Solar Panel Cost Guide in Big Bear Lake, CA (Oct 2022)

  • Big Bear Lake Solar Installation Cost: $5,485
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,542
  • Payback Period: 5.3 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 9/16/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Big Bear Lake

We break down average solar pricing in Big Bear Lake.

In Big Bear Lake, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. The average solar panel system size in Big Bear Lake is around 2.9 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $5,485 for a solar installation, or $4,059 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Keep in mind that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll end up paying for solar may look quite different based on your household energy needs, the type of equipment you want, your solar contractor and more. Many homeowners find going solar is a rewarding investment. The average homeowner in Big Bear Lake can save about $34,000 on their energy bills over 20 years.

To see your potential ROI and connect with a local solar company, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Big Bear Lake

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,444
3 years $-2,361
5 years $-279
7 years $1,803
9 years $3,885
11 years $5,967
13 years $8,049
15 years $10,131
17 years $12,214
19 years $14,296
21 years $16,378
23 years $18,460
25 years $20,542

Top Solar Installers in Big Bear Lake

When going solar, many homeowners prefer to go with a solar company since putting up solar panels yourself can be a time-consuming project. The expertise that solar companies offer can be helpful as well, particularly if you aren't sure what brand of solar equipment you need.

Working with a vetted solar company can help your solar project go smoothly. 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

The Green Panel

★★★★★
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 Big Bear Lake

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Big Bear Lake

The cost of installing a solar system in Big Bear Lake can vary by more than $10,000 from home to home. Your actual cost depends on several factors. The most significant one is the size of the system your household needs, and other factors include the equipment you choose, financing options and the solar installer you choose.

Solar Equipment Size

The cost of solar panels varies by thousands of dollars due to a variety of factors. One of the major factors is the system size. Solar power systems with better efficiency or power production require better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can increase costs. For each additional kilowatt you need, your cost can go up by about $2,730. The type of solar panels and equipment you want is another factor that will substantially impact costs. Solar panels that are more efficient, like monocrystalline panels, tend to come at a higher price. Plus, solar equipment is more than just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to decide on the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when searching for a solar system that falls within your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Solar panels can save you money on energy bills over time, but they can also be a significant investment. That's why many Big Bear Lake homeowners decide to finance their solar panel systems to make paying for solar more affordable. 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 above the equipment and labor cost. Making a larger down payment or finding a solar loan with a low interest rate could reduce your costs significantly.

Solar Panel Installation Company

A final consideration when trying to figure out the cost of solar for your home or business in Big Bear Lake is the company you get to install your solar panel system. As with choosing a company to install new cabinets, for example, there are plenty of solar installers that provide a range of services at different costs. Larger national companies generally have lower costs, but some local companies keep up with them by offering sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or extra services like electric car charger installation, they might be cheaper overall.

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 $42,472 5.5 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $56,935 5.4 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $71,551 5.3 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $86,320 5.2 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $101,242 5.1 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $116,317 5.0 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $131,544 4.8 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $146,925 4.7 years

Solar Incentives in Big Bear Lake

Name Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems and Solar Plus Storage System
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Western Riverside Council of Governments - Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Financing Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Local Option - Municipal Energy Districts
More Info Click here

Name Self-Generation Incentive Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT)
Incentive Amount
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name California Solar Initiative - Solar Thermal Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

How to Save on Solar Panels

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

  • Reputation: Make sure your solar system installer has a good reputation by confirming it has certifications and licenses, checking how long it's been in business and reading reviews by past customers and solar experts like EcoWatch.
  • Contract: It's important to read your solar installer's contract thoroughly to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about the cost.
  • Warranty: An all-inclusive, 25-year warranty can help keep your solar system running for a long time and save you money on part replacement and repairs.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The model of solar panel you'd like to get plays a role in which company you should go with, since different companies have access to different panels.

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

The Green Panel

★★★★★
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 Big Bear Lake, CA Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Big Bear Lake?

This is a difficult question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on many 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. It will cost more if you want additional solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy usage. On the other hand, you can spend less if you opt for a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Big Bear Lake?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, because it typically comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The downside is that you won't be able to save as much. If you lease, you don't own the system, so you can't claim any tax rebates and credits and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better option if you want to maximize your savings.

Can you sell solar power back to the grid in Big Bear Lake?

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

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

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy usage and how much sunlight your roof gets. You can take a look at your energy bills for the past year to get an idea of the solar system size you'll need. The average household has to get between 20 and 35 panels to account for their typical energy usage.

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.

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