Going solar in California

In California, an average home needs a 5kW solar system in order cover most of their electricity needs. Given the average residential price-per-watt of $3.93 in California, a 5kW system can cost around $19,650 depending on applicable rebates and other factors.

Select your county by clicking on the map and see the potential generated solar power and panel pricing. See how it compares with the US state average.

Average out-of-pocket cost for a 5 kW system The upfront amount spent to buy and install solar.
California: $19,650US Average: $19,594
Average Payback Period The number of years until you break even on the solar investment.
California: 13 yearsUS Average: 13 years
Average Net 20-year savings The total amount of money saved over 20 years minus the out-of-pocket cost.
California: $10,821US Average: $10,133

Solar Potential in California

Estimated system size and solar electricity production per median viable roof in
California.

Roof size 930sq. ft.
Capacity 13kW DC
Electricity 19.2kkWh AC per yr.
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Compare solar panels by system size in California

Get the most value out of your roof by comparing the different benefits a given system size has.

System Size 1kW
Roof Size Min. space required
72 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $390 a year
Est. Price
$3,930
Savings from a 1kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 1,660 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $33
  • Full payback in 10 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 0.41 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 19 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 1,003 mi less a year
System Size 2kW
Roof Size Min. space required
143 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $781 a year
Est. Price
$7,860
Savings from a 2kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 3,320 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $65
  • Full payback in 10 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 0.81 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 37 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 2,005 mi less a year
System Size 3kW
Roof Size Min. space required
215 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $1,171 a year
Est. Price
$11,790
Savings from a 3kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 4,980 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $98
  • Full payback in 10 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 1.22 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 56 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 3,008 mi less a year
System Size 4kW
Roof Size Min. space required
286 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $1,561 a year
Est. Price
$15,720
Savings from a 4kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 6,640 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $127
  • Full payback in 10 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 1.58 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 73 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 3,914 mi less a year
System Size 5kW
Roof Size Min. space required
358 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $1,952 a year
Est. Price
$19,650
Savings from a 5kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 8,300 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $127
  • Full payback in 13 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 1.58 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 73 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 3,914 mi less a year

California solar incentives, tax credit, and rebates

California has 44 rebates and tax credits that you may be eligable for. Visit the official links for more details to see if you apply.

Solar incentives in CA

California Solar Initiative - Solar Thermal Program

Value:Up to $4,366

NOTE: Program funds have been exhausted for certain commercial/multifamily systems in the SCE and PG&E service areas, and for certain residential systems in all partner service areas. In 2007, the California Solar Initiative allocated $350 million to incentivize solar water heating adoption through rebates on new residential and commercial systems. Later years saw the program expand to include solar pool heating and HVAC systems. Property owners may participate in the program through their energy utility. Current partners include Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company, and CSE/San Diego Gas. Rebate amounts depend on system capacity and the property type (single-family, multifamily, commercial). Smaller-capacity systems will yield a rebate based on estimated cost savings for the first year of use. Larger-capacity systems will yield a flat upfront rebate followed by additional incentives based on estimated cost savings.

California Solar Initiative - Low-Income Solar Water Heating Rebate Program

Value:Up to $3,750

Beginning in 2011, the California Solar Initiative has offered an incentive program for solar water heating adoption at low-income residential properties. urrrent incentive partners include Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas and Electric, and Southern California Gas. Rebate amounts will vary and depend on system capacity and performance at the panel installation site. There are four "step-downs" in incentive credits over time. Qualifying property must have been designated as "low-income" for at least 10 years, with the property owners already participating in an Energy Savings Assistance Program. Multifamily property should be classified as low-income, with at least 50% of tenants participating in an ESAP.

SMUD - PV Residential Retrofit Buy-Down

Value:Up to $300

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) solar incentive for residential installation is available for residents who install solar power systems. Residents who have a solar power system installed can receive an incentive of $300. Residents should start by finding a contractor to complete the application process, install the solar system, and ensure it meets safety guidelines before turning on the system. Residents may do the installation themselves, but they will have to complete the application process before installation begins. PV production meters can be installed at no additional cost to the customer.

