Solar Panel Cost Guide in Los Gatos, CA (Feb 2023)

  • Los Gatos Solar Installation Cost: $5,695
  • 25-Year Savings: $19,859
  • 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

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 Los Gatos

Find out what the average cost of installing solar panels is in Los Gatos.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Los Gatos, the typical cost of solar panels is $3 per watt. The average Los Gatos homeowner needs a 3.0-kilowatt system, which would cost about $5,695, or $4,214 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

Keep in mind that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll pay for solar may look quite different based on your household energy use, the type of solar panels you want, your solar contractor and more. Many homeowners find going solar is a fruitful investment. The average homeowner in Los Gatos can save around $33,000 on their power bills over 20 years.

To see your potential ROI and connect with a local solar installer, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Los Gatos

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,673
3 years $-2,628
5 years $-584
7 years $1,460
9 years $3,505
11 years $5,549
13 years $7,593
15 years $9,638
17 years $11,682
19 years $13,726
21 years $15,771
23 years $17,815
25 years $19,859

Top Solar Installers in Los Gatos

When switching to solar energy, many homeowners opt to use a solar installer since handling can be a challenging project. Solar companies offer key benefits that can help you maximize your investment, like warranties, monitoring and free repairs.

Working with a licensed solar installer can help your solar project go smoothly. 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 Los Gatos

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Los Gatos

Cost is typically one of the most important factors for homeowners wanting to invest in solar. There are a few primary factors that will push your cost above or below the average in Los Gatos: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll go over each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment

The size of the solar energy system you need, which is measured in kilowatts, is the most important cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, your total will most likely increase by nearly $2,730. The brand of solar panels and equipment you choose is another factor that will substantially affect costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to be more expensive. Furthermore, solar equipment goes beyond just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to think 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 falls within your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Solar panels can save you money on power bills over many years, but they can also be a big investment. That's why many Los Gatos homeowners choose 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 go with a solar loan. Also, paying a higher down payment can reduce the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you hire to handle your switch to renewable energy can have an effect on your total costs. There are about 3 solar installation companies operating in Los Gatos, and each can charge different amounts for labor and equipment. Larger national companies typically 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 add-on services like electric vehicle 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 $39,454 5.8 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $52,911 5.7 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $66,520 5.6 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $80,283 5.5 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $94,199 5.4 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $108,267 5.2 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $122,488 5.1 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $136,863 5.0 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. Because selecting a company can be a tough decision, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • Reputation: Make sure your solar panel installer has a good reputation by confirming it has certifications and licenses, checking its work history and reading reviews by past customers and solar experts like EcoWatch.
  • Contract: Though reading through a contract can take a lot of time, it's important to do it fully so you can be sure you understand what services your solar company will provide and the terms of the warranty.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies offer various brands and types of panels. If you prefer a specific brand, make sure the solar panel installer you're considering has it.
  • Installation Process: When going solar, it's essential to keep an open line of communication with your solar installer. Confirm that you understand how the installation process will go and the project timeline.

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 Gatos, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Los Gatos 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 things like the type of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Can you get solar panels for free in Los Gatos?

Solar panels aren't free in Los Gatos, 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 can help lower the cost.

Do solar panels increase how much your home is worth?

Solar panels can increase your home value considerably as long as you buy or finance your panels and don't go for 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 long do solar panels last in Los Gatos?

Even though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they are completely unusable at that time. What this means is their energy production will have decreased significantly after that point. You can choose 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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