Do home solar panels make sense in Livermore, California?

Summary:

The median price of a 6 kilowatt home solar system in Livermore is about  $10,572.
That 6 kW system would generate about  $1,886 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 Livermore, 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 Livermore 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 Livermore, 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.
• 3.87 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$15,103This 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%$4,531The 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:$10,572

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 Livermore, CA?

Every year, that hypothetical Livermore home solar system described above would produce about $1,886 worth of electricity. This is based on the California state average price of electricity of $0.18/kWh and the average local climate.

This estimate assumes that your home uses an average amount of electricity, but your needs may be different. In addition, if you have some shade on your panels during the day, that can drop your production by a lot and require more panels to make up the difference.



Houses in Livermore with solar panels

According to our data from various local agencies, there are at least 3,132 homes in Livermore 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 16,895 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 Livermore 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.



Livermore 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 Livermore is 7.18, which means that it is one of the sunniest cities in the country.

7.18

If you add solar panels to your Livermore 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 means more sunshine and more electricity generation by solar panels, but solar can be viable even with a lower DNI. For example, Germany has widespread solar PV, but a DNI of only about 2.5.

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

Livermore
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 Livermore.

Solar Energy by Month (DNI)


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

Power Generation by Month (kWh)


As you can see from the graphs above, there is a seasonal variation in sunlight and solar power generation from summer to winter, but the variation is less pronounced than in many other places in the US. You can expect to produce about 197% more solar electricity in the highest production month of the year, compared to the darkest month of winter. Because of this, you will send less excess electricity into the grid in the summer and draw less electricity from the grid in winter.



