In 2021, a record number of homeowners upgraded their properties with clean energy sources, with the best solar companies in the industry installing panels on hundreds of thousands of homes.
What's more, solar installations in the U.S. are forecasted to quadruple from current levels by 2030, as more and more homeowners are learning that it's possible to reduce their environmental impact while offsetting their energy bills with solar panels.
If you're interested in adopting solar energy, finding the right company for you can be intimidating. However, we're here to help. In this article, we'll help you take the first step in narrowing down the top solar companies to consider when installing a household solar energy system.
Top Solar Companies of 2022 at a Glance
Best Solar Installers:
|Top Solar Company||Superlative||Solar Services Offered||Number of States Serviced||BBB Rating||Year Started|
|SunPower||Best Overall||Solar panel, backup battery and electric vehicle charger installations||50||A+||1985|
|Blue Raven Solar||Best Financing Options||Solar panel installations; energy-efficiency audits||17||A+||2004|
|Tesla||Best Technology||Solar panel, backup battery and EV charger installations||50||A||2003|
|Momentum Solar||Best Regional Coverage||Solar panel and backup battery installations||11||A+||2009|
|Sunpro Solar||Best Customer Service||Solar panel, backup battery and EV charger installations; energy-efficiency audits||21||A||2008|
|Trinity Solar||Best Referral Program||Solar panel and backup battery installations; energy-efficiency audits||9||A+||1994|
|Sunrun||Best for Leasing||Solar panel, backup battery and EV charger installations||22||B+||2007|
|Go Solar Group||Best Social Impact||Solar panel and backup battery installations; energy-efficiency audits||4||A||2009|
To get connected with one of the best solar companies in your area and get a free, no-obligation quote, fill out the form below.
How We Chose the Best Solar Energy Companies
So, how did we narrow down the industry's top solar companies? To begin with, we took a deep dive into each company's offerings and reputation, assessing them all on the following criteria:
- Range and quality of services
- Cost of solar panels and financing options
- Extent of service area (the bigger, the better in this context)
- Solar panel efficiency
- Temperature coefficient (i.e., how much high temperatures affect efficiency)
- Customer service
- Ethics of business practices and solar manufacturing
Additionally, we weighed Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) membership, BBB ratings and industry affiliations. Certifications and memberships in reputable groups are usually a good indicator that a solar energy company is trustworthy and that its work is taken seriously within the industry.
Before we dive in, it's important to remember that there are many small, local companies that didn't have the size or national recognition to make our list. Some companies prefer to stay small to maintain a local feel and individualized attention, which isn't a bad thing. Search the best solar companies in your state to see if we recommend any other installers particular to your area.
The 8 Best Solar Energy Companies
Based on the criteria mentioned above, when you're ready to buy solar panels, we recommend considering the following top solar companies:
Best Overall: SunPower
If you're searching for a company that will walk you through the process of upgrading to solar power, making the entire experience easy and convenient, consider SunPower. This company offers:
- A "design studio" app that allows you to virtually design your own solar power system so you can see what the finished product would look like once assembled on your roof.
- Online calculators that make it easy for you to determine how much electricity you will save once you upgrade to solar panels.
- Virtual consultations during which you can chat one-on-one with a solar power expert and ask any questions you might have about how solar panels work or whether they're a good investment for your home.
SunPower offers some of the best solar panels, batteries and other equipment to homeowners across all 50 states. SunPower's all-in-one systems make for compatible technology that is easy for you to understand. The company is also the preferred solar partner of many major businesses, including Walmart, FedEx and Lowes. For more details, read our SunPower review.
Why Choose SunPower: SunPower is a reliable solar energy company with an impressive tech portfolio and an extremely easy, intuitive process.
Best Financing Options: Blue Raven Solar
Rather than helping you find a third-party loan provider, Blue Raven Solar decided to simplify the solar loan process and offer flexible, zero-money-down in-house loans. The results make us wonder why solar companies didn't try this sooner. Blue Raven Solar customers now enjoy the benefits of solar panel ownership without having to worry about rising interest rates or late payment fees with their loans. Learn more about it in our full Blue Raven Solar review.
Blue Raven Solar has much more to offer than just an innovative financing model. Here are some additional facts about the company:
- Blue Raven has a reputation for exceptional customer service and boasts a number of awards reflecting its commitment to quality and innovation.
- The success of Blue Raven Solar prompted SunPower to acquire the company in October 2021 in order to expand its residential services. However, Blue Raven Solar is still operating as usual at the time of publication.
