Solar Panel Cost Guide in Santa Clara, CA (Feb 2023)

  • Santa Clara Solar Installation Cost: $5,695
  • 25-Year Savings: $17,844
  • Payback Period: 6.1 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 Santa Clara

We go over average solar pricing in Santa Clara.

In Santa Clara, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. Because a 3.0-kW system is needed to cover the energy consumption of a typical home in Santa Clara, the average price of going solar will be about $5,695 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

These figures are just averages, and how much solar costs for you will most likely vary based on your specific situation and what company you choose to go with. Many homeowners find going solar is a sound investment. The average homeowner in Santa Clara can save about $30,000 on their power bills over 20 years.

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

Solar savings over time in Santa Clara

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,753
3 years $-2,870
5 years $-987
7 years $896
9 years $2,779
11 years $4,662
13 years $6,545
15 years $8,428
17 years $10,311
19 years $12,194
21 years $14,078
23 years $15,961
25 years $17,844

Top Solar Installers in Santa Clara

Although it's possible to install solar panels yourself, it requires extra time and expertise. For that reason, most homeowners choose to hire a solar panel installer. Plus, if you'd like to maximize your investment in solar, opting for a solar company can help with that too. Different providers can offer repairs, expertise on how to install solar panels and sometimes even information on local incentives, rebates and net metering programs.

If you're on the hunt for a solar installer in Santa Clara, we've put together a list of our top suggestions here:

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 Santa Clara

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Santa Clara

Cost is usually one of the most important factors for homeowners considering investing in solar. There are a few major factors that affect your total cost in Santa Clara: 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

When it comes to estimating the cost of a solar energy system in Santa Clara, one of the most crucial 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 consumption, which you can figure out by looking at past energy bills. Your overall cost can increase by about $2,730 for each additional kilowatt you need. The brand and type of equipment you want for your solar system can raise or lower the price quite significantly. If you prefer a brand name like Tesla or SunPower, these are often more expensive 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 greater savings over time. Plus, if you want additional equipment like an electric vehicle charger or solar batteries, this will also raise the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Most solar companies in Santa Clara provide solar loans, which reduce the initial cost of installing a solar system. Though solar loans make adopting solar energy more accessible for Santa Clara homeowners, they can also add to the total you pay for your system due to interest. 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 remaining major cost factor you should take into consideration is the installer you choose. Given the massive popularity of green energy solutions in Santa Clara, you'll have many options to choose from, but each comes at various price points for labor and equipment. Some companies only sell high-efficiency and high-priced products — like Maxeon solar panels from SunPower or Tesla Powerwall batteries — so choosing those installers will generally come at a higher cost. It's best to do some research and decide on the company that has the products, warranties and services you're looking for and also is within your budget.

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 $35,401 6.3 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $47,507 6.2 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $59,766 6.1 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $72,178 5.9 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $84,742 5.8 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $97,460 5.7 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $110,330 5.6 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $123,354 5.5 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar company you opt for will impact not only your total costs, but also the types 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, including:

  • Contract: It's important to read your solar installer's contract carefully to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what you can expect about the installation process.
  • Reputation: Well-established companies likely have a high reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar project through, but will also provide quality aftercare and customer support, such as part repairs and replacements.
  • Warranty: A quality company rises above other companies by offering the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and model offers varying levels of quality, durability and energy efficiency. They will come at different price points as well. The company you choose has an impact on which solar panel brands you have access to.

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 Santa Clara, CA Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Santa Clara?

This is a difficult question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on many factors. Broadly 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 cost more if you want other solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy consumption. Conversely, you can spend less if you go with a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

Are solar panels free in Santa Clara?

You can't get solar panels for free in Santa Clara. However, you may still be able to get them on a lower budget. You can lease solar panels for a low upfront cost or, if you'd prefer to own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

Can solar panels significantly reduce my power bills?

It is possible to eliminate your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners throughout Santa Clara, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes will have the roof space for that size system, so you'll want to check with a local solar installer to see how many panels can fit on your roof.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

On average, solar panels can last about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency decreases by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a larger 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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