s the push for renewable energy sources gains momentum, an ever-growing number of homeowners are choosing to utilize the power of the sun to meet their energy demands sustainably. However, the key to a successful solar installation lies in the quality of the installer you choose. With numerous solar companies to pick from, it can be daunting for homeowners to determine which installer best suits their needs. Fear not! This article provides an all-inclusive list of the finest solar panel installation companies in the United States, as well as tips to help you make an informed decision.
The rise of solar power and the role of solar companies
Solar energy is shining brighter than ever in the USA, with more people recognizing its potential to fight climate change and government incentives boosting its popularity. According to a SEIA report, in 2022, the U.S. added 20.2 GWdc of PV capacity, resulting in the country's total installed capacity reaching 142.3 GWdc, enough to run 25 million homes. Interestingly, solar energy represented 50% of all new electricity-generating capacity added in 2022, which is the largest annual share in the industry's history. Moreover, residential PV installations achieved a record high of nearly 6 GWdc, showing a 40% surge from the previous year.
Solar energy has become more accessible thanks to the growing number of US solar companies providing diverse products and services to cater to customers' needs. As of 2023, there are 435 companies in solar energy sector operating in the country, up 18.8% from the previous year, according to industry research firm IBISWorld. Among these businesses, solar system installation companies dominate the scene, providing end-to-end services such as financing, maintenance, and repairs to ensure a seamless shift to clean energy for customers.
Comparing solar companies: a must-do for your PV panel project
Before jumping into the deep end of solar installation, it's crucial to compare solar panel companies. The market is saturated with options, and you want to make sure you're working with a provider that aligns with your values and meets your specific needs.
While it may be tempting to go with the first installer you come across, doing so could lead to costly mistakes and missed opportunities. By comparing different solar companies, you can assess their reputations, experience, and track records to ensure that you work with a reputable and reliable partner. Additionally, by taking the time to compare the prices and services of various solar companies, you can ensure that you are getting the best value for your investment.
Top criteria to consider when evaluating solar panel companies
Evaluating solar providers can be daunting, especially if you are new to the industry. However, there are some key criteria that you can use to assess potential solar companies to work with. In this section, we will look at the top factors to consider.
When it comes to assessing solar energy companies, their reputation holds significant weight. It reflects their past performance, indicating their trustworthiness and reliability in delivering exceptional products and services. You can begin to evaluate the reputation of solar companies by browsing through their online reviews and ratings, which will give you an insight into their customer satisfaction levels. Additionally, you can request references from several solar companies and chat with their previous customers to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences.
The experience of solar panel companies is another important aspect to consider when evaluating them. Since solar energy is a relatively new field, numerous solar companies have only been operating for a short time. Therefore, it's vital to choose a provider with a high level of expertise and a successful track record in the industry. Experienced solar companies are more likely to have the required knowledge and skills to design and install an ideal PV energy system. Moreover, established solar energy companies often have established supplier connections, ensuring that their solar panel systems are constructed with the highest quality materials.
Quality of the panels
Quality of the PV panels should be a top priority when comparing solar energy companies since it can have a large impact on how well the entire system performs. They are a significant investment that can last for many years, so it's essential to choose a reputable firm that offers durable, high-quality panels. Opting for quality equipment not only ensures that it generates more energy but also that it requires less maintenance throughout its lifespan. To assess the quality, key factors to consider include the materials used, panel efficiency, and component durability.
The materials utilized in solar panels play a critical role in determining their overall quality. Typically, premium panels offered by the best incorporate monocrystalline silicon cells that have greater efficiency in converting sunlight into electricity. Moreover, quality products usually come with solid warranties that ensure their performance and power output for a specific period.
Pricing and financing options
When it comes to assessing solar panel companies, it's crucial to take financing options into account as well. PV system costs can vary significantly, which means it's essential to do a comparative analysis of prices and opportunities across various providers. Some solar companies offer financing options, such as leases or loans, which can make the initial cost of a system more feasible. Moreover, a few providers might also present incentives or rebates, which can drive down the overall expenditure of a solar panel system even further.
An important aspect to take into account is the warranties and guarantees solar companies offer. Trustworthy solar energy companies should provide comprehensive warranties on their products and services, offering you peace of mind that your investment is safeguarded in case of any defects or malfunctions. Additionally, it's vital to ensure that solar companies provide guarantees on their installation work to ensure optimal system performance for the long term. You should also consider solar companies that offer performance guarantees, ensuring that your photovoltaic energy system will generate a specified amount of energy over a given period of time.
Customer service and support
Finally, it's essential to evaluate the customer service and support of multiple solar panel companies. Look for solar companies that are quick to respond, pay attention to detail, and have effective communication skills. It's ideal to go for an installer with a dedicated customer support team to swiftly address any queries or issues. Additionally, it's wise to consider solar energy system companies that provide ongoing support and maintenance services to ensure your setup runs at peak performance.
Top solar companies in the United States
With so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which ones are the best. In this section, we will highlight ten leading solar companies in the USA that are at the forefront of offering sustainable energy solutions.
With more than three decades of experience in delivering effective PV panel solutions to homeowners, SunPower is regarded as one of the best and most experienced solar energy companies. In 2020, they separated its manufacturing division into Maxeon Solar Technologies, but the panels are still designed to function optimally with SunPower systems. The provider has also developed its own cutting-edge energy storage and microinverter technology, allowing for a streamlined solar power system that maximizes efficiency.
SunPower is available across all 50 states, although coverage may vary by zip code. While they charge higher than other companies in solar energy market, investing in their premium panels ensures peak performance for your system. Moreover, SunPower offers a 25-year system and labor warranty, guaranteeing complete peace of mind for its customers.
