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

  • Cupertino Solar Installation Cost: $5,695
  • 25-Year Savings: $18,334
  • Payback Period: 5.9 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

Why you can trust EcoWatch

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 Cupertino

Let's take a look at the average cost of solar panels in Cupertino.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Cupertino, the average cost of a solar system is $3 per watt. Because a 3.0-kW system is needed to cover the energy needs of a typical home in Cupertino, the average price of going solar will be about $5,695 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Cupertino homeowners. The price of a solar system for your home may be different depending on factors unique to you, like your household energy use and solar contractor. But, once you've paid the upfront cost of installation, the return on investment for most homeowners is typically good, with a net average savings of about $31,000 over 20 years on utility bills.

For a personalized quote from a local solar installer that has been pre-vetted by EcoWatch, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Cupertino

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,734
3 years $-2,811
5 years $-889
7 years $1,033
9 years $2,955
11 years $4,878
13 years $6,800
15 years $8,722
17 years $10,645
19 years $12,567
21 years $14,489
23 years $16,411
25 years $18,334

Top Solar Installers in Cupertino

DIY solar panel installation is a choice some homeowners opt for, but it's an undertaking that can use up a lot of your time and energy. Going with a solar company can make your switch to solar power much easier. A solar company can also help save you money over time by offering warranties, repairs and system component replacements.

If you're looking for a solar company in Cupertino, the EcoWatch team has 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 Cupertino

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Cupertino

There are a number of factors that can play into your total 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

When it comes to estimating the price of a solar system in Cupertino, one of the most crucial factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are primarily based on your home's energy usage, which you can figure out by looking at past electricity bills. Your overall cost can increase by about $2,730 for each additional kilowatt you need. The kind of solar panels and equipment you get is another factor that will largely influence costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to be more pricey. Furthermore, solar equipment goes beyond just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to decide on 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

For some homeowners, paying for solar out of pocket can be a challenge. Solar loans are offered by most installers in Cupertino, which can bring down, or in some cases totally eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. When considering your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you decide on a solar loan. Also, paying more on your down payment can lower the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar panel installation company you pick will play a role in your total cost to go solar. Different companies will charge different amounts for the equipment and labor. Larger national companies generally have lower costs, but some local companies compete with them by promoting sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or extra 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 $36,386 6.2 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $48,820 6.1 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $61,408 5.9 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $74,148 5.8 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $87,041 5.7 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $100,087 5.6 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $113,286 5.5 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $126,637 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 durability and efficiency, it's important to pick the right ones for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels depending on their locations and how much efficiency they need. Even though 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 peruse their list of options before deciding.
  • Warranty: Each company may offer different kinds of warranties that cover different things. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.
  • Installation Process: When making the switch to solar energy, it's essential to keep an open line of communication with your solar panel company. Make sure you understand how the installation process works and the completion timeline.
  • Contract: When reading through your solar installer's contract, ask questions about any terms you're not sure of and be sure you understand what happens in scenarios like a system part breaking or if the company goes out of business.

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 Cupertino, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a difficult question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a few different 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. You can expect to pay more if you want extra solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy needs. Conversely, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Cupertino?

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 home 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.

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

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

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

On average, the lifespan of solar panels is about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency goes down by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a higher amount of energy production.

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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