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Broadly speaking, state governments have led the way in implementing renewable energy policies in the U.S., and a couple of states have always been at the forefront of these efforts. Despite not having the vast land of California or the year-round sun of Arizona, the availability of a Massachusetts solar tax credit has long been a reason that this New England state is a top state for solar energy installations.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Massachusetts is currently eighth in the country for solar energy installations, which is especially impressive given how small the state is geographically compared with many of the states it's outranking. For residents, the availability of Massachusetts solar rebates and incentives has made solar energy an appealing and logical option, and in offering such opportunities, the Massachusetts government has set a great example for the rest of the country.

If you live in Massachusetts and are wondering how much a solar panel system would cost for your home, you can get a free quote from a certified solar installer near you by using this tool or filling out the form below.

Massachusetts Solar Tax Credit

The most appealing Massachusetts solar tax credit available is the Personal Income Tax Credit, otherwise known as the Residential Renewable Energy Income Tax Credit. Massachusetts residents who purchase home solar energy systems are eligible for a tax credit on their income tax filing that totals 15% of the cost of the solar system (up to a maximum tax credit of $1,000).

Massachusetts implemented this tax credit back in 2016, and the direct impact is bringing down the cost of solar panels for homeowners. This serves as a hefty incentive to adopt solar power or another renewable energy system. The impact has been steady and notable, which is no doubt a reason that solar installers have seen such demand across the state of Massachusetts.

Other Massachusetts Solar Incentives

While the Massachusetts solar tax credit has been the most heralded and impactful of the solar incentives available in the state, residents of Massachusetts have several additional opportunities to take advantage. The following programs and policies make the decision to go solar even more financially savvy.

Massachusetts Solar Rebates and Incentives

Description

Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program

Customers who install approved solar systems can get direct compensation for every kilowatt-hour generated by their system.

Massachusetts Solar Tax Exemptions

Massachusetts does not collect sales tax on solar systems and omits the value of solar systems from property value assessments for tax purposes.

Massachusetts Net Metering Program

Homes and businesses are paid per kilowatt-hour for all excess electricity they generate and send back to the central power grid.

Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program

The goal of the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program is to offer direct incentives for both residential and commercial solar energy systems that are tied to one of three investor-owned utility grids in the state: Eversource, National Grid and Unitil.

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources instituted this program in late 2018 and it directly pays the owners of solar systems for all power generated by their systems for 10 years.

The specifics of how much a customer gets paid varies based on their utility provider and the size of their system, but the payouts range from $0.22 per kilowatt-hour produced all the way up to $0.34 per kWh. Further, the SMART program has added provisions for higher payouts if a battery storage system is added. While many solar systems can already pay for themselves via reduced energy bills in less than a decade, the additional incentives offered by the SMART program can nearly cut the solar payback period in half.

Massachusetts Solar Tax Exemptions

Direct tax exemptions are another way that the state of Massachusetts seeks to ensure that the cost of solar panels is not preventing residents from investing. Most products in the state will have a standard sales tax of 6.25% applied at the point of sale, but Massachusetts would rather the tax not be collected if it would deter any additional homes from investing in solar. As a result, solar energy systems are exempt from sales tax.

Another solar tax exemption offered to owners of systems in Massachusetts is the property tax exemption. For any typical home upgrade — such as an extension to a house, a new pool, or otherwise — the property will get inspected, and the value of the home is reassessed so taxes can be paid on the full value of the home. While solar energy systems increase the value of a home and how much it can sell for, the state of Massachusetts opts to not include the value of the solar system when assessing the total amount at which the property should be taxed.

Massachusetts Net Metering Program

Lastly, Massachusetts is ahead of the curve when it comes to net metering as a benefit allowed for owners of solar systems. Through net metering, properties that are generating electricity, whether through solar panels or otherwise, can be compensated for sending excess power that they don't need in a given moment back into the grid.

For example, the peak time to generate solar power is mid-afternoon, but if a home is empty during those hours because its residents are at school or work, it's likely that all of that energy will not be used. In such an instance, the home can send power to the local grid to be used by other people in the service area, and thanks to net metering policies in Massachusetts, the owners of those solar systems are compensated at the same price they pay when consuming power from the grid.

When done optimally, such net metering policies can nearly wipe out an entire power bill for efficient homes operating with solar.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

While Massachusetts is going out of its way to offer tax incentives and rebates to potential solar customers, these projects are eligible for the relevant federal solar tax credit as well. In fact, the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the most commonly utilized tax credit for new solar projects and has been for a number of years.

For eligible customers and solar systems, the ITC allows 26% of the cost of solar systems to be claimed as a credit against federal tax returns, provided those systems are operational before December 31, 2022. For systems placed into service in 2023, the tax credit is 22% of the total system cost. As the code is currently written, there is no ITC for solar systems installed after 2023, though clean energy advocates and pro-solar politicians are seeking to extend the federal solar tax credit in the future.

FAQ: Massachusetts Solar Incentives

Does Massachusetts have a solar tax credit?

Massachusetts has a solar tax credit called the Residential Renewable Energy Income Tax Credit. Homeowners can claim this credit on their state tax filing, and it's worth 15% of the cost of the solar system (up to a maximum tax credit of $1,000). All Massachusetts installations are also eligible for the federal investment tax credit (ITC).

Is it worth going solar in Massachusetts?

Yes, Massachusetts offers numerous financial incentives that help the already profitable endeavor of installing solar energy to be even better for the budget in the long run. With properly planned and installed solar systems, many in Massachusetts can expect their payback period to be just a couple of years, though you should consult with an expert about your exact situation for any unique aspects of your potential solar system.

Can you get free solar in Massachusetts?

Solar energy systems will always come with some level of upfront costs, though many opportunities exist for financing (including on-bill financing) that bring the initial capital required down to a manageable and accessible level for residents across Massachusetts. Once systems are installed, the reduced energy bills, the availability of net metering, and potential participation in the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program will all pay back the initial investment and the bulk of the solar system's life will represent profit.

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Massachusetts?

The specific costs will vary based on the size of the system and how well suited the potential location is to solar installations. That said, our research shows that the average cost paid in Massachusetts is $2.94 per watt for solar system installations, slightly higher than the nationwide average of $2.66 per watt.

To see how much a solar system would cost for your home, specifically, you can use this tool or fill out the form below to get a free, no-obligation quote from a certified solar installer near you.

2022 New Jersey Solar Tax Credits, Incentives & Rebates

See what kind of financial incentives are available for Garden State homeowners who go solar.

Reviews
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If you're looking for information about New Jersey solar tax credit and incentive programs, you've come to the right place. According to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), electricity prices in New Jersey are about 30% higher than the U.S. average. However, this also means that the kilowatt-hours produced by solar panels will save you about 30% more, and the state offers many financial incentives that improve your return on investment.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports that by the end of Q2 2021, New Jersey had an installed solar capacity of 3,739 MW, which is enough to meet the electricity needs of over 579,000 homes. The NJ solar industry has already received over $11 billion in total investment, and there are 470 solar companies providing more than 5,300 jobs in the state.

New Jersey gets modest sunshine compared to states like Texas and California, but it has favorable laws and incentives for solar power. This has helped the Garden State become one of the best states for solar in the nation.

In this article, we'll take a look at the full array of New Jersey solar incentives. If you'd like to see right away how much a solar installation would cost for your home, you can use this tool or fill out the form below to get a free, no-obligation quote from a pre-screened New Jersey installer.

New Jersey Solar Tax Credits and Solar Rebates

When you consider New Jersey solar incentives and electricity prices, it's possible to get a solar payback period of less than six years. This is great for an investment that has a service life of 25 years or more and is covered by manufacturer warranties for the majority of that period. The following chart summarizes all the benefits available when going solar in New Jersey:

New Jersey Solar Incentive

Program Overview

New Jersey Net Metering Programs

Net metering is required by law in NJ, which means you get credits for surplus solar energy that gets exported to the grid. These credits can be used to pay power bills.

Transition Renewable Energy Certificates

You earn one TREC for every 1,000 kWh generated by your solar panels, and each TREC sells for $91.20 (as of November 2021).

New Jersey Solar Tax Exemptions

Solar panels are exempt from the 7% sales tax in NJ, and your home value increase after installing solar is exempt from property taxes.

Local Incentives

Additional incentives and low-interest financing programs may be available, depending on where you live in New Jersey.

