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Best 5 Solar Companies in Bethesda, MD

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

Bethesda homeowners are increasingly using solar panels to generate energy and heat their water. Solar installers take a personalized and educational approach, helping homeowners understand the underlying technology and tune it to their preferences. In this guide, we'll showcase Bethesda's best solar companies and offer suggestions for your company choice, so you can find the right one for your residence.

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
Best Solar Panel Leasing
4.4
  • Provides system monitoring
  • Offers diverse financing options for various budgets
  • Provides EV and solar battery solutions

Top Bethesda Solar Companies

SmartRoof - Roofing and Solar Logo

SmartRoof - Roofing and Solar

4.7/5
Based on 30 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Tailored Solutions Residential Panels Business Installations Integrated Roofing Skilled Repairs Expert Panel Installation Energy Storage Solutions Home Installations

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
1629 K St Nw #300, Washington, DC 202-519-1372 smartroofinc.com
Solar Solution Logo

Solar Solution

4.5/5
Based on 230 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Permit Assistance Residential Panels Maintenance Commercial Panels Battery Storage

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
4700 14th St Nw, Washington, DC 202-249-1112 solarsolutiondc.com
Alexandria Boutique Solar Experts Logo

Alexandria Boutique Solar Experts

4.7/5
Based on 38 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Off-Grid Solar Systems Residential Panels Maintenance Skilled Repairs Commercial Panels Consultation

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
230 N Royal St, Alexandria, VA 571-554-2575 solar-alexandria.com
Advanced Solar Logo

Advanced Solar

4.6/5
Based on 155 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Permit Assistance Commercial Panels Residential Panels

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
  • Prompt service delivery
3321 75th Ave Suite F, Landover, MD 202-505-5401 advanced.solar

More Local Solar Companies

EDGE Energy

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

6854 Distribution Dr
Beltsville, MD 20705

SunGaze Solar, L.L.C.

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

137 National Plaza, Suite 300 - #1
Suite 300 - #1, MD 20745

Sky NRG Solar Inc.

User Reviews: 4.6/5 

12020 Sunrise Valley Dr #100
Reston, VA 20191

Greenway home improvment

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

11325 Random Hills Rd suit 360-A145
Fairfax, VA 22030

Suntuity Solar

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

4351-4395 Nicole Dr #4371
Lanham, MD 20706

Tiger Solar

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

8033 Penn Randall Pl B
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

American Solar Enterprises LLC

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

46400 Benedict Dr STE 203
Sterling, VA 20164

GreenBrilliance

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

13655 Dulles Technology Dr Suite 130
Herndon, VA 20171

Prospect Solar LLC

User Reviews: 4.3/5 

22570 Markey Ct Suite #102
Sterling, VA 20166

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

Ranking Methodology

Our team has researched dozens of solar providers near Bethesda, with emphasis on the following criteria:

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Facts about Bethesda
Average Max Temp: 63°F
Solar Payback Period: 14.3 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 54%
Homes Powered by Solar: 1,314
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,706
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 offers multiple perks. Here are some highlights.

  • Better energy independence: Solar energy can keep your home powered through blackouts and emergencies, giving you additional security. You can use your solar energy anytime with optional battery storage.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Adopting solar is a surefire way to reduce your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
  • Lowered energy bills: You can avoid the expensive cost of grid-tied power by creating some electricity right where you use it.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Bethesda Homeowners?

Maryland's public agencies and power companies offer a number of solar incentives to help offset your solar system costs. Check out a breakdown of available solar programs where you live.

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: energy.maryland.gov

Incentive Amount:

PV: $1,000/project (flat per installation/household incentive)
SWH: $500/project (flat per installation/household incentive)
New GHC: $3,000/project
GHC Replacement: $500/project

Incentive Type: Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program

Website: psc.state.md.us

Incentive Amount:

Varies based on market conditions

Incentive Type: Sales Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

100% exemption from sales and use tax

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

100% real property tax exemption for solar and wind energy property

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: energy.maryland.gov

Incentive Amount:

Stick Burning Stove: $500
Pellet Burning Stove: $700

Incentive Type: Sales Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

100% exemption

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

Varies

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

Varies by jurisdiction; credit may be available for up to 3 years.

