Solar Panel Cost Guide in Sunnyvale, CA (Feb 2023)

  • Sunnyvale Solar Installation Cost: $5,695
  • 25-Year Savings: $18,124
  • Payback Period: 6.0 Years

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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 Sunnyvale

We break down average solar pricing in Sunnyvale.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Sunnyvale, the typical cost of a solar system is $3 per watt. The average solar panel system size in Sunnyvale is around 3.0 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $5,695 for a solar installation, or $4,214 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Sunnyvale homeowners. The cost of a solar system for your home may look different depending on factors unique to you, like your household energy use and solar contractor. Many homeowners find going solar is a rewarding investment. The average homeowner in Sunnyvale can save about $30,000 on their energy bills over 20 years.

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 Sunnyvale

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,742
3 years $-2,837
5 years $-931
7 years $974
9 years $2,880
11 years $4,785
13 years $6,691
15 years $8,596
17 years $10,502
19 years $12,407
21 years $14,313
23 years $16,218
25 years $18,124

Top Solar Installers in Sunnyvale

Installing solar panels on your own can be a dangerous task, which is why using a solar installer is a good option for many homeowners. The expertise that solar companies offer can be invaluable as well, especially if you aren't sure what brand of solar equipment would be right for your home.

There are several licensed solar professionals that can help you install your solar panels. Here are our suggestions:

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 Sunnyvale

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Sunnyvale

For many Sunnyvale homeowners, the decision to adopt solar energy comes down to cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Sunnyvale, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are a number of factors that considerably influence the price you'll pay, which we'll go over below.

Solar Equipment

The size of the solar system you need to offset your energy usage, which is measured in kilowatts, is the most important cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, you can expect your total to increase by about $2,730. Some solar panel brands — like Maxeon from SunPower — cost more upfront but also tend to offer higher efficiency. In a city like Sunnyvale, where sunlight is abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Also, if you have a small roof or you don't have a lot of space for your panels, higher efficiency options will be a better option. Additional equipment like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for a solar system out of pocket can be difficult. Solar loans are offered by most installers in Sunnyvale, which can lower, or in some cases completely eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. Though solar loans make adopting solar energy more accessible for Sunnyvale homeowners, they can also increase the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate. If you put down a larger down payment, though, you can avoid paying as much in interest.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installation company you select will influence your total cost to make the switch to solar energy. Different companies will bill different amounts for the equipment and labor. Additionally, some companies in Sunnyvale know more about local solar incentives and can help you make good use of additional rebates or tax exemptions. Though, they may charge more for that service. Even if they cost more upfront, they could help you save more money in the long run.

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 $35,964 6.2 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $48,257 6.1 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $60,704 6.0 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $73,303 5.9 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $86,056 5.7 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $98,961 5.6 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $112,019 5.5 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $125,230 5.4 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the brand of solar panels and the installer you choose has an impact on your costs and your system's efficiency, production, and durability, it's important to select the right ones for you. Here are some things to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Contract: When reading through your solar company's contract, ask for clarification about any terms you're not sure of and be sure you understand what happens in scenarios such as a system component breaking or if the company goes out of business.
  • Warranty: Warranties that provide coverage for replacement parts and repairs over around 25 years are the best you can get in the business, and offering such a warranty is one mark of a quality company.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and type has varying levels of quality, longevity and efficiency. They will come at different prices as well. The company you choose affects which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a sound reputation as a company and have verifiable expertise in the field. A couple of ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians that hold a certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has good reviews from past customers.

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 Sunnyvale, CA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer exactly, 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. It will be more expensive if you want other solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have above-average energy consumption. On the flip side, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

Can you get solar panels for free in Sunnyvale?

You can't get solar panels for free in Sunnyvale. However, you may still be able to afford 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.

Does Sunnyvale have a net metering program?

The majority of states offer net metering programs of some kind. Through these, you can get paid 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.

How long do solar panels last in Sunnyvale?

On average, the lifespan of solar panels is 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 higher 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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