New Jersey Net Metering Programs

Net metering is a simple concept, and it makes solar power much more valuable for homes. When your solar panels are producing more electricity than what your home is consuming, the difference gets fed back into the grid. Thanks to New Jersey's net metering regulations, electricity providers must give you full retail value credit for surplus solar energy, which gets subtracted from your electric bills.

  • As a quick example, assume your solar panel system produces 1,000 kWh of energy during a month, but you only consume 600 kWh. The other 400 kWh is exported to the grid.
  • Thanks to net metering, you'll receive the full value of that 400 kWh. In states without this benefit, electricity companies decide how to compensate you for surplus solar power, and many of them only give partial credit.

Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) and PSE&G currently have the two largest net metering programs in New Jersey. If there is a month where your solar generation is higher than your electricity consumption, credits are rolled over to the next billing period. Once per year, accumulated credits in your favor are compensated at wholesale price (not retail price) and the balance resets to zero.

Transition Renewable Energy Certificates

In New Jersey, solar panels not only give you power bill savings. You can also accumulate Transition Renewable Energy Certificates based on how much electricity is generated.

  • For every megawatt-hour (1,000 kWh) of solar generation, you get one TREC.
  • Electric utilities and other companies with a legal obligation to support renewable energy will purchase TRECs as part of their compliance efforts.
  • As of November 2021, each TREC sells for $91.20.

If a solar energy system in New Jersey produces over 10,000 kWh per year, you get an additional 10 TRECs. With an electricity tariff of 16 cents/kWh, you would save $1,600 per year. However, you also get $912 for the 10 TRECs, and your total economic benefit is $2,512 per year.

New Jersey Solar Tax Exemptions

There are two main tax incentives for New Jersey homeowners going solar: a property tax exemption and state sales tax exemption.

  • Solar panels are exempt from increased property taxes. If a home has an assessed property value of $400,000, and solar panels increase this to $420,000, the owner will still be taxed on $400,000.
  • Solar panels are exempt from New Jersey's 7% sales tax, which immediately makes them more affordable. For example, if the sales price of your home solar system is $15,000, you're saving $1,050 right away.

Solar Rebates and Other Local Incentives

In addition to the incentive programs described above, additional benefits such as solar rebates may be available in some New Jersey municipalities. Before installing solar panels, make sure you're not missing out on any incentives available in your area.

New Jersey has also enacted laws that enable PACE financing in the state. PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy, and these programs give you low-interest loans for solar panels and other clean energy upgrades. As of the end of 2021, there are a few PACE programs under development in New Jersey, but the options are still limited.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

The 26% federal solar tax credit is a nationwide benefit, and you can combine it with New Jersey solar incentives to improve your ROI. The official name of this incentive is the Investment Tax Credit or ITC. The credit is set to reduce to 22% in 2023 and will not be continued thereafter unless Congress approves an extension.

You can read our federal solar tax credit guide for more information on how this credit works.

Any top solar company will be able to help you identify and apply for financial incentives available in your area. To get connected to a certified installer near you, you can use this tool or fill out the form below.

FAQ: New Jersey Solar Incentives

Is solar really free in NJ?

No, New Jersey doesn't have any official programs that offer free solar panels. However, solar panels can achieve a payback period of fewer than six years in the state, while lasting for 25 years or more. In other words, you have free electricity for many years after recovering your initial investment.

With a low-interest loan, you can go solar for $0 upfront, then use electricity savings to pay off the loan. Strictly speaking, this doesn't make solar panels free, but they are essentially paying for themselves.

Is solar good in New Jersey?

Yes, solar is good in New Jersey. New Jersey has above-average electricity prices and many incentive programs for solar power, and this improves your return on investment when going solar. Although there are sunnier places in the U.S., New Jersey gets enough sunshine to make solar panels cost-effective.

Can you sell power back to the grid in NJ?

Yes, you sell power back to the grid in NJ. New Jersey has one of the best net metering programs in the U.S., where you get full credit for solar electricity that gets exported to the grid. Unused credit can be rolled over to the next month, and you get paid for accumulated credit once per year.

All electricity sent to the grid is credited at retail price, except for accumulated annual credits, which are paid at wholesale prices (the price paid by electricity providers when purchasing energy from power generators).

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.
2022 North Carolina Solar Tax Credits, Incentives & More

We break down solar incentives available in the Tar Heel State.

Renewable Energy
Eloi_Omella / Getty Images

North Carolina consistently ranks among the top states for solar energy, but what kinds of incentives are residents able to take advantage of to lower the cost of going solar? In this article, we’ll provide an overview of all North Carolina solar tax credit, rebate and other incentive opportunities available to homeowners, which have contributed to the local growth of clean energy.

The SEIA gathers detailed information about the solar industry in each state, and the outlook for North Carolina is very promising. According to the latest SEIA data, the state has over 7,200 megawatts of solar capacity, which is enough to power more than 846,000 homes. The accumulated investment in North Carolina’s solar industry now exceeds $9.8 billion, with more than 6,100 jobs created so far.

North Carolina has enacted favorable legislation for solar power. There is a net metering policy, which ensures you get full credit when exporting surplus solar energy to the grid. There is also a law that enables low-interest green energy loans from county and city governments. Let’s dig in.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on for and is not intended to provide accounting, legal or tax advice.

North Carolina Solar Incentives

Although there are sunnier regions in the U.S., the Global Solar Atlas shows North Carolina gets decent sunshine. The state also offers several incentive programs that improve your return on investment when going solar.

North Carolina Solar Incentive

Program Overview

Property Tax Abatement for Solar Electric Systems

North Carolina does not tax you for the increase in property value after installing solar panels.

North Carolina Net Metering Policy

Surplus electricity from your home solar system is credited at retail price on your next power bill.

Duke Energy Solar Rebate

Duke Energy customers can qualify for a cash incentive when installing a solar panel system.

Local Option - Financing Program for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

North Carolina has a law that enables revolving loan programs from cities and counties, with a maximum interest rate of 8% and a maximum term of 20 years.

Local Incentives

Additional incentives may be available from your county, city or utility company.

We'll go into detail about each North Carolina solar incentive below, but if you haven't already, we recommend getting a free quote from a certified installer in your area to see exactly how much these tax credits and rebates could save you. To get started, you can use this tool or fill out the following form:

North Carolina Solar Tax Incentives

North Carolina has offered a property tax exemption for solar panels and solar thermal electric systems since 2008. These systems increase the value of your property, like any other home upgrade, but NC does not tax you for that increase. For example, if solar panels increase the value of a home from $270,000 to $300,000, the owner will still be taxed for a $270,000 home.

This benefit is also available for solar power systems owned by commercial, industrial and agricultural energy users. However, in these cases, the property tax exemption applies for 80% of the system’s value, instead of the 100% exemption available for homeowners.

Net Metering in North Carolina

North Carolina offers net metering for solar power systems up to 1,000 kW of capacity, which covers all residential systems and many industrial and commercial solar systems. However, leased solar systems have a much lower limit for net metering: 20 kW or 100% of estimated demand, whichever is less.

Surplus electricity from your solar panels is credited on your next bill, which means you save the full value of the kilowatt-hours that get exported to the grid. However, your accumulated balance expires at the start of the summer billing period. Having an optimally sized solar power system is recommended, since an oversized system generates electricity that you can never subtract from your bills.

Duke Energy Solar Rebate

If you’re a Duke Energy customer who plans to install solar panels, you may qualify for the utility company’s North Carolina Solar Rebate Program. The available funding for 2021 ran out very quickly, but you can join a waiting list for when the program reopens in 2022. The incentive per kilowatt changes depending on the type of customer, but the program website lists the following rates as of November 2021:

  • Residential customer: $400 per kW, maximum system size of 10 kW ($4,000)
  • Non-residential customer: $300 per kW, maximum system size of 100 kW ($30,000)
  • Nonprofit organization: $750 per kW, maximum system size of 100 kW ($75,000)

Keep in mind that incentive programs managed by energy companies tend to change frequently, and their funding per year is limited. If you’re interested in the Duke Energy rebate, check the company’s website regularly so you don’t miss any updates.

NC Financing Program for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

In North Carolina, city and county governments are legally authorized to offer low-interest loans for solar PV systems in homes and businesses. The loan program also covers other renewable energy technologies like geothermal heat pumps, wind turbines and biomass power.

The maximum interest rate of these revolving loans is 8%, and the maximum term is 20 years. This gives you the option of installing a solar panel system with loaned capital, then using your electricity savings to pay it back over time. This means your out-of-pocket cost is reduced to zero, and your solar power system can cover its own cost with the savings achieved.

Local Incentives

We have listed the main solar incentives available in North Carolina, but keep in mind that additional benefits may be available depending on where you live.

