How Will The Solar Industry Fare in 2014?

Solar Industry

The San Diego solar power industry has already seen significant growth in recent years, but after last month’s report on solar industry growth for 2013, what’s in store for the solar industry in 2014?

The Solar Foundation’s annual report has optimistic projections for the coming year. The survey reports that “over the 12 months following the Census 2013 survey period, 44.5% of solar firms expect to add solar workers, while fewer than 2% expect to cut workers. With the expected addition of over 22,200 new solar workers over the next year, employment in the solar industry is expected to grow by 15.6% during a period in which employment in the overall economy is expected to grow by only 1.4%.”

This good news comes as no surprise to those lucky enough to work in this burgeoning industry.

The report also indicated that “the majority of these new opportunities are expected to be added in the installation sector (projected to grow by 21.1%), in “other” jobs that provide ancillary support to the solar industry (16.1%), and in solar sales and distribution (14.2%).” In addition, the report expects domestic solar manufacturing to get a boost by about 8.6%.

The total number of solar workers projected for employment during 2014 is 164,938, in the following sectors:

  • Installation – 84,331
  • Manufacturing – 32,429
  • Sales and Distribution – 22,585
  • Project Development – 12,529
  • Other – 13,064

The solar industry is enjoying success all across the nation, not just in abundantly sunny states like California. In fact, the report states, “The U.S. solar industry continues to remain a bright spot on the nation’s employment landscape, providing opportunities for more than 142,000 workers at 18,000 locations in all 50 states and creating jobs at a rate ten times higher than employment growth in the overall economy.”

From these findings, it’s become clear that the advantages of solar power are not limited to only environmental benefits. In an otherwise sluggish economy, the solar industry is helping to create thousands of new jobs for eager Americans who are looking to get back to work.

The next time you need comprehensive solar installation in San Diego, be sure to help out the local economy and contact Mohler Solar for all of your solar needs.


U.S. Solar Jobs Have Increased Nearly 20% Since Last Year!

Solar worker

According to an annual survey released by the nonprofit organization The Solar Foundation, jobs within the U.S. solar energy sector have increased by 19.9%, which represents a whopping 23,682 additional solar workers. “Seventy-seven percent of the nearly 24,000 additional solar workers are in newly-created positions, rather than existing jobs that have added solar responsibilities,” the report said.

Released on January 27, 2014, The National Solar Jobs Census 2013 indicated that there are currently 142,000 Americans working in the U.S. solar industry. The study found that solar employment increased 10 times faster than the national average employment rate, which is around 1.9%. The findings showed that the solar industry not only demonstrated remarkable growth, but it exceeded growth projections make in the prior year’s report.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement of support that this is an “exciting time for the solar industry in the United States, made even more clear by the latest industry job figures.”

Moniz further applauded the success of the solar industry:

“President Obama has set an ambitious goal to double electricity generation from renewable sources once again by 2020, and a vibrant U.S. workforce is vital to achieving this. To support a growing workforce and a new generation of clean energy leaders, the Energy Department is providing training and education opportunities for engineers, utility workers and students, as well as supporting projects across the country to ensure America’s continued leadership in clean energy innovation.”

The study also revealed that most workers in the solar industry are enjoying healthy wages, with the average solar installer earning between $20-$23 per hour. According to the study, veterans of the U.S. Armed Services constitute 9.24% of all solar workers, compared with 7.57% in the national economy. In addition, the solar industry employs a slightly larger amount of Latino/Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander workers than the overall economy in the U.S.

Looking forward, the study projects that solar employment is expected to grow by 15.6% over the next year, which translates to approximately 22,240 new “solar workers,” who are defined as workers who spend at least 50% of their time support solar-related activities.

While Mohler Solar has long enjoyed the benefits of working within the solar industry, it’s great to see that solar is picking up speed elsewhere in the country. For your next San Diego residential solar power project, support the local economy and contact Mohler Solar for their comprehensive array of solar services.

Installing Solar Panels and Solar Tiles – What’s the Difference?

