If you’re just beginning your search for the top solar panel companies in North Carolina, you may be overwhelmed by the number of choices. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), there are more than 213 solar power companies in the Tar Heel State. This is largely thanks to federal and state solar incentives that have made solar panels more affordable.
Whether you’re a seasoned homeowner in Charlotte or a new homebuyer in Wilmington, we’ve done the research to help you find the right solar company. We read over 100 customer reviews per provider, analyzed warranty coverage, checked reputations, and noted which features stand out about each company. See which solar providers we ranked highest for North Carolina below.
Compare Solar Companies Across NC
See how our picks compare at a glance.
North Carolina’s Top Solar Energy Companies
We looked at warranties, pricing, customer reviews, reputation, and more to rank these companies as our most recommended in North Carolina.
Solar Incentives in North Carolina
Several states have solar incentive or rebate programs to encourage residents to convert to solar energy. North Carolinians have two statewide incentives designed to make solar panels worth the investment.
The first is North Carolina’s revolving loan program, which stipulates that loans cannot exceed 8% interest rates or be longer than a 20-year term. The second is the Property Tax Abatement for Solar Electric Systems, which exempts you from paying property taxes for the added value of your solar system.
Local governments and utility companies offer additional incentives to certain North Carolina residents. Asheville’s Building Permit Fee Rebates give homeowners a $50 rebate for building permits and plan reviews associated with their solar system.
Duke Energy customers can apply for the NC Solar Rebate Program, which offers a $0.40/watt rebate for systems up to 10 kilowatts. For example, if you own an 8 kilowatt (kW) system, you’ll be eligible for a rebate of $3,200. There’s a waitlist for new applications due to the program’s popularity. However, interested residents can still apply and check their updated status on the first Friday of every month.
North Carolina residents can also take advantage of the federal solar tax credit, which provides a tax credit equal to 30% of the cost of a new solar system. This rate is available from 2022 to 2032. The tax credit will decrease to 26% in 2033.
Learn which solar incentives are available in each state below.
What To Look For in a Solar Company
Going solar is a big investment that starts with hiring a top-quality company. We recommend honing in on these key factors to see how companies stand apart.
- Available services
- Financing options
Most companies sell and install panels using their in-house crew, but some only do the selling and outsource installations. Some providers sell additional solar equipment, such as solar batteries, inverters, electric vehicle (EV) chargers, and other accessories. You can find companies that provide remote system monitoring or have a mobile app to monitor system performance. Review a provider’s website carefully or speak with a representative to see which services you can get and if there are any bundles.
Warranties usually fall into these categories:
- Manufacturer’s warranty (or product warranty): This protects the solar panel system’s components in case of defects.
- Workmanship warranty: This covers installation in case of poor workmanship or faulty installation materials.
- Performance (or power production) guarantee: This guarantees the system’s output functions as outlined in your contract.
The best companies offer 25-year warranties, though some limit their workmanship warranty to 10 years. We recommend finding a company that provides at least 20 years for each warranty type. It’s also worth noting that most home warranty companies in North Carolina do not cover solar panels, so picking a company with a good manufacturers warranty is critical.
Most providers offer a combination of these solar financing options:
- Full purchase: Fully purchasing your system gives you immediate ownership and qualifies you for all incentives.
- Solar loan: A solar loan allows you to make monthly payments on your system and still makes you its owner.
- Solar lease: You’ll make set monthly solar system payments with a lease, but you won’t be able to own the system, disqualifying you from most solar incentives.
- Power purchase agreement (PPA): A PPA allows you to make monthly payments with no money down, but you don’t own the system.
We recommend purchasing your system outright or financing through a solar loan if it’s in your budget. While solar leases and PPAs help you save money up-front, they disqualify you from some solar incentives that could help you lower your solar panel cost.
The best companies give customers multiple ways to reach them and reasonable support hours. Check providers’ websites to see the days and times customer service reps are reachable and by which means.
Ideally, a company will offer at least a couple of these contact points:
- Mobile app
- Online chat
- Online portal
- Website service request form
How To Get a Solar Quote in North Carolina
You can get a solar quote using these steps:
- Locate the Get a Quote button or page on the provider’s website.
- Fill out the required information. When we went through the quote process with top providers, most asked for basic contact information, location, property type, roof size and slope.
- Check your email or remain on the website for your free quote.
You can also call the company to get a quick estimate. When we went through the process online, getting a quote took less than 15 minutes. By phone, it took an average of 20 minutes.
We recommend SunPower as our top pick for North Carolina homeowners due to its positive customer reviews, high-efficiency panels, financing options, and many years of experience. We also like SunPower’s 25-year warranty coverage and that it also provides batteries and electric vehicle chargers.
We suggest reading customer reviews and getting at least three quotes to compare prices before deciding on a solar company.
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.