5 Best Solar Companies in Alabama (2023)
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Alabama’s electricity rates are lower than the United States average, but its residents consume 31.45% more energy than most American households. This usage translates to energy bills about 26.17% higher than usual. Going solar can help residents tap into more affordable renewable energy, reducing their average utility bill spending. Solar panels with batteries also provide backup power during active hurricane and tornado seasons.
Our team spent more than 60 hours researching top solar installers on the national, regional, and local levels. Our guide includes details about Alabama’s best solar companies, available solar incentives in the state, and tips for selecting the right company for your home.
Review the top features of the best solar installers in Alabama.
|Star Rating||Best For||Location Presence||Link|
|SunPower||Best High-Efficiency System||50 States||Get Quote|
|LGCY Power||Best Solar Consultation||33 states||Get Quote|
|Tesla Solar||Best Solar Tech||50 States||Get Quote|
|LightWave Solar||Most Experienced Alabama Installer||4 States||Get Quote|
|Eagle Solar & Light||Best Local Alabama Installer||5 States||Get Quote|
|Best For||Best High-Efficiency System|
|Location Presence||50 States|
|Best For||Most Experienced Alabama Installer|
|Location Presence||4 States|
Alabama’s Top Solar Energy Companies
- SunPower: Best High-Efficiency System
- LGCY Power: Best Solar Consultation
- Tesla: Best Solar Tech
- LightWave Solar: Most Experienced Alabama Installer
- Eagle Solar & Light: Best Local Alabama Installer
SunPower: Best High-Efficiency System
SunPower creates some of the best residential solar systems available by matching high-efficiency solar panels with streamlined in-house system components.
Learn more: SunPower Review
Tesla: Best Solar Tech
Tesla offers high-tech solar solutions, such as high-quality solar panels, solar roof technology, and its popular Tesla Powerwall battery.
Learn more: Tesla Solar Panels Review
LGCY Power: Best Solar Consultation
LGCY’s solar consultation process offers free roof and electrical wiring inspections to ensure your home is solar-ready.
LightWave Solar: Most Experienced Alabama Installer
LightWave Solar offers an excellent selection of solar panel combinations backed by nearly 20 years of solar industry experience.
Eagle Solar & Light: Best Local Alabama Installer
Eagle Solar & Light maintains a smaller service area to offer Alabama residents a more personalized solar experience.
All BBB ratings are current as of June 2023.
Solar Incentives in Alabama
Solar rebates and credits help homeowners offset solar panel installation costs, making the move to clean energy more affordable. Although Alabama has limited incentives, homeowners still have opportunities to save on their solar conversion.
Alabama residents should apply for the federal tax credit to help reduce initial costs. You receive up to 30% off solar system costs for photovoltaic (PV) panels, components, and racking systems. You can also receive credit for standalone solar battery installations. To qualify, you must be the legal solar system owner.
The Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Facilities incentive prevents additional property taxation due to a new solar energy system. Since solar systems add home value, you’d typically also see property taxes increase. With this incentive, you’re exempt from the added property value of a solar system. This tax exemption is statewide and requires no additional applications or paperwork.
With net-metering programs, when you send excess energy back to the power grid, you receive credits on your electric bills. These credits help reduce future energy costs. Unfortunately, Alabama does not mandate net-metering programs for statewide utility companies. However, some utility companies, such as Alabama Power and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), offer their versions of net-metering programs with payments for returned excess energy. Programs vary between utility companies. We recommend contacting your local company for details on any available net-metering programs.
The state offers additional energy efficiency rebates that compensate homeowners for certain efficiency improvements. Although they don’t help lower solar costs, they could improve your home’s efficiency, resulting in lower energy use and better savings. Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) for more details about all efficiency and solar rebates in your area.
What To Look For in a Solar Company
As you shop for solar installation companies, look for the following key features and benefits to find the best options.
Solar providers will use either in-house installers or third-party contractors for their projects. In-house installers work directly for the company, offering better communication and maintaining better quality solar panel installation. Results with third-party contractors vary by area, with fewer checks and balances for installation quality. We recommend using companies with in-house installers.
Some solar panel companies offer additional services and benefits beyond solar power. This may include solar performance maintenance or a home energy efficiency audit. We’ve included more service examples below:
- Dedicated mobile app or web portal
- Electrical, plumbing, or roofing services
- Energy efficiency audits
- Home energy monitoring equipment
- Smart-home device installation
- Solar water heaters and other equipment
- Solar system monitoring
Your included warranties should align with the average panel life span of 25 years. Solar contracts typically offer two or more coverage plans to protect your solar energy system. Here’s an overview of some typical solar system warranties:
- Manufacturer’s (or product) warranty: This plan covers your panel for any manufacturer defects.
- Workmanship (or labor) warranty: This warranty covers issues caused by a faulty system installation.
