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The businesses offering quotes might differ from these described in our impartial critiques.

San Francisco residents face a few of the highest electrical energy payments within the US — to not point out the next value of residing than most locations within the nation. For some, photo voltaic panels are the way in which to slash vitality prices.

Power prices for San Franciscans have been 86.2% larger than the nationwide common in September 2023, in accordance with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Previously 5 years, the typical electrical energy invoice for San Franciscans was a minimum of 59.7% larger than the typical for households within the nation. To tamp down a few of these rising prices, it is price contemplating if going photo voltaic is the appropriate selection for you. 

“In California, the payback durations are going to be 10, 11 or 12 years on common,” stated Dave Rosenfeld, the chief director at Photo voltaic Rights Alliance, a San Diego-based renewable vitality advocacy group. 


Can photo voltaic panels prevent cash?

Serious about understanding the affect photo voltaic can have on your own home? Enter some fundamental info beneath, and we’ll immediately present a free estimate of your vitality financial savings.


California residents have entry to incentives on the state and federal ranges that make putting in photo voltaic panels extra interesting — just like the state’s internet metering program and the federal residential clear vitality credit score.

That stated, your potential financial savings hinges on a handful of things – together with your own home and photo voltaic system measurement. Right here, we’ll stroll you thru what to anticipate if you wish to set up photo voltaic panels in San Francisco. 

Finest nationwide photo voltaic panel firms in San Francisco

ADT Photo voltaic ought to be included in your search if you need sturdy warranties and the backing of a nationwide firm. A 25-year assure in opposition to your roof leaking is unmatched, besides by photo voltaic installations that double as precise roofs. ADT additionally presents a wider choice of high quality photo voltaic panels than different installers. Like the remainder of the trade, ADT does not supply a lot pricing information up entrance, however they do supply a value match assure. Whereas we do not have a ton of particulars about that assure, it makes your ADT quote much more versatile.

NRG Clear Energy brings one of many photo voltaic trade’s most assured approaches to its work, providing a value match and 40-year guarantee. NRG Clear Energy is a strong guess so long as you reside in Texas and California. NRG Clear Energy doesn’t supply leases or energy buy agreements, however they do present photo voltaic panel cleansing and roofing providers in addition to a dependable tools menu.

Photo voltaic panels are sometimes low upkeep tools, however they’re additionally unfamiliar. If you wish to reap the advantages of photo voltaic however may have a bit extra peace of thoughts if another person is ensuring it is working, Palmetto could be an excellent match for you. Simply keep in mind so as to add the price of Palmetto’s monitoring service in to your payback interval calculations.

If you happen to’re on the lookout for top-of-the-line photo voltaic panels, SunPower is you best option. However do not write them off if you happen to’re on the lookout for a much less flashy set up that can get the job carried out. This 12 months it began putting in Qcells panels, which ought to make an set up from the longest-tenured firm on our checklist extra obtainable to extra individuals.

Elevation’s give attention to your own home’s vitality effectivity is not the norm within the trade. If you happen to’re planning on addressing vitality effectivity first, working with Elevation means that you can maintain the entire course of with one firm. Elevation’s photo voltaic tools comes from well-established and well-regarded firms. Elevation’s warranties on workmanship and weatherization could possibly be a bit longer.

Embrace Freedom Perpetually in your search if you need the backing of a nationwide firm that installs all kinds of the most well-liked photo voltaic tools obtainable. Freedom Perpetually additionally extends a few merchandise that take a few of the ache and threat out of going photo voltaic, like a manufacturing assure and an escrow possibility with money purchases. On-line critiques say buyer satisfaction has been low of late, although the corporate says that is altering.

If value is the factor you will not budge on, contemplate Tesla. By all accounts, Tesla installs high quality panels and makes the closest factor there may be to a family identify in photo voltaic storage: the Powerwall.

The place you would possibly miss out is customer support. dialogue on-line appears to counsel Tesla’s service is a little bit of a raffle.

Momentum installs in 11 states with out utilizing subcontractors. Whereas utilizing in-house installers does not assure a greater expertise, it does counsel you are prone to get a extra uniform expertise from them. The truth that Momentum backs its installations with a 25-year workmanship guarantee hints at a powerful perception of their crews’ skill. If Momentum is a part of your search, contemplate the warranties in opposition to leaks that different firms supply. Momentum’s is 5 years, which may be beat.

Native photo voltaic panel installers in San Francisco

All Bay Photo voltaic presents photo voltaic set up, vitality storage and roofing within the San Francisco Bay Space and surrounding communities. The corporate says it is absolutely licensed and licensed, together with NABCEP Licensed. 

Based in 2011, SolarUnion presents a 25-year complete efficiency guarantee. This implies it ensures a 92% energy output after 25 years. It’s going to additionally restore underperforming methods for free of charge to the shopper and likewise has a 25-year roof integrity guarantee. 

How one can decide which photo voltaic firm in San Francisco is finest for me

In line with the Photo voltaic Power Industries Affiliation (SEIA), you will discover 2,400 photo voltaic firms in California, together with greater than 1,000 builders and installers. As a result of the state is among the largest photo voltaic markets within the nation, you may wish to spend time exploring your completely different choices.

Components to mull over embody a photo voltaic firm’s full suite of providers, buyer critiques and rankings, the size and scope of service warranties, and value of upkeep for photo voltaic panels. Some firms will cowl the price of upkeep. 

The typical value of photo voltaic panels in San Francisco 

The price of your photo voltaic panel system can differ and is dependent upon the scale of the system, the place you reside, set up supplies, tax incentives and rebates, the kind and situation of your roof, and what financing route you’ve got landed on. Within the state of California, count on to pay a minimum of $10,000 to $20,000 for a house system.
If you wish to be utterly off the grid, you may have to tack on the price of a photo voltaic battery, which might usually run $12,000 to $22,000. 

