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

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

We break down average solar pricing in Durham.

In Durham, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. The average solar panel system size in Durham is around 3.1 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $6,001 for a solar installation, or $4,441 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of how much a solar panel system could cost. The true cost of making the switch to solar can vary quite a bit based on several factors, such as how many panels you need, your energy consumption and what solar installer you go with. Despite the high initial cost, the average Durham homeowner can save about $32,000 on their energy bills over 20 years, which is one of the benefits of solar.

Click the button below to get connected to a vetted solar panel company in Durham for a customized quote.

Solar savings over time in Durham

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 Durham

Although it's possible to install solar panels yourself, it takes extra time and expertise. For that reason, almost all homeowners choose a solar panel installer. Plus, if you aren't sure what kind of solar panels and equipment you may need, a solar installer can help you figure that out after a site survey and consultation.

Working with a licensed solar installer can help your solar project go smoothly. 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 Durham

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Durham

Cost is often one of the most important factors for homeowners who want to invest in solar. There are a few primary factors that determine your overall cost in Durham: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll cover each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to the cost of adopting solar energy is the size of the solar system, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). The more energy your household consumes, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to pay about $2,730 per kilowatt in Durham. The brand of solar panels and equipment you want is another factor that will significantly affect costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to come at a higher price. Furthermore, solar equipment goes beyond just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to consider the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when looking for a solar system that falls within your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Solar panels can save you money on power bills over time, but they can also be a big investment. That's why many Durham homeowners choose to finance their solar panel systems to make going solar more affordable. When estimating your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you decide on a solar loan. Also, paying a higher down payment can reduce the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar company you opt for to handle your switch to clean energy can play a role in your total costs. There are about 3 solar panel companies operating in Durham, and each can charge different amounts for labor and equipment. You may come across national solar installers that have lower prices due to their larger brand name and access to bulk equipment prices, or you might see small, local installation companies offering deals or specials to compete with those larger companies.

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

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are a lot of solar installers to choose from, all of which offer different warranties, solar panel brands and price points. To help you select the right company for you, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Reputation: Make sure your solar installer has a good reputation by confirming it has certifications and licenses, checking how long it's been in business and reading reviews by previous customers and solar experts like EcoWatch.
  • Contract: It's important to read through your solar installer's contract closely to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about the cost.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Not all solar installers carry the same brands of solar panels, so the brand and type of panel you want can play a big role in the company you go with.
  • Installation Process: Homeowners should make sure they know how exactly the installation process will be carried out, as well as important factors like the project timeline.

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 Durham, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Durham 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 model of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

What other factors should I consider in addition to cost when buying solar panels?

The initial cost is a crucial factor to consider, but whether it's the most important for you depends on your reasons for going solar. In cities where rooftop space is limited, efficiency can trump the cost. Other factors that are important to think about are the quality and durability of your solar panels.

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 Durham, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes will have roofs that 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 long do solar panels last in Durham?

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 the amount of energy they produce will have decreased significantly after that point. You can opt to replace them after having them for that long or you can keep using 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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