Solar Panel Cost Guide in Merced, CA (Jan 2023)

  • Merced Solar Installation Cost: $5,657
  • 25-Year Savings: $19,712
  • 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 Merced

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

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Merced typically cost around $3. The average solar panel system size in Merced is around 3.0 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $5,657 for a solar installation, or $4,186 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Merced homeowners. The price of a solar system for your home may look different depending on factors unique to you, like your household energy use and solar contractor. Even with the large initial cost, the average Merced homeowner can save around $33,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years, which is one of the benefits of solar.

Click the button below to get connected to a reputable solar company in Merced for a personalized estimate.

Solar savings over time in Merced

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,642
3 years $-2,612
5 years $-583
7 years $1,447
9 years $3,476
11 years $5,505
13 years $7,535
15 years $9,564
17 years $11,594
19 years $13,623
21 years $15,653
23 years $17,682
25 years $19,712

Top Solar Installers in Merced

Many homeowners choose to hire a solar panel company since figuring out how to install solar panels on your own can be challenging. Plus, if you aren't sure what brand of solar panels and equipment you need, a solar expert can help you find the right equipment for you after a site survey and consultation.

There are several licensed solar professionals that can take care of your solar installation project. 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 Merced

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Merced

While the average cost of a solar system in Merced is $5,657, your final cost may differ. There are several factors that can have a sizable impact on the cost of a solar system installation. Below are some of the more important things to take into consideration.

Solar Equipment

System size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that determines the overall cost of going solar. For that reason, it's a priority to accurately ascertain the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your average energy use. The solar equipment you choose can bring your price up or down by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you opt for the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. However, more efficient panels could save you more over time on your electric bills. In addition, extra products, like solar batteries, can bring your total well above the Merced average.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for a solar system in cash is difficult, solar loans are a popular option because they reduce your upfront costs and allow you to pay for your system over five to seven years on average. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of financing options, including the total interest you'll pay over the length of the loan. If you can only get a high-interest loan, then your total can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars above the equipment and labor cost. Making a larger down payment or finding a solar loan with a low APR could reduce your costs significantly.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installation company you select will play a role in your total cost to go solar. Different companies will bill different amounts for the equipment and labor. Larger national companies typically have lower costs, but some local companies keep up with them by offering sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have access to specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or add-on services like electric car 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 $39,444 5.8 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $52,898 5.7 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $66,505 5.6 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $80,264 5.5 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $94,176 5.4 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $108,242 5.2 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $122,460 5.1 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $136,831 5.0 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

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

  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a sound reputation as a company and have demonstrated 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 positive reviews from previous customers.
  • Contract: Review the contract terms carefully to make sure you understand how much it will cost, project completion timeline rebates and warranties.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels based on their locations and energy needs. While there are many options for which brand of solar panel you can get, not every company will have the exact one you may want or need, so make sure you take a look at their list of offerings before deciding.
  • Warranty: Each company may offer different types of warranties that cover different things. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.

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 Merced, CA Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Merced?

This is a tough question to answer exactly, 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. You can expect to pay more if you want extra solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy usage. On the flip side, you can spend less if you opt for a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Are solar panels free in Merced?

A solar panel system isn't free in Merced, 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.

How much can I save on electricity bills after switching to solar?

It is possible to eliminate your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners throughout Merced, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes can accommodate that size system, so you'll want to check with a local solar installer to see how many panels can fit on your roof.

How long do solar panels last in Merced?

On average, solar panels can last about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency goes down by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a higher level of energy production.

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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