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Best 5 Solar Companies in Durham, NC

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Written By Max Peterson|Last Updated: April 18, 2024

The Durham community is committed to preserving its natural resources and practicing eco-friendly lifestyles. That's why many homeowners are purchasing panels from the top solar installers for their homes. While switching to solar energy comes with upfront costs, local homeowners could ultimately save $920 per kilowatt on their electric bills. A professional installer can help you select the best panels to maximize your savings. In this article, we'll highlight Durham's best solar installers and offer advice for your company choice, so you can find the perfect 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
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 Durham Solar Companies

Freedom Solar Power - Raleigh Solar Panel Installers Logo

Freedom Solar Power - Raleigh Solar Panel Installers

4.6/5
Based on 58 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Tesla PowerwallCleaning And MaintenancePanel InstallationSkilled RepairsConsultationGrid-Tied Solar SystemBattery StorageFinancing AssistancePermit Assistance

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Free quotes
4502 Bennett Memorial Rd, Durham, NC 919-328-5482 freedomsolarpower.com
Southern Energy Management Logo

Southern Energy Management

4.7/5
Based on 181 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Battery StoragePanel InstallationCleaning And MaintenanceGrid-Tied Solar SystemTesla PowerwallSkilled RepairsConsultationPermit Assistance

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
  • Clear pricing policy
5908 Triangle Dr, Raleigh, NC 919-367-1381 southern-energy.com
Jim's Solarguard Logo

Jim's Solarguard

4.3/5
Based on 125 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Panel Installation

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Family-operated business
  • Clear pricing policy
700 E Geer St, Durham, NC 919-682-2876 jimssolarfilm.com
Yes Solar Solutions Logo

Yes Solar Solutions

4.8/5
Based on 297 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Tesla PowerwallSolar CarportsPanel InstallationBattery Storage

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Prompt service delivery
  • Family-operated business
202 North Dixon Avenue, Cary, NC 919-459-4155 yessolarsolutions.com

More Local Solar Companies

NC Solar Now

User Reviews: 5/5 

2509 Atlantic Ave
Raleigh, NC 27604

Emerald Energy

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

3201 Wellington Ct Suite, 103
Raleigh, NC 27615

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

Wiring Solutions Plus LLC

User Reviews: 4.4/5 

4724 Hargrove Rd Ste 192
Raleigh, NC 27616

Top Tier Solar Solutions

User Reviews: 4.3/5 

5305 Raynor Rd
Garner, NC 27529

Carolina Connections Solar Energy - North Carolina Installation & Sales

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

422 Huffman Mill Rd #105
Burlington, NC 27215

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

Our team focuses on the following criteria to determine the best Durham solar companies.

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Facts about Durham
Average Max Temp:69°F
Solar Payback Period:10.4 years
Average Daily Sunlight:58%
Homes Powered by Solar:35,584
Average Annual Energy Bill:$1,388
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 several advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Better energy independence: Solar panel systems with battery backups and storage systems function through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on your power company for your safety and well-being.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Embracing 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 producing some electricity right where you use it. Plus, many states provide net metering which can allow you to sell your unused energy back to credit part of your bill.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Durham Homeowners?

The state of North Carolina offers multiple solar incentives to help cut your solar system costs. Here's a breakdown of relevant solar programs where you live.

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 Durham

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

Licensing and Training

A licensed electrical contractor in North Carolina may supervise home solar PV installations in North Carolina if they have the relevant classification from the North Carolina State Board of Examiners of Electrical Contractors. Look for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), among the solar industry's most credible trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.

Cost of Solar Panels in Durham

Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels offer the best energy production but cost more than other options 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 electric vehicle (EV) chargers and battery backup systems. These will increase your total installation cost, but they can increase your solar system's efficiency. Not all solar companies include these additional features, so look for a company that sells them if it's a priority for you.

You can plan to spend about $17,550 on average for a five-kilowatt solar energy system in Durham. Check the table in this section to get an idea of what amount Durham solar companies might quote for your specific solar system's price.

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 Durham

Solar installers use multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are power purchase agreements (PPAs), solar leases, cash payments and solar loans. We recommend paying with cash or using a solar loan for the highest 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 pay a monthly fee to rent your panels, while a power purchase agreement lets you pay a fluctuating rate based on only the energy you use. We generally don't recommend these options since you will not have ownership of your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be appropriate in specific circumstances. We recommend working with an installer that offers multiple financing options. Speak with each salesperson about what's available, and obtain more than one estimate for the best odds of staying within your spending limits.

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

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

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 Durham

How much money could I save by going solar in Durham?

On average, Durham homeowners pay around $1,388 per year on power bills. Once you repay your solar array, you could save $922.39 for every kilowatt you produce.

Is solar energy readily available in Durham?

Yes, solar energy is spreading quickly in Durham. Some homes already use solar power on-site or through utility grids, and they're supported by a state solar economy with 6617 workers and counting.

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

Yes, new solar systems mean 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 increase your home's value by $12,000.

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

Even with Durham's above-average tree cover, you could still take advantage of solar energy. Your technician will maximize your system's performance by selecting the proper site for panels, cleaning them regularly, installing a battery backup system, and positioning them to capture the most sunlight throughout the year. This way, you can keep solar energy longer and use it as necessary.

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

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

How do I care for my new solar system?

To preserve your solar system's efficiency, inspections and cleanings every six months are usually enough. In dry or dusty seasons, your panels might need cleanings every few months. Your technician can recommend a maintenance schedule. Its team could also do the cleaning for you.

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

Most states and utilities run net metering programs, and some require homeowners to join. Once you sign up, you can get a bill credit or check for any surplus electricity you produce and send to the grid. Generally, power companies reimburse solar homeowners at a wholesale or "avoided-cost" rate.

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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