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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Los Angeles?

Updated: Jun 17


Solar Panels Cost in Los Angeles

As a Los Angeles resident, you're no stranger to sunny skies and high electricity bills. Tired of watching your hard-earned money disappear with each utility bill? Imagine flipping that script and turning those sunny days into real savings. With solar panels now more affordable than ever at $2.61 per watt, you can ditch those pricey utility bills and power your home or business the clean and efficient way.


Key Takeaways 

  • Solar panels in Los Angeles cost around $2.61 per watt.

  • A typical 6-kilowatt system costs approximately $15,660 before incentives.

  • Federal tax credits reduce costs by 30%, making solar more affordable.

  • Financing options include solar loans, PACE, leases, and PPAs.

 

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Los Angeles?

In Los Angeles, solar panels cost about $2.61 per watt on average. A typical 6-kilowatt system totals around $15,660 before incentives. However, federal tax credits can reduce this by 30%, lowering the cost to approximately $10,962. State-specific incentives in California can further decrease expenses, making solar panels a cost-effective option for many homeowners.


Your system size depends on your energy needs; larger systems generate more power but cost more. Here's a breakdown of average solar panel cost by size:

System size 

Average Cost 

Average Cost (after federal tax credit)

3kW

$7,830

$5,481

5kW

$13,050

$9,135

7kW

$18,270

$12,789

9kW

$23,490

$16,443

11kW

$28,710

$20,097


What Factors Influence Solar Panel Cost?

Solar Panel Types

The type of solar panels you choose significantly impacts the overall cost. Monocrystalline panels are known for their high efficiency and sleek appearance, but they come at a higher price. Polycrystalline panels are less expensive but also slightly less efficient. Thin-film solar panels are the least expensive, but they require more space and are generally less efficient. Each type offers unique advantages, so it's essential to consider your budget and energy needs.

System Size and Energy Needs

The size of your solar system depends on your household's energy consumption. Larger systems can generate more electricity, potentially covering all your energy needs, but they come with a higher upfront cost. A typical residential solar system in Los Angeles ranges from 5 to 8 kilowatts, costing between $13,050 and $20,880 before any incentives. Calculating your average monthly electricity usage can help determine the optimal system size for your home.

Installation and Labor Costs

Installation and labor costs vary based on the complexity of your roof and the rates of local installers. A straightforward installation on a flat roof will generally cost less than a complex installation on a steep or shaded roof. The total installation cost includes several components. Solar panels account for about 60% of the expense. Inverters, which convert solar energy to electricity, make up roughly 10%. Installation and labor typically represent around 20%. The remaining 10% covers permits, inspections, and additional equipment like wiring and mounting hardware. Each component ensures your solar system's efficiency and regulatory compliance. Working with reputable local installers like IntergrateSun ensures quality workmanship and compliance with all local codes and regulations

Local Permits and Fees

Permits and fees are necessary to ensure your solar installation meets local building and safety codes. These costs can vary widely depending on your location within Los Angeles and the specific requirements of your local government. Typically, permits and fees can add a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to your total installation cost. It's important to work with your installer to understand these costs upfront.

Maintenance and Warranty

Maintenance costs for solar panels are relatively low, as they require minimal upkeep. Regular cleaning and occasional inspections ensure your system operates efficiently. Most solar panels come with a 25-year warranty, covering performance and manufacturing defects. Inverters typically have a shorter warranty, around 10-15 years, but extended warranties are often available. Investing in a good warranty can save you money on potential repairs or replacements in the future.


What Financial Incentives and Savings Are Available in Los Angeles?


solar panels in Los Angeles

Federal and State Tax Credits

One of the most significant incentives for installing solar panels is the federal tax credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). As of 2024, the ITC allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes. This substantial reduction can make a big difference in your upfront costs. California also offers various state-level incentives. For instance, the California Solar Initiative (CSI) provides rebates for home solar installations, although these have decreased as solar adoption has increased. Additionally, property tax exemptions ensure that the value added by solar panels does not increase your property taxes.

