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Best 5 Solar Companies in Chapel Hill, NC

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

The Chapel Hill community is committed to conserving resources and living sustainably. That includes using alternative energy sources like solar. If you're considering going solar, you might be concerned about high prices or long payback periods. By collaborating with a professional installer, you'll have both the financial and practical support you need for a smooth transition. Discover Chapel Hill's top-rated solar companies and learn crucial decision-making advice on this page.

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 Chapel Hill Solar Companies

Jim's Solarguard Logo

Jim's Solarguard

4.3/5
Based on 125 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel Installation

Highlights

  • Family-operated business
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
700 E Geer St, Durham, NC 919-682-2876 jimssolarfilm.com
Just One Solar Logo

Just One Solar

4.7/5
Based on 17 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel InstallationCleaning And Maintenance

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
5425 Page Rd, Durham, NC 423-443-5170 justonesolar.com
Yes Solar Solutions Logo

Yes Solar Solutions

4.8/5
Based on 297 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Battery StoragePanel InstallationTesla PowerwallSolar Carports

Highlights

  • Family-operated business
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Prompt service delivery
202 North Dixon Avenue, Cary, NC 919-459-4155 yessolarsolutions.com
Southern Energy Management Logo

Southern Energy Management

4.7/5
Based on 181 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel InstallationCleaning And MaintenanceGrid-Tied Solar SystemPermit AssistanceBattery StorageConsultationTesla PowerwallSkilled Repairs

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
  • Informative resources
5908 Triangle Dr, Raleigh, NC 919-367-1381 southern-energy.com

More Local Solar Companies

NC Solar Now

User Reviews: 5/5 

2509 Atlantic Ave
Raleigh, NC 27604

8MSolar

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

5112 Departure Dr
Raleigh, NC 27616

Noon Solar

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

1110 Navaho Dr STE 105
Raleigh, NC 27609

Emerald Energy

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

3201 Wellington Ct Suite, 103
Raleigh, NC 27615

Wiring Solutions Plus LLC

User Reviews: 4.4/5 

4724 Hargrove Rd Ste 192
Raleigh, NC 27616

Carolina Connections Solar Energy - North Carolina Installation & Sales

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

422 Huffman Mill Rd #105
Burlington, NC 27215

Top Tier Solar Solutions

User Reviews: 4.3/5 

5305 Raynor Rd
Garner, NC 27529

Gate City Solar Co

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

204 Muirs Chapel Rd
Greensboro, NC 27410

AIS Solar

User Reviews: 4.6/5 

115 Pomona Dr
Greensboro, NC 27407

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

Ranking Methodology

We reviewed dozens of Chapel Hill solar companies, using the following criteria to determine the superior:

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Facts about Chapel Hill
Average Max Temp:69°F
Solar Payback Period:10.4 years
Average Daily Sunlight:58%
Homes Powered by Solar:7,929
Average Annual Energy Bill:$1,397
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. Let's look at a few of them.

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Using clean solar power lowers your dependence on fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases that damage the environment.
  • Lowered energy bills: You can avoid the expensive cost of grid-tied power by producing some electricity at home.
  • Better energy independence: Solar systems with energy storage operate through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on the power grid for your safety and well-being.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Chapel Hill Homeowners?

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

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: duke-energy.com

Incentive Amount:

Residential: $0.60/W-AC
Nonresidential: $0.50/W-AC
Nonprofit: $0.75/W-AC

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

Residential systems: 100% of the appraised value
All other systems: 80% of the appraised value

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

No more than conventional equipment

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: energyunited.com

Incentive Amount:

Heat Pumps (15 SEER): $150/unit
Heat Pumps (16 SEER): $300/unit

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: duke-energy.com

Incentive Amount:

Central Air Conditioning or Heat Pump: $300 - $400 + $50 with added smart thermostat
Geothermal Heat Pump: $400 + $50 with added smart thermostat
Heat Pump Water Heater: $350
Attic Insulation or Attic Air Sealing: $250
Duct Sealing: $100
Variable-Speed Pool Pumps: $300

Incentive Type: Performance-Based Incentive

Website: ncgreenpower.org

Incentive Amount:

Varies by technology and system size
PV larger than 5 kW: must enter bid process
Wind up to 10 kW: $0.09/kWh
Wind larger than 10 kW: must enter bid process

Incentive Type: Loan Program

Incentive Type: Green Building Incentive

Incentive Amount:

Authorized by legislation for green buildings. Actual permit process to be determined by local government.

