The best solar energy companies offer comprehensive installation services coupled with responsive customer service to protect your solar investment. This guide will help you compare different solar companies nationwide and find the right provider to meet your clean energy needs.
Top 7 Solar Companies
Based on in-depth research and analysis of top solar brands, the This Old House Reviews Team found the following companies to be the best in the industry:
Momentum Solar focuses on making the transition to solar energy an easy and engaging process. The company handles every aspect in-house, from pricing and financing to design and installation. It also offers a variety of solar panels to help you create a custom solar system specific to your home’s layout.
Momentum’s interactive mobile tracking app gives customers a more active role in the installation process, and its frequently updated blog helps inform and educate homeowners on their solar systems.
States Available: CA, CT, FL, GA, MA, NV, NJ, NY, PA, and TX
Pros and Cons of Momentum Solar
✔ Follows a concierge service approach to solar installation that includes helping customers enroll in government savings programs and handling all necessary permitting paperwork
✔ Offers seven solar panel brands for better customization of systems
✔ Partners with Enphase to offer a solar battery option
✘ Pricing information and instant quotes are not available online; customers must request pricing via the website or by calling customer service
✘ Not available nationwide
Momentum Solar Warranty and Financing
- 25-year product warranty
- 25-year workmanship
Why We Chose Momentum Solar
Momentum 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. This top solar 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, Momentum 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. Additionally, Momentum’s website includes a wealth of free online resources, solar industry updates, and other helpful tools to help customers learn more and stay informed.
Momentum customers can opt to lease, finance, or purchase their panels. Qualifying customers can receive a loan through Momentum or sign up for a power purchase agreement that has no up-front cost and charges only for the power produced.
Blue Raven Solar
Blue Raven Solar offers unique benefits that other solar providers can’t match. With guarantees on the solar system performance, the company goes the extra mile to ensure homeowners get the best return on their solar power investment.
States Available: CO, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MS, NC, NV, OH, OR, SC, TX, UT, and VA
Pros and Cons of Blue Raven Solar
✔ 18 months of free solar energy
✔ No up-front installation cost for the solar system installation and permits
✔ Two-year productivity guarantee on system output
✘ Does not offer solar lease or PPA options
✘ Availability limited to 17 states
Blue Raven Solar Warranty and Financing
- 25-year manufacturer warranty
- Two-year productivity guarantee
Why We Chose Blue Raven Solar
Blue Raven Solar promotes the reliability of its systems with a 25-year warranty and a two-year productivity warranty. If your system does not meet its estimates for your home energy production, the company will upgrade it at no additional charge.
Customers can choose to pay for their system in full or select the BluePower+ loan with no money required for the initial costs of the system. You would receive 18 months of free solar energy paid via monthly checks from the company. The first five years of the loan payments are locked into a fixed rate through the SmartStart program.
SunPower creates some of the most energy-efficient systems in the country. Because it manufacturers all system components in-house, each element works together to produce a streamlined solar system.
States Available: All 50 states, but varies by ZIP code
Pros and Cons of SunPower
✔ Nationwide availability
✔ Produces solar panels, batteries, and electric vehicle chargers in-house
✔ 25-year all-inclusive warranty covers the full system and components
✘ Limited to SunPower products only
✘ Its solar panels are more expensive than other companies
SunPower Warranty and Financing
- 25-year all-inclusive warranty covers entire system and workmanship
Why We Chose SunPower
SunPower combines the most energy-efficient solar panels with in-house produced components to create a streamlined solar package. With four panel options, its own battery storage system, and options for electric vehicle charging, you have the ability to create the perfect system for your home.
Along with its top-of-the-line solar power system, SunPower backs its solar products with an all-inclusive 25-year warranty. You will have complete coverage for all elements of your solar system, any additional storage or charging add-ons, and any required maintenance. Although the solar panel costs are higher than other companies, customers can feel confident that they will invest in one of the best high-efficiency solar systems available.
Free Quote: Get a quote from SunPower
Sunrun is one of the best solar companies for its four financing options that provide full-service protection with each plan.
States Available: AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, HI, IL, MD, MA, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, PA, RI, SC, TX, VT, WI, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.
Pros and Cons of Sunrun
✔ Protects Brightsave products with coverage for theft or damage
✔ Provides daily monitoring to ensure the health of Brightsave and Protection Plus products
✔ Offers customer service through online chat
✘ Solar and battery availability varies by state
✘ Doesn’t detail a variety of products and plans online
Sunrun Warranty and Financing
- 10-year workmanship warranty
Why We Chose Sunrun
Sunrun offers customers solar panel installation through four unique financing options, including a monthly solar lease, full-amount solar lease, monthly solar loan, and full-system purchase. Sunrun is unique in that it offers full service to all of its customers, regardless of the purchasing plan they select.
