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  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

Richmond homeowners are increasingly using solar panels to power their homes and heat their water. While switching to solar energy comes with upfront costs, local homeowners could ultimately save $1,700 per kilowatt on their electric bills. A professional company can help you select the best panels to maximize your savings. Discover Richmond's top-rated solar companies and learn vital decision-making tips on this page.

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 Richmond

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 1404 reviews


880 Harbour Way S Suite 600, Richmond, CA 94804

(510) 540-0550

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
Pac Solar Corporation Logo

Pac Solar Corporation

4.7/5

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

Based on 69 reviews


118 Mitchell Blvd, San Rafael, CA 94903

(415) 299-8989

pacsolar.com
Earthwise Energy Logo

Earthwise Energy

4.7/5

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

Based on 22 reviews


1501A San Anselmo Ave, San Anselmo, CA 94960

(800) 396-6949

www.earthwiseenergysolutions.com
SolarCraft Logo

SolarCraft

4.4/5

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

Based on 35 reviews


8 Digital Dr #101, Novato, CA 94949

(415) 382-7717

www.solarcraft.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

Ranking Methodology

Our team used the following criteria to determine the best Richmond solar companies.

  • Certifications and licenses: Each company on our list meets state and city licensing requirements and stays up to date with industry best practices. Many of them have been a part of the Richmond community for a decade or longer.
  • Warranty and service offerings: Solar contractors should stand behind their systems and services with warranties. We evaluated how each company responds to issues and warranty claims, focusing on promptness and customer satisfaction.
  • Panel brands and quality: The premier solar companies stay up-to-date with new technology, providing equipment from innovative, dependable manufacturers.
  • Educational programs and business model: Solar technicians must be excellent teachers. They should use their years of experience address your questions on how to care for your system and maximize its performance.
  • Reviews and feedback from customers: Most Richmond solar contractors have both favorable and unfavorable reviews. However, a good review ratio demonstrates a company's reliability and responsiveness to issues.

Facts about Richmond

  • Average Max Temperature:
    71°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    7 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    68%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    20,317
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,538
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    97.4%

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy provides multiple benefits. Here are some highlights.

  • Reduced energy costs: Sourcing some or all of your own energy will spend less on electricity long-term. Plus, some states provide net metering programs that allow you to sell your extra energy back to the grid, generating extra credits toward your energy bill.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: The sun is a highly abundant clean energy source, meaning you can lower or beat your home's dependence on non-renewable sources.
  • Better energy independence: Photovoltaic solar panel systems with battery backups and storage systems operate through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on your power company for your safety and well-being.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Richmond Homeowners?

Governments and utilities often incentivize homeowners for switching to 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 Richmond

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

Licensing and Training

California requires solar companies to hold licenses for each type of equipment they install, which can include solar pool heaters, water heaters, HVAC, boilers, and photovoltaic (PV) systems. Contractors must take a highly comprehensive educational series, gain four years of experience as an apprentice or journeyman, and pass written exams to earn 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 Richmond

The kind of solar panels you select decides how much electricity you can generate. Monocrystalline panels and high-quality and give you the best performance but cost more upfront. 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 recommended for large residential installations, but they are ideal for small projects like converting RVs and sheds.

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

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

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,321.79
Solar Polycrystalline$1,030.99
Thin-Film$602.73
Solar Battery$845.94
Solar Home EV Charger$3,172.29

Financing Solar Energy in Richmond

Choosing the right financing option will impact your overall solar system cost and expected savings. Common payment options include loans, leases, power purchase agreements, and cash payments. We suggest paying with cash or using a solar loan for the best return on investment (ROI). Cash payments require a hefty sum up-front, but you’ll pay the least long-term by avoiding interest. You’ll also have full ownership of your system and can apply for solar panel incentives to reduce your total costs. Solar loans are another good option if you don’t want to make a big initial investment. You can pay for your system in monthly installments while still benefiting from energy bill savings and solar incentives. However, you’ll pay more in total due to accruing interest. Solar leases allow you to rent your panels for a set monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay just for the energy you use, similar to an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and don't grant you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. Ask each company you're evaluating about the payment plans it offers. A representative can help you determine the most suitable option for your financial situation.

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

The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal tax credit for solar panels on total system costs, so long as you purchase it before 2032. City and state governments and utilities might also offer their own rebates, incentives, and financing programs that could save you more money.

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 Richmond

Sources

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