Solar Panel Cost Guide in Chico, CA (Sep 2022)

  • Chico Solar Installation Cost: $6,001
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,330
  • Payback Period: 5.7 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 Chico

We go over average solar pricing in Chico.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Chico it's $3 per watt. Using this figure, a typical 3.1 would cost about $6,001 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Keep in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average Chico homeowner. The price of a solar system for your home may be different depending on factors unique to your situation, like your household energy use and solar contractor. For most homeowners, the upfront cost of solar power is worth paying. On average Chico homeowners see about $32,000 in savings on electricity bills over 20 years.

You can click the button below to get connected with a pre-vetted solar company in Chico for a quote for your home.

Solar savings over time in Chico

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,947
3 years $-2,841
5 years $-734
7 years $1,372
9 years $3,479
11 years $5,585
13 years $7,692
15 years $9,798
17 years $11,905
19 years $14,011
21 years $16,118
23 years $18,224
25 years $20,330

Top Solar Installers in Chico

Although you can install solar panels by yourself, it requires extra effort and expertise. That's why most homeowners choose to go with a solar panel installer. A solar installer can also help save you money in the long run by offering warranties, repairs and system component replacements.

If you're searching for a solar company in Chico, we've put together 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

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 Chico

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Chico

Although the average cost of solar panels in Chico is $6,001, your actual cost may be above or below the average. There are quite a few factors that can have a sizable impact on the cost of a residential solar panel installation. Below are some of the more important things to keep in mind.

Solar Equipment Size

Size is one of the largest factors that affects the overall cost of installing solar panels. Because of that, it's important to accurately gauge the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your energy needs. The model of solar panels and equipment you get is another factor that will significantly influence costs. Solar panels that are more efficient, like monocrystalline panels, tend to cost more. Plus, solar equipment is more than just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to think about the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when researching a solar system that falls within your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Chico to be too expensive, even if the investment pays off over time. Fortunately, nearly every solar installer in the area offers financing options. Solar loans greatly decrease upfront costs in most cases, but they also lead to higher prices over time because of interest. When considering 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 solar company you pick will play a role in your total cost to make the switch to solar . Different companies will bill different amounts for the equipment and labor. The size of the company can sometimes play the most considerable role in your total costs. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower pricing due to more 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 discount can bring their pricing down 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 $2.84 $11,925 $38,394 5.9 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $51,498 5.8 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $64,754 5.7 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $78,164 5.6 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $91,726 5.5 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $105,441 5.4 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $119,310 5.2 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $133,331 5.1 years

Solar Incentives in Chico

Name Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems and Solar Plus Storage System
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

The solar company you opt for will impact not only your total costs, but also the types of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you have access to. When choosing a solar company, there are several important things you should keep in mind, such as:

  • Installation Process: Get details from your solar installer about the installation process and what to expect, including when the site survey will be completed and what the project timeline is.
  • Contract: When looking over your solar installer's contract, ask questions about any terms you're not sure of and be sure you understand what happens in scenarios such as a system component breaking or if the company goes out of business.
  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a solid reputation as a company and have verifiable 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 good reviews from previous customers.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels based on their roof configurations and how much efficiency they need. Although there are many options for which brand of solar panel you can get, not every company will have access to the exact one you may want or need, so be sure to ask for their list of offerings before making your decision.

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 Chico, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on many factors. Generally 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 be more expensive 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 cheaper solar panels.

Are solar panels free in Chico?

You can't get solar panels for free in Chico. However, you may still be able to install them on a lower budget. You can lease solar panels for a low upfront cost or, if you'd prefer to own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

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

It is possible to eliminate your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners in Chico, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes will have the roof space for that size system, so you'll want to contact a local solar installer to see how many panels can fit on your roof.

How many solar panels should I get 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 usually produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average house 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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