Rancho Electric      Solar Electric Installers for Butte county, Glenn County, Colusa County, and Tehama County

American Made Solar Power

Cost of Solar Electric

The cost of solar power vary by site, but in general the bigger the system the lower the cost of solar per watt. Investing in a solar electric system for your home or business is a large investment and you should compare at least 3 solar electric contractors. If you would like to own your own solar electric system then the greatest incentive that can lower the cost of solar is the federal tax credit. This tax credit reduces the cost of solar electric systems by 30%.

Rancho Electric
Lic: C-10#276359

Steve Elliott

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Saturday
8 AM – 6 PM

Service Areas:
Glenn County,Butte County, Tehama County
and Colusa County
• Durham 
• Orland 
• Willows 
• Red Bluff 
• Richvale 
• Corning 
• Chico 
• Colusa 
• Williams 

How long does it take for a Solar Electric system to pay for itself?

 This question depends on several factors;

1. The cost of solar power after rebates and incentives.

2. How efficient is the solar electric system that is purchased.  It is important that an actual electrician designs and installs your solar project, otherwise your system may have losses due to improper wiring methods. It is also important to verify that the system you purchase is made with quality solar panels  and solar power components, and the solar electric system is installed in an area with full year around sun.  In this area Chico, Willows, Orland, Red Bluff, and the surrounding counties in order to obtain optimum performance from a fixed mount solar electric system it should be tilted at a 21 degree angle facing south, any variance from this design will lower the actual annual production of the solar electric system. The second most common mistake in designing a solar electric system is to install the solar panels in an area with shading issues.   It is extremely important to have full sun exposure from May-October as this is when PG&E will credit your solar electric system at the higher rates. “Solar Panels  generate very little energy in the shade.” Please ask for a second opinion if a solar electric contractor tells you that the solar panels will work efficiently facing West or in an area with shade issues. In some cases the initial cost of solar power may be lower by installing solar panels on a building facing West, but in the long run the return on investment on a  solar power system facing South will greatly exceed a solar power system facing West.

3. What is the average price per KWH that was paid for electricity?  The higher the cost paid for each KWH the faster a solar electric system will pay for itself. For example, a customer that has a $500 average monthly bill at his/her home will be able to recoup their  costs of solar electric before a home that has a $300 average monthly utility bill. In the PG&E territory the electrical rates charged to residential customers is tiered, so the more electricity your household uses the higher rate you will pay and your solar electric system will save you the higher rates first.

What was the net cost of  Solar Electric System?

The cost of solar electric system varies for every site, but the biggest factor is how many kilowatt hours of electricity your family uses per year on average.  After we have analyzed your electrical usage for the past 24 months, and determined the best method to mount the Solar Electric system, we will be able to determine the actual solar power costs. There are several other factors that will determine the cost of solar or to install a solar power system at your site, but we will work diligently to provide you with best value possible for your solar power system. We take great pride and care in sizing your solar power system correctly so that you are not surprised when you receive your final bill from the utility company at the end of the year.

 Cost of Solar Electric System - Residential  Example

For Example, a customer with a $300 average bill would need approximately 28, 240 watt Sharp solar panels or a 6.72KW  solar electric system to offset the majority of their bill.

 Solar Electric Cost                    $31,584 or $4.70 per watt

Less Rebate       $1611

Less Tax Credit  $8891

Net Cost =          $21,082

$21,082/$3000= 7 year  Payback on Investment

What are the Financial Incentives for installing a Solar Electric system?

Currently, in the PG&E territory the biggest incentivetlowers the cost of solar electric system is the 30% federal tax credit. There are still some rebates left  through the California Solar Initiative, but they are going fast.  If you are considering a commercial solar power system then you may be eligible to depreciate approximately an additional 30% of the solar electric cost if your project is installed during 2012.


Can I lease a Solar Electric system instead of purchasing the system?

Yes you can, but you should first consider purchasing the solar power system for the following reasons;

 The leasing company will receive the 30% federal tax credit for your solar power system. The major financial incentive to install solar power is to capture the federal tax credit. If you can use the tax credit, it is in your best interest to purchase the solar electric system your self so that you will actually own it. If you lease the solar power system then your business or home will continue to pay costly utility bills indefinitely even though they may be at a reduced rate usually “12-15” percent lower than in the past. If you were to purchase the solar electric system you will be able to eliminate the majority of your electric costs for the next 25-40 years.  Alternatively, if you don’t have the financial resources, or if the Federal Tax Credit would not benefit your business or home, then leasing the solar electric system may be a good option.

What is the useful life of a Solar Power System?

Sharp solar panels are guaranteed to produce 80% of the solar power Rancho Electric sold you at the time of the solar power installation. The solar power inverters we sell are guaranteed for at 10 years or more. 


Service Areas: Willows , Chico, Orland,  Glenn, Colusa, Williams, Maxwell Tehama, Los Molinos  Redbluff,Tehama County, Corning Princeton, Richvale Glenn County Tehama County Butte County  Sutter County Colusa County.