Solar Panel Cost Guide in Valley Center, CA (Jan 2023)

  • Valley Center Solar Installation Cost: $5,370
  • 25-Year Savings: $17,670
  • Payback Period: 5.8 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 Valley Center

Find out how much it might cost to go solar in Valley Center.

The national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt, but in Valley Center it's $3 per watt. The average Valley Center homeowner needs a 2.8-kilowatt system, which would cost about $5,370, or $3,974 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average Valley Center homeowner. The cost of a solar system for your home may be different depending on factors unique to you, like your household energy use and solar contractor. But, after you've paid the upfront cost of installation, the ROI for most homeowners is usually rewarding, with a net average savings of about $31,000 over 20 years on utility bills.

You can click the button below to get connected with a top solar company in Valley Center for a quote for your home.

Solar savings over time in Valley Center

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,448
3 years $-2,605
5 years $-762
7 years $1,081
9 years $2,924
11 years $4,768
13 years $6,611
15 years $8,454
17 years $10,297
19 years $12,140
21 years $13,984
23 years $15,827
25 years $17,670

Top Solar Installers in Valley Center

DIY solar panel installation is a way to cut costs, but it's an undertaking that can be a pain. Taking advantage of a solar panel installer can make your switch to solar power much easier. Also, companies with a good reputation that cost more upfront could actually save you money in the long run because of their warranties, repair services and expert design.

Working with a licensed solar installer can make going solar easier. 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 Valley Center

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Valley Center

Cost is often one of the most important factors for homeowners who want to invest in solar. There are a few major factors that will push your cost above or below the average in Valley Center: solar equipment and system size, financing options and the solar installation company you choose. We'll discuss each of these briefly below.

Solar Equipment

The cost of solar panels varies by thousands of dollars due to a few different factors. One of the key factors is the system size, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). Solar power systems with greater efficiency or power generation require better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can increase costs. For each additional kilowatt you need, your cost can go up 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 Valley Center, where sunlight is abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. Plus, 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

If paying for solar panels in cash is too expensive, solar loans are a solid choice because they reduce your upfront costs and let you pay for your system over a term of, on average, between five and seven years. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your total costs, so it's crucial to consider that as well. You can always bring down the total you pay in interest and in some cases even your APR by putting more money down.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you choose to handle your switch to solar energy can play a part in your total costs. There are about 3 solar installation companies in Valley Center, and each can charge different amounts for labor and equipment. The size of the company can sometimes play the most significant role in your costs. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower pricing because of greater resources and better pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they generally have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or discount can bring their pricing lower to compete with bigger 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 $37,188 6.1 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $49,889 6.0 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $62,744 5.8 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $75,751 5.7 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $88,911 5.6 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $102,224 5.5 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $115,690 5.4 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $129,309 5.3 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The solar installer you go with 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 take into account, such as:

  • Reputation: Solar companies that have great reviews from their customers and that have been in business for many years likely provide good-quality solar panel installation and expertise.
  • 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 part breaking or the company going out of business.
  • Installation Process: Make sure you're on the same page with the installer with regard to how the installation process will go and what needs to be done before your solar panels are installed, such as updating or replacing your electrical system or roof.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels based on their roof configurations and how much efficiency they need. While there are many options for which brand of solar panel you can get, not every company will have the exact one you may want or need, so make sure you ask for their list of options before making your decision.

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 Valley Center, CA Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Valley Center?

The average cost of solar panels in Valley Center is about $13,650 for a 5-kW system and $27,300 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the real cost will depend on stuff like the kind of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

Can you get solar panels for free in Valley Center?

A solar panel system isn't free in Valley Center, but there are some options that can make getting them more affordable, such as leasing solar panels or getting a solar loan. There may also be local programs or incentives that can help lower the cost.

Can you sell solar power back to the grid in Valley Center?

The majority of states offer net metering programs of some kind. Through these, you can receive compensation for the extra power your system generates or or receive credits to put toward future utility bills. Currently there are just three states that don't have any net metering laws: Alabama, Tennessee and South Dakota.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

Even though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they stop working completely at that time. What this means is the amount of energy they produce will have decreased significantly after that point. You can replace them after having them for that long or you can continue to use them at a lower efficiency.

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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