Solar Panel Cost Guide in Portola Valley, CA (Dec 2022)

  • Portola Valley Solar Installation Cost: $5,867
  • 25-Year Savings: $18,652
  • Payback Period: 6.0 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 Portola Valley

Let's have a look at the average cost of solar in Portola Valley.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Portola Valley typically cost around $3. Using this figure, a typical 3.1 would cost about $5,867 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

These figures are only estimates, and your own solar costs will differ based on the amount of energy your home requires and what company you go with. But, after you've paid the initial cost of installation, the return on investment for most homeowners is usually rewarding, with a net average savings of about $30,000 over 20 years on energy bills.

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

Solar savings over time in Portola Valley

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,886
3 years $-2,925
5 years $-963
7 years $998
9 years $2,960
11 years $4,921
13 years $6,883
15 years $8,844
17 years $10,806
19 years $12,767
21 years $14,729
23 years $16,690
25 years $18,652

Top Solar Installers in Portola Valley

Trying to put up solar panels by yourself can be a difficult task, which is why hiring a solar installer is a good option for many homeowners. Companies can also have access to a large variety of the best solar panels and help you choose which one will be right for you.

If you'd like to go solar but still aren't certain which solar system installer 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 Portola Valley

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Portola Valley

The cost of installing a solar system in Portola Valley 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 home needs, and other factors include equipment choices, financing options and the solar company you choose.

Solar Equipment

Solar system size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that influences the overall cost of installing solar panels. That's why it's important to accurately gauge the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your typical energy use. The brand and kind of equipment you want 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 greater savings over time. Plus, if you want additional 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 power bills over many years, but they can also be a big investment. That's why many Portola Valley homeowners choose to finance their solar panel systems to offset upfront costs. When considering your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you decide on a solar loan. Also, paying more upfront can reduce the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar panel installer you pick will play a role in your total cost to adopt solar energy. Different companies will bill different amounts for the equipment and labor. Additionally, some companies in Portola Valley are more knowledgeable about local solar incentives and can help you learn about additional rebates or tax exemptions. However, they may charge more for that service. 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 $36,016 6.2 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $48,327 6.1 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $60,791 6.0 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $73,408 5.9 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $86,177 5.7 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $99,100 5.6 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $112,175 5.5 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $125,404 5.4 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the model of solar panels and the installer you choose significantly affects your costs and your system's durability and efficiency, it's important to select the right ones for you. Here are some things to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Contract: Before signing a contract with a solar installer, make sure to look it over completely so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're not sure about some of the terms, such as what to do if a component breaks or malfunctions and if there are any guarantees about energy production.
  • Warranty: A quality company rises above other companies by providing the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.
  • 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 past customers and solar experts like the EcoWatch team.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The brand of solar panel you want to get plays a role in which company you should choose, since different companies offer different panels.

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 Portola Valley, CA Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Portola Valley?

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. You can expect to pay more if you want other solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy consumption. On the other hand, you can spend less if you go with a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

Is cost the most important consideration when buying solar panels?

The initial cost is a key factor to consider, but whether it's the most important for you depends on your reasons for going solar. In areas where rooftop space is limited, efficiency can be more important than the cost. Other factors that are important to take into account are the quality and durability of your solar panels.

Can solar panels significantly reduce my electricity bills?

Solar panels can potentially eliminate your electricity bills depending on where you're located and how much sunlight your home gets. Even if it doesn't get rid of them completely, you can save a lot of money on your bills, about $1,598.02 per year.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

Though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they stop working completely 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 once you've had 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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