Solar Panel Cost Guide in Atwater, CA (Jan 2023)

  • Atwater Solar Installation Cost: $5,657
  • 25-Year Savings: $19,712
  • Payback Period: 5.6 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

Why you can trust EcoWatch

We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Atwater

Find out how much it might cost to go solar in Atwater.

The average cost of solar panels in Atwater is $3 per watt. The average Atwater homeowner needs a 3.0-kilowatt system, which would cost about $5,657, or $4,186 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

These figures are just estimates, and the cost of going solar for you will differ based on your energy needs and what company you go with. Even with the significant initial cost, the average Atwater homeowner can save about $33,000 on their energy bills over 20 years, which is one of the positives of solar.

For a customized quote from a local solar company that has been pre-vetted by the EcoWatch team, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Atwater

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,642
3 years $-2,612
5 years $-583
7 years $1,447
9 years $3,476
11 years $5,505
13 years $7,535
15 years $9,564
17 years $11,594
19 years $13,623
21 years $15,653
23 years $17,682
25 years $19,712

Top Solar Installers in Atwater

When going solar, many homeowners decide to use a solar installation company since installing solar panels yourself can be a difficult project. Plus, if you aren't sure what type of solar panels and equipment you need, a solar company can help you find the right equipment for you after a site survey and consultation.

If you're looking for a solar company in Atwater, we've put together a list of our top suggestions here:

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication
  • Slightly limited service offerings

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

See all of the solar companies in Atwater

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Atwater

The cost of installing a solar system in Atwater can vary by more than $10,000 from home to home. Your actual cost is determined by several factors. The biggest one is your system size, and other factors include the equipment you choose, financing options and the solar company you choose.

Solar Equipment

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to the cost of adopting solar energy is the size of the solar system, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). The more power your household uses, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to spend around $2,730 per kilowatt in Atwater. The brand and type of equipment you want for your solar system can increase or decrease the price quite significantly. If you prefer a brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these often have a higher price tag than other brands. Efficiency also matters. Whether you're opting for high efficiency because you have a small roof or just want maximum energy production, you will be looking at a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to greater savings over time. Also, if you want additional equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for a solar system out of pocket can be challenging. Solar loans are offered by most installers in Atwater, which can reduce, or in some cases totally eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of financing options, including the amount of interest you'll pay over the length of the loan. If you're only able to get a high-interest loan, then your total can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars more than the original cost. Making a larger down payment or getting a solar loan with a low interest rate could reduce your costs significantly.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Lastly, the company you opt for to install your solar panels can impact how much you pay. Atwater's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. Companies that only sell high-efficiency and high-priced products — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally come at a higher cost. It's best to do some research and go with the company that provides the products, warranties and services you're looking for and also is within your budget.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.84 $11,925 $39,444 5.8 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $52,898 5.7 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $66,505 5.6 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $80,264 5.5 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $94,176 5.4 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $108,242 5.2 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $122,460 5.1 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $136,831 5.0 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the type of solar panels and the installer you choose considerably impacts your costs and your system's efficiency, production, and durability, it's important to select the right ones for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Contract: Though reading through a contract can take a lot of time, it's important to do it carefully so you can make sure you understand what services your solar company will provide and the terms of the warranty.
  • Warranty: Each company may offer different types of warranties that cover different things. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The model of solar panel you need to get plays a role in which company you should opt for, since different companies provide different panels.
  • Reputation: Solar installers that have great reviews from their customers and that have been operating for many years most likely offer high-quality solar panel installation and expertise.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Regional Coverage

Momentum Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication
  • Slightly limited service offerings

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

EcoWatch's Atwater, CA Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Atwater?

This is a hard question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a few different factors. Generally speaking, it costs about $13,650 for a 5-kW system and $27,300 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will be more expensive if you want extra solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have above-average energy needs. Conversely, you can spend less if you go with a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

What other factors should I consider other than cost when buying solar panels?

Cost is certainly one of the most important factors you should consider when buying solar panels, but other important factors include efficiency, durability, and quality.

How much can I save on power bills after switching to solar?

It is possible to eliminate your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners in Atwater, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes will have roofs that can accommodate that size system, so you'll want to check with a local solar installer to see how many panels can fit on your roof.

How many solar panels should I get to power my home?

To figure out what solar panel system size you need, you should find out how much energy your home uses and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can generally produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average house will need 20 to 35 panels.

Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.

Company research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.

Follow us