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Best Solar Companies in Texas: 2022 Rankings & Reviews

Looking for the best solar installers in the Lone Star state? Start your search here.

Reviews
Patrick Fraser / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Texas is one of the leading states for solar energy and has nearly 600 solar installers in the state — and counting. If you're trying to find the best solar companies in Texas, sifting through hundreds of options can be intimidating.

In this article, we'll narrow down 10 of the top Texas solar installers to make your decision a little easier. Read on for our reviews of each company, or get connected to a certified company near you right away by using this tool or filling out the free form below.

Our Picks for Top Texas Solar Installers

  • SunPower
  • Sunpro Solar
  • Longhorn Solar, Inc.
  • Solartime USA
  • Kosmos Solar
  • Sunshine Renewable Solutions
  • Alba Energy
  • Circle L Solar
  • Momentum Solar
  • Good Faith Energy
With so many Texas solar installers to choose from, the odds are good that you'll be able to find the best services for your energy needs at the best possible value. To get started with the process, let's jump into our 10 best solar companies in Texas.

Comparing the 10 Best Solar Installers in Texas

Continue reading to learn more about our rankings criteria and other important considerations when making your solar decision. Here's our picks for the 10 best solar energy companies in TX:

SunPower

SunPower logo

SunPower

Location: 50 states, including all of Texas

What We Like: SunPower is a leading solar energy company with some of the highest-efficiency solar panels in the business. We like SunPower's quality, comprehensive solar approach, virtual consultations, online design studio and all-in-one warranty.

What We Don't Like: SunPower's national range can make your project a little too dependent on the quality of your local SunPower installer.

What Customers Are Saying: "Very happy with their service, and my panels seem to be producing quite a bit even on semi-cloudy days. And very responsive customer service department, where your calls are answered quickly and by caring individuals." — Jane N. via the Better Business Bureau

SunPower at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 1985
  • Warranty: 25-year, all-inclusive warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan, solar lease and power purchase agreements (PPAs)
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries, electric vehicle chargers, energy monitoring and more
  • Learn More: SunPower Solar Review

Sunpro Solar

Sunpro logo

Sunpro

Location: 21 states, including all of Texas

What We Like: We recommend Sunpro for its outstanding customer service, industry-leading warranty and the ease of its consultation and design process.

What We Don't Like: Sunpro's size and expansion has led to a few customers who didn't feel their needs were met post-installation.

What Customers Are Saying: "The company installed my system as designed. From the time I met with the salesperson until install was about 5 weeks. It works perfectly and I haven't had an electric bill since." — Kelly S. via BBB

Sunpro at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2008
  • Warranty: 25-year, all-inclusive warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries, energy monitoring and more
  • Learn More: Sunpro Solar Review

Longhorn Solar

Longhorn Solar logo

Longhorn Solar

Location: Dallas, Austin and San Antonio

What We Like: Longhorn Solar is an award-winning company that's frequently touted as one of the best solar providers in the state. It has helped more than 2,000 Texans make the switch to solar.

What We Don't Like: There isn't much not to like about Longhorn Solar, besides the fact that they don't yet service all of Texas.

What Customers Are Saying: "Even though we have had our panels for four years, we continue to get the absolute best service from them — they follow up on our system and check in every so often to make sure we are still happy… It's been a great experience, and a lot of our neighbors have also used them for their service, dependability and fair pricing." — Yunny D. via Yelp

Longhorn Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Warranty: 25-year installation and performance warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries and more

Solartime USA

Solartime USA logo

Solartime USA

Location: Dallas area

What We Like: We like Solartime USA's customized solar energy solutions for residential projects, and its portfolio of online reviews attesting to its first-rate customer service.

What We Don't Like: A minor complaint, but we would like to see Solartime USA install Tesla solar products.

What Customers Are Saying: "I hired Solartime USA to install solar panels and inverters on my house last December. They were very professional. There were some issues due to it being the end of the year and supply chain problems, but Solartime was able to resolve them and get my panels installed to my satisfaction." — William J. via BBB

Solartime USA at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Warranty: 25-year product and labor warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan, solar lease
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries, generators, solar carports and more

Kosmos Solar

Kosmos Solar logo

Kosmos Solar

Location: North Texas, based in Dallas-Fort Worth

What We Like: Kosmos Solar offers high-quality products, custom solar designs and award-winning personal service. Plus, its website offers helpful solar educational resources that may guide you in determining if going solar is worth it for your home.

What We Don't Like: Though it doesn't look like Kosmos customers run into system issues very often, Kosmos Solar does not offer warranties separate from what's included from the equipment manufacturer.

What Customers Are Saying: "I've had panels installed by Kosmos Solar for over a year now, and I can proudly say that I have yet to have an electrical bill. It feels really good knowing my panels produced what Kosmos told me to expect." — Armando Nargi via Google Reviews

Kosmos Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2016
  • Warranty: Product-specific manufacturing warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan, solar lease
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries, EV chargers and more

Sunshine Renewable Solutions

Sunshine Renewable Solutions logo

Sunshine Renewable Solutions

Location: Houston, Austin, Dallas, Amarillo, San Antonio and El Paso

What We Like: Sunshine Renewable Solutions is consistently ranked as a top residential solar installer in the state with hundreds of happy customer reviews. With the apt slogan "our solar system revolves around you," we recommend this company for customers looking for a little more attention than the larger chains can offer.

What We Don't Like: Sunshine Renewable Solutions maintains an excellent reputation among its customers, but we usually like to see companies that have been in business a little longer.

What Customers Are Saying: "Great experience throughout the entire process! Was connected with them through the Spring Branch Solar Coop (arranged by Solar United Neighbors), so they were vetted by a committee and offered great pricing. Highly recommended!" — Bing Yao via Google Reviews

Sunshine Renewable Solutions at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2017
  • Warranty: 30-year workmanship warranty, product-specific manufacturing warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan
  • Services Provided: Solar panels and backup battery installations

Alba Energy

Alba Energy logo

Alba Energy

Location: Austin, Houston, Dallas, McAllen and San Antonio

What We Like: Alba offers a wealth of information about solar panel systems and solar solutions, including solar calculators to help you tabulate your potential energy savings. Getting a firm idea of the costs and production expectations is one of the best ways to approach solar, and Alba understands that.

What We Don't Like: We'd like to see Alba Energy place more emphasis on energy efficiency along with solar installations.

What Customers Are Saying: "What a great experience. Professional from start to finish. The folks at Alba did virtually all the paperwork and the install was flawless. Besides professional, they are courteous, friendly and responsive. Highly recommend!" — Bill Steele via Google Reviews

Alba Energy at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2013
  • Warranty: 10-year workmanship warranty, product-specific manufacturing warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan
  • Services Provided: Solar panels and backup battery installations

Circle L Solar

\u200bCircle L Solar logo

Circle L Solar

Location: Dallas-Fort Worth area

What We Like: Setting out to help homeowners save on energy through eco-friendly and sustainable solutions, Circle L offers more than just solar. Circle L Solar also showcases a number of services that can help you upgrade your home's efficiency, including energy audits, windows, weatherization services, energy-efficient lighting and more.

What We Don't Like: Circle L doesn't offer very much information about warranties or local incentives available in its service area.

What Customers Are Saying: "After installation, we noticed that the quantity of energy produced was not what we were promised by the [sales representative] … Circle L stood by their word. They researched it, figured out how many more panels we needed to meet the promised production and installed them at no cost to us!" — Stefania Caldwell via Google Reviews

Circle L Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2014
  • Warranty: Product-specific manufacturing warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup battery installations, energy efficiency upgrades, weatherization and more

Momentum Solar

Momentum Solar logo

Momentum Solar

Location: State of Texas

What We Like: Momentum Solar is one of the fastest-growing residential solar companies out there, prioritizing its service in areas with effective net metering programs and other solar rebates and incentives. Momentum's modern approach and early success even earned it a spot among our national top solar companies.

What We Don't Like: Momentum Solar has experienced some growing pains during its expansion, resulting in a few unsatisfied customers. Overall sentiment has improved as the company has refined its practices.

What Customers Are Saying: "Momentum Solar is a very professional company. From sales to installation, everything went smoothly. The well trained install crew finished everything in less than a day. I am very happy with the whole process and look forward to the benefits of lower electricity costs." Howard L. via BBB

Momentum Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Warranty: 25-year equipment and workmanship warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan, solar leases and PPAs
  • Services Provided: Solar panel and backup battery installations

Good Faith Energy

Good Faith Energy logo

Good Faith Energy

Location: State of Texas

What We Like: Offering the entire Tesla solar ecosystem, Good Faith Energy installs Tesla panels, solar roofs, Powerwalls, EV chargers and connectors. With absolutely sparkling reviews from hundreds of its customers, Good Faith Energy has cemented itself as one of the best Texas solar installers of Tesla products and beyond.

What We Don't Like: Good Faith Energy doesn't have a ton of information on its website to help inform consumers about its installation process, but it does link out to some third-party resources about solar energy.

What Customers Are Saying: "I've had my solar for over a year now. It was the absolute best improvement we have ever made to the house. The process from design, permitting, construction and finally to [using the system] was seamless." — Joseph & Rita Strub via Google Reviews

Good Faith Energy Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2014
  • Warranty: 25-year product-specific warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loans
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup battery installations and energy efficiency upgrades

How We Chose the Best Solar Companies in Texas

If you're curious what we consider when choosing the best solar companies in Texas, you can visit our solar methodology page. We rate installers based on factors such as reputation, costs and financing, services offered, ease of installation process and customer experience.

Choosing the Best Solar Installer for Your Home

When evaluating which Texas solar installer is best for you, we advise considering the following:

Services Offered

The breadth, quality and relevance of services offered is an important factor in determining the best Texas solar installer for your needs. When you're considering solar companies, think about specific features or add-ons you may want, such as energy efficiency packages, solar financing, EV chargers or backup batteries.

Installation Process

Unsurprisingly, the ease and quality of the installation process itself is a main determinant of the best solar companies in Texas. Companies with more resources (like SunPower) may have easier installation processes than a local company. When speaking with solar representatives, we encourage you to ask what the installation process involves.

Steer clear of companies that hire subcontractors to carry out the installations, lack knowledge of local net metering and have bad customer reviews online. Most bad reviews come from snags during or after the installation.

Pricing and Financing

Though solar can provide clear long-term savings, the initial cost of solar panel installation can be significant and is often a deterrent for customers. Many solar panel companies now offer more flexible financing options than ever, however, determined to help you find a way to confidently navigate the finances of solar.

Industry Affiliations

To make sure that the renewable energy provider you select is trusted within the industry, we recommend checking for a few key certifications. These include whether the company has technicians certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it belongs to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) or other industry groups.

Types of Panels

If it weren't clear by now, different companies offer different types of products. Panels, inverters, batteries and chargers all vary in their cost, quality, ethics and warranty. This is why we advise that you focus on companies that are certified to sell and install products from manufacturers with proven track records of quality and reliability.

Warranty

Going solar is a big investment, but a warranty can help you trust that your system functions as expected for decades. Most of the best solar companies in Texas provide warranties on their technology and workmanship for 25 years or more, but you'll definitely want to ask about this on the front end.

Cost of Solar in Texas

Based on market research and data from top solar panel brands, we found the average current cost of solar in Texas to be around $2.69 per watt. Using this average, we can calculate that after applying the federal solar tax credit, a 5-kW solar panel system would cost around $9,953 and a 10-kW system would cost around $19,906.

Any of the best solar companies in Texas should advise you on incentives and solar tax exemptions to reduce your overall project costs. In Texas, expertise in local incentives will be paramount to your choice, since the tax structure is so decentralized. Most incentives operate on a city or utility-specific basis, so we encourage you to check the DSIRE database to familiarize yourself with what's available in your area.

Here's a rundown of Texas solar incentives:

Texas Solar Incentive

Texas Solar Incentive Overview

Net Metering

Texas offers a robust net metering program that gives solar panel owners credits for the unused electricity generated by their panels. These credits can be used to pay for energy you pull from the grid at night.

Solar Sales Tax Exemption

Texas residents do not have to pay the state's 6.25% sales tax on solar panels or other eligible solar equipment.

Solar Property Tax Exemption

Installing solar panels boosts your property value in Texas, but the state doesn't require you to pay any additional taxes that would typically come with home add-ons.

You can learn more in our article covering solar incentives in Texas.

How to Find the Best Solar Installer in Texas

With Texas' massive energy needs continuing to rise, solar energy is poised to be a big part of the Lone Star state's future. We expect government policy to continue to direct more investment toward renewable energy sources like wind and solar throughout the state. These incentives will likely continue to be led by cities or specific utilities, so in Texas, we place extra emphasis on finding a solar company with proven expertise in local tax structures and policies.

We recommend getting quotes from a handful of installers. With competing offers, you can potentially find thousands of dollars worth of value while expanding your knowledge of the solar incentives available to you. To start getting free quotes from the best solar companies in Texas, use this tool or fill out the 30-second form below.

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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Can You Go Off-Grid With a Solar Energy System? (2022)

We discuss benefits, shortcomings and what you'll need to go off-grid.

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Photo by Alex Bierwagen on Unsplash

I think I speak for everyone here at EcoWatch when I say I've dreamt of living off the grid. Imagine being completely self-sufficient, impact-free and unrestricted by society at large. Even if this thought hasn't crossed your mind, I imagine going off-grid interests those plagued by high energy costs, or those building their own cabin, shed or other DIY solar project.

The way we generate and use energy has shifted dramatically over the last decade. With solar panels and battery storage technology advancing as quickly as it has, the discussion around off-grid living has become much more complex. What does living off the grid mean? Can you go off-grid with solar? Is it legal?

It's not quite as simple as just flipping your breaker panels off, as there are safety concerns, legal considerations and greedy energy corporations to take into account. Let's dig in.

What Does Going Off-Grid Mean?

In theory, living off-grid means you live independently from public utilities, meeting 100% of your own energy needs on-site. Most commonly, this is achieved using solar energy.

Public utilities are the companies that supply you with the energy, water, gas or other services you use in your home every day. The public infrastructure supporting these utilities has been in place for hundreds of years, and it encompasses the production, transportation and distribution of energy throughout a region or community. Any adjustments to this infrastructure require permitting and inspections (and often fees) so that the rest of the grid stays stable and safe.

But now that so many localized renewable energy options are available, people are realizing we can decentralize the power grid. This would eliminate a great deal of public costs — both financial and environmental — surrounding energy and infrastructure. In this article, we'll approach going off the grid from a big-picture perspective, but off-grid living can also mean something more simple, such as independently powering a cabin, shed or vacation home.

Is it Legal to Live Off-Grid?

This is where the conversation gets interesting. Public opinion differs on the legality surrounding off-grid living. In most cases, living off the grid as we know it is done in rural areas more out of necessity than choice. Within more densely populated areas, many jurisdictions require their residents to adhere to local building codes and zoning restrictions, both for safety and for public image.

As a result, you may be legally required to maintain a connection to your city's power grid or sewer systems. Failure to comply with these local ordinances can result in fines or seizure of land or property.

