Do home solar panels make sense in Sonoma, California?
The median price of a 6 kilowatt home solar system in Sonoma is about
That 6 kW system would generate about
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.
Table of Contents:
How much do solar panels cost in Sonoma, 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 Sonoma 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 Sonoma, 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.
• 4.02 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||$15,695||This 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%||$4,709||The 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:||$10,987|
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 Sonoma, CA?
Every year, that hypothetical Sonoma home solar system described above would produce about $1,815 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 Sonoma with solar panels
According to our data from various local agencies, there are at least 1,078 homes in Sonoma 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 6,425 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 Sonoma have already decided that solar is a smart choice for them.
Sonoma 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 Sonoma is 6.29, which means that it has excellent solar potential.
In Sonoma, 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.
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 Sonoma.
Energy by Month (DNI)
The graph below estimates how much a 6 kilowatt south-facing solar panel system would generate in Sonoma.
Generation by Month (kWh)
As you can see from the graphs above, the amount of electricity you can generate with solar panels in Sonoma will be different throughout the year. Compared to the darkest months of the year, your peak generation in the sunniest month of the year will be about 229% higher (on average). Because of this, you should expect to use a fair amount of grid electricity in the winter, and send excess power into the grid in the summer months.
Sonoma, CA solar companies
This is a list of solar home installations we know about within the city limits
of Sonoma, CA.
# of homes refers to the number of installations by the installer in the Sonoma 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 Sonoma.
Year of the most recent install is the most recent record of work done by the installer in Sonoma. 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 homes||Total kW installed||Year of most recent install|
|A1 SOLAR POWER||37||147||2016|
|ADVANCE SOLAR HYDRO & WIND||2||7||2003|
|ADVANCED ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOLUTIONS||15||86||2016|
|ALL ON ELECTRIC||2||11||2014|
|AMERICAN SOLAR CORP||5||35||2016|
|AMERICAN SOLAR DIRECT||1||26||2016|
|BARON SOLAR & ELECTRIC||1||6||2011|
|BAVARIA CONSTRUCTION DBA SOLWEST||2||8||2008|
|BAY AREA ENERGY SOLUTIONS||3||45||2015|
|BES BRANDALICK ENERGY SERVICE||1||2||2005|
|BRIGHT PLANET SOLAR||1||4||2016|
|CALIFORNIA SOLAR SYSTEMS||9||48||2012|
|CHARLES IVOR GENERAL CONTRACTOR||1||5||2006|
|CLARK ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS||1||6||2010|
|COMPLETE SOLAR SOLUTION||3||16||2016|
|COOPERATIVE COMMUNITY ENERGY||3||4||2010|
|CUNNINGHAM ELECTRIC & CONSTRUCTION||2||12||2011|
|DC POWER SYSTEMS||1||6||2006|
|DOUG FRYDAY CONSTRUCTIONS||1||3||2014|
|EARTH STAR ELECTRIC||2||4||2011|
|ECONOMIC ENERGY SOLUTIONS||2||10||2009|
|EEE SOLAR INC||2||17||2015|
|EES SOLAR INC||2||6||2015|
|ENERGY ENDEAVORS DBA WESTCOAST SOLAR ENERGY||1||15||2013|
|EXCEL SOLAR & ELECTRIC||2||5||2009|
|EXCEL SOLAR & ELECTRIC INC.||1||1||2009|
|FIDELITY HOME ENERGY||3||11||2015|
|FREE ENERGY SYSTEM||1||3||2014|
|GAIA ENERGY SYSTEMS||1||9||2009|
|GOLDEN STATE SOLAR||1||7||2016|
|GREEN LIGHT SOLAR||1||6||2008|
|GREEN PLANET SOLAR||1||12||2013|
|HARMONY FARM SUPPLY||3||22||2008|
|HEALDSBURG SOLAR ELECTRIC||1||2||2016|
|HIGH DEDINITION SOLAR||12||24||2016|
|HOOKED ON SOLAR||1||12||2016|
|HORIZON SOLAR POWER||1||4||2013|
|JBL SOLAR ENERGY||1||5||2015|
|JOHN CRAIG CONSTRUCTION||1||2||2012|
|JOHN MCNEIL CONSTRUCTION||1||2||2002|
|JP & SON||1||15||2013|
|JP & SUN||17||120||2016|
|K B ELECTRIC||1||2||2014|
|MODERN METHOD ROOFING & CONSTRUCTION||2||8||2016|
|MOORE HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING||1||4||2016|
|NAPA ELECTRIC SHOP INC||3||21||2016|
|NEXUS ENERGY SYSTEMS||1||4||2016|
|NOR CAL CONTRACTING||3||13||2016|
|NORTH BAY SOLAR ELECTRIC||3||17||2017|
|NORTH WEST BUILDERS||1||5||2010|
|NORTHERN CALIFORNIA SOLAR SOLUTIONS||1||6||2016|
|NORTHERN PACIFIC POWER SYSTEMS||10||62||2016|
|OLD COUNTRY ROOFING||1||6||2010|
|PACIFIC RIM CONSTRUCTION||1||1||2010|
|PALO ALTO HARDWARE||1||11||2005|
|PREMIER POWER INC||1||3||2008|
|PREMIER POWER RENEWABLE ENERGY||1||5||2009|
|PURE POWER SOLUTIONS||4||18||2016|
|R&B CUSTOM BUILDERS CORP||1||3||2012|
|REAL GOODS ENERGY TECH||7||37||2011|
|REAL GOODS INC||12||42||2008|
|REID HEATING & ENERGY||3||26||2012|
