Solar Panel Cost Guide in Salinas, CA (Nov 2022)

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

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 11/09/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Salinas

Find out what the average cost of a solar system is in Salinas.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Salinas, the average cost of solar panels is $3 per watt. To account for the typical energy needs of the average home in Salinas, most homeowners require a 2.9-kilowatt system. Using the per-watt figure above, a solar installation costs about $5,542, or $4,101 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of how much solar panels could cost. The exact cost of installing solar panels can vary based on multiple factors, such as what size system you need, your energy consumption and what installation company you go with. Even with the high initial cost, the average Salinas homeowner can save around $34,000 on their energy bills over 20 years, which is one of the benefits of solar.

You can click the button below to get connected with a top solar company in Salinas for a quote for your home.

Solar savings over time in Salinas

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 Salinas

Although it's possible to install solar panels yourself, it involves extra time and expertise. For that reason, most people choose a solar panel installer. The expertise that solar companies offer can be valuable as well, especially if you don't quite know what type of solar equipment you need.

There are various licensed solar professionals that can help you install your solar system. 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 Salinas

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Salinas

There are a number of criteria that can influence your solar system installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that installs your solar system.

Solar Equipment

The size of the solar system you need to offset your energy usage is the most important cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, your total will most likely increase by around $2,730. The type of solar equipment you choose can increase or decrease your cost by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you choose the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. On the other hand, more efficient panels could save you more over time on your power bills. Additionally, add-on products, such as solar batteries, can bump up your total well above the Salinas average.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Salinas to be too expensive, even if the investment pays off over time. Fortunately, nearly every solar company in the area provides financing options. Solar loans substantially decrease upfront costs for most homeowners, but they also lead to a higher cost over time because of interest. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your overall costs, so it's important to take that into consideration as well. You can always reduce the total you pay in interest and in some cases even your APR by putting more money down.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The final significant cost factor you should consider is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of clean energy solutions in Salinas, you'll have lots of options to choose from, but each comes at different price points for labor and equipment. Companies that 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 offers the products, warranties and services you're looking for 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

There are a lot of solar installers to choose from, all of which offer different warranties, solar panel models and price points. To help you select the right company for you, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Reputation: Solar panel companies that have great reviews from their customers and that have been operating for many years most likely offer high-quality solar panel installation and expertise.
  • Contract: Before signing a contract with a solar company, make sure to read it through carefully so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you aren't sure about some of the terms, such as what the warranty covers and if there are any guarantees about energy production.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels depending on their locations and how much efficiency they need. Even though there are many options for which brand of solar panel you can get, not every company will have the exact one you may want or need, so be sure to ask for their list of options before deciding.
  • Warranty: A high-quality company stands out from other companies by offering the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.

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 Salinas, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

The average cost of solar panels in Salinas 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 certain factors like the type of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

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

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

Is it worth going solar in Salinas?

Solar panels can be a good investment for a majority of homeowners, but they might not be worth it for everyone. If your home doesn't get enough sunlight and/or your power bills are already pretty low, solar panels might not be for you.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

On average, the lifespan of solar panels is 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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