Solar Tiles or Solar Panels

Since its inception, solar power has come a long way in terms of technology, effectiveness, and aesthetics. These days, you have a variety of choices when it comes to installing solar power for your San Diego home. If you’re exploring your options for San Diego solar power, you may have come across solar tiles. But what exactly are solar tiles, and how are they different from solar panels?

Solar Panels and Solar Tiles Explained


Many years ago, solar tiles were thought to have been much less efficient than their traditional counterparts. Specifically, they had a lower conversion efficiency, which means that the percentage of sunlight that gets converted into electricity was lower in tiles than in solar panels. However, recent technology has boosted the ability of solar tiles to convert sunlight into energy, bringing them to an almost 20% conversion rate, which is nearly on par with regular solar panels. Traditional solar panels still hold strong in terms of efficiency, but technological advancement have made solar tiles an attractive option as well.


The installation and implementation of solar tiles is probably where they differ the most from solar panels. While solar panels are typically mounted on the roof or elsewhere on the property, solar tiles are individually integrated into the roof like the rest of the shingles or tiles. When installed, solar tiles are certainly less obtrusive than solar panels, but the tiles on your roof have to be replaced. If you’re planning on building a new house, then installing solar tiles on your home might be a good option. However, some homeowners may find it to be less cost effective if their house is already built, or they don’t plan on replacing their roof anytime soon.

In addition, many solar panels have the added benefit of being positioned at the perfect angle to receive optimum sunlight needed for conversion. On the other hand, solar tiles work well only if your roof is already positioned to receive ideal levels of sunlight. Other

Solar Panels vs. Solar Tiles:

Solar Panels

  • More flexible when installing to receive optimal levels of sunshine
  • Can be replaced easily without having to replace your roof
  • Overall installation process is much easier and low-maintenance, with no need for structural modification

Solar Tiles

  • More visually appealing, since the solar tiles blend in seamlessly with your shingles.

Overall, traditional solar panels offer the most in terms of flexibility, efficiency, and cost, but solar tiles are still a viable option for homeowners who want an aesthetically pleasing method of solar energy.

When you’re ready to make the jump to solar on your San Diego home, be sure to consult with a licensed San Diego solar power company.

Should You Lease or Buy Solar Panels For Your San Diego Home?

Lease or Buy Solar Panels in San Diego

When it comes to San Diego solar installation, you may be exploring the option of leasing solar panels versus purchasing them for your home.  While leasing solar panels may have some benefits in certain circumstances, for most homeowners, purchasing solar panels is typically a better fit and less of a hassle in the long run.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Leasing a Solar Panel System

Cost for Leasing Solar Power

For San Diego homeowners considering leasing a solar panel system, the most common reason is typically the issue of up-front costs.  Deterred by the purchase and installation costs of a conventional solar power system, some choose to explore leasing solar panels in the hopes of decreasing their out-of-pocket expenses.  The commitment factor and initial costs can indeed be intimidating, but due to the variety of San Diego solar financing options, many people can actually get their new solar power system up and running with a flexible payment plan and minimal out-of-pocket expenses to start.

With most solar power leasing situations, the solar leasing company owns the panels and the homeowner pays a monthly payment for the duration of the lease.  In other words, for homeowners who plan on living in their homes long term, you will always have to pay a monthly bill for your leased solar power system. Simply put, leasing a solar power system for long-term homeowners just isn’t practical.  When you purchase and finance solar panels, you will likely be able to break even in less than 10 years.

Why continue paying your solar leasing company, when you can eliminate your monthly obligation within as little as 10 years? Think about it in terms of leasing a car: most car owners purchase and finance their car with the hopes of eventually owning it and no longer having a car payment.  Would you want to lease a car forever? Probably not.

Solar Tax Incentives

If you choose to lease a solar power system, you are missing out on numerous tax incentives that are only available to those who purchase their systems.  Until 2016, the U.S. federal government is offering a tax credit equal to 30% of the total cost of your solar energy system.  In addition, the state of California also offers incentives, and San Diego’s solar rebate program was also extended to include and an additional $5 million for residential solar power systems.