City of Palo Alto Utilities - Solar Water Heating Program

Value:Up to $2,719

Palo Alto, California, and its municipal utilities offer solar water heating system incentives to all residential, commercial, and industrial customers. These incentives are meant to encourage Palo Alto Utilities rate-payers to install energy efficient technologies on their homes and facilities. The incentives offered are based upon a calculation of the estimated savings instigated by the solar energy system. Max incentives are capped at $2,719 for gas-displacing systems and $1,834 for electricity or propane-displacing systems. Incentives for all commercial systems may not exceed $100,000.

Ukiah Utilities - PV Buydown Program

Value:Up to $7,000

Ukiah Utilities offers a PV Buydown Program through the City of Ukiah Electric Department. Commercial and residential customers alike are eligible for a $0.28-per-watt AC rebate after installing a qualifying grid-connected PV system up to a maximum system size of 1 MW. Pursuant to SB1, this incentive decreases annually, beginning July 1, over the 10-year life of the program. The incentive is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Total incentives are capped at $7000 for each residential installation and $25,000 for every commercial installation.

Public Benefits Funds for Renewables and Efficiency

Value:Varies

The Electric Program Investment Charge Program (EPIC) is California's public benefits fund. The program invests over $130 million into renewable energy research and development every year. Along with expanding the use of renewable energy, funding is used to advance electric technologies, support local economies and businesses, and improve the health and comfort of local communities. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) oversees energy efficiency funding. The CPUC approves plans for efficiency programs every year. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), Southern California Gas Company (SCGC), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) are the four investor-owned utilities that receive funding for efficiency programs.

Sales and Use Tax Exclusion for Advanced Transportation and Alternative Energy Manufacturing Program

Value:Varies

To be eligible for the sales and use tax exclusion (STE), the property must be used to design, manufacture, produce, or assemble advanced transportation technology or alternative source products or systems. Electric vehicle, electric vehicle battery, and solar photovoltaic manufacturing have been approved for financial assistance. Other approved applications include entities involved in landfill gas and biogas capture and production, demonstration hydrogen fuel production, and biomass processing and fuel production. To be recommended to the CAEATFA Board for approval, applications must be fiscally and environmentally beneficial. Application fees range between $250 and $10,000, and administrative fees range between $15,000 and $350,000. Both are based on the total purchase price.

City of San Diego - Sustainable Building Policy

Value:Varies

San Diego, California adopted a Sustainable Building policy when it passed Council Policy 900-14 into law. The policy specifically regulates building measures, private-sector incentives, health and resource conservation, outreach and education, and implementation. Among the several directives introduced, the most notable is a commitment to LEED Certification for all newly constructed city facilities and major renovation projects. Council Policy 900-14 stipulates that all newly purposed City facilities shall incorporate a minimum of 15% self-generation using renewable technologies. This policy shall be applicable only after a reasonable payback in energy cost savings can be demonstrated.

Savings by Design (Offered by six Utilities)

Value:Varies

Savings by Design is a program that operates in conjunction with the California Department of Public Utilities. It was established to incentivize builders and owners of commercial buildings to increase energy performance and efficiency. To participate, the project must qualify as a non-residential new construction or renovation project in the service area of one of the six participating utilities within California. To determine funding eligibility, interested prospective participants should contact their respective utility as early on in the design process as feasible. Complete, up-to-date details can be found on the program’s website.

Green Building Action Plan for State Facilities

Value:Varies

In December of 2005, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger established a statewide Green Building Action Plan by executive order. Under the order, all new state buildings constructed up to 2025 must meet a minimum LEED certification of Silver, make use of ENERGY STAR certified products, including solar PV and water heating, and meet state energy savings standards. Existing builidngs should comply with the state standards at minimum. By 2025, at least half of existing buildings should be in remodeling to achieve "energy net-zero" in addition to fulfilling LEED Silver minimum requirements. Beginning in 2025, all new state buildings and large-scale remodeling projects must be "energy net-zero" in addition to fulfilling LEED Silver minimum requirements.

San Bernardino County - Solar Energy Development Standards

Value:Varies

San Bernardino County’s Solar Energy Development Standards outline the standards and permit procedures for the installation, maintenance, and decommissioning of solar energy generating facilities. Solar energy generating devices and their mounting structures are required to be set back from a property line either according to the standards in the Land Use Zoning District, or 130 percent of the mounted structure height, whichever is greater. Fees per acre or annual fees for a commercial solar energy facility are determined by parcel size. A Special Use Permit (SUP) is required before the start of any project, shall be renewed annually, and are contingent upon an annual review.

