Solar Panel Cost Guide in Petaluma, CA (Nov 2022)

  • Petaluma Solar Installation Cost: $5,905
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,426
  • Payback Period: 5.6 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 11/09/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Petaluma

We go over average solar pricing in Petaluma.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Petaluma typically cost about $3. The average Petaluma homeowner needs a 3.1-kilowatt system, which would cost about $5,905, or $4,370 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of the cost of solar panels. The true cost of making the switch to solar can vary quite a bit depending on multiple factors, such as how many panels you need, your energy consumption and what company you go with. But, once you've paid the initial cost of installation, the payback for most homeowners is quite rewarding, with a net average savings of about $32,000 over 20 years on utility bills.

For a personalized quote from a local solar company that has been pre-vetted by the EcoWatch team, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Petaluma

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,852
3 years $-2,745
5 years $-639
7 years $1,468
9 years $3,574
11 years $5,681
13 years $7,787
15 years $9,894
17 years $12,000
19 years $14,107
21 years $16,213
23 years $18,320
25 years $20,426

Top Solar Installers in Petaluma

Do-it-yourself solar panel installation is a choice some homeowners opt for, but it's an undertaking that can take a lot of hard work. Hiring a solar company can make your swap to solar power much easier. A solar installer can also help save you money in the long run by providing warranties, repairs and component replacements.

If you'd like to start using solar energy but still aren't sure which solar company to go with, here are our suggestions for providers 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 Petaluma

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Petaluma

Although the average cost of solar panels in Petaluma is $5,905, your actual cost may be above or below the average. There are quite a few factors that can have a sizable impact on the cost of a residential solar panel installation. Below are some of the more important things to keep in mind.

Solar Equipment

Size is one of the largest factors that determines the overall cost of installing solar panels. 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 average energy use. The brand and type of equipment you choose for your solar system can raise or lower the price quite significantly. If you prefer a trusted brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these often have a higher price tag than other brands. Efficiency also matters. Whether you're opting for high efficiency because you have a small roof or just want maximum energy production, you will be looking at a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to more savings over time. Also, if you want additional equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also raise the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Petaluma to be too expensive, even if the investment pays off over time. Fortunately, almost every solar installer in the area provides access to financing options. Solar loans drastically decrease upfront costs in most cases, but they also result in higher prices over time due to interest. When trying to figure out your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you opt for a solar loan. Also, paying more upfront can reduce the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The remaining significant cost factor you should consider is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of renewable energy solutions in Petaluma, you'll have plenty of options to choose from, but each comes at different price points for labor and equipment. Larger national companies generally have lower costs, but some local companies compete with them by offering sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have access to specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or additional services like electric car 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 $39,269 5.8 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $52,664 5.7 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $66,213 5.6 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $79,914 5.5 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $93,768 5.4 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $107,775 5.3 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $121,935 5.2 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $136,248 5.0 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are a lot of companies available in Petaluma, and some homeowners feel overwhelmed considering their options. Selecting the right company for you can be difficult, so here are some tips to help you decide:

  • Contract: When looking over your solar company's contract, ask questions about any terms you're not sure of and be sure you understand what happens in scenarios like a system part breaking or if the company goes out of business.
  • Installation Process: Homeowners should understand how exactly the installation process will go, as well as important factors like the project completion timeline.
  • Reputation: Make sure your solar panel installer has a good reputation by confirming it has certifications and licenses, checking its number of years in business and reading reviews by previous customers and solar experts like the EcoWatch team.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and kind has varying levels of quality, durability and energy efficiency. They will come at different prices as well. The company you choose impacts which solar panel brands you have access to.

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 Petaluma, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Petaluma 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 certain factors like the kind of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Petaluma?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you can't pay upfront or secure a solar loan, but since you don't own the system, you don't have access to many solar incentives. Also your property value won't increase, so you'll have less savings over time. If you can afford to buy a solar system upfront, then buying is the better option if you want the most financial benefits from going solar.

How much can I save on energy bills after switching to solar?

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

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

Even though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they should be disposed of at that time. What this means is their energy production will have decreased significantly after that point. You can decide to replace them once you've had them for that long or you can continue to use 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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