For example, the City of Asheville offers building permit rebates for homeowners and businesses who use solar panels and other green energy technologies. This North Carolina solar rebate changes depending on the technology used; in the case of solar panels, there is a $50 rebate on your building permit application.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

The federal solar tax credit is not a North Carolina incentive, strictly speaking, since you can claim it anywhere in the U.S. However, we mention this benefit here because you can combine it with local incentives.

  • If you install a solar power system before the end of 2022, you can claim 26% of its value as a federal tax credit.
  • The benefit will remain available in 2023, but it will be reduced to 22%.
  • After the start of 2024, there will only be a 10% federal solar tax credit for businesses and 0% for homes.

FAQ: North Carolina Solar Incentives

Does North Carolina have a solar tax credit?

No, there is no specific North Carolina solar tax credit. However, you can still claim the 26% federal tax credit.

Is it worth going solar in North Carolina?

It depends on your unique situation, but in general, it’s worth going solar in North Carolina. The state offers a combination of incentives that reduce your ownership costs and decent sunshine that makes solar panels productive. Solar panels last for more than 25 years if they’re of high quality, and you can achieve a payback period of less than 10 years in North Carolina.

Does solar increase property taxes in North Carolina?

No, there is a 100% property tax exemption for residential solar systems. Your home becomes more valuable, but your property taxes are not raised. Solar power systems owned by businesses get an 80% property tax exemption.

What is the 26% tax credit for solar?

In a few words, for every dollar invested in a solar power system, you can claim 26 cents on your next tax declaration. For example, if you purchase a 6-kW home solar system for $18,000, you can claim a tax credit of $4,680 (26% of $18,000).

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.

Trending

In 2021, a record number of homeowners upgraded their properties with clean energy sources, with the best solar companies in the industry installing panels on hundreds of thousands of homes.

What's more, solar installations in the U.S. are forecasted to quadruple from current levels by 2030, as more and more homeowners are learning that it's possible to reduce their environmental impact while offsetting their energy bills with solar panels.

If you're interested in adopting solar energy, finding the right company for you can be intimidating. However, we're here to help. In this article, we'll help you take the first step in narrowing down the top solar companies to consider when installing a household solar energy system.

Top Solar Companies of 2022 at a Glance

Best Solar Installers:

Top Solar CompanySuperlativeSolar Services OfferedNumber of States ServicedBBB RatingYear Started
SunPowerBest OverallSolar panel, backup battery and electric vehicle charger installations50A+1985
Blue Raven SolarBest Financing OptionsSolar panel installations; energy-efficiency audits17A+2004
TeslaBest TechnologySolar panel, backup battery and EV charger installations50A2003
Momentum SolarBest Regional CoverageSolar panel and backup battery installations11A+2009
Sunpro SolarBest Customer ServiceSolar panel, backup battery and EV charger installations; energy-efficiency audits21A2008
Trinity SolarBest Referral ProgramSolar panel and backup battery installations; energy-efficiency audits9A+1994
SunrunBest for LeasingSolar panel, backup battery and EV charger installations22B+2007
Go Solar GroupBest Social ImpactSolar panel and backup battery installations; energy-efficiency audits4A2009

To get connected with one of the best solar companies in your area and get a free, no-obligation quote, fill out the form below.

How We Chose the Best Solar Energy Companies

So, how did we narrow down the industry's top solar companies? To begin with, we took a deep dive into each company's offerings and reputation, assessing them all on the following criteria:

  • Range and quality of services
  • Cost of solar panels and financing options
  • Extent of service area (the bigger, the better in this context)
  • Solar panel efficiency
  • Warranty
  • Temperature coefficient (i.e., how much high temperatures affect efficiency)
  • Customer service
  • Ethics of business practices and solar manufacturing

Additionally, we weighed Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) membership, BBB ratings and industry affiliations. Certifications and memberships in reputable groups are usually a good indicator that a solar energy company is trustworthy and that its work is taken seriously within the industry.

Before we dive in, it's important to remember that there are many small, local companies that didn't have the size or national recognition to make our list. Some companies prefer to stay small to maintain a local feel and individualized attention, which isn't a bad thing. Search the best solar companies in your state to see if we recommend any other installers particular to your area.

The 8 Best Solar Energy Companies

Based on the criteria mentioned above, when you're ready to buy solar panels, we recommend considering the following top solar companies:

Best Overall: SunPower

supower solar company logo

If you're searching for a company that will walk you through the process of upgrading to solar power, making the entire experience easy and convenient, consider SunPower. This company offers:

  • A "design studio" app that allows you to virtually design your own solar power system so you can see what the finished product would look like once assembled on your roof.
  • Online calculators that make it easy for you to determine how much electricity you will save once you upgrade to solar panels.
  • Virtual consultations during which you can chat one-on-one with a solar power expert and ask any questions you might have about how solar panels work or whether they're a good investment for your home.

SunPower offers some of the best solar panels, batteries and other equipment to homeowners across all 50 states. SunPower's all-in-one systems make for compatible technology that is easy for you to understand. The company is also the preferred solar partner of many major businesses, including Walmart, FedEx and Lowes. For more details, read our SunPower review.

Why Choose SunPower: SunPower is a reliable solar energy company with an impressive tech portfolio and an extremely easy, intuitive process.

Best Financing Options: Blue Raven Solar

Blue Raven Solar logo

Rather than helping you find a third-party loan provider, Blue Raven Solar decided to simplify the solar loan process and offer flexible, zero-money-down in-house loans. The results make us wonder why solar companies didn't try this sooner. Blue Raven Solar customers now enjoy the benefits of solar panel ownership without having to worry about rising interest rates or late payment fees with their loans. Learn more about it in our full Blue Raven Solar review.

Blue Raven Solar has much more to offer than just an innovative financing model. Here are some additional facts about the company:

  • Blue Raven has a reputation for exceptional customer service and boasts a number of awards reflecting its commitment to quality and innovation.
  • The success of Blue Raven Solar prompted SunPower to acquire the company in October 2021 in order to expand its residential services. However, Blue Raven Solar is still operating as usual at the time of publication.
  • Blue Raven Solar is one of the fastest-growing solar companies in the country today. Since 2014, it has expanded its staff from three to over 1,400 employees.
Why Choose Blue Raven: Blue Raven Solar offers one of the most forward-thinking solar financing options for solar customers, increasing the accessibility of solar. If taking out a loan is a dealbreaker for going solar, consider talking to Blue Raven.

Best Technology: Tesla

Tesla Energy logo

You probably associate Tesla with electric vehicles, but did you know that the company makes highly regarded solar energy products? Tesla earns a spot among the best solar companies because you can order products and match with a certified installer directly through its website. Depending on your needs and budget, Tesla can hook you up with an array of solar panels or even solar roof shingles, making it easy to cut electricity costs and power your home via the sun's energy.

Some fast facts about choosing solar power from Tesla:

  • Tesla offers a price-match guarantee and affordable financing options.
  • The company's advanced solar panel technology fuses a low-profile, sleek design with long-term durability.
  • Tesla also makes one of the best solar batteries on the market, which allows you to save your excess solar power and access it on demand whenever you need it.

Why Choose Tesla: Tesla sells sophisticated solar products at a surprisingly low price point and with a sturdy guarantee.

Best Regional Coverage: Momentum Solar

Momentum Solar logo

Momentum Solar is an owner-operated solar installer committed to helping customers save money while bettering the environment by switching to clean, affordable electricity. Operating in New Jersey, New York, California, Texas, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada and Massachusetts, Momentum Solar is one of the fastest-growing residential solar companies out there. A few other fast facts on Momentum Solar:

  • Momentum Solar and its leadership are highly respected in the industry, earning awards like the 2019 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, No. 1 Residential Solar Contractor by Solar Power World in 2020, and more.
  • A wide variety of solar financing options, from loans to purchase power agreements (PPAs), make Momentum Solar one of the most accessible solar providers to a wide financial demographic.
  • Momentum Solar chooses to operate primarily in states with effective net metering programs and other solar rebates and incentives. If Momentum is available in your state, chances are it can help you secure great value for your investment.
Why Choose Momentum: A young but growing solar company, Momentum Solar is moving in the right direction. Sleek products and designs, flexible financing options and policy expertise make Momentum Solar a solid choice for residents in its service areas.

