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Going Solar in Nevada County, CA

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

  • Average solar panel price in Nevada County is $2.85/W, with an average solar installation cost between $12,112 and $16,388 for a 5 kW system.
  • Net cost of going solar can decrease by thousands of dollars with the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and state/local incentives.
  • Solar panels in California typically pay for themselves after about 6 - 9 years.
  • Solar panel cost in Nevada County varies based on panel type, brand, levelized cost of energy, price per watt, and installation company.
  • Incentives for solar energy in Nevada County include rebates, tax exemption, net metering, and property tax abatements.

How much do Solar Panels cost in Nevada County, CA?

The average solar panel price in Nevada, California is $2.85 per watts. An average solar installation in California costs between $12,112 and $16,388, with the average gross price for solar in California coming in at $14,250 for a 5 kW solar panel installation.

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The net cost of going solar can decrease by thousands of dollars once the federal investment tax credit (ITC) and other state and local solar incentives are considered.

Solar Panel Installations in Nevada County by Energy System Size

Energy System Size Solar Panel Cost Cost After Credit
3 kW $8,550 $6,327
4 kW $11,400 $8,436
5 kW $14,250 $10,545
6 kW $17,100 $12,654
7 kW $19,950 $14,763
8 kW $22,800 $16,872
9 kW $25,650 $18,981
10 kW $28,500 $21,090

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

In Nevada, California, solar panels typically pay for themselves after about 6 to 9 years. Your system's cost and the amount of power it produces will determine your payback period. Your system will pay for itself faster the more energy it produces.

How can I Sell Solar Energy in Nevada County, California?

Net Metering is an electric billing tool that allows property owners to get credits for energy generated by their solar panel system.

How it works

When the weather is cloudy or rainy and your solar panels aren't producing enough energy, the utility grid will supply energy to your home and deduct it from the credits you've built up over time.

You will only be charged for your "net" energy usage as a solar customer. The fundamental principle of the solar industry is net metering, also referred to as NEM or net energy metering.

Your solar PV system's energy exchange with the national grid is tracked by a net meter. To use a net metering connection, you must have a grid-connected or on-grid solar PV system. Once enabled, a net metering connection enables you to sell any excess energy generated by your solar panels to the power grid and receive credit for it.

Similarly, if the energy generated by your Nevada County solar panels is insufficient to meet your needs, you can also access additional energy from the grid.

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NetMetering 3.0

On December 15, 2022, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) updated net metering regulation, introducing a new billing structure called Net Metering 3.0 (or NEM 3.0).

For new California solar customers, NEM 3.0 will significantly lower net metering compensation rates (by about 75 percent). NEM 3.0 went into effect on April 14, 2023.

What are the Best Solar Energy Companies in Nevada County, California?

Some examples of popular solar energy companies in California include:

ADT Solar

Formerly known as Sunpro Solar, ADT Solar is a California-based company that offers a range of solar systems, including battery installations. According to ADT Solar, it places a high priority on customer satisfaction and provides 25-year labor, manufacturer, and power production warranties. Additionally, the business offers a price-match promise for installations.

Palmetto Solar

One of the biggest solar companies in the nation, Palmetto, provides residential solar energy systems in California. Residents can purchase solar panels outright from Palmetto or enter into a solar lease or PPA.

The vast majority of Palmetto's customers decide to purchase their solar system in order to ultimately save the most money on energy costs.

Since 2010, Palmetto has been active in the solar sector and claims to be dedicated to providing excellent customer service. It provides a subscription service called Palmetto Protect that keeps track of a solar system's performance and offers varying levels of support in the event that any of the solar panels malfunction or are damaged.

Palmetto solar panels come with a 25-year performance guarantee, a minimum 12-year product warranty, and an efficiency rating above 19.8%.

SunPower Solar

SunPower provides some of the best residential solar panels on the market, along with some of the best warranties. The SunPower Equinox solar panels boast an efficiency rating of up to 22.8%.

The SunPower Equinox bundle consists of Enphase microinverters, mounting hardware, and solar panels from Maxeon, a supplier that worked with the company until 2020.

SunPower aims to continue offering more widely available and reasonably priced solar products across the majority of California's regions. The business, which was established in 1985, provides some of the best warranties on the market, guaranteeing 92% of production capacity for 25 years.


The largest solar company in the US, Sunrun has a broad selection of solar products and warranties to choose from. Sunrun focuses on solar leases, which have their own set of advantages and disadvantages but may be a good choice for customers who can't afford to buy a solar system. Despite the fact that the majority of Sunrun's clients lease their equipment, solar panel purchases are still an option.

Several manufacturers supply the company with solar panels at the moment. When a customer leases a system from Sunrun, the business offers "bumper-to-bumper" maintenance and monitoring coverage. However, those looking to purchase a system will rely on the warranties provided by the manufacturer. Sunrun does provide a 10-year quality warranty that addresses installation and roof damage.

