Solar Panel Cost Guide in San Bernardino, CA (Jan 2023)

  • San Bernardino Solar Installation Cost: $5,485
  • 25-Year Savings: $14,654
  • Payback Period: 6.8 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 San Bernardino

Find out how much it might cost to make the switch to solar in San Bernardino.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in San Bernardino, the typical cost of a solar system is $3 per watt. Using this figure, a typical 2.9 would cost about $5,485 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of how much a solar energy system could cost. The exact cost of installing solar panels can vary depending on multiple factors, such as how many panels you need, your energy usage and what solar installer you go with. Even with the significant initial cost, the average San Bernardino homeowner can save about $27,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years, which is one of the perks of solar.

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

Solar savings over time in San Bernardino

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,679
3 years $-3,068
5 years $-1,457
7 years $154
9 years $1,765
11 years $3,377
13 years $4,988
15 years $6,599
17 years $8,210
19 years $9,821
21 years $11,432
23 years $13,043
25 years $14,654

Top Solar Installers in San Bernardino

Many homeowners opt for a solar panel installer since trying to install solar panels by yourself can be a labor-intensive endeavor. Plus, if you aren't sure what kind of solar panels and equipment you may need, a solar expert can help you figure that out after a site survey and consultation.

If you'd like to go solar but still aren't certain which solar system company to go with, here are our recommendations for providers near you:

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 San Bernardino

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in San Bernardino

Although the average cost of a solar system in San Bernardino is $5,485, your final cost may differ. There are quite a few factors that can have a sizable impact on the cost of a solar system installation. Below are some of the more crucial things to take into consideration.

Solar Equipment

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to the cost of installing solar panels is the size of the solar system, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). The more energy your household uses, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to pay around $2,730 per kilowatt in San Bernardino. The brand and kind of equipment you choose 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 will be looking at a higher equipment cost, but this can typically lead to more savings over time. Plus, if you want extra equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also raise the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Solar panels can save you money on power bills over many years, but they can also be a significant investment. That's why many San Bernardino homeowners opt to finance their solar panel systems to make going solar more affordable. Though solar loans make switching to solar energy more accessible for San Bernardino homeowners, they can also raise the total you pay for your system due to interest. If you make a larger down payment, though, you can cut back on how much interest you have to pay.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you go with to handle your switch to renewable energy can play a part in your total costs. There are about 3 solar panel companies in San Bernardino, and each can charge different amounts for labor and equipment. Larger national companies generally have lower costs, but some local companies compete with them by promoting sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or extra services like electric car 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 $30,166 7.1 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $40,527 6.9 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $51,041 6.8 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $61,708 6.7 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $72,528 6.5 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $83,501 6.4 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $94,627 6.3 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $105,905 6.1 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar installer you choose will affect not only your total costs, but also the types of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you can get. When choosing a solar company, there are several important things you should keep in mind, such as:

  • Warranty: A quality company stands out from other companies by offering the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.
  • Contract: Look through the contract terms thoroughly to make sure you understand the total cost, completion timeline incentives and warranties.
  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a solid reputation as a company and have demonstrated expertise in the field. Two 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 satisfied reviews from previous customers.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The kind of solar panel you'd like plays a part in which installer you should choose, since different companies offer different panels.

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 San Bernardino, CA Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in San Bernardino?

The average cost of solar panels in San Bernardino 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 model of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

Are solar panels free in San Bernardino?

A solar panel system isn't free in San Bernardino, but there are some options that can make getting them more affordable, such as leasing solar panels or getting a solar loan. There may also be local programs or incentives that can further reduce the cost.

How much can I save on energy bills after switching to solar?

It is possible to erase your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners throughout San Bernardino, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes can accommodate that size system, so you'll want to check with a local solar installer to see how many panels can fit on your roof.

How many solar panels should I get to power my home?

To figure out how many solar panels you need, you need to know how much energy your home uses and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can usually 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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