Solar Panel Cost Guide in San Jose, CA (Sep 2022)

  • San Jose Solar Installation Cost: $5,695
  • 25-Year Savings: $19,644
  • Payback Period: 5.6 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 9/16/2022

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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 Jose

Let's take a look at the average cost of solar in San Jose.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in San Jose, the average cost of solar panels is $3 per watt. Because a 3.0-kW system is needed to cover the energy costs of a typical home in San Jose, the average price of going solar will be about $5,695 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

These figures are only averages, and the cost of going solar for you will differ based on your energy needs and what company you want to go with. Many homeowners find adopting solar power is a sound investment. The average homeowner in San Jose can save about $32,000 on their energy bills over 20 years.

You can click the button below to get connected with a top solar installer in San Jose that can help you get a more accurate cost estimate for your home.

Solar savings over time in San Jose

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,681
3 years $-2,654
5 years $-627
7 years $1,400
9 years $3,427
11 years $5,454
13 years $7,482
15 years $9,509
17 years $11,536
19 years $13,563
21 years $15,590
23 years $17,617
25 years $19,644

Top Solar Installers in San Jose

When going solar, many homeowners choose to go with a solar installation company since installing solar panels yourself can be a difficult project. Companies can also have access to a large variety of the best solar panels and help you choose which one will be right for your home.

Working with a professional solar company can help you make the most of your investment in solar. Here are our recommendations:

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

The Green Panel

★★★★★
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 Jose

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in San Jose

Cost is often one of the most important factors for homeowners who want to invest in solar. There are a few key factors that affect your total cost in San Jose: 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

The size of the solar system you need for your household is the most significant cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, your total will most likely increase by about $2,730. The solar equipment you choose can increase or decrease your cost by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you opt for the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. However, higher efficiency could save you more over time on your electric bills. In addition, extra products, such as solar batteries, can bump up your total well above the San Jose average.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for a solar system out of pocket can be financially overwhelming. Solar loans are provided by most installers in San Jose, which can bring down, or in some cases completely eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of loans, including the amount of interest you'll pay over the length of the loan. If you're only able to get a high-interest loan, then your total can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars above the equipment and labor cost. Making a larger down payment or finding a solar loan with a low APR could reduce your costs considerably.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Finally, the company you opt for to install your solar system can play a part in determining how much it costs. San Jose's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. You may come across national solar installers that have lower prices because of their bigger brand name and access to bulk equipment prices, or you might see small, local installation companies offering deals or promotions 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 $39,022 5.9 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $52,335 5.7 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $65,800 5.6 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $79,419 5.5 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $93,191 5.4 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $107,115 5.3 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $121,193 5.2 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $135,423 5.1 years

Solar Incentives in San Jose

Name Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems and Solar Plus Storage System
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Western Riverside Council of Governments - Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Financing Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Local Option - Municipal Energy Districts
More Info Click here

Name Santa Clara Water & Sewer - Solar Water Heating Program
Incentive Amount
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name City of Palo Alto Utilities - Solar Water Heating Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Self-Generation Incentive Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT)
Incentive Amount
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name California Solar Initiative - Solar Thermal Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar installer you go with will affect not only your overall costs, but also the kinds of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you have access to. When choosing a solar company, there are several important things you should consider, such as:

  • 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 most likely has a good reputation and is qualified to install your solar system. Another way you can verify your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies have different brands and kinds of panels. If you know you want a specific brand, make sure the solar installer you're considering has it.
  • Contract: Although reading through a contract can be tedious, it's important to do it thoroughly so you can make sure you understand how much the equipment and services will cost and the terms of the warranty.
  • Warranty: Each company may offer different types of warranties that cover different things. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.

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

The Green Panel

★★★★★
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 Jose, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a hard question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a variety of factors. Generally 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 be more expensive if you want additional solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy needs. On the other hand, you can spend less if you go with a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in San Jose?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, as it usually comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The downside is that you won't be able to save as much. If you lease, you don't own the system, so you can't claim any tax rebates and credits and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better way to go if you want to maximize your savings.

How will solar panels impact how much my home is worth?

Solar panels can increase the value of your home remarkably 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% with a solar installation."

How long do solar panels last in San Jose?

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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