We Love Solar Power, But Do We Hate-Love the Panels?

Californians are proud of their green buildings and earth-powered initiatives. But we're also proud of our cute Craftsman bungalows and Victorian row houses. Aesthetics, meet ecology. Let's see how you get along.

Field of Beams

Photo By Zillow Can you spot the space-age solar power in this bucolic scene? 

We're all so used to hearing about government programs going wrong that it's awfully nice to hear they're going right in some places. The Go Solar California campaign is a collection of rebates for different kinds of households; there's even funding for research and development of solar technologies.

The year 2012 was a record-breaking one for the initiative: Californians installed 391 megawatts of solar power, a 26% jump from 2011, which brought them 65% toward their total program goal. A total of 1700 megawatts top roofs across the state, which experts say is enough to reliably power 340,000 homes. Meanwhile, the price of the panels and the labor has dropped, so pretty soon it'll be more cost-effective and better for the planet at the same time. Yeah, you could call it a success. Heck, there are even entire community developments now built with solar power.

Meanwhile, that's a lot of solar panels on a lot of rooftops. Though many homeowners love displaying their solar cred, others aren't into the futuristic gray rectangles. How to incorporate solar panels into the larger aesthetic of a home's design is a challenge, one that's been met in a variety of different ways.  

Here's a look at solar panels on current listings throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, on every sort of home. Which ones do you find most aesthetically pleasing?


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