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Best 5 Solar Companies in Merced, CA

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

Merced homeowners enjoy 7,100,000 sunny days each year, making the city a suitable environment for solar power. If you're considering going solar, you might be worried about costly initial investments. By collaborating with a skilled installer, you'll have both the financial and technical support you need for a smooth transition. On this page, we'll showcase Merced's top solar companies and share valuable advice for your solar journey.

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 Merced Solar Companies

APG Solar Logo

APG Solar

4.7/5
Based on 35 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Financing Assistance Skilled Repairs Battery Storage Panel Installation Cleaning And Maintenance

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
  • Informative resources
2750 Spaceport Entry, Atwater, CA 209-358-1468 apgsolar.com
Clear Solar Solutions, Inc Logo

Clear Solar Solutions

4.5/5
Based on 39 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel Installation Solar Panel Upgrades Financing Assistance Battery Storage Off-Grid Solar Systems

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
2200 Maryann Dr, Turlock, CA 209-850-9290 clearsolarsolutions.com
Solar Installation Group, Inc. Logo

Solar Installation Group

4.6/5
Based on 188 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Financing Assistance Panel Installation Consultation Permit Assistance

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
1824 Ackley Cir Suite A, Oakdale, CA 888-508-0558 sig.solar
SunLectric Logo

SunLectric

4.7/5
Based on 24 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Battery Storage Consultation Permit Assistance Cleaning And Maintenance Financing Assistance Panel Installation

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
  • Free quotes
247 S Sierra Ave, Oakdale, CA 209-565-4786 mysolarcontractor.com

More Local Solar Companies

Radius Energy Inc

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

4981 Salida Blvd
Salida, CA 95368

Solar Negotiators

User Reviews: 5/5 

4603 W Jennifer Ave
Fresno, CA 93722

Solarworx

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

13299 Mono Way
Sonora, CA 95370

Solar by Sexton LLC

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

83 S Stewart St suite 209
Sonora, CA 95370

Brighthouse

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

4644 W Jennifer Ave STE 105
Fresno, CA 93722

Supreme Solar & Electric

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

4277 W Richert Ave Suite 109
Fresno, CA 93722

Together Earth

User Reviews: 4.6/5 

5096 N Blythe Ave #115
Fresno, CA 93722

SunMade Energy - Fresno Solar Company and Backup Battery

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

4253 N Valentine Ave
Fresno, CA 93722

GRID Alternatives

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

4140 N Brawley Ave
Fresno, CA 93722

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

Ranking Methodology

We evaluated a multitude of Merced solar installers, using the following criteria to determine the best:

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Facts about Merced
Average Max Temp: 77°F
Solar Payback Period: 6.8 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 70%
Homes Powered by Solar: 16,291
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,437
Solar Power per Capita Percentile: 48.0%

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Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy offers multiple benefits. Let's look at a few of them.

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Solar is one of the universe's most abundant clean energy sources, meaning you can reduce or eliminate your home's dependence on non-renewable sources.
  • Better energy independence: Solar systems with battery backups function through blackouts and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on the power grid for your safety and comfort.
  • Lowered energy bills: With solar panels, you create power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-connected power. Going off-grid can eliminate your bills completely.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Merced Homeowners?

Governments and utility companies often reward homeowners for switching to 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 Merced

Choosing a company is the first step toward an effective and cost-efficient solar system. Here are some essential aspects to keep in mind while searching for a solar provider.

Licensing and Training

California requires solar companies to hold licenses for each type of equipment they install, which can include solar pool heaters, water heaters, photovoltaic (PV) systems, boilers, and HVAC. Contractors must take a highly comprehensive educational series, gain four years of experience as an apprentice or journeyman, and pass written exams to secure a license. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private accreditations. Two of the most recognized are the PV Installation Professional and Solar Heating Installer certificates, granted by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Some companies don't publish this information online, so you should also ask your estimator about them.

Cost of Solar Panels in Merced

Your solar panels' type will influence how much energy you can generate. Monocrystalline panels cost the most but perform the best. Polycrystalline panels offer you a budget panel with a traditional design, but at the cost of less power generation. Thin-film panels are excellent for non-traditional roof shapes and cost the least, but don't work well for large residential installations.

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

A majority of Merced homeowners select solar systems designed for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems cost about $17,350 to install, considering both parts and installation. You can see more specific cost information in the table.

Solar Panel Cost Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,129
Solar Polycrystalline $881
Thin-Film $515
Solar Battery $723
Solar Home EV Charger $2,710

Financing Solar Energy in Merced

Solar installers offer multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are power purchase agreements (PPAs), cash payments, solar loans and solar leases. Most solar experts recommend a cash payment or using a solar loan. Cash payments require a large up-front sum, but they help you avoid paying interest, grant you system ownership, and qualify you for cost-saving incentives. Solar loans have the same benefits, though you'll pay more in total due to interest and fees. Like a home or auto loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with potentially $0 down. Solar leases involve paying a set monthly rate to use rooftop panels. A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) lets you pay a monthly rate based only on the energy you use, similar to an electric bill. We usually don’t recommend these two options because you won't own the solar system and are disqualified from using solar incentives. Look for contractors that offer two or more payment plans to find the right fit for your financial needs.

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

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

Solar System Capacity Estimated Payback period
1 kW 1.4 years
2 kW 2.7 years
5 kW 6.8 years
10 kW 13.7 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Merced

How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?

On average, Merced homeowners shell out approximately $1,437 per year for energy. Once you pay off your solar array, you could reduce your costs by $1,712.29 for every kilowatt you produce.

Is solar energy widely available in Merced?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in Merced. A growing number of area homes generate or access solar power on-site or through utility grids, and California has about 74255 jobs comprising its solar economy.

Will a solar PV system boost my Merced home worth?

Yes, new solar systems mean higher property values according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL.) Homeowners could project a $20 property value increase for each dollar they save on energy. Therefore, $600 in energy savings could increase your home's value by $12,000.

What if I live in a dark or gloomy

Even if you reside in one of Merced's few dark areas, you could still benefit from solar energy. Your provider will optimize your system's performance by selecting the proper site for panels, installing a battery backup system, positioning them to capture the most sunlight throughout the year, and cleaning them regularly. This way, you can store solar power and use it as necessary.

How can I determine my home's solar suitability?

To determine your home's solar readiness, there's no substitute for a comprehensive estimate from a local solar provider. However, you can use the PVWatts tool for a simple solar viability prediction based on public data, including tree cover, system size, panel efficiency, and local weather and topography.

What is the average payback period for Merced solar panels?

The average payback period for a solar loan in Merced is 7.1 years. By paying off extra principal each month, you can shorten the payback period and own your system faster.

How can I maximize my solar system's performance?

To enhance your solar system's performance, you can use the following steps:
  • optimize the panels' position with your solar installer
  • regularly clean your solar panels
  • upgrade to a more efficient inverter trim or cut down trees in the way of your panels
  • use energy-efficient appliances

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

Sources