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5 Best Solar Companies in Rhode Island (2024)

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Author Icon Written by Tamara Jude Updated 04/19/2024

More and more Rhode Island homeowners are turning to solar energy due to the state’s higher-than-average electricity rates. The state government plans to achieve 100% renewable energy use by 2033—one of the country’s most aggressive renewable energy goals. Rhode Island supports this through generous solar incentives and credits. 

Our team spent more than 60 hours researching leading solar installers, including options for Rhode Island homeowners. We’ve detailed the state’s best solar companies below and what to look for in a solar company.


Compare Solar Panel Companies

Company Star Rating Warranties Payment Options Link
4.8
25 years Full purchase, loan, lease, PPA GET QUOTE
4.4
10–25 years Full purchase, loan, lease, PPA GET QUOTE
4.4
25 years Full purchase, loan, lease, PPA GET QUOTE
4.4
10–25 years Full purchase, loan, lease, PPA GET QUOTE
4.2
N/A N/A GET QUOTE
4.2
Varies Full purchase, loan, lease, PPA GET QUOTE
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Rhode Island’s Top Solar Energy Companies

SunPower: Best High-Efficiency System
Sunrun: Best Solar Panel Leasing
Momentum Solar: Best Solar Panel Installation
Palmetto Solar: Best Customer Support
Trinity Solar: Best Certified Installer

SunPower

Best High-Efficiency System
4.8

SunPower builds some of the most powerful residential solar systems using high-efficiency solar panels and streamlined in-house components.

Pros and Cons

Pros Custom-built systems with in-house components 25-year comprehensive coverage, plus output guarantee In-house solar storage and electric vehicle (EV) upgrades Cons Coverage varies by ZIP code within the state Higher-than-average pricing, according to some customer reviews No variety for panels, components, or batteries

Why We Chose SunPower

You should consider SunPower if you’re looking to invest in the highest-quality solar system available. The company uses Maxeon’s high-efficiency solar panels and custom, in-house solar components designed to work optimally together. SunPower also offers its exclusive SunVault battery storage and EV chargers.

The company provides 25-year warranty coverage, including a power performance guarantee. This warranty promises that your panels will still produce 92% of their outlined power production levels after 25 years.

Warranty and Financing

Warranty
SunPower provides a comprehensive 25-year warranty covering panels, system components, add-on upgrades, and workmanship. Coverage also includes a 25-year power output production guarantee.

Financing Options
✔ Full purchase
✔ Loan
✔ Lease
✔ Power purchase agreement (PPA)

Reputation and Awards

SunPower has developed advanced solar technology since 1985. The company was honored with PV Magazine’s 2019 Sustainability Award and Good Housekeeping’s 2022 Home Renovation Award in the Biggest Energy Savers category for its SunVault energy storage system.

SunPower is accredited by the BBB and has an A+ rating from the organization. When we analyzed customer reviews, we found that homeowners appreciated the excellent system performance, noting immediate energy savings. However, some complained about higher-than-average system pricing and delayed communication with third-party installers.

Sunrun

Best Solar Panel Leasing
4.4

Sunrun offers solar leasing options with 25-year warranty coverage, plus added insurance and ongoing maintenance to protect system performance.

Pros and Cons

Pros Additional theft and damage insurance protections Battery and EV charger upgrades Prepaid and monthly leasing options Cons 25-year warranty only available to leasing customers Limited online information on solar incentive disqualification with leases Some reviews called out delayed repairs and poor customer service

Why We Chose Sunrun

Homeowners who don’t want to commit to owning their system should consider Sunrun. Although we don’t typically recommend solar leases, they do benefit customers looking for low-cost solar investment alternatives. Selecting Sunrun’s solar lease or prepaid options mean the company is responsible for your system maintenance and upkeep. Sunrun leverages leasing options with 25-year extended warranties, including theft and damage insurance.

Sunrun offers additional system upgrades, such as solar batteries and EV chargers, to extend your system’s functionality. The company also includes solar monitoring services to help keep your panels running at peak performance.

