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5 Best Solar Companies in Massachusetts (2022)

If you want to harness solar power for your Massachusetts home, read our review of the top providers below to learn more about the best solar companies in Massachusetts.

Beautiful white New England home with red shutters. Newly installed solar panels on the roof and a lush forest in the backyard. Adobe

Despite its often overcast skies and chilly winter temperatures, Massachusetts is one of the best places in the nation to install solar panels for two main reasons: expensive utility rates and solid state solar tax incentives.

Massachusetts ranks 45 out of 50 in terms of states’ average annual sunshine, but still receives enough daily peak sunlight hours to reasonably accommodate residential solar systems. In fact, the Bay State is eighth in the nation for solar power and generates nearly 20% of all electricity from the sun, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, , and Boston alone is second nationwide in terms of potential savings from the installation of a standard photovoltaic solar power system.

The rise in popularity of solar power may be due to the cost of using electricity in New England—about 25% higher than the national average—and the state’s support of the renewable energy source. Massachusetts residents who own their solar panels can take advantage of income tax credit breaks, buy-back programs, and sales tax exemptions, among other incentives and rebates.

If you call Massachusetts home and want to join the growing trend of going solar, the review below will help you decide on the best solar panel installer serving your state. To compile this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best solar companies in the country and has included those whose coverage area includes Massachusetts.

Massachusetts’ Top Solar Energy Companies:


Momentum Solar

Score: 98 out of 100

Momentum Solar tops our list of solar companies in Massachusetts because it strives to make the solar experience an easy and positive one for its customers through user-friendly tools and step-by-step guidance through the installation process.

Pros and cons

✔ Takes a concierge-service approach to solar installation that includes assistance with enrollment in government incentives and rebates
✔ Offers seven solar panel brands for better customization of systems
✔ Partners with Enphase to offer a solar battery option

✘ Doesn’t provide pricing information online
✘ Numerous online customer reviews cite aggressive sales tactics

Momentum’s mobile app allows customers to stay up-to-date on their project and receive details on completed and future installation steps. In addition to progress alerts, the app delivers energy production data for customers to ensure efficiency and determine peak production hours. It also has a customer support function, providing direct email or phone support access.

The company’s website includes a wealth of helpful resources and a frequently updated blog that addresses the basics of residential solar power, as well as updates on the latest technologies, products, and trends.

Services include:

  • Electric vehicle charging system
  • 25-year output warranty
  • Optional service package
  • Consultation
  • Survey and design for solar projects
  • Solar panel installation
  • Audits for energy efficiency
  • Mobile app
  • Solar system monitoring

Momentum Solar customers can buy their solar panels through a lump-sum payment or loan. The company also leases panels and provides Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). A PPA essentially allows a solar installer to bill the residential solar customer for monthly usage, typically at a much lower rate than standard electricity. However, both leases and PPAs both constitute third-party ownership, which means the residential solar installer—not the customer—is eligible for federal and state tax credits and incentives.

Learn More: Momentum Solar Review


Palmetto Solar

Score: 98 out of 100

Palmetto Solar’s phone, email, and online support, along with an extensive optional monitoring and discount program, make the company our top choice for solar installers in terms of customer service.

Pros and cons

✔ Protects solar panels with a 25-year output warranty
✔ Offers a protection plan to Palmetto customers and other solar owners
✔ Provides an online solar savings calculator

✘ Doesn’t provide online financing options
✘ Charges an additional fee for monitoring

Beyond its standard 25-year performance warranty, the company offers the Peace of Mind Protection Plan. For an additional $12 per month, the plan provides customers with labor for replacing or servicing parts, guaranteed workmanship timelines and discounts on services such as pest abatement, solar panel cleaning and solar panel removal and reinstallation. According to Palmetto Solar’s website, the Peace of Mind plan includes nearly $2,000 in discounts and rebates at an annual cost of $144.

Palmetto offers an online tool for calculating your monthly and yearly savings. Using your address and monthly electric bill, the tool will estimate the amount of your utility bill with solar energy. The company also has several convenient customer service tools like a mobile app for tracking energy usage and 24/7 online support.