Livermore, CA solar companies

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

# of homes refers to the number of installations by the installer in the Livermore 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 Livermore.
Year of the most recent install is the most recent record of work done by the installer in Livermore. 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 ENERGY4152016
1ST LIGHT SOLAR ENERGY5262014
A1 SOLAR POWER471632016
ACE ELECTRIC3322012
ACME ENVIRONMENTAL292008
ACRO ELECTRIC291522012
ACRO ENERGY10462012
ACRO ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES3192012
AKEENA652602010
ALL AIR INC1102015
ALL BAY SOLAR3122015
ALL ON ELECTRIC382322016
ALL ON ELECTRIC & SOLAR INC2152017
ALL SEASONS ROOFING & SOLAR SERVICES222011
ALL VALLEY ENGINEERING182012
ALLIANCE SOLAR SERVICE292004
AM CONSTRUCTION4232016
AMBASSADOR ENERGY142010
AMERICAN HOME CRAFT252009
AMERICAN SOLAR CORP142010
AMERICAN SOLAR DIRECT371692016
ANDERSON BUILDERS1152016
ANDERSON BUILDIG CONTROLS1152016
ANTHONY J DURST CONSTRUCTION392016
APG SOLAR172014
ARAM SOLAR10362012
AUTOMATION SOLAR3132016
BAY AREA ENERGY SOLUTIONS3182017
BAY AREA SOLAR SOLUTIONS261292016
BELENUS RENEWABLE ENERGY182013
BORREGO SOLAR14822009
BRITE ENERGY192015
BURLINGAME INDUSTRIES152011
CAL SOLAR WORKS282009
CALIFORNIA SOLAR132014
CALIFORNIA SOLAR SYSTEMS2192014
CANOPY ENERGY142016
CAPITAL REMODEL & DESIGN1102016
CENTERLINE CONSTRUCTION3162016
CENTURY ROOF & SOLAR3132014
CITADEL ROOFING152017
CLEAN SOLAR352172016
COBALT POWER SYSTEMS3252016
COMPLETE SOLAR5412015
COMPLETE SOLAR SOLUTION16862015
CONNIFF ELECTRIC, INC.172008
COOPERATIVE COMMUNITY ENERGY232010
DE HARO CONSTRUCTION16852015
DEHARO CONSTRUCTION4262014
DESLIPPE CONSTRUCTION292005
DIABLO SOLAR SERVICES INC.162009
DIABLO SOLAR172015
DIABLO SOLAR SERVICES503302016
DOLCERA112012
EARTH ELECTRIC162013
EAST BAY SOLAR POWER4192008
ECHOFIRST INC19252012
ECO FRIENDLY REMODELING122015
ECOPLEXUS1232010
ELEMENT POWER SYSTEMS7282016
ELITE ELECTRIC5222016
ELITE SOLAR162016
ENERGY INC182016
ENERGY REMODELING7282016
ENVER ENERGY IMPROVEMENT1112016
ENVER SOLAR6252015
EPIC HOME SOLAR142015
FIDELITY HOME ENERGY5192017
FRALICK HOMES3182015
FREE ENERGY SYSTEM4192016
FUTURE ENERGY CORP682822015
GAYLER CONSRUCTION362012
GCI SOLAR8442016
GLOBAL RESOURCE OPTIONS3122010
GOLDEN SOLAR ENERGY112005
GOSOLARPROS182016
GREAT SKY SOLAR262011
GREEN AIR132014
GREEN AIR HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING4122016
GREEN EARTH ENGINEERING CORP2152015
GREEN HOMES OF CA132017
GREEN NRG3182016
GREEN POWER INSTALLER INC4192015
GREEN POWER INSTALLERS2122012
GREEN STOCK SOLAR272015
GREEN WOLF ELECTRIC & SOLAR152014
GREENAIR HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING INC152012
GREG GAYLER CONSTRUCTION CO112013
GRID ALTERNATIVES19452012
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY992005
HAWK DEVELOPMENT162014
HIGH DEDINITION SOLAR342016
HIGH DEFINITION SOLAR122017
HIGHLIGHT SOLAR132012
HOMEX142015
HONEYS AIR & SOLAR4182016
HORIZON SOLAR POWER5292016
I E T S122003
IC EQUITIES LLC142014
IES RESIDENTIAL4202014
INFINITY ENERGY282016
J & J OWENS ELECTRIC152006
JAJ ROOFING3302016
JOHNSON ELECTRICAL152011
JP SOLAR3192009
KNOWLES SOLAR172013
KUKENDALL SOLAR142015
KURIOS ENEREGY3112016
LA SOLAR GROUP162017
LAIBACH SOLAR LLC142015
LEE-WAY CUSTOM CONTRACTORS132007
LEON AND LEON CONSTRUCTION2102016
LIGHT ENERGY SYSTEMS8212009
MAGGETTI CONSTRUCTION2182010
MAGIC SUN SOLAR1112016
MARIN SOLAR162004
MC SOLAR132007
MC SOLAR ENGINEERING2142007
MCCLINTOCK ELECTRIC192016
MOTHER NATURE CONSTRUCTION2132015
MOTHER NATURE SOLAR4172013
N2 ELECTRIC4292015
NEALE FERGUSON192015
NEAULT ELECTRIC152015
NEXT ENERGY221172016
NEXUS ENERGY SYSTEMS142015
NOR CAL SOLAR4192014
NOR CAL SOLAR SERVICES152015
NORCAL CONSTRUCTION & DEV2152015
NORTHERN ARIZONA WIND SUN142001
NORTHERN PACIFIC POWER SYSTEMS192016
