Cost of solar in Bakersfield, CA

Electricity Consumption in Bakersfield

Electricity Consumption by California residents averages 573 kWh per month. It ranks #2 in the nation for savings from installing solar panels on the home.

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Solar power in Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield is one of the best places in the nation to install solar panels for your home.

It has a lot of sun and utility power through PG&E is expensive. This combination, as well as some great incentives makes installing solar panels for your home in Bakersfield a great investment.

Many homeowners in Bakersfield have been able to buy a solar power system that lasts 25 years but which pays for itself in only 6 years. That's 19 years of living with free power!!!

Many others have been able to get zero down solutions where the monthly repayments are $50 or more less than the power bill savings that they have obtained by installing the panels. This risk free profit is hard to ignore but your house has to suit solar.

Does PG&E offer an upfront rebate for the installation of solar panels in Bakersfield?

The cost of solar has fallen a lot in California over the last 5 years and so PG&E no longer offer up front rebates to install solar panels on your home other than some specific low income and multi-family programs.

To find out if your home might be eligible for one of these specific programs you really need to speak to a local solar company.

Is net metering available for PG&E customers in Bakersfield?

PG&E are required by law to provide net metering to all their solar customers.

How does net metering work?

When a solar system produces more power than what is being used in the home excess power is sent to the grid and credited by your utility provider at the retail power rate per. Electricity is sold and measured in kilowatt hours (kwh). A kilowatt hour is equivalent to 1,000 watts of electricity used continuously for an hour.

Each kWh of power your solar system exports offsets the cost of another kWh drawn from the grid at a time your solar system couldn't service the demand of your home (such as at night or on a cloudy day).

Net metering is a very valuable incentive since most homeowners use little power during the day and so quite a lot of solar power generated can be exported to the grid. 

Net metering gives you the financial benefit similar to storing your excess solar in a battery without the cost of needing to install a battery.

What if my solar system exports more energy in a month than my home draws from the grid?

PG&E carries over any unused credit at retail rates to the next month.

Any remaining credit at the end of the yearly billing cycle (where you have exported more to the grid than what you have used from the grid) will be paid out at a lower rate. This lower rate is called an avoided cost rate (2-3 cents per kWh) and deposited into your account. This annual process is known as a true up

NEM-2 changes and how it affects the net metering program of PG&E

At the end of 2016 the PUC (Public Utilities Commission) passed a new net metering scheme that applies to all investor owned utilities in California, including PG&E. This scheme, known as NEM 2, required all new customers going solar to convert to a time of use power plan. Consumers that dont go solar have to go to a time of use plan by 2019 anyway and so this wasn't a significant issue. NEM 2 net metering also introduced a concept of non-bypassable charges.

On this new plan each kWh of power your home draws from the grid receives a "non-bypassable charge" of about 2¢/kWh (non-bypassable charges vary slightly accross the PG&E territories) which cannot be offset by energy your solar system sends to the grid. 

Overall these changes only reduce returns from installing solar slightly. The solar industry in the PG&E territories of central and northern California is still booming because even under NEM 2 the returns from installing solar are still amazing.

The 30% federal solar tax credit

 Assuming you pay federal income tax of at least 30% of the value of the solar system you buy then 30% of the cost of installing solar panels can be claimed as a tax credit.

This is the biggest single incentive for installing solar power and it is available until the end of 2019.

What if my tax liability is less than 30% of my solar systems cost?

You may elect to receive the full 30% tax credit in increments over several years.

So how much can I save by installing a solar power system on my home or small business in Bakersfield in 2018?

The answer to this question depends on how much power you are using. The more power you use the higher the amount of savings that are generally possible from going solar.

For the average 2000 square foot single family home you are likely to be using far more than the state average of 580 kwh per month because this average includes apartments and condo's.

You are more likely to be using around 800 kwh per month and have a power bill of between $150-$200 per month. If your roof suits solar and you can get maximum production then it is likely that you can buy a zero down solar system for around $100-$130 per month to cover this bill and so you can save $50-$70 per month right off the bat.

These savings will increase over time as power prices increase and so could well be double this in 10 years.

To find out your exact savings enter your zipcode, power spend and address details into the Bakersfield solar cost and savings calculator.

How much do solar panels cost in Bakersfield in 2018?

Solar Panels Cost in Southern California has been falling steadily over the last three years but has now stabilized because the new import tariff has put upward pressure on prices and has soaked up additional cost efficiencies that would normally have pushed costs even lower. Prices for installed systems hover between $3.00 per watt and $3.50 per watt meaning that for a standard sized 5kw system the cost will be between $15,000 and $17,500 before the 30% tax credit or a cost of between $10,500 and $12,250 after claiming the tax credit. This might sound a lot but with zero down loans and a power cost of $1,500-$2,000 per annum for many 2500 square foot homes in Bakersfield (and growing if you don't get solar) installing solar panels is a financial home run in Bakersfield if you have a roof that suits it.

Even if you are not convinced about solar we recommend that at the very least you use the solar panel calculator for Bakersfield to find out:

Estimate your solar savings
Solar power in California

The average cost of installing residential solar panels in Bakersfield, California in 2020 is $2.72 per watt. The average system size in the US is 6 kilowatts, which means the average price of a solar system in Bakersfield, CA is $13,600. (before claiming 26% tax credit and other rebates)

What does the cost of a real solar system look like?

Facts about installing a 9.58kW solar system in Bakersfield, CA

This system would offset 100% of your energy usage if your typical monthly bill is $272, however your situation may vary so try our Bakersfield solar calculator to get a result tailored to you.


Net cost of system
Cash - after 26% solar tax credit

5 Years

Average payback time


Annual power production


levilized cost of solar energy


If you don't get solar
The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years

Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of this 9.58kW system

Life-time savings on this system over the next 25 years


(Prices shown after repayments of capital)



Solar companies in Bakersfield, CA that provide pricing through the Solar-Estimate marketplace



Solar calculator and quote comparison tool

Average total cost of solar panel installation in California

System Size Cash purchase
After 26% solar tax credit
Financed purchase
After 26% solar tax credit
3kw $6,416 $6,929
4kw $8,377 $9,047
5kw $10,286 $11,109
6kw $12,077 $13,043
7kw $13,831 $14,937
8kw $15,451 $16,687
9kw $17,050 $18,414
10kw $18,500 $19,980


Going solar in California

Check out all of the ways energy providers of California can help you be more energy efficient and save money.

The following programs are available:
Incentive Name Eligibility Type
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit Federal Personal Tax Credit
Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems State Property Tax Incentive
Sonoma County - Energy Independence Program Local PACE Financing
NEM 2.0 State Net Metering

Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.