Warranty and Financing

Warranty
Sunrun’s 10-year comprehensive warranty includes product, roof penetration, and workmanship coverage. Lease coverage includes an extended 25-year warranty with theft and damage insurance protection.

Financing Options
✔ Full purchase
✔ Loan
✔ Lease
✔ PPA

Reputation and Awards

Sunrun received the DroneDeploy 2022 Guardian of Safety Award for incorporating drone technology in its site assessments. The company also received 14 awards from Comparably, including Best Company Culture, Best CEOs for Diversity, and Best Company for Women in 2021 and 2022.

Sunrun has an A+ rating from the BBB and is accredited. In the customer reviews we evaluated, leasing customers praised the company’s system warranty coverage, but other homeowners called out installation delays and poor customer service. 

Momentum Best Installation Process
4.4
  • Why we chose it: Momentum offers one of the best solar installation processes with start-to-finish assistance and timely project updates. Momentum uses in-house installers to minimize communication issues and deliver faster installations.
  • Payment Options: Full purchase, loan, lease, power purchase agreement (PPA)

Learn more: Momentum Solar review

Pros and Cons
Pros Customer assistance with solar incentives and rebates enrollment Enphase partnership includes complimentary solar battery monitoring Has North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification Cons Some customer reviews noted aggressive sales tactics Limited selection of solar products
Warranty and Financing

The company offers a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty to cover any defects. You’ll also receive 25-year workmanship coverage for any installation-related issues.

Reputation and Awards

Since 2016, Momentum earned a spot on the Inc. 500 and Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies. Momentum has also annually ranked in the top 50 Rooftop Solar installers list for Solar Power Magazine since 2018.

Momentum Solar holds an A+ rating and is accredited by the BBB. Based on customer reviews our team read, homeowners complimented Momentum’s customer service and quality panels but raised concerns over installation scheduling delays and spam calls.

Palmetto

Best Customer Support
4.4

Palmetto Solar offers excellent customer support through its multiple customer support channels and tiered system protection plans. 

Pros and Cons

Pros Full-service installer with in-house staff Multiple customer service contact options, including a dedicated app Tiered protection plans for added system coverage Cons Shorter roof leak and workmanship coverage than other installers Some online reviews mentioned permitting delays System monitoring limited to three years

Why We Chose Palmetto

Palmetto offers multiple customer support options to handle questions or concerns and make scheduling appointments much easier. Customers can contact the support team via phone, email, and online chat. The Palmetto app lets you schedule servicing and maintenance appointments without speaking to a representative.

Along with focused customer support, Palmetto offers tiered coverage plans to provide better solar system support. The plans include active system monitoring with remote diagnosis and troubleshooting. In addition, Palmetto will proactively contact you if any system issues are detected.

Warranty and Financing

Warranty
Palmetto provides a 25-year panel warranty, 12-year inverter warranty, 10-year workmanship warranty, and five years of roof penetration coverage.

Financing Options
✔ Full purchase
✔ Loan

Reputation and Awards

Palmetto was awarded Solar Power World’s Most Forward-Thinking Contractor award in 2022. Inc. magazine also honored the company with its Power Partner Award the same year. Palmetto’s Get Solar, Give Solar program provides solar energy technology to underserved communities. 

The company is accredited by the BBB and holds an A+ rating. When reading customer reviews, we learned that homeowners liked the company’s high-quality solar systems and consistent upgrades throughout installation but disliked the numerous permitting delays. 

Trinity Best Certified Installer
4.2

Trinity Solar holds several prestigious solar certifications from NABCEP and the Building Performance Institute (BPI) and offers over 30 years of solar industry experience. 

