Solar Panel Cost Guide in Los Altos, CA (Jan 2023)

  • Los Altos Solar Installation Cost: $5,695
  • 25-Year Savings: $19,549
  • Payback Period: 5.6 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 Los Altos

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

Although the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Los Altos generally cost around $3. Since a 3.0-kW system is needed to cover the energy costs of a typical home in Los Altos, the average price of going solar will be about $5,695 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

How much you pay can be above or below the average in Los Altos depending on a variety of factors, such as the model of solar panels you choose and the solar company you hire. Despite the large initial cost, the average Los Altos homeowner can save about $32,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years, which is one of the benefits of solar.

You can click the button below to get connected with a vetted solar company in Los Altos for a quote for your home.

Solar savings over time in Los Altos

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,685
3 years $-2,666
5 years $-646
7 years $1,373
9 years $3,393
11 years $5,412
13 years $7,432
15 years $9,451
17 years $11,471
19 years $13,490
21 years $15,510
23 years $17,529
25 years $19,549

Top Solar Installers in Los Altos

Many homeowners decide to hire a solar panel company since trying to put up solar panels yourself can be a lot of work. Plus, if you're not certain what type of solar panels and equipment you may need, a solar company can help you figure that out after a site survey and consultation.

You can get a free estimate from a local solar installer on how much your investment in solar could cost for your home. Here are some near you:

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 Los Altos

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Los Altos

For many Los Altos homeowners, the decision to adopt solar energy rests on cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Los Altos, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are several factors that considerably influence the price you'll pay, which we'll go over below.

Solar Equipment

The size of the solar energy system you need for your household, which is measured in kilowatts, is the most significant cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, you can expect your total to increase by around $2,730. Some solar brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — are more expensive upfront but also tend to offer higher efficiency. In a city like Los Altos, where sunlight is abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. In addition, if you have a small roof or you don't have a lot of 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

Solar panels can save you money on energy bills over time, but they can also be a significant investment. That's why many Los Altos homeowners choose to finance their solar panel systems to make going solar more affordable. While solar loans make adopting solar energy more accessible for Los Altos homeowners, they can also raise the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate and how long you take to pay off the loan. If you put down a larger down payment, though, you can cut back on how much interest you have to pay.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you opt for to handle your switch to green energy can play a role in your total costs. There are about 3 solar installation companies operating throughout Los Altos, and each can charge varying amounts for labor and equipment. Some companies only sell high-efficiency and high-priced products — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally come with an above-average cost. It's best to do some research and decide on the company that has the products, warranties and services you're looking for and also is within your budget.

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 $38,829 5.9 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $52,078 5.8 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $65,479 5.6 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $79,034 5.5 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $92,741 5.4 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $106,601 5.3 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $120,614 5.2 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $134,780 5.1 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar installer you choose will affect not only your overall costs, but also the kinds of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you have access to. When choosing a solar company, there are several important things you should keep in mind, including:

  • Contract: Look through the contract terms thoroughly to make sure you understand how much it will cost, project timeline rebates and warranties.
  • Reputation: Solar companies that have great reviews from their customers and that have been operating for many years likely offer quality solar panel installation and expertise.
  • Warranty: Each company may offer different kinds of warranties that provide different kinds of coverage. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and type offers varying levels of quality, longevity and energy efficiency. They will come at different price points as well. The company you choose has an impact on which solar panel brands you have access to.

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 Los Altos, CA Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Los Altos?

The average cost of solar panels in Los Altos is about $13,650 for a 5-kW system and $27,300 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the real cost will depend on certain factors like the kind of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Are solar panels free in Los Altos?

You can't get solar panels for free in Los Altos. However, you may still be able to afford them on a lower budget. You can lease solar panels for a low upfront cost or, if you'd prefer to own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

Do solar panels increase how much your home is worth?

Solar panels can increase the value of your home considerably 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% after installing a solar system."

How many solar panels do I need to power my home?

To figure out what solar panel system size you need, you should find out how much energy your home uses and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can usually produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average home will need 20 to 35 panels.

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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