- Power performance guarantees: This coverage outlines and guarantees your expected panel performance through a certain timeframe. If they fall short, companies typically offer panel replacement or repair.
Most solar providers offer two or more financing options for solar power systems, allowing homeowners to find the best choice for their budgets. Below are the most common payment options offered:
- Up-front (or cash) payment: Homeowners pay the full up-front system cost. They become the system’s legal owners, qualifying them for federal, state, and local solar incentives.
- Solar loans: Homeowners make a smaller down payment and continue monthly payments for a set payment period. This option also qualifies you for solar incentives and credits.
- Solar leases: Customers pay little to no money down and make monthly payments to lease the system. Since the provider retains ownership rights, you won’t qualify for added incentive savings.
- Power purchase agreements (PPAs): This leasing option lets customers pay for their solar energy usage on a monthly basis. System ownership remains with the solar provider, so you receive no added financial benefits.
If you’re looking for the best return on investment and financial savings, we recommend cash payments or solar loans. You should avoid solar leasing options unless panel ownership is not your priority.
Solar contractors should offer multiple customer support channels. Typical methods include email, online forms, or phone. Additional methods include online chat and text messaging. If the company offers a dedicated app, there may be a direct channel to tech support for troubleshooting assistance. We also recommend checking online reviews for any ongoing customer service complaints, such as delayed or unanswered queries or unfriendly representatives.
How To Get a Solar Quote in Alabama
To find the right Alabama solar installer, request solar quotes from multiple providers and assess their product catalogs, services, and costs. Based on conversations with solar installers and our own shopping experiences, we’ve created the below guide outlining the typical solar quote process.
- Contact the solar provider: Check each company’s website for solar quote information. You’ll usually need to call a phone number or request through an online form. Some companies offer online consultations to help you estimate potential savings and see if you’re a good solar candidate.
- Schedule a solar consultation: Companies offer virtual or in-person consultations. We recommend checking system requirements before your video call. Many consultations take at least two hours, so choose a timeframe with minimal interruptions.
- Have your energy bill(s) ready: Have your latest utility bill on hand for your appointment. The consultant will review your bill and build a system based on your energy needs. Some companies request multiple energy bills to get a clearer picture of your typical energy usage.
- Assess your home’s roof: Depending on your chosen type of solar panels, you may need ample roof space. The consultation will check your available space and make note of any structural damage or design elements, such as chimneys. They will choose the most shade-free spot for your solar array since solar panels work best with direct sunlight.
- Build your ideal system: A consultant will design your solar system based on the previous assessments. You’ll decide on your preferred solar panel type and brand, system components, and additional upgrades, such as solar batteries and electric vehicle (EV) chargers.
- Review the final quote: Once completed, you’ll receive a final itemized quote detailing your full system, associated costs, labor charges, and warranty coverage. Your quote will include financing options and your estimated payback period, or the time it takes for panels to pay for themselves in energy savings.
We chose SunPower as our top choice for Alabama residents thanks to its high-performing solar systems. The company designs in-house components to improve system efficiency and pairs them with some of the residential market’s highest-efficiency solar panels. Although SunPower prices are typically higher than other providers, it’s an investment into top-performing panels built to last 25 years.
We recommend getting at least three free quotes from solar providers to find the best deals in your area.
Other Alabama Home Service Resources
FAQ About Solar Companies in AL
Is Alabama a good state for solar power?
Yes, Alabama is a good state for solar power thanks to its abundant annual sunny days and incentives like the federal solar tax credit. Homeowners also benefit from property tax exemption for solar panels, helping residents avoid increased taxes for their home upgrade. These perks make solar worth the investment in Alabama.
Does Alabama charge tax on solar panel purchases?
Yes, Alabama does charge sales tax on solar panels. The state does not offer any sales tax exemptions for solar systems. However, Alabama does offer a property tax exemption for installation, allowing homeowners to boost property value without added taxation.
Can an HOA block solar panels in Alabama?
Yes, an HOA can block solar panel installation in Alabama. It’s one of the few states that doesn’t have solar access laws. These laws typically prevent HOAs from stopping residents from installing solar panels. Without this protection, Alabama HOAs have control over your solar system installation.
What is the best direction for solar panels in AL?
The best direction for solar panels in Alabama is true south. This rule holds true for any homes located in the Northern Hemisphere.
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. After over a thousand hours of research on solar companies, interviews with experts, and common customer needs, we’ve created a detailed rating system for solar providers based on six factors:
- Solar equipment, installation, and services (25%)
- Warranty and performance guarantees (25%)
- Brand reputation and certifications (15%)
- Financing options (15%)
- Experience (10%)
- Availability (10%)
Total scores are divided by 20 for a final 5-point rating scale.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at firstname.lastname@example.org.