Best Customer Service: Sunpro Solar

Sunpro Solar logo

Headquartered in Mandeville, Louisiana, Sunpro Solar got its start servicing the sunny areas around the Gulf Coast. Now providing services across 21 states, Sunpro offers:

  • An industry-leading comprehensive warranty, with guarantees of power output, workmanship and product longevity for 25 years. Most other companies only offer limited workmanship and product-specific warranties.
  • High-quality solar and storage solutions for homeowners. With certifications from LG, Enphase and Tesla, Sunpro has earned the trust of some of the industry's top solar panel manufacturers.
  • Exceptional customer service that spans from educating homeowners about solar to creating custom designs of solar layouts for its customers.

You can learn more in our Sunpro Solar review.

Why Choose Sunpro: Though a number of major solar providers guarantee your system will perform as estimated, Sunpro seems to have the best results in backing that. Sunpro's leading warranty, high-quality products and customer service make it an excellent choice.

Best Referral Program: Trinity Solar

Trinity Solar logo

Trinity Solar's mission is to provide you energy with integrity. One of the more established names in the industry, family-owned Trinity Solar is the largest privately held residential solar installation company in the nation. With almost 30 years and over 80,000 installations worth of experience, Trinity Solar is a reliable choice if you live within its service area of the Northeast U.S. and Florida.

Here are a few things to note about Trinity:

  • Trinity Solar offers its customers high-quality solar PV and storage products from top brands.
  • Trinity Solar partners with and contributes to local nonprofit organizations of your choosing. As part of its referral program, Trinity will contribute $100 to your preferred organization for every solar consultation and $1,000 for every solar installation based on a referral you make.
  • As a family-owned business, Trinity promises its customers will receive all the individualized attention they deserve.
Why Choose Trinity: Trinity Solar's ethical business practices, matched with its quality and reliability, make it an excellent choice for homeowners in its area.

Best for Leasing: Sunrun

sunrun solar company logo

Upgrading to solar power can seem a little intimidating, but Sunrun is out to simplify the process. The solar panel company's approach makes it extremely straightforward to select a custom solar energy plan for your household, whether you want to lease or buy a system. You can check out our full review of Sunrun for a thorough rundown of the company, but in short, here's what you should know:

  • You can book a virtual consultation with Sunrun's solar energy experts, making it easy to explore options and determine which solar setup is right for your home energy needs.
  • Each system is completely customized to address the customer's needs. Sunrun doesn't do "one-size-fits-all" solar panel installations.
  • The company's guarantee, one of the best in the industry, offers extraordinary peace of mind that your solar system will prove durable and reliable.
  • Sunrun is one of the best solar companies for leases, so if you're thinking about leasing solar panels instead of purchasing them, it's worth having a conversation with this installer.

Why Choose Sunrun: With Sunrun, the name of the game is customization. This is one of the top solar companies for renewable energy solutions that are truly made with your unique home in mind..

Best Social Impact: Go Solar Group

Go Solar company logo

The biggest drawback of Go Solar Group is that, right now, its work is limited to just a few Western states. But if you happen to live in that part of the country, it should be one of the top solar companies you consider. Go Solar's panels are uniquely calibrated to take advantage of the region's abundant sunlight. Some additional reasons to pick Go Solar include:

  • It offers free home solar assessments to help you decide whether solar panels are worth it for your roof.
  • The company custom-designs solar systems to meet the needs of each home.
  • Go Solar works with some of the most trusted installers in the solar power industry.
  • The installer has a robust charitable arm, called 1heart1mind, which provides solar energy, health care, clean water and education to underserved communities in Africa. Part of every solar array purchase through Go Solar Group is used as a microloan to further solar distribution efforts abroad.

Why Choose Go Solar: For solar solutions that are tailored to the climate of the American West, consider Go Solar. The company's impact goes far beyond just helping U.S. homeowners live more sustainably.

How Does a Solar Energy System Work?

As you explore the different options for embracing solar power, it may be helpful to have a baseline understanding of how solar energy systems actually function.

The main components of a solar energy system are the solar panels installed on your roof (ground-mounted solar panels are also used in some cases). These panels absorb the sun's energy, storing it in what are known as photovoltaic cells. These cells convert sunlight into direct current (DC) energy, which an inverter changes into alternate current (AC) electricity. AC electricity is what you need to power your home.

It's important to note that, before you purchase solar panels, you should speak with a solar energy consultant from one of the best solar companies in your area who can give you a proposal of both the number and orientation of solar panels that would be most effective for your home.

If you're concerned about the affordability of solar power, it's important to remember that most top solar companies provide a host of options, including flexible financing and programs to lease a system rather than purchase it outright. As you talk with different solar panel companies, don't hesitate to ask about pricing, sales and specials.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Installing solar panels on your home can yield a number of benefits. Here are just a few examples:

Cleaner Energy

One of the main reasons homeowners choose to install solar cells is to lower their environmental impact. Rather than depend on fossil fuels, you can power your home with renewable energy that comes free from the sun. This one is a no-brainer.

Energy Independence

By reducing your reliance on fossil fuels and local utilities, solar allows you to be your own energy provider. Energy independence frees you from surprise bills, rising interest rates and even power outages due to extreme weather. By lowering the amount of energy you draw from the grid, you also lower the overall financial and environmental energy costs paid by your community.

Solar Tax Credits and Rebates

There are a number of ways in which choosing renewable energy can save you money, starting with the fact that there are so many rebates and tax credits available. Both federal and state governments have adopted a list of financial incentives to make solar power more attractive and accessible to homeowners, like the federal solar tax credit and local rebates.

Lower Electricity Bills

Finally, embracing solar power will help you save money by offsetting your electricity bills. Most of the best solar companies offer online calculators that allow you to see for yourself how much money you'll save over time simply by switching to a renewable energy source.

Narrowing Down the Top Solar Companies for Your Home

While there is no shortage of benefits when you choose solar energy to power your home, investing in solar panels can be intimidating. However, working with one of the top solar companies in your area can greatly simplify the process.

When seeking the best solar energy company for your home, remember to look for an installer that's well-regarded within the industry, get a consultation before you buy and always be sure to ask some direct questions about the financing options that are available to you. Fill out the form below to get connected with a pre-screened solar installer in your area.

FAQ: Best Solar Companies

What is the most reputable solar company?

Fortunately, there are a number of reputable solar companies that can be trusted for a reliable installation. We've outlined the eight top companies in this article based on a range of factors, but there may be even better options available locally. Take a look at some of our articles on best solar companies by state to see if any would be a good fit for your home solar installation.

What are the worst solar companies?

We'd rather applaud the best companies than bash the worst, but sadly there are a number of solar companies that have run into legal troubles or been identified as having misleading sales tactics or poor customer service. These companies give solar a bad name and prove the importance of doing your research before signing a solar contract.

What is the largest residential solar company in the United States?

Sunrun claims to hold the spot as the largest residential solar installer in the U.S. Things in the solar industry can change quickly, however, and SunPower and Tesla have invested heavily in their residential solar services. It's important to remember that bigger does not always mean better. You may have a local solar company in your area that didn't make our list due to its small service size but that has services comparable to or better than the names we've listed here.

Karsten Neumeister is a writer and renewable energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on renewable energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.
Cost of Solar Panels in 2022: What to Expect

How much do solar panels cost? Let's take a look.

Reviews
Elenathewise / iStock / Getty Images

Switching to solar power is a proven method for reducing your environmental footprint, energy burden and reliance on traditional utility companies. However, even though the cost of solar has dropped 80% in the last decade, the upfront cost of solar panels is still significant. When selecting the best solar company for your home installation, price is one of the largest factors.

But what is the average cost to install a solar energy system? What are some of the factors that can impact pricing? How much would it cost me, specifically? In this article, we'll answer questions like these with the goal of helping you make a fully informed, responsible decision about a solar energy investment for your home or business.

If you're looking to work with a solar installer, we recommend getting quotes from a variety of providers. Use this tool to get matched up with local solar companies in your area, or fill out the form below.

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels?

There are a few key factors that lead to variation in solar system installation costs. Understanding these can help you decide whether solar panels are worth it for your home. Let's take a look at them in more detail.

1. System Size Needs

The size of your residential solar system will depend primarily on your energy needs. You can roughly estimate how many solar panels you'll need based on past utility bills, your available roof space and the amount of sunlight in your area, but to get an accurate system size, you'll need a consultation with a local solar installer.

Your installer will evaluate your home energy needs based on irradiance maps, energy bills, satellite imagery of your roof, your utility company and more. It can then recommend a custom solar panel system size to accommodate your energy needs. The larger the system, the more expensive it will be.

