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Best 10 Solar Companies in Santa Cruz, CA

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  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

Santa Cruz homeowners are increasingly using solar panels to produce their electricity and heat their water. While switching to solar energy comes with upfront costs, local homeowners could ultimately save $1,700 per kilowatt on their electric bills. A professional installation team can help you choose the best panels to maximize your savings. Discover Santa Cruz's best solar companies and learn essential decision-making advice 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

10 Best Solar Companies in Santa Cruz

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
Top Rated

Nomadic Solar

4.6/5

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

Based on 26 reviews


1146 Soquel Ave #4203, Santa Cruz, CA 95062

(831) 222-0119

mynomadicsolar.com
Allterra Solar Logo

Allterra Solar

4.6/5

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

Based on 60 reviews


125-B McPherson St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

(831) 425-2608

www.allterrasolar.com
Sandbar Solar & Electric Logo

Sandbar Solar & Electric

4.5/5

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

Based on 47 reviews


2656 Mission St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

(831) 469-8888

sandbarsc.com
Solar Electric Supply, Inc. Logo

Solar Electric Supply, Inc.

4.4/5

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

Based on 18 reviews


108 Whispering Pines Dr #235, Scotts Valley, CA 95066

(831) 462-8243

www.solarelectricsupply.com
Cinnamon Energy Systems Logo

Cinnamon Energy Systems

4.5/5

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

Based on 33 reviews


809 University Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95032

(408) 883-7000

www.cinnamon.energy

Infinium Solar, Inc.

4.6/5

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

Based on 97 reviews


1190 Dell Ave ste o, Campbell, CA 95008

(408) 583-8101

www.infiniumsolar.com

Sunternal

4.5/5

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

Based on 142 reviews


5671 Santa Teresa Blvd #105, San Jose, CA 95123

(800) 274-0901

www.sunternalsolar.com
Semper Solaris Logo

Semper Solaris

4.4/5

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

Based on 49 reviews


180 E Sunnyoaks Ave Bldg 2, Campbell, CA 95008

(669) 203-2061

www.sempersolaris.com/locations/bay-a...
Premo Solar Logo

Premo Solar

4.5/5

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

Based on 15 reviews


11520 Commercial Pkwy Suite A, Castroville, CA 95012

(831) 215-5443

premosolar.com
Quality Home Services Logo

Quality Home Services

4.5/5

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

Based on 18 reviews


11485 Commercial Pkwy Ste. 10, Castroville, CA 95012

(800) 985-8103

www.qualityhomeservices.com

Best of the rest

Below are home warranty companies that provide decent coverage but fell short of top scores in our rating system. We recommend these only for specific coverage needs.

  • FMJ Electric, Inc.

    4.7/ 5

    1628 N Main St Unit 143, Salinas, CA 93906

    (831) 229-0891

  • Clean Solar

    4.5/ 5

    1445 Koll Cir, San Jose, CA 95112

    (888) 551-7652

  • TN Electrical and Solar Services

    4.7/ 5

    1150 Murphy Ave #240, San Jose, CA 95131

    (408) 229-3632

  • Freedom Solar, Inc

    3.4/ 5

    845 S McGlincy Ln, Campbell, CA 95008

    (408) 613-2300

  • Highlight Solar

    4.5/ 5

    1624 Remuda Ln, San Jose, CA 95112

    (866) 926-9997

Ranking Methodology

Our team has screened dozens of solar contractors near Santa Cruz, keeping in mind the following criteria:

  • Experience and professional licensure: Each installer 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 Cruz community for over 15 years.
  • Panel brands and quality: The top solar companies remain current on new technology, providing equipment from reliable, innovative manufacturers.
  • Warranty and service offerings: Solar installers should stand behind their equipment and services with warranties. We evaluated how each provider responds to issues and warranty claims, focusing on promptness and customer happiness.
  • Customer feedback and reviews: Most Santa Cruz solar installers have both favorable and unfavorable reviews. However, a good review ratio demonstrates a company's trustworthiness and responsiveness to issues.
  • Educational programs and business model: Solar technicians must be excellent teachers. They should use their years of experience address your questions on how to care for your system and improve its performance.

Facts about Santa Cruz

  • Average Max Temperature:
    70°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    7 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    67%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    11,875
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,538
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    96.3%

Benefits of Solar Energy

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

  • Better energy independence: Solar panel systems with battery storage systems function through blackouts and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on the grid for your safety and well-being.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: The sun is a highly abundant clean energy source, meaning you can reduce or eliminate your home's dependence on "traditional" sources.
  • Lowered energy bills: You can skip the expensive cost of grid-tied power by producing some electricity right where you use it. Plus, many states provide net metering which can allow you to sell your unused energy back to credit part of your bill.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Santa Cruz Homeowners?

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

The price and efficiency of solar panels often rely on the solar company that mounted them. Here are some crucial criteria to consider while searching for a solar specialist.

Licensing and Training

California requires solar companies to hold licenses for each type of equipment they install, which can include solar water heaters, HVAC, photovoltaic (PV) systems, boilers, and pool heaters. Contractors must complete a highly comprehensive educational series, gain four years of experience as an apprentice or journeyman, and pass written exams to earn licensure. Check 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 Santa Cruz

The type of solar panels you choose decides how much energy you can generate. Monocrystalline panels and high-quality and cost more but give you the best performance. Polycrystalline panels work with a tried-and-true mechanism and cost less, but produce less power. Thin-film panels aren't the best for large residential installations, but they are excellent accessories for non-traditional roofs.

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

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

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,191
Solar Polycrystalline$929
Thin-Film$543
Solar Battery$762
Solar Home EV Charger$2,859

Financing Solar Energy in Santa Cruz

Solar contractors 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 leases, solar loans, power purchase agreements (PPAs) and cash payments. Though it involves a large up-front payment, cash is the most affordable choice because it doesn't accrue interest and qualifies you for incentives. Solar loans are the second most effective option. As with a car loan or mortgage, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for valuable solar incentives, and depending on your lender, you could put as little as $0 down. Solar leases involve paying a set monthly rate to use rooftop panels. A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) enables you to pay a monthly rate based only on the energy you use, as with an electric bill. We usually don’t recommend these two choices because you won't own the system and cannot use solar incentives. Ask each company you're vetting about the financing options it offers. A staff member can help you determine the most suitable option for your budget.

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

You are eligible for a 26% federal solar tax credit for new solar power systems until the year 2032. Local and state governments and utility companies might also offer rebates, discounts, and unique financing solutions 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 Cruz

Sources

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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