2020 New Build Mandate in Effect

California has always been the state leading the country towards a brighter, greener future. At the forefront of the nation’s green revolution, California constantly seeks new ways of innovating upon existing technologies to revolutionize society. Recently, solar panel installations have received renewed interest by the state, and are the subject of the California 2020 New Build Mandate guidelines. The new California Green Building Standards Code requires all newly built single residence homes to have solar panel installations. With home buying up in Orange County, San Diego County, and Riverside County, one has to wonder how these guidelines will affect Southern California residents?

Will The California 2020 New Build Mandate Save Money?

The answer is yes, the California 2020 New Build Mandate will. Newly built homes after Jan. 1 are required to have solar panel installations, while existing homes do not have to install solar panels. However, the California Energy Commission estimates that over a standard 30-year mortgage, a solar panel installation can save homeowners $19,000. Regardless of whether or not you are building a new home, solar panel installations are a sound investment to both save the environment and your money.

How Will The California 2020 New Build Mandate Affect Home Builders?

Home builders may be wary of the California 2020 New Build Mandate for new homes, however these new guidelines can help them just as much as home buyers. Home builders have the opportunity to form lasting business relationships with expert solar panel installation experts who can work closely with them on multiple projects, potentially driving down the cost of their bulk solar panel installation purchases. The California Building Industry Association estimates that solar panel installations will add $8,000 to $13,500 to the price of building new homes, making wholesale discounts of solar panel installations a great way to add surplus value to new homes. With home builders expected to absorb most of the cost of the California 2020 New Build Mandate, making connections with expert solar panel installation providers should be at the top of every home builder’s todo list.

Top Tier Home Energy: Ready For Change

At Top Tier Home Energy, we are more than ready to assist home builders in complying with the California 2020 New Build Mandate. When you need an expert solar panel installation provider for Orange County, San Diego County, Or Riverside County, look no further. We back all of our work with an industry-leading 25 year warranty. That’s nearly the entire length of a home mortgage, meaning that potential home buyers will feel confident in their new home’s solar panel installation. We’re excited to work with home builders in Orange County, San Diego County, and Riverside County as they strive to meet the exceptionally green goals set out in the by this ambitious new law.

How Can Solar Panel Installation Help Me?

One of the best perks of living in Southern California is undoubtedly our weather. Going to an Orange County or San Diego County beach in the summer is high up on nearly every resident’s list of favorite activities. But increasingly, our summers are plagued by heat waves wherein our perfect weather takes a turn for the worse. Surprisingly, solar panel installation may hold the key to beating the heat this summer.

The last thing you want to be worrying about during one of these heat waves is your energy bill.  California has the 7th highest energy prices in the nation according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, with prices even higher in Orange County, San Diego County, and even Riverside County. 

Solar Panels Save Summer

The very same sun that is beaming down on you can be utilized to actually cool your home. Reliable solar panels from Top Tier Home Energy can not only lower your energy bill, but also eliminate the guilt you feel when you turn down the thermostat. Top Tier Home Energy is not only a leading provider of solar panels in Orange County, San Diego County, and Riverside County, but we also install custom heating and air systems that are built to take full advantage of solar panel installations.

Top Tier Home Energy installs Sunpower solar panels, which are consistently rated among the highest grade solar panels on the market. Not only are these durable solar panels the most efficient solar panels on the market, we at Top Tier Home Energy back them up with an industry-leading 25 year warranty which make our solar panel installation services risk free!

Yes, you read that right: 25 years of guaranteed lower energy bills, guilt free air conditioning, and the knowledge that you are doing your part to help save the environment. Even when the sun isn’t shining, our industry-unique battery storage systems will keep your home powered in the greenest possible way. 

Whether you’re a resident of Orange County, San Diego County, or Riverside County, Top Tier Home Energy can help reduce your monthly energy bill and keep your home cool. While summer may seem months away, it’s only a matter of time before the weather warms up and you’ll be wanting to turn the thermostat down. Be prepared for the summer’s heat wave today with Southern California’s leading solar panel installation provider. 