Before renewable energy generation became possible for individual homes, there was really no reason to want to be disconnected from your local utilities. But now that homeowners are capable of generating their own electricity, will the legality of off-grid living change?

Homes with modern solar technologies and solar battery systems are likely to meet all the legal requirements to operate safely and reasonably without connection to outside power sources. With public opinion about outdated utilities beginning to sour, we may start to see modern off-grid living become more widely accepted.

Even if it is already legal to live off-grid in your state or area, remember you'll have to file for the proper permits and inspections before you can completely cut the cord. If you're looking into living off-grid, we advise you to consult your state, city or county to learn about any legal restrictions, permits or fees.

For the sake of discussion, let's proceed on the assumption that you are legally allowed to live disconnected from your public utilities and you've secured any necessary permits to do so.

What Do You Need To Live Off-Grid?

What makes going off-grid unfeasible for some is that their homes weren't built with self-sufficiency in mind. Meeting all of your energy needs on-site necessitates smart planning — energy efficiency, an unobstructed south-facing roof, good insulation and more. The needs of living efficiently go far beyond the question "how many solar panels do I need to live off-grid?" (though that's a valid thing to ask as well).

Solar Panels

Let's say you have a nice south-facing roof that's perfect for a solar array. Even if you packed that roof to the gills with solar panels, you'd still only be able to use that energy while the sun is shining, and the majority of it would actually go to waste.

Energy Storage

This is where backup batteries come into play. The concept is simple: You connect batteries to your home's solar panels that store the excess energy they generate during the day. This allows you to spread out the usage of the energy your panels generate.

But how many batteries do you need to be completely self-sufficient? Even with a battery as powerful as the Tesla Powerwall, most averaged-size homes need at least two batteries to reliably store all the energy necessary to keep a home powered off-grid. (For context, Tesla Powerwalls are about $10,000 each.) If your home is on the smaller side or your energy use is low to begin with, you may be able to get by on a smaller battery closer to $5,000.

Energy Efficiency

Designing or retrofitting a home to be energy efficient can sometimes save homeowners just as much as installing solar panels. If you're designing an off-grid project, prioritize energy-efficient lighting and other appliances to minimize the number of solar panels you need to power your property.

Other Solar Equipment

In addition to panels, batteries and efficient appliances, homes with solar and storage require wiring, charge controllers, inverters, mounting and safety equipment. Most of these can be provided by any solar company (if you're hiring someone to install your system), but if you're set on a DIY solar project, you'll need to acquire all of the above.

Pros and Cons of Going Off-Grid With Solar

Of course, there are a few pros and cons of solar energy to consider when deciding whether to go off the grid.

Pros include:

  • Saving money: With the costs of solar and storage as low as they currently are, most homeowners can save tens of thousands of dollars when they generate their own energy instead of relying on public utilities.
  • Avoiding utility fees: As outdated utilities struggle to make money, many add fees to the bills of customers who install solar on their properties. If you're not part of the power grid, you can avoid these fees.
  • Lowering your impact: Generating your energy with solar, whether on or off the grid, offsets the harmful effects of generating and distributing conventional electricity.
  • Increasing your independence: Living with solar allows you to take control of your energy use. With energy independence, you can more accurately predict your energy use and energy costs and free yourself from rising utility rates.

Cons of going off-grid with solar include:

  • You don't have a backup: To live reliably off-grid, you generally require a system that can provide three to four days' worth of electricity in case of long stretches of cloudy days, changes in your energy use or extreme weather events. Retaining a connection to the grid can provide some peace of mind that you'll never be left in the dark when things don't go as planned.
  • You may pay unnecessary expenses: As mentioned, when living off-grid, you need to ensure your maximum energy use is covered rather than your average energy use. This can make the process more expensive than maintaining a grid-tied system would be.
  • Utilities are always changing: Before saying goodbye to your power company, remember that people can change! Though the changes are coming slower than many may prefer, utilities are shifting toward generating clean energy with a localized approach, which will reduce costs, emissions and power outages in the future.

Final Thoughts

Electrical systems around the world are undergoing rapid changes as we confront the climate crisis and expand our infrastructure. Going off-grid may seem like a satisfying idea, but in reality, it may be too complex for projects larger than a small cabin or shed.

Sooner than seeing homeowners going fully off-grid, we hope to see more promotion of decentralized energy generation through things like:

  • Partial grid-reliance via solar: The most common solar option, partial-grid reliance keeps you connected to the grid — but you meet most of your energy needs with solar and storage anyway.
  • Community solar initiatives: You can join a community solar project by purchasing a share or by paying a subscription. The electricity production that corresponds to your ownership percentage or subscription level will be measured and subtracted from your power bills each month.
  • Smart grids and microgrids: Large apartment complexes or commercial buildings can operate on their own microgrids, capable of disconnecting from the main local grid during an outage and powering themselves via solar and stored energy.

The benefits of a decentralized clean energy system are many: reliability, lower costs, more autonomy and decreased emissions. Every home that installs solar lowers the strain on public infrastructure, which in turns lowers bills and promotes stability in the rest of the community.

So, what's the moral of the story? Keep things local, and only go off-grid if you have to.

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.

Prostock-Studio / iStock / Getty Images

We had a lot of questions when we heard that Hallmark was releasing 41 Christmas movies this year alone. First off, how? Secondly, do I have the time to watch them all? Do I have the energy to watch all 41 (mentally and physically) so as not to miss out on this timeless holiday tradition? How much electricity would that even require?

With the holidays approaching, we thought you might like the answer to the question us solar nerds are asking: how many solar panels does it take to watch a Hallmark Christmas movie?

Don't celebrate Christmas or watch Hallmark movies? Fret not. This framework can help you understand the amount of power it takes to watch any movie, TV show, sports game or even provide electricity to your entire home.

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An electric vehicle parked in front of a charging station in Kolkata, India on Dec. 12, 2019. Indranil Aditya / NurPhoto via Getty Images

If you're driving a traditional car, on a common road, a gas station is typically never too far away. As more and more EV's hit the road, however, it only makes sense that charging stations become just as easy to find.

Read More Show Less
Trending
2021 Vivint Solar Reviews: Is Vivint Legit?

Many have heard about Vivint's services, some of which seem too good to be true. Are they legit?

Reviews
Pramote Polyamate / Moment / Getty Images

Considering going solar with Vivint Solar? Many consider Vivint to be one of the industry's top solar companies due to its massive growth, but what do Vivint Solar reviews have to say about the company's customer service as it expands?

As it turns out, all that glitters is not gold. In this article, we'll walk through the pros and cons of Vivint and help you decide whether this is the best company for your solar installation.

Vivint Solar Fast Facts
Year Started 2011
Service Areas 22 states, including AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, HI, IL, MD, MA, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, PA, RI, SC, TX, UT, VT, VA
Service Types Solar panels, backup batteries, energy efficiency packages, electric vehicle chargers
Types of Panels Sold Black-on-black monocrystalline LG solar panels
Backup Battery Options Yes, LG Chem and Tesla Powerwall
Certifications North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) technicians
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating B+ with no accreditation

When selecting a solar installer, you can save thousands of dollars by shopping around and comparing prices from multiple companies. To start getting free quotes from solar companies in your area — including Vivint — fill out the form below.

Vivint Solar Overview

Vivint Solar is a full-service solar provider offering consultations, custom designs and residential solar installations. Founded in 2011, Vivint's mission is to provide homeowners with simple and affordable clean energy. The company made an early splash in the industry with its modern approach to solar, bringing systems to a whopping 500,000 homes across the country in less than a decade. Its growth attracted the attention of Sunrun, which acquired Vivint in October of 2020.

Vivint's swift success was mainly due to its commission-based direct-to-home sales network, which is able to recruit large numbers of salespeople that go door to door throughout Vivint's service area of 22 states. But how did this method live up to the company's mission of simple and affordable solar energy? Not so well.

Vivint's loose sales structure allowed salespeople to advertise misleading concepts like "free solar panels," and many unassuming customers signed contracts unaware they were locking into a 20-year lease with hefty cancellation fees. To make a long story short, the company is facing some lawsuits for its misleading sales practices, and there are thousands of scathing Vivint Solar reviews online.

Though Vivint's sales practices have been troubling, this review will cover all of what makes Vivint Solar unique. For some, Vivint has been a good choice. Our point remains, however, that if you're considering solar with Vivint, be sure to do your research and understand what you're buying into.

Vivint Solar Services and Installation

Vivint Solar provides exclusively residential solar panel services including solar panels, backup solar batteries, EV chargers and energy efficiency packages. Vivint's full spectrum of services allows for a highly customized experience with some of the finest solar equipment on the market.

Vivint Solar Equipment

Vivint exclusively offers monocrystalline PV solar panels with passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) solar cells, as it believes these are the most efficient solar panels on the market. PERC panels are typically the best type of solar panel for any residential installation, especially when roof space is more limited.

Vivint's biggest brand partner is LG, which is known for manufacturing quality, high-efficiency solar panels and the LG Chem battery — one of the best on the market. Vivint also provides Tesla Powerwalls for some customers. These devices are all compatible with Vivint's solar and SmartHome options, which can put you in full control of your home's energy.

Solar Panel Warranty

Vivint offers a fairly standard warranty when compared to similar solar providers. The warranty is broken down as follows:

  • 10-year workmanship warranty covering any damages to your home or solar system resulting from improper installation
  • 25-year linear performance warranty ensuring your panels and solar equipment are generating or retaining power at or above a specified degradation rate

Basically, the linear performance warranty is a production guarantee that factors the decline in output that all solar panels experience over time.

All other warranties (such as panels, batteries and inverters) are product-specific but are guaranteed to be at least 10 years.

Vivint Solar Costs and Financing

As we like to mention in our solar articles, bigger companies do not always offer more affordable systems. Vivint is known for its above-average costs due to the customization, technology and quality of products offered. If the low-seeming cost of a solar lease appeals to you, we encourage you to look into financing options for purchasing panels through a local solar provider instead.

Financing Options Through Vivint Solar

As a provider focused only on residential solar installations, Vivint's financing options revolve more around solar leases and purchase power agreements (PPAs). It's still possible to purchase a system through Vivint, but most of its salespeople are known to encourage PPAs. Here is the full spectrum of financing options available through Vivint.

Cash Purchase Solar Loan Solar Lease Solar PPA
System ownership You own system You own system Vivint owns system Vivint owns system
Maintenance included No No Yes Yes
Upfront cost Yes No No No
Added property value Yes Yes No No
Eligible for tax credit Yes Yes No No
Payment due to None Third-party loan vender Vivint Solar Vivint Solar

It is important to remember that when you get your solar through a lease or PPA, you will have two monthly energy bills — one from your utility company and one from Vivint Solar. Most companies issuing solar leases have a guarantee written into the contract that your total monthly energy payments will be below what they were previous to installing solar. Vivint does not offer this same guarantee.

Vivint Solar Reviews

Now that we've covered the basics of Vivint Solar's services and products, let's get into Vivint's customer experience. This is where Vivint has run into some trouble. Due to its commission-based, remote sales structure, many salespeople focus only on securing the sale before moving on to the next potential client. They aren't incentivized to deal with any issues post-sale. Though this has allowed Vivint to grow rapidly, most of this growth resulted from unrealistic expectations set by salespeople.

In the worst Vivint Solar reviews, customers claim to have been tricked into signing a contract after being advertised free solar panels on their homes. Sadly, thousands of Vivint customers have experienced either deceptive sales or increases in their energy bills after signing a lease or PPA with Vivint. What's worse, canceling a Vivint contract early can cost over $20,000. Many innocent customers were, and are still, trapped in bad contracts laid out by unethical sales tactics.

Let's look at both sides of the coin:

Negative Vivint Reviews

Negative Vivint reviews (of which there are many) typically mention customers feeling they were deceived, locked into bad contracts or that the product installed did not perform as expected. Here are a few that we found particularly revealing.

"It took Vivint Solar five months before my system was installed. System was not up and running, and it has failed inspection twice. I then found out the system was not producing. I have called different reps in the company only to get the runaround. I have not received a single call back. I wish I had never signed with this company. They are unreliable and not trustworthy." – Juan via BBB

“Vivint is by far the worst company of any kind I have ever had the misfortune to deal with. They installed panels on my roof in no time and cashed their check quickly. Six months later, I still have ZERO electricity generated and no timetable for when I might possibly have my system online. It is impossible to talk to anyone who knows anything about anything. They are a scam, not a company." – Terry via Trustpilot

Positive Vivint Reviews

This is not to say that all Vivint customers have had bad experiences. Some who have done their research, opted to purchase systems and customized their systems found exactly what they were looking for.

We couldn't help but chuckle at this customer who felt they needed to add that they weren't lied to:

“We have solar in our house in Maryland with Vivint and we have the home security system, too. We [love] it. Our rep was great and never lied about anything to me! Happy Vivint customer." — Julia via Yelp

Final Thoughts on Vivint Solar

We'd like to tell you that after having class-action lawsuits filed against it, Vivint has changed its ways and instilled the importance of proper education and realistic expectations into the solar sales process, but we like to let customers speak for themselves. Vivint Solar has well over 2,000 customer complaints filed against it through the BBB.

Vivint has helped the solar industry make strides in modernization, customization and overall volume of solar installed, but we cannot in good conscience recommend Vivint Solar to our readers. Deceptive sales practices can give the entire solar industry a bad reputation for being a money grab or a method to take advantage of customers burdened by high energy costs.

Vivint Solar Pros Vivint Solar Cons
Virtual consultations, design studios Poor reputation
Wide range of services Customer service
Customizable
Leases, PPA offered

In our research, we found the most frequently asked questions about Vivint Solar to revolve around whether the company is a scam or a pyramid scheme. This is revealing about the overall sentiment among prospective solar customers.

However, if you are still interested in Vivint Solar, we encourage you to read your contract closely and specifically ask what happens if your solar system doesn't produce as promised. We also recommend talking to a few other solar companies whose customers have better things to report.

Solar Energy Provider Comparison

To put all this in context, let's line Vivint Solar up with some of its main competitors.

Vivint Solar SunPower Sunpro Solar
Year Started 2011 1985 2008
Services Offered Solar panel installation, battery installation, monitoring Solar panel installation, battery installation, monitoring Solar panel installation, battery installation, monitoring
Service Areas AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, HI, IL, MA, MD, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, PA, RI, SC, TX, UT, VA, VT All 50 States AZ, AR, CA, FL, GA, IL, IA, KS, LA, MS, MO, NE, NV, NM, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA
BBB Rating B+ A+ A
Payment Options Cash, loan, lease, PPA Cash, loan, lease Cash, loan
Learn More Get Quote SunPower Review Sunpro Solar Review

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Vivint Solar bill so high?

If your electricity bill or Vivint bill is higher than expected, the first thing you should do is consider how much energy you're using at home. Since so many homes now serve as remote offices, many customers are using considerably more energy than they have in the past.

That being said, Vivint Solar does not offer a guarantee that your system will produce as first estimated by the representative who sold you your contract. Many customers have run into trouble with poor system performance with Vivint, resulting in higher energy bills than before going solar.

