Solar Panel Cost Guide in San Rafael, CA (Jan 2023)
- San Rafael Solar Installation Cost: $6,020
- 25-Year Savings: $20,311
- Payback Period: 5.7 Years
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Top Solar Installers in San Rafael
When going solar, many homeowners choose to use a solar company since installing a solar system yourself can be a challenging project. Local solar installers can also help you optimize your return on investment by assisting with any local incentives and by offering warranties and repairs.
Working with a licensed solar company can make going solar easier. Here are our recommendations:
See all of the solar companies in San Rafael
Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in San Rafael
Though the average cost of a solar system in San Rafael is $6,020, your actual cost may be above or below the average. There are quite a few factors that can have a significant impact on the cost of a residential solar panel installation. Below are some of the more crucial things to consider.
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 about $2,730 per kilowatt in San Rafael. The type of solar equipment you choose can bring your price up or down by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you choose the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. However, more efficient panels could save you more over time on your electric bills. In addition, extra products, such as solar batteries, can bring your total well above the San Rafael average.
Solar Financing Terms
If paying for a solar system out of pocket is out of reach, solar loans are a solid route because they reduce your upfront costs and let you pay for your system over a term of, on average, between five and seven years. While solar loans make switching to solar energy more accessible for San Rafael homeowners, they can also increase the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate and how long you take to pay off the loan. If you put down a larger down payment, though, you can cut back on how much interest you have to pay.
Solar Panel Installation Company
The final significant cost factor you should keep in mind is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of green energy solutions in San Rafael, you'll have lots of options to choose from, but each comes at different price points for labor and equipment. Larger national companies usually have lower costs, but some local companies compete with them by offering sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have access to specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or add-on services like electric vehicle 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||$38,220||5.9 years|
|8 kW||$2.78||$15,594||$51,266||5.8 years|
|10 kW||$2.73||$19,110||$64,465||5.7 years|
|12 kW||$2.68||$22,473||$77,816||5.6 years|
|14 kW||$2.62||$25,684||$91,321||5.5 years|
|16 kW||$2.57||$28,741||$104,978||5.4 years|
|18 kW||$2.51||$31,646||$118,788||5.3 years|
|20 kW||$2.46||$34,398||$132,751||5.1 years|
How to Save on Solar Panels
The solar installer you opt for will be a major factor in determining not only your total costs, but also the kinds of solar panel brands, warranties, and other equipment you have access to. When choosing a solar company, there are a few important things you should keep in mind, including:
- Warranty: If you care about the endurance of your solar energy system, checking if your installer offers a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty can give you some peace of mind.
- Reputation: The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a respected certification organization for sustainable energy professionals. If your solar panel installer is NABCEP-certified, it likely has a good reputation and is qualified to install your solar system. Another way you can look into your installer's reputation is by reading reviews.
- Contract: It's important to read through your solar installer's contract fully to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about your solar system's energy production.
- Solar Panel Brands: The type of solar panel you'd like to install plays a role in which company you should opt for, since different companies have access to different panels.
EcoWatch's San Rafael, 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.