he solar industry has experienced a dramatic surge in the US thanks to favorable government policies, cost-effective technology, and a growing demand for green energy. With a bevy of solar companies crowding the market, however, it's become difficult for consumers to differentiate and pick the right option to fulfill the solar needs of their homes. Fear not, we have compiled a list of the top solar providers in the country, complete with tips to help you make an informed decision and discover the perfect match for your solar endeavor. Regardless of whether you're seeking PV panels for your home, business, or neighborhood, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to choose wisely and enjoy the myriad advantages of solar power.
Solar energy market in the US
Solar power has experienced an incredible surge in popularity over the last decade, with the US seeing an average annual growth rate of 33%. Thanks to federal policies and increasing demand for clean energy, there is now over 142 GW of solar capacity nationwide. This is enough to power 25 million homes and is just the beginning of what is to come.
The US residential solar market is set to explode in the coming years, with a projected growth rate of 15.3% from 2023 to 2030. With environmental concerns growing, people are increasingly turning to cleaner and more efficient energy sources. Additionally, declining solar costs and favorable government policies will continue to drive the industry forward.
With all this growth, it's no wonder that the number of solar energy installers nationwide is on the rise, currently exceeding 10,000 companies. While having more choices is always a good thing, it can also make it challenging for homeowners to decide which contractor to choose. But with the positive impact that solar energy can have on the environment and the economy, it's definitely worth taking the time to find the right installer for your needs.
Criteria for selecting best solar power companies
Going for solar power is an excellent move that can potentially save you a fortune in the long run while also having a positive impact on the environment. However, selecting the right solar energy firm to collaborate with can pose a challenge. Here, we'll showcase the critical factors that were taken into account while comparing the leading solar energy providers for our list.
Quality of PV panels
The quality of solar panels was a crucial element we evaluated when handpicking solar installation companies. The performance of solar panels is directly related to their quality, which, in turn, affects the overall energy output of your home PV system. High-quality panels can generate more electricity, last longer, and require less maintenance.
Top-rated solar power companies use photovoltaic panels made from high-quality materials that are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and provide maximum efficiency. They also offer a warranty that covers the panels for a long period, which gives customers peace of mind knowing that their investment is protected.
When evaluating the quality of the panels, it is crucial to consider the manufacturer's reputation, as well as the certifications and standards that the panels meet. Solar panels that are certified by organizations such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) are known to meet high quality and safety standards.
Installation service and experience
Setting up solar panels can be a complex process, and choosing a company with a reliable installation service is crucial. A reputable company will have experienced and certified firms who can ensure that the installation process is safe, efficient, and compliant with local regulations.
In our assessment of installation services provided by different companies, we factored in experience and qualifications. The best companies have a team of proficient and skilled providers who can complete the installation process promptly and efficiently.
Customer service and support
Solar power systems can be pretty complex, and it's not always easy for homeowners to tackle their installation or upkeep. That's why we've narrowed down our list of recommended solar installation companies to those who go the extra mile to ensure their customers receive excellent service and support. To be more specific, we're talking about firms with a responsive and knowledgeable customer service team and clear-cut instructions for installation and maintenance.
And it's not just about the initial installation – it's equally important to choose a solar energy company that will stay by your side for the lifespan of your home PV system. This includes ongoing support, like regular check-ins to make sure everything is running smoothly, as well as any assistance you might need with troubleshooting or repairs.
When picking out residential solar energy companies for our list, we took into account their warranty and maintenance policies as a crucial factor. After all, investing in solar panels is a long-term commitment, and you'll want to ensure your investment is well-protected. A reputable company should provide a comprehensive warranty that encompasses the expenses of any repairs or replacements that may crop up throughout the lifespan of your solar panels.
Top national solar energy companies
It's time to dive into the topic you've been eagerly anticipating - the top players in the solar energy industry. We'll give you a rundown of each firm's offerings and what makes them stand out.
