Cost of solar in San Francisco, CA

Electricity Consumption in San Francisco

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 San Francisco, California

As a resident of San francisco you most likely purchase your power from PG&E.

What solar incentives do PG&E offer in my city?

When your solar system produces more energy than what is being used in your home the excess is sent to the grid and PG&E must credit each kWh at the retail power rate, this program is called net metering. You use your net metering credits to cancel out the cost of energy drawn from the grid at times your solar system couldn't service the electric demand of your home.

What if my solar system exports more energy than my home consumes from the grid?

If you have remaining credit at the end of the month each kWh is still valued at the retail rate and is carried to the next month. At the end of the year if any credit remains each kWh will be valued at the avoided-cost rate (3¢-4¢) per kWh and deposited into your account.

NEM-2 Changes and how it affects my investment?

Since PG&E is an investor owned utility new net metering customers must switch to a time-of-use plan. The worst part of this is that it includes non-bypassable charges of about 2 cents per kWh for energy your draws from the grid.

Luckily these new changes only reduce returns from installing solar by about 10%.

The 30% federal solar tax credit

If you have a taxable income 30% of the cost of installing solar can be claimed as a deduction to federal taxes. This incentive isn't always upfront as it depends on when you do your taxes for the year.

What if my tax liability is less than the cost of my system?

You may elect to receive the full incentive spread out over several tax periods.

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

Estimate your solar savings
Solar power in California

The average cost of installing residential solar panels in San Francisco, 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 San Francisco, 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 6.37kW solar system in San Francisco, CA

This system would offset 100% of your energy usage if your typical monthly bill is $188, however your situation may vary so try our San Francisco solar calculator to get a result tailored to you.


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

4 Years 11 Months

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 6.37kW system

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


(Prices shown after repayments of capital)



Solar companies in San Francisco, 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
City of San Francisco - Solar Energy Incentive Program Local Rebate Program

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