When people start doing their research into solar energy, one of the most common questions is whether or not solar panels produce solar powered energy at night. It sounds silly, but you have to wonder if solar panels produce renewable solar energy, then what happens at night? The truth is that with solar panels, homeowners are able to benefit from energy stored and produced during the day and turned into solar powered energy. There are multiple ways In which this happens:

Solar Powered Energy and Net Metering

Net metering is often misunderstood but it’s a simple concept. Homeowners connect their solar power energy panels to the grid and it functions similarly to a health savings account. In this way, solar power is gathered and if there’s excess, then it’s sold back to the electric grid. Because of the excess electricity gathered, homeowners are able to draw upon the solar power energy credits earned during the day. When homeowners’ solar panels store enough energy, not only are they able to use it at night, but the further excess is able to be sold back to the electricity company. This in turn could help homeowners make money back for their use of a solar power installation. Net metering allows homeowners to not only draw upon their bank of stored solar powered energy to use at night, but to also facilitate the flow of energy throughout homes, day or night.

Solar Power Batteries Keep Your Solar Powered Energy Flowing

Solar powered energy is extremely important, but especially with solar batteries. Solar batteries absorb energy directly from the sun. Instead of selling solar power back to the grid, solar batteries absorb the energy from the sun and the solar power energy battery provides stored energy to homeowners themselves. Homeowners are able to gain peace of mind for solar powered energy battery backup during power during outages or natural disasters. This allows homeowners the ability to gain a sustainable 24/7 source of solar energy, no matter the time of night.

The One-Two Punch of Both

The majority of solar powered energy systems actually combine net metering and solar batteries. What this means to the average homeowner with solar panels is that they are able to generate more energy, store this energy for use during the night or at later times, and even to make money off of solar powered energy due to selling electricity back to the grid system. The marriage of these 2 important technologies means that homeowners are better able to find a reliable and sustainable solar powered energy solution that provides energy when they need it and money back when they don’t.

No matter your choice, there are cost benefits and drawbacks to various aspects of a residential solar energy system. It’s important to consult the experts such as Top Tier Home who know how to help homeowners obtain the very best for their needs. Call Top Tier Home today at (949) 296-2296.

Solar power can save homeowners thousands of dollars per year in electricity costs and over time, can actually make homeowners money from the accumulation of solar power and the eventual sale back to the electric company. However, homeowners are aware that the upfront costs of a solar installation can be hefty in the beginning. That’s why many homeowners are opting for financing their solar power installation. Finding the right option for each homeowner can be difficult. However, we’re laying out the variety of financing options available to homeowners now that will result in larger savings later.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Solar Power Financing

When you own your own home, you have a line of equity available to you. After all, the reason you own versus rent is to build equity for your future. In order to make big purchases, many homeowners at one point or another, often take out a loan against the value of their home. What this means is that the bank is betting on the fact that you’ll pay your loan back or they’ll have a piece of real property to take to satisfy the loan.

By using your home as collateral, homeowners are able to gain access to the full amount in order to pay for a solar power installation upfront. The good news is this investment actually increases the value of your home. Payments to the bank to repay this loan are much less per month than other kinds of loans and allow homeowners to own their solar power installation from day 1- you’re an instant home solar owner.

Home Energy Renovation Option (HERO) Home Loan

A HERO home loan can offer homeowners seeking to upgrade to a solar power installation the ability to fund energy upgrades to their homes. HERO contractors are highly regulated and can offer repayment through homeowners’ property taxes. Rather than applying with your credit score, people are approved via the value of their home equity. Typically, homeowners choose a rate based on the number of years that they’ll need to pay the loan back and the rate is added to their tax bill. This is popular because it’s one annual payment. As a result, homeowners with solar power systems often experience immediate gains as a result of falling electricity rates and rising abilities to make money off of their solar power system.

Upfront Cash Payment

By paying in cash upfront, homeowners are able to realize benefits of solar power immediately. While this can be difficult for some homeowners, it can also be a smart investment in order to realize immediate benefits. This means homeowners are able to own their solar system on day 1. These homeowners are also able to gain the lowest price on a new system and be eligible for immediate tax benefits. This kind of improvement to a home also offers an increase in a home’s value. These can be attractive options to pay in cash upfront instead of delaying the costs via a loan.

