Solar Panel Cost Guide in Walnut Creek, CA (Jan 2023)

  • Walnut Creek Solar Installation Cost: $5,809
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,522
  • Payback Period: 5.5 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 Walnut Creek

See how much it might cost to install solar panels in Walnut Creek.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Walnut Creek, the typical cost of solar panels is $3 per watt. The average solar panel system size in Walnut Creek is around 3.0 kilowatts, meaning a cost of about $5,809 for a solar installation, or $4,299 after the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

The true price you pay can go higher or lower than the average in Walnut Creek based on a few factors, such as the kind of solar panels you choose and the solar contractor you hire. Even with the significant initial cost, the average Walnut Creek homeowner can save around $33,000 on their electricity bills over 20 years, which is one of the advantages of solar.

Click the button below to get connected to a reputable solar installer in Walnut Creek for a customized quote.

Solar savings over time in Walnut Creek

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,756
3 years $-2,650
5 years $-543
7 years $1,563
9 years $3,670
11 years $5,776
13 years $7,883
15 years $9,989
17 years $12,096
19 years $14,202
21 years $16,309
23 years $18,415
25 years $20,522

Top Solar Installers in Walnut Creek

When going solar, many homeowners opt to go with a solar installation company since putting up solar panels yourself can be a difficult project. The expertise that solar companies offer can be helpful as well, particularly if you don't quite know what brand of solar equipment you need.

Working with a licensed solar company 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 Walnut Creek

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Walnut Creek

While the average cost of a solar system in Walnut Creek is $5,809, your final cost may be above or below the average. There are many factors that can have a major impact on the cost of a residential solar panel installation. Below are some of the more important things to take into consideration.

Solar Equipment

The cost of solar panel systems varies by thousands of dollars due to some different factors. One of the key factors is the system size, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). Solar power systems with higher efficiency or power generation use better technology and/or more equipment, both of which can raise 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 better efficiency. In a city like Walnut Creek, where sunlight is abundant, efficiency can quickly pay off. In addition, if you have a small roof or limited space for your panels, higher efficiency options will be more impactful. Additional equipment like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries will also increase the cost.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Walnut Creek to be prohibitively steep, even if the investment pays off over time. Thankfully, nearly every solar installer in the area offers financing options. Solar loans remarkably decrease upfront costs for most homeowners, but they also result in higher prices over time because of interest. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your overall costs, so it's vital to consider that as well. You can always lower the total you pay in interest and possibly even your APR by making a larger down payment.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar company you opt for to handle your switch to solar energy can play a part in your total costs. There are about 3 solar installation companies in Walnut Creek, and each can charge varying amounts for labor and equipment. Larger national companies usually have lower costs, but some local companies undercut them by offering sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have access to 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 $39,971 5.7 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $53,600 5.6 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $67,382 5.5 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $81,317 5.4 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $95,405 5.3 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $109,646 5.2 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $124,039 5.1 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $138,586 5.0 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are many companies to choose from in Walnut Creek, and some homeowners feel overwhelmed considering their options. Selecting the right company for you can be difficult, so here are some tips to help you decide:

  • Contract: Before you sign a contract with a solar company, make sure you look it over fully so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you aren't sure about some of the terms, such as what to do if a part breaks or malfunctions and if there are any guarantees about energy production.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The kind of solar panel you want plays a part in which installer you should go with, since different companies provide different panels.
  • Reputation: Solar companies that have great reviews from their customers and that have been operating for many years most likely provide quality solar panel installation and expertise.
  • Installation Process: Make sure you're on the same page with the installer in regard to how the installation process will go and what you need to do before your solar panels are installed, such as updating your electrical system or roof.

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 Walnut Creek, CA Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Walnut Creek?

This is a difficult question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a variety of 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 additional solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have above-average energy needs. Conversely, you can spend less if you choose a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Can you get solar panels for free in Walnut Creek?

You can't get solar panels for free in Walnut Creek. 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 want to own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

Is going solar worth it?

Whether or not solar panels are worth it depends on some different factors like the cost of electricity near you and how much direct sunlight your roof gets.

How long do solar panels last in Walnut Creek?

Although 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 their energy production 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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