Do home solar panels make sense in Elk Grove, California?

Summary:

The median price of a 6 kilowatt home solar system in Elk Grove is about  $10,801.
That 6 kW system would generate about  $1,846 worth of electricity every year.
In 2019, you can qualify for a  30% federal tax credit. In California, there are additional solar rebates available.
There are at least  20,813 homes in Buffalo with solar panels.
Learn more

Table of Contents:



How much do solar panels cost in Elk Grove, CA?

The average cost per watt of residential solar in California is $4/watt. For comparison, the national average is $3.70/watt.

Cost per watt is the total installed cost of a system, including taxes, divided by the size of the system in watts (DC). It includes the cost of hardware plus installation costs. Cost per watt is always the gross cost, before incentives. This means, at a minimum, you can take 30% off the price of the system in 2019 because of federal tax incentives.

The cost of a solar panel system for your house in Elk Grove will depend on how much electricity you want to generate, which affects the size of the system you’ll need. The following is an example price estimate for a home solar panel system in Elk Grove, with an electricity generation estimate based on the local climate and the following assumptions:

• 554 kWh is the amount of electricity that the average California home uses every month.
• 3.96 kilowatts is the size of the system you’ll need to generate 100% of this electricity from solar panels.
• 10 to 15 panels is what that translates to (depending on panel efficiency, which commonly ranges from 260 watts to 400 watts)
• Panels oriented due south and mounted on a shade-free roof at a 30° angle.

Gross system price$15,429This is the price of your system plus taxes but before incentives, based on an average cost of solar in your state of $4 per watt.
Federal tax credit of 30%$4,629The most important solar incentive in the nation, the federal solar tax credit, gives homeowners 30% off the cost of their system in 2019. It drops to 26% next year. Read more
Net system price:$10,801

This estimate is based on averages but your home, of course, may be different. For a personalized estimate, grab a copy of your utility bill and use our calculator to plug in the numbers for your home.



Can you save money with solar panels in Elk Grove, CA?

Every year, that hypothetical Elk Grove home solar system described above would produce about $1,846 worth of electricity. This is based on the California state average price of electricity of $0.18/kWh and the average local climate.

But that’s just a home with average electricity usage. You might need more or fewer solar panels, depending on how much electricity you want to generate. Also, shade matters a lot. If you have trees or buildings throwing shadows on your roof, that could reduce your solar production by a lot.



Houses in Elk Grove with solar panels

According to our data from various local agencies, there are at least 2,860 homes in Elk Grove that have solar panels installed. This means a lot of your neighbors have looked into solar and decided that it’s a smart choice for them. If you add up the total generating capacity of these solar panel systems, you get a total of 21,178 kilowatts of solar electricity that is being sent into your local electricity grid.

If you’re trying to decide if solar is right for you, this is good news. Having a lot of solar homes means that you will have more local contractors to choose from. You can also feel more confident about going solar, because many of your neighbors in Elk Grove have already decided that solar is a smart choice for them.



Solar panels work by converting sunlight into electricity. This means that the more sunlight, the better. That doesn’t mean that you need to live in the desert for solar panels to produce a lot of power. The amount of sunlight that a location gets is influenced by how far south it is, but also by its climate. If you live somewhere with few cloudy days, you might generate more solar electricity than a rainy city that is further south.



Elk Grove solar energy potential

To make a fair comparison of how much sunlight different cities get, we use a measurement called Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI). It takes into account the position of the sun in the sky throughout the year, cloud cover, airborne particulates, precipitation, and other climate variables.

The DNI for Elk Grove is 6.58, which means that it has excellent solar potential.

6.58

In Elk Grove, you’ll generate a lot of solar electricity throughout the year, which helps to shorten the amount of time is takes for a solar panel system to pay for itself.

In the continental United States, DNI ranges from about 3.0 to 8.5 kWh/m2/day. In the most northern parts of Alaska, the DNI reaches a low of 0.5.

A higher DNI is better, but even if your city is average or even below average for the US, it’s still possible for solar panels to generate plenty of power. For example, solar is very popular in Germany, where the DNI is only around 2.5.

This DNI data comes from GEOS geostationary satellite data and NREL climate models.

Elk Grove
US low
US high

In some climates, you’ll see a big difference in sunlight and solar electricity generation from summer to winter. These charts show you what to expect in Elk Grove.

Solar Energy by Month (DNI)


The graph below estimates how much a 6 kilowatt south-facing solar panel system would generate in Elk Grove.

