Solar Panel Cost Guide in Morro Bay, CA (Jan 2023)

  • Morro Bay Solar Installation Cost: $5,504
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,827
  • Payback Period: 5.2 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 Morro Bay

Let's take a look at the average cost of solar in Morro Bay.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Morro Bay it's $3 per watt. Since a 2.9-kW system is needed to cover the energy costs of a typical home in Morro Bay, the average price of going solar will be about $5,504 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

Keep in mind that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll end up paying for solar will differ based on your household energy use, the type of solar system you want, your solar contractor and more. Many homeowners find going solar is a sound investment. The average homeowner in Morro Bay can save about $35,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years.

To calculate your potential savings and connect with a local solar company, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Morro Bay

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,450
3 years $-2,344
5 years $-237
7 years $1,869
9 years $3,975
11 years $6,082
13 years $8,188
15 years $10,295
17 years $12,401
19 years $14,508
21 years $16,614
23 years $18,721
25 years $20,827

Top Solar Installers in Morro Bay

When making the switch to solar, many homeowners opt to use a solar company since putting up solar panels yourself can be a challenging project. Plus, if you're unsure what kind of solar panels and equipment you may need, a solar company can help you figure that out after a site survey and consultation.

Working with a licensed solar company can help you make the most of your investment in solar. Here are our recommendations:

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 Morro Bay

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Morro Bay

Cost is typically one of the most important factors for homeowners wanting to invest in solar. There are a few key factors that determine your overall cost in Morro Bay: 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

When it comes to estimating the cost of solar panels in Morro Bay, one of the most crucial factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are primarily based on your home's energy consumption, which you can figure out by looking at past energy bills. Your overall cost can increase by around $2,730 for each additional kilowatt you need. There are many different solar panel brands and the one you choose also affects the cost. Usually, the brands that have better efficiency tend to also cost more. Plus, the type of equipment you're looking to install can affect your total cost. If you just 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 Morro Bay to be prohibitively steep, even if the investment pays off over time. Fortunately, nearly every solar company in the area offers financing options. Solar loans drastically decrease upfront costs for most homeowners, but they also result in paying more over time because of interest. While solar loans make switching to solar energy more accessible for Morro Bay homeowners, they can also add to the total you pay for your system due to interest. 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 installer you go with to handle your switch to sustainable energy can play a part in your total costs. There are about 3 solar panel companies operating in Morro Bay, and each can charge varying amounts for labor and equipment. Larger national companies typically have lower costs, but some local companies keep up with them by promoting sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or additional services like electric vehicle charger installation, they might be cheaper overall.

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 $43,009 5.4 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $57,651 5.3 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $72,446 5.2 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $87,394 5.1 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $102,494 5.0 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $117,748 4.9 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $133,154 4.8 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $148,714 4.7 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the brand of solar panels and the installation company you choose greatly impacts your costs and your system's efficiency, production, and durability, it's important to select the right ones for you. Here are some things to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and kind offers varying levels of quality, longevity and efficiency. They will come at different costs as well. The company you choose impacts which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Installation Process: One of the most important things to understand when adopting solar energy is the installation process itself. Be sure to align on any details you need to know with your solar installer, such as what permits you should acquire and how long the project will take.
  • Contract: Look through the contract terms closely to make sure you understand how much it will cost, project completion timeline incentives and warranties.
  • Warranty: Warranties that provide coverage for defective panels and repairs over a couple decades are the best you can get in the business, and offering such a warranty is one mark of a quality company.

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 Morro Bay, CA Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Morro Bay?

This is a difficult question to answer exactly, 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. It will cost more if you want additional solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy usage. On the other hand, you can spend less if you want a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Are solar panels free in Morro Bay?

You can't get solar panels for free in Morro Bay. 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.

Can solar panels eliminate my power bills?

It is possible to erase your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners throughout Morro Bay, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes will have roofs that can accommodate that size system, so you'll want to contact a local solar installer to see how many panels can fit on your roof.

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 decreases by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a higher level 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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