For monthly solar and full-amount solar lease customers, full service is included in your contract, protecting your system from damage, theft, and degradation. Should your system’s efficiency decrease, Sunrun will fix it at no cost to you. For loans and purchase customers, Sunrun includes these services with Protection Plus products.
Learn More: Sunrun Solar Review
As one of the best solar companies, ADT Solar (formerly Sunpro Solar) offers extended warranty coverage on labor, panels, and inverters, in addition to a 25-year power production guarantee, making them the solar provider with the best protection.
States Available: AR, AK, AZ, CA, FL, GA, IA, IL, KS, LA, MO, MS, NC, NM, NV, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA
Pros and Cons of ADT Solar
✔ Offers self-monitoring through Enphase MyEnlighten
✔ Protects installation with 25-year power production, panel, inverter, and labor warranty
✔ Provides three financing options
✘ Available in only 21 states
✘ Doesn’t provide upfront pricing information online
ADT Solar Warranty and Financing
- 25-year comprehensive warranty
Why We Chose ADT Solar
ADT Solar offers customers a breadth of financing options and protection to cover their solar panel investment. ADT Solar provides customers with a power production guarantee—a rarity in the solar industry—which states that your system will produce a projected amount of energy over 25 years. If it falls short, ADT Solar will pay you $.10 per kWh for its shortfall. This opportunity occurs after 36 months of your system being live.
ADT Solar also includes system monitoring through the Enphase MyEnlighten mobile app, allowing customers to measure their system’s energy production remotely.
Learn More: ADT Solar Review
The solar industry is relatively new and, as a result, there aren’t many companies that provide services nationwide—Tesla is the exception. Tesla is the best solar panel company for its availability in most ZIP codes, offering both solar panels and installation services.
States Available: All 50 states, but installation may be limited in some ZIP codes
Pros and Cons of Tesla
✔ Provides online solar panel quotes
✔ Provides customers with 24/7 solar panel monitoring through the Tesla mobile app
✔ Protects solar panels with a 25-year performance guarantee
✘ Offers leasing in only six states
✘ Doesn’t provide installation services to all zip codes nationwide
Tesla Warranty and Financing
- 25-year performance warranty
Why We Chose Tesla
Tesla manufactures and installs its own solar panels for customers nationwide. Tesla’s low-profile panels with no visible solar cells blend into your roof’s current design to create a modern solar system. If interested in Tesla solar panels, the company offers online solar panel estimates in under a minute based on your home address and average monthly electric bill.
Along with its solar panel offerings, Tesla gives customers a solar storage option through its Tesla Powerwall battery. For customers interested in the latest technology, Tesla provides an alternative to solar panels with its Solar Roof, which replaces your current roof with tiles that generate solar energy.
Learn More: Tesla Solar Panel Review
Palmetto Solar provides phone, email, and online support alongside a Peace of Mind Protection Plan that offers monitoring and solar discounts to customers and non-customers alike, making them the best provider for customer service.
States Available: AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, IL, MD, MI, MN, MA, NV, NJ, NM, NC, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TX, VA, and WI, plus Washington, D.C.
Pros and Cons of Palmetto Solar
✔ Offers a protection plan to Palmetto customers and other solar owners
✔ Provides an online solar savings calculator
✔ Protects solar panels with a 25-year output warranty
✘ Doesn’t provide online financing options
✘ Isn’t available nationwide
Palmetto Solar Warranty and Financing
- 25-year output warranty
Why We Chose Palmetto Solar
Palmetto Solar offers customers a full-service solar installation and post-installation services. To help customers understand their solar savings, Palmetto has an online tool that calculates your electric bill savings with solar energy.
Palmetto Solar offers customer support through phone, email, and online chat to give customers a variety of support options. Post-installation, Palmetto offers customers a Peace of Mind Protection Plan. The plan, which is also available to non-customers, includes active monitoring and discounts on services like solar panel cleaning and pest abatement.
Learn More: Palmetto Solar Review
The solar energy company you select is dependent on your state availability and your home’s unique energy needs. While Momentum earned a spot at the top of our solar company review for its overall user friendliness, we recommend selecting any of the solar power companies mentioned in this article.
