Do home solar panels make sense in Nipomo, California?

Summary:

The median price of a 6 kilowatt home solar system in Nipomo is about  $10,027.
That 6 kW system would generate about  $1,988 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 Nipomo, 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 Nipomo 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 Nipomo, 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.
• 3.67 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$14,324This 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%$4,297The 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:$10,027

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 Nipomo, CA?

Every year, that hypothetical Nipomo home solar system described above would produce about $1,988 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 Nipomo with solar panels

According to our data from various local agencies, there are at least 1,271 homes in Nipomo 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 5,405 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 Nipomo 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. 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.



Nipomo 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 Nipomo is 6.77, which means that it has excellent solar potential.

6.77

In Nipomo, 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 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.

Nipomo
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 Nipomo.

Solar Energy by Month (DNI)


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

Power Generation by Month (kWh)


The seasonal variation in solar electricity production in Nipomo is quite small. In the peak month, a home photovoltaic system would produce 150% more electricity than in the lowest production month in winter. This is less of a variation than in many other climates in the US, and it means that even in the winter, you might not need to draw much electricity from the grid, and have less excess electricity to send into the grid in summer.



Nipomo, CA solar companies

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

# of homes refers to the number of installations by the installer in the Nipomo 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 Nipomo.
Year of the most recent install is the most recent record of work done by the installer in Nipomo. 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. M. SUN POWER3162010
A.M. SUN SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS132009
ABSOLUTE ELECTRIC282011
ABSOLUTE SOLAR PRO152012
ACRO ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES162011
ADVANCE SOLAR HYDRO & WIND362001
ADVANCED SOLAR ELECTRIC1112010
ALL ELECTRIC122004
AM SUN SOLAR261692017
AMP INDUSTRIES5382012
BEST GUY DEVELOPMENT1102014
BLAND SOLAR & AIR4132016
BRIGHT FUTURE SOLAR ENERGY1102016
CAL PASO SOLAR1112012
CIENAGA SERVICES5342016
CLEAN ENERGY SOLUTIONS192016
CONTACT ELECTRIC3112014
DAVE NICHOLS ELECTRIC2242015
ELECTRICRAFT8402015
ENERGY SAVING PROS CONSTRUCTION142015
ESTERO BAY SOLAR SOLUTION152015
FC CONSTRUCTION & ELECTRICAL1152014
FERRARI DEVELOPMENT INC152015
FREEDOM SOLAR132016
FREEDOM SOLAR SERVICES1592016
GALKOS CONSTRUCTION7242012
GNRG SOLAR132015
GREEN HILL REMODELING2122015
GREEN NRG132015
GRID ALTERNATIVES42912016
GROUND UP BUILDERS7302017
HORIZON SOLAR POWER142014
JACK HANAUER CONST292016
JOHN K CONSTRUCTION INC3132015
JP ELECTRIC & SOLAR2122014
MILLER POWER382007
NEXUS ENERGY SYSTEMS4252016
NOSTALGICS INC292006
OCR SOLAR & ROOFING33962012
PACIFIC ENERGY CO142013
PACIFIC SOLAR142011
PETERSENDEAN872582012
PHAT ENERGY CORP2132012
PHOTON BROTHERS3152016
PLANET SOLAR5372015
PRECISION SOLAR142014
REAL GOODS INC172003
REC SOLAR814062014
RENEWABLE ENERGY CONCEPTS8402007
SANTA MARIA ELECTRIC, INC2332016
SANTA YNEZ VALLEY SOLAR122015
SELF6462016
SMART ENERGY SOLAR2302015
SMITH ELECTRIC142015
SOLAR CELL SALES372009
SOLARCITY6892,7412016
SOLARMAX RENEWABLE ENERGY PROVIDER142014
SOLARPONICS18812016
SOLATRON TECHNOLOGIES192003
SUN PACIFIC SOLAR ELECTRIC292009
SUNGEVITY16662016
SUNLIT ENERGY142015
SUNRUN1035392017
SUNTIME ENERGY3182016
SYNERGETIK DBA LLC BRIGHTEN SOLAR CONSTRUCTION172016
SYNTROL SOLAR4212015
TESLA25952017
UNITED EXPRESS CONSTRUCTION3102015
VERENGO7262013
VIVINT272016
WEST COAST SOLAR, INC122009

Solar panel lease companies in Nipomo

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 Nipomo?

Are you searching for a local solar panel cleaning company? Stop and reconsider. 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. What should most people do? Just let the rain keep your panels clean. 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 Nipomo

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 Nipomo solar contractors.

Get quotes from solar installers in Nipomo



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.

This means that you are paying 37% more for electricity than the national average. That’s pretty expensive.

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¢


By looking at the trend in electricity prices over the past decade, you can get a better idea of whether high or low prices in your state are a recent change, or part of a long term trend. Because solar panels last a really long time (most come with 25 year power warranties), going solar protects you from future changes in electricity price. Basically, by paying for a system now, you can lock in your cost of electricity for two or even three decades.



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 10,860 kWh in an average year.

This means that putting a 6 kW solar panel system on your house would prevent 2,346 kilograms of CO2, 76 grams of SO2, and 3,606 grams of NOx from being emitted into the atmosphere.

The carbon offset of these solar panels would be about equivalent to planting 136 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 Nipomo

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 Nipomo?

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

Home solar quotes in Nipomo
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.