Local Rebates and Incentives in Los Angeles

Los Angeles residents can benefit from several local rebates and incentives. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) offers rebates based on the system size and expected performance. These rebates can significantly reduce your initial investment. Combined with state and federal incentives, these local programs make solar power more accessible and affordable.

Long-term Savings and ROI

Investing in solar panels offers significant long-term savings. Once your system is installed, you can drastically reduce or even eliminate your electricity bills. In Los Angeles, the average homeowner can save between $600 and $1,000 per year on electricity costs. Over the 25-year lifespan of a typical solar panel system, this translates to savings of about $15,000 to $25,000. Solar panels can also increase your home's value and provide a hedge against rising energy prices. The return on investment (ROI) for solar panels in Los Angeles is typically achieved within 5 to 7 years, making it a financially sound decision.


How can you Pay for Your Solar Investment?

When considering solar panels for your home in Los Angeles, various financing options can help manage the upfront costs and make the transition to solar more affordable.


Solar Loans

Solar loans allow you to finance your solar system with monthly payments. These loans are typically offered by banks, credit unions, and specialized solar financing companies. They can be secured or unsecured, with interest rates often lower than other financing forms due to the stability and longevity of solar investments. The key benefit of solar loans is that you own the system from day one, allowing you to take full advantage of available incentives and savings. Monthly payments on a solar loan are often lower than your previous electricity bills, making this a cost-effective option in the long run.


Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit (HELOCs)

For homeowners with substantial equity in their homes, home equity loans and lines of credit (HELOCs) can be attractive financing options. These loans generally offer lower interest rates compared to other unsecured loans because they are backed by your property. A home equity loan provides a lump sum that is repaid over a fixed term, while a HELOC offers more flexibility, allowing you to draw funds as needed up to a maximum limit. Both options provide the advantage of potentially tax-deductible interest payments, though this can depend on current tax laws and individual circumstances.


Solar Leases and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)

For those who prefer not to own their solar system outright, solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) offer a compelling alternative. With a solar lease, you pay a fixed monthly fee to use the solar panels, while with a PPA, you pay for the electricity generated by the system at a predetermined rate. Both options usually require little to no upfront cost and include maintenance and monitoring by the provider. While you do not own the system and cannot claim the tax incentives directly, these agreements often provide immediate savings on your electricity bills and shield you from the responsibility of system upkeep.


Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing

PACE financing is a unique option available in Los Angeles that allows homeowners to finance the cost of their solar panels through their property tax bill. This financing option provides long-term, fixed-rate financing and is repaid over a period of up to 20 years. PACE financing is secured by the property itself, not the homeowner’s credit, making it accessible to a wider range of people. One of the significant advantages of PACE financing is that if you sell your home, the repayment obligation can transfer to the new owner, provided the new owner agrees. The Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Program is an example of PACE financing, allowing homeowners to pay for their solar installation through their property tax bill, making it a convenient and flexible option.


In-House Financing from Solar Installers

Many solar installation companies in Los Angeles offer their own financing plans, tailored to make the process of going solar as seamless as possible. These in-house financing options can include no-money-down plans, competitive interest rates, and flexible payment terms. Working directly with your installer for financing can streamline the installation process and provide a one-stop-shop experience.


If you live in Los Angeles and are considering switching to solar, getting personalized quotes is essential. Accurate cost and savings estimates tailored to your specific energy needs and home setup will help you optimize your solar investment. To ensure you get the most out of available incentives and design an efficient system, get a free detailed estimate from us today and take the first step towards a more cost-effective and energy-efficient future.


FAQs


How much do solar panels cost in Los Angeles?

In Los Angeles, the cost of solar panels averages $2.61 per watt. A typical 6-kilowatt system costs around $15,660 before any incentives. After applying the 30% federal tax credit, this cost drops to approximately $10,962. Additional state and local incentives can further reduce the overall expense, making solar panels a cost-effective option for many homeowners.

What are the main factors affecting solar panel costs?

Are there any local incentives for solar installation in Los Angeles?




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