Skip to main content

We may be compensated if you purchase through links on our website. Our Reviews Team is committed to delivering honest, objective, and independent reviews on home products and services.

  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

Berkeley residents are committed to protecting the environment and embracing sustainability. That's why many homeowners are purchasing panels from the best solar installers for their homes. 22,659 homes in the area already employ a solar PV or water heating system. Expert installers will therefore have the precise experience you need to join the solar bandwagon with confidence. On this page, we'll showcase Berkeley's best solar companies and provide insightful advice for your solar journey.

Best Solar Panel Leasing
Sunrun logo
4.4/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

  • Provides system monitoring
  • Offers diverse financing options for various budgets
  • Provides EV and solar battery solutions
Best Solar Panel Installation
Momentum Solar logo
4.4/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

  • Offers 7 panel brand options
  • 25-year workmanship warranty
  • Offers battery options

10 Best Solar Companies in Berkeley

Brands are algorithmically curated from a database of local service providers near you. We require a minimum number of Google reviews and average ratings for provider inclusion.

Featured Partner
SunPower Logo
Top Rated

SunPower

4.8/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 478 reviews


1414 Harbour Way S, Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 260-8200

us.sunpower.com
Save a Lot Solar Logo

Save a Lot Solar

4.7/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 15 reviews


1201 Tenth St, Berkeley, CA 94706

(833) 876-5272

www.savealotsolar.com
SolarUnion Logo

SolarUnion

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 123 reviews


1700 Montgomery St Suite 108, San Francisco, CA 94111

(888) 815-6633

www.solarunion.com

GRID Alternatives

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 24 reviews


1171 Ocean Ave UNIT 200, Oakland, CA 94608

(510) 731-1310

www.gridalternatives.org

CivicSolar, Inc

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 90 reviews


304 12th St #3b, Oakland, CA 94607

(800) 409-2257

www.civicsolar.com
Source Energy Logo

Source Energy

4.7/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 31 reviews


161 N Civic Dr #400, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 319-6634

sourcenergy.solar

Got Watts?

4.6/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 189 reviews


2045 Commerce Ave, Concord, CA 94520

(925) 421-0411

www.gotwatts.com
solarXperts Logo

solarXperts

4.3/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 102 reviews


2150 John Glenn Dr Suite 250, Concord, CA 94520

(833) 699-7378

www.solarxperts.net
NorthStar Solar Inc Logo

NorthStar Solar Inc

4.7/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 29 reviews


822 Hartz Way STE 240, Danville, CA 94526

(925) 400-7479

www.gonorthstarsolar.com

High Definition Solar

4.2/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 117 reviews


1190 Burnett Ave, Concord, CA 94520

(888) 203-1855

www.highdefinitionsolar.com

Ranking Methodology

Our team has screened dozens of solar contractors near Berkeley, with emphasis on the following criteria:

  • Educational approach and support: Solar technicians must be knowledgeable. They should use their years of experience answer your questions on how to maintain your system and improve its performance.
  • Feedback and reviews from customers: Most Berkeley solar installers have both positive and critical reviews. However, a good review ratio shows a company's trustworthiness and responsiveness to issues.
  • Service offerings and warranties: Solar providers should stand behind their equipment and services with warranties. We evaluated how each installer responds to issues and warranty claims, focusing on promptness and customer happiness.
  • Professional licenses and credentials: Each company on our list complies with state and city licensing requirements and stays up to date with industry best practices. Many of them have been a part of the Berkeley community for a decade or longer.
  • Panel brands and quality: The leading solar companies remain current on new technology, offering equipment from reliable, innovative manufacturers.

Facts about Berkeley

  • Average Max Temperature:
    70°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    7 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    68%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    22,659
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,538
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    93.1%

Benefits of Solar Energy

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

  • Lowered energy bills: With solar energy systems, you produce power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-connected power. You can eliminate your bills completely if you go off-grid. Plus, a significant number of states offer net metering, which permit you to earn money by selling your unused energy back to the grid.
  • Better energy independence: Photovoltaic solar panel systems with energy storage systems operate through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on the electrical grid for your safety and well-being.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Solar is the universe's most abundant clean energy source, meaning you can minimize or conquer your home's dependence on "traditional" sources.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Berkeley Homeowners?

Governments and power companies often reward homeowners for embracing solar. Here are some of the rebates, tax credits or other programs you could qualify for.

Incentive Amount:

100% of system value; 75% of system value exemption for dual-use equipment

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Berkeley

The purchase price and efficacy of solar panels often depend on which company mounted them. Here are some key items to keep in mind while shopping for a solar company.

Licensing and Training

California requires solar companies to hold licenses for each type of equipment they install, which can include solar water heaters, photovoltaic (PV) systems, HVAC, boilers, and pool heaters. Contractors must take a highly comprehensive educational series, gain four years of field experience, and pass written exams to secure a license. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private credentials. Two of the most respected are the PV Installation Professional and Solar Heating Installer certificates, backed by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Some companies don't publish this information online, so you should also ask your estimator about them.

Cost of Solar Panels in Berkeley

Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels cost more than other options, but they generate the most power and generally have the highest quality. Polycrystalline panels provide a lower price point but produce less power. Thin-film panels work well for small projects like RVs and sheds, but they're not ideal for larger installations due to their low performance.

If you need to charge an electric car or use your solar power in inclement weather, you can pay extra for accessories. By choosing the right components, you can make your panel array more effective and convenient to use. Not every solar contractor offers these add-ons, so look for a provider that installs them if it's a priority for you.

If you're a resident of Berkeley and want a five-kilowatt solar energy system, you could plan to spend about $17,350 for materials and labor. See more information on specific component and solar panel costs in the table.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,417.14
Solar Polycrystalline$1,105.37
Thin-Film$646.22
Solar Battery$906.97
Solar Home EV Charger$3,401.14

Financing Solar Energy in Berkeley

There are numerous ways to pay for a solar energy system, and the right one will help you decrease overhead. A few of the most common options include loans, cash payments, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and leases. Most solar experts recommend paying cash or using a solar loan. Cash payments demand a large up-front sum, but they help you avoid paying interest, grant you system ownership, and qualify you for cost-saving solar incentives. Solar loans have the same benefits, though you'll pay more in total due to interest and fees. Much like a home or car loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with potentially $0 down. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly rate to rent your panels, while a PPA lets you pay a variable rate based on only the energy you use. We generally advise against 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 Berkeley.

A 26% federal solar tax credit applies to new residential solar equipment purchased through 2032. Extra incentives may be available through local governments, usually in the form of rebates and special financing programs.

Solar System CapacityEstimated Payback period
1 kW1.4 years
2 kW2.7 years
5 kW6.8 years
10 kW13.7 years

Frequently Asked Questions about Solar in Berkeley

Sources

Explore Useful Articles On Solar

How Do Solar Panels Work? (2024)

How Do Solar Panels Work? (2024)

Tamara Jude-December 19, 2023

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need? (2024 Guide)

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need? (2024 Guide)

Tamara Jude-December 19, 2023

Monocrystalline vs. Polycrystalline Solar Panels (2024 Guide)

Monocrystalline vs. Polycrystalline Solar Panels (2024 Guide)

Tamara Jude-December 19, 2023

Types of Solar Panels (2024 Guide)

Types of Solar Panels (2024 Guide)

January 31, 2024

What Are the Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy?

What Are the Environmental Benefits of Solar Energy?

Tamara Jude-December 18, 2023