Solar panel prices overreach many homeowners’ budgets, no matter how green they want to be; but recently new companies have eliminated upfront costs, bringing solar power costs down to earth.

Homeowners looking to reduce their contribution to global warming or save money on electric bills often consider installing solar panels, especially in North San Diego and Southwest Riverside counties, where the sun shines hot and often.

But a collapse in home values left many customers without equity in their homes to take out loans needed to finance solar systems that cost $30,000 or more for a typical system.

January 30, 2011