2. Type of Solar Panels and Other Equipment Costs

There are three basic types of solar panels, two of which are commonly used residentially: monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. Monocrystalline panels tend to be more energy-efficient, which can lead to greater savings in the long run, but they're also a bit pricier on the front end.

That being said, solar panel efficiency is the name of the game for most homeowners who aim to install a system on their roof, as they'll likely have less space to work with than commercial solar projects or ground-mounted solar panel systems will.

Other components you may need to purchase include inverters, wiring, charge controllers, mounts, solar batteries and more. Consider how much backup power is a priority for your home – backup batteries will add some costs on the front end, but additional safety and savings on the back.

3. Geographic Location

Another factor that can have a big impact on solar pricing? Where you live. Unsurprisingly, solar installation tends to be most cost-effective in parts of the country that get a lot of sun exposure, and therefore more energy to convert into electricity. This basically means that solar panels will operate more efficiently and, in many cases, means that you'll need fewer panels overall to power your home.

Those who live in states like California, Florida and Arizona — or really any areas of the Sun Belt or Southwest — will likely get the most out of their home solar power systems. Other factors like the direction of your home and how much shade your house gets will also impact your home's sun exposure, and therefore the efficiency of your system. Also, keep in mind that the further your company is from your home, the more expensive the overall installation will be.

4. Solar Incentives

Both state and federal governments have established incentive programs to encourage homeowners to buy solar panels. There is currently a 26% federal solar tax credit, called an Investment Tax Credit (ITC), available for homeowners who install residential solar panels between 2020 and 2022. It is scheduled to reduce to 22% in 2023 and may not be extended thereafter.

Your solar system cost will also depend on the net metering policy of your local utility company. Most utilities vary in their buyback rates and feed-in tariffs, but policies can have a big effect on the overall value from your solar system and your solar payback period. Be sure to ask your solar installation company about how cooperative your utility provider is with solar energy installations.

Some states offer better solar incentives, rebates and solar tax exemptions than others, and most solar panel installers should help you identify and apply for the programs in your area. However, it's still a good idea to familiarize yourself with the local incentives that might be available to you.

5. Additional Factors of Solar Panel Installation Cost

There are plenty of other factors that can impact solar panel installation costs. These include (but are not limited to):

  • The availability of solar panels in your area
  • Your current electricity bill
  • The current cost of shipping
  • The number of providers competing for your business
  • Supply chain issues
  • Local electricity rates

The bottom line? You can learn the most by shopping around. Get a few different proposals from local companies, evaluate what services you might be interested in and ask about sales or specials. Familiarize yourself with the best brands of affordable solar panels if budget is your priority.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost to Install?

To answer this question, let's take a look at the basic price range for solar panel installations. According to a recent report from the Solar Energy Industries Association, in the first quarter of 2021, the national average cost of a residential solar system was $2.94 per watt. To put this in perspective, this means that after the federal tax credit is applied, a 5-kW system would cost $10,878 and a 10-kW system would cost $21,756. An average residential solar system would sit somewhere between those figures.

The exact price you'll pay for solar panels will depend on a number of factors and is best found by getting free quotes from local solar companies near you.

Next, you might rightly wonder: What exactly am I paying for? The solar panels themselves usually make up just about a quarter of the total system cost. Remaining expenses include labor costs, solar maintenance and additional parts and equipment (such as inverters, racking, wiring, electric vehicle chargers or batteries).

Cost of Solar Panels by State

One of the broadest ways to gauge the overall cost of solar is by looking at the average price of solar panels by state. Our statewide average prices are calculated using market research and data from top brands. These prices can help convey a better understanding of what solar might cost in your area:

Average Cost of Solar By State

Average Cost of Solar Per Watt

Average Cost of a 5kW System After Tax Credit

Alabama

$2.45

$9,065

Alaska

$2.41

$8,917

Arizona

$2.61

$9,657

Arkansas

$2.54

$9,386

California

$2.73

$10,101

Colorado

$2.69

$9,965

Connecticut

$2.80

$10,360

Delaware

$2.58

$9,546

Washington, DC

$3.16

$11,704

Florida

$2.53

$9,361

Georgia

$2.55

$9,423

Hawaii

$2.67

$9,879

Idaho

$2.60

$9,608

Illinois

$2.73

$10,113

Indiana

$2.68

$9,916

Iowa

$2.77

$10,237

Kansas

$2.59

$9,571

Kentucky

$2.34

$8,658

Louisiana

$2.57

$9,521

Maine

$2.83

$10,483

Maryland

$2.77

$10,261

Massachusetts

$2.94

$10,878

Michigan

$2.81

$10,409

Minnesota

$2.84

$10,508

Mississippi

$2.64

$9,768

Missouri

$2.59

$9,583

Montana

$2.54

$9,386

Nebraska

$2.83

$10,471

Nevada

$2.52

$9,324

New Hampshire

$2.91

$10,767

New Jersey

$2.77

$10,249

New Mexico

$2.68

$9,904

New York

$2.95

$10,927

North Carolina

$2.54

$9,398

North Dakota

$2.42

$8,954

Ohio

$2.56

$9,460

Oklahoma

$2.62

$9,694

Oregon

$2.60

$9,632

Pennsylvania

$2.55

$9,447

Rhode Island

$2.84

$10,508

South Carolina

$2.72

$10,076

South Dakota

$2.39

$8,843

Tennessee

$2.49

$9,213

Texas

$2.69

$9,953

Utah

$2.68

$9,904

Vermont

$2.87

$10,619

Virginia

$2.75

$10,163

Washington

$2.69

$9,965

West Virginia

$2.64

$9,768

Wisconsin

$2.60

$9,620

Wyoming

$2.57

$9,509

Keep in mind that 5kW is a baseline size and near the smaller end of most solar panel installations. Use this figure as a minimum.

How to Pay For a Solar Panel Installation

Different solar installers may offer different financing plans, allowing you some flexibility. With that said, there are three standard options for paying for your solar energy system:

  1. Purchase your solar energy system outright (that is, pay in cash).
  2. Take out a solar loan to purchase the system, then pay it back with interest.
  3. Lease your solar system; you will pay less month to month but won't actually own the system yourself.

Our solar financing guide breaks down each of these options to help you make the decision that best fits your needs.

Cost of Solar Panel Maintenance

In general, solar systems are designed to run smoothly for decades without requiring much maintenance or upkeep. However, even the best systems require routine solar panel cleaning and checkups as grime, dirt and debris can accumulate over the solar cells.

Any sizable costs associated with malfunctioning panels should be covered by your panels' warranty, but it's not a bad idea to factor in the costs of a simple few cleanings and occasional maintenance.

How to Find the Lowest-Cost Solar Panels

Again, the best way to assess the cost of solar is to get a quote from a certified installer near you. In addition to receiving an installation price, you can learn your estimated 25-year energy costs, how compatible your home is for solar and even compare quotes to find the best offer. The simple process of getting quotes from multiple providers can save you thousands in the long run. You can use this tool to receive free quotes from local solar providers, or fill out the form below to get started.

Make the Best Choice About Solar Energy

Solar energy is not right for every homeowner, nor for every home. With that said, many homeowners will find that the total cost of solar is more than offset by long-term, recurring energy savings that provide a sizable return on investment. Make sure you factor in cost, energy needs, tax incentives, home value and more as you seek to make a fully informed decision about whether to make the switch to renewable energy with solar.

FAQ: Cost of Solar Panels

As you continue to weigh the pros and cons of solar energy, it's natural to have a few questions. The best way to resolve these is to set up a solar consultation with a local expert, but in the meantime, here are a few general answers to some of the most common solar inquiries.

How will solar energy impact my property values?

Your solar energy system is an asset just like any other, and when installed on your home, solar increases your property value accordingly. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy has reported buyers are willing to pay an average premium of about $15,000 for a home with a solar panel system.

With that said, you are only going to see your property values go up if you own your solar system outright, as opposed to leasing it. The cost of electricity in your area as well as the net metering policy of your local utility will also impact the overall value of your solar energy system.

Which is better, buying or leasing my solar system?

It all depends on your motivation for going solar. If you want to maximize long-term savings and increase the value of your home, then purchasing your solar system is best. However, if you just want a low-maintenance way to reduce monthly energy costs and practice environmental stewardship, then a solar lease might be a better option.

Also, note that leasing can be a good option for those who might plan on selling their home in the short term. Leasing panels does not make you eligible for the solar tax credit.

How long will my solar energy system last?

Solar systems are designed to be exceptionally durable. With just the most basic upkeep, most solar energy systems should continue to work and produce power for anywhere from 25 to 35 years. Standard warranties for panels typically last around 25 years.

