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Best 5 Solar Companies in Tuscaloosa, AL

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Written By Max Peterson|Last Updated: February 05, 2024

With Tuscaloosa's clear skies and below-average rainfall, it's a perfect area for families and businesses seeking to harness the additional sunlight. While going solar comes with upfront costs, local homeowners could ultimately save $1,100 per kilowatt on their electric bills. A professional installer can help you choose the best panels to maximize your savings. On this page, we'll highlight Tuscaloosa's leading solar companies and provide insightful advice for your solar journey.

Best High-Efficiency System
4.8
  • Builds custom, high-efficiency solar systems suited to each home
  • Extensive coverage area throughout the country
  • Offers energy storage and EV charger add-ons

Top Tuscaloosa Solar Companies

Eagle Solar & Light Logo

Eagle Solar & Light

4.2/5
Based on 16 customer reviews.

Services Offered

ConsultationPanel InstallationBattery Storage

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Free quotes
4005 2nd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 800-982-0808 eaglesolarandlight.com
Small Tech Solar Logo

Small Tech Solar

3.4/5
Based on 28 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Battery StorageConsultationPanel Installation

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
2534 Mountain Cove, Hoover, AL 205-862-9610 smalltechsolar.com
Mississippi Solar, LLC Logo

Mississippi Solar

4.7/5
Based on 9 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel InstallationBattery StorageSolar CarportsConsultationPermit AssistanceCleaning And MaintenanceGrid-Tied Solar SystemFinancing AssistanceOff-Grid Solar Systems

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
307 Vance Rd, Eupora, MS 601-656-6161 mssolar.net
Solar Technology Alabama Logo

Solar Technology Alabama

4.2/5
Based on 15 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Off-Grid Solar SystemsPanel InstallationGrid-Tied Solar SystemCleaning And Maintenance

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Free quotes
1206 Eva Rd, Eva, AL 256-482-2063 solartechnologyalabama.com

Ranking Methodology

We analyzed dozens of Tuscaloosa solar providers, using the following criteria to determine the superior:

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Facts about Tuscaloosa
Average Max Temp:73°F
Solar Payback Period:8.7 years
Average Daily Sunlight:60%
Homes Powered by Solar:468
Average Annual Energy Bill:$1,848
Solar Power per Capita Percentile:48.0%

Expert Tips By

This Old House empowers homeowners with the knowledge and tools they need to tackle various projects and navigate the complexities of homeownership.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy provides several advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Using clean solar power means you're less dependent on fossil fuels, which emit harmful greenhouse gasses.
  • Better energy independence: Adding a battery storage system lets you have reliable energy during grid outages and storms.
  • Lowered energy bills: You can skip the added cost of grid-tied power by generating some electricity at home.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Tuscaloosa Homeowners?

Alabama homeowners who decide on solar could qualify for special financing, tax credits, rebates and reimbursements. Here are just a few of the area's incentive offerings.

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Deduction

Incentive Amount:

100%

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Website: revenue.alabama.gov

Incentive Type: Loan Program

Website: alabamapower.com

Incentive Amount:

Varies, up to 100% of project cost for qualifying customers

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit

Website: ecowatch.com

Incentive Amount:

30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Tuscaloosa

The price and performance of solar panels often hinge on the solar company that mounted them. Make your choice based on the following important considerations.

Licensing and Training

Alabama issues licenses to solar contractors with similar requirements to electricians. They must have a minimum of 4 years of field experience and apply with the state's Electrical Contractors Board. Solar companies can also obtain certifications from trade groups and standards organizations. The top ones in the industry come from the NABCEP. Most company websites will prominently display earned credentials, but you should also ask your estimator for more information.

Cost of Solar Panels in Tuscaloosa

The type of solar panels you select dictates how much electricity you can produce. Monocrystalline panels cost more but give you the best performance. Polycrystalline panels produce less power, but they're worth it if you want a traditional panel style without the high cost. Thin-film panels aren't the best for large residential installations, but they are excellent accessories for non-traditional roofs.

Additional accessories, such as electric vehicle (EV) chargers and battery storage, will raise your overall costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not every solar provider provides these add-ons, so look for a company that sells them if it's crucial for you.

If you're a resident of Tuscaloosa and want a five-kilowatt solar energy system, you could plan to spend about $17,450 for parts and installation. Find more information on specific component and panel costs in the table.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,045
Solar Polycrystalline$815
Thin-Film$477
Solar Battery$669
Solar Home EV Charger$2,508

Financing Solar Energy in Tuscaloosa

There are many ways to pay for new solar panels, and the right one will lower your costs. A few of the most common options include power purchase agreements (PPAs), loans, leases, and cash payments. Though it requires a large up-front payment, cash is the most cost-effective choice because it qualifies you for solar incentives and doesn't accrue interest. Solar loans are the next best option. As with a home or auto loan, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for cost-saving solar incentives, and depending on your lender, you could put as little as $0 down. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly rate to rent your panels, while a PPA lets you pay a fluctuating rate based on only the energy you use. We generally don't recommend these options since you will not have ownership of your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be appropriate in certain circumstances. Look for companies that offer several payment plans to find the right fit for your financial needs.

The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Tuscaloosa.

You can claim a 26% federal tax credit from the IRS for new residential solar systems purchased before 2032. Additionally, utilities and local governments may have their own rebates and financing plans that could reduce your total cost even more.

Solar System CapacityEstimated Payback period
1 kW1.7 years
2 kW3.5 years
5 kW8.7 years
10 kW17.5 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Tuscaloosa

How much money could I save by going solar in Tuscaloosa?

Most Tuscaloosa homeowners spend about $1,848 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $1,102.56 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.

How common is solar energy in Tuscaloosa?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in Tuscaloosa. A growing number of local homes already access solar power on-site or through utility grids, and Alabama has about 707 jobs forming its solar economy.

Will solar panels improve my Tuscaloosa home worth?

Yes, new solar systems lead to higher property values according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL.) Homeowners could project a $20 property value increase for each dollar they save on energy. Therefore, $600 in energy savings could increase your home's value by $12,000.

Could I still use solar power if I live in a rainy, dark, or wooded area?

Even with the Tuscaloosa area's above-average tree cover, you could still benefit from solar energy. Your installer will enhance your system's performance by selecting the proper site for panels, positioning them to capture the most sunlight throughout the year, cleaning them regularly, and installing a battery backup system. This way, you can store solar power and use it as necessary.

What can I do to calculate my home's solar potential?

To determine your home's solar readiness, there's no substitute for a comprehensive quote from a local solar contractor. However, you can use the PVWatts tool for a simple solar viability prediction based on public data, including system size, local weather and topography, tree cover, and panel efficiency.

How long does it take to pay back a solar loan in Tuscaloosa?

The average payback period for a solar loan in Tuscaloosa is 11.1 years. By paying off extra principal each month, you can shorten the payback period and own your system faster.

What's the difference between a PPA and a solar lease?

After you sign a PPA, your solar contractor will not charge to install or maintain your new panel array. Instead, you'll pay them only for the electricity you generate. Typically, PPAs last for 10–25 years or until you "buy out" of the contract.

If you choose a lease, you'll make set monthly payments.

With both leases and PPAs, you do not own your panels and lose eligibility for most incentives. Further, you'll have to "buy out" or transfer the contract if you sell your home during the term.

How many estimates should I get before making a final solar company decision?

Yes, we suggest obtaining free solar quotes from three or more companies. You should examine each quote and compare labor fees, prework scope and costs, warranty details, equipment costs and financing options. Ensure each quote offers an itemized financial plan and includes your expected payback period.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

Sources