Solar Panel Cost Guide in Santa Barbara, CA (Jan 2023)
- Santa Barbara Solar Installation Cost: $5,370
- 25-Year Savings: $15,080
- Payback Period: 6.6 Years
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Top Solar Installers in Santa Barbara
Many homeowners opt for a solar installer since installing solar panels by yourself can be a labor-intensive endeavor. The expertise that solar companies offer can be invaluable as well, especially if you aren't sure what kind of solar equipment would be right for your home.
Working with a licensed solar company can help you make the most of your investment in solar. Here are our recommendations:
See all of the solar companies in Santa Barbara
Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Santa Barbara
For many Santa Barbara homeowners, the decision to go solar comes down to cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Santa Barbara, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are various 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 energy system in Santa Barbara, one of the most important factors is the size of the system you need. Solar systems are sized by kilowatts (kW) and are primarily based on your home's energy usage, which you can gauge by looking at past electricity bills. Your total cost can increase by about $2,730 for each additional kilowatt you need. The kind of solar panels and equipment you get is another factor that will considerably affect costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to come at a higher price. Moreover, solar equipment is more than just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to decide on the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when looking for a solar system that's in your budget.
Solar Financing Terms
For some homeowners, paying for solar panels out of pocket can be difficult. Solar loans are provided by most installers in Santa Barbara, which can bring down, or in some cases completely eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. Even though solar loans make going solar more accessible for Santa Barbara 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 make a larger down payment, though, you can cut back on how much interest you have to pay.
Solar Panel Installation Company
The last key cost factor you should take into consideration is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of clean energy solutions in Santa Barbara, you'll have lots of options to choose from, but each comes at various price points for labor and equipment. Larger national companies generally 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 add-on 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||$31,673||6.8 years|
|8 kW||$2.78||$15,594||$42,536||6.7 years|
|10 kW||$2.73||$19,110||$53,553||6.6 years|
|12 kW||$2.68||$22,473||$64,722||6.4 years|
|14 kW||$2.62||$25,684||$76,044||6.3 years|
|16 kW||$2.57||$28,741||$87,519||6.2 years|
|18 kW||$2.51||$31,646||$99,147||6.0 years|
|20 kW||$2.46||$34,398||$110,928||5.9 years|
How to Save on Solar Panels
Since the kind of solar panels and the installation company you choose has an impact on your costs and your system's durability and efficiency, it's important to select the right ones for you. Here are some things to keep in mind to help with your decision:
- Reputation: Your solar installer should have a sound reputation as a company and have verifiable expertise in the field. Two ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has good reviews from previous customers.
- Solar Panel Brands: Not all solar installers carry the same brands of solar panels, so the brand and type of panel you want can play a large role in the company you opt for.
- Installation Process: Make sure you're on the same page with the installer regarding how the installation process will go and what you need to do before your solar system is installed, such as repairing your electrical system or roof.
- Contract: Even though reading through a contract can take a lot of time, it's important to do it carefully so you can be sure you understand what services your solar company will provide and the terms of the warranty.
EcoWatch's Santa Barbara, 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.