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.

U.S. and China Announce Surprise Climate Agreement at COP26

The agreement was light on details but significant nonetheless.

Politics
On Sep. 25, 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden toasted during a state luncheon for China hosted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, at the Department of State in Washington, DC. PAUL J. RICHARDS / AFP via Getty Images
The world's two biggest climate polluters announced a surprise agreement at COP26 Wednesday.
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10 Best Solar Companies in New York (2022)

We narrow down the best installers in the Empire State.

Reviews
FernandoAH / Getty Images

When you think of New York, it's doubtful you'd picture solar panels lining the tops of urban buildings, but the Empire State is actually a top state for solar energy in the U.S. If you're thinking about going solar, the best first step to make is to find the best solar companies in New York and compare quotes.

It may surprise you to learn that the state of New York actually has more solar companies than Texas, the number two state for solar. Progressive leadership has laid the foundation for a market very encouraging of solar's growth, and a large number of top solar companies are looking to capitalize on it.

For most home or business owners considering solar power, the choice of which company to choose often comes down to costs. To start getting quotes from the best solar companies in New York, you can use this tool or fill out the form below.

Our Picks for Top New York Solar Installers

  1. SunPower
  2. SUNation Solar Systems
  3. EmPower Solar
  4. Tesla
  5. Kasselman Solar
  6. Momentum Solar
  7. Harvest Power Solar
  8. Brooklyn SolarWorks
  9. SunCommon
  10. Plug PV

Comparing the 10 Best Solar Companies in New York

SunPower

SunPower logo

SunPower

Service Area: State of New York

What We Like: SunPower has been a leading top solar company since 1985, manufacturing, selling and installing its own modules, which routinely rank as the industry's most efficient solar panels. SunPower provides national coverage, some of the highest-quality all-in-one solar systems and the best warranty in the business.

What We Don't Like: SunPower is able to service the entire nation through partnerships with local certified dealers throughout the nation. SunPower still maintains a standard of excellence, but your experience can be dependent on which dealer you live nearest.

What Customers Are Saying: "After doing my research and getting bids from four different companies, SunPower won hands down for us in meeting our overall needs. [Our consultant] was a real pleasure to work with… I'd recommend SunPower as the solar company of choice to anyone." — KG via Better Business Bureau (BBB)

SunPower at a Glance:

SUNation Solar Systems

SUNation Solar logo

SUNation Solar

Service Area: Suffolk County, Nassau County, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island

What We Like: SUNation Solar systems is a local leader trusted by over 7,000 homeowners in New York and has been voted the "Best Solar Business of Long Island" for 12 years running. Certified to install products from Tesla, Panasonic, LG and Solaria, SUNation delivers high-quality solar solutions with a local approach.

What We Don't Like: Though SUNation's local approach is what allows for such a personalized and smooth experience, its service area is smaller than some of its competitors.

What Customers Are Saying: "Very positive experience working with SUNation. From the sales process to the various logistical efforts (local permissions, array layout, frequent communication, installation), it was really a first-class effort. Really excited to be joining the 21st century thanks to SUNation!" — Daniel via BBB

SUNation at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2003
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, community solar, EV chargers, electrical upgrades, maintenance and backup batteries
  • Warranty: 25-year workmanship warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan

EmPower Solar

Service Area: Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx and Staten Island

What We Like: With a vision of creating a new energy paradigm powered by clean, renewable power, EmPower Solar strives to provide its customers with the latest solar technology and the highest quality workmanship. EmPower Solar works in both residential and commercial solar markets installing eco-friendly energy solutions throughout greater NYC. EmPower is a certified dealer of SunPower solar panels, which are some of the best solar panels in the business.

What We Don't Like: We'd like to see EmPower Solar emphasize energy efficiency and electrical system upgrades in their services to accompany solar and storage. It was also difficult to find information on EmPower's solar financing options.

What Customers Are Saying: "EmPower installed our solar system in May 2018. After the site inspection and design were all completed and the contract signed, the installation was completed in one day. It has performed flawlessly since that time and delivered 107% of our energy usage! We couldn't be more pleased." — Michael via Google Reviews

EmPower Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2003
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, community solar, EV chargers and backup batteries
  • Warranty: SunPower 25-year warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan

Tesla

Tesla logo

Tesla

Service Area: State of New York; solar facility in Buffalo

What We Like: Known primarily for its electric cars, Tesla is also one of the top national solar companies. Tesla provides premium, designer solar technology meant to fit in seamlessly with a house's roof. Though not a solar installer like the other names on this list, Tesla will match you with a solar technician near you that is certified to install its products.

What We Don't Like: Tesla is much better known for its technology than its customer service, and it shows in a few negative reviews.

What Customers Are Saying: "From beginning to end, the process went perfectly. I liked that all the documents could be signed online. No back-and-forth paperwork. They showed up on time on the day of installation. They installed the whole system in one day. My solar has been running now for 4 months without any issues." — Victoria via BBB

Tesla Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2003
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, EV chargers and Tesla Powerwall batteries
  • Warranty: 10-year comprehensive warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan

Kasselman Solar

Service Area: State of New York; Based in Menands

What We Like: Kasselman Solar specializes in powerful, affordable and aesthetically attractive solar panel installations. Installing LG and LONGi solar panels, Kasselman provides both quality and performance with a generous warranty and solar panels reaching a power of 445 watts.

What We Don't Like: Kasselman specializes in solar projects, period. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if you need electrical upgrades or other special services, Kasselman may not have as many options.

What Customers Are Saying: "Kasselman Solar is a top-notch organization and a leader in its respective markets. Its ability to navigate challenges with ease and deliver on commitments is unrivaled. For homeowners out there considering Kasselman as a solar provider, this is exactly the type of installer that you want to work with. They are honest and trustworthy, deliver a quality product, and provide a top-notch customer experience." — Victoria via BBB

Kasselman Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 1948 (as Kasselman Electric)
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries and EV chargers
  • Warranty: 25-year full warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan

Momentum Solar

Momentum Solar logo

Momentum Solar

Service Area: State of New York

What We Like: One of our top solar companies of 2022, Momentum Solar and its leadership are highly respected in the industry for providing affordable, effective solar energy solutions. Momentum Solar focuses on flexible financing options to appeal to a wide range of customers.

What We Don't Like: Momentum Solar is young and growing quickly, and a few customer experiences have suffered from those growing pains.

What Customers Are Saying: "I appreciated my experience with Momentum Solar. They truly want what is in the best interest of the customer. We are very pleased with our system, which was installed 9 months ago. Our all-electric house now has an electric bill that is practically nothing. Thanks for a great solar system at a fair price" — Nina via Google Reviews

Momentum Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries and EV chargers
  • Warranty: 25-year solar panel warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan, solar leases/PPA

Harvest Power Solar

Harvest Power Solar logo

Harvest Power Solar

Service Area: Greater NYC area and Long Island

What We Like: Established in 2008 as a branch of Friendly Construction, Harvest Power has grown into one of the biggest solar providers in New York. With roots in construction and access to cutting-edge solar technology, Harvest Power Solar provides some of the most reliable and high-quality solar installations in the state.

What We Don't Like: A limited service area means most of its installations are tied to Long Island. Harvest Power's warranties are also nothing to write home about.

What Customers Are Saying: "A little over a year ago, [I] went live with a 28-panel solar system. Very happy with the job overall and its power generation. Should pay back in 7 to 10 years. The salesman was very knowledgeable and seemed honest. I've dealt with a lot of salesmen in my business that I wouldn't say that about. The job was completed very cleanly and generally timely." — Robert via Google Reviews

Harvest Power Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2008
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries and EV chargers
  • Warranty: 25-year solar panel warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan

Brooklyn SolarWorks

Service Area: Greater NYC area

What We Like: Brooklyn SolarWorks has a simple mission to make solar appealing, easy and available for Brooklyn's urban homeowners. Solar is probably not the first thing you think about when you think of Brooklyn — but Brooklyn SolarWorks has embraced its expertise in making clean energy as practical as possible for the unique needs of urban and suburban solar customers of New York City. It specializes in providing solar for challenging roofs, landmarked homes and the many co-ops and condos of NYC.

What We Don't Like: Let us lead by saying we love that Brooklyn SolarWorks has focused on such hyper-local, specific needs. However, this sets the company up for an easy negative: a very small service area.