Is Vivint Solar a pyramid scheme?

This is a misconception, but the salespeople of Vivint Solar have been known to advertise "free solar panels" or services that sound too good to be true. Usually, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Vivint Solar has been faced with charges of deceptive marketing, so it's good to do your research.

Can I get out of my Vivint Solar PPA contract?

It is possible to get out of a lease or PPA agreement with Vivint Solar, but there is typically a very high fee associated with this. Vivint Solar has faced issues with unhappy customers who feel trapped in contracts. Be sure to read your contract closely if you plan to go solar with Vivint.

How does Vivint Solar make money?

Vivint Solar is a legitimate solar company that makes its money through sales, installations, maintenance and service. We believe this question may be coming from the fact that Vivint Solar's salespeople make money strictly on commissions from sales. Though this is somewhat common in the solar industry, the scale at which Vivint Solar operates has led to some deceptive sales processes.

Where is Vivint Solar's service area?

Vivint Solar offers installation services in 22 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.

What Is the Best Solar Company in Massachusetts?

We take a look at the 10 best solar installers in the Bay State.

Reviews
Khoblaun / iStock / Getty Images

Are you a homeowner in the Bay State looking to take advantage of the benefits of solar energy? You may be wondering how to find the best solar companies in Massachusetts.

Sifting through lists of solar providers can be overwhelming, so let us help you narrow down the best Massachusetts solar installer for your needs.

Our Picks for Top Massachusetts Solar Companies

  1. SunPower
  2. Green Power Energy
  3. Boston Solar
  4. All Energy Solar
  5. ACE Solar
  6. Solar Rising
  7. Trinity Solar
  8. ReVision Energy
  9. RevoluSun Solar
  10. Future Energy

We understand that the cost of solar will be one of the biggest factors in your decision of which solar company to hire. To find out how much it would cost to install a solar energy system on your roof, you can get a free, no-pressure estimate from some of Massachusetts' top solar companies by filling out the form below.

The 10 Best Solar Companies in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is a bellwether state when it comes to energy policy. A generous net metering program, standardized renewable energy goals, personal tax credits and a wide availability of solar installers have helped the state make solar and energy storage more accessible to a wide range of income levels.

These incentives are effective but complex. This is why, in Massachusetts, it might be a good idea to think locally and choose a company with a proven ability to navigate the state's many solar incentive programs. That said, here are our choices for the 10 best solar companies in Massachusetts.

SunPower

SunPower logo

SunPower

SunPower has over 30 years of experience designing turnkey residential and commercial solar solutions across the nation. Exceptional customer service, panel efficiency and one of the most comprehensive warranties in the business set it apart from a number of its competitors.

SunPower offers virtual consultations with an online design studio to provide customers with renderings of their systems before signing the paperwork. If you're a Massachusetts homeowner looking for reliable installations of high-efficiency solar panels, backup battery systems and even electric vehicle chargers, you can't go wrong with SunPower.

Green Power Energy

Green Power Energy logo

Green Power Energy

This young clean energy provider offers installations of basic panels as well as, energy storage, solar roof shingles and EV chargers in five states across New England. Built on core values of integrity and quality, Green Power Energy seeks to educate its customers on how to get the most out of both their investment and their solar technology. With diverse product offerings and a stellar reputation for customer service across the region, Green Power Energy is a wonderful choice for those lucky enough to live in its service area.

Boston Solar

Boston Solar logo

Boston Solar

Boston Solar is one of the most popular providers of residential solar in Massachusetts, having performed nearly 5,000 installations statewide. It focuses on providing the best solar panels, exceptional customer service and the highest quality workmanship. To put its money where its mouth is, Boston Solar offers a 10-year production guarantee, ensuring your solar system performs as advertised or you'll receive a check for the difference. You'll be hard-pressed to find any customer reviews online that aren't satisfied with the work of Boston Solar.

All Energy Solar

All Energy Solar logo

All Energy Solar

Though headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, All Energy Solar has teams located in Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire. All Energy Solar is one of the few full-service solar energy companies that is licensed as a building contractor as well as an electrical contractor, so you can be confident in All Energy Solar's ability to meet any of your home or business energy needs. Providing solar solutions to government agencies, farmers and large industrial complexes as well as homes, All Energy Solar is a great choice for those with any needs beyond simple solar installations.

ACE Solar

ACE Solar logo

ACE Solar

Headquartered in North Andover, Massachusetts, ACE Solar has been ranked the No. 1 Massachusetts solar contractor by Solar Power World for the fifth consecutive year. If you need more proof of ACE Solar's credibility, we encourage you to check out the provider's impressive collection of work, which spans from powering landfills to liquor stores. Regardless of what your home or business energy needs may be, ACE Solar is sure to find a creative solar solution that lowers your electric bill.

Solar Rising

Solar Rising logo

Solar Rising

Installing solar panels in Cape Cod, the Islands and the South Coast of Massachusetts, Solar Rising is a small yet trusted operation run by solar technicians local to the area. Solar Rising offers an impressive array of services given its size (including backup solar batteries and EV chargers) and is certified to install products from most of the top solar manufacturers. Sparkling customer reviews and an impressive gallery of sleek installations reflect Solar Rising's commitment to high-quality service. If you're a homeowner reading this from Cape Cod, the Islands or Massachusetts' South Coast, Solar Rising may be your best choice.

Trinity Solar

Trinity Solar logo

Trinity Solar

"Providing energy with integrity since 1994" is how Trinity Solar best describes its mission. The biggest privately held residential solar installer in the country, Trinity Solar trailed only ACE Solar in total kW of residential solar installed during 2020. Having completed over 65,000 successful solar projects, Trinity Solar is one of the most reliable choices you can make in Massachusetts.

ReVision Energy

ReVision Energy logo

ReVision Energy

ReVision Energy seeks to empower its Massachusetts customers to end their dependence on fossil fuels by owning their power through solar. ReVision's commitment to JEDI (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion), B Corp certification and employee-owned structure make it an ethical choice if you prioritize supporting solar providers that balance profit with purpose.

RevoluSun Solar

RevoluSun Solar

RevoluSun Solar

Locally owned and operated, RevoluSun Solar sees its customers as its neighbors. The company has provided premium solar and storage technologies with exceptional customer service throughout Massachusetts for a decade and installed over 2,000 kW of solar energy statewide in 2020. RevoluSun's localized approach has proven successful in multiple states, as hundreds of happy customers continue to post five-star reviews and spread the word about RevoluSun through its referral program.

Future Energy

Future Energy logo

Future Energy

Last but not least on our list is Future Energy Solar, based out of Melrose, Massachusetts. Future Energy offers a variety of products from some of the highest-quality solar manufacturers on the market, including LG, Panasonic, Enphase and Q Cell to name a few. With exceptional ratings from customers, Future Energy is a great choice for those wanting a sleek installation and some of the industry's finest solar products.

Choosing the Best Solar Installer for Your Home

As you can see, there are a few options for the best solar companies in Massachusetts. Here are a few considerations to focus on when narrowing down the right installer for your home energy system.

Services Offered

Different solar companies have different specializations within the sector. Some homeowners don't want to deal with the hassle of purchasing or maintaining solar panels and prefer to choose a provider with a lease option. Others may prioritize backup battery power if they live in an area with extreme weather. It's good to do some research on what services the companies you speak to offer. Be sure to ask about add-ons like energy efficiency packages to go along with your solar.

Installation Process

We recommend familiarizing yourself with the solar installation process during your consultation with any Massachusetts solar company. Good questions to ask include: What is my local net metering policy? How long does the permitting process typically take? What brands of products do you install? These are all important topics to raise during the due diligence process and can give some insight on how well your consultant knows their stuff.

Service Areas

Massachusetts is the paradigm for effective solar policies. As a result, it finds itself one of the best states for solar energy and is full of providers looking to expand their market share. As you look for the best solar installer near you, make sure that each company's services are available where you live. A few of the installers we review are only available within certain areas of Massachusetts. Our list of top cities for solar in Massachusetts may also provide more guidance.

Solar Costs and Financing

We understand that the cost of solar is usually the driving factor in decision-making. Some solar providers offer more flexibility than others on the budget front, so look for a company with plenty of solar financing options available.

Something to keep in mind is that bigger solar providers are not always the most affordable. Also, many companies offer frequent sales or specials for new customers, so make sure to ask if any are available. Getting competing quotes from companies in your area can also help you find the best value out there.

Solar Industry Affiliations

To make sure that you choose a trustworthy solar provider, we recommend checking for certifications and industry affiliations. The most common to look for are North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certifications or belonging to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

If you have a specific product or brand in mind for your installation, check to see if your provider is certified by that brand. These certifications will usually be on an installer's homepage, as most solar companies are eager to show that they're trusted by top solar brands like Enphase, LG or Tesla.

Types of Panels

To better weigh the pros and cons of solar, it can only help to educate yourself on the different types of panels on the market. For instance, if you have a smaller roof, using a company with high-efficiency panels like SunPower may be a good idea. Ask about product portfolios and, again, see if companies are certified to install leading brands like Tesla, Enphase or Q Cell.

Solar Incentives and Rebates

If you live in a state like Massachusetts, it is especially important to ask your solar provider about the many renewable energy programs, solar tax credits and exemptions available in your area. Any of the best solar providers will help you apply for the federal solar tax credit and local net metering programs, but some may have more knowledge in how to get the best value for your money by taking advantage of all incentives available in Massachusetts.

Warranty

Solar panels are a significant investment, but a solid warranty can provide peace of mind that your energy needs will be met for decades to come. Some solar companies provide a 25-year warranty on their technology and workmanship, while others only offer guarantees that last five to 10 years.

A warranty is one of the most important aspects of your solar purchase, so make sure you ask about what might happen if you experience roof leaks, underproducing panels or critters chewing on your wires. Things happen, after all, and you want to make sure your investment is protected.

Cost of Solar in Massachusetts

Based on market research and data from top brands, we found the average current cost of solar in Massachusetts to be around $2.94 per watt. With this average, we can calculate that, after the federal tax credit is applied, a 5-kW system would cost around $10,878 and a 10-kW system would cost around $21,756.

Any of the best solar companies in Massachusetts should be able to help you apply to receive incentives and solar tax exemptions to reduce any excess costs possible in your investment. However, it's still a good idea to be familiar with these on your own.

Massachusetts Solar Incentive Incentive Overview
Net Metering Massachusetts offers one of the best net energy metering (NEM) programs in the country, crediting solar panel owners for their excess solar electricity.
Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program The SMART program is an exemplary statewide solar incentive. Customers of select major utilities are paid a fixed rate per kWh of solar energy generated for 10 years. Additional incentives are provided to low-income customers to create a more equitable energy sector. Customers with energy storage systems are also eligible for additional benefits. Visit mass.gov for more details about the SMART program.
Massachusetts Renewable Energy Personal Tax Credit Massachusetts offers a personal tax credit of 15% (maximum value of $1,000) for any eligible renewable energy installations, including solar PV or wind power.
Massachusetts Solar Tax Exemptions Installing solar panels boosts your property's value in Massachusetts, but the state doesn't require you to pay the additional tax increases that would typically come with added property value. Massachusetts also provides sales tax exemptions for solar purchases.

Final Thoughts

Massachusetts is a leader in effective energy policy across the country. With additional tax credits, exemptions, net metering and the SMART program, Massachusetts displays how solar can contribute to energy equity, community building and resilience. Its popularity has spiked as a result.

Where there is demand, supply is sure to follow. There are a large number of solar companies in Massachusetts looking to build a name for themselves by winning over customers like you. This is why we recommend getting quotes from multiple solar companies and comparing their offers. You might secure an extra few thousand dollars of value by taking the time to do so.

To start comparing free quotes from some of the best solar companies in Massachusetts, fill out the 30-second form below.

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.

anatoliy_gleb / iStock / Getty Images

Sunpro Solar has had a foothold in the solar market of the sunny Southeast since 2008 and has stretched its service area across 21 states. But what do Sunpro Solar reviews have to say about the company's customer service as it expands?

In this article, we'll take a look at the Louisiana-based company's reputation, service offerings, pricing and more so you can decide whether purchasing solar panels with Sunpro is a good idea for your home.

Sunpro Solar Fast Facts
Year Started 2008
Service Areas 21 states, including AZ, AR, CA, FL, GA, IL, IA, KS, LA, MS, MO, NE, NV, NM, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA
Service Types Customized designs of solar panel systems, electric vehicle (EV) chargers and backup battery installations
Types of Panels Sold LG, Panasonic
Backup Battery Options Yes, including Tesla Powerwall and Enphase Encharge
Certifications North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) technicians; LG, Enphase and Unirac certified installer
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating A with accreditation

Read on for our full review, or to see if Sunpro is available in your area and get a free quote, fill out the 30-second form below.

Sunpro Solar Overview

Sunpro Solar is a leading provider of both residential and commercial solar energy solutions throughout 21 states, ranking No. 2 on our list of the best solar installers in the U.S. The company has installed solar on over 25,000 homes, and Sunpro reviews are largely positive, giving it a great nationwide reputation. Sunpro currently holds a BBB rating of an A and holds certifications from NABCEP, LG, Enphase and Unirac.

Headquartered in Mandeville, Louisiana, Sunpro got its start servicing the sunny areas around the Gulf Coast. The company is yet to spread into the Northeast but now services most of the southern U.S. and has become a top solar company in Texas, Arizona and California.

Sunpro opts to exclusively sell renewable energy systems rather than lease solar panels. It also offers high-quality solar storage solutions. What sets Sunpro apart from competitors is its 25-year comprehensive guarantees of power output, workmanship and product longevity.

Sunpro Solar Services and Installation

Sunpro Solar designs, installs and maintains solar panels on commercial properties and residential homes. The provider has over a decade of experience in solar installations and prides itself on its reputation for providing quality service and industry-leading warranties.

Solar Panel Warranty

Unlike most companies, which only offer product warranties and 10-year workmanship warranties, Sunpro offers a comprehensive 25-year warranty guaranteeing the solar system produces at its estimated level for decades after your purchase.

According to Sunpro, if your system does not produce the amount of energy guaranteed, you will receive the difference in cash. More specifically, the 25-year Sunpro guarantee includes:

  1. A labor guarantee that your system is installed properly without any damage to your home or system.
  2. A power production guarantee that your solar energy system produces the amount of power outlined in your initial solar proposal.
  3. A panel module guarantee that your solar PV panels remain functional.
  4. An Enphase microinverter guarantee that your system's microinverters perform without error.

Product Offerings

The right products for your home will depend on your energy needs, but Sunpro comes armed with some of the best solar panel and backup battery options on the market. Sunpro's PV installations are mostly equipped by brands like LG and Panasonic — companies known for making products with exceptional longevity and quality at an affordable price.

Sunpro also offers both the Tesla Powerwall 2 and the Enphase Encharge 10, two of the best solar battery options on the market. Despite Sunpro carrying a mix of brands for its panels and storage systems, the company chooses products that are compatible with each other. For instance, LG panels are known to work well in nearly any solar configuration.

