Bay Area residents pay more per watt for solar energy than the rest of the nation, says San Francisco Business Times digital producer Riley McDermid. According to a study done by EnergySage, these residents pay more but have smaller systems, however are still outpacing the national average when it comes to offset electricity.
The Bay Area pays around $3.91 per watt of solar power, an average of 20 cents more than the national cost. That cost is also 10 cents higher than what their neighbors in Los Angeles County pay. However, overall solar's average net cost in the Bay Area is $13,000, about $5,000 less than the national average.
There's a reason for that disparity, Vikram Aggarwal, CEO and founder of EnergySage, told the Business Times, and much of it has to do with the high costs to install and maintain solar in the region. "The price of solar in the Bay Area is a culmination of a number of factors, such as economies of scale, the price of equipment, permitting costs, and complexity of installation such as roof height and structure," he said. "The average prices per watt in the Bay Area can range from $3.50 per watt to over $4.25 per watt. Meaning for an average system, when you do the math, Bay Area consumers can save up to $3,600 by comparison shopping cost per watt."