But, if you choose to lease your solar power system, you have to forfeit all of these rebates and incentives.

Issues Selling Your Home

If you decide to sell home during the duration of your lease, you will likely run into issues with potential buyers.  Most home buyers are not too keen on the idea of assuming a solar lease along with the purchase of their new home. In most cases, the buyer will need to qualify for the existing lease, if he or she is even willing to take it over.  If the buyer is not interested in taking over the lease, you still remain responsible for the remaining payments, and typically cannot break the lease without paying a hefty penalty.

Whether you choose to lease or purchase when installing solar panels in San Diego, it’s important to work with a qualified, licensed solar installation company.  Contact us today to get started on your new solar power system.

Good News San Diego! Funding Renewed for Residential Solar Power Rebates

San Diego Solar Power Rebate Program Extended

Last month, the California Center for Sustainable Energy announced on their website that they were successful in petitioning the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to modify the San Diego CSI fund allocation, which means an additional $5 million to residential solar projects in San Diego.

According to the article, the CCSE had been petitioning the CPUC to modify the allocation of funds in the CSI program in order to “shift some money in the nonresidential solar project budget to be available for homeowners.”  Approval for the modification was given on October 23.

Since its inception in 2006, The San Diego CSI (California Solar Initiative) program has helped to provide rebates for residential and nonresidential San Diego solar power systems.

What This Means for Solar Power Rebates in San Diego

Per the CCSE’s website, the CSI program has incentivized approximately 15,000 solar photovoltaic systems installed on San Diego homes, which has produced over 75 megawatts of sustainable energy.

With the revised allocation of funds, San Diego will now have access to an additional $5 million in solar rebates for residential projects, and about $13 million for nonresidential solar projects.

According to the article, CCSE executive director Len Hering stated that the removal of “the specific allocation of two-thirds of the program’s 180 megawatts for the nonresidential sector will allow the program to more effectively reach its overall goals and encourage more San Diego homeowners to install rooftop solar.”

Hering added, “The return of CSI rebates for residential solar energy systems in the San Diego region, together with the recent passage of Assembly Bill 327, which extends California’s net energy metering program, will help ensure continued growth for the state’s thriving solar market.”

In addition to the additional funds for solar rebates, the CCSE also reported in the article that the CSI program has helped to decrease San Diego solar power costs by a whopping 45%.

Between state initiatives and federal tax breaks, San Diego solar installation is now more affordable than ever.


Can Solar Panels Increase the Value of Your Home?

In addition to eliminating their electric bills, many homeowners have opted for solar panel installation in San Diego in the hopes of increasing the value of their home. It has been debated whether or not solar panels actually increase the value of a home, and it is difficult to measure due to the many factors that may affect the value of a home, including neighborhood and demographics. However, recent studies have found evidence that solar panels can, in fact, boost the selling price of your home.

Evidence Linking Solar Panels to Increased Home Value

A recent study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory analyzed “a data set of approximately 72,000 California homes, 2,000 of which had PV systems installed at the time of sale.”  In a two-page summary of the report, findings indicated:

“The research finds strong evidence that homes with PV systems in California have sold for a premium over comparable homes without PV systems.”

The summary further stated:

“The average sales price premiums also appear to be comparable to the investment that homeowners have made to install PV systems in California (after applicable state and federal incentives), which from 2001-2009 averaged approximately $5/watt…and homeowners with PV also benefit from electricity cost savings after PV system installation and prior to home sale.”

Analysis of Solar Panel Installation and Home Value in San Diego

Another study, conducted by the UC Center for Energy and Environmental Economics, analyzed a large sample of homes specifically in San Diego, to take a detailed look at the resale value of homes with solar panels compared to those without.

The study found that “solar panels add 3.3% to the sales price of home after controlling for observable characteristics and flexible neighborhood price trends…This corresponds to a predicted $16,235 increase in price for the average sale with solar panels installed.”

The study also examined prices in repeat sales, again finding positive results.