Sunpro Installation Process

Outlining its process in just three steps, Sunpro strives to make solar installations as simple and easy as possible. Relative to its competitors, Sunpro's process is more simple, but this can come at the cost of customizing the look and functionality of your system.

An average Sunpro customer can expect the installation process to look a little more like this:

  1. Sunpro evaluation: To kick off the process, one of Sunpro's solar consultants will visit and evaluate your home to determine if it's the right fit for solar. If eligible, Sunpro will send a quote and rendering of your home's proposed system. Make sure your proposal outlines any local incentives or solar tax exemptions available in your area.
  2. Obtain permits and approvals: Once you've approved the plans and signed the paperwork, Sunpro will handle the details of obtaining your permits and approvals. Most solar installations will require a city permit, and some may require a net metering agreement to ensure a safe installation and that you can sell any surplus energy back to your local utility company.
  3. System installation: After all permits and approvals are secured, Sunpro will install your system. Most Sunpro installations are complete within one to three business days, depending on their complexity. Before you can turn the system on, both the city inspector and local utility need to issue permission to operate (PTO). Sunpro will schedule all required inspections before assisting you in getting your system up and running.

Sunpro Solar Costs and Financing

It's challenging to estimate the average cost of solar for a provider, as prices depend on your location, home and energy goals. We do know that Sunpro offers fairly competitive prices, but local installers may quote just below Sunpro to get a leg up on the competition. This is another reason we encourage our readers to get several quotes from competing companies.

Unlike other industry leaders like Sunrun and SunPower, Sunpro does not offer a lease option. This excludes a small number of homeowners interested in solar, but ultimately Sunpro encourages purchases so that customers can secure the best value for their time and money.

Financing Options

Sunpro offers standard solar financing plans for its customers, all backed by the company's 25-year guarantee.

  1. Full purchase: You own the system and the energy it produces. Purchasing solar panels is the ideal way to go solar. When you purchase panels, you buy the solar equipment from Sunpro in cash. Think of this as paying for 25 years worth of energy upfront, only for far less than you'd pay if you stuck it out with your local utility.
  2. Monthly loan: You own the system and pay for it with a loan. Sunpro can help you secure a solar loan to fund the purchase of your solar panels. Loans require monthly payments and vary in interest rates based on credit scores and loan terms. Payback periods can range from five to 12 years depending on these factors. With a monthly loan, you still own the system outright, which adds to property value, allows you to claim the federal solar tax credit and provides a far greater return on investment than leasing panels.

Sunpro Solar Reviews

There are bound to be mixed reviews for any company with over 25,000 clients. Let's take a look at what real Sunpro customers have to say — both positive and negative.

Positive Sunpro Reviews

Sunpro Solar reviews from happy customers mostly describe a "set it and forget it" solar project: simple plans, a quick installation and a product performing just as it was advertised.

" Great company! I had my solar installed a couple months ago. Everyone and everything was great and went very smoothly. They kept in contact with everything that was going on the entire time. Now I have a new roof, a nice tax credit and a practically non-existent light bill!" — Jeremy via BBB

"Everything went as promised and on time. All the people were friendly and courteous. I am having no problems with the installation and service." — Thom via Google Reviews

Negative Sunpro Reviews

Solar, like any business, runs on sales. And Sunpro's sales consultants work on commission. That's why it's important to find an installer that you can trust to keep you satisfied well after the papers are signed. Solar can be a very challenging issue for homeowners to troubleshoot, and most negative Sunpro Solar reviews stem from customers experiencing issues after the sale was made. Here are a few examples.

"I pretty much have the same complaints as most others. I'd warn all to not waste your time or money with this company. They install the panels very quickly in order to get their money from the lending company. But once they receive their money, you are on your own. They never keep in contact to update you on the status of the activation of the panels. They are not honest at all in the entire process." — Sean via BBB

"I was satisfied when I first got the solar panels installed. However, when I call now to get my panels serviced — as I have 11 panels out of commission — I am being told that it will be awhile… I have yet to get a date that my panels will be serviced. Have not even gotten a call back." — Sandra via Google Reviews

Final Thoughts on Sunpro Solar

Sunpro Solar is a good example of how a solar company should operate; an all-encompassing 25-year warranty, high-quality solar panels and good customer service. Sunpro has helped tens of thousands of homeowners discover the benefits of modern solar energy by keeping its business and installation process simple. We'd like to see better results from its customer service department, however.

If you do go with Sunpro, the chances are that you'll receive a quick, simple and effective solar solution that works for at least 25 years. We noticed most issues arise on the rare occasions that installations don't go smoothly. Whether a minor issue like your inverter not connecting to your network or a major issue like a faulty panel, a comprehensive 25-year warranty only does so much good if you can't get your provider to call you back.

Overall, we happily recommend Sunpro to our readers, but be sure you only sign a contract from a sales rep you trust. Leave no stone unturned in asking questions prior to the sale to make sure your consultant is knowledgeable and will field any of your concerns after you sign a contract. Solar is a significant investment, and you should feel confident in your decision.

Sunpro Solar Pros Sunpro Solar Cons
Large service area Reported communication issues after sale
Strong warranty No lease options
Excellent customer service No online estimates or consultations
High quality of products

Solar Energy Provider Comparison

Now that you know what Sunpro Solar reviews have to say, let's compare the provider to a couple of other well-known national solar companies:

Sunpro Solar Sunrun SunPower
Year Started 2008 2007 1985
Services Offered Solar panel installation, battery installation, monitoring
Solar panel installation, battery installation, monitoring, maintenance Solar panel installation, battery installation, monitoring
Service Areas AZ, AR, CA, FL, GA, IL, IA, KS, LA, MS, MO, NE, NV, NM, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, HI, IL, MD, MA, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, PA, RI, SC, TX, VT, WI, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. All 50 States
BBB Rating A B+ A+
Payment Options Cash, loan Cash, loan, lease, PPA Cash, loan, lease
Learn More Get Quote Sunrun Review SunPower Review

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sunpro legit?

Sunpro is a legitimate solar company performing solar and energy storage installations in 21 states. Sunpro is accredited by the BBB and has certifications from NABCEP, LG, Enphase and Unirac. It has carried out over 25,000 installations throughout the country.

Where are Sunpro panels made?

Sunpro installs mostly LG solar panels and is a platinum tier installer of the LG partner program. LG believes solar panels should be made in-house and manufactures all of its panels in its facilities in Gumi, South Korea, and Huntsville, Alabama.

Who is the most reputable solar company?

There are many different opinions about the most reputable solar company. Sunpro, Sunrun and SunPower frequently lead lists of top solar companies, but ultimately, the best company for you depends on your needs.

Where does Sunpro have service?

Sunpro Solar currently offers services in 21 states, including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

9 Best Solar Companies in Maryland in 2022

We'll help you narrow down the best installer for your home.

Reviews
The Washington Post / Contributor / Getty Images

Looking for energy freedom in the Free State? There are plenty of installers to choose from, but in this article, we’ll help you narrow down your options by recommending nine of the best solar companies in Maryland.

On track to increase its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) target from 25% to 50% by 2030, Maryland has quadrupled its solar capacity since 2015. One of the biggest drivers of this has been its statewide programs that support residential, commercial and community solar projects. Maryland residents also have access to some of the best solar companies in the nation, offering exceptional value for generating clean energy.

For many readers, the decision of which solar installer to hire comes down to cost. To start getting free quotes from the best solar companies in Maryland, you can use this tool or fill out the form below.

Our Picks for Top Maryland Solar Installers

  1. Lumina Solar
  2. Solar Energy World
  3. SunPower
  4. Celestial Solar Innovations
  5. Edge Energy
  6. Trinity Solar
  7. American Sentry Solar
  8. Energy Select
  9. Maryland Solar Solutions

Comparing the 10 Best Solar Companies in Maryland

Lumina Solar

Lumina Solar logo

Lumina Solar

Location: Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia; Based in Baltimore

What We Like: Lumina Solar offers fully integrated solar technology to help its customers make a practical leap to new levels of energy efficiency, conservation and independence. Lumina’s solar panel systems are built with cutting-edge technology, and the company was the first in the state to offer Tesla Powerwall batteries. Though a young company, the team is made up of industry veterans sure to provide an aesthetically pleasing, reliable installation.

What We Don’t Like: Lumina Solar is only a 4-year-old company, albeit an impressive one. Given that warranties are only valid if your chosen company stays in business, we typically advise choosing companies with closer to 10 years of experience and that have a proven, sustainable business model.

What Customers Are Saying: “Lumina installed my solar system a couple of months ago, and I want everyone to know how fantastic this company is. I urge anyone looking to make the switch to call Lumina Solar. From the very beginning of researching solar companies, I was most impressed with customer reviews and they were absolutely right.” — Marsha via Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Lumina Solar at a Glance:

Solar Energy World

Solar Energy World logo

Solar Energy World

Location: State of Maryland; Based in Elkridge

What We Like: Solar Energy World’s excellent industry reputation across the East Coast continues to shine each year, making it one of the fastest-growing independently owned and operated solar companies in the region. In fact, Solar Energy World has ranked as the No. 1 residential solar installer by volume in Maryland five years running. Installing Silfab, Longi, Q Cells and REC solar panels (which are some of the best available), Solar Energy World offers high-quality technology backed by a simple and tested process.

What We Don’t Like: Relative to some competitors on this list, Solar Energy World’s size can cause lapses in organizational presence and individualized attention. Those seeking a highly personalized, hands-on experience may be better off with a smaller company.

What Customers Are Saying: “Every step of the entire process was great — a low-pressure and knowledgeable consultation, a realistic and well-priced estimate (that turned out to match the design exactly), all steps in the process happened on or before schedule, the installation was quick and easy and neat (with cleanup), county inspection and all of the after-sale steps were taken care of quickly.” — Daniel via BBB

Solar Energy World at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup battery installations, live energy monitoring
  • Warranty: Product-specific warranties ranging from 20-25 years
  • Financing Options: Cash payments, solar loans

SunPower

SunPower logo

SunPower

Location: State of Maryland

What We Like: SunPower has been an industry leader since 1985, manufacturing some of the best solar panels on the market. With nationwide service, SunPower can connect you with a certified dealer near your home or business to conduct the installation. SunPower's reputation for excellent customer care and all-in-one solar solutions earns it a high spot on our list of the best Maryland solar installers.

What We Don’t Like: SunPower is a national company, working with local dealers in Maryland to install its systems. As a result, the quality of your workmanship will be fairly dependent on the SunPower dealer nearest you.

What Customers Are Saying: “Very knowledgeable, professional and easy to work with. I was pleasantly surprised that the entire staff has been very helpful and not "pushy" like other solar companies.” — Scott via BBB

SunPower at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 1985
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup battery and electric vehicle charger installations
  • Warranty: 25-year all-inclusive warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash payments, solar loans, solar leases
  • Learn More: SunPower Review

Celestial Solar Innovations

Celestial Solar Innovations logo

Celestial Solar Innovations

Location: Northwest Maryland; Based in Frederick

What We Like: A local company with a passion for solar and exceptional service, Celestial Solar Innovations offers flexible solar financing options and knows the ins and outs of Maryland policies to ensure its customers receive the best possible value for their investment in solar power. Its strong Maryland roots make homeowners feel their experience is valued over profits, and stellar customer reviews back this sentiment.

What We Don’t Like: Celestial Solar Innovations only offers services in a small region of Northwest Maryland. This can be advantageous to customers in the area, as it means they receive more attention for their projects, but the majority of Maryland will be left outside Celestial Solar Innovations’ service area.

What Customers Are Saying: “Celestial Solar was a joy to work with. We had numerous estimates before meeting with Jim and CSI. They delivered on every promise. Not a hiccup. The system they installed works very well and is delivering in excess of 100% power. Each month, in addition to a zero-dollar power bill, there is an overage that we are now selling each month as SRECs (they set that up as well).” — Nate via Google Reviews

Celestial Solar Innovations at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2013
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup battery installations
  • Warranty: Product-specific warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash payments, solar loans

Edge Energy

Edge Energy logo

Edge Energy

Location: State of Maryland; Based in Beltsville

What We Like: A certified master dealer of SunPower solar panels in Maryland, you can trust that Edge Energy installs some of the highest-quality solar technology on the market. Add a comprehensive service range that includes energy solutions, audits and upgrades, and it’s no surprise Edge Energy consistently ranks as one of the best solar companies in Maryland.

What We Don’t Like: SunPower’s solar panels are some of the best in the business, especially when it comes to efficiency. However, this lone offering can be limiting to customers who may not need the most efficient solar panels or who are interested in purchasing a different brand of products.

What Customers Are Saying: “Edge Energy used the best quality solar panels and related equipment. They did a great job of installation. Their system provides an online account that keeps track of solar production and energy usage. I have produced more energy than I use and been paid back by the energy companies for the energy I produce.” — Bryan via Google Reviews

Edge Energy at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2006
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup battery installations, energy efficiency upgrades
  • Warranty: 25-year all-in-one warranty via SunPower
  • Financing Options: Cash payments, solar loans

Trinity Solar

Trinity Solar logo

Trinity Solar

Location: State of Maryland

What We Like: One of the more established companies in the solar business, family-owned Trinity Solar is the largest privately held residential solar installation company in the nation. With over 80,000 installations under its belt, Trinity Solar is a reliable choice for home and business owners in Maryland.

What We Don’t Like: The Trinity’s size has led to some issues in communication. We’ve seen reviews lately from customers who have struggled to get in touch with customer service.

What Customers Are Saying: “From the very first day someone came out to look at my house ‘til the day it was finished, Trinity was great! Always on time and did what they said they were going to do each and every time. Best part was, they kept me informed all the time. If you're going solar, Trinity is the company you want doing it.” — George via BBB

Trinity Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 1994
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup battery installations
  • Warranty: 25-year equipment warranty, 5-year workmanship warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash payments, solar loans, solar leases/PPAs

American Sentry Solar

American Sentry Solar logo

American Sentry Solar

Location: State of Maryland; Based in Bel Air

What We Like: American Sentry Solar was launched as a division of American Design & Build and specializes in all aspects of exterior remodeling in addition to solar, including roofing, siding, windows and doors. Pairing roofing experts with solar specialists, American Sentry Solar offers residential and commercial installations and upgrades of the highest quality at a competitive price.

What We Don’t Like: Though we love the Enphase Encharge 10, we’d like to see American Sentry Solar offer other solar battery options to its customers.

What Customers Are Saying: “Other than the competitive price offered by American Sentry Solar, we were very pleased with their guarantee, warranty and monitoring plan included with the system. They answered our questions and gave us step-by-step information on what to expect for the whole process. Our panels are neatly arranged and look great on our roof. I love to think of all the money I am saving while sitting by the pool looking up at our panels.” — Jackie via Google Reviews

American Sentry Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 1993
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup battery installations, roofing
  • Warranty: 25-year workmanship and manufacturing warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash payments, solar loans

Energy Select

Energy Select logo

Energy Select

Location: Southern Maryland; Based in Leonardtown

What We Like: Relative to its competitors, Energy Select offers the most comprehensive service we’ve seen when it comes to the overall efficiency and performance of your home or business’s energy system. We love seeing companies that stress minimizing energy use before moving on to installing solar panels. Energy efficiency upgrades can reduce the number of solar panels you’ll need, in most cases greatly reducing overall project costs.

