Solar Panel Cost Guide in Isla Vista, CA (2024 Update)

  • Isla Vista Solar Installation Cost: $6,836
  • 25-Year Savings: $17,172
  • Payback Period: 7.6 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated May 20, 2024

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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 Isla Vista

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

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Isla Vista generally cost around 3.The average Isla Vista homeowner needs a 2.8-kilowatt system, which would cost about $6,836 with the federal tax credit, or $9,775 before the 0 tax credit is applied.

Keep in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Isla Vista homeowners. The cost of a solar system for your home may look different depending on factors unique to your situation, like your household energy use and solar contractor.Even with the significant upfront cost, the average Isla Vista homeowner can save about $30,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years, which is one of the advantages of solar.

Click the button below to get connected to a reputable solar company in your area for a custom estimate.

Solar savings over time in Isla Vista

YearReturn on Investment
1 years$-5,298
3 years$-2,222
5 years$854
7 years$3,929
9 years$7,005
11 years$10,081
13 years$13,157
15 years$16,233
17 years$19,308
19 years$22,384
21 years$25,460
23 years$28,536
25 years$31,612

Top Solar Installers in Isla Vista

Trying to install solar panels by yourself can be a dangerous undertaking, which is why getting a solar installer is a good option for many homeowners. Plus, if you’d like to maximize your investment in solar energy, opting for a solar company can help with that too. Different providers can offer repairs, expertise on solar panel installation and sometimes even information on local incentives and net metering programs.

If you’d like to switch to solar energy but still aren’t certain which solar system company to go with, here are our recommendations for providers in Isla Vista:

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 for Leasing

Sunrun

★★★★★
4.0
  • Expansive service area
  • Many financing options
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Some reported issues with door-to-door sales

Best Social Impact

Palmetto Solar

★★★★★
4.0
  • Expansive service area
  • Makes charitable contributions
  • Certified B Corp
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Quality of installation may vary by location

See all of the solar companies in Isla Vista

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Isla Vista

The cost of installing a solar system in Isla Vista can vary by more than $10,000 from home to home. Your actual cost is dependent on several factors. The most significant one is your system size, and other factors include the equipment you choose, financing options and the solar company you choose.

Solar Equipment

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to the cost of installing solar panels is the size of the solar system, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). The more power your household consumes, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to pay around $3,470 per kilowatt in Isla Vista.Some solar panel brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — are more expensive upfront but also tend to offer better efficiency. In a city like Isla Vista, where sunlight is abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Plus, 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

If paying for solar panels out of pocket is out of reach, solar loans are a popular choice because they lower your upfront costs and allow you to pay for your system over a term of, on average, between five and seven years.However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your overall costs, so it’s crucial to include that in your estimate as well. You can always reduce the total you pay in interest and possibly even your APR by putting more money down.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar company you pick will impact your total cost to go solar. Different companies will bill different amounts for the equipment and labor.Larger national companies generally 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 vehicle charger installation, they might be cheaper overall.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System sizeCost per system wattSolar system cost25-Year savingsPayback period
6 kW$3.61$15,157$32,9197.9 years
8 kW$3.54$19,821$44,2817.7 years
10 kW$3.47$24,290$55,8377.6 years
12 kW$3.40$28,565$67,5877.4 years
14 kW$3.33$32,646$79,5317.3 years
16 kW$3.26$36,532$91,6707.1 years
18 kW$3.19$40,224$104,0037.0 years
20 kW$3.12$43,722$116,5316.8 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 pick the right company for you, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Contract: Though reading through a contract can take a lot of time, it’s important to do it thoroughly so you can make sure you understand what services your solar company will provide and the terms of the warranty.
  • Installation Process: An important thing 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 acquire and how long the project will take.
  • 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 the EcoWatch team.
  • Warranty: A comprehensive, 25-year warranty can help keep your solar system running for years to come and save you money on repairs and maintenance.

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 for Leasing

Sunrun

★★★★★
4.0
  • Expansive service area
  • Many financing options
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Some reported issues with door-to-door sales

Best Social Impact

Palmetto Solar

★★★★★
4.0
  • Expansive service area
  • Makes charitable contributions
  • Certified B Corp
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Quality of installation may vary by location

EcoWatch's Isla Vista, CA Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Isla Vista?

The average cost of solar panels in Isla Vista is about $17,350 for a 5-kW system and $34,700 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the real cost will depend on certain factors such as the type of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Isla Vista?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you can’t afford to 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.

Does Isla Vista have a net metering program?

Each state has some kind of net metering programs except Tennessee, South Dakota and Alabama currently. Some states allow you to sell power back to the grid, but others just offer you credit toward your future electricity bills.

What solar power system size is right for 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 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.