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Best 5 Solar Companies in Columbia, MO

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

Columbia homeowners are increasingly using solar panels to generate energy and heat their water. While going solar comes with upfront costs, local homeowners could ultimately save $920 per kilowatt on their electric bills. A professional technician can help you select the best panels to maximize your savings. On this page, we'll show you Columbia's best solar companies and provide valuable 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
Most Reputable
4.4
  • Offers high-efficiency panels and storage options
  • Provides unique in-house financing options
  • Recognized as one of the most reputable solar companies

Top Columbia Solar Companies

Solar Sam Logo

Solar Sam

4.0/5
Based on 19 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Residential Panels Cleaning Maintenance Commercial Panels

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
  • Informative resources
3700 Interstate 70 Dr Se Suite 100-102, Columbia, MO 573-615-0606 solarsam.com
Sunsent Solar Logo

Sunsent Solar

4.7/5
Based on 21 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Maintenance Residential Panels

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Free quotes
  • Clear pricing policy
1710 Scherer Pkwy, St Charles, MO 636-757-3083 sunsent.com
Live Smart Construction Logo

Live Smart Construction

4.7/5
Based on 16 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Solar Panel Upgrades Commercial Panels Energy Efficiency Audit Consultation Residential Panels Skilled Repairs

Highlights

  • Prompt service delivery
  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
15091 State Hwy M, Rayville, MO 816-895-2813 livesmartconstruction.com
PennTech Logo

PennTech

4.7/5
Based on 127 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Maintenance Commercial Panels Residential Panels Skilled Repairs Emergency Services Financing Assistance Solar Panel Upgrades

Highlights

  • Family-operated business
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
1755 Se County Road Aa #a, Blue Springs, MO 816-591-8383 penntechinc.com

More Local Solar Companies

Sun Solar St. Louis

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

10855 Metro Ct
Maryland Heights, MO 63043

Royal Roofing & Solar

User Reviews: 4.6/5 

305 Pine St suite a
Pleasant Hill, MO 64080

StraightUp Solar

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

11696 Lilburn Park Rd
St. Louis, MO 63146

Helio Solar Power, LLC.

User Reviews: 4.3/5 

119 S Main St
St Charles, MO 63301

Eric Kjelshus Energy Heating and Cooling

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

25001 E Outer Belt Rd
Greenwood, MO 64034

EFS Energy

User Reviews: 4.2/5 

1283 Research Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63132

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

Ranking Methodology

We assessed a multitude of Columbia solar installers, using the following criteria to determine the finest:

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Facts about Columbia
Average Max Temp: 64°F
Solar Payback Period: 11.3 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 55%
Homes Powered by Solar: 343
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,419
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 numerous 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 solar battery lets you have trustworthy energy during grid outages and storms.
  • Lowered energy bills: You can skip the premium cost of grid-tied power by producing some electricity right where you use it.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Columbia Homeowners?

The state of Missouri offers numerous solar incentives to help offset your solar system costs. Here is a breakdown of eligible solar programs where you live.

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: powermoves.com

Incentive Amount:

Dual Fuel Heat Pump: $500
Variable Speed Pool Pump: $250
Air-Source Heat Pump: $250 - $750
Geothermal Heat Pump: $1,500
Heat Pump Water Heater: $400/unit
HVAC: Varies depending on ZIP code. See program website

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: central.libertyutilities.com

Incentive Amount:

$0.25 per watt for systems operational between July 1, 2019, and December 31, 2023

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

100% exemption

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: ameren.com

Incentive Amount:

Air-Source Heat Pump: $500-$900
Ductless Air-Source Heat Pump: $300-$500
Dual Fuel Heat Pump: $175-$200
Ground Source Heat Pump: $800-$2,000
Central Air Conditioner: $300-$500
Electronically Commutated Motor (ECM): $50-$100
Air Conditioner/Heat Pump Tune-Up: $75

Incentive Type: PACE Financing

Incentive Amount:

Financing contracts limited to 20 years or less; improvements must display a positive economic benefit over the life of the contract.

