Solar Panel Cost Guide in Modesto, CA (Dec 2022)

  • Modesto Solar Installation Cost: $5,714
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,098
  • Payback Period: 5.5 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated December 8, 2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Modesto

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

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Modesto, the typical cost of a solar system is $3 per watt. The average solar panel system size in Modesto is around 3.0 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $5,714 for a solar installation, or $4,228 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

These figures are only averages, and how much solar costs for you may vary based on your specific situation and what company you choose to go with. For most homeowners, the upfront investment in solar panels is worth paying. On average homeowners in Modesto see about $33,000 in savings on energy bills over 20 years.

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

Solar savings over time in Modesto

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,681
3 years $-2,616
5 years $-551
7 years $1,513
9 years $3,578
11 years $5,643
13 years $7,708
15 years $9,773
17 years $11,838
19 years $13,903
21 years $15,968
23 years $18,033
25 years $20,098

Top Solar Installers in Modesto

Many homeowners opt for a solar panel company since trying to install solar panels yourself can be time-consuming. The expertise that solar companies provide can be valuable as well, especially if you don't quite know what type of solar equipment would be right for your home.

If you'd like to switch to solar energy but still aren't sure which solar panel 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 Modesto

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Modesto

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

Solar Equipment

Solar system size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that influences the overall cost of going solar. For that reason, it's crucial to accurately ascertain the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your average energy use. There are a lot of different solar panel brands and the one you pick also affects the cost. Usually, the brands that have better efficiency tend to also cost more. In addition, the type of equipment you're looking to get can affect your total cost. If you just need panels, your system will be much less expensive than if you also need solar batteries or an electric vehicle charger.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for a solar system out of pocket can be financially overwhelming. Solar loans are offered by most installers in Modesto, which can reduce, or in some cases completely eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more affordable. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of loans, 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 finding a solar loan with a low interest rate could reduce your costs considerably.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The remaining significant cost factor you should take into consideration is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of sustainable energy solutions in Modesto, you'll have a great number of options to choose from, but each comes at different price points for labor and equipment. Some companies only sell products with high efficiency and therefore a higher price point — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally come at a higher cost. It's best to do some research and find a company that offers the products, warranties and services you want and also is 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 $39,907 5.8 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $53,515 5.6 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $67,276 5.5 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $81,190 5.4 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $95,257 5.3 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $109,477 5.2 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $123,849 5.1 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $138,375 5.0 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar panel company you choose will affect not only your overall costs, but also the kinds of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you have access to. When choosing a solar company, there are a few important things you should keep in mind, including:

  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a solid reputation as a company and have verifiable expertise in the field. A couple of 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 good reviews from previous customers.
  • Warranty: Many companies offer different types of warranties that provide different kinds of coverage. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.
  • Contract: It's important to look over your solar installer's contract thoroughly to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what expectations you should have about the cost.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels depending on their locations and how much efficiency they need. Even though there are many options for which type of solar panel you can get, not every company will have access to the exact one you may want or need, so be sure to take a look at their list of options before making your decision.

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 Modesto, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a hard question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a few different 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 more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy usage. Conversely, you can spend less if you opt for a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

Can you get solar panels for free in Modesto?

You can't get solar panels for free in Modesto. However, you may still be able to get them on a lower budget. You can lease solar panels for a low upfront cost or, if you'd prefer to own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

How will having solar panels impact my home value?

Solar panels can increase your property's value significantly as long as you buy or finance your panels and don't opt for a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). According to research done by Zillow, the average home value increases by about 4.1% after installing a solar system."

What solar power system size is right for my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy usage 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 get between 20 and 35 panels to account for 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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