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Best 5 Solar Companies in Lake Forest, CA

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Written By Max Peterson|Last Updated: February 05, 2024

Lake Forest homeowners are increasingly using solar panels to generate energy and heat their water. While embracing solar power comes with upfront costs, local homeowners could ultimately save $1,400 per kilowatt on their electric bills. A professional installer can help you select the best panels to maximize your savings. Discover Lake Forest's best solar companies and learn important decision-making strategies on this page.

Best High-Efficiency System
4.8
  • Builds custom, high-efficiency solar systems suited to each home
  • Extensive coverage area throughout the country
  • Offers energy storage and EV charger add-ons
Best Solar Panel Leasing
4.4
  • Provides system monitoring
  • Offers diverse financing options for various budgets
  • Provides EV and solar battery solutions
Best Solar Panel Installation
4.4
  • Offers 7 panel brand options
  • 25-year workmanship warranty
  • Offers battery options

Top Lake Forest Solar Companies

SunPower by True Power Solar Logo

SunPower by True Power Solar

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4.1/5
Based on 21 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Cleaning And MaintenancePanel Installation

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
201 Clark Ave, Pomona, CA 714-676-8888 truepowersolar.com
SunPower by Sea Bright Solar Logo

SunPower by Sea Bright Solar

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4.5/5
Based on 125 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel InstallationBattery StorageFinancing AssistanceConsultation

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
  • Free quotes
1785 Industrial Park Ave Building A, Redlands, CA 909-347-5451 seabrightsolar.com
SYNRG Solar - Home Energy Solutions Logo

SYNRG Solar - Home Energy Solutions

4.7/5
Based on 33 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel InstallationConsultation

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
333 Chaumont Cir, Foothill Ranch, CA 949-742-1680 synrgsolar.com
SunSolar U.S. Logo

SunSolar U.S.

4.7/5
Based on 46 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Permit AssistanceFinancing AssistanceConsultationBattery StorageSolar CarportsPanel Installation

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
  • Prompt service delivery
16755 Von Karman Ave Suite 200, Irvine, CA 949-242-0088 sunsolarus.com

More Local Solar Companies

Renew Earth Solar

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

895 Dove St #300
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Suntrek Solar

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

5 Holland STE 215
Irvine, CA 92618

OC Solar

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

220 Progress #150
Irvine, CA 92618

Sun Synergy Consulting, Inc. SunPower Authorized Company.

User Reviews: 4.3/5 

200 Spectrum Center Dr STE 300
Irvine, CA 92618

Altair Solar

User Reviews: 4.3/5 

12 Mauchly Unit B
Irvine, CA 92618

Semper Solaris

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

1701 E Edinger Ave Suite H1
Santa Ana, CA 92705

Sullivan Solar Power

User Reviews: 4.2/5 

16 Technology Dr Suite 122
Irvine, CA 92618

SunGrid Solar

User Reviews: 4.3/5 

18271 W McDurmott Suite E
Irvine, CA 92614

REPOWER OC

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

2942 Century Pl Suite 760
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

Ranking Methodology

We analyzed a multitude of Lake Forest solar installers, using the following criteria to select the superior:

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Facts about Lake Forest
Average Max Temp:70°F
Solar Payback Period:6.8 years
Average Daily Sunlight:71%
Homes Powered by Solar:15,754
Average Annual Energy Bill:$1,422
Solar Power per Capita Percentile:48.0%

Expert Tips By

This Old House empowers homeowners with the knowledge and tools they need to tackle various projects and navigate the complexities of homeownership.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy offers several advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Lower energy bills: Generating some or all of your own electricity will cut power costs long-term.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Utilizing solar is a surefire way to lower your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
  • Better energy independence: Adding a battery storage system lets you have dependable energy during grid outages and storms.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Lake Forest Homeowners?

Governments and power companies often reward homeowners for embracing solar. Here are some of the tax credits, rebates, or other programs you could qualify for.

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Website: boe.ca.gov

Incentive Amount:

100% of system value; 75% of system value exemption for dual-use equipment

Incentive Type: PACE Financing

Website: wrcog.us

Incentive Amount:

Eligible products can be financed for up to 25 years, depending on the useful life of the eligible product.
Minimum financing: $5,000
The financing may not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the market value of the property, up to the first seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) of the property’s market value, and ten percent (10%) of the remaining value of the Property above seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) minus any PACE assessment on the propertyThe total amount of any annual property taxes and assessments shall not exceed five percent (5%) of the property's fair market value, determined at the time program financing is approved.

Incentive Type: PACE Financing

Incentive Amount:

Locally determined

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: selfgenca.com

Incentive Amount:

For projects 30 kW or larger, 50% of incentive will be received up-front; 50% will be received based on actual kWh production over the first 5 years. For projects under 30kW, 100% of the incentive will be paid up front.
Incentives will step down over time. See below for incentive amounts.

