One of the best ways to power a home or business while minimizing your environmental footprint is by harnessing the renewable energy provided by the sun. The good news for Californians is that the state has long been on the leading edge of green energy; as you seek solar energy companies in California, you'll find that there are plenty of options choose from.
In this article, we'll look at some of the top solar energy companies servicing homeowners in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and throughout CA.
Our Picks for the Best Solar Energy Companies in California
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- NRG Clean Power
- Sunworks Solar Power
- Semper Solaris
- Stellar Solar
- Vivint Solar
- Sunlux Energy
- Solar Optimum
How We Chose the Best Solar Companies in California
There are a number of factors to consider as you search for the best solar installation company.
Some of the specific factors we used for our rankings include:
For one, it's important to note that different solar companies may offer slightly different services. Most CA homeowners will want a company that provides a diverse portfolio, assisting with everything from an initial consultation on their solar energy system to solar panel installation.
Also consider the specific steps in the solar panel system installation process. How long will it take to have your solar panels placed? Will the panels be installed by a trained member of the solar energy company, or will it be a third-party contractor?
Some solar companies have a wider field of service than others. It doesn't do you much good to hire a solar power company that's only active in Sacramento if you live closer to Los Angeles in southern California.
Pricing and Financing
You'll want to consider your budget, which can be a determinative factor. Keep in mind that most solar companies are going to have fairly steep upfront costs, but you'll ultimately save a lot of money in the long run, thanks to the reduced electric bills. Also, we have tried to celebrate companies that offer flexible financing options like solar leases.
We would generally recommend working with a company that maintains membership in the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) or other professional association. Membership in these groups is a great indicator of the company's professionalism, workmanship, reputation, and reliability.
Types of Panels
Pay attention to the specific type of solar technology that is offered. Is the company certified to install leading brands like Tesla Powerwall, Panasonic, and LG? It never hurts to take a closer look into the company's tech portfolio.
You can likely find solar energy rebates or federal tax credits by making the switch to solar energy. Will your solar energy provider help you make the necessary arrangements? It is often wise to inquire about these incentives on the front-end.
Finally, we would recommend seeking a solar energy company that can offer a good warranty. This can be a great consumer protection as you make a big investment in clean energy.
The Best Solar Energy Companies in California
NRG Clean Power claims to do solar "the smart way," and they have a great reputation in the solar industry. They make solar panels accessible and affordable, without any financing gimmicks or middlemen to complicate the process. They have an admirable vision of decentralizing and deregulating power supplies, making it easier for all of us to participate in the clean energy revolution.
NRG Clean Power offers solar roofing, energy storage, and EV charging solutions, as well as flexible payment and financing options.
Sunworks Solar Power is a company that supplies affordable and reliable solar energy solutions to homes, businesses, and even farms across the state. They actually boast more than 30 years of experience in the solar space, which makes them a true standard-bearer within the industry. In addition to some significant home energy savings, Sunworks Solar Power can also benefit you by providing a generous 25-year warranty.
There's a lot to love about Sunworks, specifically that they handle the entire solar energy process from start to finish.
When it comes to flexible, affordable solar solutions, Sunrun is a great option. You can actually get financing for your panels and other equipment with zero money down, making it incredibly easy to get up and running. Additionally, Sunrun assists with claiming any tax incentives that are available to you, either at a state level or the federal level. They also do an excellent job customizing their services, helping each homeowner get exactly the solar setup they need.
Learn why Sunrun is one of California's photovoltaic leaders.
Semper Solaris is owned and operated by American military veterans, which is just one of many reasons why it ranks so high on our list. We also love the fact that the company showcases a wide range of solar services, including heating and air conditioning assistance, solar batteries, and of course home solar installation. Also note that Semper Solaris offers service across California, with offices in San Diego, Inland Empire, Fresno, Concord, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, and beyond.
Semper Solaris is easily one of the best solar energy companies in California, and a great option for solar and battery storage installation.
Stellar Solar is primarily available in the San Diego area. They offer some incredible solar deals, including affordable equipment fees, low-interest financing, and access to some generous rebates and tax credits. Stellar Solaris has been around since 1998, and in that time, they have assisted more than 12,000 customers go solar.
If you live the San Diego area, Stellar Solar is one of the best solar contractors available.
You may know Tesla from their electric cars. What you might not know is that Tesla has brought a similar sophistication to the solar energy industry, developing premium solar panels that have been adopted by other solar providers in the state. Of course, you can always go straight to the source, having your panels installed directly by Tesla themselves. Tesla also guarantees to match any price on solar systems in order to offer the lowest prices in the country.
Tesla's solar panel systems feature sleek designs, ensuring that your solar paneling isn't just functional, but also aesthetically pleasing.
Vivint Solar is a solar installer that really excels in customization. They understand that no two homes are quite alike, and they tailor their solar designs accordingly. Additionally, their top-notch panels are backed with a 25-year warranty, which should give you ample assurance as you consider choosing Vivint for your home energy needs.
Vivint Solar also provides a complete service experience to help you with everything from system design to permits and installation.
Sunlux Energy delivers solar energy solutions in California as well as Texas, and they really have a lot to offer. Specifically, they can furnish solar panels and batteries, full home automation options, and even EV charging stations for your garage. They give free consultations, and they come backed with a great portfolio of online reviews.
Sunlux Energy is great for their full-service process, system warranty, and solar financing options.
Solar Optimum is an award-winning company known for its professional installation services, including a distinction as the 2020 Installer of the Year for Panasonic solar panels. They also back their products with reliable warranties and guarantees.
Solar Optimum offers true solar expertise, and their 25-year warranty covers the panels, inverter, racking, roof, and workmanship.
How Does Solar Panel Installation Work?
As you consider hiring a solar energy company, you may have some questions about the installation process. What exactly is involved in having your home enhanced with solar paneling?
The process should always begin with a consultation. A solar expert will evaluate how much energy you need, based on factors such as your home's square footage, appliances, and the number of people in your home. Additionally, the consultant will help you determine the best places on your roof to place solar panels so that they maximize solar energy absorption.
The company will then install the panels onto your roof and make sure that they are connected to your home and operating properly. Once installed, these solar panels will capture the sun's energy and store it in a battery. A component known as an inverter will then take this solar power and turn it into AC electrical current, which is the kind of energy you'll need to power your appliances and home electronics.
The goal is that the renewable energy you get from the sun will be sufficient for you to stop using electrical power from a utility company. What's more, making the jump to solar energy can help you reduce your environmental footprint. For those seeking clean and (in the long run) cost-effective home energy, solar power can be tremendously advantageous.
What Do You Need to Go Solar in California?
Are you a good candidate for solar power? First and foremost, you'll probably need to own your own home. And second, you'll want to have a rooftop that receives plenty of sunlight.
One important note is that in California, depending on the city where you live, you may actually work with the local utility company, like PG&E, for a power purchase agreement or net metering service. The utility will still be connected to your home, but you will receive credits on your bill for the extra energy generated by your home's solar system.
This can be a little bit cumbersome, and you'll probably want to work with a solar energy company that can help you coordinate with your local utility provider as well as helping you get the permits and approvals you need. For residents of California, this is something to ask about as you seek the best solar energy partner.
The Benefits of Going Solar in CA
If you're interested in going solar in California, the first thing you'll want to do is research different companies so that you can find the one that best fits your budget and your needs.
Solar energy can make a world of difference for you and your family. We hope this guide will be useful to you in evaluating some of California's top solar energy providers.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. He covers natural health, nutrition, supplements, and clean energy. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.