“…our average capitalization estimate of 3.6% applied to the average price at the first sale in the repeat pair of $558,100 implies an average additional $20,194 in the subsequent sales price due to the installation of solar panels. This value suggests that households that install panels recuperate more than their costs in subsequent sales…”

From these studies, it is clear that a San Diego solar power system can prove to be a solid investment for your home, in addition to saving thousands on your electric bill and helping out the environment.

Installing Solar Panels in San Diego

Installing Solar Panels in San Diego

If you’re thinking about installing solar panels on your San Diego home, the process may seem a bit overwhelming. In addition to being a large financial investment, there are many things to consider when planning your San Diego solar panel installation.

From solar financing loans to choosing the right equipment for your home, our helpful guide will put your worries aside and get you ready to go solar in San Diego.

Things To Consider When Installing Solar Panels in San Diego:

Solar Panel Manufacturers

There are many companies that make solar panels and related equipment, but not all are created equal. For a solid investment, be sure to use solar panels from reputable manufacturers, like LG Solar, Panasonic, Hyundai, or Helios Solar Works.

Mohler Solar uses only the highest-quality equipment when installing solar panels on your San Diego home or business, many of which come with warranties of up to 25 years. In the long run, high-quality solar panels will provide you with increased efficiency and durability, and they are typically easier to install.

Financing your San Diego Solar Panel Installation

Don’t have enough up-front cash or equity to fund your solar panel installation? Don’t have perfect credit? No problem! With a variety of flexible programs available, homeowners are in luck when it comes to San Diego solar financing options.

Mohler Solar works with lenders who have crafted financing programs that are specifically designed to help homeowners install solar power systems in San Diego. Some of these loan options offer rates starting at 4.9%, and they even accept FICO scores as low as 650.

In addition to solar financing programs, don’t forget that the Federal Government is offering a 30% tax credit (until 2016) for homeowners who have installed solar energy systems.

Obtaining Solar Permits From The County Of San Diego

When planning your San Diego solar panel installation, keep in mind that you’ll need to obtain the necessary permits. Regulated by the San Diego Zoning Ordinance, you will need to supply the following information to the county in order to obtain a permit: zoning, building, cost, and timeline.

Fortunately, Mohler Solar will assist you every step of way, from drawing up the structural plans to obtaining the proper permits, allowing you to have a hassle-free transition to solar power.

Ready to go solar? Contact us today to get started on your San Diego solar panel installation.

Can you finance solar panels?

Yes, you can finance solar panels. Mohler Solar primarily works with San Diego Metropolitan Credit Union to provide you with the most flexible solar financing options.

With a variety of financing programs now available to San Diego residents, installing solar panels is more affordable than ever.

San Diego Solar Financing Options

Low interest rates

The lenders with whom we work offer low interest rates that are specially designed for energy efficiency home improvement projects. Specifically, some of the solar financing plans offer rates starting at 4.9% and accept FICO scores as low as 650. Because of these flexible loan options, we’ve helped consumers of wide-ranging financial situations to harness the benefits of solar power in San Diego.

No up-front cash or equity required

Don’t have the extra cash right now to invest in a solar panel system? With most solar financing programs, you won’t have to. Many solar financing options not only offer low interest rates, but in most cases, they also do not require up-front cash or equity.

Flexible terms and attractive incentives

Whether you need 5 or 20 years, solar financing plans provide many terms to suit your unique circumstances. These specially crafted loans have made solar energy systems a realistic and desirable option for countless San Diego residents. If your home or business requires robust amounts of energy, loans up to $50,000 are also available to assist with completely overhauling your energy system.

In addition, the Federal Government is currently offering a 30% tax credit for homeowners who have installed qualified energy efficiency equipment, including solar energy systems. But what does this mean for you?

Simply put, after you file your taxes, you will receive a credit equaling 30% of the total cost of your solar energy system, and according to the IRS, “There is no limit on the amount of credit available for most types of property. If your credit is more than the tax you owe, you can carry forward the unused portion of this credit to next year’s tax return.” (

However, this tax credit is set to expire in 2016, so be sure to get started on your solar energy system soon.

Ready to get started? Contact us today to begin saving money with your new solar panel system.