Pros and Cons
Pros Additional roofing, electrical, and general contracting services Almost three decades of business experience Multiple solar installation certifications Cons Five-year workmanship warranty No power production guarantee Some customers had issues contacting customer support
Why We Chose Trinity Solar

Trinity Solar stands out as one of the industry’s most experienced solar installers. It has 30 years of business experience and certifications from NABCEP and BPI. Its team of in-house installers is trained on the latest solar installation policies, ethics, and standards, ensuring a quality installation for each project. The company offers high-quality solar panels from Q Cells and SolarEdge, plus Enphase inverters and Tesla and Generac batteries.

Homeowners can review their system stats and energy usage through the SolarEdge or Enphase dedicated apps. Trinity also offers additional home services, such as energy auditing, solar repair and maintenance, roofing, and electrical and general contracting.

Warranty and Financing

Warranty

Trinity Solar offers 25-year manufacturing warranties with its panels and a five-year workmanship warranty. 

Financing Options
✔ Full purchase
✔ Loan
✔ Lease
✔ PPA

Reputation and Awards

Trinity Solar is the largest privately held residential solar installation company in the United States, with over 1,900 employees and 77,000 customers. The company partners with nonprofit organizations to raise money and provide no-cost installations to its members.

Trinity is accredited by the BBB and maintains an A+ rating. While reading homeowner reviews, we noted that customers praised the professional and helpful sales team but had difficulty contacting customer support for repairs.


What Are the Available Solar Incentives in Rhode Island?

Qualifying solar system owners can use the federal tax credit to receive up to 30% off solar installation costs. The credit applies to your owed federal taxes, reducing or eliminating your tax liability. The federal solar tax credit applies to photovoltaic (PV) equipment, such as rooftop and ground-mount panels, solar shingles, and standalone energy storage. 

The state offers two tax exemptions to reduce final system costs. The Sales Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy eliminates the 7% state sales tax at the point of sale. With the Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Equipment, you’ll receive a 100% property tax exemption with your solar installation. This means you benefit from solar’s added home value without the additional property tax. 

The Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund (REF) offers one-time payments of $5,000–$75,000, depending on your system size and type. These funds go directly to your solar installer and help reduce overall costs. Installers handle most of this paperwork and must apply on the customer’s behalf. The Rhode Island Renewable Energy Growth (REG) program lets customers sell their generated solar energy at fixed pricing for 15–20 years. Homeowners cannot participate in both programs. 

Rhode Island’s net-metering program lets homeowners earn energy bill credits for returning excess energy to the power grid. The program is mandated throughout the state and includes an earning cap of no more than 125% of your home’s power use. After reviewing program details, we learned that customers receive retail rate payouts for extra energy until they reach 100% capacity. The following 25% reduces to the avoided cost rate (the rate that utility companies pay to produce electricity).


When shopping for solar installation companies, remember these key features and services. 

Solar Services

Companies use in-house or third-party contractors to complete their solar panel installations. In-house installers work directly for the company, providing higher-quality installations and better communication. With third-party teams, installation results could vary by location. Using outside installers may also create communication issues since you’ll coordinate with a point of contact other than the solar installer. We recommend working with solar companies that employ in-house teams. 

Some solar panel companies offer additional services and benefits to support solar system performance, such as system monitoring, dedicated web portals, and energy-tracking apps. Companies may also offer home upgrade services. Below are possible solar and home services offered by providers: 

  • Dedicated mobile app or web portal
  • Electrical services
  • Energy efficiency audits and upgrades
  • Home energy monitoring equipment
  • Roofing repair and replacement 
  • Smart home device installation 
  • Solar system monitoring

Warranties

Solar panels last about 25 years, and you’ll want warranty coverage that aligns with their life span. High-quality residential panels usually have longer warranty coverage than less expensive solar panels. These long-term warranties keep your investment protected against panel or performance failures. Here’s an overview of common solar system warranty types:

  • Manufacturer’s (or product) warranty: The coverage protects your solar panel system against manufacturing defects. 
  • Workmanship (or labor) warranty: This plan includes system coverage for installation-related issues. 
  • Power performance guarantee: This protection plan outlines your panels’ expected performance levels through a specific time frame. It includes repair or replacement options if your system falls below these specifications.