Building Energy Code and Solar Requirement

Value:Varies

The California Building Standards Commission (BSC), since 1989, has published triennial editions of its code that is often referred to as Title 24. In 2008, the BSC approved its first statewide voluntary building code. Two years later, in 2010, a final version of this code was adopted. Parts of this code became mandatory, effective January 2011, and is presently referred to as CalGreen. The latest edition of Title 24 from 2017 stands alongside CalGreen and incorporates critical updates in a section called the Building Energy Efficiency Standards. BSC standards are continuously being amended. The most notable among those modifications include a mandate that all new low-rise homes install photovoltaic (PV) equipment with an annual output greater than or equal to the home's annual electrical consumption.

Western Riverside Council of Governments - Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Financing Program

Value:Varies

Homeowners in Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) participating jurisdictions may get financing for energy and water efficiency projects through the Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Program. Financing is repaid through special assessments on property taxes, and the property tax assessment remains with the property in most cases. Only energy and water efficiency products that are permanently attached to the property qualify. Objects like light bulbs and appliances do not qualify. Contractors who are registered with the HERO program can install the equipment. Homeowners could also install the equipment themselves, but they must first sign a Self-Install Agreement with the program.

City of Sebastopol - Solar Access

Value:Varies

State law allows the city of Sebastopol to require the creation of solar easements in subdivision projects. This is to assure that solar energy systems receive the necessary sunlight. The city can also put restrictions on buildings and vegetation that interfere with the harvesting of direct sunlight. Sebastopol can require solar easements. Terms of the easement are set by city planners upon approval of parcel maps. Condominium projects that subdivide airspace in existing buildings are exempt from solar easements.

Energy Efficiency Financing for Public Sector Projects

Value:Varies

The California Energy Commission offers institutions in the public sector low-interest loan programs for energy efficiency and energy generation projects. Renewable energy generation, combined-heat-and-power energy generation, and thermal energy storage projects are eligible. Some approved projects are upgrades to lighting systems, installment of LED traffic signals, installment of insulation, and purchase of water and wastewater treatment equipment. The maximum loan amount is $3 million to be repaid within a maximum of 17 years. The Commission offers a zero-interest loan to public schools, charter schools, state special schools, and country offices of education. A 1% interest loan is available for cities, counties, special districts, public colleges, community colleges, and public hospitals. Residential, commercial, and private nonprofit institutions are ineligible.

Partial Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Agricultural Solar Power Facilities

Value:Varies

The state of California provides farmers the opportunity to save thousands of dollars through partial sales and use tax exemptions for the purchase of solar energy systems that generate electricity for agricultural purposes. At least 50 percent of the solar power must be used to produce and harvest agricultural products. Farmers must support their claims by documenting the use of the solar power system, ensuring that the energy generated is primarily used for agricultural activities. (Data from the meters on the farm equipment and machinery serves as documentation.)

LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program

Value:Varies

In 2017, the Executive Director of the CPUC declared in a letter to the IOUs that the US District Court Re-Mat program violated the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution by mandating numerical limits on utility obligations to purchase power from QFs at a price that differed from the utility’s avoided cost. As a result, all new Re-MAT contracts were suspended pending further CPUC action. The Re-MAT intended to aid the utilities in meeting California's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), to include all the green attributes associated with the energy along with Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) transfer to the utility with the sale. If a real property owner patronizes a publicly-owned utility with 75,000 customers or more, they are encouraged to contact their local utility for further details. Investor-owned utilities can reach out to their respective program administrator for more information.

California Solar Initiative - Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) Program

Value:Varies

The Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) Program is designed to help low-income, single-family homeowners access solar technology. The program also helps to educate families on the benefits of solar technology and provide green-jobs training by allowing trainees to participate in the installations. The California Solar Initiative funds are partially reserved for households in Investor Owned Utility (IOU) service territories. Low-income families enrolled in the program are provided with up-front incentives for solar system installations. Based on incentive dollars, the SASH program in the PG&E and SDG&E utility territories have been fully reserved. Both territories are closed to any new applications.

Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems

Value:Varies

This property tax exclusion is reserved for those who install solar energy systems before 2024. New buildings, even if going unused, are included in this exclusion. Solar energy systems eligible for this exclusion are those used to collect, store, or distribute solar energy. This includes photovoltaic systems, solar thermal electric systems, solar space conditioning systems, solar water heating systems, solar process heating systems, active solar energy systems, and solar mechanical energy. Also included (at least partially) are storage devices, power conditioning equipment, transfer equipment, pipes, ducts, and dual-use equipment for solar-electric systems. Solar heating systems for pools and hot tubs are ineligible systems.

Solar Contractor Licensing

Value:Varies

The Contractors State License Board is solely responsible for administering contractor licenses in California. This state-specific licensure covering active solar water and space heating systems, solar pool heating systems, and photovoltaic systems is called the C-46 Solar Contractor license. License requirements affirm that prospective contractors must have accumulated four years of relevant experience in addition to passing a state-accredited business and law exam along with the trade exam. While there are no education requirements, there are numerous independent license exam preparation schools throughout California. Once the C-46 requirements are met, contractors are eligible for several other solar contractors license classifications such as General Engineering, General Building, Plumbing, Electrical, and Boiler, Hot Water Heating, and Steam Fitting for solar thermal systems. A comprehensive resource guide to becoming a contractor is published on California's State Contractors Licensing Board website.

Santa Clara Water & Sewer - Solar Water Heating Program

Value:Varies

Santa Clara, California was the first municipality in the nation to establish solar utility. In 1975, under its Solar Water Heating Program and Sewer Utilities Department Santa Clara began supplying, installing, and maintaining solar water heating systems on behalf of its businesses and residents. As the initiative progressed, the city install solar energy power devices in several of its own facilities. All hardware supplied by the city is maintained under a monthly utility fee and a rental agreement after the lessee pays the initial setup fee. The monthly service charges are determined by the number of solar panels in use.

City of Lancaster - Mandatory Solar Requirement for New Homes

Value:Varies

Lancaster, California became the first US municipality to require the installation of photovoltaics (PV) on all newly constructed homes. Each residential dwelling with a building permit issued on January 1, 2014, or later is required to have a specified amount of PV installed. The size requirements of the system vary according to factors such as zone and lot type. For homes contained with a production subdivision, not every home is required to have a PV system. The builder, however, must meet aggregate PV requirements established for the subdivision. Alternately, if homebuilders will meet PV requirements if they provide evidence that they purchased off-site solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) from a system located within Lancaster.

Los Angeles County - Green Building Program

Value:Varies

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, in 2008, introduced an assemblage of ordinances that make up the Green Building Program. Included among these ordinances are Green Building Ordinance (2008-0065), the Drought Tolerant Ordinance (2008-0064), and the Low Impact Development Ordinance (2008-0063). The standards and building practices governing these codes are routinely updated and applied to new construction permits. If modifications to an existing building exceed 50% of its market value, then it is subject to the Green Building program and related ordinances. All Los Angeles County dwellings are subject to CalGreen mandates which regulate green building requirements throughout the state of California.

Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT)

Value:Varies

In 2017, the Executive Director of the CPUC declared in a letter to the IOUs that the US District Court Re-Mat program violated the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution by mandating numerical limits on utility obligations to purchase power from QFs at a price that differed from the utility’s avoided cost. As a result, all new Re-MAT contracts were suspended pending further CPUC action. The Re-MAT intended to aid the utilities in meeting California's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), to include all the green attributes associated with the energy along with Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) transfer to the utility with the sale. If a real property owner patronizes a publicly-owned utility with 75,000 customers or more, they are encouraged to contact their local utility for further details. Investor-owned utilities can reach out to their respective program administrator for more information.

Homebuyer Solar Option and Solar Offset Program

Value:Varies

State Senate Bill 1 of 2006 established the California Solar Initiative and mandated the California Energy Commission (CEC) to create a set of regulations that require sellers of production homes to present solar energy options to all prospective homebuyers. All home sellers must disclose the total installed cost of the solar option presented for all homes located within a subdivision for which a tentative subdivision map has been deemed complete on or after January 1, 2011. Sellers of these newly constructed homes must also disclose where to access information about California solar incentives on the Go Solar California website. Homebuyers may elect into an offset program to install a solar system elsewhere that is equivalent to the aggregate capacity of solar if at least 20% of the buyers within the affected subdivision have opted into the solar option.

