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

  • Auburn Solar Installation Cost: $5,905
  • 25-Year Savings: $19,195
  • Payback Period: 5.9 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 Auburn

See how much it might cost to switch to solar power in Auburn.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Auburn, the typical cost of solar panels is $3 per watt. To cover the typical energy usage of the average home in Auburn, most homeowners require a 3.1-kilowatt system. Using the figure above, a solar installation costs about $5,905, or $4,370 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The true price you pay can be above or below the average in Auburn based on several factors, such as the type of solar panels you choose and the solar installer you hire. For many homeowners, the upfront cost of solar is worth paying. On average homeowners in Auburn see about $31,000 in savings on energy bills over 20 years.

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

Solar savings over time in Auburn

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,901
3 years $-2,893
5 years $-885
7 years $1,123
9 years $3,131
11 years $5,139
13 years $7,147
15 years $9,155
17 years $11,163
19 years $13,171
21 years $15,179
23 years $17,187
25 years $19,195

Top Solar Installers in Auburn

Although you can install solar panels on your own, it takes extra effort and knowledge. That's one of the reasons the majority of homeowners choose a solar panel installer. The expertise that solar installers offer can be valuable as well, especially if you aren't sure what brand of solar equipment you need.

Working with a professional solar installer can make going solar easier. Here are our recommendations:

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 Auburn

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Auburn

While the average cost of a solar system in Auburn is $5,905, your final cost may differ. There are many factors that can have a sizable impact on the cost of a solar panel installation. Below are some of the more crucial things to consider.

Solar Equipment

System size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that influences the overall cost of going solar. Because of that, it's a priority to accurately assess the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your energy needs. The type of solar equipment you choose can bring your price up or down by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you choose the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. On the other hand, more efficient panels could save you more in the long run on your power bills. In addition, extra products, like solar batteries, can bring your total well above the Auburn average.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar companies in Auburn provide solar loans, which reduce your upfront costs of installing solar panels. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of financing options, including the total interest you'll pay over the length of the loan. If you can only 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 securing a solar loan with a low interest rate could reduce your costs significantly.

Solar Panel Installation Company

A final factor to consider when trying to figure out the cost of solar for your home or business in Auburn is the company you hire to install your solar system. Similar to choosing a company to renovate your kitchen, for example, there's no shortage of solar installers that offer a range of services at different costs. The company's size can sometimes play the most considerable role in the installation costs. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower pricing due to greater resources and better pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they can sometimes have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or promotion can bring their pricing lower to compete with bigger companies.

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 $36,758 6.1 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $49,316 6.0 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $62,028 5.9 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $74,892 5.8 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $87,909 5.7 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $101,079 5.5 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $114,402 5.4 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $127,877 5.3 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are a lot of solar installers to choose from, all of which offer different warranties, solar panel brands and price points. To help you decide on the right company for you, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Installation Process: When going solar, it's necessary to maintain an open line of communication with your solar company. Make sure you understand how the installation process will go and the project completion timeline.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Not all solar companies offer the same brands of solar panels, so the brand and type of panel you want can play a significant role in the company you hire.
  • Reputation: Solar panel companies that have great reviews from their customers and that have been operating for many years most likely offer quality solar panel installation and expertise.
  • Contract: Though reading through a contract can take a lot of time, it's important to do it carefully so you can be sure you understand how much the equipment and services will cost and the terms of the warranty.

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 Auburn, CA Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Auburn?

This is a hard question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a few different factors. Broadly speaking, it costs about $13,650 for a 5-kW system and $27,300 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. You can expect to pay more if you want extra solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy usage. Conversely, you can spend less if you want a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Auburn?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you can't pay upfront or get a solar loan, but since you don't own the system, you don't have access to many solar incentives. Also your home value won't increase, so you'll have less savings over time. If you can afford to buy a solar system upfront, then buying is the better option if you want the most bang for your buck from going solar.

Does Auburn have a net metering program?

Each state has some kind of net metering programs except Tennessee, South Dakota and Alabama currently. Some states allow you to sell power back to the grid, but others just offer you credit toward your future electricity bills.

How long do solar panels last in Auburn?

Though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they stop working completely at that time. What this means is their energy production will have decreased significantly after that point. You can choose to replace them once you've had them for that long or you can continue to use them at a lower efficiency.

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