NOVA WEST SOLAR192011
NRG CLEAN POWER122016
NRG HOME SOLAR172015
OCR SOLAR & ROOFING152008
OLD COUNTRY ROOFING122007
PACIFIC RIM15572013
PACIFIC SOLAR ENERGY122007
PARAMOUNT ENERGY SOLUTIONS152013
PAUL DYTCHE GENERAL CONTRACTOR262009
PEAK POWER SOLUTIONS172016
PETERSENDEAN1638712017
POWER INDEPENDENCE ELECTRIC3112011
PREMIER POWER INC162009
PREMIER POWER RENEWABLE ENERGY1182004
PROVOLTZ10542017
QUICK SYSTEMS5352016
RAYCO ENERGY6302016
REAL GOODS ENERGY TECH3202014
REAL GOODS INC132006
REC SOLAR863992014
REGRID27762011
RENEWABLE ELECTRIC152015
RENEWABLE ENERGY CONCEPTS4162007
RENEWABLE INTEGRATOR6322012
RENEWABLE POWER SOLUTIONS132008
REPOWER291702016
REVOLVE SOLAR CA172014
RGS/REAL GOODS241312015
RICH CORTEZ & SONS132015
ROBINSON ELECTRIC382352017
ROCKRIDGE RENEWABLES INC162016
RODDA ELECTRIC152014
ROGER'S HANDYMAN SERVICE392012
SAVE A LOT SOLAR2132015
SELF392282016
SEMPER FIDELIS CONSTRUCTION5282016
SEMPER SOLARIS12602017
SIERRA ROOFING AND SOLAR2102016
SIG142016
SIMMITRI182016
SKY POWER SYSTEMS755202016
SKYTECH SOLAR162016
SKYWAY ELECTRIC4242014
SLINGSHOT POWER3152015
SMART ENERGY SOLAR8742016
SMART HOME IQ162012
SNOW SOLAR SYSTEMS152004
SOLAR COMPANY1096302016
SOLAR DEPOT172007
SOLAR NETWORK INC10412013
SOLAR SERVICE132006
SOLAR SERVICE CENTER8512015
SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES151002016
SOLAR UNIVERSE2481,5542017
SOLAR UNIVERSE/HOMEX272013
SOLAR WORLD282013
SOLARCITY6833,7102016
SOLARIS SOLAR272007
SOLARON9692015
SOLARSYSTEMS INC142016
SOLARWINDS NORTHERN LIGHTS1252007
SOLARWORLD4182013
SOLATRON TECHNOLOGIES132008
SPECTRUM SOLAR WINDS142014
SPG SOLAR2112007
SUN INC1112015
SUN LIGHT & POWER4602013
SUN POWER & GEOTHERMAL142005
SUN WORK RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS152009
SUNCREST SOLAR3162016
SUNFINITY SOLAR1142016
SUNGATE ENERGY27442014
SUNGEVITY1175942016
SUNLIT SYSTEMS122003
SUNPOWER21872017
SUNRUN905272017
SUNSYSTEM TECHNOLOGY1202016
SUNTIME ENERGY142016
SUNTREK INDUSTRIES2102013
SUNWIZE2132011
SUNWIZE TECHNOLOGIES152011
SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGIES242004
SWAN SOLAR2142012
SYNERGY 768 INC.172016
SYNERGY CONSERVATION SOLUTIONS112012
SYNTROL SOLAR282016
SYNTROL PLUMBING4192016
T & T SOLAR SERVICE CO6312004
TESLA231212017
THE SOLAR CO6192016
V3 ELECTRIC192016
VALLEY ENERGY CONSTRUCTION7302014
VERENGO181002016
VISION SOLAR292016
VISTA11892017
VIVINT1891,0912017
WEST COAST EXTERIORS1102012
WEST COAST PEOPLES ENERGY COOP122004
WEST COAST SOLAR302062017
WHOLESALE SOLAR132007
YES ELECTRIC142015
YES! SOLAR SOLUTIONS142013
YOUR ENERGY SOLUTIONS543022016
YOUR ENERGY SOURCE162016

Solar panel lease companies in Livermore

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 Livermore?

If you’re trying to find a local company that specializes in cleaning solar panels, you should know that it’s probably not worth the cost. 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. 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 Livermore

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 Livermore solar contractors.

Get quotes from solar installers in Livermore



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.

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¢


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 10,300 kWh in an average year.

This means that putting a 6 kW solar panel system on your house would prevent 2,225 kilograms of CO2, 72 grams of SO2, and 3,420 grams of NOx from being emitted into the atmosphere.

The carbon offset of these solar panels would be about equivalent to planting 129 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 Livermore

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 Livermore?

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

Home solar quotes in Livermore
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.