4 Best Solar Companies in Arkansas (2024)
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Although Arkansas only ranks 30th in the nation for solar markets, the state has the potential for continued solar growth. The state government offers a generous net-metering program to help ensure homeowners move to solar power. Paired with the federal investment tax credit and other local incentives, Arkansas homeowners have great options to make their move to solar more affordable.
Our team researched solar installers across the United States to find the best solar companies in Arkansas. We provide tips on comparing solar companies and requesting a solar quote.
Arkansas’s Top Solar Energy Companies
Our team spent 60 hours researching the best companies in Arkansas. Here are our picks for solar installers in Arkansas.
- SunPower: Best High-Efficiency System
- Tesla: Best Solar Tech
- Shine Solar: Best Local Arkansas Installer
Below are Arkansas’ top solar installers and how they compare.
|Best High-Efficiency System
|Best Solar Tech
|Best Local Installer
|Best High-Efficiency System
|Best Solar Tech
Shine Solar: Best Local Arkansas Installer
Shine Solar offers some of the best long-term warranties despite being a smaller, regional installer. The company offers a 30-year power warranty and a buy-back program with 50% off upgraded solar panels.
Learn more: Shine Solar review
Tesla: Best Solar Tech
Tesla provides advanced technology for residential solar systems. Solar products include rooftop solar panels, solar roofing, and the popular Tesla Powerwall battery.
Learn more: Tesla Solar review
SunPower: Best High-Efficiency System
SunPower combines its in-house components with high-efficiency solar panels to build solar systems streamlined for peak performance. Its systems are regarded as some of the best in the residential solar industry.
Learn more: SunPower review
(All BBB ratings accurate as of February 2024.)
Solar Incentives in Arkansas
Although Arkansas offers limited statewide solar incentives, residents still have opportunities to lower their solar panel costs. Homeowners can use federal, regional, and utility company rebates and credits to lower their investment costs and make going solar more affordable. We’ll detail the current incentives below.
All Arkansas residents qualify for the federal solar tax credit. Also known as the federal investment tax credit (ITC), this program offers up to a 30% credit for your solar installation costs. This credit applies to your owed federal taxes, helping to reduce your tax liability. Rooftop solar installation, solar shingles, or standalone battery storage all qualify you for this credit.
Based on our research, Arkansas offers one of the country’s more favorable net-metering programs. Customers receive electric bill credits for any excess energy returned to the power grid at the original rate they paid for their service. Other state net-metering programs offer wholesale pricing, a rate closer to what electric companies pay to produce the electricity. Entergy Arkansas and OG&E are two examples of local net-metering programs.
There are also city-based and utility company rebates and credits for energy efficiency upgrades. These programs vary by location and include rebates, credits, and financing perks to help with costs. We recommend checking the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) for local details.
What To Look For in a Solar Company
When shopping for a solar provider, it’s essential to compare each company’s services, warranties, and financing options. We’ve compiled a list of key considerations for your search.
Solar companies complete installations with an in-house team or third-party contractors. Third-party installers sometimes lead to communication difficulties since multiple points of contact are involved. We recommend finding companies with in-house teams to streamline the communication process.
Consider using companies with solar services such as system monitoring and dedicated web portals and apps. These tools offer insight into your system’s performance and home energy use. Additional services include free or at-cost home energy audits. Companies conduct these audits to identify and remedy any household energy leaks before system installation.
Warranties and Power Production Guarantees
Most solar companies include at least two types of warranty coverage: manufacturer’s (or product) and workmanship. Product warranties cover any system component manufacturing defects and last 10–25 years. Workmanship coverage protects against poor or faulty installations. The industry standard coverage is 10 years, but some companies offer up to 25 years.
These warranties may be offered on individual solar components or as a comprehensive warranty depending on the solar installers. We recommend choosing companies that offer at least two decades of coverage since solar panels last an average of 25 years or longer.
Some companies also include power production guarantees that outline your estimated panel performance throughout its lifetime. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that panels degrade by 0.5% in efficiency per year. In our research, we discovered that cheaper solar panels have 10–15-year guarantees versus top-rated solar panels that have 25 years of protection.