Whatever your financial situation, homeowners are able to realize the benefits of a new solar power system. This means that whether they take out a loan or pay in cash, a new solar system can be instantly valuable. To find out more about your options, call the experts at Top Tier Home Energy at (949) 296-2296.

The promise of solar power is energy independence. Part of that great promise is the ability to save money, or even get paid for the energy homeowners produce to sell back to the grid. However, prior to being able to produce energy to sell back to the electric company, there are a host of energy rebates that homeowners can take advantage of in order to start saving faster. Both states and the federal government offer energy efficiency incentives in the form of energy rebates that homeowners can take advantage of immediately.

The Various Kinds of Energy Rebates Available

There are a variety of energy rebates that homeowners are able to take advantage of in order to save money. When homeowners install solar panels, they’re able to realize many benefits. Whether homeowners apply for grant funding for energy efficient projects, or government services aimed at saving homeowners money, there are multiple ways in which homeowners can save. This includes the following types of energy rebates:

• Cash Energy Rebates- Many local governments, state governments, manufacturers and electric or utility companies offer cash incentives to use energy efficient products or appliances. These are the most readily available energy rebates available to homeowners seeking to save money on their electricity or power bills.
• Tax Credits- Tax credits are still available to homeowners seeking energy rebates for purchasing qualifying Energy Star appliances that are approved for the year. When filing taxes, the federal government can offer tax credits for the purchase of energy efficient products, whether solar or Energy Star appliances. As tax season looms, we can all use additional tax deductions in order to help save money.
• Federal Solar Incentives- Since 2006, the federal government has offered energy rebates for homeowners who have solar power systems. This has traditionally been approximately 30%, but as time progresses, this will soon dissipate. This is why the time to act is now. Homeowners are encouraged to take advantage of these important energy rebates now before the tax benefits are gone. Unfortunately, this benefit will reduce to 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021. After 2021, the residential solar credits will disappear altogether, although commercial entities will reduce to a permanent 10%.
• State Energy Rebates- There are multiple states that offer additional tax and cash energy rebates. Depending upon homeowners’ state where their residence is located, there may be rebate incentive programs that could even pay for a residential solar power system.

There are a variety of energy rebates available to savvy homeowners who are ready to take advantage of time sensitive rebates in addition to money offered back by either manufacturers or Energy Star products. To find out more about these opportunities, contact Top Tier Home Energy at (949) 296-2296.

Recently, new research has emerged to suggest that our environment is deteriorating at a more rapid rate than ever before.  One of the answers to this is installing a solar system in your home with clean renewable energy.  This means solar panels are going to collect energy from the sun so you can store energy and go off the grid.

When homeowners go solar, they often are able to make money from this investment.  Additionally, they are entitled to a variety of benefits as well.

When homeowners install solar panels, they are not only increasing the value of their home in a resale arrangement, but they are also opening themselves up to the opportunity to make money off of those solar panels.

Consider the following ways homeowners can make money from a solar system:

Saving Money Due to Your Solar Panels

Traditionally, most Californian homeowners pay around $1500 in electricity bills every year.  However, with solar power, this isn’t so.  Many homeowners are suffering under an electricity increase of over 2.2% per year that homeowners with solar panels do not.  As electricity rates continue to rise, homeowners with solar panels will be able to save more than the average family.

There are multiple ways for homeowners to save with solar panels.  This includes the following rebates and credits as a result of installing solar panels:

  • The current federal tax credits for homeowners with solar panels
  • No money down on solar power systems until 2020
  • Local city and county incentives for solar power systems
  • Reduction in monthly electricity payments
  • An increase in home values

Currently, news has reported that the federal tax credit is going away.  This will decrease year after year over the next few years.  However, credits, whether used this year or next year, are easily rolled over.