Services include:

  • Consultation
  • Financing options
  • Survey and design for solar projects
  • Solar panel installation
  • Battery installation and back-up
  • Audits to ensure energy efficiency
  • Peace of Mind Protection Plan
  • 25-year output warranty standard for all customers
  • Energy storage
  • Pest abatement
  • Solar panel removal and reinstallation
  • Solar panel cleaning
  • Installation of Tesla’s Powerwall integrated battery system
  • Installation of energy consumption meters to monitor usage

Customers with Palmetto Solar can choose to purchase their solar panels outright or through a loan. Solar loans allow you to own your system with no money down through monthly payments.

Palmetto also provides lease and PPA options. Leases and PPA are similar in that they both constitute third-party ownership. However, lease payments are set at the same monthly rate, while PPA payments vary each month depending on the amount of energy you use, similar to an electricity bill.

Learn More: Palmetto Solar Review


Vivint Solar

Score: 95 out of 100

Vivint Solar takes a simplified yet personalized approach to solar panel installation by following a streamlined process that guides customers each step of the way and by offering a variety of high-quality solar panels, batteries, and inverters. Inverters convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) electricity, the type of power through which your home’s appliances and major systems operate.

Pros and cons

✔ Provides services in all 50 states
​​✔ Offers a 25-year linear performance warranty for Solar Purchase and Lease customers
✔ ​​Gives four options for moving, transferring, or reinstalling panels to homeowners who sell their home

✘ Doesn’t offer a power warranty to customers who lease or purchase their panels
✘ Numerous online customer reviews cite aggressive sales tactics

Vivint Solar’s wide range of solar products allows customers to create a solar system that best suits their individual needs and budget. The company is also unique in its flexible approach to handling solar panel contracts when homeowners decide to sell their house. If you decide to put your house on the market during the life of your contract with Vivint, you can opt to transfer the existing agreement to the new owners or pay off the remaining balance on the contract. Vivint will also remove your panels or reinstall them at your new home at no additional charge. This makes it simple for customers to transfer or reinstall their solar panel systems when moving to a new location.

Services include:

  • Consultation
  • Survey and design for solar projects
  • Solar panel installation
  • Mobile app
  • System monitoring
  • Electric vehicle charging system
  • 25-year output warranty
  • Optional service package

Vivint Solar will provide you with a solar panel installation estimate following an in-person or virtual consultation. The company can handle the design of all solar projects in house.

Vivint Solar customers can opt to buy their solar panels through a lump-sum payment or a loan. The company also allows customers to lease their panels or enter into a Power Purchase Agreement.


Sunrun

Score: 95 out of 100

Sunrun is one of the best solar companies for its four financing options that each come standard with a full-service protection plan. Sunrun was among one of the first solar panel installation companies to offer a leasing program, effectively making solar power more accessible to homeowners.

The company has two leasing options: a monthly payment, similar to other solar panel companies; and a prepaid lease good for 25 years of service that comes with free monitoring and maintenance.

Pros and cons

✔ Protects Brightsave products with coverage for theft or damage
​​✔ Partners with LG to provide customers with a solar battery option
✔ ​​Offers online chat support

✘ Doesn’t offer a power warranty to customers who lease or purchase their panels
✘ Numerous online customer reviews cite aggressive sales tactics

Sunrun creates custom solar systems by reviewing your home size, sunlight exposure and roof area and slope, then determining the specific system size and number of batteries you will need. Sunrun will then calculate the cost and energy usage of your system and explain any government incentives available to you. Customers that lease solar panels through a provider will not be eligible to take advantage of federal and/or state tax credits or reimbursement programs.

Sunrun also offers a service package that includes an additional “bumper-to-bumper” system warranty that provides free equipment replacement and system repairs for ten years, as well as proactive monitoring and a comprehensive insurance policy on your panels.

Services include:

  • Consultation
  • Survey and design
  • Solar panel installation
  • Mobile app
  • System monitoring
  • Electric vehicle charging system
  • 25-year output warranty
  • Optional ongoing service package

In addition to Sunrun’s two leasing options, the company allows customers to purchase their solar panels in cash or through in-house financing with no money down for those who qualify.

The company provides general estimates online but cannot give an accurate quote until completing an in-person or virtual home consultation.