What Customers Are Saying: "Brooklyn SolarWorks installed our solar system in 2019. The entire process from permitting through installation was easy and painless. I cannot emphasize enough the value and comfort of using a local Brooklyn-based company. I can honestly say it has been one of the best things we have ever done, and the savings are very impressive." — Mike via Google Reviews

Brooklyn SolarWorks at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2015
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, electrical work
  • Warranty: 30-year complete system warranty (we also love this!)
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan

SunCommon

SunCommon logo

SunCommon

Service Area: Albany, Rensselaer, Greene, Columbia, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland counties

What We Like: SunCommon is built on pillars of community activism, transparency and care for the people and places that surround it. A certified B-Corporation, SunCommon has proven its commitment to responsible business practices, focusing on tenants of people, planet and profit. If keeping money local, investing in shared values and supporting your community is of utmost importance to you, we recommend reaching out to SunCommon.

What We Don't Like: Is it possible to be too committed to activism and education? We'd almost like to see SunCommon focus more on also highlighting its exceptional workmanship in both residential and commercial installations, affordable solar financing and technology.

What Customers Are Saying: "We evaluated a few different solar companies. We chose SunCommon because they have a great reputation. The team was excellent to work with, had the best technology, and financing with a 0.9% interest rate. The install team was friendly and professional, and the install went perfectly… I highly recommend SunCommon. You won't be disappointed." — Jeffrey via Google Reviews

SunCommon at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2011
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, solar canopies, backup batteries and solar farms
  • Warranty: 25-year warranty on power, parts and labor; 10-year workmanship warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loans

PlugPV

PlugPV logo

PlugPV

Service Area: State of New York, based in Albany

What We Like: Built on high-quality workmanship, PlugPV solar is a small but experienced team of world-class solar contractors in the Northeast. PlugPV offers an impressive product portfolio including solar PV, backup solar batteries and EV chargers.

What We Don't Like: PlugPV has only been in business for five years as of 2022. Given the long-term nature of solar investments, it can be wise to choose an established company with a longer history of success.

What Customers Are Saying: "I'm almost 5 months with the system now, and things are running perfectly so far. At this point, I'm a fairly low electricity consumer, and my meter spins in reverse most of the time, generating credits with my utility. Everything went according to our plan, and I'm very happy with the results all around. There has not been a moment of regret working with them, and that's fairly unusual for me." — Adam via Google Reviews

PlugPV at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2017
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries and EV chargers
  • Warranty: Product-specific warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loans

How We Chose the Best Solar Companies in New York

We researched the product portfolios, solar services, financing options, customer feedback and industry reputations of every major New York solar installer. Using this methodology, we rated and ranked each company to narrow down and rank our picks for the top solar companies in New York.

Choosing the Best Solar Installer for Your Home

Everyone's needs are different when it comes to solar, so what may be the best solar company for your neighbor might not be right for you. Give these factors some thought and place more emphasis on what will meet your home's needs when choosing the best company for your installation:

Services Offered

To start, due to the unique range of needs of home and business owners in New York, a variety of solar installers focus on different services. For instance, Brooklyn SolarWorks focuses more exclusively on downtown roofs, which are typically flat and have needs different than a larger home in Long Island. Think about what makes your home or business unique — and find a company that prioritizes those needs. Other things to consider might be whether you need electrical upgrades, EV chargers or backup power.

Installation Process

Before you sign any paperwork, make sure you're confident in knowing how the installation process will look. How long before the installation day will happen? How many days will it take? What is my utility company's net metering policy? Permitting and interconnection can vary from city to city, so it's best to be sure you're familiar with the process.

Solar Pricing and Financing

Solar energy systems are a great investment — one that takes planning and time to mature. Think about whether you might need special financing options if your budget is tight. Any of the best solar companies in New York should be able to assist you in applying for the federal solar tax credit, but specific financing options and flexibility will vary from provider to provider.

Industry Affiliations

We generally recommend hiring 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 company will offer a slightly different product portfolio. Small homes in more dense cities will likely need high-efficiency solar panels, while homes with more space might opt for a sleek design. It can't hurt to ask what brands of panels your company has available, and why they might recommend each. Certifications from some of the best solar panel brands like Panasonic, LG or SunPower might also be a good indicator of legitimacy.

Incentives, Rebates and Tax Credits

New York State has a variety of solar incentives that can vary by city, county and utility. Though effective, these incentives can be complex, and finding a solar installer that knows the ins and outs of local policy may provide the best overall value in the long run. It's best to think locally here. Does the company you're looking at have plenty of experience in your community? This will be important.

Warranty

Finally, we recommend finding an installer that offers a good warranty. Solar panels are incredibly tough, but things happen. The best warranties will last 25 years and cover the equipment, workmanship and performance of your installation.

Cost of Solar in New York

As of 2022, our market research and data from top brands show the average cost of solar panels in New York is around $2.95 per watt. This means a 5-kW system would cost around $10,927 after the federal solar tax credit is applied. Keep in mind that a 5-kW system is about the minimum size for most homes.

New York State also offers a variety of solar incentives to help offset the cost of your system. These incentives have spurred the growth of solar in New York to new highs in 2021, pushing to over $7 billion of total investment. Under the right circumstances, New York's solar incentives are capable of offsetting nearly half of the aggregate system installation costs.

New York Solar Incentive

Incentive Description

NY-Sun Megawatt Block Incentive

This statewide incentive provides direct financial incentives for solar installations on a per-watt basis, meaning the larger your installation, the more financial support you'll receive.

Solar Energy System Equipment Credit

New York residents are entitled to claim a tax credit equal to 25% of your qualified solar energy system equipment expenditure (limited to $5,000).

Sales Tax Exemption

New York residents don't have to pay the state's 4% sales tax on qualified solar equipment.

Net Metering

Standard net metering is available to most New York residents through 2022. Throughout 2022, New York will begin enrolling its solar customers in a net metering alternative aimed at easing utility costs.

How to Find the Best Solar Installer in New York

Sorting through the large number of New York solar installers can seem challenging, but this actually presents a great opportunity for New York home and business owners. Unlike a number of other states, solar customers are far more likely to find a company that tailors to their local needs.

The large number of solar companies in New York also gives solar customers the opportunity to shop competing offers against each other, sometimes securing thousands of dollars during the process. Remember, these companies are competing for you.

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

Best Solar Companies New York: FAQs

Who is the most reputable solar company in New York?

The most reputable solar company in New York will depend heavily on your individual needs. New York may be the toughest state to answer this question in due to the wide variety of unique needs stemming from metropolitan, suburban and rural areas of the state.

Is solar in New York worth it?

As long as you have the right roof, solar in New York is typically well worth it. Rather than the sunshine being the main factor behind solar's value, in New York, solar incentives are what make the switch worth it. Between the Megawatt Block incentive, federal tax credit and solar energy system equipment credit, New York homeowners can offset nearly 50% of their project costs.

How do I find a reputable solar company in New York?

One of the best ways to find a reputable solar company in New York is to compare free quotes from a number of installers. When comparing these quotes, or getting on-site consultations, you can find the best offer for your needs. Refer to our guide on finding local solar installers near you to learn more about reading and interpreting solar proposals.

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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What Are the Best Solar Companies in North Carolina? (2022)

We recommend the top solar installers in North Carolina.

Reviews
Pannonia / iStock / Getty Images

If you're a home or business owner looking to take advantage of the many solar incentives in the Tar Heel state, it can be difficult to narrow down which installer to choose. Here, we'll narrow down 10 of the best solar companies in North Carolina to make your decision a little easier.

North Carolina has long been a leader in effective renewable energy policy and regulation. Proactive government support led to surging numbers of solar installations, especially in the commercial solar sector, setting the groundwork for a clean, bright and profitable future in the state.

For many North Carolina homeowners, the decision to invest in a solar energy system comes down to cost. To see how much you would pay to install a solar panel system on your roof, you can get a free, no-obligation quote from a local top solar company by using this tool or filling out the form below.

Our Picks for Top North Carolina Solar Installers

  • 8M Solar
  • NC Solar Now
  • Sunpro Solar
  • Blue Raven Solar
  • Renu Energy Solutions
  • Emerald Energy
  • Covenant Solar Tech
  • Cape Fear Solar Solutions
  • Powerhome Solar
  • Duke Energy

Comparing the 10 Best Solar Companies in North Carolina

8M Solar

8M Solar logo

8M Solar

Location: Statewide; based in Wake Forest

What We Like: 8M Solar is one of the best solar companies in North Carolina if you're looking for a straightforward way to go green and decrease monthly utility costs. 8M claims that its costs are, on average, 10% lower than competitor prices. Industry expertise, best-in-class technology, robust warranties and affordable pricing make 8M Solar a top choice.