City of San Francisco - Green Building Code

Value:Varies

In September 2008, San Francisco introduced green building code mandates for new construction projects. These ordinates established a strict set of standards for both commercial and residential dwellings. All applications for new buildings must include detailed documentation concerning how the builder aims to achieve LEED Certification. Additionally, buildings must adhere to a series of GreenPoint rated guidelines, depending on the type of structure, and demonstrate that the required GreenPoint rating can be achieved. Owners of commercial buildings are subject to energy audits every five years, the findings of which must be submitted to the Department of Environment. Some aspects of this report will be made public.

Burbank Water & Power - Green Building Incentive Program

Value:Varies

The Green Building Council is a non-profit organization responsible for developing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. LEED was designed to better facilitate the accurate distribution of incentives to builders that commit to green construction practices. The LEED system is based upon a five-point rating scale for new commercial construction or substantial commercial renovation projects. Incentives are granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested applicants are encouraged to consult the US Green Building Council website for further details.

City of Berkeley - Green Building Standards for City Owned and Operated Projects

Value:Varies

Resolution 62284 was effectuated on November 18, 2003, by the Berkeley City Council. The resolution required that all city-sponsored projects purposed after January 1, 2004, must meet a minimum LEED certification rating. The resolution was amended to require that all city-sponsored projects must meet a minimum of a LEED Silver rating on or after January 1, 2006. The resolution applies to only new construction or renovation projects funded by the city or located on city-owned land of 5,000 square feet, which have a construction estimate of $200,000 or more. This construction estimate shall be based on the value of the dollar in 2003. While LEED points are encouraged whenever possible, buildings deemed historic under any federal, state, or local law can be excepted under the resolution. Projects that can prove an unreasonable burden on the construction plan or the City Department may also be exempt.

San Diego County - Design Standards for County Facilities

Value:Varies

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors introduced a specified set of construction design standards for its county facilities and property. The policy requires that every newly constructed county building or major renovation must achieve a US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED Building Certification. Attaining the lowest EUI (Energy Use Intensity) possible within the client's program and project's budget is a requirement for all purposed county projects. All new constructions controlled by the county are likewise required to exceed the current California Energy Code Title 24 by at least 20%.

City of Fresno - Installation of Solar Energy Systems in Construction of New City-owned Buildings

Value:Varies

It’s a requirement within the municipality of Fresno that all newly constructed buildings owned by the city greater than 7500 square feet must necessarily include an alternative design that supports the installation of a solar energy system. A detailed biannual report specifying compliance to this plan must be demonstrated to the council for each new award of contract. Fresno city council may exempt buildings from this plan should more economical alternatives be available.

SMUD - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Value:Varies

A wide range of incentives to increase the energy efficiency of their facilities are available to Sacramento residents through Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). To this end, four separate rebate programs are offered by SMUD. Express Solutions among them, it’s a program meant for customers who already know which energy upgrades they want to install. Complete Energy Solutions, conversely, is for customers still in the exploratory phase of their energy efficiency solutions. Large industrial projects are eligible for the Custom Incentives program. New constructions are directed by the Savings by Design Program. Additional details are discoverable on the program’s website.

LADWP - Non-Residential Energy Efficiency Incentive Program

Value:Varies

Both prescriptive and custom incentives are available to non-residential customers through the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The incentives are meant to encourage energy-efficient upgrades to non-residential facilities through the installation of energy-saving devices, equipment, or systems that exceed Title 24 or minimum industry standards. Estimation software determines the energy savings for each project and, thusly, the custom incentive amount. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power should be contacted before beginning any potentially qualifying project.

Net Metering

Value:Varies

In April 2016, The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) established a set of rules for net metering PV systems specifically paired with storage devices. The law has endured numerous amendments since it was introduced. Making use of CPUC-approved tools, utilities must establish monthly maximum allowable output limits for net metering facilities. Energy exports from the customer's system exceeding the monthly limit are ineligible for net metering. Publicly-owned electric utilities are exempt if they serve more than 750,000 customers and also provide water services.

