If you want to enjoy maximum solar exposure in San Diego, tilt your solar panels towards the equator, according to historical records. This is why you need to work with the best solar companies in San Diego to ensure your solar panels deliver maximum value.
Solar panels tilted at that angle can produce an average of 6.03kWh/square meter/day. This is higher than what you will get in Boston.
In other words, San Diego has fairly higher solar irradiation than other parts of the United States.
Generally, the Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) average per month in San Diego is 5.26 kWh/m2/day. It’s about nine percent lower than the 5.76 kWh/m2/day Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) per month.
Based on historical records, San Diego experiences the highest solar power production in July.
Solar installations in San Diego
As of April 2021, the average cost of electricity for residential homes in San Diego was 23.37 cents per kWh. This is seventy percent higher than the national average of 13.76 cents per kWh. Perhaps, this explains why there are big solar panel installations in San Diego.
The 336,520 watts Petco Park solar installation that began in 2018 is one of the largest in San Diego. It is the largest solar power system in Major League Baseball (MLB). It is projected to produce 12 million kWh of electricity in the next 25 years.
Also, in July 2021, BayWa r.e. reached a purchase agreement with San Diego Community Power (SDCP). The agreement stipulates that SDCP would purchase power from BayWa r.e.’s Jacumba Valley Ranch (JVR) Energy Park for 20 years. The project is estimated to produce over 90 MW of energy.
Kearny High School has carports covered with over 1,000 solar panels that generate about 240 kilowatts of power and the project alone saves the San Diego Unified School District $43,000 annual electricity cost.
List of 8 best solar companies in San Diego
In the United States, the industry average cost of installing solar panels is $3 per watt.
Stellar Solar puts the number of solar-related companies in San Diego at 385. However, this figure encompasses all the solar companies that service the area not necessarily only those that have their headquarters there.
To put together best solar companies in San Diego list, we considered several factors including customer satisfaction which we judged through solar reviews in San Diego, the cost of installation, and the kinds of services they offer. All our selections have over 200 reviews on a reputable solar review website.
Address: 964 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA
Semper Solaris is one of the few solar contractors in San Diego that offers 25 years warranty in solar systems, battery systems, and solar roofing. For their roofing services, you will even get much more. The company came into existence in 2012 through the ingenuity of co-owners John Almond and Kelly Shawhan. Its corporate headquarters is in El Cajon in San Diego County. However, they have offices in eight communities including Santa Fe Springs, Santa Ana, Fresno, etc.
In addition to installation services, the company also handles maintenance, repairs, and monitoring. Interestingly, if your roof needs repairs or remodeling before installation, they can handle that too. They charge $4.15 which is higher than the industry average. Also, some Semper Solaris solar reviews in San Diego shows delay in paperwork. Besides these slight setbacks, maximum satisfaction is guaranteed.
Address: 3111 Camino Del Rio North, San Diego, CA
With La Solar Group, you will get 25 years of warranty on solar systems and 10 years on battery systems. They offer a variety of products for commercial and residential customers including design and installation. La Solar Group is the brainchild of Ara Petrosyan. Before launching the company, Petrosyan has over a decade working as an installer, technician, and engineer in the solar energy industry.
La Solar Group was launched in 2012. In roughly seven years of existence, the company installed about 100 commercial solar energy systems and close to 8,000 residential solar energy systems. About fifty percent of the company’s sales are completed online while fifteen percent come from referrals. With this company, you will pay $3.6 per watt. There have also been multiple negative reports regarding the quality of their services. Bear these points in mind when negotiating a contract.
Address: 550 West B Street, 4th Floor San Diego, CA 92101
Solar Optimum is one of the foremost solar installation companies in San Diego. It came into existence in 2008 and has bagged virtually all certifications in the solar industry including Panasonic certified elite installer and Tesla energy Powerwall certified installer. Also, the company won the 2020 Panasonic National Solar Installer of the Year.
Solar Optimum offers 25 years warranty on solar panels, inverters, workmanship, and racking and mounting. However, they offer only 10 years warranty on battery storage. Most of the Solar Optimum solar energy reviews have been mostly positive. If you decide to work with this company, you will be paying $3.53 per watt which is far closer to the national average than other companies in this area.
Address: 600 B St. San Diego, CA 92101
NRG Clean Power is arguably the oldest solar power company in San Diego. Established in 1987, the company is probably the only solar installer in San Diego that offers a lifetime workmanship warranty. NRG Clean Power has also succeeded in securing affiliations with top manufacturers. The company is Panasonic authorized installer, Tesla certified installer, Hyundai authorized installer, and much more.
NRG Clean Power’s main goal is to change the way energy is produced, stored, and consumed. The company believes that energy production should be decentralized, affordable, clean, and deregulated. Perhaps, this is the reason why their installation costs only $2.75 per watt which is lower than the national average.
