Solar Panel Cost Guide in Lake Elsinore, CA (Feb 2023)

  • Lake Elsinore Solar Installation Cost: $5,351
  • 25-Year Savings: $14,158
  • Payback Period: 6.9 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

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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 Lake Elsinore

We go over average solar pricing in Lake Elsinore.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Lake Elsinore it's $3 per watt. To account for the typical energy needs of the average home in Lake Elsinore, most homeowners require a 2.8-kilowatt system. Using the per-watt figure above, a solar installation costs around $5,351, or $3,960 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% 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 multiple factors, such as what size system you need, your energy usage and what solar installer you go with. Despite the significant upfront cost, the average Lake Elsinore homeowner can save about $26,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years, which is one of the positives of solar.

To get a free quote from a highly rated solar installer in Lake Elsinore, you can click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Lake Elsinore

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,570
3 years $-3,010
5 years $-1,449
7 years $112
9 years $1,672
11 years $3,233
13 years $4,794
15 years $6,355
17 years $7,915
19 years $9,476
21 years $11,037
23 years $12,597
25 years $14,158

Top Solar Installers in Lake Elsinore

Although you can install solar panels yourself, it takes extra effort and expertise. Because of that, most homeowners choose to go with a solar panel installer. The expertise that solar installers offer can be helpful as well, especially if you don't quite know what kind of solar equipment would be right for your home.

Working with a vetted solar company can help you make the most of your investment in solar. 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 Lake Elsinore

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Lake Elsinore

For many Lake Elsinore homeowners, the decision to install solar panels comes down to cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Lake Elsinore, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are various factors that considerably influence the price you'll pay, which we'll go over below.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the cost of a solar energy system in Lake Elsinore, one of the most crucial factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are chiefly based on your home's energy consumption, which you can gauge by looking at past electricity bills. Your total cost can increase by around $2,730 for each additional kilowatt you need. The solar equipment you choose can bring your price up or down by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you get the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. On the other hand, higher efficiency could save you more over time on your energy bills. In addition, add-on products, such as solar batteries, can bring your total well above the Lake Elsinore average.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar installers in Lake Elsinore offer solar loans, which reduce the initial cost of installing a solar system. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your overall costs, so it's vital to keep that in mind as well. You can always bring down the total you pay in interest and sometimes even your APR by making a larger down payment.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Lastly, the company you get to install your solar system can affect your pricing. Lake Elsinore's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. The size of the company can sometimes play the most considerable role in the cost of installation. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower pricing because of access to more resources and bulk pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they generally have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or discount can bring their pricing lower to compete with bigger 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 $29,867 7.1 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $40,129 7.0 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $50,543 6.9 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $61,111 6.7 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $71,831 6.6 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $82,704 6.4 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $93,730 6.3 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $104,909 6.2 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The company that does your solar system installation will affect the warranties and brands available to you, and it will also have an impact on your total cost. Since picking a company can be a challenge, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a solid reputation as a company and have verifiable expertise in the field. Two ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians that hold a certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has satisfied reviews from previous customers.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The model of solar panel you need to get plays a part in which company you should opt for, since different companies have access to different panels.
  • Warranty: Warranties that cover panel repairs and maintenance over around 25 years are the gold standard in the business, and offering that kind of warranty is one sign of a quality company.
  • Contract: Before signing a contract with a solar installer, be sure to look it over fully so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're not certain about some of the terms, such as what the warranty covers and what services you can expect from them.

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 Lake Elsinore, CA Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Lake Elsinore?

This is a tough question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a variety of 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 extra solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy usage. On the flip side, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Are solar panels free in Lake Elsinore?

Solar panels aren't free in Lake Elsinore, but there are some options that can make getting them more viable, such as leasing solar panels or getting a solar loan. There may also be local programs or incentives that you can take advantage of.

Do solar panels increase how much your home is worth?

Solar panels can increase the value of your home significantly as long as you buy or finance your panels and don't choose a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). According to research done by Zillow, the average home value increases by about 4.1% with a solar installation."

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

Although the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they stop working completely at that time. What this means is the amount of energy they produce will have decreased significantly after that point. You can decide to replace them once you've had them for that long or you can continue to use 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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