Installing Solar Panels in Butte County, California: Costs & More
Set in the California Central Valley, Butte County spans an area of roughly 1,680 square miles. According to 2022 census estimates, the county houses over 220,000 residents and approximately 84,029 households. The county is home to a mix of homeowners and renters, with roughly 60% of residents owning their own homes and 40% renting.
As of January 2023, Butte County has over 90,000 occupied housing units. The county issued 2,050 building permits in 2021. The median housing cost in the county is around $976/month.
As of 2023, the average cost of solar panels in Butte County is $2.98 per watt. This means a typical 5kW solar panel system, enough to power an average California home, would cost between $12,282 and $16,618 before incentives and tax credits are removed.
|Energy System Size
|Solar Panel Cost
|Cost After Credit
The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) further lowers the cost of panels. It allows homeowners to claim a credit of 26% of the cost of a solar panel system on federal taxes (specifically for solar panel systems installed between 2020 and 2021). In 2022, an extension of the ITC was passed raising it to 30% for installations between 2022-2032.
|Average Cost Breakdown for Solar Installation in Butte County
|Cost Per Watt
|Monocrystalline Solar Panels
|$1 - $1.50 per watt
|Polycrystalline Solar Panels
|$0.90 - $1 per watt
|Thin Film Solar Panels
|$1 - $1.50 per watt
|$1.5-$2 per watt
|Cost of Racking
|$.25 - $.50 per watt.
|Installation and soft Costs
|$2.50 - $4.50 per watt
Homeowners in Butte County with solar panel systems may be eligible for a property tax exemption. California provides an Active Solar Energy System Exclusion, which allows homeowners to exclude the value of their solar panel system from their property's assessed value for property tax purposes.
This means that though the solar panel system may add value to your property, the government will not include it in your property's assessed value. By default, it will not be subject to property taxes. This can be a significant saving for anyone who has invested in solar panel systems.
Residents can learn more about local property taxes laws by contacting the Butte County Assessor's Office:
25 County Center Dr., Oroville,
Residents can also visit the Butte County Assessors to access property records and view assessed values, property characteristics, and other information related to their property.
Note: Property tax exemptions only apply to the value added by the solar panels and not to the property's value.
On average, it takes around 5 to 7 years for a solar panel system to pay for itself in Butte County. However, the exact length of time it takes varies depending on a range of factors, such as the size and efficiency of the solar panel system, the cost of electricity in your area, and the cost of the solar panel installation.
In addition to saving money on electricity bills, solar panels can also increase the worth of your home and allow you to earn money by selling excess electricity back to the grid through net metering. This can further shorten the payback period.
When considering solar panels, it's important to research and understand all the costs and benefits involved. It's also crucial to check with local authorities and utility companies to see if any incentives or rebates are available for solar panel installation in Butte County.
The U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy that recommends homeowners contact an expert for solar panel installations. This is because solar panel installation involves working with electricity, which can be a risky venture if not done by a professional.
Moreover, a professional solar installer has the training, experience, and license to install your solar panel system safely and effectively.
In California, the state requires solar contractors to be licensed as either:
"A" – General Engineering contractors licensed to perform a wide range of engineering and heavy construction work, including solar energy systems installation.
"B" – General Building contractors licensed to perform various building construction work within the B&P Code section 7057.
C-4 - Steam fitting, hot water, and boiler contractors licensed to repair solar heating equipment.
C-10 - Electrical contractors certified to perform electrical checks and balances on solar projects.
C-36 - Plumbing contractors accredited to install equipment for water and fluid heating to a temperature suitable for its purpose.
C-46 - solar contractors whose job solely specifies installation, modification, maintenance, and repairs of thermal and photovoltaic solar energy systems.
C-53 - swimming pool contractors legally permitted to install solar heating in pools.
It's important to note that not all contractors are licensed to install solar panels. So you should check with the California Contractors State License Board to verify a contractor's license and check if they are authorized to install solar panels.
Other factors to consider when choosing a solar installer include the company's reputation, experience, and customer reviews.
Generating your solar energy in Butte County, California, can be a great way to reduce your electricity bills. Homeowners can potentially make money by selling excess energy back to the grid through net metering.
Net Metering in Butte County is a system where residents with solar panels sell any excess energy they generate back to the grid when the sun is up.
As of 2022, net metering in Butte County and other parts of California is governed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). However, new rules are set to take effect starting April 2023.
To participate in net metering in Butte County,
Residents must first have a solar panel system installed on their property. </p>
The system must be interconnected with the grid and meet all safety and technical standards.
Once the solar panel system is installed and connected to the grid, intended parties may contact a utility company to sign up for net metering. The utility company will then install a bi-directional meter to measure the electricity produced by the solar panel system and the electricity consumed by the home.
Homeowners receive credits on their utility bill for any excess energy they generate. These credits can be used to offset the cost of electricity consumed when the solar panels are not producing enough energy, such as at night or on cloudy days.
The three NEM phases in California: NEM 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, have a timeframe for applications. Homeowners can choose between two options: either receive retail credit for the excess energy they generate or bill credit for the excess energy they generate.
Yes, Tesla Solar Panels are available in Butte County, California. Homeowners can contact local certified installers on Tesla for support. Working with a Tesla certified installer helps reduce the risk of errors. In addition to a seamless installation process, buyers also get to enjoy personalized customer service.
When searching for solar companies in Butte County, California, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are a few steps to help guide your search for the right solar company for your needs.
Researching them online is the first step in finding solar companies near you. Look for companies based in Butte County, California, or nearby. You can use search terms like "Butte solar companies near me" or "California solar companies near me" to find local companies.
When searching for Butte solar companies near you, it is important to check for licenses and certifications. Look for companies licensed by the California Contractors State License Board and with certifications from industry organizations like the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
Reading customer reviews and testimonials can provide valuable insights into a solar company's reputation, customer service, and the quality of their work. Look for companies that have positive reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers.
Once you have narrowed your search to a few solar companies, compare their prices and services to find the best fit for your needs. Get quotes from multiple companies to compare prices and services.
Finally, schedule an on-site consultation with the Butte solar companies you are considering for a better option.
Solar panels can increase a home's value, but the amount of added value will depend on several factors.
Installing solar panels on your home in Butte County, California, can be a great way to reduce unnecessary bills and make your home more energy-efficient. Here are some factors to consider:
First, the size and efficiency of the solar panel system will affect the value added. A larger, more efficient system will generally add more value to the home than a smaller, less efficient system. The age and condition of the solar panel system will also play a role in the value added. A newer, well-maintained system adds more value than an older, poorly maintained one.
Another factor that can influence the value added by solar panels is the cost of electricity in your area. In Butte County, the cost of electricity is around 15 cents per KWh, which is higher than the national average of 13 cents per kWh. This means that homeowners in Butte County can save more money on their electricity bills with solar panels, making the home more valuable to potential buyers.
The property's location also plays a role in determining the value added by solar panels. In some areas where solar energy is more popular, homes with solar panels may be more valuable than homes without them.
The real estate market conditions also play a role in determining the value solar panels add. In a juicy real estate market, homes with solar panels may be more valuable than homes without them, while in a slow market, the value added may be less.