Do home solar panels make sense in Indio, California?

Summary:

The median price of a 6 kilowatt home solar system in Indio is about  $9,596.
That 6 kW system would generate about  $2,078 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 Indio, 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 Indio 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 Indio, 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.
• 3.51 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$13,708This 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%$4,112The 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:$9,596

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 Indio, CA?

Every year, that hypothetical Indio home solar system described above would produce about $2,078 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 Indio with solar panels

According to our data from various local agencies, there are at least 1,303 homes in Indio 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 12,607 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 Indio have already decided that solar is a smart choice for them.



Solar panels directly turn sunlight into electricity, so the more sunlight you have, the more power that a solar panel system will generate. However, one misconception is that solar panels only work in very sunny climates. While it’s true that you will generate more electricity in a sunny state like Arizona, you might be surprised to learn that solar can generate plenty of electricity in most places in the United States - even cloudier places like New England or the Northwest.



Indio solar energy potential

If you want to know how much sunlight is available in your city for solar electricity generation, you need to know the Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI). DNI not only takes into account the hours of sunlight, but other variables such as cloud cover, airborne particulates (which cause haze), and precipitation.

The DNI for Indio is 7.56, which means that it is one of the sunniest cities in the country.

7.56

If you add solar panels to your Indio home, you’ll generate plenty of electricity and need fewer panels to do it.

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.

Indio
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 Indio.

Solar Energy by Month (DNI)


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

Power Generation by Month (kWh)


A home solar energy system in Indio will have very little seasonal variation in power generation. A solar panel system in the peak month would produce 140% more electricity compared to the darkest month in winter. This is a very small difference between winter and summer solar energy generation versus most other location in the United States. This is good thing if you don’t have net metering, because it means that you will tend to send less excess electricity into the grid.



Indio, CA solar companies

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

# of homes refers to the number of installations by the installer in the Indio 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 Indio.
Year of the most recent install is the most recent record of work done by the installer in Indio. 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
ACS CONSTRUCTION152006
AMBASSADOR ENERGY152013
ANTHEM MECHANICAL242016
ARGENT SOLAR ELECTRIC182015
BASAD CONSTRUCTION152016
BLALOCK ELECTRIC132014
BLS CONSTRUCTION3262012
CLEAN ENERGY SOLUTIONS6202016
CLEAN POWER SYSTEMS132016
CLEAR SUN CORPORATION2122015
COLLINS CRAFT182008
DESERT SOLAR ELECTRIC2192013
DIRECT ENERGY SOLAR2172015
DRIVEN ELECTRIC162013
DRIVEN SOLAR/DRIVEN ELECTRIC142011
ECO FRIENDLY4222016
ELECTRICARE1102011
ENERGY RENNOVATIONS CENTER392016
EQUISOLAR25722016
EVOLUTION ENERGY4272016
FUTURE AIR & WINDOWS122006
FUTURE ENERGY CORP112006
GENSELF CORP6342007
GREENIFY282016
HEGGE ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS112004
HELIOPOWER11672016
HERCA SOLAR INC1112012
HORIZON SOLAR2142015
HOT PURPLE ENERGY9732016
JK SOLAR2112015
KENT SALVESON5392012
LANG ELECTRIC132012
LENNAR24732015
LEONARD ROOFING6182015
LEONARD'S ROOFING INC9292015
LEXCOMM4382014
MCO CONSTRUCTION182015
MOHR POWER SOLAR3172013
PACIFIC SKY SOLAR162016
PARAMOUNT ENERGY SOLUTIONS7162013
PEAK POWER SOLUTIONS132016
PETERSENDEAN17682016
PIERRO CONSTRUCTION122015
PIERRO ROOFING262015
PLANET SOLAR141482016
PRECIS SOLAR4392016
REAL GOODS INC282009
RENOVA ENERGY CORP717102016
REVCO312902016
RGS/REAL GOODS802662015
SEA BRIGHT SOLAR152016
SELF3192016
SEMPER SOLARIS2122016
SEQUOIA SOLAR1132009
SMART ENERGY SOLAR261902016
SOCAL SOLAR192008
SOLA-LITE182013
SOLAR CENTER142015
SOLAR CONSTRUCTION SERVICEING CENTER142016
SOLAR DISTRIBUTORS2142014
SOLAR ENERGY EXCHANGE152010
SOLAR PLUS3102016
SOLAR SERVICE CENTER4342012
SOLAR SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL142016
SOLAR TECH144,8302015
SOLARCITY7494,6072016
SOLARMAX5442016
SOLCIUS2102016
SOLTERIS5302016
SOS ENERGY192014
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HOME4302016
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HOME IMPROVEMENT CENTER10372016
SULLIVAN SOLAR172012
SUN BEST SOLAR142011
SUNBELT SOLAR SYSTEMS182012
SUNCOSMIC BUILDERS2102016
SUNGEVITY5272015
SUNLIGHT SOLAR INC1132016
SUNNOVA152016
SUNPOWER8262013
SUNRUN6362016
SUNSTREET ENERGY GROUP7212015
SUNUP ENERGY SOLUTIONS AKA SUN UP ENERGY SYSTEMS132012
TRUE POWER SOLAR15762016
UNITED STATES SOLAR3242013
UNLEASH SOLAR122013
USA ENERGY122010
VERENGO5332016
VIVINT12842016
WEST COAST BUILDERS142011

Solar panel lease companies in Indio

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 Indio?

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. Instead, just let the rain keep your solar panels clean. Rain will do a good enough job for free. 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 Indio

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 Indio solar contractors.

Get quotes from solar installers in Indio



Average California electricity prices


In California, homeowners pay an average of 18.31 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity. Meanwhile, the average price of residential electricity in the US in 2019 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.

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¢


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 11,348 kWh in an average year.

This means that putting a 6 kW solar panel system on your house would prevent 2,451 kilograms of CO2, 79 grams of SO2, and 3,768 grams of NOx from being emitted into the atmosphere.

The carbon offset of these solar panels would be about equivalent to planting 143 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 Indio

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 Indio?

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

Home solar quotes in Indio
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.