Power Generation by Month (kWh)


In Elk Grove, the electricity production from solar panels will vary by a fair amount seasonally. In an average year, your power generation will be 224% higher in the peak month compared to the lowest production month in winter. This is about average for the United States. It means that you should expect to use some grid electricity in the winter, and send excess solar electricity to the grid in the summer.



Elk Grove, CA solar companies

This is a list of solar home installations we know about within the city limits of Elk Grove, CA.

# of homes refers to the number of installations by the installer in the Elk Grove area that we have a record of. It’s possible that the installer has done more installations in the local area.
Total kW installed is the cumulative solar generation capacity of all the residential installations by the installer in Elk Grove.
Year of the most recent install is the most recent record of work done by the installer in Elk Grove. This lets you know if the company is active in the area, or hasn’t done work in some time (or even gone out of business).
Installer# of homesTotal kW installedYear of most recent install
1ST LIGHT ENERGY41062017
AAA STEINER'S SOLAR SERVICE7362016
ACR SOLAR INTERNATIONAL CORP5272016
ACRO ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES122010
AIR TECH2112016
AKEENA142009
ALL YEAR152016
AMERICAN ARRAY SOLAR3102016
APPLIED ELECTRICAL162016
APPLIED ELECTRICAL & DISTRIBUTION6252016
AZTEC SOLAR11792017
BAM CONSTRUCTION GROUP16042014
BARNUM & CELILLO ELECTRIC11972011
BELL BROTHERS2112017
BELL BROTHERS HEATING & AIR382016
BEST BUILT152016
BEULTER CORP6602013
BIG MOUNTAIN8352016
BONHAM ELECTRIC142015
BROWER MECHANICAL152013
C & V CONTRACTORS192014
CAL VALLEY SOLAR3212016
CALIFORNIA SOLAR SYSTEMS272017
CAPITAL CITY SOLAR9462016
CAPITAL REMODEL & DESIGN2102016
CHASE CONSTRUCTION CO2292016
CHICO ELECTRIC162016
CLARKE & RUSH MECHANICAL2222014
COMMUNITY RESOURCE PROJECT4122015
COMPLETE SOLAR122016
COMPLETE SOLAR SOLUTION4232017
COVERALL ELECTRIC21002015
CR RESOURCE CONTRACTING142014
DC SOLAR ELECTRIC142011
DICK EMARD1262010
DISCOUNT SOLAR6132015
DOLLENS ELECTRIC CORP152011
DP CONSTRUCTION31132015
EMPYREAN ELECTRIC3112015
ENABLE ENERGY INC46952016
ENERGY RESOLUTIONS3142016
ENERGY SAVING PROS CONSTRUCTION151832017
ENERGY SERVICE PARTNERS2112017
EPIC ENERGY162016
EVANS ENERGY SYSTEMS172015
FAMCO162017
FONTENOT BUILDERS1132012
FRALICK HOMES5352016
FREE ENERGY SYSTEM162015
FUTURE ENERGY CORP2238862016
FUTURE ENERGY SAVERS411732017
GABRIEL ALLEY142011
GAIA ENERGY SYSTEMS132011
GBS2102006
GILMORE HEAT AIR & SOLAR3112016
GO SOLAR COOPERATIVE11352011
GO SOLAR NOW151222016
GOLDEN GATE ELECTRIC142017
GRAHAM SOLAR142017
GREEN KEEPERS ENERGY162016
GUDGEL YANCEY ROOFING3142016
HIGH DEDINITION SOLAR232016
HIGH DEFINITION SOLAR352017
HOOKED ON SOLAR6432017
HORIZON SOLAR POWER5272017
HOTWIRE ELECTRIC192010
INFINITY ENERGY162016
INFINITY PRO SOLAR172016
INTEGRITY GENERAL SERVICES162015
KLM GEN & ENG CONTRACTORS9372009
KURIOS ENEREGY1142016
LENNAR421132015
LEONARD ROOFING601672017
LIDINI COMPANY152016
LYTLE CONSTRUCTION122013
MAGIC SUN SOLAR172014
MCDONALD PHAC3112016
NOR CAL HOME IMPROVEMENTS282015
NORTHWEST EXTERIORS8312016
OLD COUNTRY ROOFING122008
ONE ROOF ENERGY282015
OWENS ELECTRIC & SOLAR132007
PARAMOUNT SOLAR361692014
PEAK POWER SOLUTIONS2122016
PETERSENDEAN482052017
PHOENIX ENERGY SOLUTIONS3152015
POWERGRID142011
PREMIER POWER RENEWABLE ENERGY6222009
QUALITY FIRST HOME IMPROVEMENT19512016
QUANTUM SOLAR DESIGNS242007
RCI SOLAR2182016
REC SOLAR12672015
RENEWABLE ELECTRIC2122016
REVOLVE SOLAR CA2122016
RHODES CONSOLIDATED DBA RCI SOLAR ELECTRIC3152016
RIVER CITY SOLAR & ELECTRIC182016
ROSEVILLE SOLAR ELECTRIC2102012
SCHETTER ELECTRIC23282012
SCP CONSTRUCTION152012
SELF201152016
SIERRA PACIFIC HOME & COMFORT693782017
SKYLINE ENERGY22882017
SLINGSHOT POWER3242016
SOLAR COMPANY181182017
SOLAR ENERGY DESIGNS3262016
SOLAR FIRST DBA FIRST PV292016
SOLAR REVOLUTION3152016
SOLAR UNITED NETWORK INC251672016
SOLAR UNIVERSE2122011
SOLARCITY12407,0412016
SOLARCO854902016
SOLARHUT162012
SOLARON4292017
SOLARPENINSULA292017
SOLOMON CONSTRUCTION152015
SOUL-ER262008
SOUTH FACE SOLAR POWER272012
SOUTHAM AND ASSOCIATES372017
SPECTRUM ENERGY DEVELOPMENT INC21472016
STEVE TUAN CHAU152017
SUN LIGHT & POWER1592016
SUN METRICS CORP1112015
SUNCREST SOLAR4332016
SUNGEVITY8482016
SUNPOWER1924652017
SUNRISE ENERGY SOLUTIONS1102015
SUNRISE ROOFING2162016
SUNRUN664172017
SUNTECHNICS INSTALLATION & SERVICES162007
SYNTROL PLUMBING9472016
TALBOTT SOLAR HOMES132011
TEAM SOLAR12692011
TESLA884,9882017
THE FAMCO1122017
ULRICH ENERGY & SOLAR172015
UTILITY CONSERVATION SERVICES152007
VALLEY SOLAR281152016
VELOCITY SOLAR POWER4212017
VGN ELECTRICAL CONTRACTING132015
VIVINT533492017
W C STEIN CONSTRUCTION CORP132015
WERNER & SONS13392011
WEST COAST SOLAR10702017
WESTHAVEN4252016
YANCEY HOME IMPROVEMENTS2102017
YES CONSTRUCTION SERVICES292010
YOUR ENERGY SOURCE3122014

