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

  • Millbrae Solar Installation Cost: $5,867
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,464
  • 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 Millbrae

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

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Millbrae, the typical cost of a solar system is $3 per watt. To cover the typical energy needs of the average home in Millbrae, most homeowners require a 3.1-kilowatt system. Using the figure above, a solar installation costs about $5,867, or $4,342 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The true cost of your system can go above or below the average in Millbrae based on several factors, such as the type of solar panels you choose and the solar installer you hire. Even with the high upfront cost, the average Millbrae homeowner can save about $33,000 on their energy bills over 20 years, which is one of the perks of solar.

Click the button below to get connected to a vetted solar panel company in Millbrae for a custom estimate.

Solar savings over time in Millbrae

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,814
3 years $-2,707
5 years $-601
7 years $1,506
9 years $3,612
11 years $5,719
13 years $7,825
15 years $9,932
17 years $12,038
19 years $14,145
21 years $16,251
23 years $18,358
25 years $20,464

Top Solar Installers in Millbrae

Do-it-yourself solar panel installation is a way to cut costs, but it's an undertaking that can be a headache. Hiring a solar company can make converting to solar power much easier. Because solar panels are exposed to rain, snow, hail and wind, depending on the climate, warranties and repairs from your solar installer can help you get the most out of your investment in solar panels by reducing potential costs down the line.

If you'd like to go solar but still aren't certain which solar system company to go with, here are our recommendations for providers 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 Millbrae

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Millbrae

The cost of installing a solar system in Millbrae can vary by more than $10,000 from home to home. Your actual cost is determined by several factors. The largest one is your system size, and other factors include equipment choices, financing options and the solar installer you choose.

Solar Equipment

System size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that determines the overall cost of installing solar panels. That's why it's important to accurately gauge the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your energy needs. Some solar panel brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — are more costly upfront but also tend to offer higher efficiency. In a city like Millbrae, where sunlight is abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Plus, if you have a small roof or limited 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

Most solar companies in Millbrae provide solar loans, which reduce your upfront costs of installing solar panels. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your total costs, so it's important to keep that in mind as well. You can always reduce the total you pay in interest and possibly even your APR by putting more money down.

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 Millbrae, and each can charge varying amounts for labor and equipment. Some companies only sell high-quality, high-efficiency and high-price products — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally cost more. It's best to do some research and go with the company that has the products, warranties and services you want and also fits 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 $39,560 5.8 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $53,052 5.7 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $66,698 5.6 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $80,496 5.5 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $94,447 5.3 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $108,551 5.2 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $122,808 5.1 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $137,218 5.0 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar panel company you go with will influence not only your total 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 take into account, such as:

  • Reputation: Companies that have been operating for many years likely have a solid reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar installation through, but will also provide quality aftercare and customer support, such as part repairs and replacements.
  • Contract: Before you sign a contract with a solar installer, be sure to read it through completely so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're not certain about some of the terms, such as what to do if a part breaks or malfunctions and if there are any guarantees about energy production.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Not all solar companies carry the same brands of solar panels, so the brand and type of panel you want can play a big role in the company you hire.
  • Installation Process: Homeowners should make sure they understand how exactly the installation process will be carried out, as well as important factors like 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 Millbrae, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a hard question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on many factors. Generally 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 additional solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have above-average energy needs. On the other hand, you can spend less if you opt for a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

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

The initial cost is a key factor to consider, but whether it's the most important for you depends on your goals for going solar. In areas where rooftop space is limited, efficiency can be more important than the cost. Other factors that are important to be mindful of are the quality and durability of your solar panels.

Can you sell solar power back to the grid in Millbrae?

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 power bills.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

Though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they should be disposed of at that time. What this means is the amount of energy they produce will have decreased significantly after that point. You can 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.

Follow us