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Best 3 Solar Companies in Knoxville, TN

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

With Knoxville's clear skies and below-average rainfall, it's a perfect area for families and businesses hoping to harness the extra sunlight. Local homeowners might go for solar to break free of high power costs from sources like nuclear. An experienced solar contractor can help you install and optimize a system that fits your energy needs without being too expensive. Discover Knoxville's top-rated solar companies and learn crucial decision-making tips 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

Top Knoxville Solar Companies

Solar Alliance, LLC Logo

Solar Alliance

4.2/5
Based on 17 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Skilled Repairs Residential Panels Commercial Panels Community Solar Projects Solar Panel Upgrades

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
  • Prompt service delivery
3709 Martin Mill Pike, Knoxville, TN 865-309-4674 solaralliance.com
Encōr Solar - Asheville, NC Logo

Encōr Solar - Asheville, NC

4.4/5
Based on 53 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Permit Assistance Residential Panels Financing Assistance Consultation

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
30 Ben Lippen School Rd, Asheville, NC 828-571-0305 encorsolar.com

Ranking Methodology

Our team has screened dozens of solar installers near Knoxville, keeping in mind the following criteria:

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Facts about Knoxville
Average Max Temp: 67°F
Solar Payback Period: 12.1 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 57%
Homes Powered by Solar: 1,199
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,068
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.

  • Lowered energy bills: Solar panels let you generate your own energy to power your home, reducing your monthly electricity costs. You can eliminate your bills completely if you go off-grid.
  • Better energy independence: Adding a battery backup lets you have dependable energy during storms and grid outages.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: The sun is a highly abundant clean energy source, meaning you can reduce or eliminate your home's dependence on fossil fuels.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Knoxville Homeowners?

Tennessee agencies and electric companies offer several solar incentives to help cut your solar system costs. Here's a breakdown of eligible solar programs where you live.

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

Depends upon sector

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 Knoxville

The more comprehensive your company investigation is, the better your solar installation will ultimately perform. Consider each of these elements in your business search.

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 required. Even if a project doesn't cross the $25,000 value threshold, you will still need a master electrician or electrical journeyman to handle permit work. Solar companies can also earn accreditations from trade groups and standards organizations. 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 Knoxville

Your photovoltaic panels' type will affect how much energy you can generate. Monocrystalline panels cost the most but perform the best. Polycrystalline panels generate less, but they're a great traditional option for low budgets. Thin-film panels are excellent for non-traditional roof shapes and cost the least, but don't work well for large residential installations.

You can also add battery backups and electric vehicle (EV) chargers. These will increase your total project price, but they can increase your solar system's performance. Not all solar contractors include these additional features, so look for a company that sells them if it's a priority for you.

If you're a resident of Knoxville and want a five-kilowatt solar energy system, you could plan to spend about $17,900 for materials and labor. Find more information on specific component and panel costs in the table.

Solar Panel Cost Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,124
Solar Polycrystalline $877
Thin-Film $513
Solar Battery $719
Solar Home EV Charger $2,697

Financing Solar Energy in Knoxville

There are various ways to pay for a solar energy system, and the right one will lower your costs. A few of the most common options include cash payments, leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and loans. Though it requires a large up-front payment, cash is the most economical choice because it doesn't accrue interest and qualifies you for incentives. Solar loans are the next best option. As with a car or home loan, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for money-saving solar incentives, and depending on your lender, you could put as little as $0 down. Solar leases let you use your panels for a set monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay just for the energy you use, similar to an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and do not provide you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. Ask each provider you're considering about the financing options it offers. A salesperson can help you determine the best option for your financial situation.

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

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 2.4 years
2 kW 4.8 years
5 kW 12.1 years
10 kW 24.1 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Knoxville

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

On average, Knoxville homeowners pay roughly $1,068 per year on energy bills. Once you repay your solar array, you could reduce your costs by $347.73 for every kilowatt you produce.

How prevalent is solar energy in Knoxville?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in Knoxville. A growing number of area homes already use solar power on-site or through utility grids, and Tennessee has about 4194 jobs comprising its solar economy.

Should I expect a boost in my property value after switching to solar energy?

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

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

To determine your home's solar readiness, there's no substitute for a comprehensive estimate from a local solar contractor. 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.

How long does the photovoltaic installation process last?

Your solar job's duration will depend on its size and complexity, as well as Knoxville's permit and inspection procedures. It could take a few weeks to a couple of months on average.

What size should my new Knoxville solar system be?

A typical Knoxville solar home uses a 7.9-kW panel array, but you might need a larger system if your energy needs are more demanding. Solar installers will consider your property's power usage and roof shading to suggest the proper system for you.

How are traditional solar loans and PPAs different?

A power purchase agreement is a contract between you and your installer. They install, own, and maintain the panels, and you buy the generated electricity from them for 10–25 years. There will usually be options to buy out early to own your system and extend the agreement.

In contrast, solar loans can come from local banks, the government, installer and specialty lenders. You'll need to pass a credit check to qualify for most of them. While the upfront costs are greater, and you'll be responsible for maintenance, you'll also have total ownership and can apply for many more financial rewards.

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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