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  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

With Santa Barbara's clear skies and little rainfall, it's an ideal area for homeowners and businesses hoping to harness the additional sunlight by buying panels from one of the best solar installers. With all the options to choose from in this vibrant community, you might feel swamped searching for a great company. Discover Santa Barbara's best solar companies and learn important decision-making tips on this page.

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 Santa Barbara

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
Brighten Solar Co. Logo
Top Rated

Brighten Solar Co.

4.6/5

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

Based on 70 reviews


5380 Overpass Rd B, Santa Barbara, CA 93111

(805) 708-3654

brightensolarco.com
Codella Solar & Associates Logo

Codella Solar & Associates

4.7/5

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

Based on 17 reviews


2300 Alessandro Dr #106, Ventura, CA 93001

(805) 648-7867

www.codellasolar.com
Coastal Solar Logo

Coastal Solar

4.5/5

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

Based on 51 reviews


4526 Telephone Rd UNIT 205, Ventura, CA 93003

(805) 246-1330

coastalsolarventura.com
United Electric, Solar & Plumbing Logo

United Electric, Solar & Plumbing

4.6/5

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

Based on 43 reviews


399 N Aviador St, Camarillo, CA 93010

(805) 650-8658

www.venturaelectricians.com

KOTA Energy Group

4.3/5

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

Based on 141 reviews


1200 Lawrence Dr Suite 180, Newbury Park, CA 91320

(855) 800-5682

www.kotaenergygroup.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 used the following criteria to assess the best Santa Barbara solar companies.

  • Warranty and service offerings: Solar providers should stand behind their products and services with warranties. We evaluated how each contractor responds to issues and warranty claims, focusing on promptness and customer satisfaction.
  • Customer feedback and reviews: Most Santa Barbara solar installers have both favorable and unfavorable reviews. However, a good review ratio reflects a company's trustworthiness and responsiveness to issues.
  • Educational approach and support: Solar technicians must be good teachers. They should utilize their years of experience address your questions on how to care for your system and improve its performance.
  • Panel brands and quality: The top solar companies stay up-to-date with new technology, offering equipment from reliable, innovative manufacturers.
  • Certifications and licenses: Each contractor on our list meets state and city licensing requirements and stays up to date with industry best practices. Many of them have been a part of the Santa Barbara community for more than a decade.

Facts about Santa Barbara

  • Average Max Temperature:
    70°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    8 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    73%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    16,664
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,239
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    92.9%

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy provides multiple advantages. Let's look at a few of them.

  • Better energy independence: Photovoltaic solar panel systems with battery backups and storage systems work through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to depend on the electrical grid for your safety and comfort.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Solar is a highly abundant clean energy source, meaning you can minimize or conquer your home's dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Lowered energy bills: With a solar array, you generate power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-tied power. Going off-grid can eliminate your bills completely. Plus, a significant amount of states have adopted net metering, which permit you to earn money by selling your unused energy back to the grid.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Santa Barbara Homeowners?

California homeowners who decide on solar could qualify for reimbursements, rebates, tax credits and special financing. 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 Santa Barbara

The purchase price and performance of solar panels often rely on the solar company that mounted them. Consider all of these aspects in your service provider search.

Licensing and Training

California requires solar companies to hold licenses for each type of equipment they install, which can include solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, water heaters, pool heaters, 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. Solar companies can also obtain certificates from trade groups and standards organizations. The most respected ones in the industry come from the NABCEP. Most company websites will prominently display earned credentials, but you should also ask your estimator for more information.

Cost of Solar Panels in Santa Barbara

The kind of solar panels you choose determines how much electricity you can produce. Monocrystalline panels and high-quality and give you the best performance but cost more upfront. Polycrystalline panels work with a tried-and-true mechanism and cost less, but produce less power. Thin-film panels aren't recommended for large residential installations, but they are ideal for small projects like converting RVs and sheds.

If you'd like to charge an electric vehicle (EV) or use your solar power in inclement weather, you can pay extra for accessories. By selecting the right components, you can make your panel array more effective and convenient to use. Not all solar companies provide these additional features, so look for a contractor that sells them if it's a priority for you.

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

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,164.64
Solar Polycrystalline$908.42
Thin-Film$531.08
Solar Battery$745.37
Solar Home EV Charger$2,795.14

Financing Solar Energy in Santa Barbara

Choosing the correct financing option will affect your overall solar system cost and expected savings. Common payment options include power purchase agreements, cash payments, leases, and loans. 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 solar incentives. Solar loans have the same benefits, though you'll pay more in total due to interest and fees. Like a car or home loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with as little as $0 down. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly rate to rent your panels, while a PPA lets you pay a fluctuating rate based on only the energy you use. We generally don't recommend these options since you will not have ownership of your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be appropriate in specific circumstances. We recommend working with a provider that offers multiple financing options. Talk to each representative about what's available, and get more than one estimate for the best odds of keeping within your budget.

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

You are eligible for a 26% federal solar tax credit for new solar energy devices until the year 2032. Municipal and state governments 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 Santa Barbara

Sources

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