Solar Panel Cost Guide in Saratoga, CA (Jan 2023)

  • Saratoga Solar Installation Cost: $5,695
  • 25-Year Savings: $19,549
  • Payback Period: 5.6 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 Saratoga

Let's have a look at the average cost of solar in Saratoga.

In Saratoga, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. The average Saratoga homeowner needs a 3.0-kilowatt system, which would cost about $5,695, or $4,214 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of the cost of solar panels. The exact cost of making the switch to solar can vary quite a bit depending on a few factors, such as what size system you need, your energy usage and what installation company you go with. But, once you've paid the upfront cost of installation, the return on investment for most homeowners is typically rewarding, with a net average savings of about $32,000 over 20 years on power bills.

For a personalized quote from a local solar installer that has been pre-vetted by EcoWatch, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Saratoga

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,685
3 years $-2,666
5 years $-646
7 years $1,373
9 years $3,393
11 years $5,412
13 years $7,432
15 years $9,451
17 years $11,471
19 years $13,490
21 years $15,510
23 years $17,529
25 years $19,549

Top Solar Installers in Saratoga

When going solar, many homeowners prefer to use a solar installation company since handling can be a time-consuming project. The expertise that solar installers offer can be helpful as well, particularly if you aren't sure what brand of solar equipment you need.

Working with a vetted solar installer 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

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 Saratoga

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Saratoga

Even though the average cost of a solar system in Saratoga is $5,695, your actual cost may differ. There are quite a few factors that can have a sizable impact on the cost of a residential solar panel installation. Below are some of the more crucial things to consider.

Solar Equipment

The size of the solar system you need, which is measured in kilowatts, is the most important cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, your total will most likely increase by about $2,730. The kind of solar panels and equipment you get is another factor that will largely affect costs. Solar panels that are more efficient, like monocrystalline panels, tend to be more costly. Moreover, solar equipment consists of more than just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to think about 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 into a solar system that's in your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for solar panels out of pocket is difficult, solar loans are an affordable route because they reduce your upfront costs and allow you to pay for your system over a term of, on average, between five and seven years. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of financing options, 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 more than the principal cost. Making a larger down payment or finding a solar loan with a low APR could reduce your costs remarkably.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar company you choose to handle your switch to sustainable energy can play a part in your total costs. There are about 3 solar panel companies in Saratoga, and each can charge varying amounts for labor and equipment. You may see national solar installers that have lower prices due to their bigger brand name and access to bulk equipment pricing, 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 $38,829 5.9 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $52,078 5.8 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $65,479 5.6 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $79,034 5.5 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $92,741 5.4 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $106,601 5.3 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $120,614 5.2 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $134,780 5.1 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are a lot of solar installers to choose from, all of which offer different warranties, solar panel models and price points. To help you pick the right company for you, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Reputation: Companies that have been in business for many years likely have a good reputation. This is important because it ensures that it will not only see your solar installation through, but will also provide quality aftercare and customer support, such as part repairs and replacements.
  • Contract: Review the contract terms carefully to make sure you understand the cost breakdown, project completion timeline rebates and warranties.
  • Warranty: Companies typically offer different kinds of warranties that provide different kinds of coverage. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Different companies will have different brands and types of panels. If you want a specific brand, make sure the solar panel installer you're considering has it.

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 Saratoga, CA Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Saratoga?

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

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Saratoga?

Leasing solar panels can be an appealing choice, because it commonly 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 incentives and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better way to go if you want to maximize your savings.

Can solar panels completely eradicate my energy bills?

It is possible to erase your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners in Saratoga, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes can accommodate that size system, so you'll want to contact 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, 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 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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