Saving Money with Solar Panels

Solar panels can draw energy from the sun and eventually store enough energy in solar batteries to power homes and if enough is gathered, homeowners can sell these energy credits back to electricity companies.  The math says that homeowners can claim up to $13,000 in savings as a result of going solar. Because these panels size and electricity necessary to power a home, these savings can vary.

It’s clear the system can help any homeowners to help you save. Let the process happen and call the experts at Top Tier Home Energy today to start saving money now (949) 296-2296.

When considering a new residential solar installation, many people are curious how soon they can start generating energy and saving money.  There are 4 factors that immediately stand out which will affect not only your production of solar energy but your savings as well.  In order to reap the benefits of a new residential solar installation, the following should be considered:

  1. Seasons

In areas such as Southern California, we experience very little in the way of changing seasons. Southern California is lucky enough to enjoy ample sunlight whether in the summer or in the winter.  It’s not unusual for a Southern California Christmas to reach 80 degrees.  Because of this warm weather, Southern Californians can expect more sunlight than most areas of the country.  This is great news for residents considering a new solar installation.  More available sunlight is better for increased solar energy production.

  1. Shade

It seems like a no brainer, but shade plays a significant role in the amount of energy produced by a solar installation.  If a home is located in large areas of shade, less direct sunlight will be available to produce energy with your solar installation.  It’s generally advised that residents with overgrown trees and obstructions do their best to trim them or remove them if they have decided they want to make use of the clean renewable energy that solar produces.

  1. Tilt

Tilt is another factor that will affect your solar installation’s ability to produce energy.  Tilt includes the slope of your roof, the angle that your solar panels are facing in your solar installation, and the direction your home is facing.  Ideally, to produce the most energy from your solar installation, solar panels should be mounted between 30 to 45 degrees.

  1. Azimuth

Azimuth refers to the angle from which the sunlight is beamed down. Getting the azimuth correct is critical to take full advantage of your solar installation.  When this is wrong, residents may experience a loss of up to 35% of available solar energy.


Prior to a new solar installation, it’s important to be aware of the many factors that could affect the quality of your energy produced.  When you consult with the experts at Top Tier Home Energy, you can learn more about each of these factors which will affect your energy production.  Start by calling us at (949) 296-2296.

When homeowners start to think seriously about the benefits of installing solar panels, one of the most common questions that comes up is how long do they last?  Many homeowners are new to the process, not sure whether they’ll have high maintenance fees or if they’re at risk for additional replacement costs more often than they’d like.  The truth is that homeowners can breathe a sigh of relief.  Solar panels last a lot longer than you’d think.

How Long Can Solar Panels Last if Maintained?

The good news is after a solar installation, homeowners can look forward to your panels lasting in the range of 25 years.  Think about that- in 25 years, your children will grow up happy and healthy, your baby sapling trees will grow large and your car will have been replaced for the latest and greatest model multiple times.  25 years is a very long time.  It speaks to the durability of solar panels and their low maintenance.  These panels face the brunt force of the elements- wind, rain, sunshine, snow, or even hurricanes or twisters.  The good news is in California, we won’t have some of the most extreme weather and can enjoy some of the best weather.  However, maintenance is still necessary.

The average rate of degradation of solar panels is about .4% per year.  What this means is that even if they degrade over time, your new panels will be operating in the high 80’s to mid 90% over the years.  With gentle maintenance, you’ll still be reaping the benefits of solar panels for years to come.  A great solar power company can help you frame your expectations, teach you how to maintain your solar panels, and offer you support.

Tips For Extending the Life of Your Solar Panels

We can’t control the weather.  Depending upon the weather, your panels can experience debris, high winds, beating down rain or hail, and more.  This can wreak havoc on anything from your car to your motorcycle to even your home wherever you’re located.  However, you can do the following steps to extend the life of your solar panels:

  • Find an Exceptional Solar Power Company to Partner With.  The best companies are all about customer service.  Would you consider buying a new solar power system from someone who would abandon you completely? No.  Do your homework and partner with an exceptional solar power company so you’re sure to receive the best customer service for installation and helpful hints throughout the life of your solar power system.
  • Keep an Eye on Your Solar Panels.  You should actively monitor your solar panels, whether that means clearing debris off of them after high winds, or cleaning up the results of what appears to be sick birds.  It’s helpful to ensure your solar panels are not damaged, excessively dirty, or deteriorating from a lack of attention and maintenance.