- Blue Raven Solar is one of the fastest-growing solar companies in the country today. Since 2014, it has expanded its staff from three to over 1,400 employees.
Best Technology: Tesla
You probably associate Tesla with electric vehicles, but did you know that the company makes highly regarded solar energy products? Tesla earns a spot among the best solar companies because you can order products and match with a certified installer directly through its website. Depending on your needs and budget, Tesla can hook you up with an array of solar panels or even solar roof shingles, making it easy to cut electricity costs and power your home via the sun's energy.
Some fast facts about choosing solar power from Tesla:
- Tesla offers a price-match guarantee and affordable financing options.
- The company's advanced solar panel technology fuses a low-profile, sleek design with long-term durability.
- Tesla also makes one of the best solar batteries on the market, which allows you to save your excess solar power and access it on demand whenever you need it.
Why Choose Tesla: Tesla sells sophisticated solar products at a surprisingly low price point and with a sturdy guarantee.
Best Regional Coverage: Momentum Solar
Momentum Solar is an owner-operated solar installer committed to helping customers save money while bettering the environment by switching to clean, affordable electricity. Operating in New Jersey, New York, California, Texas, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada and Massachusetts, Momentum Solar is one of the fastest-growing residential solar companies out there. A few other fast facts on Momentum Solar:
- Momentum Solar and its leadership are highly respected in the industry, earning awards like the 2019 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, No. 1 Residential Solar Contractor by Solar Power World in 2020, and more.
- A wide variety of solar financing options, from loans to purchase power agreements (PPAs), make Momentum Solar one of the most accessible solar providers to a wide financial demographic.
- Momentum Solar chooses to operate primarily in states with effective net metering programs and other solar rebates and incentives. If Momentum is available in your state, chances are it can help you secure great value for your investment.
Best Customer Service: Sunpro Solar
Headquartered in Mandeville, Louisiana, Sunpro Solar got its start servicing the sunny areas around the Gulf Coast. Now providing services across 21 states, Sunpro offers:
- An industry-leading comprehensive warranty, with guarantees of power output, workmanship and product longevity for 25 years. Most other companies only offer limited workmanship and product-specific warranties.
- High-quality solar and storage solutions for homeowners. With certifications from LG, Enphase and Tesla, Sunpro has earned the trust of some of the industry's top solar panel manufacturers.
- Exceptional customer service that spans from educating homeowners about solar to creating custom designs of solar layouts for its customers.
You can learn more in our Sunpro Solar review.Why Choose Sunpro: Though a number of major solar providers guarantee your system will perform as estimated, Sunpro seems to have the best results in backing that. Sunpro's leading warranty, high-quality products and customer service make it an excellent choice.
Best Referral Program: Trinity Solar
Trinity Solar's mission is to provide you energy with integrity. One of the more established names in the industry, family-owned Trinity Solar is the largest privately held residential solar installation company in the nation. With almost 30 years and over 80,000 installations worth of experience, Trinity Solar is a reliable choice if you live within its service area of the Northeast U.S. and Florida.
Here are a few things to note about Trinity:
- Trinity Solar offers its customers high-quality solar PV and storage products from top brands.
- Trinity Solar partners with and contributes to local nonprofit organizations of your choosing. As part of its referral program, Trinity will contribute $100 to your preferred organization for every solar consultation and $1,000 for every solar installation based on a referral you make.
- As a family-owned business, Trinity promises its customers will receive all the individualized attention they deserve.
Best for Leasing: Sunrun
Upgrading to solar power can seem a little intimidating, but Sunrun is out to simplify the process. The solar panel company's approach makes it extremely straightforward to select a custom solar energy plan for your household, whether you want to lease or buy a system. You can check out our full review of Sunrun for a thorough rundown of the company, but in short, here's what you should know:
- You can book a virtual consultation with Sunrun's solar energy experts, making it easy to explore options and determine which solar setup is right for your home energy needs.
- Each system is completely customized to address the customer's needs. Sunrun doesn't do "one-size-fits-all" solar panel installations.
- The company's guarantee, one of the best in the industry, offers extraordinary peace of mind that your solar system will prove durable and reliable.
- Sunrun is one of the best solar companies for leases, so if you're thinking about leasing solar panels instead of purchasing them, it's worth having a conversation with this installer.
Why Choose Sunrun: With Sunrun, the name of the game is customization. This is one of the top solar companies for renewable energy solutions that are truly made with your unique home in mind..