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: columbiapowerpartners.com

Incentive Amount:

Solar Water Heater: $400 for electric customers or $800 for natural gas customers
Photovoltaic System: $375-625/kW for first 10kW; $300-500/kW for 10 - 50kW; $150-250/kW for 50 - 100 kW.

Incentive Type: Loan Program

Website: columbiapowerpartners.com

Incentive Amount:

$30,000

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: co-mo.coop

Incentive Amount:

Energy Star Window Air Conditioners: $50
Water Heater: $50
Dual Fuel Heat Pumps, 16.5 SEER and above: $150 per ton
Dual Fuel Heat Pumps, 13 SEER - 16.4 SEER: $300 per system
Geothermal Heat Pumps (Closed Loop): up to $850 per ton
Ground Source Heat Pumps (Open Loop or Replacement): $150 per ton
Blower Door Test: $300
Weatherization: 50% of cost up to $500
Lighting: Lesser of $0.06/kWh or 40% of fixture cost

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 Columbia

The purchase price and effectiveness of solar panels often hinge on which company installed them. Here are some essential aspects to remember while searching for a solar installer.

Licensing and Training

In Missouri, cities and counties have the right to issue contracting licenses. However, all contractors must register with the Missouri Secretary of State. 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 Columbia

Your solar panels' model will impact how much power you can produce. Monocrystalline panels perform the best but cost the most. Polycrystalline panels offer you a budget panel with a traditional design, but at the cost of less power generation. Thin-film panels have a low cost and are excellent for non-traditional roofs, but aren't recommended for large home installations.

If you'd like to charge an electric car or use your solar power in dark weather, you can pay extra for accessories. By selecting the right components, you can make your system more productive and convenient to use. Not all solar providers provide these extras, so look for a provider that sells them if it's crucial for you.

Most Columbia homeowners choose solar systems sized for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems run about $16,850 to set up, considering both materials and labor. You can see more specific cost information in the table.

Solar Panel Cost Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,118
Solar Polycrystalline $872
Thin-Film $510
Solar Battery $715
Solar Home EV Charger $2,683

Financing Solar Energy in Columbia

Choosing the best financing solution will affect your overall solar system cost and possible savings. Common payment options include cash payments, leases, loans, and power purchase agreements. Most solar experts recommend a cash payment 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 incentives. Solar loans have the same benefits, though you'll pay more in total due to interest and fees. Similar to a home or auto loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with potentially $0 down. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly fee to rent your panels, while a PPA lets you pay a fluctuating 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. Ask each company you're evaluating about the payment options it offers. A consultant can help you determine the most suitable option for your pocketbook.

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

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

Solar System Capacity Estimated Payback period
1 kW 2.3 years
2 kW 4.5 years
5 kW 11.3 years
10 kW 22.7 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Columbia

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

Most Columbia homeowners spend about $1,419 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $922.87 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.

Is solar energy common in Columbia?

Yes, solar energy is gaining popularity in Columbia. Some homes already generate solar power on-site or through utility grids, and they're fortified by a state solar economy with 2647 job opportunities and counting.

Should I expect a boost in my property value after adopting solar power?

Yes, solar energy systems will increase your property value. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for every dollar you save on energy bills, your home value rises by $20. So, if your panels save you $600 per year on energy costs, your property could appreciate $12,000.

How can I check my home's solar potential?

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

What upkeep do my solar panels need, and how frequently do they need it?

Solar panels don't need much maintenance to keep working well. All you'll need to do is clean and inspect the panels every six months or as necessary in dusty seasons. Solar installers frequently offer maintenance packages to assist in your system's care.

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

Most Columbia homeowners pay back a solar loan in 12.8 years. You can shorten the payback period by paying off extra loan principal each month.

What are some "red flags" to watch for as I research companies?

While many online reviews are positive, even the leading solar providers might have negative reviews. You should know these early warning signs for the best odds of a well-done job:
  • Pushy sales approach
  • Dodging questions about cost, references, warranties and credentials and training
  • "One-size-fits-all" approach
  • Not thoroughly inspecting your site
  • No business filing with your local secretary of state

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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