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  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

With San Mateo's clear skies and little rainfall, it's an ideal area for families and businesses hoping to harness the additional sunlight by buying panels from one of the best solar installers. If you're thinking about going solar, you might be anxious about expensive upfront costs. By collaborating with a skilled installer, you'll have both the financial and technical support you need for a smooth transition. In this guide, we'll showcase San Mateo's best solar providers and offer suggestions for your company choice, so you can find the perfect 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

10 Best Solar Companies in San Mateo

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.

Featured Partner
SunPower Logo
Top Rated

SunPower

4.8/5

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

Based on 481 reviews


1414 Harbour Way S, Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 260-8200

us.sunpower.com
Owens Electric & Solar Logo

Owens Electric & Solar

4.2/5

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

Based on 27 reviews


279 N Amphlett Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94401

(650) 348-5727

www.owenselectricinc.com
Semper Solaris Logo

Semper Solaris

4.4/5

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

Based on 303 reviews


2505 Amaral Ct, Hayward, CA 94544

(650) 203-2589

www.sempersolaris.com/locations/bay-a...

CivicSolar, Inc

4.4/5

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

Based on 90 reviews


304 12th St #3b, Oakland, CA 94607

(800) 409-2257

www.civicsolar.com
SolarUnion Logo

SolarUnion

4.5/5

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

Based on 132 reviews


1700 Montgomery St Suite 108, San Francisco, CA 94111

(888) 815-6633

www.solarunion.com

GRID Alternatives

4.5/5

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

Based on 23 reviews


1171 Ocean Ave UNIT 200, Oakland, CA 94608

(510) 731-1310

www.gridalternatives.org
Save a Lot Solar Logo

Save a Lot Solar

4.7/5

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

Based on 19 reviews


1201 Tenth St, Berkeley, CA 94706

(833) 876-5272

www.savealotsolar.com
Solar Bill Review Logo

Solar Bill Review

4.7/5

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

Based on 109 reviews


11501 Dublin Blvd STE 200, Dublin, CA 94568

(925) 833-2641

solarbillreview.com
Simply Solar Logo

Simply Solar

4.2/5

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

Based on 19 reviews


4021 Clipper Ct, Fremont, CA 94538

(510) 574-7676

simplysolar.com
Sunlight Electri-Cal Solutions Logo

Sunlight Electri-Cal Solutions

4.7/5

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

Based on 17 reviews


6785 Sierra Ct Suite E, Dublin, CA 94568

(888) 554-6786

sunlightelectricalsolutions.com

Ranking Methodology

Our team has researched dozens of solar contractors near San Mateo, concentrating on the following criteria:

  • Panel quality and brand offerings: The best solar companies stay up-to-date with new technology, providing equipment from innovative, dependable manufacturers.
  • Certifications and credentials: Each provider on our list complies with state and city licensing requirements and stays up to date with industry best practices. Many of them have been a part of the San Mateo community for over 15 years.
  • Educational approach and support: Solar technicians must be knowledgeable. They should tap into their years of experience address your questions on how to care for your system and improve its performance.
  • Customer feedback and reviews: Most San Mateo solar companies have both positive and critical reviews. However, a good review ratio indicates a company's dependability and responsiveness to issues.
  • Service offerings and warranties: Solar installers should stand behind their equipment and services with warranties. We evaluated how each contractor responds to issues and warranty claims, focusing on promptness and customer satisfaction.

Facts about San Mateo

  • Average Max Temperature:
    65°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    7 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    67%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    18,906
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,538
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    91.8%

Benefits of Solar Energy

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

  • Lowered energy bills: You can dodge the premium cost of grid-tied power by producing some electricity at home. Plus, many states offer net metering which can allow you to sell your unused energy back to help pay for your energy bill.
  • Better energy independence: Adding a battery storage system lets you have reliable energy during grid outages and storms.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Using clean solar power lowers your dependence on conventional, less environmentally-friendly sources.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to San Mateo Homeowners?

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

Incentive Amount:

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

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in San Mateo

The more informed your provider search is, the better your solar system will ultimately function. Here are some important factors to remember while searching for a solar installer.

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, HVAC, boilers, and water heaters. 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), one of the solar industry's most reputed trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.

Cost of Solar Panels in San Mateo

Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels cost more than other options, but they generate the most power and generally have the highest quality. Polycrystalline panels produce less power, but start at a more budget-friendly price point. 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 system add-ons, such as battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, will raise your overall installation costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not every solar contractor includes these extras, so look for a provider that sells them if it's essential for you.

Most San Mateo homeowners choose 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 solar cost information in the table.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,348
Solar Polycrystalline$1,052
Thin-Film$615
Solar Battery$863
Solar Home EV Charger$3,236

Financing Solar Energy in San Mateo

Solar companies use multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar leases, solar loans, cash payments and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Most solar experts recommend paying cash 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 solar 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 pay a monthly fee to rent your panels, while a power purchase agreement lets you pay a variable rate based on only the energy you use. We generally advise against these options since you won't own your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be suitable in particular circumstances. We suggest working with a company that offers multiple financing options. Ask each representative about what's available, and get more than one estimate for the best odds of keeping within your financial plan.

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

The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal tax credit for solar panels on the full cost of the solar system, so long as you purchase it before 2032. City and state governments and utilities might also offer their own financing programs, incentives, and rebates that could save you more money.

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 Mateo

Sources

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