Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Clean Power

Top 11 San Diego Rooftop Solar Companies

This article originally published on San Diego Loves Green
by Roy L. Hales

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

One of Baker Electric Solar’ installations in San Diego – Baker Electric Solar photo

An overview of funding applications made through the  California Solar Initiative General Market (CSI), Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH), and Single Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) is on the Go Solar website. The data is current as of July 17, but no longer gives the comprehensive overview of the local market that it did six months ago. I discovered that after drawing up a report of the ”installs within the past year.”

DSC_0796

A SolarCity crew at work – SolarCity photo

Once it became apparent that a one year study could result in a distortion, I asked Erica Johnson of Sullivan Solar Power for help. I started by showing her  a chart in which Sullivan is shown making 234 installations, in San Diego County, during the last year.

“I am a little taken aback by how many installations it says we have in the area,” Ms Johnson emailed me. “We have over 1,750 customers – with the majority of them being in San Diego County.”

Then she made two observations that made it clear this article had to be rewritten:

  •  “There was a lot of solar going in pre-CSI under the CEC’s Emerging Renewables Program.”
  • “the CSI residential program funding (main stream market, not SASH funded projects) was exhausted at the beginning of the year. Some companies may have still submitted rebate reservations (and may still be doing so in case more funding is made available through reallocation, but I know our company has not), and that is the only way that CSI would have the data.”

Sorry for the shock Erica, a search of total applications (for all years) shows that Sullivan made a total of 1,048 and 892 of these were in San Diego County. These numbers would not include anything Sullivan did through CEC’s Emerging Renewables Program, as you pointed out, or most of those made during the past six months.

As I not have the means to identify tell which companies submitted rebate reservations, or  picked up reallocations, or installations that would not appear in the Go Solar database – the simplest solution is to make a report covering all years in the data in the database.  The resulting study is less comprehensive than I had hoped for, but still important in that it gives a snapshot of the industry.

Screen-shot-2013-07-20-at-7.54.11-AM

This figure shows the top twenty locales in the CSI Program in terms of number of applications, capacity (MW) and incentive amount. The data was last revised on 7/17/2013

The latest figures from the California Solar Initiative are in. The most prolific county was Los Angeles, which installed 175 megawatts through this program. San Diego was second, with 140.2 MW, and Riverside third with 113.8 MW.

There are 2,645 companies listed in the database and the top three companies, in terms of Californian applicaqtions, are all prominent in San Diego.

San Mateo based SolarCity is undoubtedly the most prolific  installer in Californiahaving processed 13,676 systems through the CSI, Sash and Mash Programs. ”One year ago this month, SolarCity helped Walmart celebrate its 100th California solar store on San Diego’s College Avenue,” said Jim Cahill, SolarCity’s Southern California regional vice president.The Walmart project was one of the 711 systems they put up in San Diego county.

REC Solar, from San Luis Obispo, made 648 in San Diego. They have offices in 11 counties and is #2 through-out California, being credited with 6,192 installations.

Real Good Solar, from Louisville CO, is #3 in California, with 5,036 applications in the database. 304 of these are in San Diego.

There are also a number of San Diego based companies which are among the most prolific in California:

  • Sullivan Solar Power – #15, with 1,048 applications in California
  • Solar West Electric -#20, with 792
  • Sungate Energy Solutions – #21, with 657
  • Baker Solar Electric – #22, with 646
  • Borrego Solar Systems, Inc – #23, with 636
  • Solaire Energy Systems – #31, with 546
  • Stellar Solar – #37, with 464
  • Solare Energy, Inc – #76 with 228
  • Clary Solar – #77, with 227
  • Smart Home Remodelling – #78 with 223
  • California Solar Innovations – #79, with 222

While having made more installations does not necessarily mean higher quality, these companies all have established records (which can be checked) and are leaders in California’s solar industry.

Crew at Mayer Hall – Sullivan Solar Power

Crew at Mayer Hall – Sullivan Solar Power

Erica Johnson, of Sullivan Solar Power, could have been speaking for the industry  when she said, “Business in the past few months has gone up significantly, despite the California Solar Initiative (CSI) rebate program being exhausted in the general market for residential. We have received record numbers of new inquiries from parties interested in solar. The hot summer months have property owners utilizing their air conditioning systems. In addition, SDG&E has been approved for a significant rate hike that goes into effect on September 1, and this has a lot of individuals looking to declare energy independence!”