City of San Diego - Sustainable Building Expedited Permit Program

Value:Varies

Resolution R-298001 is a San Diego resolution that amended the city’s Sustainable Building Policy in 2002 to allow for the expediting of sustainable building permits. The definition of a sustainable building for these purposes can be found under Policy Number 900-14 whereas the permit expediting program is discoverable in Policy Number 600-27. The Sustainable Building Policy is revised triennially. No new residential, commercial, or industrial development projects are excluded from eligibility. The intent behind the initiative is to reduce the sustainable building processing time by up to 25%.

Renewable Auction Mechanism (RAM)

Value:Varies

Under Decision 14-11-042, utilities to are permitted to continue using The Renewable Auction Mechanism (RAM) as a mechanism for meeting a portion of their RPS requirements. While some new parameters were established and the CPUC lifted, the essence of the RAM program will remain. The aim of this program is to streamline the procurement process for distributed generation projects between 3 MW and 20 MW while ensuring lower costs for utilities customers. The reverse auction is scheduled to occur twice annually for each of the three investor-owned utilities in the state. The last auction closed in 2015, and it was sixth in the series. Project size requirements are at the discretion of the utility and are based on their specific procurement needs at the time of the solicitation.

CaliforniaFIRST

Value:Varies

The CaliforniaFIRST Program operates in conjunction with the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program for non-residential properties. Under the program’s financing proposal, property owners may elect to finance green energy and water improvements on their buildings that can be paid back through their property taxes. Eligible California properties include commercial, industrial, agricultural, and multi-family (over 5 units) buildings in one of the 120 participating cities or the unincorporated parts of the 14 participating counties. Property records are used for establishing participation. All required property payments must be current, and a review of mortgage payment history along with other credit history criteria are required.

Interconnection Standards

Value:Varies

In September 2012 The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) enacted the first fundamental redesign of Rule 21 in over 11 years. The revised Rule 21 Tariff is described on page 136 of the CPUC Decision. Subsequent individual tariffs adopted by the utilities can be reviewed on the CPUC website. Rule 21 directs a specified screening process to allocate applicants into the path most suitable for their projects. The tariff also defines several fees and deposits required at various stages of the interconnection process. Once the utility performs and approves an initial review the system can interconnect without an additional supplemental review.

San Diego County - Green Building Program

Value:Varies

The County of San Diego’s Green Building Incentive Program is designed to encourage the adoption of efficient construction materials, water conservation, and energy efficiency in new and remodeled residential and commercial buildings. To incentivize these practices, San Diego County will reduce plan check and building permit fees by 7.5%. Expedited plan checks will be supplied to applicants who have qualified for the conservation incentive. Additional rebates and incentives may be available depending on the energy conservation technologies installed.

City of San Francisco - GreenFinanceSF

Value:Varies

GreenFinaceSF is a Property Assessed Clean Energy financing program for commercial properties. It uses a PACE model in which individual property owners identify their project lenders and negotiate the financing terms with them. The city collects loan repayments from participants through a special property tax lien and disburses the money to the lender. This should provide greater security to the lender, who in turn should be able to provide more favorable terms to the property owner. The property must be located in San Francisco city and county, and be current with all financial obligations. The property must also have an energy and water audit. For more details see the program website for additional rules and restrictions.

San Diego County - Solar Zoning Regulations

Value:Varies

Zoning laws in San Diego County contain special provisions for solar energy systems in unincorporated regions. Photovoltaic systems which a facility uses for self-consumption are classified as accessories allowable in all zone types. They must meet all requirements for accessories within the zone. Photovoltaic systems used for offsite power consumption are allowed in land of any zone type with a building permit from the county, provided the land is not more than 10 acres. Offsite solar systems on plots larger than 10 acres are considered utilities and require a Major Use Permit.

