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  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

The Charlottesville community is committed to preserving its natural resources and living sustainably. That's why many homeowners are purchasing panels from the best solar installers for their homes. While embracing solar power comes with upfront costs, local homeowners could ultimately save $930 per kilowatt on their electric bills. A professional company can help you select the best panels to maximize your savings. Discover Charlottesville's top-rated solar companies and learn key decision-making advice on this page.

Most Reputable
Blue Raven Solar logo
4.4/5

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

  • Offers high-efficiency panels and storage options
  • Provides unique in-house financing options
  • Recognized as one of the most reputable solar companies

9 Best Solar Companies in Charlottesville

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
Virtue Solar Logo
Top Rated

Virtue Solar

4.7/5

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

Based on 52 reviews


1740 Broadway St Suite 6, Charlottesville, VA 22902

(540) 407-8353

www.virtuesolar.com

Tiger Solar

4.6/5

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

Based on 53 reviews


1132 E Market St, Charlottesville, VA 22902

(434) 293-3763

tigersolar.com
SunDay Solar Logo

SunDay Solar

4.6/5

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

Based on 38 reviews


1139 River Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22901

(434) 977-4292

sundaysolar.com

Green Hill Solar

4.7/5

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

Based on 18 reviews


356 S Main St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801

(540) 383-9741

greenhillsolar.org
Paradise Energy Solutions Logo

Paradise Energy Solutions

4.6/5

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

Based on 18 reviews


1931 S High St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801

(540) 705-1330

www.paradisesolarenergy.com/locations...
Radiant Home | Solar, Roofing, Battery Backup Logo

Radiant Home | Solar, Roofing, Battery Backup

4.7/5

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

Based on 30 reviews


9962 Brook Rd Suite 660, Glen Allen, VA 23059

(804) 518-8880

www.goradianthome.com
Southern Exposure Solar Logo

Southern Exposure Solar

4.7/5

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

Based on 63 reviews


11030 Richardson Rd B21, Ashland, VA 23005

(804) 965-4040

www.southernexposuresolar.com

Nexus Energy Systems

4.5/5

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

Based on 54 reviews


10964 Richardson Rd, Ashland, VA 23005

(804) 395-6621

nexussolar.net

Tiger Solar

4.7/5

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

Based on 42 reviews


331 N Lewis St, Staunton, VA 24401

(540) 885-0493

tigersolar.com

Ranking Methodology

Our team used the following criteria to assess the best Charlottesville solar companies.

  • Panel brands and quality: The leading solar companies keep up with new technology, offering equipment from innovative, dependable manufacturers.
  • Warranty and service offerings: Solar contractors should stand behind their products and services with warranties. We evaluated how each provider responds to issues and warranty claims, focusing on timeliness and customer satisfaction.
  • Educational approach: Solar technicians must be excellent teachers. They should tap into their years of experience answer your questions on how to maintain your system and optimize its performance.
  • Professional licenses and credentials: Each installer on our list meets state and city licensing requirements and stays up to date with industry best practices. Many of them have served the Charlottesville community for over 15 years.
  • Reviews and feedback from customers: Most Charlottesville solar providers have both positive and critical reviews. However, a good review ratio demonstrates a company's reliability and responsiveness to issues.

Facts about Charlottesville

  • Average Max Temperature:
    65°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    13 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    56%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    2,518
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,566
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    65.6%

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy offers multiple advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Better energy independence: Solar panel systems can keep your home running through emergencies and blackouts. You can use your solar energy anytime with an optional battery backup system.
  • Lowered energy bills: Solar panels allow you to generate your own energy to power your home, lowering your periodic electricity costs. Going off-grid can eliminate your bills completely. Plus, a significant number of states have adopted net metering, which permit you to earn money by selling your unused energy back to the grid.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: The sun is a highly abundant clean energy source, meaning you can lower or beat your home's dependence on non-renewable sources.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Charlottesville Homeowners?

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

Incentive Type:Personal Tax Deduction

Incentive Amount:

20% of the sales tax paid by an individual

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Charlottesville

Choosing a company is the first step toward a well-oiled and valuable solar system. Here are some important factors to remember while searching for a solar installer.

Licensing and Training

Since 2012, Virginia's Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation has issued Alternative Energy Systems (AES) licenses to contractors who work on solar PV systems. A contractor with an AES license may need to subcontract plumbing, HVAC or electrical work. Solar providers can also obtain accreditations from trade groups and standards organizations. The most respected 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 Charlottesville

Your photovoltaic panels' type will influence how much power 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 battery backups and electric vehicle (EV) chargers. These will increase your total installation cost, but they can enhance your solar system's efficiency. Not all solar companies provide these optional components, so look for a contractor that sells them if it's essential for you.

Most Charlottesville homeowners select solar systems rated for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems cost about $17,950 to install, considering both parts and installation. You can see more specific solar cost information in the table.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,120
Solar Polycrystalline$874
Thin-Film$511
Solar Battery$717
Solar Home EV Charger$2,688

Financing Solar Energy in Charlottesville

There are a plethora of ways to pay for new solar panels, and the right one will lower your costs. A few of the most common options include leases, cash payments, loans, and power purchase agreements (PPAs). We suggest making a cash payment or securing a solar loan for the best 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 own your system and can apply for solar panel incentives to cut your total costs. Solar loans are another solid option if you don’t want to make a big initial investment. You can pay for your system in monthly installments while still enjoying energy bill savings and solar incentives. However, you’ll spend more in total due to accruing interest. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly rate to rent your panels, while a PPA lets you pay a variable 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 particular circumstances. Look for companies that offer multiple payment plans to find the right fit for your wallet.

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

A 26% federal solar tax credit applies to recently-purchased 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 kW2.3 years
2 kW4.6 years
5 kW11.6 years
10 kW23.2 years

Frequently Asked Questions about Solar in Charlottesville

Sources

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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