Solar Panel Cost Guide in Bret Harte, CA (2024 Update)

  • Bret Harte Solar Installation Cost: $7,258
  • 25-Year Savings: $19,826
  • Payback Period: 7.1 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated February 03, 2024

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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 Bret Harte

Find out what the average cost of a solar system is in Bret Harte.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Bret Harte typically cost about 3.The average solar panel system size in Bret Harte is around 3.0 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $7,258 for a solar installation, or $10,379 before the 0 federal solar tax credit is applied.

These figures are just averages, and how much solar costs for you may look different based on your specific situation and what company you go with.But, after you've paid the initial cost of installation, the ROI for most homeowners is quite good, with a net average savings of about $32,000 over 20 years on energy bills.

You can click the button below to get connected with a vetted solar company in Bret Harte that can help you get a more accurate cost estimate for your home.

Solar savings over time in Bret Harte

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-5,720
3 years $-2,644
5 years $432
7 years $3,508
9 years $6,583
11 years $9,659
13 years $12,735
15 years $15,811
17 years $18,887
19 years $21,962
21 years $25,038
23 years $28,114
25 years $31,190

Top Solar Installers in Bret Harte

Many homeowners decide to hire a solar installation company since trying to install solar panels by yourself can be hard. Another great thing about going with a top solar installer is that it'll likely provide warranties and free repairs, which help protect your investment.

If you’d like to switch to solar energy but still aren’t sure which solar panel installer to go with, here are our suggestions for providers nearby:

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 for Leasing

Sunrun

★★★★★
4.0

  • Expansive service area
  • Many financing options
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Some reported issues with door-to-door sales

See all of the solar companies in Bret Harte

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Bret Harte

Though the average cost of a solar system in Bret Harte is $7,258, your actual cost may be above or below the average. 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 keep in mind.

Solar Equipment

Solar system size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that affects the overall cost of going solar. Because of that, it’s important to accurately ascertain the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your typical energy use.The brand and kind of equipment you get for your solar system can increase or decrease the price quite significantly. If you prefer a brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these often come at a higher price than other brands. Efficiency also matters. Whether you’re opting for high efficiency because you have limited roof space or just want maximum energy production, you can expect a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to more 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

Solar panels can save you money on utility bills over many years, but they can also be a big investment. That’s why many Bret Harte homeowners opt 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 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 above the equipment and labor 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

The final key cost factor you should keep in mind is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of renewable energy solutions in Bret Harte, you’ll have lots of options to choose from, but each comes at different price points for labor and equipment.The company’s size sometimes plays the most considerable role in your total costs. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower pricing because of greater resources and bulk 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 names.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $3.61 $15,157 $36,121 7.4 years
8 kW $3.54 $19,821 $48,550 7.2 years
10 kW $3.47 $24,290 $61,174 7.1 years
12 kW $3.40 $28,565 $73,991 7.0 years
14 kW $3.33 $32,646 $87,003 6.8 years
16 kW $3.26 $36,532 $100,210 6.7 years
18 kW $3.19 $40,224 $113,610 6.5 years
20 kW $3.12 $43,722 $127,205 6.4 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are numerous companies to choose from in Bret Harte, and some homeowners feel overwhelmed considering their options. Picking the right company for you can be difficult, so here are some tips to help you decide:

  • Contract: Though reading through a contract can be tedious, it’s important to do it fully so you can be sure you understand what services your solar company will provide and how part repairs and replacements will be handled.
  • Reputation: Companies that have been operating for many years likely have a high reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar installation through, but will also provide adequate aftercare and customer support, such as part repairs and replacements.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies offer different brands and types of panels. If you prefer a specific brand, make sure the solar company you’re considering has it.
  • Warranty: A quality company stands out from other companies by offering the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.

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 for Leasing

Sunrun

★★★★★
4.0

  • Expansive service area
  • Many financing options
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Some reported issues with door-to-door sales

EcoWatch's Bret Harte, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a difficult question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on many factors. Generally speaking, it costs about $17,350 for a 5-kW system and $34,700 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. On the flip side, 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 Bret Harte?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you can’t pay upfront or secure a solar loan, but since you don’t own the system, you can’t take advantage of many solar incentives. Also your property 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 savings from going solar.

How much can I save on power bills after installing solar panels?

It is possible to eradicate your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners in Bret Harte, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes 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 often do you have to replace solar panels?

Even though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they are completely unusable at that time. What this means is their energy production will have decreased significantly after that point. You can decide 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.

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