Solar Panel Cost Guide in Orinda, CA (Dec 2022)

  • Orinda Solar Installation Cost: $5,809
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,522
  • Payback Period: 5.5 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 11/09/2022

Why you can trust EcoWatch

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 Orinda

We go over average solar pricing in Orinda.

In Orinda, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. Because a 3.0-kW system is needed to cover the energy consumption of a typical home in Orinda, the average price of going solar will be about $5,809 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

Keep in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Orinda homeowners. The price of a solar system for your home may be different depending on factors unique to your situation, like your household energy use and solar contractor. With average savings of about $33,000 on utility bills over 20 years, many homeowners in Orinda find going solar can be quite rewarding.

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

Solar savings over time in Orinda

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,756
3 years $-2,650
5 years $-543
7 years $1,563
9 years $3,670
11 years $5,776
13 years $7,883
15 years $9,989
17 years $12,096
19 years $14,202
21 years $16,309
23 years $18,415
25 years $20,522

Top Solar Installers in Orinda

Do-it-yourself solar panel installation is a way to cut costs, but it's an undertaking that can use up a lot of your time and energy. Hiring an installer can make converting to solar power much easier. Solar warranties and repairs are ordinarily included in the cost of installation when you go with a solar company too, which can save you more money after your initial investment.

If you're looking for a solar company in Orinda, we've compiled a list of our top suggestions here:

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 Orinda

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Orinda

The cost of installing a solar system in Orinda can vary by more than $10,000 from home to home. Your actual cost is dependent on several factors. The largest one is the size of the system your household needs, and other factors include equipment choices, financing options and the solar installer you choose.

Solar Equipment

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to the cost of installing solar panels 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 spend about $2,730 per kilowatt in Orinda. Some solar brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — are more costly upfront but also tend to offer higher efficiency. In a city like Orinda, where sunlight is abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Also, if you have a small roof or you don't have a lot of space for your panels, higher efficiency options will be more impactful. Additional equipment like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Solar panels can save you money on power bills over many years, but they can also be a significant investment. That's why many Orinda homeowners choose to finance their solar panel systems to make paying for solar more affordable. Although solar loans make going solar more accessible for Orinda homeowners, they can also increase 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

Lastly, the company you opt for to install your solar panel system can affect the cost. Orinda's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. The company's size sometimes plays the most significant role in the cost. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower prices because of greater 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 lower to compete with bigger names.

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 $39,971 5.7 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $53,600 5.6 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $67,382 5.5 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $81,317 5.4 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $95,405 5.3 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $109,646 5.2 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $124,039 5.1 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $138,586 5.0 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the type of solar panels and the 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:

  • Installation Process: Get detailed information from your solar installer about the installation process and what to expect, such as when the site survey will be done and how long it will take.
  • Contract: Though reading through a contract can be tedious, it's important to do it fully so you can make sure you understand what services your solar company will provide and how part repairs and replacements will be handled.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Not all solar companies have the same brands of solar panels, so the brand and type of panel you want can play a considerable role in the company you opt for.
  • Warranty: If you're concerned about the endurance of your solar panels, ensuring your company offers a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty can give you some peace of mind.

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 Orinda, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

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

Is cost the most important thing to think about when buying solar panels?

Cost is without a doubt one of the most important things to keep in mind when buying solar panels, but other important factors include efficiency, durability, and quality.

Is making the switch to solar worth it?

Solar panels can be a fruitful investment for many homeowners, but they might not be worth it for everyone. If your home doesn't get enough sunlight and/or your electricity bills are already reasonably low, solar panels might not be for you.

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

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy usage and the amount of sunlight your roof gets. You can take a look at your energy bills for the past year to get an idea of the solar system size you'll need. The average household has to get between 20 and 35 panels to account for their typical energy usage.

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.

Follow us