Solar Panels in Los Angeles: An Overview
All Data As of December 31st 2016
- Average Residential Solar System Size in Los Angeles: 5.46 Kilowatts
- Average Cost of Solar Panels in Los Angeles: $26,743 BEFORE incentives ($18,720 AFTER federal incentives)
- Average Cost of Solar Panels in Los Angeles (per watt): $4.96 BEFORE incentives ($3.47 AFTER federal incentives)
Cost of Solar Panels in Los Angeles
In general, larger solar systems will cost less per kilowatt as there are certain fixed costs associated with an installation, so it is important to evaluate pricing by large systems (defined as 5-8 KWs) and medium systems (2-5 KWs). In addition, it is important to look at pricing distributions vs. averages or medians if you want to understand what a good deal is on a solar system.
For a large system, the average cost of solar panels in Los Angeles is $4.64 per watt (before incentives) and 25% of consumers paid less than $3.76 per watt. For a medium system, the average cost of solar panels in Los Angeles is $5.45 (before incentives) and 25% of consumers paid less than $4.32 per watt. So if you are looking to get the best price for a solar system in California and have an average sized system, you should find an installer below $3.50 per watt.
Solar Financing and Installation Trends in Los Angeles
Residential solar installations have increased significantly in California, although growth slowed in 2016. From 2010 to 2016, installations have increased from 18,000 to 150,000, making California the largest residential solar market in the U.S. by a wide margin. The slowdown in installation activity and installer turmoil, has created a buying opportunity for consumers. In Los Angeles, solar installations have increased from 2,053 in 2010 to 18,315 in 2016.
Solar Trends in Los Angeles: June 2017 Update
Los Angeles solar permits decreased 32% to 478 in June from 700 in June 2016 and decreased 10% from May 2017 (YTD decrease of 30%).
Solar Financing in Los Angeles
In 2016, 49% of consumers purchased their solar system either with cash or a loan vs. 51% used a lease or power purchase agreement (PPA) structure. Refer to our lease vs. buy guide to understand the implications of solar financing options. The percentage of consumers that purchased their solar system in California has increased in 2016 due to an increasing number of low-cost solar loans.
Top Solar Companies in Los Angeles
Choosing a solar installer is arguably the most important step of going solar and we recommend reading our guide on how to choose a solar company. In Los Angeles in 2016, approximately 58% of consumers chose a local installer vs. 42% that chose a national installer (SolarCity, Vivint or Sunrun).