Solar Panel Cost Guide in Menlo Park, CA (Feb 2023)

  • Menlo Park Solar Installation Cost: $5,867
  • 25-Year Savings: $19,377
  • Payback Period: 5.8 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 Menlo Park

We go over average solar pricing in Menlo Park.

The average cost of a solar panel system in Menlo Park is $3 per watt. The average solar panel system size in Menlo Park is around 3.1 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $5,867 for a solar installation, or $4,342 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

The actual price you pay can go higher or lower than the average in Menlo Park depending on a variety of factors, such as the brand of solar panels you choose and the solar company you hire. Many homeowners find going solar is a solid investment. The average homeowner in Menlo Park can save about $31,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years.

To receive a free quote from a vetted solar installation company in Menlo Park, you can click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Menlo Park

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,857
3 years $-2,838
5 years $-818
7 years $1,201
9 years $3,221
11 years $5,240
13 years $7,260
15 years $9,279
17 years $11,299
19 years $13,318
21 years $15,338
23 years $17,357
25 years $19,377

Top Solar Installers in Menlo Park

Many homeowners opt for a solar installation company since trying to put up solar panels on your own can be a labor-intensive endeavor. Local solar installers can also help you optimize your return on investment by walking you through any local incentives you can benefit from and by offering warranties and repairs.

There are several licensed solar professionals that can help you install your solar system. Here are our suggestions:

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 Menlo Park

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Menlo Park

Cost is often one of the most important factors for homeowners wanting to invest in solar. There are a few key factors that affect your total cost in Menlo Park: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll cover each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment

System size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that determines the overall cost of going solar. That's why it's crucial to accurately gauge the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your average energy use. The brand and type of equipment you want for your solar system can increase or decrease the price quite significantly. If you prefer a brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these often have a higher price tag than other brands. Efficiency also matters. Whether you're opting for high efficiency because you have a small roof or just want maximum energy production, you can expect a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to greater savings over time. Also, if you want additional equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also increase the cost.

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 Menlo Park homeowners decide to finance their solar panel systems to offset upfront costs. It's wise to include the interest you'll pay in your final cost estimate. If you can afford to pay a higher down payment, you can reduce your total costs and how long it'll take to pay off the loan.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The final key cost factor you should consider is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of renewable energy solutions in Menlo Park, you'll have lots of options to choose from, but each comes at varying price points for labor and equipment. Additionally, some companies in Menlo Park have more knowledge about local solar incentives and can help you make good use of additional rebates or tax exemptions. Though, they may charge more for that service. Even if they cost more upfront, they could help you save more money in the long run.

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 $37,434 6.0 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $50,217 5.9 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $63,154 5.8 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $76,243 5.7 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $89,485 5.6 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $102,880 5.5 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $116,428 5.3 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $130,129 5.2 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are many companies available in Menlo Park, and some homeowners feel overwhelmed considering their options. Picking the right company for you can be difficult, so here are some tips to help you decide:

  • Warranty: Warranties that cover replacement parts and repairs over around 25 years are the best you can get in the business, and offering that kind of warranty is one indication of a quality company.
  • 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 certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has satisfied reviews from previous customers.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and kind has varying levels of quality, durability and energy efficiency. They will come at different costs as well. The company you choose has an impact on which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Contract: Read the contract terms closely to make sure you understand the overall cost, project timeline incentives and warranties.

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 Menlo Park, CA Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Menlo Park?

This is a tough question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on many 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. It will be more expensive if you want extra solar equipment or higher quality 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 cheaper solar panels.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Menlo Park?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, as it often comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The drawback is that you won't be able to save as much. If you lease, you don't own the system, so you can't claim any incentives and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better option if you want to get the most savings.

How will installing solar panels impact how much my home is worth?

Buying or financing solar panels for your home can increase the value of your property by about 4%, according to research done by Zillow. The average home value in Menlo Park is currently $2,000,001, which means you can expect a value of about $82,000 more than houses without a solar system. The specific figures will vary, but most experts agree that installing solar panels in Menlo Park is a fruitful investment.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy consumption and the average daily sunlight your roof gets. You can take a 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 install 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.

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