Solar energy systems can potentially last you around 25 years.  That could be 25 years of your family enjoying freedom from high energy bills, earning money from energy credits, and reaping the benefits of solar power.  How long can your peace of mind last with clean, renewable energy?

When homeowners hear solar savings, they have expectations that they’ll instantly be flush with extra cash.  However, solar panels take time to acquire energy from the sun and produce energy for your home.  This means that as more time goes on, homeowners will start to see more solar savings with reduced or completely eliminated electricity bills. Within months, you’ll begin to see your investment paying off and within years, a solar system can completely pay for itself.  Consider the following ways in which you can determine your solar savings with a new solar system:

Use a Cost Calculator to Determine Solar Savings

A free cost calculator can help you to predict how much you will save by switching from electricity to solar power. Generally speaking, a solar cost calculator can take into account geographic data, shade homeowners experience and monthly electric bills.  Using this data, a solar cost calculator will produce a general idea of what you can expect in solar savings.  This is a great first step to determining whether a home is a good candidate for solar panels and it also provides a great benchmark for determining solar savings as time progresses.

Keep Close Track with Net Metering

Most homes that are solar powered are connected to the grid via net metering.  This is a system of billing that keeps track of homes’ utility meter to determine the amount of energy produced.  The electricity homeowners’ solar panels generates is recorded in net metering and the solar savings are reflected in monthly electric bills.

Generally, homeowners can generate enough electricity to avoid paying an electric bill.  These savings can add up significantly for homeowners used to paying hundreds of dollars in electricity every month. If solar panels produce more energy than is actually used, then that energy is sold back to the grid and the electric company will reimburse homeowners for the extra power. A check every month can be a great way to keep track of the cost savings from switching to solar power.

The initial investment in a solar system can be daunting for some homeowners, but as they begin to see their solar savings for themselves it’s clear they made a smart investment.  Becoming energy neutral and paying nothing to your electric company is a great feeling, but as time goes on, your solar panels will pay for themselves and that is an amazing feeling.

If you are wondering how much you can save with solar panels, we can help! Call us today for an estimate.

Call Top Tier Home Energy (949) 296-2296.


At the beginning of the year, the U.S. imposed a number of tariffs, including on imported solar panels and solar cells. This tariff was set at 30%.  Every indication is that the U.S. is working to lower these tariffs soon, but until then people are struggling to understand the impact. Understandably so, home owners have enjoyed lower energy bills since making the switch to solar power.  Those are not going to significantly spike as the solar tariff will primarily affect manufacturers, not homeowners.

How the Solar Tariff Impacts Home Owners

The solar tariff was the result of a fixed percentage on these goods. Over the course of only four years, the solar tariff will be in place.  The good news to homeowners is that it will drop by 5% every year.  This means that as you ring in the new year soon, the solar tariff will lower to only 25%.  As you ring in the next year, your solar tariff will lower again and you’ll only have to pay a 20% tariff.

With the steady pace of newer and less expensive technology, solar panels and cells have been similarly declining.  This means that homeowners will still be able to enjoy the benefits of lower energy bills and energy credits with carriers. New studies out of the Department of Energy is placing the costs per kilowatt hour of solar falling far behind those of coal and gas.

Californians Can Benefit from Solar Incentives

Particularly in California, where programs are so favorable to homeowners using solar power, the effects will be minimal at best. There are many solar incentives that can help offset any additional costs. The tariff may add a few hundred dollars up front on the installation end, but the benefits over time will significantly overshadow the solar tariff. If you sell energy credits to your local power provider, you could actually make money off of your solar power system.

If you’re considering the switch to solar power, contact us for a free evaluation.  We can help you reduce your energy bills with this clean renewable source. Call us today at Top Tier Home Energy (949) 296-2296.


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