• It’s no secret that the cost of electricity in southern California keeps getting higher, especially as utilities keep raising rates year after year. 

    Below are 5 eco-friendly tips that will reduce your electricity bill while even simultaneously increasing the value of your home. It’s a win-win whether you’re implementing these to ‘go green’ or you merely want to save money!

    Switch to Energy-Efficient Appliances 

    Most households consume large amounts of energy with their refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, and other appliances. 

    We recommend swapping appliances for energy efficient ones that reduce less energy. There are great tools out there such as the ENERGY STAR rebate finder which helps people find discounts and special offers on these products. Keep in mind that every appliance comes with two price tags: the initial purchase price and the cost of operating the product! 

    Otherwise, simple changes like switching incandescent light bulbs for LEDs, updating your HVAC system, or getting a tankless water heater can also do the trick. Also, consider using low-flow water fixtures - use this EPA tool to find low-flow toilets, faucets, showerheads, and other fixtures. Make sure that you check for an EPA WaterSense label to ensure the product is legitimate.

    If you have solar panels, it’s recommended to check or clean your solar panels for dust and debris a few times per year. Check out the Energy Star website for more information and guidance on which types of appliances to purchase. Their website has a Spanish version also.

     Unplug Everything but Refrigerators and Modems

    This is surprisingly huge. Many appliances and household items still sap energy while on standby power mode. This means they still consume energy while they are switched off and still plugged in. Use this list as an example of things that should be unplugged while unused:


    -DVD/video players

    -Coffee makers


    -Mobile device chargers

    -Food processors


    This isn’t an extensive list but should be used to start with. We recommend using power strips to easily control when everything is connected to power so you can cut off power instantly. 

     Install Solar Panels

    This is an obvious one! Solar panels in San Diego are a must for homeowners who want to save money on their electric bill while taking advantage of incentives such as the 26% Federal Tax Credit. 

    Many of our customers combine their solar with solar battery storage and a plug-in EV to run their lives completely on the sun. Charging your car with a battery at home to avoid escalating gas prices is an environmentally conscious decision and a fiscally wise one. Not a bad way to escape the chains of gasoline companies while powering your car with electricity instead. 

    If you want solar battery backup in San Diego, we offer a variety of choices to suit your needs including Tesla PowerWall, LG, and Enphase batteries. Each of these can offset Time-Of-Use charges, and protect homeowners from rolling blackouts that SDGE is consistently implementing. Solar batteries can help out in both cases, not only saving money, but allowing you to keep the power on at all times. 

    Don’t forget that solar panels typically boost the value of your home. Studies have noted that homebuyers are often willing to pay $15,000 more on average for a home that has solar installed on it. 

    Solar panel installation is becoming more affordable than ever before. Affordable solar financing options are available for those who want solar panels without going broke. Many people choose to lease their solar which means that they instantly replace a high electricity bill with an affordable monthly payment. Purchasing a solar energy system outright is also an option and provides a very solid ROI; in that systems typically pay for themselves in about 4–7 years. 

    Update your Roofing 

    Updating your roofing can save you from long-term expenses that come with a deteriorating roof. It also is an opportunity to increase the value of your home while installing an environmentally friendly upgrade. 

    There are many options available such as installing a cool or insulated roof. Installing a coof roof can decrease the heat of your home: this reduces the amount of air conditioning needed while also improving the efficiency of your solar panels so they don’t overheat. There are also solar reflective products such as paints, tiles, shingles, and sheet coverings that you can use. 

    Energy efficient roofing reflects the sun’s rays and reduces the heat that is transferred in the building. This reduces air conditioning needs and also lessens the demand on the power grid during peak electricity demand times. Check out the Energy Star website for tips and guidance on the topic. 

     Plant Trees and Use Natural Landscaping

    San Diego typically has nice, warm weather over most of the year. However, this sometimes means that higher energy costs to combat the heat. 

    Planting shade trees is a crafty way to reduce the amount of energy that buildings use for cooling and heating. In a climate such as southern California, usually these are a solid option to lower a home’s temperature a few degrees and block other elements such as high winds.

    On top of this, you can also use native or drought-tolerant plants for landscaping. These types of plants thrive without a great deal of water or maintenance. Plus, you’re saving serious money on your electricity and water bill each month. It’s no surprise: the EPA has found that outdoor watering accounts for 30% of all water use in the USA. 

    Overall, Stellar Solar is San Diego's original solar panel installer, installing residential and commercial solar panels across Southern California since 1998. We've installed over 14,000 rooftop and ground mounted solar panel systems on homes, businesses, and governmental organizations. 

    Our reputation as the best solar power company in San Diego has been consistently established from being voted "San Diego's Best Solar Company" in the annual San Diego Union Tribune Readers Poll 9 times out of the past 11 years, including once again in 2021. 


  • About the Author

    Michael Powers


    Michael is one of the founding partners of Stellar Solar. In 2001, he helped launch The Home Depot’s national solar energy program which is now offering home solar through hundreds of stores in nearly a dozen states. He is a writer and marketing professional with over 30 years’ experience in the fields of energy, market intelligence and leadership training. He currently serves as treasurer and board member of Global Energy Network Institute (GENI), a San Diego-based non-governmental organization that advocates linking renewable energy resources around the world using electricity transmission.