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Best 5 Solar Companies in Palo Alto, CA

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

Palo Alto residents are intentional about protecting the environment and living greener lifestyles. That includes embracing alternative energy sources like solar. Solar contractors take a distinctively educational approach, helping homeowners understand the underlying technology and tune it to their requirements. Discover Palo Alto's top-rated solar companies and learn essential 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 Palo Alto Solar Companies

Simply Solar Logo

Simply Solar

4.3/5
Based on 17 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Battery StoragePermit AssistanceConsultationPanel Installation

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
  • Informative resources
4021 Clipper Ct, Fremont, CA 510-574-7676 simplysolar.com
Semper Solaris Logo

Semper Solaris

4.5/5
Based on 295 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Battery StorageFinancing AssistancePanel InstallationConsultationSkilled Repairs

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
2505 Amaral Ct, Hayward, CA 650-203-2589 sempersolaris.com
Soleeva Logo

Soleeva

4.5/5
Based on 36 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Cleaning And MaintenanceBattery StorageFinancing AssistancePanel Installation

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
1918 Junction Ave, San Jose, CA 833-820-8080 soleeva.com
TN Electrical and Solar Services Logo

TN Electrical and Solar Services

4.7/5
Based on 46 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel InstallationGrid-Tied Solar SystemBattery StorageConsultationSolar Panel UpgradesCleaning And Maintenance

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
1150 Murphy Ave #240, San Jose, CA 408-229-3632 tnsolars.com

More Local Solar Companies

Highlight Solar

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

1624 Remuda Ln
San Jose, CA 95112

Clean Solar

User Reviews: 4.4/5 

1445 Koll Cir
San Jose, CA 95112

Owens Electric & Solar

User Reviews: 4.2/5 

279 N Amphlett Blvd
San Mateo, CA 94401

Bright World

User Reviews: 4.3/5 

1620 E, Oakland Rd Suite 107
San Jose, CA 95131

Infinium Solar, Inc.

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

1190 Dell Ave ste o
Campbell, CA 95008

Cinnamon Energy Systems

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

809 University Ave
Los Gatos, CA 95032

NRG Clean Power

User Reviews: 4.0/5 

75 E Santa Clara St
San Jose, CA 95113

Solar Bill Review

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

11501 Dublin Blvd STE 200
Dublin, CA 94568

Sunternal

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

5671 Santa Teresa Blvd #105
San Jose, CA 95123

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

Ranking Methodology

Our team used the following criteria to determine the best Palo Alto solar companies.

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Facts about Palo Alto
Average Max Temp:71°F
Solar Payback Period:6.8 years
Average Daily Sunlight:69%
Homes Powered by Solar:12,371
Average Annual Energy Bill:$1,479
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 multiple perks. Let's look at a few of them.

  • Better energy independence: Adding a battery backup lets you have dependable energy during grid outages and storms.
  • Lowered energy bills: Solar panels allow you to generate your own energy to power your home, decreasing your regular electricity costs. Going off-grid can eliminate your bills completely.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Using clean solar power reduces your dependence on fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases that damage the environment.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Palo Alto Homeowners?

Governments and utilities often reward homeowners for going solar. Here are some of the rebates, tax credits 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: Leasing Program

Website: santaclaraca.gov

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: cityofpaloalto.org

Incentive Amount:

Single-family residential gas-displacing systems: $18.59 per therm displaced
Single-family residential electricity or propane-displacing systems: $0.54 per kWh displaced
Multifamily and Commercial gas-displacing systems: $14.53 per therm displaced
Multifamily and Commercial electricity or propane-displacing systems: $0.42 per kWh displaced
Low-Income Multifamily gas-displacing systems: $19.23/therm displaced
Low-Income Multifamily Electric or Propane Displacing systems: $0.56/kWh 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 Palo Alto

The price and effectiveness of solar panels often hinge on the provider that installed them. Make your choice based on the following essential elements.

Licensing and Training

California requires solar companies to hold licenses for each type of equipment they install, which can include solar water heaters, pool heaters, HVAC, photovoltaic (PV) systems, and boilers. Contractors must take a highly comprehensive educational series, gain four years of field experience, and pass written exams to earn a license. Check a company's website for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), among the solar sector's most respected trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.

Cost of Solar Panels in Palo Alto

Your solar modules' model will affect how much electricity you can produce. Monocrystalline panels cost the most but perform the best. Polycrystalline panels generate less, but they're a great traditional option for low budgets. 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 all solar contractors include these add-ons, so look for a company that installs them if it's essential for you.

A majority of Palo Alto homeowners choose solar systems rated 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 CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,961
Solar Polycrystalline$1,530
Thin-Film$894
Solar Battery$1,255
Solar Home EV Charger$4,707

Financing Solar Energy in Palo Alto

Solar installers use 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), solar leases, solar loans and cash payments. Most solar experts recommend paying cash or using a solar loan. Cash payments demand a large up-front sum, but they save you from 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. Similar to a car or home loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with potentially $0 down. Solar leases allow you to use your panels for a fixed monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay only 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 multiple 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 Palo Alto.

A 26% federal tax credit applies to new residential solar equipment purchased through 2032. Further incentives may be available through local governments, usually in the form of rebates and special financing programs.

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 Palo Alto

How much money could I save by going solar in Palo Alto?

On average, Palo Alto homeowners pay approximately $1,479 per year on electric bills. Once you repay your solar array, you could save $1,623.19 for every kilowatt you produce.

How widespread is solar energy in Palo Alto?

Yes, solar energy is reaching new heights in Palo Alto. Some homes already use solar power on-site or through utility grids, and they're fortified by a state solar economy with 74255 jobs and counting.

Should I anticipate a property value increase after adopting solar power?

Yes, new solar systems translate to 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 boost your property value by $12,000.

How do I care for my new solar system?

Solar panels don't require much maintenance to keep working properly. All you'll need to do is clean and inspect the panels every six months or as necessary in dusty seasons. Solar installers frequently offer maintenance packages to assist in your system's care.

What size should my new Palo Alto solar system be?

A typical Palo Alto solar home utilizes a 3.0-kW panel array, but you might need a smaller system if your energy needs are higher. Solar contractors will consider your property's energy consumption and roof shading to suggest the appropriate system for you.

How long does it take to pay back a solar loan in Palo Alto?

Most Palo Alto homeowners pay back a solar loan in 7.5 years. You can shorten the payback period by paying off extra loan principal each month.

How can I maximize my solar array's performance?

To enhance your solar system's performance, you can use the following strategies:
  • 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.

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