Switch to solar in the American Riviera

The state of solar in Santa Barbara

In 2017, the City of Santa Barbara set a goal to run on 100% clean energy by 2030 and created a community choice energy program or city residents to achieve that goal. With over 90% of the rooftops in Santa Barbara solar viable and 283 sunny days per year on average,* it’s no surprise that solar power is a top source of clean energy in the area.

How much solar energy does Santa Barbara produce?

Santa Barbara has a population of more than 91,000 and .3361 installed kW of solar capacity per capita, equating to about 30.71 MW. According to the City of Santa Barbara 2019 Energy Report, 38% of the community’s power and 44% of the power used by the city now comes from renewable sources. The city government has seven solar installations, generating 557 kW of power, three of which were added in 2019.

What are the advantages of going solar in Santa Barbara?

Going solar is advantageous throughout the U.S., but Santa Barbara is taking the lead in the switch to clean energy. In addition to various city programs and incentives to accommodate the installation of private PV solar systems, various other factors also increase the cost-efficiency of solar solutions.

Advantages of going solar in Santa Barbara include relatively low solar installation costs and high electricity rates, which increases the potential for savings. With an average residential electricity rate of 15.98 cents per kWh, Santa Barbara residents pay around 34.51% more than the national average.*

A 5 kW system has the potential to offer upwards of $44,000 in savings over 20 years and will pay for itself in 6-7 years.*

How much does solar cost in Santa Barbara?

santa barbaraa

The cost of a home solar system can vary, even in the same city, due to a range of factors. These include:

  • Household's energy needs

  • Quality of the solar system

  • Local weather and HOA

  • Available roof space

To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we've analyzed SunPower price quotes, as well as quotes gathered by third-party sources for thousands of homeowners across the country.* In Santa Barbara, we found that the cost of owning a 5 kW solar system ranges from $13,000 to $31,950, or in other words, from $2.60 to $6.39 per watt. And that's before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.

Santa Barbara residents have access to various tax credits and incentives, on top of the 26% federal solar tax credit.* Southern California Edison (SCE) customers can take advantage of the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) run by the state.* SGIP offers a .20 per kW rebate for installed solar battery storage.

With net metering, you can also feed the excess electricity your solar PV system generates into the city's energy grid in exchange for a credit. This billing arrangement allows you to reduce the cost of drawing electricity from your utility whenever your solar panels don't produce enough energy for your needs.*

What's the best way to go solar in Santa Barbara?

Before starting the solar PV installation process, it important to consider a range of factors that will impact the amount of energy your system produces, including your roof’s square footage and structure. You’ll also need to decide if you’ll opt to connect to the grid, what budget you’re comfortable with, and whether you want to meet or exceed your current energy use.

For example, if you want to send the excess electricity your system produces to your utility for credit or store energy, you need a system with a higher capacity than your household's daily needs. On the other hand, if you want to minimize upfront costs and roof coverage, fewer panels with higher efficiency may be more ideal.

Reputable solar companies will help you choose the perfect solar system through in-person or online consultations and custom solar designs. During the consultation, and before signing a contract, you should receive a system design, monthly electric bill savings estimate, price quote, and an overview of available incentives and tax credits.

At SunPower, we take the time to take all these factors into account to recommend and provide a solar system that meets all your goals. You can request a consultation with our solar experts today to start the process of switching your home to clean solar energy. We’ll contact you to schedule a good time for the consultation. You’re also welcome to call us directly at (800) 786-7693.

Looking for commercial solar in Santa Barbara?

SunPower is a top commercial solar provider in the U.S.* Schedule a commercial solar consultation today.

  • *. Best Places. Santa Barbara, CA, Climate. May 2021. Project Sunroof data explorer (November 2018).
  • *. Electricity Local. Santa Barbara Electricity Rates. May 2021.
  • *. Energy Sage. Solar Panels in Santa Barbara, CA. May 2021.
  • *. Local Solar Installers 2020/2021, Solar Reviews 2021, Energy Sage 2021, Wood Mackenzie 2020, National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2020
  • *. Tax credits and incentives subject to change. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. Southern California Edison (SCE). Save on Energy Storage Systems to Keep Your Home Powered. May 2021.
  • *. The availability of net metering varies by location and is subject to change. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. Wood Mackenzie, US PV Leaderboard (March 2021). SunPower ranked #1 in cumulative commercial volume 2017-2020
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