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 2,562 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 14,249 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 photovoltaic panels turn sunlight into electricity, and the more sunlight you have, 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 LIGHT5202017
3D CONSTRUCTION1102018
A1 SOLAR POWER4162016
ACME292008
ACRO ELECTRIC132006
ACRO ELECTRIC THRU HOME DEPOT9542007
ACRO ENERGY321592015
AFFORDABLE HOME SOLAR122018
AKEENA642532018
ALL AIR1102015
ALL BAY SOLAR142015
ALL ON ELECRIC523412018
ALLIANCE SOLAR132003
AM4262017
AMABASSADOR ENERGY142010
AMERICAN142010
AMERICAN ARRAY SOLAR2122018
AMERICAN HOME ENERGY152018
AMERICAN SOLAR DIRECT231002016
ANDERSON BUILDER1152016
ANTHONY J DURST CONSTRUCTION382018
APPLIED ELECTRIC2122017
ARK CONSTRUCTION522942017
ASAP POWER122003
AUTOMATION SOLAR AKA AUTOMATION SECURITY2122010
BAY AREA SOLAR11572018
BAY AREA SOLAR SOLTION613832018
BAY AREA SOLAR SOLUTION DAB YOUR ENERGY172016
BAY SOLAR POWER DESIGN152007
BAY VALLEYROOFING142017
BELENU RENEWABLE ENERGY182013
BEST VALUE132017
BMC SOLAR2142007
BORREGO SOLAR15892017
BRIGHT PLANET SOLAR152017
BURLINGAME INDUSTRY152011
CAL SOLAR282018
CAL SOLAR WORK282009
CALFORNIA SOLAR3162018
CAPITAL CITY SOLAR122010
CAPITAL REMODEL2242017
CENTERLINE CONSTRUCTIOM MANAGEMENT3162016
CENTURY ROF SOLAR282008
CERTIFIED SOLAR HEATING AIR CONDITI132018
CITADEL ROOFING2132018
CLEAN342172018
CLEAN ENERGY142018
CLEAN FACTOR ENERGY3202017
COBALT POWER3252017
COMPLETE SOLAR5252018
COOL EARTH SOLAR DEVELOPMENT4332018
COOPERATIVE COMMUNITY ENERGY7222007
CPG CONSTRUCTION3152017
CUSTOM EXTERIOR262004
DEHARO14692018
DEL SOL NRG2122018
DIABLO SOLAR442822018
EARTH ELECTRIC1102017
EAST BAY SOLAR POWER3152008
ECHOFIRST122012
ELEMENT POWER SYSTEM6392018
ELITE ELECTRIC3132016
ENERGU REMODELING10412018
ENERGY182016
ENERGY ENTERPRISE USA7332018
EPIC HOME SOLAR142015
EVERGREEN2152018
FIDELITY HOME ENERGY16652018
FIRSTPV INS1102018
FRALICK HOME142015
FREE ENERGY3152016
FREEDOM SOLAR2132017
FUTURE ENERGY421622017
FUTURE VISION142017
GCI SOLAR4252017
GLENN FORSLIN142016
GLOBAL RESOURCE OPTION3122010
GOLDEN GATE152018
GOLDEN GATE PHOTOVOLTAIC2112018
GOSOLAR PRO182016
GREEN AIR HEATING AIR CONDITIONING3112012
GREEN AIR HVA282018
GREEN EARTH ENGINEERING152018
GREEN NRG2152017
GREEN POWER INSTALLER5242013
GREEN WOLF ENERGY292018
GRID ALTERNATIVE7152012
HIGH DEFINITION SOLAR352017
HOME X152015
HONEY AIR4222017
HOOKED ON SOLAR12782018
HUFFMAN SOLAR142017
I ELECTRIC182018
IES RESIDENTIAL142013
ILUM SLAR4122018
INFINITY3122017
ISOLAR UNIVERSE BRIENTWOOD152015
JAJ ROOFIN10902018
JDS POWER182017
JJ OWEN ELECTRIC152006
JP SOLAR4242009
KAATALYST CONSTRUCTION192018
KEUETZFELDT CONSTRUCTION1112015
KINGDOM SOLAR122018
KNOWLE SOLAR7332014
KUKAHIKO2132018
KURIO13822018
KUYKENDALL142015
LA IBACH SOLAR142015
LA SOLAR6352018
LEE WAY CUSTOM CONTRACTOR132007
LEON LEON CONSTRUCTION2102016
LIDINI1202016
LUMINALT ENERGY3192018
MAGGETTI CONSTRUCTION2182011
MAGIC SUN SOLAR1112016
MARIN SOLAR162004
MARK DANENHOWER CONSTRUCTION172018
MCCLINTOCK ELECTRIC192016
MCFERRIN AND142013
