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

  • San Leandro Solar Installation Cost: $5,752
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,579
  • Payback Period: 5.5 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 Leandro

Here's how much it might cost to make the switch to solar in San Leandro.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in San Leandro, the typical cost of solar panels is $3 per watt. To account for the typical energy usage of the average home in San Leandro, most homeowners require a 3.0-kilowatt system. Using the per-watt figure above, a solar installation costs about $5,752, or $4,256 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

Remember that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll pay for solar will differ based on your household energy use, the type of equipment you want, your solar contractor and more. With typical savings of about $33,000 on electricity bills over 20 years, many homeowners in San Leandro find investing in solar has a decent ROI.

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

Solar savings over time in San Leandro

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,699
3 years $-2,592
5 years $-486
7 years $1,621
9 years $3,727
11 years $5,834
13 years $7,940
15 years $10,046
17 years $12,153
19 years $14,259
21 years $16,366
23 years $18,472
25 years $20,579

Top Solar Installers in San Leandro

Installing solar panels by yourself can be a time-consuming task, which is why getting a solar installer is a good option for many homeowners. Also, companies with an outstanding reputation that are more expensive upfront could actually save you money in the long run due to their warranties, repair services and expert design.

If you'd like to switch to solar energy but still aren't certain which solar system installer to go with, here are our recommendations for providers in San Leandro:

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 Leandro

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in San Leandro

Cost is often one of the most important factors for homeowners wanting to invest in solar. There are a few primary factors that determine your overall cost in San Leandro: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll go over each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment

System size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that influences the overall cost of installing solar panels. Because of that, it's a priority to accurately gauge the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your energy needs. The model of solar panels and equipment you get is another factor that will greatly affect costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to come at a higher price. Further, solar equipment goes beyond just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to consider the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when researching a solar system that falls within your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar companies in San Leandro offer solar loans, which reduce the initial cost of installing a solar system. 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 interest rate could reduce your costs remarkably.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The last major cost factor you should take into consideration is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of sustainable energy solutions in San Leandro, you'll have a great number of options to choose from, but each comes at various price points for labor and equipment. The size of the company sometimes plays the most considerable role in your total costs. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower prices because they have access to more resources and bulk pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they generally have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or discount can bring their pricing down to compete with bigger 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 $40,546 5.7 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $54,367 5.6 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $68,341 5.5 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $82,468 5.4 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $96,747 5.2 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $111,180 5.1 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $125,765 5.0 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $140,504 4.9 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The company that does your system installation will affect the warranties and brands you have access to, and it will also have an impact on your total cost. Because picking a company can be a tough decision, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and type has varying levels of quality, longevity and efficiency. They will come at different costs as well. The company you choose has an impact on which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Reputation: Solar panel companies that have great reviews from their customers and that have been operating for many years in most cases provide good-quality solar panel installation and expertise.
  • Installation Process: Homeowners should understand how exactly the installation process will be carried out, as well as important factors like the project completion timeline.
  • Contract: Though reading through a contract can take a lot of time, it's important to do it fully so you can be sure you understand how much the equipment and services will cost and how part repairs and replacements will be handled.

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 Leandro, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a few different 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. You can expect to pay more if you want extra solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have above-average energy usage. On the other hand, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

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

Leasing solar panels can be an appealing choice, because it often comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The drawback 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 get the most savings.

Can you sell solar power back to the grid in San Leandro?

The majority of states offer net metering programs of some kind. Through these, you can be compensated for the extra power your system generates or or receive credits to put toward future electricity bills. Currently there are just three states that don't have any net metering laws: Alabama, Tennessee and South Dakota.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy usage and the amount of sunlight your roof gets. You can look at your energy bills for the past year to get an idea of the solar system size you'll need. The average household has to buy between 20 and 35 panels to account for their typical energy usage.

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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