Warranty coverage, length, and availability vary between solar providers, so check each installer’s system coverage. 

Payment Options

Most solar companies offer two or more solar financing options to accommodate more homeowners’ budgets. Some payment options, such as solar loans and cash payments, provide added benefits such as legal system ownership. These options also qualify you for solar incentives and rebates. The most common solar payment options are below: 

  • Up-front (or cash) payments: You pay for the full system costs up-front. 
  • Solar loans: After an initial down payment, you make monthly payments with interest for a set time frame. 
  • Solar leases: This option requires little to no money down and includes monthly solar system “rental” payments. 
  • Power purchase agreements (PPAs): You make monthly payments for the solar energy you use instead of paying for the equipment.

Solar leases and PPAs keep system ownership with the provider, disqualifying you from added incentive savings. These payment options work best for homeowners uninterested in owning their solar equipment. We recommend choosing cash payments or solar loans for your purchase to maximize your savings and return on investment (ROI). 

Customer Support

When we analyzed solar customer reviews, we learned that finding a reachable customer service department was a major pain point for homeowners. Look for companies that offer multiple customer support contact options. Some typical contact methods include the following:

  • Email 
  • Phone
  • Online forms
  • Online chat
  • Text messaging 
  • In-app communications

Check online customer reviews


How To Get a Solar Quote in Rhode Island

We recommend requesting solar quotes from multiple companies to find the best pricing, equipment, and warranty. Use our guide below to familiarize yourself with the typical solar quote process. 

  1. Schedule your consultation: Contact each company and schedule an in-person or virtual consultation. Plan about two hours for each consultation. 
  2. Have your latest electric bill on hand: Solar companies use your energy bill to determine your solar project’s size and energy output. Have your latest bill ready for each appointment. 
  3. Check your roof design: Each company will conduct an in-person or virtual roof assessment to determine its condition and any structural issues. They will note your available space and fit your solar arrays to your roof. Depending on your chosen solar panel type, you may need more room to accommodate more panels. 
  4. Build your new system: The solar installer will design your system based on your previous assessments. You can choose your preferred solar panel and inverter brands, system components, and add-ons, such as solar batteries and EV chargers. 
  5. Review each finalized quote: Each company will provide an itemized quote detailing your solar energy system. Quotes should include system pricing, installation costs, labor, and warranty details. You’ll also receive financing options and an estimated payback period. Compare each finalized quote to find the best option.

Find Local Solar Panel Installers in RI


Our Conclusion

We selected SunPower as the standout solar provider in Rhode Island. The company offers high-performing solar power systems guaranteed to last for more than two decades. Though SunPower is more expensive than some other installers, you have peace of mind knowing you’ve invested in one of the solar industry’s best residential systems. We recommend requesting free quotes from at least three solar providers to find the right fit for your home. 

Our team also reviewed the best national, regional, and local Providence solar companies.

Other Rhode Island Home Service Resources


FAQ About Solar Companies in Rhode Island

Are solar panels worth it in Rhode Island?

Yes, investing in solar panels is worth it in Rhode Island. Thanks to the state’s aggressive clean energy goals, residents benefit from generous solar incentives that help lower installation costs. In addition, Rhode Island receives 202 sunny days per year, making it an excellent climate for solar panels. 

What is the largest solar project in RI?

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Gold Meadow Farms in Cranston is one of Rhode Island’s largest solar projects. Providing 21.3 megawatts of electricity, this solar produces enough energy to power close to 4,200 homes. 

Can you get free solar panels in Rhode Island?

No, you cannot get free solar panels in Rhode Island. However, you can reduce solar panel installation costs with federal and state solar incentives. These credits and rebates help lower your total investment, making it more affordable to switch to solar energy. 

How much is the average electric rate in RI?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Rhode Islanders paid around 23 cents per kilowatt for electricity in April 2023—about 44% higher than the national average. Moving to solar energy could cut expensive utility costs, providing a more cost-effective energy solution. 


Our Rating Methodology

We are 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 reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.