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Solar panel cost data Irvine 2020

Updated: September 15, 2020

As of Sep 2020, the average cost of solar panels in Irvine is $2.93 per watt making a typical 6000 watt (6 kW) solar system $13,016 after claiming the 26% federal solar tax credit now available.

This is higher than the average price of residential solar power systems across the United States which is currently $2.53 per watt.

Solar panel installation cost in Irvine

Table 2: Average cost of residential solar systems by system size
System size* Avg cost
per watt
Avg Cost
(After tax credit)
show before tax
4kW $3.21 $9,495
5kW $3.07 $11,358
6kW $2.93 $13,016
7kW $2.90 $15,032
8kW $2.95 $17,452
9kW $2.84 $18,933
10kW $2.81 $20,817

Chart 1: What is a good price for a 6.00kW solar system in Irvine after tax credits.

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Cheapest current offers on installed solar systems in Irvine

10 best rated solar installers in Irvine, 2020

How much do solar systems using the most common brands of solar panels cost in Irvine in 2020?

Where there is no specific pricing information available for a brand then we have used state pricing data for that brand.

Table 2: Local solar panel manufacturers
Solar panel manufacturer Avg. cost per watt
Canadian Solar $2.73
LG Solar $3.26
SunPower $3.42
Panasonic $3.30
LONGi Solar $2.64

Tesla solar panel prices in California

Tesla is one of the only companies that displays their installed system pricing online. We are encouraging more solar companies to do the same. They have a very poor reputation for customer service on reviews websites like ours however we applaud their move to bring pricing transparency to the residential solar industry.

Table 4: Tesla system prices
Type Size Cost
Grid Tied 4.08 kW $8,160
Grid Tied 8.16 kW $16,320
Grid Tied 12.24 kW $24,480
Grid Tied 16.32 kW $32,640

Note: Prices for installed Tesla systems are shown before the 26% federal solar tax credit.

Why solar panel cost should not be your only consideration when buying solar panels for your home

The most important difference between buying solar panels and any other purchase is that solar panels last 25-30 years. This is a long, long time and you will need customer service over all that time. The reviews below of the two largest corporate solar installation companies indicate larger corporate solar companies are not delivering this support to their customers.

We recommend you find a small or mid-size, local, family-owned solar company. These companies tend to care more about you and your specific job. You don't want to be on hold to a corporation's call center for the next 25 years!

What factors affect the cost of solar panels for your home?

There are many factors that affect solar panel installation costs with regard to specific homes, including:

The location of your home

The location of a home affects the cost of installing solar in a few ways. The amount of sunlight available affects system output and so dictates how many solar modules you will need. Obviously the more solar panels you need the higher the cost. Market prices are also different in different locations because of factors including average system sizes in that location, competition between installers, local job volumes, and the cost of business overheads.

The amount of electricity your home uses

A house that uses more electricity will need more solar panels. Although solar panels do get cheaper on a per-watt basis, as the system size gets bigger, the overall cost of the system increases, as well.

The type of solar panels and inverter you buy

There is a significant difference in cost between the top-rated solar panels and brands that are perceived to be of lesser quality. The same is also true for inverters. For example, a 6kW solar system using Sunpower or Panasonic solar panels can be as much as $5,000 more expensive than a solar system using Canadian Solar Modules.

The relative ease or difficulty of installing solar panels on your home

If your roof is particularly difficult to install solar panels on, say, if your home is three stories high or has a roof with a 45° pitch, it will take longer to install the panels and do the wiring.

How is the cost of solar panels offset by solar tax credits in Irvine?

The cost of installing residential solar panels in Irvine varies with the brand of solar panels and inverters you choose, the installation company you choose to install them, the relative ease or difficulty of installing solar panels on your home, and of course the amount of solar panels you need. The amount of solar panels you need is, in turn, related to your energy usage.

Are solar panels worth it in Irvine in 2020

The table below shows the data extracted from a real life quote delivered through the SolarReviews marketplace recently for a fairly typical home in Irvine.

As you can see the payback period is relatively short and equates to a much better return on investment than he historical returns that have been available from investing in things like shares or property.

Table 2: Cost, savings and payback period for an average residential solar system in Irvine
System information Value
System Size (for 100% usage offset) 7.04 kW
Annual power generation 8,333 kWh
Pay-back time (assuming Cash purchase) 6.6 Years
Internal rate of return (IRR) on investment 12.8%
Gross cost $18,432
Total Upfront Incentives and Rebates -$7,292
Net Cost of System after rebated and incentives $11,137
Total Cost of Utility Power Avoided over 25 years $58,320

Please note that the investment return figures do not include the possible increase in property value

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