no upper limit on the credit (the more you invest in your system, the bigger the credit). Tax credits are also available for businesses. Tax credits will continue in 2021 at a reduced rate.
Learn more on the Energy Star website.
Photo: Mendocino Solar Service roof-top, on-grid, residential solar installation., 2020.
A Look at How Far We’ve Come: Solar Enters the Mainstream
By Bruce Erickson, General Manager, Mendocino Solar Service
Twenty five years ago, when Mendocino Solar Service opened our doors, the world of residential solar energy was quite different. Prices were high, options were few, and solar powered homes were mostly “off grid”.
Today’s homeowners considering converting to solar energy enjoy increased affordability, better equipment options, and more financing opportunities. What are the benefits of this opportunity? The ability to cost-effectively convert an abundant local resource (sunshine) into energy and money, right on your roof! Seamless integration, automatic operation, long life with virtually no maintenance, protection from electric rate increases, and increased property value are some of the benefits of the solar revolution.
Read more in our PDF.
California Solar Initiative (CSI) is the rebate program for existing homes wanting to install solar electric systems. The CA Public Utility Commission (PUC) oversees the CSI program.
Go Solar California is a campaign of the California Energy Commission and the Public Utilities commission to encourage the adoption of solar in CA.
New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP) is the rebate program for new construction of homes that will install solar. There are specific requirements needed to be eligible for the rebate.
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) offers information for cutting energy costs, and allows the customer to do a free over the phone or online Energy Use Audit of their home or business.
Database of State Incentives for Renewable and Efficiency (DSIRE) provides directory listing incentives for renewable energy and efficiency state by state.
California Energy Commission provides an online directory compiled by the CEC provides links to solar and other alternative energy resources.
HomePower Magazine is a hands on journal of home made power with articles about people living on & off grid, how to resources on solar, wind, and other renewable technologies.
Some Good Introductory Articles
- “Getting Started”
- “Why go solar” on the Sierra Club Website
- “Solar Electricity Basics” on the Sierra Club Website
Jim Deering (JD) of Artistic Building Company is a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) energy efficiency analyst. He will come to your home and do an energy efficiency test. License #691099 firstname.lastname@example.org (707) 357-1041.
Nor Cal Solar
Celebrating its 30th year as an advocacy and education group dedicated to accelerating the use of solar energy. Publishes yearly the Solar Energy Resource Guide, which offers information on all things solar and an extensive resource list. PO Box 3008 Berkeley, CA 94603. (510) 869-2759.
National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)
U.S. Department of Energy sponsored lab for cutting edge research and development of renewable energy.
California Solar Energy Industries Association
CALSEIA is a trade association representing solar photovoltaic and solar thermal contractors, installers, manufacturers, distributors, consultants, engineers, and designers.
Environmental Protection Agency – Power Profiler
The Power Profiler will determine your power grid region based on your ZIP code and electric utility, compare the fuel mix and air emissions rates of the electricity in your region to the national average and determine the air emissions impacts of electricity use in your home or business.
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
SEIA is the national trade association in the United States, representing companies doing research, manufacturing, distributing, financing, building and installing solar projects domestically and abroad.
American Solar Energy Society (ASES)
ASES is the nation’s leading association of solar professionals and advocates. Since 1954, ASES has advanced education, research and policy development towards a sustainable energy economy.
Other Mendocino Solar Service Interests
Solar Electric Initiative in Sierra Leone, West Africa
This concerned group brings rural solar electrification to an impoverished country. This project is a program of the Friends of Sierra Leone non-profit, an association of Peace Corps volunteers and country nationals. Co-owner Maggie Watson served in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone. http://www.fosalone.org/projects.php#SEI Or contact Leslie McKeon – email@example.com
ALL Power Labs in Berkeley, CA
This organization that has perfected small scale biomass gasification. Their Power Pallet can be used in off grid or back up applications and runs a generator off of wood chips or other bio mass. http://gekgasifier.com/
Green America Come Together
We appreciate this group’s useful guide to use when shopping to make choices that benefit people and the planet. http://www.greenamerica.org/