Incentive Type: Feed-in Tariff

Website: cpuc.ca.gov

Incentive Type: Feed-in Tariff

Website: ladwp.com

Incentive Amount:

$0.17/kWh adjusted by a time of delivery multiplier
Base price will step down over time as certain MW goals are met

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov

Incentive Amount:

Step 1 Incentive Rates (contact utility to determine current incentive levels):
Single Family Residential Incentives:
Systems that displace natural gas: $29.85 per estimated therm displaced
Systems that displace electricity or propane: Funding has been exhausted
Commercial/Multifamily Incentives:
Systems that displace natural gas: $20.19 per estimated therm displaced
Systems that displace electricity or propane: $0.42 per estimated kWh displaced *** Note, funding has been exhausted in this category for SCE and PG&E
Solar Pool heating: $5.00 per estimated therm displaced

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit

Website: ecowatch.com

Incentive Amount:

30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Lake Forest

The price and efficiency of solar panels often depend on which company installed them. Make your choice based on the following crucial aspects.

Licensing and Training

California requires solar companies to hold licenses for each type of equipment they install, which can include solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, pool heaters, boilers, HVAC, and water heaters. Contractors must complete a highly comprehensive educational series, gain four years of experience as an apprentice or journeyman, and pass written exams to earn licensure. Solar companies can also earn certificates from trade groups and standards organizations. The most prestigious ones in the industry come from the NABCEP. Most company websites will prominently display earned credentials, but you should also ask your estimator for more information.

Cost of Solar Panels in Lake Forest

The kind of solar panels you choose determines how much power you can generate. Monocrystalline panels give you the best performance but cost more upfront. Polycrystalline panels produce less power, but they're worth it if you want a traditional panel style without the high cost. Thin-film panels aren't meant for large home installations, but they're excellent for small projects like sheds and RVs.

Additional system add-ons, such as battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, will add to your overall costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not every solar company provides these additional features, so look for a provider that installs them if it's important for you.

You can expect to pay about $17,350 on average for a five-kilowatt solar energy system in Lake Forest. Use the table in this section to get an idea of how much Lake Forest solar companies might quote for your specific system.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,235
Solar Polycrystalline$963
Thin-Film$563
Solar Battery$790
Solar Home EV Charger$2,964

Financing Solar Energy in Lake Forest

Solar contractors use multiple different financing options to lower your costs and increase your savings. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar loans, cash payments, solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Though it requires a large up-front payment, cash is the most economical choice because it qualifies you for solar incentives and doesn't accrue interest. Solar loans are the next best option. As with a car loan or mortgage, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for money-saving solar incentives, and depending on your lender, you could put as little as $0 down. Solar leases let you rent your panels for a fixed monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay just for the energy you use, much like an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and don't grant you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. Look for installers that offer two or more payment plans to find the right fit for your wallet.

The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Lake Forest.

You are eligible for a 26% federal tax credit for new solar power systems until the year 2032. Local and state governments and utility companies might also offer rebates, discounts, and dedicated financing plans that could save you more.

Solar System CapacityEstimated Payback period
1 kW1.4 years
2 kW2.7 years
5 kW6.8 years
10 kW13.7 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Lake Forest

How much money could I save by going solar in Lake Forest?

Most Lake Forest homeowners spend about $1,422 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $1,409.19 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.

Is solar energy easily accessible in Lake Forest?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in Lake Forest. A growing number of area homes already use solar power on-site or through utility grids, and California has about 74255 jobs making up its solar economy.

Will solar panels improve my Lake Forest home price?

Yes, solar panels will increase your property value. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for every dollar you reduce on energy bills, your home value rises by $20. So, if your panels save you $600 per year on energy costs, your property could appreciate $12,000.

Could I still use solar power if I live in a wooded, dark, or rainy area?

Even if your property has high tree cover, you could still use solar energy. Your provider will maximize your system's performance by selecting the proper site for panels, positioning them to capture the most sunlight throughout the year, installing a battery backup system, and cleaning them regularly. This way, you can keep solar energy longer and utilize it as necessary.

How long does a common solar system last?

Today's solar systems are incredibly durable, lasting up to 25 years. Monocrystalline options and other high-end models tend to live longer than cheaper models.

How do I care for my new solar system?

To protect your solar system's efficiency, inspections and cleanings every six months are usually adequate. In dry or dusty seasons, your panels might need cleanings every few months. Your provider can recommend a maintenance schedule. Its team could also handle the cleaning for you.

How does "net metering" work, and do I need to participate?

Most utilities and states administrate net metering programs, and some mandate homeowners to join. Once you enroll, you can get a check or bill credit for any surplus electricity you generate and send to the grid. Generally, power companies compensate solar homeowners at an "avoided-cost" or wholesale rate.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

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