What We Don’t Like: As with American Sentry Solar, we’d like to see Energy Select expand its battery offerings. Currently, it only offers the LG Chem.

What Customers Are Saying: “This service is amazing. All involved were professional and paid great attention to our questions. They are fast and leave the property clean and all trash removed. The difference in the home is amazing. All persons involved from start to finish are the best in their field. I would give them more than 5 stars.” — Frances via Google Reviews

Energy Select at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2002
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup battery and EV charger installations, insulation, energy efficiency audits and more
  • Warranty: 10-year workmanship warranty, product-specific warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash payments, solar loans

Maryland Solar Solutions

Maryland Solar Solutions logo

Maryland Solar Solutions

Location: State of Maryland; Based in Owings Mills

What We Like: A highly local company, Maryland Solar Solutions comes recommended by regional sources like the Baltimore Sun. Focusing solely on being the best at a few select services (residential and small-business solar electric design and installation), Maryland Solar Solutions can be trusted to deliver you a quality, no-nonsense solar panel installation.

What We Don’t Like: Maryland Solar Solutions’ focused approach can be limiting for customers seeking add-ons like backup battery installations or EV chargers.

What Customers Are Saying: “We were impressed with the quality and efficiency of the panels used by MSSI as compared with other companies. Furthermore, their commitment to customer service is unsurpassed. They were knowledgeable and very helpful through the entire process, from HOA approval to installation to coordinating with BGE to registering to sell the extra energy we produce.” — Wilma via Google Reviews

Maryland Solar Solutions at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2008
  • Services Provided: Solar panel installations, energy efficiency audits
  • Warranty: Up to 25-year performance warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash payments, solar loans

How We Chose the Best Solar Companies in Maryland

Our company selection process includes researching the product portfolios, solar services, financing options, customer feedback and industry reputations of every major Maryland installer. Looking at metrics in these categories, we rated and ranked each company to narrow down our list of the nine best solar companies in Maryland. See our solar methodology for more information.

Choosing the Best Solar Installer for Your Home

There’s a great deal that goes into determining the best solar installer for your home, including your region, utility company, electric bills, roof space, energy consumption and more. The following factors might help you consider what to prioritize when choosing the best Maryland solar installer for your home or business.

Services Offered

Solar installation companies in Maryland will vary in service offerings and specializations. For instance, Maryland Solar Solutions chooses to focus strictly on solar panels, while companies like Edge Energy prioritize efficiency and home energy upgrades and use panels only to supplement your home’s energy system. Think about what makes your home or business unique — then find a company that prioritizes those needs. Other things to consider might be whether you need roofing work, EV chargers or backup power systems.

Installation Process

Before you sign a contract, make sure you're confident in your understanding of the installation process. Here are a few questions you’ll want the answers to:

  • How long does permitting take in my area?
  • What is my utility company's net metering policy?
  • Will any add-ons be installed along with the solar?
  • How long will the entire process take?

Permitting and interconnection can vary from city to city, so it's best to be sure you have realistic expectations.

Solar Pricing and Financing

Home solar is a great investment — especially in Maryland. Solar’s payback period can vary anywhere from 5 to 12 years (on average), so think about whether you might need special financing options to fit solar into your budget. Maryland is full of experienced solar installers familiar with the difficulties of high up-front costs, so be sure to ask about flexibility in financing options.

Industry Affiliations

It’s a good idea to hire a company that maintains industry credentials, such as membership in the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a B Corp certification or affiliation with other professional associations. Memberships and certifications are a great indicator of the company's professionalism, workmanship, reputation and reliability.

Types of Panels

Some types of solar panels are better than others, and each installer will offer a differing portfolio of products. Small homes in confined areas will likely need high-efficiency solar panels, while commercial projects with more space can prioritize the most affordable solar panels. It can only help to ask what brands of panels your company is certified to sell and install. Certifications from some of the best solar panel brands like Tesla, Panasonic, LG or REC might also be a good indicator of legitimacy.

Incentives, Rebates and Tax Credits

Maryland offers some of the best solar incentives in the country. Though effective, these incentives can be difficult to navigate, and finding a solar installer with experience securing the best value from these incentives may provide the best return on investment in the long run. It pays to think locally. Does the company you're looking at have plenty of experience in your community?

Warranty

Most warranty issues with solar don’t stem from the panels themselves, but instead from the workmanship of the installer. As a result, we recommend choosing a solar provider with a robust workmanship or all-in-one warranty to avoid any issues to your roof or home that may emerge months to years after installation. Most reputable solar companies will offer at least a 10-year warranty that covers workmanship.

Cost of Solar in Maryland

As of 2022, our market research and data from solar brands conclude the average cost of solar in Maryland is around $2.77 per watt. This means a 5-kW system would cost around $10,261 after the federal solar tax credit is applied. Keep in mind that a 5-kW system is about the minimum size you'll need for your home.

Luckily for those in Maryland, the state offers a number of helpful incentives (in addition to the federal tax credit) to help reward residents who switch to clean energy. Visit the DSIRE database for more information on incentives in your area.

Maryland Solar Incentive

Maryland Solar Incentive Overview

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)

Maryland rewards its residents with SRECs for contributing to the state’s renewable portfolio standard. SRECs are certificates earned for every MWh of clean energy generated that can be sold through the SREC market to help offset the cost of solar.

Residential Clean Energy Grant Program

A much simpler incentive to understand than SRECs, Maryland’s residential clean energy grant program sends you a direct $1,000 rebate for installing a solar energy system of at least 1 kW.

Sales & Property Tax Exemptions

Solar installations in the Free State are exempt from paying both the sales and property taxes associated with your solar purchase and added property value.

Maryland Net Metering

Maryland has a statewide net metering program that allows you to sell excess solar energy back to the grid in exchange for credits that go toward any future utility bills.

How to Find the Best Solar Installer in Maryland

Maryland's renewable energy incentive structure makes it unique in the solar market, focusing on SRECs, grants, tax exemptions and more. As stated before, these can be very effective but intimidating and difficult to navigate. This is why we stress the importance of finding a solar company with experience applying for these incentives and with a proven history of maximizing its customers’ solar investments.

If you’re ready to take the first step, we recommend comparing quotes from some of Maryland’s top solar installers. From there, you can see which company offers the best rates and ask more specific questions about incentives, experience and more.

To start getting free quotes from the best solar companies in Maryland, you can use this tool or fill out the form below.

FAQ: Best Solar Companies in Maryland

Who is the most reputable solar company in Maryland?

The most reputable solar company in Maryland may be SunPower, due to its size and national acclaim. However, there are plenty of reputable local companies as well, including Lumina Solar and Solar Energy World.

Is there a solar tax credit in Maryland?

Though there is no statewide tax credit, Maryland offers direct payments of $1,000 to homeowners that install solar via its residential clean energy grant program. The federal solar tax credit is also available to residents of Maryland, along with SRECs, net metering, and sales and property tax exemptions.

How do I find a reputable solar company?

If you’re looking for a reputable solar company in Maryland, you’re in the right place. We recommend starting with this list, narrowing in on your region, and gathering free quotes from the providers available to service your energy needs. From there, you can compare quotes to find the best value and speak with representatives to pinpoint which offer seems best for you.

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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Climate advocates gathered at City Hall Park in New York City on Sept. 24, 2021. Erik McGregor / LightRocket via Getty Images
None of America's largest "climate positive" corporations are fully supporting the country's biggest and best legislative opportunity in over a decade to address the climate crisis and move toward alignment with the Paris agreement, a new report shows.
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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Florida: What to Expect in 2021

How much will a solar system set you back in Florida?

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SandiMako / iStock / Getty Images

With a nickname like the Sunshine State, it's no wonder Florida has become one of the top states for solar energy — only Texas and California installed more megawatts in 2019 and 2020. The cost of solar panels in Florida is below the U.S. average, which makes them affordable for more potential users. There are also a number of solar tax exemptions and incentive programs in the state, which you can combine with the 26% federal tax credit to get costs even lower.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Florida's solar panel costs have dropped by 36% in only five years, which is one reason you may have seen more of your neighbors install solar systems. In fact, total installations in the state are now approaching 100,000.

To find out for sure how much you would pay for solar in Florida, you can start getting free quotes from pre-screened solar companies in your area below.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Florida?

According to the SEIA's most recent Solar Market Insight Report, home solar systems currently have an average price of $3.03 per watt in the U.S. However, based on market research and data from top brands, we've found that the average cost of solar panels in Florida is only $2.53 per watt. In other words, solar prices in the Sunshine State are 16% lower than the U.S. average.

Based on this estimate, the typical price of a 5-kW home solar system in Florida is $12,650. However, when you deduct the 26% federal solar tax credit, the system price drops to $9,361. The following table summarizes the average prices of common system sizes in Florida, before and after the federal solar tax credit is applied:

Size of Solar Panel System Florida Solar Panel Cost Cost After Federal Tax Credit
5kW $12,650 $9,361
6kW $15,180 $11,233
7kW $17,710 $13,105
8kW $20,240 $14,978
9kW $22,770 $16,850
10kW $25,300 $18,722

While these are just average prices, they can give you an idea of what to expect when going solar in Florida. A qualified solar installer can provide an accurate quote based on a professional assessment of your property and its rooftop.

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels?

The total cost of solar panels — in Florida or elsewhere — depends on many factors. Even two projects of the same capacity using the same solar panel model can have very different prices. For example, some roofs require extra work to install solar panel racking, and the amount of wiring required can change depending on the system layout.

Let's review the main factors that determine the cost of going solar in Florida.

Solar Equipment

The price of a solar installation changes depending on the type of solar panels you pick. In general, monocrystalline panels are more expensive than polycrystalline panels, but their energy conversion efficiency is higher. In other words, you pay more for each solar panel but you also get more kilowatt-hours over time.

Pricing also depends on the brand and complexity of solar panel systems. For example, a 10-kW system with a Tesla Powerwall battery and a smart inverter is more expensive, compared with a basic 10-kW array using a standard inverter and more basic solar battery.

Solar Financing

The cost of solar panels also depends on how you decide to pay for them, and there are three main options: paying in cash, getting a loan and signing a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). Like in any financial decision, each solar financing option has pros and cons.

  • A cash payment is the lowest-cost option over time, but paying for your solar installation upfront is a major expense. For a 5-kW solar system in Florida, the average upfront payment is $12,650, and you must then wait until the next IRS declaration to claim the 26% federal tax credit.
  • A loan makes solar panels easier to pay, since their cost can be split over several years, and utility bill savings can be used to pay off your loan. The downside of using loan financing for solar panels is interest, which consumes part of your savings.
  • A solar lease or PPA gives you access to photovoltaic panels without owning them directly. A solar lease charges you a fixed amount per month, while a PPA charges you based on the electricity output of solar panels. The provider assumes the upfront cost and ongoing expenses, and you sign a lease/PPA contract. However, you cannot claim the federal tax credit in this case, since you're not the legal owner of the solar power system.

Regardless of how you decide to pay for solar panels, you get a source of clean energy that lasts for decades. Keep in mind that solar panels are very durable, and the best solar panels come with a power production warranty of 25 to 30 years.

Installation Company

Even though Florida is called the Sunshine State, the local solar power industry was very small before 2016. However, Florida's solar capacity has been booming since then, thanks to favorable laws and decreasing prices. According to the SEIA, there are more than 480 solar companies in Florida, and total investments in the state now exceed $10 billion.

Having many solar providers in Florida is great news for homeowners and businesses, as competition leads to lower prices and better services. To make sure you're getting a good deal, the best strategy is to compare free estimates from many providers. Ask them to provide a detailed quote, so you can know exactly which solar products are being installed on your rooftop.

Florida Solar Incentives

Florida not only offers abundant sunshine, but also many incentives for solar panels. However, keep in mind that incentives can vary depending on your electricity provider or county. Here are the main benefits currently available to reduce the cost of solar panels in Florida:

Florida Solar Incentive How it Affects the Cost of Solar Panels in Florida
Net metering programs Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy, Gulf Power and Tampa Electric Company all offer net metering. Surplus electricity from your solar panels is exported to the grid and subtracted from your next power bill at the retail rate.
State tax exemptions Solar panels are exempt from Florida's 6% sales tax, and there is also a statewide property tax exemption. In other words, you will not be taxed for the increase in home value after going solar.
Local solar incentives Certain municipalities and utility companies in Florida have their own incentives for going solar. For example, Jacksonville offers a rebate of $4,000 per home on solar battery purchases. Check your local government websites for opportunities in your area.
Federal solar tax credit Officially called the solar investment tax credit (ITC), this benefit is available in all states. When installing a solar PV system, you can claim 26% of its cost as a federal tax credit.

The benefit will be available until the end of 2022, decreasing to 22% in 2023. From 2024 onward, there will only be a 10% solar federal tax credit for businesses (0% for homes).

Before going solar, check your options and make sure your system qualifies for the above incentives. A professional installer can give you an accurate estimate of how much it would cost to put panels on your roof — and help you navigate incentive applications to save money down the line. To connect with a top solar installer near you, fill out the 30-second form below.

FAQ: Cost of Solar Panels in Florida

Are solar panels in Florida worth it?

It's generally worth it to install solar panels in Florida. A 5-kW solar energy system has an average cost of $9,361 in Florida, and it can generate over $25,000 in savings during the 25-year warranty period of most solar panels. In other words, you get around $2.50 to $3 in savings for every dollar spent on upfront installation costs.

How much do solar panels cost for a 2,000-square-foot house?

This depends on your electricity bills, and you can check your annual consumption to get a better idea of the solar capacity you need. With Florida's sunshine, you can expect to generate over 1,600 kWh for every kilowatt of installed capacity (assuming favorable roof conditions).

For example, if your home consumes 12,800 kWh per year, your solar panel system must have around 8 kW of capacity. In Florida, a solar system of this size costs around $14,978 after the 26% federal tax credit.

Does Florida have a solar tax credit?

Solar panels are exempt from sales and property taxes in Florida. This means you save 6% upfront on your purchase, and the increase in home value that results from solar panels is not taxable. Some municipalities in Florida have their own rebates and incentives as well.

Are solar panels free in Florida?

Currently, there are no programs offering free solar installations in Florida. However, you can go solar for $0 upfront by getting a loan or by signing a lease or Power Purchase Agreement. This way, you can start saving on power bills right away, and those savings can be used to pay the loan/lease/PPA.

Leonardo David is an electromechanical engineer, MBA, energy consultant and technical writer. His energy-efficiency and solar consulting experience covers sectors including banking, textile manufacturing, plastics processing, pharmaceutics, education, food processing, fast food, real estate and retail. He has also been writing articles about energy and engineering topics since 2015.


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Solar Energy Pros and Cons: Is Going Solar Right for You?

Weighing the pros and cons of solar can help you make the best decision for your home.

