California is a huge state, tip to tail it’s almost 800 miles in length with a wide range of climates, mostly Mediterranean like, but also deserts and high forests. In 2018, California became the first State that mandates all new homes to have solar, so giving a quick run down on the cost benefit here isn’t such a bad idea. To try and cover solar values for every city in the State would take a lot of space and is ultimate unnecessary. Despite it’s size California has relatively uniform Sun Hours Per day.
Our sample assumes a 10 KW solar PV installation and installed cost of $3.00 per watt. This keeps the math simple and allows you to estimate your own needs for your own property based upon electric bills.
San Diego gets on average 5.7 sun hours per day. Using a 10 KW solar PV system one could expect to produce about 15,802 kWh annually, or 1,316 kWh per month which is almost double the average home usage of 547 kWh for the State. Estimated Annual Savings would be $2,584. At a $30,000 total cost to install your simple payback is in 11 years.
Napa Valley and surrounding wine country is also gets about 5.7 sun hours per day which produces 15,408 kWh annually or 1,284 monthly. Estimated annual savings are about $2,403, which gives a payback on a $30,000 install cost of 12 years.
If you’re up around Sacramento the numbers are still pretty good with an average of 5.8 sun hours per day. Using the same 10 KW solar PV system, electricity production would be about 15,753 kWh annually, or 1,312 kWh monthly. Estimated annual savings would be $1,953. At a $30,000 total cost to install your simple payback is about 15 years.
The above payback calculations do not take in to account any incentives, State or Federal. If you want to run your own analysis for your home town feel free to check out how we calculate solar power using PV Watts Database. If you want to learn more about various incentives, all the information you need can be found through the DSIRE database.