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Are Solar Panels Worth It in California?

Find out how solar panel installation in California can help your home or business save money, use less energy, and be better for the environment.
Solar Panels
5 minutes
Written by:
Joey Cheek
Updated on:
January 27, 2023

Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular in California due to the many benefits they offer. Not only do they reduce energy costs and help the environment, but they also provide homeowners with a sense of security and independence. 

Solar panels can be used to generate electricity, heat water, and even power cars. With the right installation, solar panels can provide California residents with clean energy for years to come. 

Solar panel installation can also raise the value of a home and add jobs to the local economy. 

Investing in solar panels is an excellent way for Californians to take advantage of their sunny climate and make a positive impact on their environment.

The best way to get an accurate view of the value of solar panels is to request a quote from SmartSolar. Reach out to us today to learn more about the solar panel costs for your California property.

Solar Energy in California Is Readily Available

The various states receive different amounts of solar energy, but California is a cut above the rest. As a result, California has more than 38,145 MW of solar power installed—enough to power 10.5 million homes. 

More so, it is the largest solar market in the U.S. because of the environmental benefits it offers. Many local and government organizations have put millions of dollars into building the solar energy system in the state, and it has helped many homeowners gain benefits. 

Energy Costs Are Higher in California

It is also important to remember that solar energy can help homeowners reduce their dependence on electricity from the local utility company. Since traditional electricity costs are so high in California and there have been periods of restricted use, switching to solar makes sense. 

How much money could you save on your electric bill if you switched to solar in California? Though that’s dependent on your specific needs and the system you install, you are likely to see some significant savings. 

The Energy Information Administration shows that, in 2021, the average California home’s electric bill was over $130 per month. If you switch to solar power and eliminate your dependence on the utility company, you could save $1,560 per year on solar costs. Over time, your solar panels will pay for themselves.

It is also important to point out that solar panel systems in California have become more affordable than ever. The SEIA shares that the cost of solar panels has fallen in the state by 52% over the last 10 years. It’s more affordable than ever to save money on solar panel systems.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in California?

To determine how much solar panels cost in California, you have to consider the cost of installing a solar panel system. Fixr shares that the average cost of installing a solar panel system in California ranges from $14,460 to $19,260. That is for a typical 6 kW solar panel system with monocrystalline solar panels installed on the roof of your home. You may pay more or less depending on the type of system you install and its size.

You Could Save Money on Solar Panel Installation Costs

So, are solar panels worth it in California? Ultimately, it depends on your needs and how much money you are willing to put into the new system. However, there are a few ways to reduce the costs you have as well, making it more affordable:

1. Use solar tax credits to reduce costs

The Federal Tax Solar Credit is one way to reduce your costs. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy says that this program lets you get a tax credit for up to 30% of the cost of installing a qualified solar panel system on your home. 

In essence, you are lowering the cost of installing solar by up to 30% (depending on how much savings you receive in the year you install it). 

2. Determine if net metering is available to you

California's net metering program could be another way to help you lower the cost of solar panels and make them more worth investing in. In net metering, the excess energy that is produced by your solar panels is sold back to the utility company. In other words, you can reduce your costs for electricity or eliminate them and then sell your power to the electric company. California’s net metering program is a bit more complex than this, but it can be a great way to reduce costs.

3. Consider Financing or Leasing to Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs

Another step that you can take to improve your solar panel costs is to consider other ways to pay for them:

  • Financing: In this method, you obtain a loan to purchase the solar panel system. You do not have to make any payments upfront, and you still qualify for the federal solar tax credit.
  • Leasing: In leasing, you do not pay for or own the solar panel system. Rather, you pay for just the electricity it generates for your use, so you do not qualify for the federal tax credit.

Solar panel companies can help you ensure you are getting the most affordable way to pay for your solar systems. You may be surprised by how affordable it can be.

How to Find Out How Much Solar Panels Can Cost You

Solar panel systems are an excellent investment for your home. They offer many benefits to property owners:

  • No longer relying on the electric company
  • Eliminating or reducing your electric bills
  • Doing your part to reduce your dependence on fossil fuels
  • Improving the environment

To find out how much solar panels will cost you, reach out to SmartSolar today. We can help you find out if solar panels are worth it to you, specifically for your home and your goals. For many property owners, this can be the best way to find out if investing is wise. 

Take our solar quiz to find out if you can benefit from solar panel installation.

Joey Cheek
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Meet the author:

Joey Cheek

Joey Cheek spent 10 years on the US National Speedskating Team where he competed in two Olympic Games, winning gold, silver, and bronze medals. He attended Princeton before diving into the startup and tech world. In 2011 he launched a livestreaming platform for sports before leading a team of engineers building next-gen news and content apps for Fortune 100 companies. He is the CEO and co-founder of, whose mission is to move the earth to cheap, abundant, carbon-free energy.

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