Solar Panel Cost Guide in Golden Hills, CA (Jan 2023)

  • Golden Hills Solar Installation Cost: $5,542
  • 25-Year Savings: $17,008
  • Payback Period: 6.1 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 Golden Hills

Let's have a look at the average cost of solar in Golden Hills.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Golden Hills, the average cost of solar panels is $3 per watt. The average Golden Hills homeowner needs a 2.9-kilowatt system, which would cost about $5,542, or $4,101 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

These figures are just averages, and your own solar costs will most likely vary based on your specific situation and what company you want to go with. Despite the significant initial cost, the average Golden Hills homeowner can save about $30,000 on their energy bills over 20 years, which is one of the advantages of solar.

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

Solar savings over time in Golden Hills

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,640
3 years $-2,836
5 years $-1,032
7 years $772
9 years $2,576
11 years $4,380
13 years $6,184
15 years $7,988
17 years $9,792
19 years $11,596
21 years $13,400
23 years $15,204
25 years $17,008

Top Solar Installers in Golden Hills

Although you can install solar panels yourself, it involves extra effort and know-how. Because of that, most homeowners choose to hire a solar panel installer. A solar installer can also help save you money over time by offering warranties, repairs and system component replacements.

If you're searching for a solar company in Golden Hills, we've organized 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 Golden Hills

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Golden Hills

Even though the average cost of a solar system in Golden Hills is $5,542, your actual cost may be above or below the average. There are many factors that can have a significant impact on the cost of a residential solar panel installation. Below are some of the more important things to take into consideration.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the price of a solar panel system in Golden Hills, one of the most crucial factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are largely based on your home's energy usage, which you can figure out by looking at past energy bills. Your total 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 affect costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to cost more. Moreover, solar equipment is more than just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to make decisions 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 searching for a solar system that's in your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Solar panels can save you money on energy bills over many years, but they can also be a big investment. That's why many Golden Hills homeowners decide to finance their solar panel systems to make paying for 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 more on your down payment can lower the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The remaining key cost factor you should take into consideration is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of green energy solutions in Golden Hills, you'll have lots of options to choose from, but each comes at varying price points for labor and equipment. Larger national companies typically have lower costs, but some local companies compete with them by offering sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or add-on 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 $34,776 6.4 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $46,674 6.3 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $58,724 6.1 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $70,928 6.0 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $83,284 5.9 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $95,793 5.8 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $108,456 5.6 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $121,271 5.5 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar panel company you choose will influence not only your total costs, but also the kinds 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 take into account, including:

  • Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a respected 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 do the job well. Another way you can verify your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Contract: Before signing a contract with a solar installer, make sure you read it through fully so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're unsure about some of the terms, such as what to do if a part breaks or malfunctions and if there are any guarantees about energy production.
  • Installation Process: One of the most important things to understand when adopting solar power is the installation process itself. Be sure to clarify any details you should know with your solar company, such as what permits you should secure and how long the project will take.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies carry different brands and kinds of panels. If you know you want a specific brand, make sure the solar company you're considering has it.

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 Golden Hills, CA Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Golden Hills?

The average cost of solar panels in Golden Hills 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 things such as the type of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Are solar panels free in Golden Hills?

You can't get solar panels for free in Golden Hills. However, you may still be able to get 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.

Is making the switch to solar worth it?

Solar panels can be a beneficial investment for many homeowners, but they might not be worth it for everyone. If your home doesn't get enough sunlight and/or your electricity bills are already pretty low, solar panels might not be for you.

How long do solar panels last in Golden Hills?

On average, solar panels can last 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 level 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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