How do I find my home or business' solar potential?
Despite San Francisco's foggy reputation, the City receives an abundant amount of solar energy. In fact, San Francisco only receives 7-10% less solar energy than San Diego and Los Angeles, respectively. Furthermore, Germany is the world's leading solar market and they have a solar resource that's equivilant with Juneau, Alaska!
There are two main types of solar energy systems available: solar electricity (photovoltaic or PV) and solar water heating. Solar PV will lower your electricity bill and solar water heating will lower your natural gas bill (unless you have an electric water heater). Both technologies are proven and effective, and in use across the world. In fact, about 90% of Israeli homes have solar hot water systems and there are over 137,000 photovoltaic installations in the United States.
SF Energy Map
The award-winning San Francisco Energy Map was developed by SF Environment to help property owners assess the solar electricity and/or water heating poential of their roofs. Simply enter your address and the map will provide your available roof space, solar potential, and estimated savings. This is an excellent first step in determining if solar is right for you. The next step is to get a few bids from qualified solar contractors. For a list of installers that are eligible for the local GoSolarSF rebate, please visit solarsf.org.
As a general rule of thumb, average households in California require a 3-5 kilowatt (kW) solar electric system (5 panels = 1 kW) and 1-2 solar water heating collectors to meet their energy needs.
San Francisco is habitat for 800,000 people – meeting needs for space to work, play, and learn; for food, water, and air; for community with local flora and fauna. SF Environment provides support for urban agriculture and forestry and green buildings, helping residents and businesses harness environmental opportunities.