Marin Clean Energy - Feed-In Tariff

Value:Varies

Marin Clean Energy is a community choice aggregator located in the northwest San Francisco Bay Area. CCAs purchase energy from specially selected sources their stakeholders choose, offering participating communities greater choice in green energy adoption. Currently, all Marin County residents are enrolled in MCE by default, though they may decline to participate. MCE funds new local renewable energy, including solar, wind, biomass, and fuel cell generation, through a "feed-in tariff." As enrollees install interconnected solar or wind energy systems on their own property, they will receive a fixed rate per kilowatt hour that returns to the network. Tariff amounts are based on energy capacity and characteristics of the systems MCE purchases. Incentives expire at the conclusion of a 20-year term.

Renewables Portfolio Standard

Value:Varies

SB 100 is a Special Bill that was signed into California state law in September 2018. The law altered some rules governing the use of hydro by public, municipally-owned facilities. The bill stipulates that 60% of all retail sales must come from renewable energy sources by 2030, and 100% of all retail sales shall originate from renewable energy and zero-carbon resources by 2045. The Energy Commission publishes two approved guidebooks that enumerate the various eligibility requirements under the Renewables Portfolio Standard program. Interested parties should reference these manuals to determine the specific standards and targets of the RPS program established in this bill.

Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP)

Value:Varies

Sonoma County's Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) was the first county-wide program to give property owners financing options for environment-related projects. SCEIP offers financing options for energy efficiency, renewable generation, wildfire safety, water conservation, and seismic strengthening projects for existing residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and multi-family properties. Assessments are attached to the property itself. Energy audits are recommended for residential participants and required for commercial and industrial properties. The SCEIP offers a minimum loan amount of $2,500 with a fixed interest rate of 5.99 percent, minimal fees, and no money down. The loan is repaid over ten or twenty years through the property tax system.

Santa Clara County - Zoning Ordinance

Value:Varies

Zoning laws in Santa Clara County contain special provisions for solar and wind energy systems. All wind energy systems are subject to noise, lighting, and anti-climbing restrictions. Turbines for commercial use must be a certain distance away from the property line on all sides and not obstruct the view of neighboring properties. Turbines for agricultural or residential use have a capacity limit of 50 kW per site and height limits of 80 - 100 feet (depending on the property's total area.) There are similar setback and non-obstruction requirements. Agricultural or residential property owners may install solar panels anywhere on their property except for within the main structure's front yard setback. Rooftop panels may only add up to five feet of height to the main structure.

Find out who’s the best installer for you in your city

Frequently Asked Questions

  • As a general rule, unless there are local limitations, the main limitations to the amount of solar panels you can put on your roof are the available space on your roof, your electricity usage, your providers net metering rules, and the limitations of your house hold electrical system.
  • Based on our research the average price per installed watt is $3.93 in California. This means for a 10kW system you can expect to pay $39,300 though pricing can vary significantly between installers based on the projects requirements.
  • Based on a Zillow research study from 2019, home with solar panels sell for roughly 4.1% more.
  • To generate the most power, solar panels in the United States should face true south as this generally results in the solar panels receiving the most light each day throughout the course of the year. That said, given that energy prices are often variable throughout the day, your installer may recommend you rotate your panels slightly so that the panels will receive more light at the end of the day when energy prices can be more expensive. That said, for most consumers the positioning of solar panels is highly dependent on your home's roof.
  • Based on our continuously updated database of solar installers, we have found 102 verified solar install companies in California

Solar installers in California (102)

Enertis

San Francisco, CA(415) 908-1059

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Auditing of energy requirements for independent energy generation.

Freedom Forever

Temecula, CA(800) 685-1850

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

CED Greentech

San Diego, CA(858) 277-4223

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

CleanSolar

San Jose, CA(888) 551-7652

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Academy Energy Group

Newburgh, IN(812) 518-2150

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Auditing of energy requirements for independent energy generation.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Sunlux Solar

Placentia, CA(877) 467-6712

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Citadel Roofing & Solar

Vacaville, CA(707) 446-5500

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Pure Power Solutions

Healdsburg, CA(707) 433-6556

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Powur PBC

Del Mar, CA(866) 467-6987

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.