Address: 8969 Kenamar Drive, San Diego, CA
With PetersenDean you will get 25 years warranty for solar systems, battery systems, and roofing. Founded in 1984 by Joe Dean and James Petersen, the company lays more emphasis on sales and financing over solar leasing. Although it has its headquarters in Fremont California, it is an active solar contractor in four other states namely Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Florida.
PetersenDean started solar energy installation in 2006 and has installed over 10,000 commercial and residential solar systems ever since. The company makes annual residential and commercial solar installations worth over $250 million. If you work with this company, you will be paying $4.04 per watt. According to reviews, they are highly knowledgeable about solar installations.
Address: 7340 Trade Street, San Diego, CA
Although Sunline Energy may not be popular outside San Diego, it has been in existence since 2012. Founded by Matthew Margolin, the company has completed over three thousand solar installations. What stands Sunline Energy out from the rest is its fully customized energy solutions that fit the physical dimension of commercial and residential buildings.
Another striking feature of Sunline Energy is that the entire process of designing, testing, installation, and maintenance is done by an in-house team without involving outside contractors. Also, each project is under the supervision of a dedicated installation manager. Working with Sunline Energy, you will get your installation running at $3.35 per watt which is close to the national average.
Address: 1298 Pacific Oaks Place, Escondido, CA
Baker Electric is one of the foremost San Diego-based solar energy design and installation firms. They design and install both residential and commercial solar systems. Baker Electric has been in existence since 1938, founded by Leroy Baker. However, it was not until 2007 that Baker Electric Home Energy was incorporated.
In roughly a decade but the company has been able to install about 2,000 solar systems and roughly 8,600 residential solar systems. In addition to solar panels, they sell and install smart home energy management systems and solar batteries. Even more interesting is the fact that they offer 25 years warranty for solar systems, battery systems, and solar roofs. Installation with Baker Electric costs $3.78 per watt.
Address: 8949 Kenamar Drive, San Diego, CA
Before working with Sullivan Solar Power, the first thing that you need to note is that they only offer 20 years warranty on solar systems and battery systems and not on your roof. Sullivan Solar Power is one of the most successful solar energy companies in the city of San Diego. The company is the brainchild of Daniel Sullivan. The door for business opened in 2004.
To date, Sullivan Solar Power has installed over 8,000 sower systems. The collective capacity of all the solar systems they have installed is over 56,000 kW. San Diego Business Journal and Inc. recently named them the ‘Fastest Growing Company’. If you are working with Sullivan Solar power, the installation will cost you $4.26—which is slightly expensive compared to the national average.
How to Choose Solar Energy Company in San Diego
California has set the goal of depending 100% on renewable energy by 2045. It is not surprising that it is the nation’s leading solar market. Most solar installers in San Diego offer a free consultation to determine if your home is the right fit for solar installation. Consequently, they will hand you a quote.
The average cost of solar installation in San Diego is roughly $17,000. However, this value comes down if you consider the California Solar Initiative rebate and the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit. When choosing the best solar companies in San Diego, here are the two important considerations.
1. Type of solar panel
You have the option of choosing between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels. Monocrystalline panels are more expensive than polycrystalline panels. However, they have better efficiency. If you have a large installation space, polycrystalline panels may be a better option for cutting down on cost.
2. Mounting type
For residential solar panels, solar installers in San Diego can opt for either ground mounting or rooftops. Rooftops are usually less expensive and easier to install. They are usually installed facing the south and inclined at thirty degrees angle.
3. Payment terms
The best solar installers in San Diego will usually offer more than one way for customers to get into the installation of solar systems. They include;
- Owning the system and the energy that it produces by paying fully to the solar energy company
- Obtaining the solar system through a loan and paying in several installments
- Rent or lease the solar system
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does solar make sense in San Diego?
According to a report from the California Environment Research & Policy Center, San Diego now sits on the second spot among US major cities with regards to installed solar energy capacity per capita. Considering the high cost of energy, a solar system installation is a smart investment in San Diego.
- How much does solar cost in San Diego?
For an installation of a 5 kW solar system, the average cost can range from $12,028 to $16,272 in San Diego. However, the total cost might be lower because of rebates from California Solar Initiative and renewable energy tax credit.
- What is the best solar company in San Diego?
NRG Clean Power and Semper Solaris are among the leading solar companies in San Diego. Go through our review for a full list of the best solar companies in San Diego.
- What are the 2 main disadvantages of solar energy?
Among the various disadvantages of solar energy, high upfront cost and its total dependence on weather are its two main disadvantages. While it can still convert solar energy to electricity on cloudy days, the efficiency drops significantly.
When you choose the option of buying a solar system, you will be in charge of the maintenance—except there is a service plan as part of the agreement. With a lease, the company still oversees the maintenance. However, defects or installation problems are usually covered by warranty and you should not have to worry about that—at least till the expiration of the warranty. You may require licenses or permits to install a solar system in San Diego. The best solar installers in San Diego should tell you what permits you need.