Solar Panel Cost Guide in Montecito, CA (2024 Update)

  • Montecito Solar Installation Cost: $6,836
  • 25-Year Savings: $13,391
  • Payback Period: 9.1 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated May 20, 2024

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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 Montecito

Let’s have a look at the average cost of solar in Montecito.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Montecito it’s 3 per watt.Using this figure, a typical 2.8-kW system would cost about $6,836 before the 0 federal solar tax credit is applied.

Keep in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average Montecito homeowner. The price of a solar system for your home may look different depending on factors unique to your situation, like your household energy use and solar contractor.Many homeowners find installing a solar panel system is a sound investment. The average homeowner in Montecito can save around $25,000 on their power bills over 20 years.

Click the button below to get connected to a vetted solar panel company in your area for a customized estimate.

Solar savings over time in Montecito

YearReturn on Investment
1 years$-5,651
3 years$-3,282
5 years$-912
7 years$1,457
9 years$3,827
11 years$6,196
13 years$8,566
15 years$10,935
17 years$13,305
19 years$15,674
21 years$18,044
23 years$20,413
25 years$22,783

Top Solar Installers in Montecito

Installing solar panels yourself can be a dangerous project, which is why using a solar installer is a good option for many homeowners. Some solar installers, particularly local ones, can help you make the most of incentives in Montecito, thereby optimizing your ROI.

If you’d like to make the switch to solar but still aren’t sure which solar panel company to go with, here are our suggestions for providers near you:

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 for Leasing

Sunrun

★★★★★
4.0
  • Expansive service area
  • Many financing options
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Some reported issues with door-to-door sales

Best Social Impact

Palmetto Solar

★★★★★
4.0
  • Expansive service area
  • Makes charitable contributions
  • Certified B Corp
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Quality of installation may vary by location

See all of the solar companies in Montecito

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Montecito

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

Solar Equipment

The cost of solar panels varies by thousands of dollars due to some different factors. One of the notable factors is the system size, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). Solar power systems with better efficiency or power generation use better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can raise costs. For each additional kilowatt you need, your cost can go up by about $3,470.There are a lot of different solar panel brands and the one you pick also affects the cost. Typically, the brands that are more efficient tend to also cost more. Additionally, the type of equipment you’re looking to get can affect your total cost. If you only need panels, your system will be far less expensive than if you also need solar batteries or an electric vehicle charger.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Montecito to be prohibitively costly, even if the investment pays off over time. Thankfully, almost every solar company in the area provides access to financing options. Solar loans remarkably decrease upfront costs in most cases, but they also result in higher prices over time due to interest.However, the interest on solar loans also increases your overall costs, so it’s crucial 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

Lastly, the company you hire to install your solar panels can impact your pricing. Montecito’s solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. The size of the company can sometimes play the most considerable role in your total costs. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower prices because they have more resources and bulk pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they can sometimes have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or promotion can bring their pricing down to compete with bigger companies.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System sizeCost per system wattSolar system cost25-Year savingsPayback period
6 kW$3.61$15,157$24,8589.5 years
8 kW$3.54$19,821$33,5339.3 years
10 kW$3.47$24,290$42,4029.1 years
12 kW$3.40$28,565$51,4658.9 years
14 kW$3.33$32,646$60,7238.7 years
16 kW$3.26$36,532$70,1758.6 years
18 kW$3.19$40,224$79,8218.4 years
20 kW$3.12$43,722$89,6628.2 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are numerous companies available in Montecito, 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:

  • Solar Panel Brands: The brand of solar panel you want to install plays a role in which company you should go with, since different companies provide different panels.
  • Reputation: Companies that have been operating for many years likely have a high 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 service, such as part repairs and replacements.
  • Contract: It’s important to look over your solar installer’s contract closely to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what expectations you should have about your solar system’s energy production.
  • Warranty: A high-quality company rises above other companies by offering the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.

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 for Leasing

Sunrun

★★★★★
4.0
  • Expansive service area
  • Many financing options
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Some reported issues with door-to-door sales

Best Social Impact

Palmetto Solar

★★★★★
4.0
  • Expansive service area
  • Makes charitable contributions
  • Certified B Corp
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Quality of installation may vary by location

EcoWatch's Montecito, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Montecito is about $17,350 for a 5-kW system and $34,700 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the real cost will depend on stuff such as the type of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Montecito?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you can’t pay upfront or secure a solar loan, but since you don’t own the system, you can’t take advantage of many solar incentives. Also your home value won’t increase, so you’ll have less savings over time. If you can afford to buy a solar system upfront, then buying is the better option if you want the most savings from going solar.

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

Most states have net metering programs of some kind. Through these, you can receive compensation for the extra power your system generates or or receive credits to put toward future electricity bills. Currently there are just three states that don’t have any net metering laws: Alabama, Tennessee and South Dakota.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

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 larger amount 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.