California is offering a new incentive for people who want to switch to a greener source of energy – solar power. But this time the California Energy Commission instituted new guidelines at the beginning of this month for those who place west-facing solar panels on their homes.
There have been different incentives for switching in the past, but these newly instituted incentives are also better for the environment.
While traditionally solar panels are placed facing south to capture the maximum amount of sunlight, the energy commission is saying that the westward facing panels will reduce the amount of air pollution.
The panels will generate around 20 percent less overall power, but energy production will increase during peak hours from 2 in the afternoon to 8 at night. The energy captured during this time will mean more renewable energy to be used resulting in less air pollution from other more traditional power plants.
The California Energy Commission is saying that residents who follow the new guidelines could save as much as $500 per home.
“We are hoping to squeeze more energy out of the afternoon daylight hours when electricity demand is the highest,” said David Hochschild, the lead commissioner for the renewable energy division, “By encouraging west-facing solar systems, we can better match our renewable supply with energy demand.”
The commission is not forcing people to place their solar panels a certain way, but with incentives like these they are encouraging Californians to use solar energy to the state and environment’s biggest advantage.