Trinity Solar

Score: 83 out of 100

Established in 1994, Trinity Solar has been in business longer than any other provider on our list, making the company our recommendation for the most experienced solar panel installer. Due to its many years of experience, Trinity is currently the largest privately held solar company in the country, having completed more than 80,000 installations to date.

Pros and cons

✔ Gives customers $250 for every referral that receives solar from Trinity
​​✔ Includes a two-year power production guarantee with every installation
✔ ​​Has been in business for more than 25 years

✘ Does not include pricing information on its website
✘ Does not offer solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA) options

Trinity Solar provides customers with a straightforward process of owning or leasing solar panels that begins with a site assessment to ensure your home can support solar energy, as well as a review of your current energy usage. The company has a wide variety of panels—more than any other provider on our list—and gives customers more design and pricing options.

In an effort to educate customers about solar energy, Trinity assists with information about—and potential enrollment in—government rebate programs and helps locate other available incentives. The company’s mobile app allows customers to track their energy usage by month, day, or hour and verify their system’s overall health and performance. Performance data can easily be shared from the app to social media platforms. Trinity’s website includes a wealth of free online resources, solar industry updates, and other helpful tools to help customers learn more and stay informed.


Our Conclusion

Solar panels can be a beneficial investment for your home by saving you money long-term on your electric bill and increasing the value of your property. However, there are factors that you should consider before making the switch, including how much sunlight directly hits your house daily and the layout and direction of your roof. Residential solar systems in states that are, on average, sunnier will typically perform better, and south-, west- or southwest-facing roofs get more sun exposure.

It’s also important to understand Massachusetts solar energy incentives, including a net metering program and tax credits. Remember that you can only take advantage of these incentives if you own your panels, either by paying for them outright or through a loan, so you need to consider whether your budget allows for purchase as opposed to a lease.

While the solar energy company you select ultimately depends on your home’s unique energy needs, Momentum Solar is our top choice for solar providers in Massachusetts because of its user-friendly tools and educational approach to solar installation. Momentum also only works in states with established net metering programs, so it can provide expert knowledge on such programs for customers who may not be familiar. Net metering programs provide monthly electricity credits based on the unused energy your panels can cycle back to the power grid.

Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Companies in MA

Are solar panels worth it in Massachusetts?

Nationally, solar panel costs have decreased by more than 80% over the last decade, making residential solar power systems more accessible to more people. Additionally, Massachusetts offers a variety of solar incentives—in addition to the 26% federal tax credit—that help offset the initial cost of switching to a clean energy source.

What solar incentives does Massachusetts offer?

In 2018, Massachusetts replaced the state’s solar renewable energy credit (REC) program with the SMART program. Under that program, in which utility companies pay a flat rate per kilowatt-hour of solar power generated, homeowners with solar systems can receive a net incentive payment of approximately $800 per year.

Massachusetts also excludes homeowners from having to pay a higher property tax rate due to the increased home value from solar installation. Solar customers are also exempt from the state sales and use tax when purchasing panels and other equipment.

Do solar panels increase home value in Massachusetts?

A solar energy system can increase the overall value of your home. The installation is viewed the same as upgrades like kitchen expansions, finished basements and updated bathroom fixtures. According to a 2015 study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, solar increased the value of a home by an average of $15,000

However, that increase only applies to homeowners that own their solar systems. Leasing a system or using a PPA will actually decrease the value of your home in Massachusetts by 3%–8%.

Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for solar panel companies and installers is on a 100-point scale based on five factors:

  • Payment options (40 points): Options include purchase, loan, lease, and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Companies receive points for each of those four options it provides.
  • Solar services (30 points): Does the company provide in-house installation of solar panels and battery backups? Can the company also monitor energy production and perform energy-efficiency audits to ensure system performance. The more options available, the higher the score.
  • Warranty options (10 points): The success of a residential solar system depends on the workmanship, performance guarantees, and length of product coverage. We score solar companies based on the number of warranty options available. The more warranties a solar company offers, the higher the score it receives.
  • State Availability (10 points): We award the most points to solar companies with the broadest service area and state availability.
  • Reputation (10 points): We factor in how the Business Better Bureau (BBB) scores each company. We deduct points for any alerts or pending lawsuits.

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