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  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

Columbia homeowners are increasingly using solar panels to power their homes and heat their water. With all the options to choose from in this vibrant community, you might feel burnt out searching for an exceptional contractor. In this article, we'll showcase Columbia's best solar providers and offer tips for your company choice, so you can find the ideal one for your household.

6 Best Solar Companies in Columbia

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.

Top Rated Provider
LightWave Solar, LLC Logo
Top Rated

LightWave Solar, LLC

4.5/5

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

Based on 61 reviews


3026 Owen Dr Suite 104, Antioch, TN 37013

(615) 641-4050

lightwavesolar.com

Dragon Scale Roofing & Solar

4.7/5

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

Based on 134 reviews


511 Fairground Ct, Nashville, TN 37211

(615) 241-9266

www.dragonscaleroofing.com
Green Wave Solar Logo

Green Wave Solar

4.5/5

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

Based on 17 reviews


231 W Rutherford Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN 37130

(615) 237-1737

greenwavesolar.com
Cashville Solar Solutions Logo

Cashville Solar Solutions

4.7/5

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

Based on 19 reviews


217 2nd Ave N, Nashville, TN 37201

(615) 709-5492

www.solar-nashville.com
ReNew Solar Solutions Logo

ReNew Solar Solutions

4.7/5

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

Based on 55 reviews


230 Great Circle Rd Suite 232, Nashville, TN 37228

(615) 617-6470

www.renewsolarsolutions.com
MCH Nashville, LLC Logo

MCH Nashville, LLC

4.5/5

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

Based on 41 reviews


4113 Old Hickory Blvd, Old Hickory, TN 37138

(615) 669-0743

www.mchnashville.com

Ranking Methodology

Our team focuses on the following criteria to assess the best Columbia solar companies.

  • Educational programs and business model: Solar technicians must be knowledgeable. They should use their years of experience address your questions on how to care for your system and optimize its performance.
  • Experience and professional licensure: Each installer on our list meets state and city licensing requirements and stays up to date with industry best practices. Many of them have been a part of the Columbia community for a decade or longer.
  • Customer reviews and feedback: Most Columbia solar installers have both favorable and unfavorable reviews. However, a good review ratio shows a company's dependability and responsiveness to issues.
  • Panel brands and quality: The best solar companies stay up-to-date with new technology, providing equipment from innovative, dependable manufacturers.
  • Warranty and service offerings: Solar installers should stand behind their products and services with warranties. We evaluated how each contractor responds to issues and warranty claims, focusing on timeliness and customer happiness.

Facts about Columbia

  • Average Max Temperature:
    68°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    22 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    57%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    264
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,533
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    14.7%

Benefits of Solar Energy

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

  • Lowered energy bills: You can skip the premium cost of grid-tied power by generating some electricity at home. Plus, many states provide net metering which can allow you to sell your unused energy back for credits on your bill.
  • Better energy independence: Photovoltaic solar panel systems with battery backups and storage systems function through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to depend on your power company for your safety and comfort.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Using solar is a surefire way to reduce your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Columbia Homeowners?

Tennessee homeowners who go solar could qualify for reimbursements, tax credits, rebates and special financing. Here are just a few of the local incentive programs.

Incentive Type:Property Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

Depends upon sector

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Columbia

The more thorough your provider search is, the better your solar panels will ultimately function. Here are some crucial criteria to bear in mind while searching for a solar provider.

Licensing and Training

Tennessee requires any solar energy project valued at $25,000 or higher to be overseen by a licensed "prime contractor." The prime contractor is responsible for hiring licensed subcontractors as the job requires. Even if a project doesn't cross the $25,000 value threshold, you will still need an electrical journeyman or master electrician to handle permit work. Solar installers can also obtain certificates from trade groups and standards organizations. The most recognized ones in the industry come from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. Most company websites will prominently display earned credentials, but you should also ask your estimator for more information.

Cost of Solar Panels in Columbia

Your solar panels' style will impact how much electricity you can generate. Monocrystalline panels are among the highest quality and 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.

You can also add electric car (EV) chargers and battery backup systems. These will increase your total installation cost, but they can boost your solar system's efficiency. Not all solar providers offer these optional components, so look for a provider that sells them if it's essential for you.

Generally speaking, it will cost about $17,900 for a five-kilowatt solar array in Columbia. This table lists more specific prices for different solar panel types and system components in your area.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,142.50
Solar Polycrystalline$891.15
Thin-Film$520.98
Solar Battery$731.20
Solar Home EV Charger$2,742.00

Financing Solar Energy in Columbia

Choosing the correct financing plan will impact your overall solar system cost and potential savings. Common payment options include cash payments, loans, leases, and power purchase agreements. Though it involves a large up-front payment, cash is the most cost-effective choice because it doesn't accrue interest and qualifies you for incentives. Solar loans are the runner-up option. As with a car or home loan, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for cost-saving solar incentives, and depending on your lender, you could put as little as $0 down. Solar leases involve paying a set monthly rate to use rooftop panels. A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) lets you pay a monthly rate determined by the energy you use, like an electric bill. We generally don’t recommend these two choices because you won't own the panels and are disqualified from using solar incentives. We advise working with a company that offers multiple financing options. Speak with each representative about what's available, and obtain more than one estimate for the best odds of staying within your budget.

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 for solar panels on total system costs, so long as you purchase it before 2032. Local governments and utilities might also offer their own rebates, incentives, and financing programs that could save you more money.

Solar System CapacityEstimated Payback period
1 kW2.4 years
2 kW4.8 years
5 kW12.1 years
10 kW24.1 years

Frequently Asked Questions about Solar in Columbia

Sources

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