|RENEWABLE ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGIES, INC||1||6||2007|
|ROBERT NUESE GENERAL CONTRACTOR||1||2||2003|
|RON DORRIS ELECTRIC||1||11||2011|
|RONALD B MCCLINTOCK||1||7||2015|
|SEBASTOPOL HEAT & COOL||3||39||2010|
|SENSIBLE SOLAR CONSTRUCTIONS||1||7||2016|
|SHAMROCK RENEWABLE ENERGY SERVICES||1||119||2011|
|SIERRA PACIFIC HOME & COMFORT||2||16||2010|
|SMART ENERGY SOLAR||5||27||2014|
|SMART ENERGY USA||6||41||2014|
|SNOW SOLAR SYSTEMS||1||3||2003|
|SOLAR DAY ELECTRIC||1||8||2015|
|SOLAR KNIGHTS CONSTRUCTION||1||2||2011|
|SOLAR SENSE PV||1||6||2014|
|SOLAR SERVICE CENTER||3||19||2015|
|SS SOLAR & ELECTRIC||2||8||2008|
|STEELE ENERGY SOLUTIONS||4||16||2011|
|SUMMIT TECHNOLOGY GROUP||2||35||2013|
|SUN LIGHT & POWER||1||6||2017|
|SUN POWER & GEOTHERMAL||6||41||2006|
|SYNERGY ELECTRICAL ENERGY SYSTEMS||1||8||2004|
|SYNERGY SOLAR & ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS||13||106||2016|
|SYNTOL PLUMBING ELECTRICAL HEATING & AIR||1||7||2016|
|VINCE SIGAL ELECTRIC||2||9||2016|
|WEST COAST SOLAR||4||19||2016|
|WEST COAST SOLAR ENERGY||6||37||2016|
|WESTCOAST SOLAR ENERGY||1||11||2013|
|WESTERN PACIFIC DEVELOPEMENT||1||10||2009|
|WESTERN PACIFIC SOLAR||5||21||2014|
|WESTERN SUN SYSTEMS||1||8||2011|
Solar panel lease companies in Sonoma
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:
|Company||Operates in California ?|
Looking for solar panel cleaning companies in Sonoma?
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.
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 Sonoma
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 Sonoma solar contractors.
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||# Customers||Avg Price (¢/kWh)|
|Aha Macav Power Service||89||8.18|
|Anza Electric Coop Inc||4,338||17.93|
|Bear Valley Electric Service||22,470||27.71|
|City of Alameda||30,811||18.07|
|City of Anaheim - (CA)||111,347||16.52|
|City & County of San Francisco||238||17.00|
|City of Azusa||14,667||13.33|
|City of Banning - (CA)||10,985||20.18|
|City of Burbank Water and Power||46,215||16.51|
|City of Colton - (CA)||16,661||16.16|
|City of Corona - (CA)||986||15.59|
|City of Glendale - (CA)||74,783||19.96|
|City of Healdsburg - (CA)||4,823||17.13|
|City of Lodi - (CA)||21,940||17.48|
|City of Moreno Valley - (CA)||5,576||20.03|
|City of Lompoc - (CA)||13,165||15.55|
|City of Palo Alto - (CA)||25,579||14.28|
|City of Pasadena - (CA)||55,763||18.23|
|City of Redding - (CA)||37,878||16.76|
|City of Riverside - (CA)||97,347||16.12|
|City of Roseville - (CA)||52,181||15.54|
|City of Santa Clara - (CA)||46,859||12.27|
|City of Shasta Lake - (CA)||4,166||17.36|
|City of Ukiah - (CA)||6,449||13.62|
|City of Vernon||73||11.85|
|Imperial Irrigation District||132,632||12.93|
|Lassen Municipal Utility District||9,032||15.70|
|Los Angeles Department of Water & Power||1,329,968||16.65|
|Merced Irrigation District||7,418||16.02|
|Modesto Irrigation District||97,935||17.81|
|Pacific Gas & Electric Co.||3,998,187||21.18|
|Sacramento Municipal Util Dist||552,678||14.06|
|San Diego Gas & Electric Co||1,280,264||22.09|
|Southern California Edison Co||4,362,150||16.60|
|Pittsburg Power Company||348||22.60|
|Plumas-Sierra Rural Elec Coop||6,606||18.58|
|Surprise Valley Electrification||2,825||8.79|
|Truckee Donner P U D||12,237||15.60|
|Turlock Irrigation District||73,393||16.01|
|Valley Electric Assn, Inc||12||13.11|
Historical California electricity prices, 2008 to 2017
The average price of residential electricity in California, over the past ten
15.86 cents per
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
solar reduces or eliminates the effect of electricity price increases.
Historical California electricity prices (cents per kilowatt hour)
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
- 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
In the power generation estimate listed above, The Solar Nerd calculator determined that an unshaded, south-facing 6 kilowatt PV system would generate about 9,912 kWh in an average year.
This means that putting a 6 kW solar panel system on your house would prevent 2,141 kilograms of CO2, 69 grams of SO2, and 3,291 grams of NOx from being emitted into the atmosphere.
The carbon offset of these solar panels would be about equivalent to planting 124 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
CO2 is carbon dioxide and is a primary greenhouse gas.
SO2 is sulphur dioxide. It
human respiratory system and contributes to acid rain.
NOx refers to nitrogen
contribute to smog, acid rain, and lung damage.
Calculate your home solar incentives for Sonoma
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 Sonoma?
Use our free service to find qualified solar contractors and get multiple quotes on a solar panel installation in Buffalo.Home solar quotes in Sonoma
This report was prepared with
data from the good people
National Renewable Energy Laboratory Data, the US Energy Information Administration, and the
Environmental Protection Agency.