up button arrow
https://california.renewableenergyrebates.org is a privately-owned website that is not owned or operated by any government agency.

Solar Panels in Fresno County, CA

Installing Solar Panels in Fresno County, California: Costs & More

Key Details

  • Solar panel cost in Fresno is around $2 to $3 per watt as of 2023 and installation cost for 5 kilowatts (kW) system ranges between $12,240 and $16,560.
  • It usually takes 6 years for solar panels to pay themselves back in Fresno County.
  • Incentives like the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program can help provide rebates for solar installation.

How Much do Solar Panels cost in Fresno County, CA?

In Fresno County, CA, solar panels average $2 to $3 per watt as of 2023. If you are using a system size of 5 kilowatts (kW), you may have to pay an average installation cost ranging between $12,240 and $16,560.

solar panel cost (9).jpg

The average gross price of $14,400 reduces after deducting tax credits and solar incentives.

Average solar panel costs by system size:

Energy System Size Solar Panel Cost Cost After Credit
3 kW $8,640 $6,394
4 kW $11,520 $8,525
5 kW $14,400 $10,656
6 kW $17,280 $12,787
7 kW $20,160 $14,918
8 kW $23,040 $17,050
9 kW $25,920 $19,181
10 kW $28,800 $21,312

Average cost of solar installations based on panel type:

Average Cost Breakdown for Solar Installation in Fresno 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
Other Costs
Solar Batteries
Cost of Racking $.25 - $.50 per watt.
Installation and soft Costs $2.50 - $4.50 per watt

Are Solar Panels Exempt from Property Taxes in Fresno County?

Yes, California provides a property tax exclusion for active solar energy systems in Fresno County and other parts of the state. Active solar energy systems include systems that use solar devices, which are thermally protected from the home, to collect, store, or distribute solar energy. These systems can be used for several purposes, including heating, water heating, cooling living spaces, generating electricity, and solar mechanical energy.

In California, the active solar energy system exclusion was scheduled to expire in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. This exclusion has however been extended to apply through the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

Residents may be able to learn more about property taxes and solar panels in Fresno county by contacting the property assessor.


Hall of Records

2281 Tulare Street, Room 201

Fresno, CA 93721

Monday - Friday (8:00 am - 5:00 pm)

Email: assessorWebmail@fresnocountyca.gov

Phone: (559) 600-3534

Fax: (559) 600-1480

How Long Does it Take for Solar Panels to Pay for themselves in Fresno County?

In Fresno, it usually takes an average of six years for solar panels to pay for themselves. This period is the amount of time it will take your savings on electricity bills to pay off your solar system. Several factors may affect your payback period, including:

  • Cost of Solar Panel System: It is important to find out how much you will be spending on your solar panel system.
  • Electricity Costs: Generally, you can use your electricity bills to calculate your payback period. You will have to multiply the number of kWh your system produces by the per-kWh rate from your electricity.
  • Electricity Consumption: The amount of electricity you use in your home also affects your payback period.
  • Tax Incentives: When going solar, you may receive tax credits, rebates, or incentives that can influence your payback period. To determine the net cost of your solar system, deduct the incentive amount from the original costs of your system.
  • Additional Expenses: You may have to factor in additional costs and expenses when calculating your payback period. For example, if you take a loan for your solar system, you need to consider the interest in the repayment.

Do Solar Panels Increase a Home Value in Fresno County?

Yes, solar panels can increase your home's market value in Fresno County, CA. Since solar panel systems reduce energy costs and carbon emissions, they help maximize your long-term savings and in turn, your property's value.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), for every dollar you save on electric bills, your home value increases by $20. You should know that several factors may influence the value add of solar panels in your home. Some of these factors include geographic location, system size and output, costs of solar installation, and your solar panel's replacement value.

Do You Need a Handyman or a Solar Installer in Fresno County?

The U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy recommends that solar installations be done by a certified professional. Certifications from associations like the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) serve as proof of the installer's proficiency. Depending on their nature of service, solar contractors in California have different class of license, including:

  • "A": This category relates to general engineering contractors licensed to install solar energy systems.
  • "B": These are general building contractors authorized to carry out solar installations in California.
  • "C-4": These are contractors authorized to work on any solar project involving boiler, hot-water heating, and steam fitting.
  • "C-10": This category belongs to electrical contractors licensed to perform solar projects that generate, transmit, transform, or use electrical energy.
  • "C-36": These are plumbing contractors who are licensed to perform solar projects involving heating water or fluids to a suitable temperature.
  • "C-46": These classes of solar contractors are licensed to install, modify, maintain, and repair thermal and photovoltaic solar energy systems.
  • "C-53": These are swimming pool contractors authorized to install solar heating in swimming pool projects.

What are the Incentives for Solar energy in Fresno County, California?

California offers multiple tax credits and rebates for solar customers in the state. These incentives encourage the greater use of solar among homeowners, and make clean energy more affordable and accessible. By receiving solar incentives, you can reduce your solar costs from 30% to even 50%. Some of the most attractive rebates for solar panels in Fresno include:

Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

One of the best solar incentives in Fresno County, CA, the ITC provides a 30% federal tax credit on your purchase. Residents who own a solar panel system or have an income tax liability can take advantage of this incentive.

Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

The SGIP offers three different types of rebates that provide stipend amounts ranging from $150 to $1,000 per kWh. You are eligible for SGIP if you receive electricity from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).

Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program

California also makes provisions for low-income homeowners who cannot afford the costs of installing solar panels in their homes. With the SASH Program, disadvantaged communities and single-family households can receive upfront incentives on their solar systems. To qualify for SASH, you must have a household income below 80% and must be a customer of PG&E, SCE, or San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).

Active Solar Energy System Property Tax Exclusion

California laws provide a property tax exclusion for certain types of solar energy systems installed before December 31, 2024. Some of the qualifying active solar energy systems are heating systems, space conditioning systems, water heating systems, and solar mechanical energy. Keep in mind that solar pool heating systems and solar hot tub heating systems are not eligible for tax exclusion.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program

The PACE program is a financing program that allows you to finance your solar system and other qualifying improvements without a large upfront payment. In California, there are currently ten active PACE programs that can be used to finance your solar installations. If you participate in this program, you can repay your solar costs over a specific period through voluntary property assessments.

Local Solar Incentives in California

California has local utility companies that provide rebates and cash incentives for installing solar panels in homes. There is the residential solar rebate program administered by the Rancho Mirage Energy Authority. This program encourages the installation of new solar power systems by granting a rebate of $500. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District also offers incentive amounts to homeowners to cover the cost of solar purchase and installation.

How can I Sell Solar Energy in Fresno County?

You can sell your solar energy in Fresno through a process called net metering. Net metering is a program offered by most utility companies that compensate you for your excess solar power.

California was the first state to launch a net metering program that allowed homeowners to make money on investments in solar panels. The first net metering program (NEM 1.0) applied to solar customers who register before July 1, 2017. It provides for a $1 connection fee per month, including a $0.25 per kWh bill credit, and an average return on investment of six years.

In 2016, California passed NEM 2.0, which aimed to increase solar installations by locking customers into a 20-year rate plan. It provides a $75 one-time interconnection fee, a $10 to $20 monthly connection fee, and a $0.25 per kWh bill credit. You can enroll for the net metering program if you have qualifying solar panels that are connected to your utility company’s grid.

Net Metering 3.0

On December 15, 2022, NEM 3.0, which is the third generation of net metering program in California, was approved. Under this program, solar customers can pay reduced tariff rates of about 75%.

Homeowners who receive power from PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E will pay an $8 per kW monthly connection fee and $12 to $16 per month for a solar system. If you want to be grandfathered into NEM 2.0 rates for 20 years, you must submit your interconnection application by April 14, 2023. Anyone who submits after this date will be locked into NEM 3.0 and could miss out on about 60% of their solar savings.

Are Tesla Solar Panels Available in Fresno County, California?

Although Tesla does not operate directly in all areas in California, it partners with some of the best local installation companies in the state. These companies are certified professionals that perform high-quality solar installations and ensure that your solar energy needs are satisfied. You can search for Tesla solar installers near you to assist with installation and quotes. .

How to Find Solar Companies Near Me in Fresno County, California?

When searching for a solar installer in Fresno County, it is important to read customer reviews and ensure the company has excellent customer service. The positive evaluations from past customers will reveal the nature of service and the quality of work the company offers. You should also consider asking friends, relatives, and neighbors who already have solar panel systems in their homes. They can recommend their installer to you and also give you insight into their experience.

Another factor to consider when choosing a solar provider near you is the quality of products and installation services offered. Since solar panels come in different types and quality, you should ensure that the company has high-quality products from reputable manufacturers.

Finally, you should always consider warranties when picking a solar panel installation company. A long-term warranty is crucial and will ensure you get a return on your investment if your solar system starts having issues. Some of the recommended warranty policies to look for include equipment, labor, and performance assurances.

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Fresno County, California?

Many factors influence the amount of money you pay for solar panels in Fresno County. Some of these factors include:

Type of Panel

There are three different types of panels that you may install, which are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. These solar panels have different quality and prices that can directly contribute to the cost of your installation. Monocrystalline panels, for example, are very expensive because they are more efficient and can produce more energy. However, purchasing this type of panel can save you money in the long run.

Brand of Panel and Solar Equipment

Just like any other product, solar energy panels come in different brands and quality which can influence the costs of installation. Also, you should know that the higher the quality of solar equipment, the more expensive it will be. Some solar equipment have high-quality hardware that produces more electricity when compared to other types.

Levelized Cost of Energy

Levelized cost of energy (LCOE) is used to measure the average cost of producing energy by a solar system over its lifetime. It considers the costs associated with a solar system, including capital, installation, operation, and maintenance. To determine if your solar would be cost-effective, divide the lifetime costs of the solar system by the total amount of energy generated over the system’s lifetime.

Price Per Watt

This is the price a homeowner will pay for every watt of solar panel installed in their home. To calculate your price per watt, take the net cost of your solar panel system and divide it by the number of watts in the system. Keep in mind that using a price per watt allows you to compare solar panel costs and other factors such as system size, wattage, and efficiency.

Installation Company

When searching for a local solar installer, you will want to choose a reputable company that can provide your specific needs. In California, solar providers have different labor rates for their work. If you choose a solar company with better reviews and good references, you will have to pay more fees for installation.