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: duke-energy.com

Incentive Amount:

Central A/C or Heat Pump: $300 - $400 + 50 with smart thermostat
Geothermal Heat Pumps: $400 + 50 with smart thermostat
Heat Pump Water Heater: $350
Attic Insulation & Air Sealing: $250
Duct Sealing: $100
Pool Pump: $300

Incentive Type: Loan Program

Website: pemc.coop

Incentive Amount:

$10,000

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 Chapel Hill

Choosing a company is the first step toward a well-oiled and valuable solar energy system. Make your choice based on the following key factors.

Licensing and Training

A licensed electrical contractor in North Carolina may oversee home solar photovoltaic installations in North Carolina if they have the appropriate classification from the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors. Solar providers can also pursue accreditations from standards organizations and trade groups. The most respected 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 Chapel Hill

The type of solar panels you select dictates how much energy you can generate. Monocrystalline panels cost more but give you the best performance. 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 meant for large home installations, but they're excellent for small projects like sheds and RVs.

If you need to charge an electric car or use your solar power in inclement weather, you can pay extra for add-ons. By selecting the right components, you can make your panel array more productive and convenient to use. Not all solar contractors offer these optional components, so look for a provider that installs them if it's essential for you.

If you're a resident of Chapel Hill and want a five-kilowatt solar energy system, you could plan to spend about $17,550 for parts and installation. See more information on specific component and panel costs in the table.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,065
Solar Polycrystalline$831
Thin-Film$486
Solar Battery$682
Solar Home EV Charger$2,557

Financing Solar Energy in Chapel Hill

Solar providers offer multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar leases, solar loans, power purchase agreements (PPAs) and cash payments. Most solar experts recommend a cash payment or using a solar loan. Cash payments require a large up-front sum, but they save you from 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. Much like a home or auto loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with as little as $0 down. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly fee 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 specific circumstances. We suggest working with a contractor that offers multiple financing options. Talk to each representative about what's available, and get more than one estimate for the best odds of keeping within your budget.

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

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

Solar System CapacityEstimated Payback period
1 kW2.1 years
2 kW4.2 years
5 kW10.4 years
10 kW20.8 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Chapel Hill

How much money could I save by going solar in Chapel Hill?

On average, Chapel Hill homeowners shell out approximately $1,397 per year on electric bills. Once you repay your solar array, you could save $929.63 per kilowatt you produce.

How prevalent is solar energy in Chapel Hill?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in Chapel Hill. A growing number of local homes already use solar power on-site or through utility grids, and North Carolina has about 6617 jobs making up its solar economy.

Should I anticipate a property value increase 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 dark, wooded, or rainy area?

Solar panels could still operate in cloudy conditions. Your contractor will orient your panels to absorb the most sunlight possible. They might also recommend a back-up power source to keep your system working at its best.

Is installing solar panels a fast job?

Your solar job's duration will depend on its size and complexity, as well as Chapel Hill's permit and inspection procedures. It could take two weeks to two months on average.

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

The average payback period for a solar loan in Chapel Hill is 13.2 years. By paying off extra principal each month, you can shorten the payback period and own your system faster.

How can I enhance my solar panels' performance?

To enhance your solar system's performance, you can use the following steps:
  • optimize the panels' position with your solar installer
  • regularly clean your solar panels
  • upgrade to a more efficient inverter trim or cut down trees in the way of your panels
  • use energy-efficient appliances

What are the signs I shouldn't use a particular solar company for my job?

Even the most esteemed Chapel Hill solar installers will have both favorable and unfavorable reviews. To make the most informed choice possible, focus on these warning signs to know if a company isn't worth your investment:
  • High-pressure sales tactics
  • Not being straightforward about training and credentials, warranties, cost and references
  • "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.

Sources