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Best 5 Solar Companies in Salinas, CA

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

Salinas homeowners are increasingly using solar panels to generate energy and heat their water. With all the options to choose from in this urban jungle, you might feel burnt out searching for an excellent installer. On this page, we'll highlight Salinas' best solar installers and give 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 Salinas Solar Companies

Premo Solar Logo

Premo Solar

4.5/5
Based on 15 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Tesla Powerwall Consultation Panel Installation Financing Assistance Battery Storage

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
11520 Commercial Pkwy Suite A, Castroville, CA 831-215-5443 premosolar.com
Monarch Home Services (Salinas) Logo

Monarch Home Services (Salinas)

4.5/5
Based on 133 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Skilled Repairs Panel Installation Cleaning And Maintenance Financing Assistance

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
  • Clear pricing policy
485 Victor Way Number 12, Salinas, CA 831-278-4940 monarchhomeexperts.com
Nomadic Solar Logo

Nomadic Solar

4.6/5
Based on 26 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Battery Storage Solar Panel Upgrades Panel Installation

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
  • Informative resources
1146 Soquel Ave #4203, Santa Cruz, CA 831-222-0119 mynomadicsolar.com
Allterra Solar Logo

Allterra Solar

4.6/5
Based on 61 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Battery Storage Tesla Powerwall Consultation Panel Installation Financing Assistance

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
125-B Mcpherson St, Santa Cruz, CA 831-425-2608 allterrasolar.com

More Local Solar Companies

Sandbar Solar & Electric

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

2656 Mission St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Solar Electric Supply, Inc.

User Reviews: 4.4/5 

108 Whispering Pines Dr #235
Scotts Valley, CA 95066

Sunternal

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

5671 Santa Teresa Blvd #105
San Jose, CA 95123

Cinnamon Energy Systems

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

809 University Ave
Los Gatos, CA 95032

Infinium Solar, Inc.

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

1190 Dell Ave ste o
Campbell, CA 95008

Semper Solaris

User Reviews: 4.3/5 

180 E Sunnyoaks Ave Bldg 2
Campbell, CA 95008

TN Electrical and Solar Services

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

1150 Murphy Ave #240
San Jose, CA 95131

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

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 has researched dozens of solar providers near Salinas, keeping in mind the following criteria:

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Facts about Salinas
Average Max Temp: 70°F
Solar Payback Period: 6.8 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 71%
Homes Powered by Solar: 28,593
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,538
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 advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Using clean solar power means you're less dependent on fossil fuels, which emit harmful greenhouse gasses.
  • Better energy independence: Adding a battery storage system lets you have trustworthy energy during grid outages and storms.
  • Lowered energy bills: You can avoid the added cost of grid-tied power by producing some electricity right where you use it.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Salinas Homeowners?

Governments and power companies often reward homeowners for switching to 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: 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 Salinas

The cost and efficacy of solar panels often depend on the solar company that installed them. Consider all of these factors in your company search.

Licensing and Training

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

Cost of Solar Panels in Salinas

Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels cost more than other options, but they generate the most power. Polycrystalline panels provide a lower price point but produce less power. Thin-film panels work well for small projects like RVs and sheds, but they're not ideal for larger installations due to their low performance.

Additional accessories, 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 contractor offers these additional features, so look for a contractor that installs them if it's essential for you.

Most Salinas homeowners select solar systems designed for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems run about $17,350 to set up, considering both materials and labor. You can find more specific cost information in the table.

Solar Panel Cost Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,170
Solar Polycrystalline $913
Thin-Film $534
Solar Battery $749
Solar Home EV Charger $2,809

Financing Solar Energy in Salinas

Solar contractors offer multiple different financing options to lower your costs and increase your savings. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are cash payments, power purchase agreements (PPAs), solar loans and solar leases. Most solar experts recommend a cash payment 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. Much like an auto or home 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, like an electric bill. We generally don’t recommend these two choices because you won't own the panels and cannot use solar incentives. Look for installers that offer multiple 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 Salinas.

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

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 Salinas

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

On average, Salinas homeowners shell out roughly $1,538 per year on electric bills. Once you repay your solar array, you could save $1,814.45 per kilowatt you produce.

Is solar energy widely available in Salinas?

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

Should I expect a property value increase after switching to solar energy?

Yes, new solar systems lead 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.

What if I live in a rainy or heavily-wooded

Solar panels could still work well in bad weather. Your provider will orient your panels to capture the most sunlight possible. They might also recommend a backup battery to keep your system working at its best.

How long does the photovoltaic installation process last?

There's no universal answer for how long a solar project might take. Ultimately, it depends on the permitting and inspection process, panel style, system size, the necessary prework, and local weather. Many homeowners can be solar-ready within two months from their initial estimate visit.

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

The average payback period for a solar loan in Salinas is 6.7 years. By paying off extra principal each month, you can shorten the payback period and own your system faster.

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

Net metering is a system that credits solar homeowners for any excess electricity they generate and feed back to the grid.

Some states or power companies oblige you to join net metering when purchasing your solar system, while others give you a choice. Either way, once you sign up, you'll receive a check or bill credit for your excess generation at a retail or wholesale rate.

What are some "red flags" to watch for as I research companies?

Even the most esteemed Salinas solar companies will have both favorable and negative reviews. To make the most informed decision possible, focus on these indicators to know if a company isn't worth your time:
  • Pushy sales approach
  • Not being straightforward about warranties, cost, training and credentials and references
  • Inflexible options
  • Not thoroughly inspecting your site
  • Limited online information

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

Sources