Solar Panel Cost Guide in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA (Jan 2023)

  • Rancho Santa Margarita Solar Installation Cost: $5,504
  • 25-Year Savings: $15,096
  • Payback Period: 6.7 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 Rancho Santa Margarita

See how much it might cost to switch to solar power in Rancho Santa Margarita.

The average cost of a solar system in Rancho Santa Margarita is $3 per watt. The average Rancho Santa Margarita homeowner needs a 2.9-kilowatt system, which would cost about $5,504, or $4,073 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Rancho Santa Margarita homeowners. The price of a solar system for your home may look different depending on factors unique to your situation, like your household energy use and solar contractor. For many homeowners, the upfront investment in solar power is worth paying. On average homeowners in Rancho Santa Margarita see about $27,000 in savings on energy bills over 20 years.

To get a free estimate from a top solar installer in Rancho Santa Margarita, you can click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Rancho Santa Margarita

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,680
3 years $-3,032
5 years $-1,384
7 years $264
9 years $1,912
11 years $3,560
13 years $5,208
15 years $6,856
17 years $8,504
19 years $10,152
21 years $11,800
23 years $13,448
25 years $15,096

Top Solar Installers in Rancho Santa Margarita

Many homeowners opt for a solar panel company since trying to put up solar panels yourself can be a lot of work. Also, companies with a high reputation that cost more upfront could actually save you money in the long term because of their warranties, repair services and expert design.

You can work with a local solar installer to get a free estimate on how much solar panels 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 Rancho Santa Margarita

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Rancho Santa Margarita

Though the average cost of a solar system in Rancho Santa Margarita is $5,504, your final cost may be above or below the average. There are many factors that can have a major impact on the cost of a residential solar panel installation. Below are some of the more crucial things to keep in mind.

Solar Equipment

The cost of solar panel systems varies by thousands of dollars due to some different factors. One of the main factors is the system size, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). Solar power systems with higher efficiency or power generation require 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 and type of equipment you get for your solar system can increase or decrease the price quite significantly. If you prefer a trusted brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these often come at a higher price 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 can expect a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to greater 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

If paying for solar panels out of pocket is difficult, solar loans are a popular option because they decrease your upfront costs and allow you to pay for your system over a term of, on average, between five and seven years. However, the interest on solar loans also increases your total costs, so it's crucial to take that into consideration as well. You can always reduce the total you pay in interest and possibly even your APR by making a larger down payment.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you opt for to handle your switch to green energy can play a part in your total costs. There are about 3 solar installation companies operating throughout Rancho Santa Margarita, and each can charge different amounts for labor and equipment. Larger national companies usually have lower costs, but some local companies keep up with them by offering sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have access to specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or add-on services like electric vehicle 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 $30,928 7.0 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $41,543 6.8 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $52,311 6.7 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $63,232 6.6 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $74,306 6.4 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $85,532 6.3 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $96,912 6.2 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $108,444 6.0 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the brand of solar panels and the installer you choose significantly influences 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:

  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies carry different brands and types of panels. If you prefer a specific brand, make sure the solar installer you're considering has it.
  • Contract: It's important to read through your solar installer's contract fully to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about the installation process.
  • Reputation: Companies that have been operating for many years likely have a solid reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar installation through, but will also provide adequate aftercare and customer support, such as part repairs and replacements.
  • Installation Process: Homeowners should make sure they understand how exactly the installation process will be carried out, as well as important factors like the completion timeline.

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 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Rancho Santa Margarita?

The average cost of solar panels in Rancho Santa Margarita 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 things such as the type of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you consume.

What other factors should I consider in addition to cost when buying solar panels?

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

Is switching to solar power worth it?

Solar panels can be a good 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 fairly low, solar panels might not be for you.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy needs and the average daily sunlight your roof gets. You can 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.

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