Do home solar panels make sense in Los Alamitos, California?

Summary:

The median price of a 6 kilowatt home solar system in Los Alamitos is about  $10,289.
That 6 kW system would generate about  $1,938 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 Los Alamitos, 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 Los Alamitos 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 Los Alamitos, 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.
• 3.77 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$14,699This 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%$4,410The 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:$10,289

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 Los Alamitos, CA?

Every year, that hypothetical Los Alamitos home solar system described above would produce about $1,938 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 Los Alamitos with solar panels

In Los Alamitos, our data shows that there are at least 500 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 2,989 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 Los Alamitos 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 photovoltaic panels turn sunlight into electricity, and the more sunlight you have, the better. 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.



Los Alamitos 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 Los Alamitos is 6.65, which means that it has excellent solar potential.

6.65

In Los Alamitos, 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.

Los Alamitos
US low
US high

Different locations in the US will see a wider range of solar energy generation from winter to summer. These charts show you what to expect in Los Alamitos.

Solar Energy by Month (DNI)


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

Power Generation by Month (kWh)


A home solar energy system in Los Alamitos will have very little seasonal variation in power generation. A solar panel system in the peak month would produce 148% 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.



Los Alamitos, CA solar companies

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

# of homes refers to the number of installations by the installer in the Los Alamitos 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 Los Alamitos.
Year of the most recent install is the most recent record of work done by the installer in Los Alamitos. 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
A PLU SOLAR132016
ABC SOLAR172013
ACRO ENERGY152012
ADVANCED IMPROVEMENT3242016
AKEENA152008
AMECO302102018
AMERICAN GREEN HOME BUIDER1112016
AMERICAN SOLAR132013
AMERICAN SOLAR POWER152016
APPLIED ELECTRIC DIST142012
AWS ELECTRIC SOLAR1112017
BARRU ELECTRIC162014
BURKE ELECTRIC CONTRACTOR1112014
CALIFORNIA PREFERRED BUILDER142011
CHANDLER SOLAR DEVELOPMENT162018
CIRCA ENERGY152012
CLEAN POWER122007
CLEAN VIEW HOME IMPROVEMENT132010
DAVID CROWELL162010
DENALI DEVELOPMENT171232016
DENALI SOLAR162015
DESERT SOLAR192014
DISTRIBUTED CLEAN POWER142016
DIVINE POWER USA182012
ECO N AIR2172017
EDWARD HA152018
ELECTRIC ARE2122016
ENERGY EFFICIENCY3142007
EQUATRONIC152013
FUTURE ENERGY3122012
GALKO5122011
GIRA182011
GOGREEN SOLAR122017
GREEN CONVERGENCE142017
GREEN HILL REMODEING172017
GREEN SOLAR TECH CALIFORNIA1112018
GREEN TECH SOLUTION162014
GREEN VOLT142016
GROUND UP BUILDER132017
GUYOU1132017
HELIO POWER5232011
HERCA SOLAR172014
HERITAGE SOLAR182012
HORIZON SOLAR POWER6312018
INFINITY272013
INTEGRATED TECHNOLOGY ELECTRIC162018
INTELLIGENT DESIGN SOLAR162016
JC SOLAR172016
JK SOLAR132012
LA SOLAR3212018
MADDOX HOME IMPROVEMENT282010
MAGIC SUN SOLAR182011
MATTHEW A HARTY162015
MCCORMACK ROOFING3102014
MCFERRIN AND192014
MIMEO192014
MOHR POWER SOLAR3112012
MURDON4302017
NB BAKER182017
NEW DAY SOLAR192016
NEW VISION TECHNOLOGY132006
NEXGEN192015
NEXGEN CONSTRUCTION241382018
OMNI VALLEY172016
PELL SOLAR162014
PETERSEN DEAN13842018
PHAT ENERGY152014
PRECIS DEVELOPMENT3202018
PREMIER POWER RENEWABLE ENERGY282009
PRO BERG ELECTRIC142017
PRO CUSTOM182018
PRO GRESSIVE POWER191032018
PV1122016
R LINK3152011
REAL GOOD4212014
REC SOLAR11592017
REFERRAL DESIGN152011
RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVANTAGE3192018
RESTART SOLAR192015
REVCO SOLAR7352016
SELF282009
SEMPER SOLAR5332018
SIXTWENTYONE132016
SMART ENERGY1102014
SMART SOLAR MARKETING5252017
SO CAL SOLAR162010
SOLAR 360 BUILDING2192016
SOLAR EDGE132004
SOLAR GEM182012
SOLAR NETWORK162013
SOLAR OPTIMUM2182018
SOLAR SERVICE CENTER8372015
SOLAR SOLUTION 4U132018
SOLAR SOURCE5242016
SOLAR TECH2132010
SOLAR WEBB122002
SOLARCITY704372018
SOLCIU4282017
SOUTH WEST192018
STOUT BURG14282012
SULLIVAN SOLAR POWER9562018
SUN BEE152012
SUN BELT SOLAR272011
SUN CREST4222016
SUN LUX182018
SUN PRO SOLAR3292017
SUN SHINE ENERGY3142018
SUN X SOLAR132013
SUNERGY192017
SUNGEVITY11642016
SUNPOWER5332018
SUNRUN271722018
SUSTAINABLE2132014
SUSTAINABLE ELECTRIC SOLUTION142016
SWELL SERVICE1102018
TED MOUNT182014
THE CREST COMPANY1132016
THE KALMAN COMPANY2132018
UNITED EXPRES152017
UNLEASH SOLAR112013
URBAN ENERGY3152018
VASCO SOLAR5372018
VERENGO201052017
VISION142015
VIVINT211792018
WENCON DEVELOPMENT152012
WEST COAST POWER LIGHTING382009
WEST LINK ELECTRIC122008
WIN DOR272012
XERO SOLAR152018

Solar panel lease companies in Los Alamitos

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 Los Alamitos?

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 Los Alamitos

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 Los Alamitos solar contractors.

Get quotes from solar installers in Los Alamitos



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 10,583 kWh in an average year.

This means that putting a 6 kW solar panel system on your house would prevent 2,286 kilograms of CO2, 74 grams of SO2, and 3,514 grams of NOx from being emitted into the atmosphere.

The carbon offset of these solar panels would be about equivalent to planting 133 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 Los Alamitos

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 Los Alamitos?

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

Home solar quotes in Los Alamitos
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.