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

  • Monterey Solar Installation Cost: $5,542
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,789
  • Payback Period: 5.3 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 Monterey

We go over average solar pricing in Monterey.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Monterey typically cost around $3. Using this figure, a typical 2.9 would cost about $5,542 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of the cost of solar panels. The true cost of going solar can vary quite a bit based on a few factors, such as how many panels you need, your energy consumption and what company you go with. With average savings of about $34,000 on utility bills over 20 years, many homeowners in Monterey find installing solar panels has a decent ROI.

To get a free estimate from a highly rated solar installer in Monterey, you can click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Monterey

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,489
3 years $-2,382
5 years $-276
7 years $1,831
9 years $3,937
11 years $6,044
13 years $8,150
15 years $10,257
17 years $12,363
19 years $14,470
21 years $16,576
23 years $18,683
25 years $20,789

Top Solar Installers in Monterey

Although you can install solar panels yourself, it involves extra labor and know-how. That's one of the reasons most homeowners choose a solar panel installer. The payback period on a solar system will vary based on factors like your location and energy use, but going with a solar installer can shorten that period. Your provider will be able to help you apply for incentives available in your area.

You can get a free estimate from a local solar installer on the cost of solar panels for your home. Here are some in Monterey:

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 Monterey

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Monterey

Although the average cost of a solar system in Monterey is $5,542, your final cost may be higher or lower than that. There are quite a few factors that can have a significant impact on the cost of a solar system installation. Below are some of the more crucial things to consider.

Solar Equipment

The size of the solar system you need for your household, which is measured in kilowatts, is the most important cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, your total will most likely increase by around $2,730. The kind of solar equipment you choose can bring your price up or down by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you choose the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. However, higher efficiency could save you more in the long run on your energy bills. Additionally, add-on products, such as solar batteries, can bring your total well above the Monterey average.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for a solar system in cash is out of reach, solar loans are a popular route because they lower your upfront costs and let you pay for your system over a term of, on average, between five and seven years. Although solar loans make switching to solar energy more accessible for Monterey homeowners, they can also raise the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate and how long you take to pay off the loan. If you make a larger down payment, though, you can cut back on how much interest you have to pay.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar company you hire to handle your switch to green energy can play a role in your total costs. There are about 3 solar installation companies in Monterey, and each can charge varying amounts for labor and equipment. You may come across national solar installers that have lower prices due to their larger brand name and access to bulk equipment prices, or you might see small, local installation companies offering deals or specials to compete with those major players.

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 $42,509 5.5 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $56,984 5.4 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $71,612 5.3 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $86,394 5.2 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $101,328 5.1 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $116,414 5.0 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $131,654 4.8 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $147,047 4.7 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

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

  • Warranty: Each company may offer different types of warranties that cover different things. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.
  • Reputation: Solar companies that have great reviews from their customers and that have been operating for many years in most cases offer good-quality solar panel installation and expertise.
  • Contract: It's important to read through your solar installer's contract fully to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about the cost.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies will have different brands and kinds of panels. If you want a specific brand, make sure the solar panel installer you're considering has it.

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 Monterey, CA Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Monterey?

This is a hard question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a few different 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. It will cost more if you want additional solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy consumption. On the other hand, you can spend less if you go with a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Monterey?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, as it typically comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The drawback is that you won't be able to save as much. If you lease, you don't own the system, so you can't claim any incentives and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better way to go if you want to maximize your savings.

Do solar panels increase how much your home is worth?

Solar panels can increase the value of your property by about 4%, according to research done by Zillow. The average home value in Monterey is currently $635,165, which means you can expect a value of about $26,042 more than houses without a solar system. The exact figures will vary, but most experts agree that installing solar panels in Monterey is a worthwhile investment.

How long do solar panels last in Monterey?

On average, the lifespan of solar panels is 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.

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