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  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

With San Jose's clear skies and little rainfall, it's a great area for families and businesses aiming to harness the additional sunlight by buying panels from one of the best solar installers. Solar experts take a uniquely educational approach, helping homeowners understand the underlying technology and tune it to their preferences. On this page, we'll highlight San Jose's top solar contractors and share expert 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

5 Best Solar Companies in San Jose

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

TN Electrical and Solar Services

4.7/5

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

Based on 46 reviews


1150 Murphy Ave #240, San Jose, CA 95131

(408) 229-3632

www.tnsolars.com
Cinnamon Energy Systems Logo

Cinnamon Energy Systems

4.5/5

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

Based on 33 reviews


809 University Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95032

(408) 883-7000

www.cinnamon.energy
Highlight Solar Logo

Highlight Solar

4.5/5

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

Based on 47 reviews


1624 Remuda Ln, San Jose, CA 95112

(866) 926-9997

www.highlightsolar.com

Infinium Solar, Inc.

4.5/5

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

Based on 74 reviews


1190 Dell Ave ste o, Campbell, CA 95008

(408) 583-8101

www.infiniumsolar.com

Ranking Methodology

Our team has meticulously studied dozens of solar companies near San Jose, keeping in mind the following criteria:

  • Reviews and feedback from customers: Most San Jose solar providers have both positive and critical reviews. However, a good review ratio demonstrates a company's dependability and responsiveness to issues.
  • Educational programs and business model: Solar technicians must be knowledgeable. They should tap into their years of experience answer your questions on how to look after your system and improve its performance.
  • Experience and professional licensure: Each contractor on our list meets state and city licensing requirements and stays up to date with industry best practices. Many of them have served the San Jose community for over 15 years.
  • Service offerings and warranties: Solar providers should stand behind their products and services with warranties. We evaluated how each company responds to issues and warranty claims, focusing on timeliness and customer satisfaction.
  • Panel brands and quality: The top solar companies keep up with new technology, offering equipment from reliable, innovative manufacturers.

Facts about San Jose

  • Average Max Temperature:
    71°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    7 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    69%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    187,147
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,527
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    94.0%

Benefits of Solar Energy

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

  • Better energy independence: Photovoltaic solar panel systems with energy storage systems operate through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to depend on the power grid for your safety and comfort.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Using clean solar power lowers your dependence on fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases that damage the environment.
  • Lowered energy bills: Solar panels allow you to generate your own energy to power your home, reducing your monthly electricity costs. You can eliminate your bills completely if you go off-grid. Plus, a significant number of states have adopted net metering, which permit you to earn money by selling your unused energy back to the grid.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to San Jose Homeowners?

California's public agencies and power companies offer a range of solar incentives to help cut your solar system costs. Below is a breakdown of applicable solar programs where you live.

Incentive Amount:

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

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in San Jose

The purchase price and effectiveness of solar panels often hinge on which company mounted them. Make your choice based on the following key factors.

Licensing and Training

California requires solar companies to hold licenses for each type of equipment they install, which can include solar HVAC, boilers, water heaters, photovoltaic (PV) systems, and pool heaters. Contractors must complete a highly comprehensive educational series, gain four years of experience as an apprentice or journeyman, and pass written exams to secure a license. Check for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), one of the solar industry's most reputed trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.

Cost of Solar Panels in San Jose

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 produce less power, but start at a more budget-friendly price point. 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.

You can also add battery backups and electric vehicle (EV) chargers. These will increase your total installation cost, but they can improve your solar system's efficiency. Not every solar contractor includes these optional components, so look for a provider that sells them if it's essential for you.

Most San Jose homeowners select solar systems rated for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems run about $17,350 to install, considering both materials and labor. You can find more specific solar cost information in the table.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,961.43
Solar Polycrystalline$1,529.91
Thin-Film$894.41
Solar Battery$1,255.31
Solar Home EV Charger$4,707.43

Financing Solar Energy in San Jose

There are various ways to pay for a new solar system, and the right one will lower your costs. A few of the most common options include power purchase agreements (PPAs), cash payments, loans, and leases. We recommend 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 minimize 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 installments while still enjoying energy bill savings and solar incentives. However, you’ll pay more in total due to accruing interest. Solar leases allow you to use your panels for a set monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay only for the energy you use, much like 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 installer you're considering about the payment plans it offers. A team member can help you determine the best option for your financial situation.

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

You are eligible for a 26% federal solar tax credit for new solar energy devices until the year 2032. Municipal and state governments and utility companies might also offer discounts, rebates, and unique financing solutions that could save you more.

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 San Jose

Sources

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