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Lourdes Balduque / Moment / Getty Images

The solar boom is underway; the best solar companies are becoming household names, and the benefits of solar energy are taking the spotlight from oil, coal and gas. However, with so much literature to sort through these days, it can be tough to gauge the real solar energy pros and cons — especially since they're so dependent on the customer.

Though a sound investment, solar is a significant one, and we want our readers to fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy before making a purchase. Of course, using the sun as a renewable energy source can reduce your household's monthly electric bills and minimize your carbon footprint. However, there are some factors that make solar a little less valuable for some than others.

We'll go over the full pros and cons of solar energy in this article, but for many homeowners, the decision to go solar comes down to cost. To see how much solar panels would cost for your home, you can get a free quote from an installer near your by using this tool or filling out the form below.

Pros and Cons of Solar Energy: What You Need to Know

By installing a home solar system, you can use photovoltaic solar cells to capture and convert the sun's clean energy into electricity that can power your home or business. This can partially or completely offset the energy you'd typically purchase from your utility company.

While the advantages of solar energy are well advertised, there are also some drawbacks our readers should be aware of. Consider the following pros and cons of solar energy to help you decide if solar panels are worth it for your home.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Let's begin with the fun part — the biggest advantages of solar energy.

1) You can significantly reduce or even eliminate your household electric bills.

One of the most significant benefits of solar energy is also the most obvious: by generating your own energy, you can partially or completely offset the electricity you purchase from your utility. The average solar system lasts for two to three decades, which means most residents enjoy at least a decade or two of free energy after paying off their system with their energy savings and tax credit.

2) Going solar can reduce your carbon emissions.

The clean and natural energy harnessed by your solar system offsets the energy you'd typically purchase from local utilities. For the most part, local utilities carry a large impact stemming from the generation, transportation and distribution of electricity to your community. By using solar panels to generate your own electricity, you offset a portion of the greenhouse gases associated with fossil fuels, lowering your community's overall environmental impact.

3) Investing in a solar power system can increase the value of your home.

Homes with solar are becoming considerably more appealing, and installing the best solar panels can raise an estate's resale value by a decent amount. Note that this helps offset one of the primary cons of solar energy, which is the steep startup cost of solar panels — but more on that later.

4) Going solar can make you eligible for rebates and tax incentives.

Over the past couple of decades, the federal government has implemented numerous plans to incentivize solar energy, including solar tax credits and rebates. Many state governments have followed suit, particularly those where sun exposure is most consistent. Thanks to this, there are some significant ways to recoup part of your solar investment almost immediately. Again, this can help offset the initial cost of your solar panel system, allowing you to generate savings even before those utility reductions begin to stack up.

5) Solar + storage provides reliable backup power.

A solar battery storage system can provide backup power for homes in areas prone to power outages, which seem to be growing each year with the extreme weather brought on by climate change. With a backup battery like a Tesla Powerwall, you can keep your essential appliances powered during a prolonged outage. Even in mild weather, backup batteries let you store and use more of your solar energy, generating more savings.

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

Unfortunately, there are benefits of solar that won't prove effective for all homes. A few of the most notable disadvantages around solar include:

1) Not every roof can accommodate a solar system.

Solar panel installation requires you to have a certain kind of roof. If you have an older home, especially one with slate or cedar tiles on the roof, then you may not be able to buy solar panels for your personal use. Additionally, homes with skylights and other rooftop features may not have the surface area needed for solar panels.

If you don't have a lot of space or you're unsure about your home's solar capability, contact a local solar installer near you for a consultation. Most top solar companies will send out a representative free of charge.

Keep in mind that you can also install a ground-mounted solar panel system if you don't have a suitable roof.

2) Solar energy can be very location-dependent.

You can have a roof that's ideal for solar panel installation and still not be a good candidate for solar energy. Why? Because to take full advantage of solar power, you need to live in a place that gets consistent daily sun exposure. So, if you live in a part of the country that tends to be pretty cloudy, you may not produce the amount of energy necessary to justify your investment. Also, if your roof is partly shaded by trees or by neighboring homes, you may not get the best mileage from a solar energy system.

Location goes beyond just the amount of sunlight you receive, however. Some readers may live within the jurisdiction of a utility company without a favorable net metering policy. In the most unfortunate cases, utilities will charge hefty interconnection fees that can outweigh the savings solar provides.

3) Solar savings tend to correspond with energy bills.

The higher your electricity bills, the more energy you'll be able to offset with solar. But the inverse is also true: if you live somewhere with low utility costs, then the savings from switching to solar energy are going to be more modest. In other words, there are some parts of the country where the financial advantages of solar energy are going to be pronounced, and other places where those financial advantages are going to be nominal. It all depends on the cost of electricity where you live, and how much of it you use.

4) The upfront cost of going solar can be significant.

After adding up panels, labor, inverters and more, the average solar system investment ranges from $10,000 to $20,000. The specific number will vary according to the size of your home, if you need energy storage technology, your household energy use and the type of solar panels you choose. For example, if you make your own DIY solar panels, you'll cut down on installation fees, or if you want to get the most efficient solar panels, they'll cost significantly more.

There are plenty of ways to offset the cost of solar, including tax incentives, utility savings, increased home value and financing options. Still, there's no getting around it: Making the switch to solar is a significant investment.

5) Solar is getting more expensive with supply chain issues.

Worldwide supply chain issues have squeezed the costs of solar materials, shipping and labor. As a result, investing in solar in 2022 is proving a touch costlier than in years past. Still, solar technology itself continues to improve in efficiency and value while declining in price. We wouldn't recommend waiting to install a system, however, as the federal solar tax credit will be reduced in 2023 and will phase out altogether in 2024.

Weighing Solar Energy Pros and Cons

So, do the advantages of solar energy outweigh the disadvantages? Unfortunately, there's no easy answer here, as different homeowners may experience different levels of value when they make the jump to solar.

Before investing in a system, make sure you do your due diligence. Consider local sun exposure, the size and direction of your roof, local tax incentives and your own household energy expenses. Also, think about whether you want (or need) a solar battery.

Getting quotes from a few solar providers can give you more details about how much a new system will cost you. By weighing the pros and cons of solar energy for your home, you can make the best decision possible.

To get connected with a solar installer near you for a free consultation, you can use this tool or fill out the form below.

FAQ: Solar Energy Pros and Cons

When is solar energy a bad choice?

We aren't naive enough to claim that solar is always a good choice. For homeowners with low energy costs, shady roofs or insufficient space, the cost of solar can outweigh its benefits. Your location is important, too — not just in terms of sunshine, but also the financial incentives available to you. Check your local net metering policy and statewide and local incentives to see if you can save money on solar.

What are three disadvantages of solar energy?

The three biggest disadvantages to solar energy include:

  • The long-term nature of the investment: Life happens. Things change. Unfortunately, transferring solar loans or leases over to new homes or homeowners can be tricky. Some solar companies charge to have the panels relocated, and not all new homeowners will accept the solar lease or loan should you wish to transfer it.
  • Not every roof can accommodate a solar system: Small roofs, roofs with obstructions or roofs made with alternative materials can have trouble accommodating solar panels.
  • The cost of solar: Purchasing 25 years' worth of electricity upfront can make a lot of customers uncomfortable — and we understand why! The upfront cost of solar won't be feasible for all homeowners. Luckily, solar leases, flexible loan plans and incentives are making solar accessible to a wider range of home and business owners.

What are the advantages of solar?

Solar panels provide a reliable, low-maintenance way to avoid the carbon dioxide emissions associated with conventional energy generation. In addition to the environmental benefits, solar typically provides a great deal of energy savings for customers weighed down by rising utility costs. When properly designed and installed, solar is one of the best and most sustainable investments you can make.

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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Florida has shown a dedicated investment in solar energy in recent years, leading it to become the third most popular state in the country for solar installations. Because of this, a number of new companies have popped up across the state, leaving it difficult for consumers to narrow the best solar companies in Florida.

In this article, we'll introduce you to the top 10 Florida solar installers so you can make the best decision for your home's clean energy needs.

Our Picks for Top Florida Solar Companies

  1. SunPower
  2. Sunpro Solar
  3. Solar Source
  4. SunVena
  5. Goldin Solar
  6. Solar Bear
  7. Blue Raven Solar
  8. Solar-Ray
  9. Unicity Solar
  10. May Electric Solar

For many Florida homeowners, the decision to go with one provider over another comes down to solar panel costs. Interested in seeing how much you would pay to install a solar system on your roof? Fill out the form below to get a free, no-obligation quote from a top Florida solar installer that services your area.

Comparing Top Florida Installers

Florida is the perfect example of bigger solar companies not always being better.

Industry giants like SunPower and Sunpro Solar may top our list, but a large number of local providers in Florida have decades of experience tailored to the climate of the state. Some customers with older roofs may prefer to work with technicians experienced in preventing rain or wind damage, for example. Whether you're looking for a nationally recognized top solar company or a family-owned installer, pay special attention to each provider's customer service and warranties, which are of particular importance in Florida.

SunPower

SunPower has been an industry leader since 1985, designing all-in-one residential and commercial solutions backed by personalized customer service and the industry's most comprehensive warranty. Over 35 years of professional solar experience makes SunPower one of the most trusted solar installers available in Florida. Offering both an online design studio and virtual consultations, SunPower has an industry-leading process that provides customers with reliable installations of custom-designed solar energy and backup solar battery systems.

Sunpro Solar

Sunpro Solar is another national solar provider with an excellent track record in Florida. Sunpro has a proven history and reputation for providing attentive service, long-lasting warranties and comprehensive solar solutions. We recommend Sunpro if you're looking for top-notch customer care throughout the entire lifespan of your solar panels.

Solar Source

The first installer on our list that operates solely within Florida, Solar Source is a favorite solar company of local roofers, builders and homeowners. A commitment to top-quality products, exceptional service and reliable support has earned the company many positive reviews from customers. In a region frequently hit by tropical storms and severe weather, this solar installer offers 37 years of expertise you can trust to install your system securely.

SunVena

SunVena is another one of the most local Florida solar installers. SunVena's goal is to deliver an exceptional solar experience without any lengthy, confusing sales pitches. An educational, friendly and simple process is essential in making customers feel comfortable in making a sizable investment; SunVena's stellar customer reviews prove the company has this down pat.

Goldin Solar

Goldin Solar is a young company that has made a quick impact. Since 2014, its installations have generated over 65 million kWh of energy, helped homeowners save over $8 million in electric bills and offset over 100 million tons of emissions. With $0-down financing options, comprehensive energy storage solutions and exceptional customer reviews, we expect Goldin Solar to quickly rise in the ranks of the best solar companies in Florida.

Solar Bear

This family business has grown from serving just the Orlando and Tampa Bay areas to the entire state. Solar Bear evolved from home energy contracting into renewable energy services, now offering solar PV, storage, solar thermal and even geothermal heat pumps in Florida. The most reviewed solar provider in the state, customers can trust Solar Bear's transparency in its business practices. For customers looking to support local, family-owned businesses without sacrificing quality, Solar Bear may be the option for you.

Blue Raven Solar

Recently purchased by industry titan SunPower for its promising growth, Blue Raven Solar still operates in Florida, along with 16 other states. The company offers innovative financing models structured with $0-down and flexible payment methods, making it an exceptional choice for customers interested in solar financing and a low solar panel payback period.

Solar-Ray

Solar-Ray is a local solar installer committed to superior customer service and providing the best PV equipment available at the lowest price possible. A preferred solar service provider of Duke Energy, Orange County Public Schools, Orlando Utility Commission and the University of Central Florida, Solar-Ray has 14 years of local knowledge and experience to ensure Floridians secure the maximum value from their solar investment.

Unicity Solar

Unicity Solar's focus on providing customers with simple, affordable solar panel systems has made it a leader in Florida's renewable energy space. Unicity's strengths come in providing some of the best solar panels in the industry and guaranteeing 25 years of no-cost warranty protection for all products and installations. The Unicity Guarantee makes the company an ideal choice for Florida residents primarily concerned about the longevity of their solar power system.

May Electric Solar

Our final best Florida solar installer is May Electric, which is local to Central Florida. Founded in 2004, May Electric has grown into a full-service solar installer rooted in values of quality workmanship and solar industry expertise. Offering comprehensive warranties, product assurance and high-quality customer relations, May Electric has yet to receive a review below a five-star rating on its Better Business Bureau profile.

How We Chose the Best Solar Companies in Florida

There are a number of factors that differentiate the quality and benefits offered by different solar providers. These are some of the considerations we used to evaluate the best Florida solar companies.

Services Offered

Different solar companies may provide varying services. We understand that every customer has unique energy needs, so we tend to favor companies that offer a breadth of services and product options. Before speaking to a company, consider add-ons you may be interested in like backup solar batteries, panel monitoring services, home energy efficiency packages and electric vehicle chargers.

Installation Process

We checked out each company's solar installation process, but when doing your own due diligence and meeting with consultants from various solar companies, we recommend asking questions such as: What kind of customizations can you expect? Does the provider hire subcontractors or install with in-house technicians? How often will you be updated on the status of permits and other paperwork? These answers can further inform you on how knowledgeable the company is.

Coverage Areas

Florida is one of the most popular states for solar panels, so there are a lot of regional providers to choose from. You can narrow down your search by looking for the best solar installer near you. If you live in Miami, it doesn't do you much good to research a solar company that's active only in Jacksonville. The companies discussed in this article have wide service ranges, so you're more likely to find one that fits your needs.

Pricing and Financing

The initial cost of solar panel installation can be significant. Some solar companies are certainly more affordable than others, and you can also ask about solar financing options that are available through your installer. Some companies on our list, like Blue Raven Solar and Goldin Solar, focus their businesses on catering to customers who prioritize flexible financing.

Industry Affiliations

To guarantee that the renewable energy provider you select is reputable and has both the integrity and the expertise you require, we've assessed each company's status in the industry. The simplest way to do this is to check to see whether the company has North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) technicians or belongs to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) or other industry groups.

Types of Panels

To make sure you have a wide variety of options to choose from, our researchers looked into the types of panels and products our top Florida solar companies offer. If you're interested in learning more, during your consultation, don't hesitate to inquire about a company's tech portfolio and see if it is certified to install leading brands like Tesla, Enphase or Panasonic.

Rebates and Tax Credits

Most top solar providers give guidance navigating different savings opportunities you're eligible for. The reputable solar providers on this list offer assistance in applying for the federal solar tax credit and local incentives.

Warranty

Going solar is a big investment, but a warranty can help you trust that your system will work for decades. A lot of solar providers provide a 25-year warranty on their technology and workmanship, but you'll definitely want to ask about this on the front end.

Cost of Solar in Florida

We found the current cost of solar in Florida to be about $2.53 per watt. This means that, after the federal tax credit is applied, a 5-kW system would cost around $9,361 and a 10-kW system would cost around $18,722.

Floridians can also use the following incentives and solar tax exemptions to reduce costs:

Florida Solar Incentive Florida Solar Incentive Overview
Net Metering Net energy metering (NEM) credits solar panel owners for any excess electricity fed back to the energy grid. In Florida, Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light offer the best net metering programs.
Solar Sales
Tax Exemption
Florida offers exemptions from the 6% sales tax when you purchase a solar energy system.
Solar Property
Tax Exemption
Installing solar panels increases your property's value, but tax exemptions in Florida allow customers to avoid paying local property taxes on that added value.
Florida PACE
Loan Program
With the PACE program, loans are available to fund the cost of solar in certain areas, sometimes in full.

