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

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

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 Richmond

See how much it might cost to install solar panels in Richmond.

While the national average of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, solar panels in Richmond generally cost about $3. Using this figure, a typical 3.0 would cost about $5,809 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Keep in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Richmond homeowners. The cost 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. For most homeowners, the upfront cost of solar panels is worth paying. On average Richmond homeowners see about $33,000 in savings on electricity bills over 20 years.

To receive a free quote from a highly rated solar installation company in Richmond, you can click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Richmond

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 Richmond

When making the switch to solar, many homeowners opt to go with a solar installation company since installing solar panels yourself can be a time-consuming project. A solar company can also help save you money over the lifespan of your system by providing warranties, repairs and system component replacements.

Working with a licensed solar company can help your solar project go smoothly. Here are our recommendations:

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 Richmond

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Richmond

While the average cost of a solar system in Richmond is $5,809, your final cost may be above or below the average. 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 crucial things to consider.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the cost of a solar energy system in Richmond, one of the most important factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are largely based on your home's energy usage, which you can figure out by looking at past electricity bills. Your total cost can increase by around $2,730 for each additional kilowatt you need. Some solar brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — are more costly upfront but also tend to offer better efficiency. In a city like Richmond, where sunlight is abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Plus, 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

For some homeowners, paying for solar panels out of pocket can be challenging. Solar loans are provided by most installers in Richmond, which can lower, or in some cases totally eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more affordable. Even though solar loans make adopting solar energy more accessible for Richmond homeowners, they can also increase the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate. If you put down a larger down payment, though, you can avoid paying as much in interest.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar company you select will affect your total cost to adopt solar energy. Different companies will bill different amounts for the equipment and labor. Additionally, some companies in Richmond know more 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 $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

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. Because selecting a company can be difficult, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • Contract: It's important to look over your solar installer's contract fully to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what expectations you should have about the installation process.
  • Installation Process: Homeowners should make sure they understand how exactly the installation process will be carried out, as well as important factors like the project timeline.
  • Reputation: Solar installers that have great reviews from their customers and that have been in business for many years most likely offer quality solar panel installation and expertise.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels based on their locations and energy needs. Even though there are many options for which type of solar panel you can get, not every company will have the exact one you may want or need, so make sure you take a look at their list of options before making your decision.

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 Richmond, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

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

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Richmond?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, because it often comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The drawback is that you won't be able to save as much. If you lease, you don't own the system, so you can't claim any incentives and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better option if you want to maximize your savings.

How will solar panels impact my home value?

Installing solar panels on your home can increase the value of your property by about 4%, according to research done by Zillow. The average home value in Richmond is currently $482,563, which means you can expect a value of about $19,785 more than houses without a solar system. The specific figures will vary, but most experts agree that installing solar panels in Richmond is a fruitful investment.

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 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 cover 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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