Solar Panel Cost Guide in Mill Valley, CA (2023 Update)

  • Mill Valley Solar Installation Cost: $6,020
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,311
  • Payback Period: 5.7 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated May 04, 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 Mill Valley

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

In Mill Valley, solar panels cost about 2.73 per watt on average. The average solar panel system size in Mill Valley is around 3.1 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $6,020 for a solar installation, or $8,609 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

These figures are only averages, and how much solar costs for you will vary based on your specific situation and what company you want to go with. Despite the significant upfront cost, the average Mill Valley homeowner can save about $32,000 on their power bills over 20 years, which is one of the benefits of solar.

For a customized quote from a local solar installer that has been pre-vetted by EcoWatch, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Mill Valley

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,966
3 years $-2,860
5 years $-753
7 years $1,353
9 years $3,460
11 years $5,566
13 years $7,672
15 years $9,779
17 years $11,885
19 years $13,992
21 years $16,098
23 years $18,205
25 years $20,311

Top Solar Installers in Mill Valley

Although you can install solar panels by yourself, it takes extra effort and handiness. For that reason, the majority of homeowners choose to go with a solar panel installer. The expertise that solar companies offer can be useful as well, especially if you aren't sure what kind of solar equipment you need.

If you'd like to make the switch to solar but still aren't certain which solar installer to go with, here are our suggestions for providers nearby:

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 Warranty Coverage

Sunpro Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area
  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

See all of the solar companies in Mill Valley

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Mill Valley

Cost is typically one of the most important factors for homeowners considering investing in solar. There are a few primary factors that affect your total cost in Mill Valley: 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

One of the most significant factors to consider when it comes to the cost of going solar is the size of the solar system, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). The more energy your household uses, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to pay about $2,730 per kilowatt in Mill Valley. The model of solar panels and equipment you get is another factor that will considerably affect costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to cost more. Further, solar equipment consists of more than just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to consider the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when researching a solar system that's in your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar companies in Mill Valley offer solar loans, which reduce your upfront costs of installing solar panels. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of financing options, including the amount of interest you'll pay over the length of the loan. If you're only able to get a high-interest loan, then your total can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars more than the principal cost. Making a larger down payment or securing a solar loan with a low APR could reduce your costs significantly.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar company you hire to handle your switch to solar energy can have an effect on your total costs. There are about 3 solar installation companies operating throughout Mill Valley, and each can charge varying amounts for labor and equipment. Additionally, some companies in Mill Valley have more knowledge about local solar incentives and can help you take advantage of additional rebates or tax exemptions. Though, they may charge more for that service. Even if they cost more upfront, they could end up saving you 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 $38,220 5.9 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $51,266 5.8 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $64,465 5.7 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $77,816 5.6 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $91,321 5.5 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $104,978 5.4 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $118,788 5.3 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $132,751 5.1 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

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

  • Contract: Look through the contract terms carefully to make sure you understand the total cost, project completion timeline incentives and warranties.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and model has varying levels of quality, durability and efficiency. They will come at different costs as well. The company you choose plays a role in which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Warranty: Companies typically offer different types of warranties that cover different things. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.
  • Reputation: Make sure your solar panel installer has a good reputation by confirming it has certifications and licenses, checking its number of years in business and reading reviews by past customers and solar experts like EcoWatch.

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 Warranty Coverage

Sunpro Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area
  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

EcoWatch's Mill Valley, CA Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Mill Valley?

This is a hard 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. It will be more expensive if you want other solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy needs. Conversely, you can spend less if you go with a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

What other factors should I consider other than cost when buying solar panels?

Cost is without a doubt one of the most important factors you should consider when buying solar panels, but other important factors include efficiency, durability, and quality.

Can you sell solar power back to the grid in Mill Valley?

Each state has some kind of net metering programs except Tennessee, South Dakota and Alabama currently. Some states let you sell power back to the grid, but others just give you credit toward your future electricity bills.

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 how much energy they produce will have decreased significantly after that point. You can choose to replace them after having 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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