How to Find the Best Solar Installer in Florida

Given the high number of solar panel companies operating in Florida, it can be difficult to find one that stands out for your needs. This is why we advise readers to get quotes from several competing companies. Not only can you see the benefits each offers in its proposals, but you can secure the most competitive price available in the crowded Florida market.

To start getting free, no-obligation quotes from the best solar companies in Florida, fill out the 30-second form below.

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.

Best Solar Companies in New Jersey: 2021 Rankings & Reviews

What are the best solar installers in the Garden State?

Reviews
nattrass / E+ / Getty Images

New Jersey may not jump off the page as a top state for solar energy, but its attractive solar-related financial incentives have prompted over $10 billion in solar investments statewide. If you're a homeowner looking to take advantage of the many benefits of solar in the Garden State, read on to see our top 10 picks for the best solar companies in New Jersey.

Our Top Picks for New Jersey Solar Installers

  1. SunPower
  2. Green Power Energy
  3. New Jersey Solar Power
  4. Solar Energy World
  5. Impact Solar, LLC
  6. Green Sun Energy Services
  7. Trinity Solar
  8. PlugPV
  9. Cape Fear Solar Systems
  10. Solar Me

For many residents of New Jersey, the cost of solar is the biggest factor in choosing an installer. We recommend shopping around to get multiple quotes and comparing them to find the best installer for your home. To get started with free, no-pressure quotes from pre-screened solar panel companies in your area, fill out the form below.

10 Best Solar Companies in New Jersey

In a state with such effective solar incentives, it's important to choose a solar provider that knows the ins and outs of local energy policies. This way, you can make sure you get the most value out of your investment in solar. With this in mind, here are our choices for the best solar companies in New Jersey:

SunPower

SunPower

An industry leader for more than 30 years, SunPower's reputation for excellent customer care and all-in-one solar solutions earns it a top spot on our list. SunPower reviews praise the company's online design studio and virtual consultations, which provide customers with accurate designs and cost estimates.

Although it's a national provider, SunPower has Master Dealers in 17 states including New Jersey. The invitation-only Master Dealers program highlights installers that are rigorously selected by SunPower as its top brand representatives, so you can be confident you're getting a high-quality installation experience.

Green Power Energy

Green Power Energy

Green Power Energy operates in four states across the Northeast installing solar, storage, roofs and electric vehicle chargers. Built on core values of integrity, quality and reliability, Green Power Energy installed over 5,400 kW of solar throughout New Jersey in 2020. The company offers a variety of solar financing options, has a user-friendly installation process and maintains an excellent reputation within the industry and among its customers.

New Jersey Solar Power

New Jersey Solar Power

Predictably, New Jersey Solar Power provides solar energy solutions statewide. The team specializes in its expertise of New Jersey policies and incentives, making the process as smooth and profitable for New Jersey customers as possible. With $0-down financing options and some of the best solar panels available from LG and Panasonic, New Jersey Solar Power is sure to provide a transparent and reliable process from start to finish.

Solar Energy World

Solar Energy World

Maryland-based Solar Energy World continually ranks as one of the best solar energy installers in New Jersey and the greater Northeast region. Solar Energy World's mission is to provide people an affordable way to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels, and it's lived up to its goals as reflected by many happy customers and commendable efforts in corporate responsibility. If you focus your purchases on ethics and quality, Solar Energy World makes a fantastic option.

Impact Solar, LLC

Impact Solar

If you're looking for a brand highly trusted by local residents, Impact Solar may be the choice for you. Impact Solar's team and service area are a touch smaller than most other companies on this list, but it has over 35 years of experience working in several counties across New Jersey.

This means you can depend on the company's expert knowledge in both regional solar incentives and preventative maintenance methods like squirrel guards and snow or debris removal. Through its decades of installing systems in New Jersey, Impact Solar has maintained a stellar reputation among its peers and customers.

Green Sun Energy Services

Green Sun Energy Services

Supporting clients throughout Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Somerset, Mercer and Union Counties, this local New Jersey solar installer specializes in creating long-term value for its customers. Approaching solar as the financial investment that it is, Green Sun Energy focuses on solar financing as the cornerstone of a customer's eligibility and solar success. We also love its " Solar Hall of Shame," a hilarious page dedicated to ugly or poorly installed solar arrays from around the state.

Trinity Solar

Trinity Solar

Family-owned Trinity Solar is the largest privately held residential solar installation company in the nation, and it led the Garden State in total kW of residential solar installed in 2020. With over 65,000 solar projects under its belt, Trinity Solar is a safe bet for a positive solar experience. If your focus is to find an experienced company with a trusted track record of success, Trinity is one of the best solar companies in New Jersey.

PlugPV

PlugPV

Priding itself on quality workmanship, PlugPV solar is a small but high-impact team of experienced solar professionals in the Northeast. PlugPV boasts an impressive product portfolio including solar PV, backup solar batteries and EV chargers. Top brands like Tesla and Generac trust PlugPV to handle local installations, so you can trust it is a high-quality solar provider.

Cape Fear Solar Systems

Cape Fear Solar Systems

If you're looking for personalized service from a solar provider, Cape Fear Solar Systems is known for building lasting relationships with its customers. It has no plans of expanding beyond New Jersey's borders, and its highly localized approach has proven to be very successful — it installed nearly 5,000 kW of solar in the state in 2020 while maintaining a sparkling reputation.

Solar Me

Solar Me

Our final pick for best solar companies in New Jersey is Solar Me. This installer has brought the benefits of solar energy to thousands of happy customers across New Jersey. Offering QCell, Panasonic, LG, Hanwha, Enphase and SolarEdge technology and with technicians certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), Solar Me is an accredited and trusted installer more than capable of providing you with a solar solution to meet your energy needs.

Choosing the Best Solar Installer for Your Home

Now that you have an idea of some of the best solar New Jersey solar installers, you may be wondering how to narrow down which one is right for you. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when picking a solar energy company:

Services Offered

Of course, all solar companies can install solar panels on your roof. However, beyond this, there are a number of services you may be interested in. For example, do you want home energy monitoring, backup battery services, included routine maintenance or an EV charger installed with your panels? Some companies offer these services, and others do not.

Installation Process

Ask about the solar installation process during your initial consultation with a company. Be sure to get details about things like customization, whether a company uses subcontractors or in-house technicians and whether the company will be filing permits on your behalf. The answers you receive can help you gauge how knowledgeable and helpful your installer will be throughout the process.

Service Areas

With its effective incentive programs, New Jersey has become one of the best states for solar energy. As a result, many small local companies are breaking into the industry. One easy way to find the best solar installer near you is to use a zip code-specific quote tool, which will only show you results from your area.

Solar Costs and Financing

Cost, for many homeowners, is a deciding factor in the decision to hire one solar installer over another. We recommend comparing free quotes from a few companies and looking out for any available discounts. By getting multiple quotes, you may be able to save thousands of dollars on your installation — especially if the company you really want to work with has a price-match guarantee.

Another thing to consider is whether the company has the financing options you need, such as in-house solar loans or a solar leasing or power purchase agreement (PPA) program.

Solar Industry Affiliations

When choosing the best solar installer near you, look for certifications that show trustworthiness and a reputable status within the industry. For example, employing NABCEP-certified technicians or holding membership in the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) are good signs of a reliable company.

Types of Panels

In your search for the best solar company, it helps to familiarize yourself with the different types of panels and products you want. If you have a smaller roof, finding a company with high-efficiency panels may be a good idea. If you have a specific solar panel or energy storage system in mind, you'll also want to ensure you pick a company that's certified to install that brand.

Solar Incentives and Rebates

Make sure to ask your solar provider about any and all solar rebates, tax credits and incentives available in your area. Any of the best solar providers will offer assistance in applying for the federal solar tax credit and net metering, but some may have more expertise in how to take full advantage of solar rebates, tax credits or other incentives available in your area.

Warranty

Solar panels have an average lifespan of about 25, and it's important that your installer ensures your system will continue to work efficiently through the years. Many solar providers offer a 25-year technology and workmanship warranty, but some warranties can be shorter. Ask about this on the front end so you're not stuck with defective panels down the road.

Cost of Solar in New Jersey

Based on market research and data from top solar panel brands, we found the average current cost of solar in New Jersey to be around $2.77 per watt. Using this average, we can calculate that after applying the federal solar tax credit, a 5-kW solar panel system would cost around $10,249 and a 10-kW system would cost around $20,498.

Any of the best solar companies in New Jersey will be able to advise you on incentives and solar tax exemptions to reduce your overall project costs. However, it's a good idea to be familiar with these on your own, too. Here's a rundown of New Jersey solar incentives:

New Jersey Solar Incentive New Jersey Solar Incentive Overview
Net Metering New Jersey offers a robust net metering program that gives solar panel owners credits for the unused electricity generated by their panels. These credits can be used to pay for energy you pull from the grid at night.
Solar Sales
Tax Exemption
New Jersey residents do not have to pay the state's 6.625% sales tax on solar panels or other eligible solar equipment.
Solar Property
Tax Exemption
Installing solar panels boosts your property value in New Jersey, but the state doesn't require you to pay any additional taxes that would typically come with home add-ons.
Transition Renewable Energy Certificates (TRECs) TRECs allow homeowners to receive cash payments or utility bill credits for all renewable energy their panels generate.

Final Thoughts

If you're a New Jersey homeowner interested in solar, you're in luck. New Jersey has served as a model for most other states in its use of effective incentives to foster the growth of clean energy. But with solar's popularity in the state, it can be tough to sift through growing lists of providers looking to capitalize on the solar industry's growth.

This is why we recommend you get quotes from several competing New Jersey solar companies. Not only can you see what costs and benefits each will offer in its proposals, but you can ensure you receive the maximum value for your purchase. Solar is a significant investment, but one of the best you can make.

To start getting free quotes from the best solar companies in New Jersey, fill out the 30-second form below.

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.

EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.
Best Solar Companies in Texas: 2022 Rankings & Reviews

Looking for the best solar installers in the Lone Star state? Start your search here.

Reviews
Patrick Fraser / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Texas is one of the leading states for solar energy and has nearly 600 solar installers in the state — and counting. If you're trying to find the best solar companies in Texas, sifting through hundreds of options can be intimidating.

In this article, we'll narrow down 10 of the top Texas solar installers to make your decision a little easier. Read on for our reviews of each company, or get connected to a certified company near you right away by using this tool or filling out the free form below.

Our Picks for Top Texas Solar Installers

  • SunPower
  • Sunpro Solar
  • Longhorn Solar, Inc.
  • Solartime USA
  • Kosmos Solar
  • Sunshine Renewable Solutions
  • Alba Energy
  • Circle L Solar
  • Momentum Solar
  • Good Faith Energy
With so many Texas solar installers to choose from, the odds are good that you'll be able to find the best services for your energy needs at the best possible value. To get started with the process, let's jump into our 10 best solar companies in Texas.

Comparing the 10 Best Solar Installers in Texas

Continue reading to learn more about our rankings criteria and other important considerations when making your solar decision. Here's our picks for the 10 best solar energy companies in TX:

SunPower

SunPower logo

SunPower

Location: 50 states, including all of Texas

What We Like: SunPower is a leading solar energy company with some of the highest-efficiency solar panels in the business. We like SunPower's quality, comprehensive solar approach, virtual consultations, online design studio and all-in-one warranty.

What We Don't Like: SunPower's national range can make your project a little too dependent on the quality of your local SunPower installer.

What Customers Are Saying: "Very happy with their service, and my panels seem to be producing quite a bit even on semi-cloudy days. And very responsive customer service department, where your calls are answered quickly and by caring individuals." — Jane N. via the Better Business Bureau

SunPower at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 1985
  • Warranty: 25-year, all-inclusive warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan, solar lease and power purchase agreements (PPAs)
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries, electric vehicle chargers, energy monitoring and more
  • Learn More: SunPower Solar Review

Sunpro Solar

Sunpro logo

Sunpro

Location: 21 states, including all of Texas

What We Like: We recommend Sunpro for its outstanding customer service, industry-leading warranty and the ease of its consultation and design process.

What We Don't Like: Sunpro's size and expansion has led to a few customers who didn't feel their needs were met post-installation.

What Customers Are Saying: "The company installed my system as designed. From the time I met with the salesperson until install was about 5 weeks. It works perfectly and I haven't had an electric bill since." — Kelly S. via BBB

Sunpro at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2008
  • Warranty: 25-year, all-inclusive warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries, energy monitoring and more
  • Learn More: Sunpro Solar Review

Longhorn Solar

Longhorn Solar logo

Longhorn Solar

Location: Dallas, Austin and San Antonio

What We Like: Longhorn Solar is an award-winning company that's frequently touted as one of the best solar providers in the state. It has helped more than 2,000 Texans make the switch to solar.

What We Don't Like: There isn't much not to like about Longhorn Solar, besides the fact that they don't yet service all of Texas.

What Customers Are Saying: "Even though we have had our panels for four years, we continue to get the absolute best service from them — they follow up on our system and check in every so often to make sure we are still happy… It's been a great experience, and a lot of our neighbors have also used them for their service, dependability and fair pricing." — Yunny D. via Yelp

Longhorn Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Warranty: 25-year installation and performance warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries and more

Solartime USA

Solartime USA logo

Solartime USA

Location: Dallas area

What We Like: We like Solartime USA's customized solar energy solutions for residential projects, and its portfolio of online reviews attesting to its first-rate customer service.

What We Don't Like: A minor complaint, but we would like to see Solartime USA install Tesla solar products.

What Customers Are Saying: "I hired Solartime USA to install solar panels and inverters on my house last December. They were very professional. There were some issues due to it being the end of the year and supply chain problems, but Solartime was able to resolve them and get my panels installed to my satisfaction." — William J. via BBB

Solartime USA at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Warranty: 25-year product and labor warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan, solar lease
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries, generators, solar carports and more

Kosmos Solar

Kosmos Solar logo

Kosmos Solar

Location: North Texas, based in Dallas-Fort Worth

What We Like: Kosmos Solar offers high-quality products, custom solar designs and award-winning personal service. Plus, its website offers helpful solar educational resources that may guide you in determining if going solar is worth it for your home.

What We Don't Like: Though it doesn't look like Kosmos customers run into system issues very often, Kosmos Solar does not offer warranties separate from what's included from the equipment manufacturer.

What Customers Are Saying: "I've had panels installed by Kosmos Solar for over a year now, and I can proudly say that I have yet to have an electrical bill. It feels really good knowing my panels produced what Kosmos told me to expect." — Armando Nargi via Google Reviews

Kosmos Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2016
  • Warranty: Product-specific manufacturing warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan, solar lease
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries, EV chargers and more

Sunshine Renewable Solutions

Sunshine Renewable Solutions logo

Sunshine Renewable Solutions

Location: Houston, Austin, Dallas, Amarillo, San Antonio and El Paso

What We Like: Sunshine Renewable Solutions is consistently ranked as a top residential solar installer in the state with hundreds of happy customer reviews. With the apt slogan "our solar system revolves around you," we recommend this company for customers looking for a little more attention than the larger chains can offer.

