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

  • Novato Solar Installation Cost: $6,020
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,311
  • Payback Period: 5.7 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 Novato

Find out how much it might cost to switch to solar power in Novato.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Novato it's $3 per watt. The average Novato homeowner needs a 3.1-kilowatt system, which would cost about $6,020, or $4,455 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

These figures are only estimates, and your own solar costs will most likely vary based on factors unique to your home and what company you choose to go with. Many homeowners find going solar is a rewarding investment. The average homeowner in Novato can save around $32,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years.

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

Solar savings over time in Novato

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,966
3 years $-2,860
5 years $-753
7 years $1,353
9 years $3,460
11 years $5,566
13 years $7,672
15 years $9,779
17 years $11,885
19 years $13,992
21 years $16,098
23 years $18,205
25 years $20,311

Top Solar Installers in Novato

When switching to solar energy, many homeowners opt to use a solar company since DIY solar panel installation can be a difficult project. The expertise that solar companies provide can be invaluable as well, especially if you aren't sure what brand of solar equipment would be right for your home.

You can get a free quote from a local solar installer on how much solar panels could cost for your home. Here are some 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 Novato

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Novato

For many Novato homeowners, the decision to go solar comes down to cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Novato, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are several factors that significantly influence the price you'll pay, which we'll go over below.

Solar Equipment

One of the most significant factors to consider when it comes to the cost of adopting solar energy is the size of the solar system, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). The more power your household consumes, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to pay around $2,730 per kilowatt in Novato. The brand and kind of equipment you want for your solar system can increase or decrease the price quite significantly. If you prefer a brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these often come at a higher price than other brands. Efficiency also matters. Whether you're opting for high efficiency because you have limited roof space or just want maximum energy production, you will be looking at a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to greater savings over time. Plus, if you want extra equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also raise the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Solar panels can save you money on utility bills over time, but they can also be a big investment. That's why many Novato homeowners decide to finance their solar panel systems to make going solar more affordable. While solar loans make switching to solar energy more accessible for Novato homeowners, they can also add to 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 final key cost factor you should consider is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of green energy solutions in Novato, you'll have many options to choose from, but each comes at various price points for labor and equipment. Some companies only sell high-efficiency and high-priced products — 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 decide on the company that has the products, warranties and services you're looking for 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 $38,220 5.9 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $51,266 5.8 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $64,465 5.7 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $77,816 5.6 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $91,321 5.5 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $104,978 5.4 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $118,788 5.3 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $132,751 5.1 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the type of solar panels and the installer you choose significantly influences 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:

  • Warranty: Warranties that cover replacement parts and repairs over around 25 years are the gold standard in the business, and offering that kind of warranty is one mark of a good company.
  • Reputation: Make sure your solar company has a good reputation by verifying it has certifications and licenses, checking its work history and reading reviews by previous customers and solar experts like EcoWatch.
  • Contract: Read the contract terms thoroughly to make sure you understand how much it will cost, project timeline rebates and warranties.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies carry various brands and kinds of panels. If you know you want a specific brand, make sure the solar company 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 Novato, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a difficult question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on many 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 other solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy usage. 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 other than cost when buying solar panels?

Cost is definitely one of the most important factors you should consider when buying solar panels, but other important factors include efficiency, durability, and quality.

Do solar panels increase how much your home is worth?

Solar panels can increase the value of your home significantly as long as you buy or finance your panels and don't go 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."

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

Although the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they are completely unusable at that time. What this means is the amount of energy they produce will have decreased significantly after that point. You can choose to replace them after having them for that long or you can keep using 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.

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