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  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

San Luis Obispo residents are purposeful about protecting the environment and embracing sustainability. That's why many people are purchasing panels from the top solar installers for their homes. While embracing solar power comes with upfront costs, local homeowners could ultimately save $1,800 per kilowatt on their electric bills. A professional technician can help you choose the best panels to maximize your savings. In this article, we'll highlight San Luis Obispo's best solar installers and offer tips for your company choice, so you can find the ideal one for your residence.

Best Solar Panel Leasing
Sunrun logo
4.4/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

  • Provides system monitoring
  • Offers diverse financing options for various budgets
  • Provides EV and solar battery solutions
Best Solar Panel Installation
Momentum Solar logo
4.4/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

  • Offers 7 panel brand options
  • 25-year workmanship warranty
  • Offers battery options

6 Best Solar Companies in San Luis Obispo

Brands are algorithmically curated from a database of local service providers near you. We require a minimum number of Google reviews and average ratings for provider inclusion.

Top Rated Provider
California Power - Renewable Energy Logo
Top Rated

California Power - Renewable Energy

4.7/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 15 reviews


140 Seacliff Dr, Pismo Beach, CA 93449

(833) 258-2658

www.californiapower.net

Photon Brothers

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 63 reviews


3566 S Higuera St #310, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

(805) 351-3371

photonbrothers.com/central-coast

Greentech Renewables San Luis Obispo

4/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 16 reviews


1075 Farmhouse Ln, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

(805) 234-9099

www.greentechrenewables.com/location/...
Axiom 360 Logo

Axiom 360

4.7/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 27 reviews


981 Highland Way, Grover Beach, CA 93433

(805) 840-2161

axiom360.com
A.M. Sun Solar & Roofing Logo

A.M. Sun Solar & Roofing

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 116 reviews


410 Sherwood Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446

(805) 772-6786

amsunsolar.com
Planet Oath LLC Logo

Planet Oath LLC

4.4/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 28 reviews


3201 Airpark Dr, Santa Maria, CA 93455

(805) 715-3759

www.planetoath.com

Ranking Methodology

Our team has carefully researched dozens of solar providers near San Luis Obispo, with emphasis on the following criteria:

  • Panel brands and quality: The premier solar companies remain current on new technology, providing equipment from cutting-edge and trustworthy manufacturers.
  • Customer feedback and reviews: Most San Luis Obispo solar providers have both positive and critical reviews. However, a good review ratio indicates a company's reliability and responsiveness to issues.
  • Warranty and service offerings: Solar installers should stand behind their systems and services with warranties. We evaluated how each company responds to issues and warranty claims, focusing on promptness and customer satisfaction.
  • Educational approach: Solar technicians must be knowledgeable. They should tap into their years of experience address your questions on how to care for your system and maximize its performance.
  • Certifications and licenses: Each contractor on our list complies with state and city licensing requirements and stays up to date with industry best practices. Many of them have served the San Luis Obispo community for over 15 years.

Facts about San Luis Obispo

  • Average Max Temperature:
    71°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    7 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    72%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    8,787
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,538
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    98.7%

Benefits of Solar Energy

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

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Solar is a highly abundant clean energy source, meaning you can lower or beat your home's dependence on non-renewable sources.
  • Lower energy bills: Sourcing some or all of your own power will spend less on electricity long-term. Plus, some states provide net metering programs that make it possible for you to sell your unused energy back to the grid, generating extra credits toward your energy bill.
  • Better energy independence: Solar energy can keep your home running through blackouts and emergencies. You can use your solar energy anytime with an optional battery backup system.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to San Luis Obispo Homeowners?

California homeowners who upgrade to solar could qualify for special financing, reimbursements, tax credits and rebates. Here are just a few of the area's incentive programs.

Incentive Amount:

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

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in San Luis Obispo

The purchase price and performance of solar panels often depend on which company installed them. Consider each of these elements in your business search.

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, boilers, HVAC, and photovoltaic (PV) systems. 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 certifications. Two of the most respected are the Solar Heating Installer and PV Installation Professional 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 San Luis Obispo

The type of solar panels you select determines how much electricity you can produce. Monocrystalline panels and high-quality and cost more but give you the best performance. 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 recommended for large residential installations, but they are ideal for small projects like converting RVs and sheds.

You can also add electric vehicle (EV) chargers and battery backup systems. These will increase your total installation cost, but they can maximize your solar system's efficiency. Not every solar contractor includes these optional components, so look for a contractor that sells them if it's crucial for you.

You can expect to pay about $17,350 on average for a five-kilowatt solar energy system in San Luis Obispo. Check the table in this section to get an idea of how much San Luis Obispo solar companies might quote for your specific solar system's price.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,210.71
Solar Polycrystalline$944.36
Thin-Film$552.09
Solar Battery$774.86
Solar Home EV Charger$2,905.71

Financing Solar Energy in San Luis Obispo

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 solar loans, cash payments, power purchase agreements (PPAs) 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 save you from paying interest, grant you system ownership, and qualify you for cost-saving solar 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) allows you to pay a monthly rate based only on the energy you use, akin to an electric bill. We typically don’t recommend these two options because you won't own the system and cannot use solar incentives. Look for providers that offer several 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 San Luis Obispo.

You are eligible for a 26% federal solar tax credit for new solar energy equipment until the year 2032. City and state officials and utility companies might also offer discounts, rebates, and specialized financing options 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

Frequently Asked Questions about Solar in San Luis Obispo

Sources

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