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Top Solar Installers in San Francisco
Many homeowners decide to use a solar installer since figuring out how to install solar panels yourself can be a labor-intensive endeavor. Because solar panels are exposed to the elements every day, warranties and repairs from your solar installer can help you get the most out of your investment in solar panels by reducing potential costs down the line.
Working with a vetted solar installer can help your solar project go smoothly. Here are our recommendations:
See all of the solar companies in San Francisco
Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in San Francisco
Cost is usually one of the most important factors for homeowners who are considering investing in solar. There are a few major factors that affect your total cost in San Francisco: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll discuss each of these briefly below.
Solar Equipment Size
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 electricity your household uses, the larger your system will likely need to be. You can expect to spend around $2,730 per kilowatt in San Francisco. The brand and kind of equipment you choose for your solar system can raise or lower 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. Also, if you want add-ons like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also increase the cost.
Solar Financing Terms
Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in San Francisco to be too costly, even if the investment pays off over time. Thankfully, almost every solar installer in the area provides financing options. Solar loans drastically decrease upfront costs in most cases, but they also lead to paying more over time because of interest. When trying to figure out your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you opt for a solar loan. Also, paying more on your down payment can reduce the total interest paid over time.
Solar Panel Installation Company
The solar installer you go with to handle your switch to solar energy can have an effect on your total costs. There are about 3 solar panel companies operating in San Francisco, and each can charge different amounts for labor and equipment. Larger national companies typically have lower costs, but some local companies undercut them by promoting sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or additional 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||$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|
Solar Incentives in San Francisco
How to Save on Solar Panels
There are many companies available in San Francisco, and some homeowners feel overwhelmed considering their options. Picking the right company for you can be tough, so here are some tips to help you decide:
- Contract: It's important to look over your solar installer's contract carefully to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what expectations you should have about your solar system's energy production.
- Solar Panel Brands: The model of solar panel you'd like to get plays a role in which company you should choose, since different companies provide different panels.
- Warranty: A high-quality company rises above other companies by offering the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.
- Installation Process: Homeowners should understand how exactly the installation process will go, as well as important factors like the completion timeline.
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.