Solar Panel Cost Guide in Carlsbad, CA (Feb 2023)

  • Carlsbad Solar Installation Cost: $5,370
  • 25-Year Savings: $17,670
  • Payback Period: 5.8 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

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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 Carlsbad

Here's how much it might cost to install solar panels in Carlsbad.

In Carlsbad, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. The average solar panel system size in Carlsbad is around 2.8 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $5,370 for a solar installation, or $3,974 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Keep in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Carlsbad homeowners. The price of a solar system for your home may look different depending on factors unique to you, like your household energy use and solar contractor. With average savings of about $31,000 on power bills over 20 years, many homeowners in Carlsbad find installing solar panels has a decent ROI.

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

Solar savings over time in Carlsbad

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,448
3 years $-2,605
5 years $-762
7 years $1,081
9 years $2,924
11 years $4,768
13 years $6,611
15 years $8,454
17 years $10,297
19 years $12,140
21 years $13,984
23 years $15,827
25 years $17,670

Top Solar Installers in Carlsbad

When making the switch to solar, many homeowners opt to use a solar company since installing solar panels yourself can be a time-consuming project. Solar warranties and repairs are often included in the cost of installation when you sign a contract with a solar company too, which can save you more money over time.

If you're looking for a solar installer in Carlsbad, we've compiled 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 Carlsbad

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Carlsbad

There are many factors that can play into your installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that installs your solar system.

Solar Equipment

The cost of solar panel systems varies by thousands of dollars due to a few different factors. One of the key factors is the system size, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). Solar power systems with better efficiency or power generation need better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can raise costs. For each additional kilowatt you need, your cost can go up by about $2,730. 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 are often more expensive 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 greater savings over time. Also, if you want extra equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also raise the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for solar out of pocket can be difficult. Solar loans are available from most installers in Carlsbad, which can lower, or in some cases completely eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more affordable. When estimating your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you opt for a solar loan. Also, paying a higher down payment can lower the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The remaining key cost factor you should take into consideration is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of renewable energy solutions in Carlsbad, you'll have plenty of options to choose from, but each comes at varying price points for labor and equipment. Additionally, some companies in Carlsbad know more about local solar incentives and can help you learn about additional rebates or tax exemptions. However, they may charge more for that service. Even if they cost more upfront, they could help you save 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 $37,188 6.1 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $49,889 6.0 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $62,744 5.8 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $75,751 5.7 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $88,911 5.6 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $102,224 5.5 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $115,690 5.4 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $129,309 5.3 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the model of solar panels and the company you choose has an impact on 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:

  • Solar Panel Brands: Not all solar installers have the same brands of solar panels, so the brand and type of panel you want can play a large role in the company you choose.
  • Contract: When reading over your solar company's contract, ask questions about any terms you're not sure of and be sure you understand what happens in scenarios like a system component breaking or if the company goes out of business.
  • Warranty: If you're concerned about the endurance of your solar panels, ensuring your company offers a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty can help put you at ease.
  • Installation Process: One of the most important things to understand when adopting solar power is the installation process itself. Be sure to clarify any details you need to know with your solar installer, such as what permits you should secure and how long the project will take.

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 Carlsbad, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a difficult question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a variety of 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 higher quality panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy consumption. Conversely, 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 Carlsbad?

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 don't have access to 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 bang for your buck from going solar.

Does Carlsbad have a net metering program?

The majority of states offer net metering programs of some kind. Through these, you can receive compensation for the extra power your system produces or or receive credits to put toward future energy bills. Currently there are just three states that don't have any net metering laws: Alabama, Tennessee and South Dakota.

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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