SunPower, a solar company based in San Jose, has been a leading innovator in the commercial solar industry for years, producing cutting-edge solar energy products. However, the business recently shifted its attention to the residential market after spinning off its manufacturing division to a new entity called Maxeon and acquiring the US solar energy company Blue Raven Solar. SunPower has a nationwide presence across all 50 states, although its coverage area varies depending on the ZIP code. To check whether they service your home address, it is best to reach out to the company directly.
SunPower's top-quality monocrystalline solar panels boast an impressive lifespan of 25 to 40 years and an efficiency range of 20.1% to 22.8%, surpassing the industry's average of 15% to 20%. Additionally, the company offers its SunVault Storage, a battery that works in conjunction with SunPower's panels to supply your home with energy during low-sunlight periods and grid outages.
Although SunPower does not offer online quotes, EnergySage estimates that Maxeon panels cost around $3.30 per watt, which is higher than the industry average of $3 per watt.
ADT Solar, formerly known as Sunpro Solar, is a top-tier provider of solar panel and battery installation services with a strong presence in 21 states across the US. Their wide-ranging services cater to the unique needs of homeowners and businesses alike, offering solar panel installation, battery backup installation, and online monitoring. ADT utilizes high-quality monocrystalline solar panels from trusted brands such as Panasonic and microinverters from Enphase Energy, known for their exceptional performance and energy optimization capabilities. Customers can also choose their preferred solar battery, such as Tesla Powerwall 2 or Enphase Encharge 10, to suit their specific energy requirements.
The provider's pricing is in line with the average cost of solar panels in the market, making sustainable energy accessible and affordable for customers. ADT's warranty goes beyond the industry standard of product and 10-year workmanship guarantees, providing a comprehensive 25-year warranty that ensures your home system's performance for decades to come.
Sunrun, a top residential provider in the US with 15 years of experience, operates in 22 states and territories, providing high-efficiency monocrystalline panels from well-known brands like Costco and LONGi. The company stands out with its Brightbox solar battery service that offers customers two lithium-ion solar battery storage options for use during power outages and low sunlight hours. The service includes installation, maintenance, and monitoring of the solar batteries and is exclusively available to new Sunrun customers.
While Sunrun's pricing for financed solar energy systems is slightly above average, their leases are the most attractive option. Sunrun has two leasing options: monthly leases and full leases. Monthly leases require customers to pay a fixed monthly fee to rent their equipment, and they can use all the power their panels generate to offset their utility bills. Full leases require customers to pay for 25 years of energy consumption upfront, but they don't have to pay a monthly fee to use the energy from their panels during the lease term. Sunrun's warranty covers 25 years, which is an industry standard, and they also offer a 10-year warranty on any roof damage caused during installation. If you purchase the array, you should contact the panel manufacturer for any warranty claims.
Blue Raven Solar
Blue Raven Solar is a business founded in 2014 and has quickly become a leader in the industry. This home solar company offers panels from reliable and affordable brands such as Trina and Canadian Solar. However, what really sets them apart is its exclusive financing plans. Blue Raven does not provide solar leases or power purchase agreements (PPAs). Instead, they offer their customers two financing options: BluePower Plus+ and SmartStart. BluePower Plus+ allows clients to make $ 0 upfront payments for the first 18 months of their system's life and pay the loan off at any time without penalty. Meanwhile, SmartStart extends the low promotional payment period for up to 42 months.
Another key advantage of going with Blue Raven is the warranty that they provide with their solar panels. Customers are given a 25-year product warranty, which will cover any issues related to the manufacturing of the panels themselves. In addition, Blue Raven provides a 10-year workmanship warranty that covers homeowners against faulty workmanship or errors by the installation team. However, routine maintenance, such as solar panel cleaning or snow removal, is the responsibility of the homeowner.
Momentum Solar, established in 2009, has rapidly expanded to become one of the leading residential solar providers in the United States. The firm operates from its headquarters in South Plainfield, N.J., and has extended its services to ten different states across the country. Momentum offers its customers professional solar energy installations, monitoring services, and financing plans. They provide solar panels from various reputable brands but only partner with Tier 1 solar manufacturers to ensure top-quality products.
