Are Solar Panels Worth It in CA?

If you’re a California homeowner thinking about going solar, you’ve probably wondered about the return on investment. Is it worth the hassle? How much energy savings will you gain? And when?

As a leading California solar installer with more than 10 years of experience, we can safely say that YES, solar panels are absolutely worth it in California! In fact, many of our customers routinely thank us for how much energy they’ve saved both upfront and long-term. 

That being said, some key factors will impact whether your solar panels are worth it, including:

  • The solar company you choose
  • Whether you lease or own your panels
  • The type and placement of your panels 

We’ll review each factor below. By knowing what to look for in your solar panel installation, you’ll be empowered to make the smartest choices possible.

Want a FREE solar estimate? Click below and get a custom solar quote within seconds! You can also call Photon Brothers’ trusted solar experts at 720-370-3344 (Colorado) or 805-351-3371 (California) and we’ll be happy to schedule a free consultation. 

We’ll review your home’s size, layout, and power consumption, and then provide solar options tailored to your needs and budget. We don’t do cookie-cutter installations, which means you’ll reap the most from your solar investment. Plus, our installations are backed by 25-year panel warranties. 


The Solar Company You Choose

In California, solar companies are a dime a dozen. You might see advertisements with attractive energy savings, but whether a company can deliver those results is another story. That’s why choosing the right solar company will make or break your solar investment. 

Before signing up with the first solar canvasser that knocks on your door, make sure that they offer:

  • Free estimates. Any solar company worth their salt will provide you with a free upfront solar estimate. Be it an in-home or virtual visit, they should have an experienced solar professional discuss your home’s location, energy needs, and budget. You can ask questions, learn about financing and solar rebates, and then review what type of solar system would best suit your household. 
  • Custom designs. It’s easy to slap some solar panels on a roof and call it a day. But a truly qualified and trustworthy solar installer will provide customized designs. By factoring in key elements like your roof pitch and neighboring trees and houses, you’ll reap the maximum solar gain.
  • 10+ years of experience. Because solar is a relatively new industry, it’s critical that you find an experienced installer. If your panels aren’t installed safely and correctly, you risk losing out on your full solar investment. Or worse, damage to your roof or electrical panel!
  • Proven 5-star customer service. If a solar company is successful, they’ll have a laundry list of 5-star reviews to prove it. Head to Google or Facebook and find out what people are saying. Are customers generally happy with their solar installation? Or was the entire process a headache or disaster? If the reviews are bad, you can bet your solar panel installation won’t be worth it!

Curious about what California homeowners have to say about their experience with Photon Brothers? Check out our glowing reviews on Google, Yelp, Nextdoor, and EnergySage

The Type and Placement of Your Panels

Front-door view of a single story, light blue house, with a white front door, that has solar panels installed on the roof.

Another reason to go with a trustworthy solar company? They’ll help you pick the right type of solar panels to meet your power needs. Furthermore, they’ll invest time and labor into the proper placement of your panels, so that you gain the highest number of sunlight hours and electricity bill savings.

Type of Panels

Not all solar panels are created equal. Conventional panels are a common choice because they’re cheaper in price, but they use low-grade technology which limits power production to about 100 watts of power per panel. Premium panels like REC or Tesla cost a bit more, but you’ll enjoy 400 watts per panel. That’s almost four times as much power! 

The reason this matters is because your roof doesn’t get 100% direct sunlight all day long. In fact, you’re more likely to average about 50% sunlight for most of the day, especially with Coastal California’s marine layer. By investing in premium solar panels, you’ll still get a decent amount of power generation, regardless of clouds or time of day. The same can’t be said for conventional panels, which simply don’t have the capacity to meet most California homeowners’ electricity needs.

Placement of Panels

Once you’ve selected the right type of panels, it’s crucial that your panels are placed effectively on your roof. Otherwise, you risk losing out on valuable sunshine, which is the point of installing solar panels in the first place.

At Photon Brothers, we take pride in crafting custom panel designs that are tailored to your California home. During your free estimate, we’ll review where and how the sun hits your roof in order to determine the best placement of your panels. We’ll also assess how many panels would be needed to meet your energy-saving goals. It’s this type of one-on-one, personalized care that can make or break whether your solar panels are worth it. 

Whether You Lease Or Own Your Panels

If you’re brand new to the world of solar, it’s important to know about your purchase options because it will directly impact whether your solar investment is worth it. 

For example, many solar companies only offer leasing options. Meaning, you rent your solar system for a fixed monthly price. The upside is that you don’t have any high upfront costs, but the downside is that your rent payments are based on a pre-determined estimate for annual electricity savings. In the end, Californian homeowners often find that solar leasing programs aren’t as profitable as they seemed. Worse, they’re locked into a long-term contract, and for a cookie-cutter solar system that’s not optimized for their roof pitch or household energy needs. 

On the other hand, companies like Photon Brothers provide customized solar systems for purchase. Meaning, you pay for your solar system up front. Although it may seem daunting to look at the numbers on your estimate, financing programs provide affordable monthly payment plans that are comparable to leasing options. Moreover, you’re eligible for tax credits, solar rebates, and net metering programs that can significantly reduce your overall costs. In tandem with custom designs that maximize your solar gain, you’ll enjoy greater savings both immediate and long-term. 

Curious how much you can save with solar? Check out our blog: How Much Will My Electric Bill Be With Solar Panels? 

You can also get a free instant solar estimate through our website, or call our friendly solar experts at 805-351-3371 to learn about installation costs and average payback periods.

Get a FREE Instant Solar Quote from Photon Brothers!

If you’re looking for clear-cut pricing from trusted solar experts, contact Photon Brothers today. We’ll review the type, number, and layout of panels needed to meet your energy-saving goals. We’ll even help you navigate financing options, solar tax credits, and any rebates that may be available. That way you can go solar with as little upfront cost as possible! 

720-370-3344 (Colorado) 

805-351-3371 (California) 


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