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The data on this page comes from real solar quotes to real solar shoppers on the EnergySage Marketplace. We give you access to transparent information so you can confidently make informed energy decisions. Learn more about how our Marketplace works and how we make money.
As of January 2023, the average solar panel cost in California is $2.86/W. Given a solar panel system size of 5 kilowatts (kW), an average solar installation in California ranges in cost from $12,155 to $16,445, with the average gross price for solar in California coming in at $14,300. After accounting for the 30% federal investment tax credit (ITC) and other state and local solar incentives, the net price you'll pay for solar can fall by thousands of dollars.
Importantly, these costs are typical for solar shoppers comparing solar quotes on the EnergySage Marketplace. When you compare quotes for solar panels on EnergySage's competitive solar marketplace, you can expect to see prices up to 20% lower than working with a single solar company. Read our updated article on the cost of solar panels to compare solar panel costs across states and by panel brand.
|System Size||System Cost||System Cost (after ITC)|
2023 average solar panel cost graph in California
for a 5kW system
Yes, solar is worth it in California! In fact, solar panels are worth it in most areas, though certain factors – including the cost of electricity, available incentives, the climate, and sun angle – will all impact how quickly you break even on your investment relative to other areas. Over 20 years you can expect to save $65,138 by installing an average-sized solar system (assuming you pay upfront with cash). If you choose to finance your system with a $0-down loan, you can start saving on day one in California (though your long term savings will be less). To learn more, check out our articles about why solar is worth it and how much you can save by going solar.
If you are looking for solar companies in CA, here are some popular suggestions:
The price you pay for solar depends on many factors:
The bigger your solar panel system, the pricier it will be. Importantly, the average per-unit price for solar decreases with increasing system size.
Like any product or appliance, solar panels come in varying quality which can be highly dependent on brand.
The type of panel you install (typically monocrystalline, polycrystalline, or thin-film) directly impacts the overall quality of your installation. Higher quality = higher prices.
The cost of a solar panel installation doesn’t just come from equipment. Your solar installer will also charge for the difficulty of the installation, meaning if you have a complex roof your system may cost more.
Solar companies all charge different labor rates for their work. You may opt to pay more for a more reputable company with better reviews and a shorter time period until installation.
While it’s not a large factor, paying for permits and your interconnection fee to the grid will add a little to the top of your total solar installation price.
Solar is a major purchase, and one that is often accompanied by significant complexity. With that in mind, most solar shoppers in the US compare two to five solar quotes before making a decision. Why? Comparing multiple solar quotes saves you money.
There are two primary reasons that comparing multiple solar quotes can save you money: competition and transparency. The competition effect means that each additional quote you receive for solar will help you to find the right solar panel system at the right price. Transparency can be trickier to put a price tag on, but for a market that has historically been opaque, knowing what equipment will be installed on your roof–and the quality of that equipment–helps to ensure you’re getting the best solar solution for your needs.
This is where EnergySage can help: we take the hard work out of finding, calling and trying to compare quotes from different installers, by gathering custom solar quotes from local installers on your behalf and putting them in an easy-to-compare, side-by side format. When you receive multiple solar quotes through EnergySage, the two of these components combine, allowing you to save 15 to 25 percent on the cost of solar compared to going solar outside of EnergySage. Sign up for free to get started today.