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

  • Oakland Solar Installation Cost: $5,752
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,579
  • Payback Period: 5.5 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 Oakland

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

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Oakland it's $3 per watt. Because a 3.0-kW system is needed to cover the energy consumption of a typical home in Oakland, the average price of going solar will be about $5,752 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of the cost of a solar energy system. The exact cost of installing solar panels can vary depending on a few factors, such as how many panels you need, your energy consumption and what solar installer you go with. But, after you've paid the initial cost of installation, the payback for most homeowners is usually fruitful, with a net average savings of about $33,000 over 20 years on electricity bills.

You can click the button below to get connected with a pre-vetted solar installer in Oakland for a quote for your home.

Solar savings over time in Oakland

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,699
3 years $-2,592
5 years $-486
7 years $1,621
9 years $3,727
11 years $5,834
13 years $7,940
15 years $10,046
17 years $12,153
19 years $14,259
21 years $16,366
23 years $18,472
25 years $20,579

Top Solar Installers in Oakland

DIY solar panel installation is a possibility, but it's an undertaking that can use up a lot of your time and energy. Hiring a solar company can make converting to solar power much easier. Plus, if you're not certain what type of solar panels and equipment you may need, a solar company can help you figure that out after a site survey and consultation.

You can work with a local solar installer to get a free estimate on how much your investment in solar could cost for your home. Here are some nearby:

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 Oakland

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Oakland

The cost of installing a solar system in Oakland 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 the equipment you choose, financing options and the solar installer you choose.

Solar Equipment

Solar system size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that determines the overall cost of going solar. For that reason, it's a priority to accurately ascertain the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your energy needs. The solar equipment you choose can bring your price up or down by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you get the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. On the other hand, higher efficiency could save you more over time on your power bills. Additionally, extra products, like solar batteries, can bump up your total well above the Oakland average.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar installers in Oakland have solar loans, which reduce your upfront costs of installing solar panels. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of loans, including the total interest you'll pay over the length of the loan. If you can only 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 securing a solar loan with a low interest rate could reduce your costs considerably.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The final significant cost factor you should keep in mind is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of sustainable energy solutions in Oakland, you'll have lots of options to choose from, but each comes at various price points for labor and equipment. Additionally, some companies in Oakland are more knowledgeable about local solar incentives and can help you make good use of additional rebates or tax exemptions. However, they may charge more for walking you through the whole process. Even if they cost more upfront, they could help you save more money in the long run.

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 $40,546 5.7 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $54,367 5.6 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $68,341 5.5 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $82,468 5.4 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $96,747 5.2 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $111,180 5.1 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $125,765 5.0 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $140,504 4.9 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the brand of solar panels and the installer you choose has an impact on your costs and your system's efficiency, production, and durability, it's important to pick the right ones for you. Here are some things to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Reputation: Companies that have been in business for many years likely have a solid reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar project through, but will also provide adequate aftercare and customer support, such as part repairs and replacements.
  • Contract: Before you sign a contract with a solar company, make sure to read it through completely so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're unsure about some of the terms, such as what the warranty covers and what services you can expect from them.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and type has varying levels of quality, durability and efficiency. They will come at different price points as well. The company you choose has an impact on which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Installation Process: Make sure you're on the same page with the installer in regard to how the installation process will go and what needs to be done before your solar panel system is installed, such as repairing your electrical system or roof.

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 Oakland, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Oakland is about $13,650 for a 5-kW system and $27,300 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the actual cost will depend on stuff like the kind of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Oakland?

Leasing solar panels can be an appealing choice, as it often 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 tax rebates and credits and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better option if you want to maximize your savings.

How will solar panels impact how much my home is worth?

Installing solar panels on your home can increase the value of your property by about 4%, according to research done by Zillow. The average home value in Oakland is currently $706,316, so you could be looking at a value of about $28,959 more than houses without a solar system. The exact figures will vary, but most experts agree that installing solar panels in Oakland is a rewarding investment.

How many solar panels do I need to power my home?

To figure out how many solar panels you need, you should find out how much energy your home uses and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can usually produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average home will need 20 to 35 panels.

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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