Here is a take a look at information for the typical value of a photo voltaic panel system in California, in accordance with FindEnergy.com and the Lawrence Berkeley Nationwide Laboratory.

California photo voltaic panel prices

Value per wattSystem measurement (kW)Whole PriceFindEnergy $3.475$17,350Berkeley Lab $4.206.4$26,880

San Francisco photo voltaic panel incentives and rebates

The price of photo voltaic panels within the state of California as an entire has dropped dramatically lately. Tax incentives, rebates, and different packages may help you save much more. Here is what’s obtainable for San Francisco residents:

San Francisco photo voltaic incentives

Program DescriptionDisadvantaged Communities – Single Household Photo voltaic Houses (SAC-DASH) Householders who’re Pacific Fuel & Electrical clients and stay in eligible deprived communities can obtain monetary help to go photo voltaic.Federal tax credit score Photo voltaic methods are eligible for a 30% tax credit score for the 12 months the photo voltaic panels have been put in.Internet metering packages California has internet metering packages, which is the place shoppers can promote again to the vitality grid extra photo voltaic vitality generated by their house system. Below a current change within the coverage, often known as NEM 3.0, owners will promote vitality at a a lot decrease fee than they may beforehand.Self-Era Incentive Program (SGIP) SGIP presents rebates to owners and companies which have vitality storage methods, reminiscent of photo voltaic batteries.Photo voltaic on Multifamily Reasonably priced Housing (SOMAH) Low-income residents in San Francisco might qualify for the SOMAH Program, which presents monetary incentives for going photo voltaic. Tenants can slash prices on electrical energy payments, and owners can set up photo voltaic at a decreased fee.

Set up components to bear in mind

Earlier than you contact a photo voltaic installer, sit down and get your head round all of the components that can affect your photo voltaic panel set up. These embody: 

Out there firms in your space. Federal, state and native incentives and tax credit. Present internet metering packages. Daylight and tree cowl. Estimated quantity of daylight throughout sure seasons and instances of the 12 months. Power necessities of your own home. Whether or not you wish to be absolutely off the grid. Pitch of your roof. Anticipated upkeep wants. 

When reaching out to photo voltaic firms, Rosenfeld beneficial getting a minimum of three bids. He additionally suggests on the lookout for critiques on trusted buyer evaluation websites, and asking your neighbors who’ve photo voltaic put in for suggestions. 

As soon as you’ve got made a listing of installers you wish to contact, Rosenfeld recommended trying to see if they seem to be a member of the California Photo voltaic and Storage Affiliation and the CA Photo voltaic & Storage Affiliation, and in the event that they’re a part of the NABCEP (North American Board of Licensed Power Professionals). This means the corporate adheres to trade requirements. 

How one can pay for photo voltaic panels in San Francisco

Federal tax incentives, internet metering packages and different packages may bump down how a lot you shell out on going photo voltaic in San Francisco. However keep in mind, you possibly can’t set up photo voltaic at no cost — that system will nonetheless doubtless value hundreds of {dollars}. Listed below are some financing choices: 

Money: If you happen to can swing it, paying for a photo voltaic system in all money means steering clear from ongoing mortgage funds. Plus, you may reap the monetary advantages of going photo voltaic straight away. 

Photo voltaic mortgage. Photo voltaic set up firms incessantly accomplice with monetary establishments reminiscent of banks and credit score unions to supply photo voltaic loans. If you do not have the funds sitting in a checking account to place towards a photo voltaic system, this could possibly be an excellent possibility. You’ll want to look intently at rates of interest and phrases and store round. 

Residence fairness mortgage or a HELOC. Residence fairness loans and HELOCs faucet into your own home’s fairness to fund house enchancment tasks or different large bills. Whereas house fairness loans are installment loans the place you obtain a lump sum upfront, HELOCs are a revolving line of credit score. Your private home fairness backs up each house fairness loans and HELOCs. So, if you cannot sustain with funds, you threat shedding your own home. 

Private mortgage. Many on-line lenders and monetary establishments supply private loans. Whereas largely unsecured, they typically have larger rates of interest and shorter phrases. Store round and get a minimum of a number of quotes earlier than making a choice. 

Photo voltaic lease or energy buy settlement. Each a photo voltaic lease and energy buy settlement (PPA) imply not having to foot prices to purchase a photo voltaic system. Nevertheless, while you lease panels, you have to foot the prices of renting the panels. With an influence buy settlement (PPA), a photo voltaic firm installs the panels on your own home. In flip, you pay for the facility that is being generated. 

Regularly requested questions

What are some great benefits of photo voltaic panels?

Putting in photo voltaic panels in your house can scale back vitality invoice prices and carbon footprint. Ought to the facility grid go down, your lights will keep on. Photo voltaic panels may increase the worth of your own home. 

How lengthy does it take to repay photo voltaic panels?

It is dependent upon the price of the photo voltaic panel system, how a lot you place down, and the rate of interest and phrases of the mortgage. Normally, it may possibly take wherever from six to 12 years to repay photo voltaic panels.

Are photo voltaic panels price it in San Francisco?

Photo voltaic panels could be price it in San Francisco because of the excessive electrical energy prices. Plus, federal and state incentives and California’s internet metering program may help you bump down the prices. 

Does San Francisco supply a photo voltaic tax credit score?

San Francisco does not supply a photo voltaic tax credit score. Nevertheless, these residing within the metropolis are eligible for the federal residential clear vitality credit score, a 30% tax credit score on putting in photo voltaic panels. 

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