Palmetto Solar has been leading the way in residential photovoltaic systems since 2010, catering to customers in 23 states and Washington, D.C. They take pride in their transparency, allowing customers to choose high-quality equipment that best suits their requirements.
Palmetto has partnered with Q Cells, providing customers with high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panels that have an extended lifespan. These Q Cells black anodized aluminum panels, boasting efficiency rates of up to 19.5%, are among the top picks for customers. Moreover, their Palmetto Protect Plan provides active monitoring of your system and discounts on solar services. Palmetto's Q Cells manufacturer's warranty spans 25 years, covering equipment and performance for each panel, ensuring customers' peace of mind for many years.
Sunrun, a San Francisco-based firm that has been operating since 2007, has been one of the key companies in solar energy sector. Although Sunrun does not manufacture its PV panels, it provides superior monocrystalline panels that boast a longer lifespan, averaging between 25 and 40 years, and higher efficiency rates than what's typically available from other solar panel companies. Additionally, their innovative Brightbox solar battery service offers affordable energy storage solutions. Despite Sunrun's 10-year warranty being shorter than that of other solar companies, it is highly comprehensive, covering all equipment replacement and system repair costs.
ADT Solar, formerly Sunpro Solar, is an innovative provider offering high-quality solar panels, inverters, and batteries. With a wide range of options to choose from, ADT Solar operates in 21 states and provides unparalleled customer service to help you pick the right equipment for your energy needs. Their installation process is simple, and their roofing services ensure a seamless experience. ADT Solar offers comprehensive warranties to secure your investment for the next 25 years, including a 25-year labor guarantee, a 25-year power production guarantee, and a 25-year system performance guarantee.
Blue Raven Solar
Blue Raven Solar, LLC, founded in 2014, has become one of the fastest-growing solar panel companies in the country. The firm has made it its mission to provide homeowners with a simple and affordable way to get solar technology. Blue Raven uses black monocrystalline PV panels, which are known for being the best option for residential energy production. They install reliable and affordable brands such as Trina and Canadian Solar and also provide the BluePower Plus+ plan, allowing homeowners to pay off 33% of their system in the first 18 months with no money down and no prepayment penalty.
Elevation Solar stands out among other solar energy companies by offering a comprehensive "Elevated Home" service that provides energy efficiency upgrades to improve homeowners' savings. The firm offers energy audits to identify structural issues causing energy loss and sells Curb Energy Monitoring devices to track usage and control smart devices. Elevation uses high-quality solar panels from reputable dealers and manufacturers like LG and Panasonic, along with dependable batteries. Each system comes with a 25-year product and workmanship warranty. The provider services five states - Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, and Texas - and offers financing options through cash payments or solar loans.
Solar Energy World
Solar Energy World (SEW) is an established solar provider founded in 2009 and primarily caters to the East Coast. It has partnered with renowned solar manufacturers and offers a range of products from brands like Silfab, LONGi, and Q Cells. SEW also offers inverters from Enphase, SolarEdge, and Fronius and solar batteries from Tesla Powerwall, Enphase, and SolarEdge.
The provider stands out from its competitors by offering a "triple-platinum" 30-year warranty that covers panels, inverters, and labor. They currently serve eight states, including Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Freedom Solar is a Texas-based installer founded in 2007 that has quickly expanded to multiple locations across Texas, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. The business aims to enable all homeowners to install renewable energy and focuses on solar financing options as well as comprehensive solar products. With various payment options available, including a cash purchase, lease, loan, and PPA, customers can find an option that suits their needs. Additionally, Freedom Solar provides a 25-year power output warranty for all rooftop solar panels and promises to pay the difference if the panels do not produce the amount quoted to the customer.
While Freedom Solar is a bit pricey, customer reviews consistently mention their excellent customer service, which includes clear communication, professionalism, and prompt responses to queries even long after the installation is completed.
In the solar industry, Trinity Solar is a trailblazer among solar panel companies. It began as a heating and air conditioning business and transitioned to solar in 2004 and has grown into one of the biggest private solar companies in the United States, with tens of thousands of PV installations under its belt. Offering no-cost installation, permit acquisition, and various financing options, Trinity Solar makes it effortless for homeowners to switch to solar. Customers can either buy the solar equipment upfront or finance it through a lease or power purchase agreement. Although its warranties are not as long as those of other solar system companies, covering the inverter for 12 years and workmanship for only five years, Trinity provides financing options that cater to any budget, ensuring that more people can afford solar panels and enjoy their benefits.
Momentum Solar, established in 2009 in South Plainfield, N.J., is now a widely-known solar installer that offers services in various states, such as California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Its strategic selection of states with established net-metering programs sets it apart from other solar companies in the field. Momentum Solar installs Tier 1 monocrystalline solar panels that have a longer lifespan of between 25 to 40 years and collaborates with Enphase Energy for its microinverters. They also provide a mobile app that allows customers to conveniently track the installation process and energy production.
Considering solar energy companies for your installation: a wrap-up
When it comes to planning a solar panel project, it's crucial not to skip the step of comparing solar companies. Doing your homework and scrutinizing various providers empowers you to select the one that resonates with your principles and caters to your specific needs. Top factors to bear in mind when assessing solar panel companies encompass their reputation, expertise, module quality, pricing, financing alternatives, warranties and guarantees, as well as customer service and support.
Taking into account these aspects enables you to make an informed choice that guarantees a high-quality solar power system that functions at its best for years to come. Opting for a trustworthy and dependable solar installer secures your investment and ensures you get the highest bang for your buck. Ultimately, comparing solar companies is a non-negotiable task for anyone looking to invest in solar, and it's a venture that pays off in the long haul by offering your home or business renewable and clean energy.