Most installers offer two or more solar financing options, providing homeowners with options to suit their budgets. Up-front cash payments and solar loans offer the best benefits and return on investment (ROI). These payments make you the legal solar energy system owner, qualifying you for federal and state solar incentives.
Additional payment options, such as solar leases and power purchasing agreements (PPAs), keep solar system ownership with the solar installer. You won’t qualify for solar incentives or any other local solar programs. We recommend choosing a cash payment or solar loan to maximize your savings.
Leading solar companies should offer multiple forms of communication with their customer support team, such as phone and email options. Some companies also have online chat features. We received mixed results when testing some online chat features: Some chat agents offered unique information not found on the website, while other inquiries led to automated messages encouraging us to connect with a live representative.
When checking online customer reviews, look for mentions of poor customer service, no responses from customer support, or unfriendly company reps. Although inconsistent customer service is a noted issue in many service industries, solar companies with long-running customer support issues should be avoided.
How To Get a Solar Quote in Arkansas
When shopping for a solar company, you should request free quotes from at least three solar panel installation companies. Review each quote and compare quoted costs, estimated savings, and solar equipment details. Once reviewed, you’ll meet with a company rep to finalize your system information. We’ve provided a step-by-step guide below on what to expect through the quote process.
- Contact the solar contractor: You’ll initiate the process by calling the listed phone number or using an online form. During our shopping experience, our initial phone call led to a representative that verified our location and qualified us for solar energy. The next sales rep provided more direct information. You’ll typically give your address and average energy use before moving to the next step. In both cases, you’ll schedule either an in-person or virtual consultation.
- Review your energy use: The sales representative will assess your energy use and determine the best system for your home. Have your latest energy bill handy for your consultation. During our mystery shopping experiences, our team ran across a few companies that requested several months of bills to assess seasonal energy fluctuations better. We recommend having at least three months of energy bills on hand.
- Assess roof design and space: The sales rep will review your roof to determine its condition, available space, and design complications. They will check for nearby shading and locate the best spot for your solar panel placement. This assessment helps determine the total number of solar panels needed and their individual sizing. Many companies also use satellite imagery for virtual assessments to determine available space.
- Build your solar project: Your finalized quote will detail your final solar system design. Your quote should include an itemized list of every component and its pricing details. Depending on the solar installer’s product catalog, you will see higher pricing for brand-name and high-quality products. In our research, we’ve noticed varying pricing between companies for the same type of solar panels. In these cases, select the company with the best overall costs and warranties. Your quote will include additional accessories—such as solar batteries and electric vehicle (EV) charges—warranty information, and financing options. You’ll also receive details for your solar panel payback period, or the time it takes for your solar panel system to pay for itself.
We recommend SunPower as the best solar installer in Arkansas. The company offers the highest quality solar panels with leading efficiency ratings and excellent power output. SunPower also has comprehensive 25-year warranties that cover the panels’ typical life span. Although SunPower costs more than other providers, you’re investing in high-quality solar panels with 25 years of guaranteed energy savings.
We recommend requesting free quotes from at least three solar installers and comparing their product catalog, warranty coverage, services, and financing options.
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FAQ About Solar Companies in AR
Can I install my own solar panels in Arkansas?
Yes, you can install your own solar panels in Arkansas. However, do-it-yourself (DIY) solar installation requires advanced knowledge of solar technology and electrical work. Most casual DIYers don’t have the experience to perform their own installation. We recommend hiring a professional solar power company for this project.
Do solar panels increase property value in Arkansas?
Yes, adding solar panels increases your property value in Arkansas. While you do benefit from the added home value, you will pay increased property tax for increased property value as Arkansas does not provide an exemption.
Does Arkansas offer a solar tax credit?
Arkansas residents are eligible for the federal solar credit that provides a 30% federal credit for solar installation costs. Unfortunately, Arkansas does not provide a state solar tax credit.
What is the average cost of solar panels in Arkansas?
According to EcoWatch, Arkansas homeowners pay $2.54 per watt on average for a solar power system. This rate is lower than the national average of $2.66. When we calculate for an average 5-kilowatt-hour (kWh) system, you will spend around $12,700. With the federal tax credit, your cost would drop to $8,890.
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 email@example.com.