There has been surge of activity within San Diego, in part due to the fact SDG&E will be raising their rates in September.

Baker Electric Solars Residential Sales Manager, Andrew Berlin, mentioned significant growth during the past sixth months and a best month ever record – of over $2 million in sales – during June. It is a trend he expects to continue.

Berlin said, “We attribute this success to our consistent marketing efforts boosted by the recent announcement by SDG&E that the utility will be raising rates significantly for 25% of its customers come September. Many customers have received letters from the utility showing the impact on their bill beginning in September and the increase can be as large as 30 even 40 percent.”

“While people have been hearing about solar for a while and seeing it spread through early adopters in their neighborhoods, we expect a significant boom through the coming months as people understand the impact of the increase and realize that solar can provide immediate savings that will be even larger than previously anticipated.”

“Today, thanks to SDG&E’s recent price increases, for about what most customers will spend in the next 5-6 years, they can own a system and never pay another power bill,” said Michael Powers, founding partner and VP Sales & Marketing of Stellar Solar.

The Go Solar California site lists 478 solar companies that worked in San Diego during the past six years. The top twenty, according to the number of applications, are:

  1. Sullivan Solar Power  – 892 (BBB rating is “A+”)
  2. Solar West Electric – 764 (BBB rating is “A”)
  3. SolarCity – 711 (BBB rating is “A+”)
  4. REC Solar  – 648 (BBB rating is “A+)
  5. Baker Solar Electric  – 619 (BBB rating  is “A+”)
  6. Solaire Energy Systems – 490 (BBB rating is “A+)
  7. Stellar Solar – 446 (BBB rating is “A+”)
  8. (Name not given???) – 381
  9. Herca Solar, Inc – 337 (BBB rating is “A”)
  10. Natural Energy – 353 (BBB rating is “B”)
  11. Real Goods Solar – 304 (BBB rating is “A+”)
  12. Sungate Energy Solutions, Inc – 253 (BBB rating is “B -”)
  13. HelioPower, Inc – 250 (BBB ratings in their area are being updated & currently unavailable)
  14. Solare Energy, Inc – 222 (BBB rating is “A+”)
  15. Smart Home Remodelling, Inc – 214 (BBB rating is “A+)
  16. Clary Solar – 205 (BBB rating is “A”)
  17. California Solar Innovations – 179 (BBB rating is “F”)
  18. Sungevity Inc – 175 (BBB rating is “A”)
  19. Home Energy Systems – 173 (BBB rating is “A+”)
  20. Borrego Solar Systems. Inc – 171 (BBB rating  is “A+”)

A number of these companies were also working in Riverside and Orange counties , where homeowners are now utilizing the PACE program to finance installations through their property taxes.

A partial list from Riverside County, restricted to some of the companies listed above:

  • HelloPower, Inc – (#1) 494
  • Solar City – 435 (#3 and recently opened an operations center)
  • Real Good Solar  – 347
  • Sungevity, Inc – 111
  • REC Solar – 92
  • Sullivan Solar Power – 63
  • Solaire Energy Systems – 48
  • Herca – 38
  • Baker Electric Solar – 18
  • Borrego Solar Systems, Inc – 9
  • Stellar Solar – 9
  • Solar West Electric, Inc – 8

A partial list from Orange County, restricted to the same companies:

  • SolarCity –  #1, with 1,046 installations
  • REC Solar –  304.
  • Sungevity – 143
  • Real Good Solar  – 120
  • HelloPower – 105
  • Sullivan Solar Power – 68
  • California Solar Innovations – 67
  • Herca – 27
  • Solar West Electric – 17
  • Borrego Solar Systems, Inc – 11
  • Baker Electric Solar – 8

Looking into the future, Andrew Berlin expects Baker Electric Solar’s to do more business in San Diego, “As more customers realize the significant increase and once the increase takes effect in September, we expect to have more inquiries than ever before. When residents receive their October bill after a warm September, it will be a tough pill to swallow and we anticipate that many will look for options to lower their electric bill and investigate solar options.”