Additionally, Momentum has created an interactive mobile app that offers numerous features and benefits. The app allows homeowners to keep up-to-date with their solar system installation progress, schedule appointments, and receive real-time alerts. Also, they can access comprehensive data about their home energy production.
Customers have a wide range of financing plans to select from, including a solar lease, loan, and PPA. When it comes to warranties, Momentum has got you covered with a 25-year equipment and workmanship guarantee, encompassing both the products and the labor involved.
Palmetto, established in 2010, has built a reputation for providing quality solar energy systems. With services currently available in 24 states and the District of Columbia, Palmetto Solar offers a comprehensive range of solar energy solutions. They provide PV panel installation and energy storage, utilizing monocrystalline solar panels manufactured by Q-Cells. Additionally, the company offers a range of solar services, including panel cleaning, pest abatement, and battery installation. Their Palmetto Protect Plan, which costs as low as $12 per month, offers active monitoring and discounts on solar services, ensuring that your home PV energy system operates at peak efficiency.
Palmetto offers a 25-year manufacturer's warranty that covers both the product and performance of their panels. Although they don't provide pricing information on their website, the company does have a savings calculator to estimate how much you can save by switching to solar.
Green Home Systems
Green Home Systems has a rich history, having started as a small home improvement company in California in the mid-80s. It has since grown into a full-service renewable energy provider servicing ten states, providing customers with solar panels from leading manufacturers such as Panasonic, LG, and LONGi. GHS specializes in monocrystalline panels, the most energy efficient type of solar panel available in the market today. The company offers a wide range of additional equipment options, including inverters from SolarEdge, microinverters from Enphase, and solar batteries from Enphase and LG.
One of the advantages of choosing Green Home Systems for your solar needs is its affordable pricing. GHS’s ability to bulk-buy means lower costs that it can pass along to customers. Ultimately, this translates into a faster payback and relatively higher savings throughout the life of the PV energy system.
Green Home Systems' solar loans start at a low .99% APR, and customers can also choose to pay upfront in cash. The company gives a 25-year equipment warranty, 25-year workmanship warranty, and 25-year performance guarantee providing customers with long-term protection and peace of mind.
Freedom Solar is a highly reputable full-service solar energy company that provides residential rooftop solar services. Established in 2004 in Colorado, the firm has quickly grown and now has multiple locations in Texas, as well as in Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. NABCEP certified and a SunPower Master Dealer, this company delivers top-of-the-line solar panels and is licensed to install Tesla PowerWall.
What sets Freedom Solar apart from many solar installation companies is its ability to specialize in complex solar energy projects, including setting up PV panels on shingle, tile, flat, standing-seam metal, tin, or corrugated metal roofs. The provider uses in-house crews for all installation work, which ensures that customers receive top-notch service from trained professionals. With a warranty that spans over 25 years, the company has got you covered for product, performance, and workmanship. Freedom Solar may come with a steep price tag, but it's worth the investment, according to many satisfied customers.
Trinity Solar is a family-owned business specializing in solar panel installation on the East Coast. Since its founding in 1994, the company has grown to become the largest privately held residential solar panel installation provider in the United States. Despite its impressive size, Trinity remains committed to providing personalized customer service to each client. They only offer Q Cells solar panels, which are highly efficient with an energy efficiency rating between 20.6% and 21.4%. Trinity also provides top-rated inverters and batteries from leading brands like Tesla, Generac, and SolarEdge.
While the company offers high-quality products and personalized customer service, it falls short in terms of its solar warranties. For instance, its workmanship warranty is only valid for five years, considerably shorter than other solar energy companies offering warranties that last between 10 and 25 years. Fortunately, Trinity's solar panels are protected by the industry-standard 25-year manufacturer warranty provided by Q Cells. Their inverter warranty lasts for 12 years and can be extended to 20 or 25 years upon purchase.
