Solar Panel Cost Guide in Cottonwood, CA (Jan 2023)

  • Cottonwood Solar Installation Cost: $6,096
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,235
  • 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 Cottonwood

Find out what the average cost of installing solar panels is in Cottonwood.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Cottonwood it's $3 per watt. The average Cottonwood homeowner needs a 3.2-kilowatt system, which would cost about $6,096, or $4,511 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Cottonwood homeowners. The cost 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. Many homeowners find going solar is a fruitful investment. The average homeowner in Cottonwood can save about $31,000 on their electricity 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 Cottonwood

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-5,043
3 years $-2,936
5 years $-830
7 years $1,277
9 years $3,383
11 years $5,490
13 years $7,596
15 years $9,703
17 years $11,809
19 years $13,915
21 years $16,022
23 years $18,128
25 years $20,235

Top Solar Installers in Cottonwood

DIY solar panel installation is a choice some homeowners opt for, but it's an undertaking that can be a headache. Going with a solar company can make your switch to solar power much easier. Local solar companies can also help you optimize your return on investment by walking you through any local incentives and by offering warranties and repairs.

Working with a vetted solar installer 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 Cottonwood

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Cottonwood

For many Cottonwood homeowners, the decision to adopt solar energy rests on cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Cottonwood, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are numerous factors that considerably influence the price you'll pay, which we'll go over below.

Solar Equipment

The cost of solar panels varies by thousands of dollars due to some different factors. One of the major factors is the system size, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). Solar power systems that have greater efficiency or power production use 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. There are many different solar panel brands and the one you choose also changes the cost. Typically, the brands that offer higher efficiency tend to also be more expensive. In addition, the type of equipment you're looking to install can affect your total cost. If you just need panels, your system will be much less expensive than if you also need solar batteries or an electric vehicle charger.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for a solar system in cash is difficult, solar loans are an affordable route because they reduce your upfront costs and let you pay for your system over five to seven years on average. Though solar loans make going solar more accessible for Cottonwood homeowners, they can also add to the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate and how long you take to pay off the loan. If you make a larger down payment, though, you can avoid paying as much in interest.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Lastly, the company you opt for to install your solar system can affect how much it costs. Cottonwood's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. Larger national companies usually have lower costs, but some local companies keep up with them by offering sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have access to specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or add-on services like electric vehicle 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 $37,631 6.0 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $50,480 5.9 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $63,483 5.8 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $76,638 5.7 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $89,946 5.6 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $103,407 5.4 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $117,021 5.3 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $130,788 5.2 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar panel company you go with will impact not only your overall costs, but also the types of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you have access to. When choosing a solar company, there are a few important things you should consider, including:

  • Warranty: A quality company rises above other companies by providing the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.
  • Contract: Before signing a contract with a solar company, make sure you read it through completely so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're not certain about some of the terms, such as what the warranty covers and if there are any guarantees about energy production.
  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a well-established certification organization for clean energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it most likely has a good reputation and is qualified to get the job done well. Another way you can check your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and kind offers varying levels of quality, durability and efficiency. They will come at different prices as well. The company you choose plays a role in which solar panel brands you have access to.

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 Cottonwood, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Cottonwood is about $13,650 for a 5-kW system and $27,300 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the actual cost will depend on stuff such as the type of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Cottonwood?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, because it usually 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 get the most savings.

Can you sell solar power back to the grid in Cottonwood?

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 give you credit toward your future power 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 the average daily sunlight your roof gets. You can 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 buy between 20 and 35 panels to cover 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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