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Best 6 Solar Companies in Charleston, WV

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  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

With Charleston's clear skies and little rainfall, it's a great area for families and businesses looking to harness the additional sunlight by purchasing panels from one of the best solar installers. While embracing solar power comes with upfront costs, local homeowners could ultimately save $880 per kilowatt on their electric bills. A professional technician can help you choose the best panels to maximize your savings. Discover Charleston's top-rated solar companies and learn crucial decision-making tips on this page.

6 Best Solar Companies in Charleston

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
Revolt Energy Logo
Top Rated

Revolt Energy

4.7/5

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

Based on 41 reviews


4300 1st Ave, Nitro, WV 25143

(304) 204-1580

revolt-energy.com

Cenvar Solar - New River Valley

4.7/5

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

Based on 1 reviews


4746 Wurno Rd, Pulaski, VA 24301

(540) 766-5432

www.cenvarsolar.com
Baseline Solar Solutions Logo

Baseline Solar Solutions

4.6/5

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

Based on 75 reviews


560 Depot St NE, Christiansburg, VA 24073

(540) 552-1511

www.baselinesolar.com
Cenvar Solar - Roanoke Logo

Cenvar Solar - Roanoke

4.7/5

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

Based on 4 reviews


2124 Loudon Ave NW, Roanoke, VA 24017

(540) 417-9803

www.cenvarsolar.com

Magic City Solar Co

4.7/5

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

Based on 2 reviews


213 S Jefferson St # 910, Roanoke, VA 24011

(540) 502-3904

solar-roanoke.com

Main Street Solar Energy

4/5

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

Based on 14 reviews


339 Botetourt Rd, Fincastle, VA 24090

(540) 860-8036

www.mainstsolar.com

Ranking Methodology

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

  • Panel brands and quality: The top solar companies keep up with new technology, providing equipment from cutting-edge and trustworthy manufacturers.
  • Reviews and feedback from customers: Most Charleston solar contractors have both positive and critical reviews. However, a good review ratio reflects a company's trustworthiness and responsiveness to issues.
  • Warranty and service offerings: Solar companies should stand behind their systems and services with warranties. We evaluated how each installer responds to issues and warranty claims, focusing on promptness and customer satisfaction.
  • Professional licenses and credentials: Each provider on our list complies with state and city licensing requirements and keeps current with industry best practices. Many of them have been a part of the Charleston community for more than a decade.
  • Educational programs and business model: Solar technicians must be knowledgeable. They should use their years of experience answer your questions on how to maintain your system and maximize its performance.

Facts about Charleston

  • Average Max Temperature:
    63°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    14 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    52%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    0
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,626
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    65.5%

Benefits of Solar Energy

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

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Embracing solar is a surefire way to lower your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
  • Better energy independence: Adding a solar battery storage system lets you have reliable energy during storms and grid outages.
  • Lowered energy bills: With solar panels, you generate power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-tied power. You can eliminate your bills completely if you go off-grid. Plus, a significant amount of states have adopted net metering, which permit you to earn money by selling your unused energy back to the grid.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Charleston Homeowners?

Governments and utility companies often incentivize homeowners for going solar. Here are some of the tax credits, rebates, or other programs you could qualify for.

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 Charleston

The purchase price and efficiency of solar panels often hinge on which company mounted them. Here are some important factors to bear in mind while searching for a solar specialist.

Licensing and Training

Contractors in West Virginia don't need a license to install a solar PV system, but an electrician carrying a license from the West Virginia Division of Labor must be the one to connect the system to the grid. For solar thermal systems, anyone working with pipes must be a licensed plumber. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private certifications. Two of the most respected are the Solar Heating Installer and PV Installation Professional certificates, backed by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Some companies don't publish this information online, so you should also ask your estimator about them.

Cost of Solar Panels in Charleston

The type of solar panels you choose dictates how much energy you can produce. Monocrystalline panels and high-quality and give you the best performance but cost more upfront. Polycrystalline panels produce less power, but they're worth it if you want a traditional panel style without the high cost. Thin-film panels aren't the best for large residential installations, but they are excellent accessories for non-traditional roofs.

Additional components, such as electric vehicle (EV) chargers and battery storage, will increase your overall installation costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not all solar contractors include these add-ons, so look for a company that sells them if it's a priority for you.

If you're a resident of Charleston and are looking into a five-kilowatt solar energy system, you could plan to spend about $16,950 for parts and installation. See more information on specific component and solar panel costs in the table.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,081
Solar Polycrystalline$843
Thin-Film$493
Solar Battery$692
Solar Home EV Charger$2,595

Financing Solar Energy in Charleston

Solar providers offer multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar leases, solar loans, cash payments and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Most solar experts recommend a cash payment or using a solar loan. Cash payments demand a large up-front sum, but they help you avoid paying interest, grant you system ownership, and qualify you for cost-saving solar incentives. Solar loans have the same benefits, though you'll pay more in total due to interest and fees. Much like an auto or home loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with potentially $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 advise against these options since you won't own your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be appropriate in specific circumstances. Ask each company you're vetting about the financing options it offers. A consultant can help you determine the most suitable option for your pocketbook.

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

A 26% federal solar tax credit applies to recently-purchased solar equipment purchased through 2032. Extra incentives may be available through city and state governments, usually in the form of rebates and special financing programs.

Solar System CapacityEstimated Payback period
1 kW2.4 years
2 kW4.9 years
5 kW12.2 years
10 kW24.4 years

Frequently Asked Questions about Solar in Charleston

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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