Tesla Solar

With the acquisition of SolarCity in 2016, Tesla significantly increased its capacity for solar installation and emerged as a major player in the industry. Tesla is one of the most recognizable brands in the sector thanks to the Tesla Solar Roof and its solar panel division.

Depending on the solar system you purchase from Tesla, there will be differences in the price, efficiency rating, and warranty conditions. A 25-year product warranty and a performance warranty at 85% after 25 years and 95% after five years, respectively, are included with the purchase of the Tesla Solar Roof.

The Solar Roof is considerably more expensive than many of its rivals, though. While still of high quality, Tesla solar panels are more affordable than the Solar Roof. Its solar panels have an efficiency range of 19.3% to 20.6% and are warranted at 85% capacity after 25 years. It's important to note that a few Tesla customers have complained about poor customer service.

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

Yes. The U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy recommends that installations be done by a professional. Here are the benefits of using local solar installers.

1. House calls to develop a unique, high-quality solution for your home
Before beginning the installation, a local Nevada County solar panel installer will likely visit your property to assess your situation thoroughly. The installer will do the following while on site:

  • Examine the switchboard to see if any repairs are necessary to bring it into compliance with staples on the roof, etc., and determine the best layout for the panels on your roof.

These elements can significantly affect the cost of the system, and if they aren't taken into account, you might end up with a nasty surprise in the form of a bill. Additionally, home visits give you the chance to interact directly with the installer, ask any questions you may have, and go over your preferences as well as your needs, wants, and objectives for your solar power system.

2. Consistent local assistance and warranty calmness of mind
If anything were to go wrong after your solar power system has been installed by a local business, the process would typically be much faster and easier to resolve:

  • Quicker turnaround as a result of shorter travel time
  • Avoid call centers and the hours of waiting on hold to speak to someone who has no idea who you are or what your situation is. Speak with a live person who is familiar with your solar installation and you.
  • You can choose to go to their storefront and speak with them in person. Most trustworthy local solar installers will have a shopfront where you can visit and speak with them.
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You can avoid becoming a "solar orphan" by selecting an established local solar installer. Unfortunately, there are "less-than-reputable" solar companies out there who use "predatory" sales techniques and low prices to entice you, but who later stop doing business to avoid paying debts or handling warranty claims.

These solar businesses typically only remain open long enough to complete a large number of installations and earn a profit before closing up shop and abandoning their customers with no support or warranty. The unfortunate thing is that it occurs far too frequently.

3. Familiarity with regional electricity laws and regulations

Call center businesses frequently lack a thorough understanding of the specific local electricity supply regulations that differ across Nevada County, CA, and they can be difficult to locate again if you need support or repairs in the future. Local solar installers deal daily with the neighborhood electricity suppliers and are intimately familiar with their policies, unlike national or international companies.

4. Aiding your neighborhood and regional economy

By choosing to patronize small, locally owned businesses, you contribute to the development of prosperous, connected, and all-around better communities. When you patronize independent, locally-owned businesses rather than national or international chains, a sizable portion of the money you spend is then recycled back through our local economy.

This supports our entire community by supporting your friends' businesses, dining at your favorite neighborhood restaurants, and attending local events.

5. A client-focused perspective

You are buying from a real person when you patronize a small, neighborhood business. Because their reputation and livelihood are on the line, they frequently give their work more attention. Local solar installers understand how crucial it is to uphold their reputation for high-quality goods and top-notch customer service in order to keep referrals and clients.

They usually go above and beyond to make you happy and offer a high-quality system that they are proud to associate their name with in order to guarantee that you have a positive experience with their business. You will get to know the installers during the installation process, and they will also get to know you. You won't be treated like a number, but rather as a respected customer.

Avoid being seduced by door-to-door salespeople, exaggerated savings claims, or outrageously low prices; instead, choose solar installers who are based locally, have a solid reputation for putting in high-quality solar systems, and have been in operation for a while.

Do Solar Panels Increase a Home Value in Nevada County?

Yes, solar panels in Nevada County, California can raise the value of your home by 2%–3%. In areas with high home prices, this return is even higher. Your Nevada home will be worth more if you invest in solar panels outright, and it will be much simpler to sell your home in the future.

Your Nevada home will be worth more if you invest in solar panels outright, and it will be much simpler to sell your home in the future.

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

The best way to locate local solar service providers is to use an accredited marketplace, where you can get multiple, legally binding quotes from their network of licensed solar installers. Although these sites may vary, the steps to using them are similar:

Step 1
Enter your zip code and respond to a few inquiries regarding your home and utility bills to create a profile.

Step 2
View potential savings and preliminary estimates using our online solar savings calculator.

Step 3
Arrange a call with an Energy Advisor to talk about your objectives and start your guided experience.

Following this first conversation, your energy advisor will design a system that suits your needs, produce a large number of bids for your project, and then present the top three to you. Every step of the way, your energy advisor is there to help you assess offers and financing possibilities, find incentives and represent you during the installation process.