Elevation is a solar energy provider that operates in five states: Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, and Texas. The company uses top-performing solar panels from reputable manufacturers such as LG and Panasonic. Additionally, Elevation offers solar panel batteries as system add-ons, ensuring that homeowners have access to reliable energy even during power outages. Each solar energy system comes with a 25-year product and workmanship warranty, covering manufacturing defects and installation issues.
Elevation takes a well-rounded approach to energy efficiency, offering energy audits to homeowners in addition to solar energy systems and batteries. Their "Elevated Home" service is designed to help homeowners reduce energy use in their entire house, including smart energy monitoring, duct sealing, and a home performance assessment. With the help of Elevation's in-house crew, any identified structural issues can be upgraded or repaired. According to the company, an energy audit can trim down energy wastage by at least 10%, leading to significant savings on utility bills over time.
Sunnova is a rapidly growing renewable energy company that offers high-quality solar energy systems to homeowners, homebuilders, and community developers. They operate in 38 U.S. states and territories and are one of the country's largest certified Tesla Powerwall installers. Sunnova sets up solar energy systems with or without battery storage and Level 2 EV charging stations supplied by Chargepoint. The company provides all four purchasing models available on the market, from cash payment to fixed payments through a loan or lease, to charge based on power consumption (PPA). However, Sunnova's pricing is slightly higher than most solar energy firms, ranging from $3 to $5 per watt of installed capacity.
One of Sunnova's strongest selling points is its exceptional warranty program, called Sunnova Protect. The program covers repairs, replacements, production guarantees, and system monitoring. The Protect Platinum plan covers Sunnova's solar installations and offers an impressive 25-year warranty. Additionally, the Protect Basic and Protect Premium plans cover systems set up by other companies and come in one- and 10-year versions with different combinations of service elements.
Sunlux is a reliable and full-service solar company with a team of in-house trained, skilled, and safety-certified technicians. Sunlux offers a wide range of products, including solar panels from top brands such as Qcells, Panasonic, and REC, as well as EV charging options and solar batteries from brands like Siemens VersiCharge, LG Chem, SolarEdge, Tesla Powerwall, and Enphase.
What makes Sunlux stand out from other residential solar energy companies is their relentless focus on providing seamless service and support. They go the extra mile by offering a comprehensive 25-year warranty on every hardware component of the solar energy system, including inverters, panels, and racking. If you upgrade to the Platinum Protection Package, Sunlux guarantees the amount of energy generated by your solar system. To top it off, the company also provides 24/7 monitoring, enabling customers to swiftly pinpoint any concerns and arrange for a technician's visit.
Tips for choosing the right solar energy company
Given the wide range of US solar installation companies, you might wonder which one is the perfect fit for your needs. That's why we've put together a list of valuable tips to help you make a well-informed decision. We'll cover crucial factors, such as assessing the provider's reputation and experience, as well as understanding the quality of their products and services, to aid you in selecting the ideal solar installer.
Properly assess your energy needs
Before you start looking for a home solar company, you should clearly understand your energy needs. First, review your utility bills to determine your average monthly energy consumption. This information is essential for solar energy companies to design a system that meets your specific requirements.
Next, consider the size of your home and the available space for solar panel setup. Keep in mind that solar panels can be installed on rooftops, ground-mounted, or even on carports. The placement of solar panels will depend on factors such as the direction and angle of the roof, shading from nearby structures, and local regulations. An accurate assessment of your property's potential for solar panel installation will help you discuss the most suitable options with potential solar energy companies.
Lastly, consider your budget and the financial incentives available in your area. Federal, state, and local incentives can significantly reduce the cost of a solar energy system, making it more affordable for homeowners and businesses. Be sure to research these incentives and factor them into your overall budget to ensure you're making the most cost-effective decision.
Check out multiple quotes and offerings
When selecting a solar energy company, it's essential to gather multiple quotes to compare prices, equipment, and services. This comparison will not only help you find a fair deal but also ensure that you're working with a reputable contractor that meets your specific needs.
When comparing quotes, pay attention to the equipment being offered, including the brand, type, and efficiency of solar panels and inverters. Choose only high-quality, reliable equipment to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your solar energy system.