Best Social Impact: Go Solar Group
The biggest drawback of Go Solar Group is that, right now, its work is limited to just a few Western states. But if you happen to live in that part of the country, it should be one of the top solar companies you consider. Go Solar's panels are uniquely calibrated to take advantage of the region's abundant sunlight. Some additional reasons to pick Go Solar include:
- It offers free home solar assessments to help you decide whether solar panels are worth it for your roof.
- The company custom-designs solar systems to meet the needs of each home.
- Go Solar works with some of the most trusted installers in the solar power industry.
- The installer has a robust charitable arm, called 1heart1mind, which provides solar energy, health care, clean water and education to underserved communities in Africa. Part of every solar array purchase through Go Solar Group is used as a microloan to further solar distribution efforts abroad.
Why Choose Go Solar: For solar solutions that are tailored to the climate of the American West, consider Go Solar. The company's impact goes far beyond just helping U.S. homeowners live more sustainably.
How Does a Solar Energy System Work?
As you explore the different options for embracing solar power, it may be helpful to have a baseline understanding of how solar energy systems actually function.
The main components of a solar energy system are the solar panels installed on your roof (ground-mounted solar panels are also used in some cases). These panels absorb the sun's energy, storing it in what are known as photovoltaic cells. These cells convert sunlight into direct current (DC) energy, which an inverter changes into alternate current (AC) electricity. AC electricity is what you need to power your home.
It's important to note that, before you purchase solar panels, you should speak with a solar energy consultant from one of the best solar companies in your area who can give you a proposal of both the number and orientation of solar panels that would be most effective for your home.
If you're concerned about the affordability of solar power, it's important to remember that most top solar companies provide a host of options, including flexible financing and programs to lease a system rather than purchase it outright. As you talk with different solar panel companies, don't hesitate to ask about pricing, sales and specials.
Benefits of Solar Energy
Installing solar panels on your home can yield a number of benefits. Here are just a few examples:
One of the main reasons homeowners choose to install solar cells is to lower their environmental impact. Rather than depend on fossil fuels, you can power your home with renewable energy that comes free from the sun. This one is a no-brainer.
By reducing your reliance on fossil fuels and local utilities, solar allows you to be your own energy provider. Energy independence frees you from surprise bills, rising interest rates and even power outages due to extreme weather. By lowering the amount of energy you draw from the grid, you also lower the overall financial and environmental energy costs paid by your community.
Solar Tax Credits and Rebates
There are a number of ways in which choosing renewable energy can save you money, starting with the fact that there are so many rebates and tax credits available. Both federal and state governments have adopted a list of financial incentives to make solar power more attractive and accessible to homeowners, like the federal solar tax credit and local rebates.
Lower Electricity Bills
Finally, embracing solar power will help you save money by offsetting your electricity bills. Most of the best solar companies offer online calculators that allow you to see for yourself how much money you'll save over time simply by switching to a renewable energy source.
Narrowing Down the Top Solar Companies for Your Home
While there is no shortage of benefits when you choose solar energy to power your home, investing in solar panels can be intimidating. However, working with one of the top solar companies in your area can greatly simplify the process.
When seeking the best solar energy company for your home, remember to look for an installer that's well-regarded within the industry, get a consultation before you buy and always be sure to ask some direct questions about the financing options that are available to you. Fill out the form below to get connected with a pre-screened solar installer in your area.
FAQ: Best Solar Companies
What is the most reputable solar company?
Fortunately, there are a number of reputable solar companies that can be trusted for a reliable installation. We've outlined the eight top companies in this article based on a range of factors, but there may be even better options available locally. Take a look at some of our articles on best solar companies by state to see if any would be a good fit for your home solar installation.
What are the worst solar companies?
We'd rather applaud the best companies than bash the worst, but sadly there are a number of solar companies that have run into legal troubles or been identified as having misleading sales tactics or poor customer service. These companies give solar a bad name and prove the importance of doing your research before signing a solar contract.
What is the largest residential solar company in the United States?
Sunrun claims to hold the spot as the largest residential solar installer in the U.S. Things in the solar industry can change quickly, however, and SunPower and Tesla have invested heavily in their residential solar services. It's important to remember that bigger does not always mean better. You may have a local solar company in your area that didn't make our list due to its small service size but that has services comparable to or better than the names we've listed here.Karsten Neumeister is a writer and renewable energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on renewable energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.
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