Solar panel lease companies in Elk Grove

If you’re thinking about going with a solar lease or PPA, you should first read our guide to solar financing to make sure that you understand the pros and cons of a lease or PPA versus purchasing a system outright. In most cases, you will come out on top by buying your solar panels, even if that means taking out a loan.

That said, leases/PPAs continue to be popular, and they can be a good choice in some cases. There are several national solar installers that offer leases/PPAs, but not all of them operate in every state. Here’s a breakdown of some of the major solar installers that offer these types of contracts, and whether they operate in your state:

CompanyOperates in California ?
SungevityYES
SunnovaYES
SunrunYES
Vivint SolarYES

Looking for solar panel cleaning companies in Elk Grove?

If you’re thinking about paying a company to clean your solar panels, think again. For the vast majority of people, what you end up paying to a company to clean your solar array will never be recouped by the small increase you get in electricity generation. In fact, rain is sufficient to keep solar panels clean for most people. If you live in a dry and dusty area or frequently find bird poop or leaves on your panels, invest in some inexpensive equipment to take care of cleaning yourself. Read our guide to solar panel maintenance, which includes tips on solar panel cleaning and a some recommended cleaning equipment.

Contact solar companies in Elk Grove

Want to work with one of these companies? We screen companies to make sure that you work with qualified installers. Use our service to get multiple quotes from quality Elk Grove solar contractors.

Get quotes from solar installers in Elk Grove



Average California electricity prices


Right now in California, the average price of residential electricity is about 18.31 cents per kilowatt hour. In comparison, the average price of electricity in the United States is about 13.34 cents per kWh.

This means that you are paying 37% more for electricity than the national average. That’s pretty expensive.

Higher than average prices like this are a good argument for going solar.

Regardless of what your electricity prices are, by adding solar panels to your house and generating your own electricity, you’re locking in your cost of electricity for as long as your system is working, which will protect you from future rate increases by your utility. Given that many panels come with 25 year warranties, this is an investment that can last a long time.

Keep in mind that the price of electricity varies by utility, sometimes by a lot. The table below lists the average price of electricity for utilities in California state. For current rates, check with your utility.

