Solar Panel Cost Guide in Oakland, MI (Jan 2023)

  • Oakland Solar Installation Cost: $12,156
  • 25-Year Savings: $12,964
  • Payback Period: 12.1 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 Oakland

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

In Oakland, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. To cover the typical energy needs of the average home in Oakland, most homeowners require a 6.2-kilowatt system. Using the per-watt figure above, a solar installation costs around $12,156, or $8,995 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

These figures are only averages, and your own solar costs will most likely vary based on factors unique to your home and what company you want to go with. Many homeowners find going solar is a fruitful investment. The average homeowner in Oakland can save about $15,000 on their energy bills over 20 years.

To see your potential savings and connect with a local solar company, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Oakland

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,151
3 years $-9,142
5 years $-7,132
7 years $-5,123
9 years $-3,113
11 years $-1,103
13 years $906
15 years $2,916
17 years $4,925
19 years $6,935
21 years $8,945
23 years $10,954
25 years $12,964

Top Solar Installers in Oakland

Many homeowners choose to hire a solar installation company since figuring out how to install solar panels yourself can be a lot of work. The expertise that solar companies provide can be valuable as well, particularly if you aren't sure what brand of solar equipment you need.

Working with a licensed 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

Solar Veteran

Michigan Solar Solutions

★★★★★
4.5

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Slightly limited service offerings
  • No leases or PPAs

Outstanding Local Installer

Strawberry Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Outstanding customer service
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Educational, no-pressure sales approach
  • Limited warranty coverage
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Limited brands of solar equipment available

See all of the solar companies in Oakland

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Oakland

The cost of installing a solar system in Oakland can vary by more than $10,000 from home to home. Your actual cost is dependent on several factors. The most significant one is the size of the system you need, and other factors include equipment choices, financing options and the solar company you choose.

Solar Equipment

Solar system size, which is measured in kilowatts, is one of the largest factors that determines the overall cost of going solar. For that reason, it's crucial to accurately assess the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your energy needs. The kind of solar panels and equipment you get is another factor that will largely impact costs. Solar panels that are more efficient, like monocrystalline panels, tend to be more pricey. Plus, solar equipment consists of more than 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 searching for a solar system that falls within your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

If paying for solar panels in cash is out of reach, solar loans are an affordable choice because they cut back your upfront costs and allow you to pay for your system over a term of, on average, between five and seven years. Even though solar loans make going solar more accessible for Oakland homeowners, they can also raise the total you pay for your system due to interest. 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 company you hire to handle your switch to green energy can play a part in your total costs. There are about 3 solar panel companies operating in Oakland, and each can charge different amounts for labor and equipment. The company's size sometimes plays the most considerable role in the installation costs. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower prices because of access to greater resources and bulk pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they can sometimes have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or discount can bring their pricing down to compete with bigger names.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.92 $12,274 $12,125 12.6 years
8 kW $2.87 $16,051 $16,481 12.3 years
10 kW $2.81 $19,670 $20,995 12.1 years
12 kW $2.75 $23,132 $25,666 11.9 years
14 kW $2.70 $26,436 $30,494 11.6 years
16 kW $2.64 $29,584 $35,480 11.4 years
18 kW $2.59 $32,574 $40,623 11.1 years
20 kW $2.53 $35,406 $45,924 10.9 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

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

  • Installation Process: Get details from your solar installer about the installation process and what to expect, including when the site survey will be completed and how long it will take.
  • Contract: Before signing a contract with a solar installer, make sure you look it over completely so you understand the terms. Also, ask questions if you're not certain about some of the terms, such as what the warranty covers and what services you can expect from them.
  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a sound reputation as a company and have verifiable 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 good reviews from previous customers.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The type of solar panel you want to install plays a part in which installer you should go with, since different companies have different panels.

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

Solar Veteran

Michigan Solar Solutions

★★★★★
4.5

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Slightly limited service offerings
  • No leases or PPAs

Outstanding Local Installer

Strawberry Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Outstanding customer service
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Educational, no-pressure sales approach
  • Limited warranty coverage
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Limited brands of solar equipment available

EcoWatch's Oakland, MI Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a variety of factors. Generally speaking, it costs about $14,050 for a 5-kW system and $28,100 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. You can expect to pay more if you want additional solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy needs. On the other hand, you can spend less if you want a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

Should I lease or buy solar panels in Oakland?

Leasing solar panels can be an option if you are unable to pay upfront or get a solar loan, but since you don't own the system, you can't take advantage of many solar incentives. Also your home value won't increase, so you'll have less savings over time. If you can afford to buy a solar system upfront, then buying is the better option if you want the most savings from going solar.

Can solar panels eliminate my energy bills?

It is possible to eliminate your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners throughout Oakland, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes will have roofs that can accommodate that size system, so you'll want to check with a local solar installer to see how many panels can fit on your roof.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

The exact number of solar panels you need depends on your household energy needs and the average daily sunlight your roof gets. You can take a look at your energy bills for the past year to get an idea of the solar system size you'll need. The average household has to install between 20 and 35 panels to account for their typical energy usage.

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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