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

  • Watsonville Solar Installation Cost: $5,867
  • 25-Year Savings: $20,464
  • 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 Watsonville

See how much it might cost to go solar in Watsonville.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Watsonville, the average cost of solar panels is $3 per watt. Because a 3.1-kW system is needed to cover the energy costs of a typical home in Watsonville, the average price of going solar will be about $5,867 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

These figures are just averages, and the cost of going solar for you will most likely look different based on your energy needs and what company you go with. With typical savings of about $33,000 on energy bills over 20 years, many homeowners in Watsonville find going solar has a decent ROI.

To get a free quote from a highly rated solar company in Watsonville, you can click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Watsonville

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-4,814
3 years $-2,707
5 years $-601
7 years $1,506
9 years $3,612
11 years $5,719
13 years $7,825
15 years $9,932
17 years $12,038
19 years $14,145
21 years $16,251
23 years $18,358
25 years $20,464

Top Solar Installers in Watsonville

Many homeowners choose to use a solar installer since installing solar panels yourself can be time-consuming. Companies can also have access to a large variety of the best solar panels and help you decide which one will be right for your home.

If you'd like to switch to solar energy but still aren't certain which solar panel installer to go with, here are our recommendations for providers near you:

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 Watsonville

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Watsonville

There are many factors that can influence your solar system installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that installs your solar system.

Solar Equipment

The cost of solar panel systems varies by thousands of dollars due to some different factors. One of the most significant factors is the system size, which is measured in kilowatts (kW). Solar power systems with greater efficiency or power production require 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. The type of solar panels and equipment you get is another factor that will greatly affect costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to cost more. Moreover, solar equipment goes beyond just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to consider 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 for a solar system that's in your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for a solar system in cash is too expensive, solar loans are a popular option because they decrease your upfront costs and allow you to pay for your system over five to seven years on average. Even though solar loans make adopting solar energy more accessible for Watsonville homeowners, they can also raise the total you pay for your system, depending on your interest rate and how long you take to pay off the loan. 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 solar panel installer you choose will play a role in your total cost to adopt solar power. Different companies will bill different amounts for the equipment and labor. Companies that only sell high-quality, high-efficiency and high-price 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 go with the company that has the products, warranties and services you want and also fit into 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 $39,491 5.8 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $52,961 5.7 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $66,583 5.6 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $80,359 5.5 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $94,287 5.4 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $108,368 5.2 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $122,602 5.1 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $136,989 5.0 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

Since the type of solar panels and the installation company you choose considerably impacts your costs and your system's efficiency, production, and durability, it's important to select the right ones for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help with your decision:

  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a solid reputation as a company and have proven expertise in the field. Two ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has positive reviews from previous customers.
  • Contract: Although reading through a contract can take a lot of time, it's important to do it carefully so you can be sure you understand how much the equipment and services will cost and the terms of the warranty.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The type of solar panel you'd like plays a part in which company you should go with, since different companies offer different panels.
  • Installation Process: Homeowners should understand how exactly the installation process will go, as well as important factors like the completion timeline.

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 Watsonville, CA Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Watsonville?

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

Are solar panels free in Watsonville?

You can't get solar panels for free in Watsonville. 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 rather own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

Does Watsonville have a net metering program?

Most states offer net metering programs of some kind. Through these, you can either be compensated for the extra power your system produces 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?

On average, solar panels can last 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 higher amount 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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