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: energy.maryland.gov

Incentive Amount:

Residential: $4,000/kW of normalized capacity at 11 m/s
Community: $1000/kW - $4000/kW, depending on the system capacity

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: pepco.com

Incentive Amount:

Lighting Get instant, in-store discounts on select ENERGY STAR certified lighting.
LED Bulbs: Up to $3 per bulb
LED Fixtures: $8 per fixture
Appliances
Clothes Dryer: $50
Clothes Washer: $75 - $100
Hybrid Water Heater: $500
Pool Pump: $150 - $400
Refrigerator: $100
Smart Thermostat: $100
Dehumidifier: $30
HVAC
Air-Source Heat Pump: $400 (Tier 1) - $650 (Tier 2)
Central A/C: $300 (Tier 1) - $500 (Tier 2)
Geothermal Heat Pump: $1,500
ECM Furnace Motor: $50 - $100
Home Energy Check up: Free
Recycling
Refrigerator or Freezer: $50
Room A/C or Dehumidifier: $25

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 Bethesda

The more informed your provider search is, the better your solar installation will ultimately perform. Make your choice based on the following important considerations.

Licensing and Training

A Maryland solar photovoltaic installation team must include a Home Improvement Commission-licensed contractor and a master electrician with at least seven years of experience. The contractor installs the panels, while the master electrician handles permits and hooks the system up to the grid. If you're installing a solar water heater, your contracting team must include a master plumber for utility connections and permits. Solar installers can also obtain accreditations from trade groups and standards organizations. The most recognized 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 Bethesda

The type of solar panels you choose dictates how much electricity you can produce. Monocrystalline panels cost more but give you the best performance. Polycrystalline panels work with a tried-and-true mechanism and cost less, but produce less power. Thin-film panels aren't meant for large home installations, but they're excellent for small projects like sheds and RVs.

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 all solar contractors offer these additional features, so look for a provider that sells them if it's a priority for you.

If you're a resident of Bethesda and want a five-kilowatt solar energy system, you could plan to spend about $17,700 for parts and installation. Find more information on specific component and panel costs in the table.

Solar Panel Cost Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,322
Solar Polycrystalline $1,031
Thin-Film $603
Solar Battery $846
Solar Home EV Charger $3,173

Financing Solar Energy in Bethesda

Solar contractors use multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are cash payments, power purchase agreements (PPAs), solar loans and solar leases. We recommend paying with cash or securing 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 incentives to reduce your total costs. Solar loans are another solid option if you don’t want to make a big initial investment. You can pay for your system in 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 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 won't own your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be suitable in certain circumstances. We suggest working with a company that offers multiple financing options. Talk to each salesperson about what's available, and secure more than one estimate for the best odds of staying within your financial plan.

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

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

Solar System Capacity Estimated Payback period
1 kW 2.9 years
2 kW 5.7 years
5 kW 14.3 years
10 kW 28.6 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Bethesda

How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?

Most Bethesda homeowners spend about $1,706 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $843.10 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.

How common is solar energy in Bethesda?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in Bethesda. A growing number of area homes already access solar power on-site or through utility grids, and Maryland has about 4854 jobs making up its solar economy.

Should I anticipate a boost in my property value after installing solar panels?

Yes, new solar systems translate 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 boost your property value by $12,000.

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

Solar panels could still work well in bad weather. Your technician will orient your panels to capture the most sunlight possible. They might also recommend a backup battery to keep your system working at its best.

What can I do to assess my home's solar viability?

One common way to determine your home's solar viability is by using PVWatts. This powerful free tool considers tree cover, panel efficiency, local weather and topography, and system size to determine how much power your array could generate. However, it's not a substitute for consulting with a solar expert, who can build a full estimate with the most updated data.

What's the average solar system size in Bethesda?

A typical Bethesda solar home uses a 5.6-kW panel array, but you might need a smaller system if your energy needs are more demanding. Solar installers will consider your property's power usage and roof shading to determine the proper system for you.

How does "net metering" work, and do I need to participate?

Most utilities and states administrate net metering programs, and some mandate homeowners to join. Once you enroll, you can obtain a check or bill credit for any surplus electricity you generate and send to the grid. Generally, power companies reimburse solar homeowners at an "avoided-cost" or wholesale rate.

How are a solar lease and PPA different?

Choosing a leasing option means your solar company will handle panel maintenance while you make fixed monthly payments. Power Purchase Agreements differ slightly because you pay for just the electricity you produce.

You don't own the panels with either option, though you can choose to "buy out" of the contract for a fee.

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

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