Solar Panel Cost Guide in Bret Harte, CA (Dec 2022)

  • Bret Harte Solar Installation Cost: $5,714
  • 25-Year Savings: $19,822
  • Payback Period: 5.6 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 11/09/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Bret Harte

See how much it might cost to make the switch to solar in Bret Harte.

Although the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Bret Harte generally cost around $3. Using this figure, a typical 3.0 would cost about $5,714 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Remember that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll pay for solar may look quite different based on your household energy consumption, the type of equipment you want, your solar contractor and more. Many homeowners find adopting solar power is a sound investment. The average homeowner in Bret Harte can save about $32,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years.

Click the button below to get connected to a top solar installer in your area for a custom estimate.

Solar savings over time in Bret Harte

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,692
3 years $-2,650
5 years $-607
7 years $1,436
9 years $3,479
11 years $5,522
13 years $7,565
15 years $9,608
17 years $11,651
19 years $13,694
21 years $15,737
23 years $17,779
25 years $19,822

Top Solar Installers in Bret Harte

Many homeowners choose to use a solar panel installer since trying to install solar panels on your own can be time-consuming. Plus, if you aren't sure what brand of solar panels and equipment you may need, a solar installer can help you find the right equipment for you after a site survey and consultation.

Working with a vetted solar company 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 Bret Harte

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Bret Harte

Cost is typically one of the most important factors for homeowners wanting to invest in solar. There are a few major factors that will push your cost above or below the average in Bret Harte: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll go over each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment

One of the most significant 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 electricity your household uses, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to spend around $2,730 per kilowatt in Bret Harte. The brand and kind of equipment you want for your solar system can raise or lower the price quite significantly. If you prefer a trusted 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 can expect a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to more savings over time. Plus, if you want add-ons like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also raise the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Bret Harte to be too steep, even if the investment pays off over time. Fortunately, nearly every solar company in the area offers financing options. Solar loans drastically decrease upfront costs in most cases, but they also lead to paying more over time due to interest. Though solar loans make going solar more accessible for Bret Harte homeowners, they can also add to the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate. If you put down a larger down payment, though, you can cut back on how much interest you have to pay.

Solar Panel Installation Company

A final factor to consider when trying to figure out the cost of solar for your home or business in Bret Harte is the company you get 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 for different budgets. Additionally, some companies in Bret Harte have more knowledge about local solar incentives and can help you make good use of additional rebates or tax exemptions. Though, they may charge more for walking you through the whole process. Even if they cost more upfront, they could end up saving you more money in the long run.

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 $39,354 5.8 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $52,777 5.7 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $66,354 5.6 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $80,083 5.5 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $93,965 5.4 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $108,000 5.3 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $122,188 5.1 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $136,529 5.0 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The company that does your solar system installation will affect the warranties and brands available to you, and it will also have an impact on your total cost. Since selecting a company can be difficult, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • Solar Panel Brands: The brand of solar panel you need to get plays a part in which company you should opt for, since different companies have access to different panels.
  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a good reputation as a company and have demonstrated expertise in the field. Two ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has satisfied reviews from previous customers.
  • Contract: Before you sign a contract with a solar installer, make sure to read it through completely so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you aren't sure about some of the terms, such as what the warranty covers and what services you can expect from them.
  • Warranty: A comprehensive, long-term warranty can help keep your solar panels running for a long time and save you money on repairs and maintenance.

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 Bret Harte, CA Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Bret Harte?

This is a tough question to answer exactly, 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 consumption. Conversely, you can spend less if you go with a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Are solar panels free in Bret Harte?

Solar panels aren't free in Bret Harte, but there are some options that can make getting them more feasible, such as leasing solar panels or getting a solar loan. There may also be local programs or incentives that can help lower the cost.

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

Solar panels can potentially eliminate your electricity bills depending on your location and how much sunlight your home gets. Even if it doesn't get rid of them completely, you can save a lot of money on your bills, about $1,709.27 per year.

How many solar panels do I need to power my home?

To figure out how many solar panels you need, you need to know how much energy your home uses and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can typically produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average household 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.

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