Solar Panel Cost Guide in Riverside, CA (Dec 2022)

  • Riverside Solar Installation Cost: $5,351
  • 25-Year Savings: $15,601
  • Payback Period: 6.4 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 Riverside

We go over average solar pricing in Riverside.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Riverside it's $3 per watt. The average Riverside homeowner needs a 2.8-kilowatt system, which would cost about $5,351, or $3,960 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of how much a solar panel system could cost. The actual cost of going solar can vary depending on several factors, such as how many panels you need, your energy usage and what company you go with. Even with the significant initial cost, the average Riverside homeowner can save around $28,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years, which is one of the perks of solar.

Click the button below to get connected to a reputable solar panel company in Riverside for a personalized quote.

Solar savings over time in Riverside

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,513
3 years $-2,837
5 years $-1,160
7 years $516
9 years $2,192
11 years $3,868
13 years $5,544
15 years $7,220
17 years $8,896
19 years $10,572
21 years $12,248
23 years $13,925
25 years $15,601

Top Solar Installers in Riverside

DIY solar panel installation is a way to cut costs, but it's an undertaking that can be a headache. Hiring a solar panel installer can make swapping over to solar power much easier. Plus, if you're unsure what kind of solar panels and equipment you want, a solar installer can help you figure that out after a site survey and consultation.

There are various licensed solar professionals that can take care of your solar installation project. Here are our suggestions:

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 Riverside

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Riverside

There are many criteria that can play into your total installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that installs your solar panels.

Solar Equipment

When it comes to estimating the price of a solar system in Riverside, one of the most important factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are chiefly based on your home's energy usage, which you can gauge by looking at past power bills. Your total cost can increase by about $2,730 for each additional kilowatt you need. The brand and kind of equipment you get for your solar system can increase or decrease the price quite significantly. If you prefer a 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 will be looking at a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to more savings over time. Plus, if you want additional equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for solar panels out of pocket is difficult, solar loans are a solid choice because they cut back your upfront costs and let you pay for your system over a term of, on average, between five and seven years. Though solar loans make going solar more accessible for Riverside homeowners, they can also add to the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate and how long you take to pay off the loan. If you put down a larger down payment, though, you can cut back on how much interest you have to pay.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The remaining significant cost factor you should take into consideration is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of sustainable energy solutions in Riverside, you'll have many options to choose from, but each comes at varying price points for labor and equipment. You may notice national solar installers that have lower prices due to their larger brand name and access to bulk pricing, or you might see small, local installation companies offering deals or specials to compete with those larger companies.

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 $32,957 6.6 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $44,249 6.5 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $55,693 6.4 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $67,291 6.3 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $79,041 6.1 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $90,944 6.0 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $103,000 5.9 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $115,209 5.7 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the brand of solar panels and the installer you choose considerably impacts your costs and your system's efficiency, production, and durability, it's important to pick the right ones for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a solid reputation as a company and have verifiable expertise in the field. A couple of ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians that hold a certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has positive reviews from previous customers.
  • Contract: When reading through your solar company's contract, ask questions about any terms you're not sure of and make sure you understand what happens in scenarios such as a system part breaking or the company going out of business.
  • Warranty: An all-inclusive, 25-year warranty can help keep your solar panel system running for years to come and save you money on part replacement and repairs.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and model has varying levels of quality, durability and efficiency. They will come at different costs 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 Riverside, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a hard 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. It will cost more if you want extra solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy needs. On the flip side, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

Can you get solar panels for free in Riverside?

You can't get solar panels for free in Riverside. However, you may still be able to get them on a lower budget. You can lease solar panels for a low upfront cost or, if you'd rather own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

Do solar panels increase your home value?

Solar panels can increase your home value considerably as long as you buy or finance your panels and don't opt for a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). According to research done by Zillow, the average home value increases by about 4.1% after installing solar panels."

How many solar panels do I need to power my home?

To figure out how many solar panels you need, you need to know how much energy your home needs and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can typically produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average household will need 20 to 35 panels.

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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