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

  • Encinitas 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

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 Encinitas

Find out what the average cost of solar panels are in Encinitas.

Although the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Encinitas generally cost around $3. Using this figure, a typical 2.8 would cost about $5,370 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Encinitas homeowners. The cost 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 initial cost of installation, the return on investment for most homeowners is usually rewarding, with a net average savings of about $31,000 over 20 years on electricity bills.

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

Solar savings over time in Encinitas

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 Encinitas

Many homeowners opt for a solar installer since trying to put up solar panels on your own can be time-consuming. Some solar companies, particularly local ones, can help you make the most of incentives in Encinitas, optimizing your ROI.

There are a number of licensed solar professionals that can install solar panels for you. Here are our suggestions:

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 Encinitas

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Encinitas

There are several factors that can affect your solar panel installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that installs your solar panels.

Solar Equipment

Solar system size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that determines the overall cost of installing solar panels. Because of that, it's a priority to accurately ascertain the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your average energy use. Some solar brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — are more costly upfront but also tend to offer higher efficiency. In a city like Encinitas, where sunlight is abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Also, if you have a small roof or limited space for your panels, higher efficiency options will be more impactful. Additional equipment like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar installers in Encinitas offer solar loans, which reduce your upfront costs of installing a solar system. When estimating your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you opt for a solar loan. Also, paying more upfront can reduce the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Finally, the company you opt for to install your solar panels can play a role in determining the cost. Encinitas' solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. 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 car 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 $37,188 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 brand of solar panels and the installer you choose has an impact on your costs and your system's efficiency, production, and durability, 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 energy needs. While there are many options for which model of solar panel you can get, not every company will have the exact one you may want or need, so be sure to ask for their list of offerings before making your decision.
  • Contract: Before signing a contract with a solar installer, make sure to read it through carefully so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you aren't sure about some of the terms, such as what to do if a component breaks or malfunctions and if there are any guarantees about energy production.
  • Warranty: Warranties that cover defective panels and repairs over a long period of time such as 25 years are the gold standard in the business, and offering such a warranty is one indication of a quality company.
  • Reputation: Make sure your solar panel installer has a good reputation by verifying it has certifications and licenses, checking its number of years in business and reading reviews by past customers and solar experts like the EcoWatch team.

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 Encinitas, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a difficult question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on many 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 other solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy consumption. On the other hand, you can spend less if you go with a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

Are solar panels free in Encinitas?

You can't get solar panels for free in Encinitas. 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 rather own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

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

Each state has some kind 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 do I need to power my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy needs and the amount of 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 get between 20 and 35 panels to account for 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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