What We Don't Like: Sunshine Renewable Solutions maintains an excellent reputation among its customers, but we usually like to see companies that have been in business a little longer.

What Customers Are Saying: "Great experience throughout the entire process! Was connected with them through the Spring Branch Solar Coop (arranged by Solar United Neighbors), so they were vetted by a committee and offered great pricing. Highly recommended!" — Bing Yao via Google Reviews

Sunshine Renewable Solutions at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2017
  • Warranty: 30-year workmanship warranty, product-specific manufacturing warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan
  • Services Provided: Solar panels and backup battery installations

Alba Energy

Alba Energy logo

Alba Energy

Location: Austin, Houston, Dallas, McAllen and San Antonio

What We Like: Alba offers a wealth of information about solar panel systems and solar solutions, including solar calculators to help you tabulate your potential energy savings. Getting a firm idea of the costs and production expectations is one of the best ways to approach solar, and Alba understands that.

What We Don't Like: We'd like to see Alba Energy place more emphasis on energy efficiency along with solar installations.

What Customers Are Saying: "What a great experience. Professional from start to finish. The folks at Alba did virtually all the paperwork and the install was flawless. Besides professional, they are courteous, friendly and responsive. Highly recommend!" — Bill Steele via Google Reviews

Alba Energy at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2013
  • Warranty: 10-year workmanship warranty, product-specific manufacturing warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan
  • Services Provided: Solar panels and backup battery installations

Circle L Solar

\u200bCircle L Solar logo

Circle L Solar

Location: Dallas-Fort Worth area

What We Like: Setting out to help homeowners save on energy through eco-friendly and sustainable solutions, Circle L offers more than just solar. Circle L Solar also showcases a number of services that can help you upgrade your home's efficiency, including energy audits, windows, weatherization services, energy-efficient lighting and more.

What We Don't Like: Circle L doesn't offer very much information about warranties or local incentives available in its service area.

What Customers Are Saying: "After installation, we noticed that the quantity of energy produced was not what we were promised by the [sales representative] … Circle L stood by their word. They researched it, figured out how many more panels we needed to meet the promised production and installed them at no cost to us!" — Stefania Caldwell via Google Reviews

Circle L Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2014
  • Warranty: Product-specific manufacturing warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup battery installations, energy efficiency upgrades, weatherization and more

Momentum Solar

Momentum Solar logo

Momentum Solar

Location: State of Texas

What We Like: Momentum Solar is one of the fastest-growing residential solar companies out there, prioritizing its service in areas with effective net metering programs and other solar rebates and incentives. Momentum's modern approach and early success even earned it a spot among our national top solar companies.

What We Don't Like: Momentum Solar has experienced some growing pains during its expansion, resulting in a few unsatisfied customers. Overall sentiment has improved as the company has refined its practices.

What Customers Are Saying: "Momentum Solar is a very professional company. From sales to installation, everything went smoothly. The well trained install crew finished everything in less than a day. I am very happy with the whole process and look forward to the benefits of lower electricity costs." Howard L. via BBB

Momentum Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Warranty: 25-year equipment and workmanship warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan, solar leases and PPAs
  • Services Provided: Solar panel and backup battery installations

Good Faith Energy

Good Faith Energy logo

Good Faith Energy

Location: State of Texas

What We Like: Offering the entire Tesla solar ecosystem, Good Faith Energy installs Tesla panels, solar roofs, Powerwalls, EV chargers and connectors. With absolutely sparkling reviews from hundreds of its customers, Good Faith Energy has cemented itself as one of the best Texas solar installers of Tesla products and beyond.

What We Don't Like: Good Faith Energy doesn't have a ton of information on its website to help inform consumers about its installation process, but it does link out to some third-party resources about solar energy.

What Customers Are Saying: "I've had my solar for over a year now. It was the absolute best improvement we have ever made to the house. The process from design, permitting, construction and finally to [using the system] was seamless." — Joseph & Rita Strub via Google Reviews

Good Faith Energy Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2014
  • Warranty: 25-year product-specific warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loans
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup battery installations and energy efficiency upgrades

How We Chose the Best Solar Companies in Texas

If you're curious what we consider when choosing the best solar companies in Texas, you can visit our solar methodology page. We rate installers based on factors such as reputation, costs and financing, services offered, ease of installation process and customer experience.

Choosing the Best Solar Installer for Your Home

When evaluating which Texas solar installer is best for you, we advise considering the following:

Services Offered

The breadth, quality and relevance of services offered is an important factor in determining the best Texas solar installer for your needs. When you're considering solar companies, think about specific features or add-ons you may want, such as energy efficiency packages, solar financing, EV chargers or backup batteries.

Installation Process

Unsurprisingly, the ease and quality of the installation process itself is a main determinant of the best solar companies in Texas. Companies with more resources (like SunPower) may have easier installation processes than a local company. When speaking with solar representatives, we encourage you to ask what the installation process involves.

Steer clear of companies that hire subcontractors to carry out the installations, lack knowledge of local net metering and have bad customer reviews online. Most bad reviews come from snags during or after the installation.

Pricing and Financing

Though solar can provide clear long-term savings, the initial cost of solar panel installation can be significant and is often a deterrent for customers. Many solar panel companies now offer more flexible financing options than ever, however, determined to help you find a way to confidently navigate the finances of solar.

Industry Affiliations

To make sure that the renewable energy provider you select is trusted within the industry, we recommend checking for a few key certifications. These include whether the company has technicians certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it belongs to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) or other industry groups.

Types of Panels

If it weren't clear by now, different companies offer different types of products. Panels, inverters, batteries and chargers all vary in their cost, quality, ethics and warranty. This is why we advise that you focus on companies that are certified to sell and install products from manufacturers with proven track records of quality and reliability.

Warranty

Going solar is a big investment, but a warranty can help you trust that your system functions as expected for decades. Most of the best solar companies in Texas provide warranties on their technology and workmanship for 25 years or more, but you'll definitely want to ask about this on the front end.

Cost of Solar in Texas

Based on market research and data from top solar panel brands, we found the average current cost of solar in Texas to be around $2.69 per watt. Using this average, we can calculate that after applying the federal solar tax credit, a 5-kW solar panel system would cost around $9,953 and a 10-kW system would cost around $19,906.

Any of the best solar companies in Texas should advise you on incentives and solar tax exemptions to reduce your overall project costs. In Texas, expertise in local incentives will be paramount to your choice, since the tax structure is so decentralized. Most incentives operate on a city or utility-specific basis, so we encourage you to check the DSIRE database to familiarize yourself with what's available in your area.

Here's a rundown of Texas solar incentives:

Texas Solar Incentive

Texas Solar Incentive Overview

Net Metering

Texas offers a robust net metering program that gives solar panel owners credits for the unused electricity generated by their panels. These credits can be used to pay for energy you pull from the grid at night.

Solar Sales Tax Exemption

Texas residents do not have to pay the state's 6.25% sales tax on solar panels or other eligible solar equipment.

Solar Property Tax Exemption

Installing solar panels boosts your property value in Texas, but the state doesn't require you to pay any additional taxes that would typically come with home add-ons.

You can learn more in our article covering solar incentives in Texas.

How to Find the Best Solar Installer in Texas

With Texas' massive energy needs continuing to rise, solar energy is poised to be a big part of the Lone Star state's future. We expect government policy to continue to direct more investment toward renewable energy sources like wind and solar throughout the state. These incentives will likely continue to be led by cities or specific utilities, so in Texas, we place extra emphasis on finding a solar company with proven expertise in local tax structures and policies.

We recommend getting quotes from a handful of installers. With competing offers, you can potentially find thousands of dollars worth of value while expanding your knowledge of the solar incentives available to you. To start getting free quotes from the best solar companies in Texas, use this tool or fill out the 30-second form below.

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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Can You Go Off-Grid With a Solar Energy System? (2022)

We discuss benefits, shortcomings and what you'll need to go off-grid.

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Photo by Alex Bierwagen on Unsplash

I think I speak for everyone here at EcoWatch when I say I've dreamt of living off the grid. Imagine being completely self-sufficient, impact-free and unrestricted by society at large. Even if this thought hasn't crossed your mind, I imagine going off-grid interests those plagued by high energy costs, or those building their own cabin, shed or other DIY solar project.

The way we generate and use energy has shifted dramatically over the last decade. With solar panels and battery storage technology advancing as quickly as it has, the discussion around off-grid living has become much more complex. What does living off the grid mean? Can you go off-grid with solar? Is it legal?

It's not quite as simple as just flipping your breaker panels off, as there are safety concerns, legal considerations and greedy energy corporations to take into account. Let's dig in.

What Does Going Off-Grid Mean?

In theory, living off-grid means you live independently from public utilities, meeting 100% of your own energy needs on-site. Most commonly, this is achieved using solar energy.

Public utilities are the companies that supply you with the energy, water, gas or other services you use in your home every day. The public infrastructure supporting these utilities has been in place for hundreds of years, and it encompasses the production, transportation and distribution of energy throughout a region or community. Any adjustments to this infrastructure require permitting and inspections (and often fees) so that the rest of the grid stays stable and safe.

But now that so many localized renewable energy options are available, people are realizing we can decentralize the power grid. This would eliminate a great deal of public costs — both financial and environmental — surrounding energy and infrastructure. In this article, we'll approach going off the grid from a big-picture perspective, but off-grid living can also mean something more simple, such as independently powering a cabin, shed or vacation home.

Is it Legal to Live Off-Grid?

This is where the conversation gets interesting. Public opinion differs on the legality surrounding off-grid living. In most cases, living off the grid as we know it is done in rural areas more out of necessity than choice. Within more densely populated areas, many jurisdictions require their residents to adhere to local building codes and zoning restrictions, both for safety and for public image.

As a result, you may be legally required to maintain a connection to your city's power grid or sewer systems. Failure to comply with these local ordinances can result in fines or seizure of land or property.

Before renewable energy generation became possible for individual homes, there was really no reason to want to be disconnected from your local utilities. But now that homeowners are capable of generating their own electricity, will the legality of off-grid living change?

Homes with modern solar technologies and solar battery systems are likely to meet all the legal requirements to operate safely and reasonably without connection to outside power sources. With public opinion about outdated utilities beginning to sour, we may start to see modern off-grid living become more widely accepted.

Even if it is already legal to live off-grid in your state or area, remember you'll have to file for the proper permits and inspections before you can completely cut the cord. If you're looking into living off-grid, we advise you to consult your state, city or county to learn about any legal restrictions, permits or fees.

For the sake of discussion, let's proceed on the assumption that you are legally allowed to live disconnected from your public utilities and you've secured any necessary permits to do so.

What Do You Need To Live Off-Grid?

What makes going off-grid unfeasible for some is that their homes weren't built with self-sufficiency in mind. Meeting all of your energy needs on-site necessitates smart planning — energy efficiency, an unobstructed south-facing roof, good insulation and more. The needs of living efficiently go far beyond the question "how many solar panels do I need to live off-grid?" (though that's a valid thing to ask as well).

Solar Panels

Let's say you have a nice south-facing roof that's perfect for a solar array. Even if you packed that roof to the gills with solar panels, you'd still only be able to use that energy while the sun is shining, and the majority of it would actually go to waste.

Energy Storage

This is where backup batteries come into play. The concept is simple: You connect batteries to your home's solar panels that store the excess energy they generate during the day. This allows you to spread out the usage of the energy your panels generate.

But how many batteries do you need to be completely self-sufficient? Even with a battery as powerful as the Tesla Powerwall, most averaged-size homes need at least two batteries to reliably store all the energy necessary to keep a home powered off-grid. (For context, Tesla Powerwalls are about $10,000 each.) If your home is on the smaller side or your energy use is low to begin with, you may be able to get by on a smaller battery closer to $5,000.

Energy Efficiency

Designing or retrofitting a home to be energy efficient can sometimes save homeowners just as much as installing solar panels. If you're designing an off-grid project, prioritize energy-efficient lighting and other appliances to minimize the number of solar panels you need to power your property.

Other Solar Equipment

In addition to panels, batteries and efficient appliances, homes with solar and storage require wiring, charge controllers, inverters, mounting and safety equipment. Most of these can be provided by any solar company (if you're hiring someone to install your system), but if you're set on a DIY solar project, you'll need to acquire all of the above.

Pros and Cons of Going Off-Grid With Solar

Of course, there are a few pros and cons of solar energy to consider when deciding whether to go off the grid.

Pros include:

  • Saving money: With the costs of solar and storage as low as they currently are, most homeowners can save tens of thousands of dollars when they generate their own energy instead of relying on public utilities.
  • Avoiding utility fees: As outdated utilities struggle to make money, many add fees to the bills of customers who install solar on their properties. If you're not part of the power grid, you can avoid these fees.
  • Lowering your impact: Generating your energy with solar, whether on or off the grid, offsets the harmful effects of generating and distributing conventional electricity.
  • Increasing your independence: Living with solar allows you to take control of your energy use. With energy independence, you can more accurately predict your energy use and energy costs and free yourself from rising utility rates.

Cons of going off-grid with solar include:

  • You don't have a backup: To live reliably off-grid, you generally require a system that can provide three to four days' worth of electricity in case of long stretches of cloudy days, changes in your energy use or extreme weather events. Retaining a connection to the grid can provide some peace of mind that you'll never be left in the dark when things don't go as planned.
  • You may pay unnecessary expenses: As mentioned, when living off-grid, you need to ensure your maximum energy use is covered rather than your average energy use. This can make the process more expensive than maintaining a grid-tied system would be.
  • Utilities are always changing: Before saying goodbye to your power company, remember that people can change! Though the changes are coming slower than many may prefer, utilities are shifting toward generating clean energy with a localized approach, which will reduce costs, emissions and power outages in the future.

Final Thoughts

Electrical systems around the world are undergoing rapid changes as we confront the climate crisis and expand our infrastructure. Going off-grid may seem like a satisfying idea, but in reality, it may be too complex for projects larger than a small cabin or shed.

Sooner than seeing homeowners going fully off-grid, we hope to see more promotion of decentralized energy generation through things like:

  • Partial grid-reliance via solar: The most common solar option, partial-grid reliance keeps you connected to the grid — but you meet most of your energy needs with solar and storage anyway.
  • Community solar initiatives: You can join a community solar project by purchasing a share or by paying a subscription. The electricity production that corresponds to your ownership percentage or subscription level will be measured and subtracted from your power bills each month.
  • Smart grids and microgrids: Large apartment complexes or commercial buildings can operate on their own microgrids, capable of disconnecting from the main local grid during an outage and powering themselves via solar and stored energy.

The benefits of a decentralized clean energy system are many: reliability, lower costs, more autonomy and decreased emissions. Every home that installs solar lowers the strain on public infrastructure, which in turns lowers bills and promotes stability in the rest of the community.

So, what's the moral of the story? Keep things local, and only go off-grid if you have to.

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.