“It is likely that the solar industry will continue to grow and expand as the rates for electricity continue to rise with the recent closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant,” Erica Johnson said. “People are becoming more educated and well-versed in solar technology, which is a no-brainer investment for most property owners.”

One of Stellar Solar’s better known installations, a close to zero net energy home which San Diego Loves Green featured in the article Driving on 100% Sunshine

One of Stellar Solar’s better known installations, a close to zero net energy home which San Diego Loves Green featured in the article Driving on 100% Sunshine

  1. Sullivan Solar Power  – 892 (BBB rating is “A+”)
  2. Solar West Electric – 764 (BBB rating is “A”)
  3. SolarCity – 711 (BBB rating is “A+”)
  4. REC Solar  – 648 (BBB rating is “A+)
  5. Baker Solar Electric  – 619 (BBB rating  is “A+”)
  6. Solaire Energy Systems – 490 (BBB rating is “A+)
  7. Stellar Solar – 446 (BBB rating is “A+”)
  8. (Name not given???) – 381
  9. Herca Solar, Inc – 337 (BBB rating is “A”)
  10. Natural Energy – 353 (BBB rating is “B”)
  11. Real Goods Solar – 304 (BBB rating is “A+”)
  12. Sungate Energy Solutions, Inc – 253 (BBB rating is “B -”)
  13. HelioPower, Inc – 250 (BBB ratings in their area are being updated & currently unavailable)
  14. Solare Energy, Inc – 222 (BBB rating is “A+”)
  15. Smart Home Remodelling, Inc – 214 (BBB rating is “A+)
  16. Clary Solar – 205 (BBB rating is “A”)
  17. California Solar Innovations – 179 (BBB rating is “F”)
  18. Sungevity Inc – 175 (BBB rating is “A”)
  19. Home Energy Systems – 173 (BBB rating is “A+”)
  20. Borrego Solar Systems. Inc – 171 (BBB rating  is “A+”)

A number of these companies were also working in Riverside and Orange counties , where homeowners are now utilizing the PACE program to finance installations through their property taxes.

A partial list from Riverside County, restricted to some of the companies listed above:

  • HelloPower, Inc – (#1) 494
  • Solar City – 435 (#3 and recently opened an operations center)
  • Real Good Solar  – 347
  • Sungevity, Inc – 111
  • REC Solar – 92
  • Sullivan Solar Power – 63
  • Solaire Energy Systems – 48
  • Herca – 38
  • Baker Electric Solar – 18
  • Borrego Solar Systems, Inc – 9
  • Stellar Solar – 9
  • Solar West Electric, Inc – 8

A partial list from Orange County, restricted to the same companies:

  • SolarCity –  #1, with 1,046 installations
  • REC Solar –  304.
  • Sungevity – 143
  • Real Good Solar  – 120
  • HelloPower – 105
  • Sullivan Solar Power – 68
  • California Solar Innovations – 67
  • Herca – 27
  • Solar West Electric – 17
  • Borrego Solar Systems, Inc – 11
  • Baker Electric Solar – 8

Looking into the future, Andrew Berlin expects Baker Electric Solar’s to do more business in San Diego, “As more customers realize the significant increase and once the increase takes effect in September, we expect to have more inquiries than ever before. When residents receive their October bill after a warm September, it will be a tough pill to swallow and we anticipate that many will look for options to lower their electric bill and investigate solar options.”

“It is likely that the solar industry will continue to grow and expand as the rates for electricity continue to rise with the recent closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant,” Erica Johnson said. “People are becoming more educated and well-versed in solar technology, which is a no-brainer investment for most property owners.”

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Advertisement
 
Written By

We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people, organizations, agencies, and companies.

Comments

You May Also Like

Clean Transport

Update: Nuvve Holding Corp. is a global energy infrastructure management company headquartered in San Diego, CA which partnered directly with San Diego Gas and...

Clean Transport

ChargeNet has raised $6.2 million from local investors to expand its network of EV charging stations at fast food restaurants across California, dot.LA reports....

Clean Transport

A bold new program is accelerating the transition to zero-emissions trucks.

Aviation

San Diego International Airport may be the home base for an enormous amount of emissions from all the airplanes flying in and out of...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.