Use this tool below to get quotes from local solar companies near you:
|Company||Superlative||Service Areas||Panels Offered||BBB Rating*|
|Momentum Solar||Most User-Friendly||10 states||LG, QCELLS, Longi, REC, Trina, Hyundai||A+|
|Blue Raven Solar||Best Benefits||17 states||Trina, Canadian Solar||A+|
|SunPower||Most Energy-Efficient||50 states||SunPower (Maxeon)||A+|
|Sunrun||Best Financing Options||20 states||LG||A-|
|ADT Solar||Best Protection||21 states||Panasonic||A-|
|Tesla||Best Availability||50 states||Tesla||A+|
|Palmetto Solar||Best Customer Service||23 states||LG, Silfab, Yingli||A+|
*The Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings are accurate as of June 2022.
How Solar Installation Works
Solar installation is not as complicated as you might assume. Your solar provider almost entirely handles the process. First, the company consults with you about your energy needs and designs a solar power system based on your home’s specifications. The solar provider then handles all permitting and schedules an installation day with you. Finally, the company conducts final inspections.
Below is a video we’ve put together to help explain the solar installation process in more detail:
How to Find the Best Solar Companies
To find the best solar company for you, first consider factors like solar product selection, financing options, and other variables that could affect your decision.
In your search for a top solar company, make sure the company provides services in your area. Although a company may advertise coverage for your entire state, their services could be limited to specific ZIP codes only. Conduct your solar company research using your exact ZIP code to find the most accurate availability information.
Company Equipment Offerings
Homeowners should also review each company’s selection of the type of panels, inverters, solar storage equipment, and any add-ons that accompany the solar system. Some companies offer products from a variety of solar panel manufacturers, while other installers limit their selections to one brand or only in-house items. You should look for companies that can offer the best selection to create a customized solar experience for your home.
|Ownership||Homeowner||Homeowner||Solar Company||Solar Company|
|Purchase option||Purchase in full||Purchase and finance||Pay set monthly payments for installed solar panels||Pay monthly payments based on energy generated by the system|
|Upfront payment||Full system cost||Some solar loans begin as low as $0 down||As low as $0||None|
When choosing a solar provider, consider the financing plans they offer. Financial plans from solar providers typically include a loan, purchase, lease, and power purchase agreement (PPA) option. Compare the different plan options offered by most solar companies above.
Home Compatibility with Solar Energy
Before selecting a solar company, determine if your home can support a solar energy system. The main factors that affect a home’s compatibility with solar energy include household electrical demand, your roof, and where you live.
- Household electrical demand—There’s a delicate balance between a home’s energy production and the need for solar panels. If a home doesn’t use enough monthly energy, choosing solar may be more expensive. However, if you use too much monthly energy, your home could require so many solar panels that it may not be affordable. A solar provider will look into your home’s energy consumption before installation to help you understand the savings provided by a solar system.
- Size, age, and slope of your roof—Solar panels are most efficient when facing south and on a slope between 15–40 degrees. If your roof isn’t south-facing or has a steep slope, solar can still be suitable, but it may be less efficient or more expensive. Additionally, if your roof is old or deteriorating, you should replace it before installation.
- Location—Although climate matters when installing solar panels, your home’s location determines how effective the solar panels will be. Homes that are obstructed by buildings or tall trees could prevent you from benefitting from a solar energy system.
In addition to the 26% federal tax credit applied to solar installation, specific states and municipalities offer their own incentives to help solar energy become more affordable. Before choosing a solar installation company, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency to view available incentives in your area.
What to Look for When Choosing a Solar Installation Company
Once you find companies that provide the best services in your area, your next step will be to find the most reputable and reliable solar installers.
Reputation, Certifications, and Accreditations
Customers should look for highly respected solar installers in their area. Some companies could have poor reputations due to aggressive sale tactics or deceptive advertising.
The top companies will also have certifications from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), one of the most prestigious certifications for a solar company. You can also check the Better Business Bureau for additional information about the company’s reputation and accreditation.
Customer Satisfaction and Reviews
Customer reviews can be another indicator of a company’s reliability. Check reviews from a company’s current and former customers. Friends, family members, and neighbors with solar panel systems can also provide insight into local companies. Getting details about their positive and negative experiences could lead you to the ideal solar installer.
Warranty plans can differ based on each company’s products. If the company works with several manufacturers for each component, you could have separate warranties for the panels, inverters, and energy storage devices. On the other hand, a solar provider could offer all-inclusive warranty coverage for its in-house products.
When searching for a solar company, pay attention to the types of warranties offered. They usually fall into these categories:
- Manufacturer’s warranty: Protects the individual components of the solar system in case of defects.
- Workmanship warranty: Covers the installation of the system by the company in case of poor workmanship or faulty installation materials.
- Performance guarantee: Certifies the solar system’s output as outlined in your contract.
The top companies offer 25-year warranties in each of these cases, although some limit their workmanship warranty to 10 years. We recommend finding a company that provides 25-year warranties that can cover the lifetime of your solar investment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Energy
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.