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Best 5 Solar Companies in Richmond, VA

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

The Richmond community is intentional about conserving resources and living sustainably. That includes embracing alternative energy sources like solar. With all the options to choose from in this vibrant community, you might feel burnt out searching for a great contractor. In this article, we'll showcase Richmond's best solar companies and offer suggestions for your company choice, so you can find the right one for your home.

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 Richmond Solar Companies

Radiant Solar Logo

Radiant Solar

4.7/5
Based on 23 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Residential Panels Cleaning Consultation Battery Storage Emergency Services Maintenance Off-Grid Solar Systems Solar Roof Assessment

Highlights

  • Reliable customer support
  • Informative resources
  • Clear pricing policy
9962 Brook Rd Suite 660, Glen Allen, VA 804-518-8880 goradiantsolar.com
Southern Exposure Solar Logo

Southern Exposure Solar

4.7/5
Based on 41 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Residential Panels Consultation Financing Assistance Maintenance

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Prompt service delivery
11030 Richardson Rd B21, Ashland, VA 804-965-4040 southernexposuresolar.com
Nexus Energy Systems Logo

Nexus Energy Systems

4.3/5
Based on 28 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Commercial Panels Tesla Powerwall Skilled Repairs Residential Panels Emergency Services Solar Panel Upgrades Maintenance Battery Storage

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
  • Informative resources
10964 Richardson Rd, Ashland, VA 804-395-6621 nexussolar.net
SolarTyme Logo

SolarTyme

4.1/5
Based on 20 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Tailored Solutions Integrated Roofing Energy Storage Solutions Residential Panels Home Installations Expert Panel Installation

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
  • Free quotes
6710 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Richmond, VA 844-810-9355 solartyme.net

More Local Solar Companies

Sunlight Solar LLC

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

10000 Chester Rd
Chester, VA 23831

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 has researched dozens of solar companies near Richmond, emphasizing the following criteria:

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Facts about Richmond
Average Max Temp: 66°F
Solar Payback Period: 11.6 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 57%
Homes Powered by Solar: 12,452
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,599
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 has several advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Smaller power bills: Sourcing some or all of your own energy will save you money on your electric bills long-term.
  • Better energy independence: Adding a battery backup lets you have trustworthy energy during storms and grid outages.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: The sun is one of the universe's most abundant clean energy sources, meaning you can minimize or conquer your home's dependence on non-renewable sources.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Richmond Homeowners?

Virginia homeowners who upgrade to solar could qualify for reimbursements, special financing, rebates and tax credits. Here are just a few of the region's incentive programs.

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Deduction

Incentive Amount:

20% of the sales tax paid by an individual

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Website: law.lis.virginia.gov

Incentive Amount:

Depends on the local governing body

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Website: dmme.virginia.gov

Incentive Amount:

Varies (local option)

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 Richmond

Choosing a company is the first step toward an effective and cost-efficient solar energy system. Make your choice based on the following essential elements.

Licensing and Training

Since 2012, the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation has issued Alternative Energy Systems (AES) licenses to contractors who install solar PV systems. A contractor with an AES license may need to subcontract electrical, HVAC or plumbing work. Solar companies can also earn certificates from trade groups and standards organizations. The most recognized 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 Richmond

Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels offer the best energy production but cost more than other options. 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.

If you want to charge an electric car or use your solar power in inclement weather, you can pay extra for accessories. By choosing the right components, you can make your panel array more productive and convenient to use. Not all solar providers provide these extras, so look for a provider that installs them if it's essential for you.

Generally speaking, it will cost about $17,950 for a five-kilowatt solar array in Richmond. This table displays more specific pricing information for different solar panel types and system components in your area.

Solar Panel Cost Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,072
Solar Polycrystalline $836
Thin-Film $489
Solar Battery $686
Solar Home EV Charger $2,572

Financing Solar Energy in Richmond

Choosing the optimal financing option will impact your overall solar system cost and expected savings. Common payment options include loans, cash payments, power purchase agreements, and leases. Though it involves a large up-front payment, cash is the most affordable choice because it qualifies you for solar incentives and doesn't accrue interest. Solar loans are the second most effective 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 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 won't own your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be suitable in particular circumstances. Ask each installer you're considering about the payment options it offers. A team member can help you determine the optimal option for your financial situation.

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

You are eligible for a 26% federal tax credit for new solar energy equipment until the year 2032. City and state officials and utility companies might also offer rebates, discounts, and dedicated financing plans that could save you more.

Solar System Capacity Estimated Payback period
1 kW 2.3 years
2 kW 4.6 years
5 kW 11.6 years
10 kW 23.2 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Richmond

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

Most Richmond homeowners spend about $1,599 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $490.58 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.

How popular is solar energy in Richmond?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in Richmond. A growing number of local homes are already using solar power on-site or through utility grids, and Virginia has about 4489 jobs comprising its solar economy.

Will a solar PV system improve my Richmond home worth?

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 work well in dark areas. Your contractor will orient your panels to absorb the most sunlight possible. They might also recommend a backup battery to keep your system working at its best.

How long does the solar panel installation process last?

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

What size should my new Richmond solar system be?

A typical Richmond solar home uses a 7.8-kW panel array, but you might need a bigger system if your energy needs are more demanding. Solar experts will evaluate your property's energy consumption and roof shading to suggest the right system for you.

How can I boost my solar array's performance?

To enhance your solar system's performance, you can use the following strategies:
  • 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

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

Sources