In addition to equipment, consider the services each company offers. Some companies provide comprehensive packages, including design, installation, and maintenance, while others may only offer installation services. Make sure you fully understand the scope of services provided and any additional costs, such as permits or post installation support, so that you can make an informed decision.
Research company reputation
Reputation is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a solar energy provider. To ensure you're working with a reliable and trustworthy home solar company, take the time to research their background, experience, and customer reviews.
Start by checking the firm's credentials, including their licensing, certifications, and insurance coverage. Solar installation companies should have the necessary licenses and certifications to operate in your area and carry adequate insurance to protect you and their workers during the setup process.
Additionally, consider the experience of the company in the solar energy industry. A well-established contractor with a proven track record of successful projects is more likely to provide reliable, high-quality service.
It’s also a good idea to read customer reviews and testimonials to gain insight into the provider's performance, customer service, and overall satisfaction. You can find these on the website of the company, social media pages, or third-party review platforms. Keep in mind that while no company is perfect, a high number of positive reviews and a quick response to resolve any issues are good indicators of a reliable solar energy provider.
Understand contract terms and warranties
When selecting a solar energy company, it is crucial to understand the contract terms and warranties offered. This will help protect your investment and ensure that you receive the best value for your money. Start by reviewing the contract carefully, and ask questions if you do not understand any aspect of the agreement. The contract should clearly outline the installation process, projected costs, and payment terms. Make sure to pay attention to the fine print, as it may contain important information about the company policies and guarantees.
A key component of any solar energy contract is the warranty. A good solar energy company will offer comprehensive warranties that cover both the equipment and the installation work. The warranty should cover a significant period, typically 10-25 years for solar panels and 5-10 years for inverters. Moreover, the warranty should also cover labor and installation costs in case of any issues related to the performance or defects of the equipment. Make sure to compare solar energy companies based on the warranties they provide to ensure you're getting the best protection possible.
Lastly, consider the after-sales support and customer service the company offers. A reliable solar energy provider should be committed to providing excellent customer support and addressing any concerns or issues that may arise during the installation process and beyond. Ensure the company has a responsive and knowledgeable customer service team to assist you with any questions or concerns. It is also helpful to inquire about their maintenance and monitoring services, as these can help ensure the longevity and efficiency of your home solar energy system.
Consider local providers
While many people may gravitate toward large, national solar installers, it's essential not to overlook the advantages of working with smaller, local firms. These local businesses can offer customized solutions tailored to individual customers' needs, along with exceptional personal service. Their deep knowledge of local weather patterns, building regulations, and permitting requirements can lead to a smoother, more efficient installation process. Plus, supporting these small businesses contributes to the local economy and encourages the growth of renewable energy within the community.
One of the perks of selecting a local solar energy company is the chance to have a more direct line of communication with the project team. This close relationship allows customers to get prompt updates, ask questions, and voice any concerns they might have throughout the process. Local companies are often more committed to client satisfaction, as their community reputation is crucial for their business success. As a result, they are more likely to go the extra mile to ensure a positive customer experience. So, when you're comparing solar options, be sure to consider the services of small, local businesses for a potentially more personalized and fulfilling experience.
The bottom line: choosing a trustworthy solar power company is key
To sum up, going solar is not just an eco-friendly decision but also a savvy financial investment for homeowners. As the demand for solar energy grows, selecting a reliable and trustworthy residential solar energy provider becomes more critical than ever. For homeowners to find the solar provider that best meets their requirements, they need to conduct extensive research, request quotes from several firms, and carefully review customer feedback.
A reputable solar company will not only deliver high-quality products and services but also be dedicated to guiding clients through the entire process, from design and installation to maintenance and monitoring. By choosing a trustworthy provider, homeowners can significantly minimize potential risks, such as unexpected costs, system underperformance, and poor customer support.
Ultimately, the success of a solar energy system hinges on the company behind it. As solar power becomes increasingly mainstream, homeowners should prioritize working with a reliable partner who can guarantee the long-term success of their investment.