Do home solar panels make sense in Hawthorne, California?

Summary:

The median price of a 6 kilowatt home solar system in Hawthorne is about  $10,243.
That 6 kW system would generate about  $1,947 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 Hawthorne, 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 Hawthorne 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 Hawthorne, 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.
• 3.75 kilowatts is the size of the system you’ll need to generate 100% of this electricity from solar panels.
• 9 to 14 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$14,633This 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%$4,390The 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:$10,243

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 Hawthorne, CA?

Every year, that hypothetical Hawthorne home solar system described above would produce about $1,947 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 Hawthorne with solar panels

In Hawthorne, our data shows that there are at least 376 houses with solar photovoltaic panels installed. This means that a lot of neighbors in your city are interested in solar, and have already made the leap. Added up, the total generating capacity of all these home solar systems equals 1,463 kilowatts. That’s a lot of clean energy being generated by your neighbors.

If you’re on the fence about going solar and trying to research whether solar is viable in the Hawthorne area, this is good news. It means many of your neighbors have made the calculation and decided that solar is a smart move for them in the long term. Next time you’re driving or walking around, take a look at the roofs in your neighborhood. You might find a surprising number of solar panels. Try talking to your neighbors with solar, and see how it’s worked out 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.



Hawthorne 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 Hawthorne is 6.70, which means that it has excellent solar potential.

6.70

In Hawthorne, 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.

Hawthorne
US low
US high

In some cities in the US, the amount of sunlight doesn’t change quite as much from summer to winter, while others see a big difference. These charts show you what to expect in Hawthorne.

Solar Energy by Month (DNI)


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

Power Generation by Month (kWh)


The graphs above show you that a home solar panel system in Hawthorne will produce pretty close the same amount of electricity throughout the year. While the highest producing month, on average, will produce 149% more electricity than the darkest month, this is a small difference compared to most other locations in the US. If you don’t have net metering, this is a good thing because it means you won’t have extreme differences in electricity production that cause you to send a lot of power back into the grid.



Hawthorne, CA solar companies

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

# of homes refers to the number of installations by the installer in the Hawthorne 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 Hawthorne.
Year of the most recent install is the most recent record of work done by the installer in Hawthorne. 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
360 SOLAR ENERGY142016
A1 SOLAR POWER7362016
ABC SOLAR142009
ACRO ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES122007
ADVANCED SOLAR ELECTRIC142007
AKEENA132007
AMECO SOLAR162007
AMERICAN SOLAR242013
AMERICAN SOLAR POWER142017
AS ELECTRIC122015
BASAD CONSTRUCTION122016
BELL ELECTRIC152011
BEST SOLAR POWER132016
BRIGHT LIFE SOLAR6232015
CALIFORNIA SOLAR SYSTEMS122010
CALSTATE SOLAR132016
CANOPY ENERGY122016
CK ELECTRIC142016
CONTACT ELECTRIC152014
ELITE ELECTRIC262016
ENERGY RENNOVATIONS CENTER132016
ENERGY RENOVATION CENTER142016
ENERGY SERVICE PARTNERS152016
FREEDOM SOLAR132016
FREEDOM SOLAR SERVICES142016
GALKOS CONSTRUCTION112011
GCI SOLAR122013
GNRG SOLAR4122016
GOLDEN STATE POWER152011
GREEN CONVERGENCE132016
GREEN NRG272016
GREEN VOLT ENERGY2102016
GREENHILL REMODELING132015
GREENIFY3102016
GRID ALTERNATIVES6222016
HAENGGI HOME SERVICES142016
HARRIS ELECTRIC132009
HORIZON SOLAR252016
LA POWER CENTER CORP152015
LA SOLAR ENERGY3232015
LEVI BUILDERS392016
MARTIFER SOLAR172011
MAXI BUILDERS152016
MCWIRE ELECTRIC122013
MEGA SOLAR142015
MIDWEST ROOFING132014
MOHR POWER SOLAR122010
NEXT GENERATION262013
NEXUS ENERGY SYSTEMS2132016
NRG CLEAN POWER122016
PEAK POWER SOLUTIONS142016
PETERSENDEAN5282016
PHAT ENERGY CORP1432012
PLANET SOLAR132013
PREMIER POWER INC142009
PREMIER POWER RENEWABLE ENERGY262007
PROGRESSIVE POWER GROUP162016
REAL GOODS ENERGY TECH182011
REAL GOODS INC142008
REC SOLAR6292014
REFERRAL DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION282012
REMODEL USA112012
RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVANTAGE152016
RMS BUILDERS132016
RONCO ELECTRIC142013
SELF182010
SEMPER SOLARIS2112016
SMART ENERGY USA142016
SOL RELIABLE152015
SOLAR CONSTRUCTION132014
SOLAR CONSTRUCTION SERVICEING CENTER142015
SOLAR OPTIMUM142016
SOLAR SERVICE CENTER2112015
SOLARCITY1615992016
SOLARMAX RENEWABLE5172014
SOLARMAX RENEWABLE ENERGY PROVIDER132016
SOLCIUS162015
SOUTH WEST SUN SOLAR272016
SOUTHLAND ELECTRICAL122016
SOUTHLAND ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS122016
STOUT & BURG ELECTRIC222010
SUN BEES GROUP132014
SUN TIME ENERGY6222016
SUNCAPITAL SOLAR242016
SUNERGY CONSTRUCTION162016
SUNERGY SOLAR INC132016
SUNGATE ENERGY452014
SUNGEVITY152016
SUNNOVA122015
SUNRUN8372016
TESLA3102016
TITAN CONSTRUCTION132015
TITAN CONSTRUCTION & SOLAR132016
TREEIUM122015
UNLEASH SOLAR112013
URBAN ENERGY SOLUTIONS152016
VERENGO231022016
VIVINT23862016
WEGEN SOLAR142015
ZERO ENERGY, LLC252016

Solar panel lease companies in Hawthorne

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 Hawthorne?

If you’re thinking about paying a company to clean your solar panels, think again. Solar panel cleaning services can cost more than $100 per visit, and in the vast majority of cases the temporary increase in power generation you get will never make up for that cost. 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 Hawthorne

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 Hawthorne solar contractors.

Get quotes from solar installers in Hawthorne



Average California electricity prices


The average price of residential electricity in California is 18.31 cents per kilowatt hour, while the average price across the nation is 13.34 cents per kWh.

In other words, you’re paying 37% more for electricity than the average American, making your cost of electricity fairly expensive compared to the nation.

You’re probably not happy about that, so it makes sense to consider 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¢


One of the big financial advantages of going solar is that you basically lock in your price of electricity for the next 20 to 30 years (because most solar panels come with 25 year power warranties). When you look at the graphs above and see the historical trend of electricity prices in the United States, you’ll notice that prices steadily increase over time. While prices from your utility may bounce up and down, the cost of electricity eventually increases over time. Going solar will protect you from those increases.



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 10,631 kWh in an average year.

This means that putting a 6 kW solar panel system on your house would prevent 2,296 kilograms of CO2, 74 grams of SO2, and 3,530 grams of NOx from being emitted into the atmosphere.

The carbon offset of these solar panels would be about equivalent to planting 134 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 Hawthorne

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 Hawthorne?

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

Home solar quotes in Hawthorne
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.