Company# CustomersAvg Price (¢/kWh)
Aha Macav Power Service898.18
Anza Electric Coop Inc4,33817.93
Bear Valley Electric Service22,47027.71
City of Alameda30,81118.07
City of Anaheim - (CA)111,34716.52
City & County of San Francisco23817.00
City of Azusa14,66713.33
City of Banning - (CA)10,98520.18
City of Burbank Water and Power46,21516.51
City of Colton - (CA)16,66116.16
City of Corona - (CA)98615.59
City of Glendale - (CA)74,78319.96
City of Healdsburg - (CA)4,82317.13
City of Lodi - (CA)21,94017.48
City of Moreno Valley - (CA)5,57620.03
City of Lompoc - (CA)13,16515.55
City of Palo Alto - (CA)25,57914.28
City of Pasadena - (CA)55,76318.23
City of Redding - (CA)37,87816.76
City of Riverside - (CA)97,34716.12
City of Roseville - (CA)52,18115.54
City of Santa Clara - (CA)46,85912.27
City of Shasta Lake - (CA)4,16617.36
City of Ukiah - (CA)6,44913.62
City of Vernon7311.85
Imperial Irrigation District132,63212.93
Lassen Municipal Utility District9,03215.70
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power1,329,96816.65
Liberty Utilities42,32313.79
Merced Irrigation District7,41816.02
Modesto Irrigation District97,93517.81
PacifiCorp35,70413.88
Pacific Gas & Electric Co.3,998,18721.18
Sacramento Municipal Util Dist552,67814.06
San Diego Gas & Electric Co1,280,26422.09
Southern California Edison Co4,362,15016.60
Pittsburg Power Company34822.60
Plumas-Sierra Rural Elec Coop6,60618.58
Surprise Valley Electrification2,8258.79
Truckee Donner P U D12,23715.60
Turlock Irrigation District73,39316.01
Valley Electric Assn, Inc1213.11

Historical California electricity prices, 2008 to 2017


The average price of residential electricity in California, over the past ten years, is 15.86 cents per Kilowatt hour. This is 31% more than than the US average price of 12.07 cents per kWh. Because your state historically has had high electricity prices, there’s a good chance that prices will continue to be high in the future. This is a good argument for going solar.

Why is this important to know? Depending on the size of your system, owning home solar reduces or eliminates the effect of electricity price increases.


Historical California electricity prices (cents per kilowatt hour)

CA prices
US prices
2008200920102011201220132014201520162017
CA prices13.81¢14.74¢14.75¢14.78¢15.34¢16.23¢16.25¢16.99¢17.39¢18.31¢
US prices11.26¢11.51¢11.54¢11.72¢11.88¢12.13¢12.52¢12.65¢12.55¢12.89¢


By looking at the trend in electricity prices over the past decade, you can get a better idea of whether high or low prices in your state are a recent change, or part of a long term trend. Because solar panels last a really long time (most come with 25 year power warranties), going solar protects you from future changes in electricity price. Basically, by paying for a system now, you can lock in your cost of electricity for two or even three decades.



Environmental report for California electricity

Depending on the type of fuel they use, power plants produce differing amounts of air pollution. This is measured as units of pollution per megawatt hour (mWh) of electricity.

For every mWh of electricity generated, California power plants produce on average:

  • 216 kilograms of CO2, which is 53% less than the US average of 459 kg.
  • 7 grams of SO2, which is 98% less than the US average of 411 g.
  • 332 grams of NOx, which is 11% less than the US average of 373 g.

In the power generation estimate listed above, The Solar Nerd calculator determined that an unshaded, south-facing 6 kilowatt PV system would generate about 10,082 kWh in an average year.

This means that putting a 6 kW solar panel system on your house would prevent 2,178 kilograms of CO2, 71 grams of SO2, and 3,347 grams of NOx from being emitted into the atmosphere.

The carbon offset of these solar panels would be about equivalent to planting 127 trees every year! (One deciduous tree left to grow for 10 years offsets 17.2 kg of CO2, according to the EPA.)

CA state average electricity emissions
CA
US
Glossary:
CO2 is carbon dioxide and is a primary greenhouse gas.
SO2 is sulphur dioxide. It damages the human respiratory system and contributes to acid rain.
NOx refers to nitrogen oxides, which contribute to smog, acid rain, and lung damage.


Calculate your home solar incentives for Elk Grove

Use our calculator to determine the financial payback of a home solar systemand to get a solar performance estimate customized to your home, including federal, state, and local incentives.



Ready to go solar in Elk Grove?

Use our free service to find qualified solar contractors and get multiple quotes on a solar panel installation in Buffalo.

Home solar quotes in Elk Grove
Sources:
This report was prepared with data from the good people at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Data, the US Energy Information Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.