Solar Panel Cost Guide in San Francisco, CA (Feb 2023)
- San Francisco Solar Installation Cost: $6,001
- 25-Year Savings: $19,298
- Payback Period: 5.9 Years
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Top Solar Installers in San Francisco
Installing solar panels yourself can be a difficult project, which is why hiring a solar installer is a good option for many homeowners. The payback period of solar panels will vary based on factors like your location and energy needs, but working with a solar company can shorten it. Your provider will be able to help you identify incentives available in your area.
You can work with a local solar installer to get a free quote on how much your investment in solar could cost for your home. Here are some near you:
See all of the solar companies in San Francisco
Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in San Francisco
For many San Francisco homeowners, the decision to install solar panels depends on cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in San Francisco, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are numerous factors that considerably influence the price you'll pay, which we'll go over below.
When it comes to estimating the cost of a solar panel system in San Francisco, 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 consumption, which you can determine by looking at past power bills. Your overall 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 have a higher price tag 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 increase the cost.
Solar Financing Terms
For some homeowners, paying for a solar system out of pocket can be difficult. Solar loans are offered by most installers in San Francisco, which can reduce, or in some cases eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. It's wise to factor the interest you'll pay in your final cost estimate. If you can afford to pay a higher down payment, you can reduce your total costs and the amount of time it'll take to pay back the loan.
Solar Panel Installation Company
A final consideration when trying to estimate the cost of solar for your home or business in San Francisco is the company you choose to install your solar system. Similar to choosing a company to install new cabinets, for example, there's no shortage of solar installers that offer a range of services for different budgets. Additionally, some companies in San Francisco are more knowledgeable 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 end up saving you 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||$36,455||6.2 years|
|8 kW||$2.78||$15,594||$48,912||6.0 years|
|10 kW||$2.73||$19,110||$61,523||5.9 years|
|12 kW||$2.68||$22,473||$74,286||5.8 years|
|14 kW||$2.62||$25,684||$87,202||5.7 years|
|16 kW||$2.57||$28,741||$100,271||5.6 years|
|18 kW||$2.51||$31,646||$113,492||5.5 years|
|20 kW||$2.46||$34,398||$126,867||5.3 years|
How to Save on Solar Panels
Since the model of solar panels and the installer you choose has an impact on your costs and your system's efficiency, production, and durability, 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: The brand of solar panel you want to get plays a part in which installer you should choose, since different companies have different panels.
- Warranty: An all-inclusive, long-term warranty can help keep your solar panels running smoothly and save you money on part replacement and repairs.
- Contract: When reading over your solar installer's contract, ask for clarification about any terms you're not sure of and make sure you understand what happens in scenarios such as a system component breaking or the company going out of business.
- Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a well-established certification organization for renewable energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it likely has a good reputation and is qualified to do the job well. Another way you can check your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
EcoWatch's San Francisco, CA Solar Cost FAQs
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.