MICOR ELECTRIC122018
MOTHER NATURE CONSTRUCTION3122013
N2 ELECTRIC2152009
NEW ENERGY OPTION112007
NEXT ENERGY211092016
NEXT SOLAR142017
NEXU ENERGY7452018
NOR CAL CONSTRUCTION162016
NOR CAL SOLAR SERVICE1102018
NORTHERN ARIZONA WIND SUN142001
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA SOLAR162018
NORTHERN PACIFIC POWER192016
NOVA WEST SOLAR192012
NRG12802018
OCCIDENTAL POWER172017
ORTH CONSTRUCTION162013
PACIFIC RIM23902018
PAUL DYTCHE GENERAL CONTRACTOR262009
PEAK POWER172016
PETERSEN DEAN1639472018
PHOTON BROTHE162018
POWER INDEPENDENCE ELECTRIC THRU HOME DEPOT152005
PREMIER POWER RENEWABLE ENERGY2242009
PRO VOLTZ6372017
QUICK SYSTEM9562018
RA SOLAR4212018
RAY CO292016
REAL GOOD271492013
REC SOLAR663082018
RECTIFY392017
REGRID POWER17232007
RENEWABLE ELECTRIC152015
RENEWABLE ENERGY7322007
RENEWABLE INTEGRATOR6322012
RENEWABLE POWER132008
REPOWER LIVERMORE291792017
RICH CORTEZ SON132015
RIKETY151022018
ROBINSON ELECTRIC261622018
ROCKRIDGE RENEWABLE162016
SAVE A LOT SOLAR272017
SCAFURI CONSTRUCTION152017
SELF14882013
SEMPER FIDELI CONSTRUCTION3182016
SEMPER SOLAR311662018
SIERRA ROOFING SOLAR3102018
SIG142016
SIMMITRI182016
SIMPLY SOLAR172018
SKY ETCH SOLAR162016
SKY LINE ENERGY SAER2152017
SKY POWER12222006
SLINGSHOT POWER PBC2122015
SMART ENERGY2182016
SMART HOME IQ162012
SMART SOLAR MARKETING2162016
SNOW SOLAR SYSTEM3142006
SOL R US ELECTRIC1132018
SOLAR DEPOT172007
SOLAR NETWORK1085892018
SOLAR ON POOL HEATING4332013
SOLAR ONE2132017
SOLAR PRO2152017
SOLAR SELFCAL HELP4112007
SOLAR SENSE PV2112017
SOLAR SERVICE CENTER192015
SOLAR SYSTEM142016
SOLAR TROPE SUPPLY162004
SOLAR UNITED NETWORK3182017
SOLAR UNIVERSE15722016
SOLAR WIND THRU HOME DEPOT1252007
SOLARCITY4972,7292018
SOLATRON TECHNOLOGY252008
SOLECTRIC152018
SOLEEVA3152018
SONRAY19242012
SOUTH WEST SUN SOLAR2152018
SPG SOLAR3152007
SUN CREST3162016
SUN DANCE ENERGY SOLUTION142017
SUN FINITY SOLAR CA2192018
SUN GATE ENERGY582010
SUN KIS2132017
SUN LIGHT & POWER3582013
SUN LIT SYSTEM122003
SUN LOGIC141082018
SUN LUX1102018
SUN TREK2102013
SUN WIZE2132011
SUNGEVITY834592018
SUNPOWER542922018
SUNPOWER SYSTEM RICHMOND132010
SUNRUN1891,1032018
SUNTIME ENERGY BUILDER142016
SUNWORK RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECT152009
SUSTAINABLE122004
SWAN SOLAR2152012
SWELL ENERGY152013
SWELL SERVICE152017
SX ELECTRIC1102018
SYNERGY POWER9622018
SYNTROL2122017
SYNTROL PLUMBING HEATING AIR152016
THE SOLAE QUOTE2112017
TT SOLAR SERVICE6302006
UNLEADED DESIGN654862018
V3 ELECTRIC192016
VACA VALLEYROOFING122008
VALLEYPACIFIC BUILDER122007
VERENGO7432016
VILLAR BUILDING SYSTEM122017
VILLARA172017
VISION292016
VIVINT884902018
WC EXTERIOR1102012
WEST COAST423092018
WEST COAST PEOPLE ENERGY COOP122003
YORKSHIRE ROOFING172016
YOUR ENERGY SOLUTIONSU162016
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?

Are you searching for a local solar panel cleaning company? Stop and reconsider. 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 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


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¢


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.