Micrometer Engineering

Scottsdale, AZ(602) 790-5749

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Synergy 768, Inc

Brentwood, CA(925) 308-9177

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Luminalt

San Francisco, CA(415) 641-4000

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Reparation of batteries.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

I Love My Solar

Ione, CA(877) 607-6527

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

SunStar Energy

Los Gatos, CA(800) 673-1003

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Altair Solar

Irvine, CA(949) 502-8565

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Go Solar Power

Boca Raton, FL(800) 530-9597

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

KG Solar Solutions

Santa Clarita, CA(661) 644-6357

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.

SunPro Solar

Mandeville, LA(866) 599-3643

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Auditing of energy requirements for independent energy generation.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Stellar Solar

Oceanside, CA(866) 787-6527

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Sunrise Solar

Santa Rosa, CA(888) 765-2719

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Stable Solar

Morgan Hill, CA(866) 737-2328

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.

PowerHouse Solar

Redding, CA(530) 275-5600

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Aeterna Energy

Simi Valley, CA(805) 823-3232

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.

Dividend Finance

San Francisco, CA(415) 805-7000

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Solar Gain

Tucson, AZ(520) 822-8377

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Sunrise 805

Santa Barbara, CA(805) 895-6096

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.

Synergy Solar

Sebastopol, CA(707) 823-8003

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Rooftop Solar

Flagstaff, AZ(928) 213-5670

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Hunt Electric

Salt Lake City, UT(801) 975-8844

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Run on Sun

Pasadena, CA(626) 793-6025

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Six Rivers Solar

Eureka, CA(707) 443-5652

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

ingeniousPV

Brea, CA(530) 574-8536

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Palmetto Solar

Charleston, SC(855) 339-1831

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Entero Energy

Austin, TX(512) 551-0742

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

SunPower Corporation

San Jose, CA(800) 786-7693

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

TEA Solar

Merced, CA(209) 580-4498

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

NRG Clean Power

(800) 698-6627

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Generac

Waukesha, WI(888) 436-3722

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Alpine Electric

Soquel CDP, CA(831) 475-1155

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Energy Design

Eugene, OR(541) 485-8122

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Doctor Piper

Los Angeles, CA(619) 337-4411

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

AWS Solar

(818) 484-3264

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Save a Lot Solar

Oakland, CA(833) 876-5272

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Kingdom Solar

Livermore, CA(925) 481-8903

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Reparation of batteries.

Fluent Solar

Lindon, UT(866) 736-1253

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Sunnova Energy

Houston, TX(866) 786-6682

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Sunrun

San Francisco, CA(833) 394-3384

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Progressive Power Group

Garden Grove, CA(714) 899-2300

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Solar Electric

San Diego, CA(619) 649-2495

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Rehab Solar

Fallbrook CDP, CA(760) 575-4413

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

CleanTech Energy Solutions

Oceanside, CA(760) 744-1001

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Sun Logix Energy

Palm Desert, CA(760) 531-4400

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Sigora Solar

Charlottesville, VA(434) 465-6192

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Wired Into the Future

Pleasant Hill, CA(925) 872-3408

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Centroplan USA

Greer, SC(617) 657-1313

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Entegrity

Little Rock, AR(800) 700-1414

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Mendocino Solar Works

Little River CDP, CA(707) 937-1701

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Soltage

Jersey City, NJ(201) 432-1786

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Blue Sky Energy

(310) 526-9500

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Energy Integrity

San Diego, CA(888) 237-7930

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

JKB Energy

Turlock, CA(209) 668-5303

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Engie North America

Houston, TX(713) 636-0000

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

City Electric Supply

Dallas, TX(866) 634-9853

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Stada Energy

Palm Desert, CA(760) 851-4270

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Auditing of energy requirements for independent energy generation.

Infinity Energy

Rocklin, CA(888) 244-2513

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

DC Solar Electric

Auburn, CA(530) 432-8114

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

LightEdison

Denver, CO(888) 966-6377

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Empire Solar Group

Salt Lake City, UT(800) 467-4562

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

American Power Solutions

La Mirada, CA(714) 626-0300

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Auditing of energy requirements for independent energy generation.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

California Solar Group

(818) 658-2521

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Semper Solaris

El Cajon, CA(619) 357-4142

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.

Precision Renewables

Snyderville CDP, UT(435) 602-4120

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.

Badass Energy

Claremont, CA(909) 320-9860

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.
Last Reviewed By: Nick Reese
Published: 2022-09-20