Los Angeles is an amazing, lively city, famous for its great climate, vibrant life, and Hollywood scene. What is maybe less known is that Los Angeles is one of the best cities in the USA for solar energy. Let’s see what makes it so good for installing solar panels, what can you expect to pay, and which companies to choose.
This article will cover
- Solar System Installation Costs In Los Angeles
- Incentives, Tax Credits, & Rebates For Solar Panels In Los Angeles
- What To Look At When Installing Solar Panels In Los Angeles
- Top 7 Solar Companies In Los Angeles
Solar System Installation Costs In Los Angeles
Los Angeles is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, so it’s no wonder that it is also not particularly cheap when it comes to the installation of solar panels.
Solar energy is sold and installed on a price-per-watt basis. The price of one watt of solar energy in Los Angeles ranges from $2.9 to $3.7, with the average price being around $3.3. We will explore the implications of these costs for your property below.
|System size||Area it covers||System cost before ITC|
|1 kW||90 sq. ft.||$3,366|
|2 kW||180 sq. ft.||$6,732|
|3 kW||270 sq. ft.||$9,900|
|4 kW||360 sq. ft.||$13,284|
|5 kW||450 sq. ft.||$16,500|
|6 kW||540 sq. ft.||$19,800|
|7 kW||630 sq. ft.||$23,532|
|8 kW||720 sq. ft.||$26,880|
|9 kW||810 sq. ft.||$30,264|
|10 kW||900 sq. ft.||$33,600|
The final price of the installation of your solar system will largely depend on the size of the area that you want to cover with solar panels. Depending on your electricity needs, you can consider installing smaller panels as they can also save you some money long-term.
Further differences in cost come from the quality of the material used, the company that you choose to do this job, and whether you want to install residential or commercial solar panels.
The material is something that you should not be stingy about – the better the quality of the material the longer your solar panels will last, and their lifespan should be at least 25 years. Commercial panels are usually cheaper than residential ones as they are a bit more efficient in producing energy.
If all of this seems too expensive, keep reading! There are perks and incentives that you can use to largely reduce the cost of your solar system. The prices shown in the table above are before the cost reduction.
Incentives, Tax Credits, & Rebates For Solar Panels In Los Angeles
The biggest statewide incentive that you can use when installing solar panels in Los Angeles is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This program allows you to reduce the cost of your system by 30%!
If you decide to install your solar panels in 2033 that amount will be reduced to 26%, and it will not be available when 2035 begins. If you were hesitating, you should hurry up and make sure to take advantage of this great incentive. Here is the average expected cost of solar systems when ITC is taken into account.
|System Size||Area it Covers||System Cost before ITC|
|1 kW||90 sq. ft.||$2,357|
|2 kW||180 sq. ft.||$4,712|
|3 kW||270 sq. ft.||$6,930|
|4 kW||360 sq. ft.||$9,298|
|5 kW||450 sq. ft.||$11,550|
|6 kW||540 sq. ft.||$13,860|
|7 kW||630 sq. ft.||$16,472|
|8 kW||720 sq. ft.||$18,816|
|9 kW||810 sq. ft.||$21,185|
|10 kW||900 sq. ft.||$23,520|
As you can see, the price can be reduced by thousands and thousands of dollars, so it is best to use the ITC while it lasts. In order to qualify, you need to own your home and to own the solar system that you want to install – no rents are able to qualify.
Another great advantage of going solar is the amount of money you can save by not paying electricity bills. Since Los Angeles is an expensive city, this amount is far from negligible. The average electricity bill in LA is around 130$.
This means that, during the average lifespan of solar panels of 25 years, you can save about $31,000! If your electricity bill is higher than the average, this amount can go up by 10 or even 20 thousand dollars.
If you install solar panels on your home, you are exempt from paying the tax you would usually pay for the increased value of the property. This means that your house will be more expensive (by up to $20,000), but you will not have to pay anything.
Finally, the net metering program in California allows you to earn credits whenever your solar panels produce more power than you use. Any excess power is sent back to the grid and you can get paid for it.
What To Look At When Installing Solar Panels In Los Angeles
There are some things that you should be aware of when installing solar panels. Most of it will be taken care of by a company that specializes in solar systems, but it is always good to know a few things yourself.
As the name itself says, solar panels are powered by the sun. This means that there are a lot of sunny, clear days needed in order to max out their efficiency. Los Angeles has a Mediterranean climate – it is hot and dry almost throughout the whole year.
LA averages 284 sunny days and only 36 days with precipitation per year. Peak hours are the number of hours when the sun is at its highest point and radiates the most energy.
Peak solar hours usually occur between noon and early afternoon, and at least four peak hours are needed per day for the solar panels to function properly. Los Angeles gets up to seven of them, making it a perfect city for solar systems.
The solar panels in Los Angeles should be directed to the south. The optimal angle for fixed solar panels is 19 degrees, but if you want to maximize the solar potential of your solar system, you may want to think about changing their angle as the seasons change.
This is because the sun is positioned higher during summer and lower during the winter months. For maximum efficiency, your solar panels should be positioned at around 55 degrees during the spring, 80 degrees during the summer, 30 degrees in winter, and then back to 55 degrees in autumn.
Keep in mind that changing the position of solar panels is not an easy task unless you have solar trackers installed. On the other hand, solar trackers increase the cost of your solar installation by a lot. Therefore, they are usually not worth it, especially in a city that gets so many sunny days per year and peak hours per day.
Top 7 Solar Companies In Los Angeles
LA Solar Group has been working on helping people switch to clean energy since 2011. They are an award-winning company with professional and dedicated staff. They offer a 25-year guarantee on labor, inverter, and roof. You can also choose your preferred equipment manufacturer.
Location: 16238 Raymer Avenue Suite B, Los Angeles, CA 91406
Gimenergy is a company that provides residential and commercial products, including solar panels, heating, and air conditioning. They are an EPC contractor, which means that you won’t have to worry about any step of the process. They offer a battery storage option as well.
Location: 3108 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039
This company has more than forty years of experience in solar energy. They serve both businesses and homeowners. Solar Energy Builders guarantee the best price, 24/7 monitoring, and system warranty. They have multiple financing options so you can choose the one that fits you the most.
Location: 65 Enterprise, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Treepublic is an LA-based company that provides solar panels, solar inverters, racking and mounting, energy storage, and EV charging services. They guarantee 30-day solar installation, zero down financing, and 25-year warranties on their products. You can book a 1-hour free energy consultation on their website.
Location: 3521 Jack Northrop Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250
American Solar Power has been in the business for more than a decade, since 2009. They are a full-service contractor, which means that you won’t have to look for another contractor for any part of the process. They offer commercial, residential, and carport services.
Location: 2000 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90065
This company offers its services every step of the way. First, you get a free online or face-to-face consultation. Then, they take care of obtaining permits for your property, design, and installation. Finally, they perform regular inspections and operations to ensure that everything works properly.
Location: 4474 Lovett St, Commerce, CA 90040
7. Forme Solar
Forme Solar is a Los Angeles company where you can get a free consultation before starting the process and they claim to be able to complete the solar installation in less than four hours. You can get commercial and residential solar, as well as roofing, battery, EV charger, and solar removal.
Location: 1211 E La Habra Blvd Suite A, La Habra, CA 90631
Los Angeles is a place where you have a good opportunity to benefit from installing solar panels, given its sunny, dry, and almost year-round clear weather. Moreover, the initial cost remains relatively low as long as the ITC program is in effect. If you ever hesitated to install solar panels in Los Angeles, now is the perfect time to make that decision.