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

  • Prunedale Solar Installation Cost: $5,542
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,789
  • Payback Period: 5.3 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 Prunedale

We go over average solar pricing in Prunedale.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Prunedale it's $3 per watt. Because a 2.9-kW system is needed to cover the energy consumption of a typical home in Prunedale, the average price of going solar will be about $5,542 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average Prunedale homeowner. The price of a solar system for your home may look different depending on factors unique to you, like your household energy use and solar contractor. But, after you've paid the upfront cost of installation, the payback for most homeowners is typically good, with a net average savings of about $34,000 over 20 years on electricity bills.

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

Solar savings over time in Prunedale

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,489
3 years $-2,382
5 years $-276
7 years $1,831
9 years $3,937
11 years $6,044
13 years $8,150
15 years $10,257
17 years $12,363
19 years $14,470
21 years $16,576
23 years $18,683
25 years $20,789

Top Solar Installers in Prunedale

Many homeowners decide to hire a solar panel company since trying to put up solar panels by yourself can be hard. The payback period of solar panels will vary based on factors like your location and energy use, but working with a solar company can shorten that period. Your provider will be able to help you identify incentives available in your area.

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

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 Prunedale

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Prunedale

Even though the average cost of a solar system in Prunedale is $5,542, your final cost may be higher or lower than that. There are quite a few factors that can have a significant impact on the cost of a solar panel installation. Below are some of the more important things to keep in mind.

Solar Equipment

The cost of solar panels varies by thousands of dollars due to a variety of factors. One of the most significant factors is the system size, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). Solar power systems that have greater efficiency or power generation use better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can raise costs. For each additional kilowatt you need, your cost can go up by about $2,730. The brand of solar panels and equipment you want is another factor that will substantially impact costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to come at a higher price. Moreover, solar equipment consists of more than just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to make decisions about the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when looking into a solar system that's in your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for solar panels in cash is too expensive, solar loans are a popular option because they reduce your upfront costs and let you pay for your system over five to seven years on average. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of financing options, including the amount of 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 getting a solar loan with a low APR could reduce your costs significantly.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Lastly, the company you choose to install your solar panels can play a part in determining the cost. Prunedale's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. Some companies only sell high-quality, high-efficiency and high-price products — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally cost more. It's best to do some research and choose a company that has the products, warranties and services you want and also fit into 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 $42,509 5.5 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $56,984 5.4 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $71,612 5.3 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $86,394 5.2 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $101,328 5.1 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $116,414 5.0 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $131,654 4.8 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $147,047 4.7 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The company that does your solar panel installation will affect the warranties and brands you have access to, and it will also have an impact on your total cost. Since selecting a company can be difficult, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels depending on their roof configurations and how much efficiency they need. Even though there are many options for which type of solar panel you can get, not every company will have access to the exact one you may want or need, so be sure to take a look at their list of offerings before making your decision.
  • Warranty: If you're worried about the endurance of your solar panels, ensuring your company offers a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty can help put you at ease.
  • Reputation: Make sure your solar installer 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: When looking through your solar installer's contract, ask questions about any terms you're not sure of and make sure you understand what happens in scenarios like a system part breaking or the company going out of business.

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 Prunedale, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a difficult question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a few different factors. Generally 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 extra solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy consumption. On the flip side, you can spend less if you opt for a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

What other factors should I consider aside from cost when buying solar panels?

Cost is definitely one of the most important things to keep in mind when buying solar panels, but other important factors include efficiency, durability, and quality.

Does Prunedale have a net metering program?

Each state has some kind of net metering programs except Tennessee, South Dakota and Alabama currently. Some states let you sell power back to the grid, but others just offer you credit toward your future energy bills.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

On average, solar panels can last about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency goes down by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a higher level of energy production.

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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