What We Don't Like: It's difficult to find anything we don't like about 8M Solar, but if we had to choose, 8M's third-party solar financing partners don't always match the quality of 8M's customer service.

What Customers Are Saying: "I chose 8M because of their customer service, premium warranties, and product selection all while still being competitively priced… They are very responsive to questions you have and keep you updated on the project status the entire time." — Robert C. via the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

8M at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries, repairs, removals and reinstalls
  • Warranty: 25-year product and workmanship warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan

NC Solar Now

NC Solar Now logo

NC Solar Now

Location: Statewide; based in Raleigh

What We Like: NC Solar Now is a great all-around option for anyone looking to embrace the promise of clean solar power and energy efficiency. It is locally owned and operated, offers flexible pricing for both residential and commercial properties and can help you take advantage of all available solar incentives and rebates.

What We Don't Like: NC Solar Now has such a straightforward process that it's possible to lose some customization along the way. That being said, NC Solar Now's appeal is its ability to keep things simple, and effective.

What Customers Are Saying: "I have dealt with several solar companies, but this is the most professional, customer-friendly company I have dealt with… Once you discuss your needs with them, you will not want to go to anyone else." – Simon C. via BBB

NC Solar Now at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2010
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries, ground-mounted solar panels, electric vehicle chargers and more
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty on roof penetrations, 25-year product warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan

Sunpro Solar

Sunpro Solar logo

Sunpro Solar

Location: Statewide availability; national provider

What We Like: Sunpro offers cost-effective pricing, some of the best solar panels on the market and an all-inclusive warranty that allows you to save big bucks on your home utility bills. SunPro takes a lot of pride in having first-class customer service and promises your satisfaction with the production of your system, or you'll get a check for the difference.

What We Don't Like: Sunpro's size makes it vulnerable to issues in communication, especially after the installation.

What Customers Are Saying: "Great company! I had my solar and roof installed a couple months ago. Everyone and everything was great and went very smoothly… Now I have a new roof, a nice tax credit, and practically non-existent light bill." – Jeremy C. via BBB

Sunpro Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2008
  • Services Provided: Solar panel, backup battery and EV charger installations
  • Warranty: 25-year workmanship, production and product warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loan, solar lease, power purchase agreement (PPA)
  • Learn More: Sunpro Solar review

Blue Raven Solar

Blue Raven Solar logo

Blue Raven Solar

Location: Statewide availability; national provider

What We Like: Blue Raven Solar offers a comprehensive solar energy service, including surveying, solar panel system design, installation and more. The company also offers highly competitive pricing and excellent in-house solar financing options (including $0 down). It has received rave reviews from customers as one of the best solar companies in North Carolina.

What We Don't Like: Though not its specialty, Blue Raven Solar could expand its services to include backup battery installations and solar leases.

What Customers Are Saying: "Blue Raven Solar ranks at the top with customer service. They are professional, thorough, friendly and have a great product. We highly recommend them for your solar." – Jeff H. via BBB

Blue Raven Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2004
  • Services Provided: Solar panel installations
  • Warranty: 25-year manufacturer and product warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, in-house solar loans
  • Learn More: Blue Raven Solar review

Renu Energy Solutions

Renu Energy Solutions logo

Renu Energy Solutions

Location: Statewide, based in Charlotte

What We Like: This locally owned and operated company has been one of the Charlotte area's most trusted names in solar energy. Its expertise in North Carolina solar policy and its variety of flexible financing solutions make it a tough choice to beat.

What We Don't Like: Renu Energy Solutions focuses solely on solar, storage and EV solutions. Though that's fairly standard, we like to see company's that place some emphasis on overall home efficiency upgrades in addition to solar equipment.

What Customers Are Saying: "We received three quotes for our solar installation. We decided to pay a premium in order to use Renu Energy Solutions, and we have no regrets. The staff and installation crew were all professional and there was excellent communication throughout the process." – John G. via BBB

Renu Energy Solutions at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2010
  • Services Provided: Solar panel, backup battery and EV charger installations
  • Warranty: 25-year manufacturer and product warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loans

Emerald Energy

Emerald Energy logo

Emerald Energy

Location: Statewide; based in Raleigh

What We Like: For a fully licensed local contractor with real clean energy bona fides, Emerald Energy is one of the best companies you'll find. It understands the complexities of solar financing and incentives and has proven expertise to help you take full advantage of the many solar rebates and incentives offered in North Carolina.

What We Don't Like: Emerald Energy is another company where shortcomings are hard to find. Emerald Energy chooses to focus on selling solar panels but could strengthen its services by including lease options.

What Customers Are Saying: "I'm very satisfied with the whole experience going solar. Emerald Energy has been very responsive and proactive with all my questions and went above and beyond to get the project done right. I highly recommend this company!" – Laura L. via BBB

Emerald Energy at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Services Provided: Solar panels, backup batteries, solar attic fans, EV chargers and more
  • Warranty: 25-year manufacturer and product warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loans

Covenant Solar & Roofing

Covenant Solar & Roofing logo

Covenant Solar & Roofing

Location: Durham, Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Apex, Cary, Wilmington, Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas; based in Raleigh

What We Like: Covenant Solar & Roofing, also known as Covenant Solar Tech, is a reliable choice for high-quality workmanship on your home. For those exploring rooftop solar energy options, Covenant offers a full spectrum of services and boasts immaculate customer reviews.

What We Don't Like: Covenant's solar prices are more than reasonable, but the company doesn't provide as many financing resources as it could. That being said, its customers don't seem to mind.

What Customers Are Saying: "We are very happy that we decided, after a lot of research into different companies in the area, to go with [Covenant] for our solar project… I probably had more questions and concerns than the average customer, but each time I reached out, they were patient with me and took the time to explain how things work." – Alex F. via BBB

Covenant Solar & Roofing at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2011
  • Services Provided: Solar panel, solar roofs, roofing and backup battery installations
  • Warranty: 25-year manufacturer and product warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loans

Cape Fear Solar Solutions

Cape Fear Solar Solutions logo

Cape Fear Solar Solutions

Location: Southeastern North Carolina, approximately 75 miles around Wilmington and Raleigh

What We Like: A heavily localized approach allows Cape Fear Solar Solutions to help its customers reap the full benefits of North Carolina's solar incentives long after installation. This post-installation support is key for customers to get the most out of their systems, as policies and rebates often change with time.

What We Don't Like: Cape Fear's product portfolio is wide, offering Tesla products and LG and SunPower solar panels, but it isn't certified to install brands like Enphase, one of the top solar manufacturers of inverters.

What Customers Are Saying: "Compared to other contractors … in the area, Cape Fear Solar has been the best to deal with. If solar is something you are thinking about, it is at least worth it to have a free on-site evaluation done." – Tony G. via Yelp

Cape Fear Solar Solutions at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2007
  • Services Provided: Solar panel, backup battery, EV charger and attic fan installations
  • Warranty: 25-year combined power and product warranty
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loans

Powerhome Solar

Powerhome Solar logo

Powerhome Solar

Location: Statewide; based in Mooresville

What We Like: If you're looking for a company that understands the big picture of solar, try speaking with Powerhome Solar. This top North Carolina installer deploys a practical approach to generate savings while lowering your impact and reliance on conventional energy.

What We Don't Like: Some customers have reported inconsistencies between the solar proposal and actual power production of the system. Powerhome Solar has been growing so quickly that a few low-quality proposals have managed to slip through the cracks.

What Customers Are Saying: "The guy who came out for the informational meeting was thorough, and was patient when I said I didn't want to sign any paperwork that day, because I needed to think about it. It made me very comfortable that I wasn't pushed to sign anything right away." – Amanda J. via BBB

Powerhome Solar at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 2014
  • Services Provided: Solar panel and backup battery installations
  • Warranty: Up to 30-year linear power performance and 25-year product warranties
  • Financing Options: Cash purchase, solar loans

Duke Energy

Duke Energy logo

Duke Energy

Location: Statewide, based in Charlotte

What We Like: Duke Energy has made some admirable and innovative commitments to renewable energy in recent years, making clean energy accessible to a wide range of customers. The only utility-scale company on our list, Duke Energy has raised the national standard for sustainable energy generation and infrastructure through its work with solar energy.

What We Don't Like: By nature, Duke Energy is a utility energy provider, meaning that you can't purchase solar panels directly from it. However, we included Duke as a top solar company due to its solar leases/PPAs and proactive approach to solar rebates, net metering, community solar and energy-efficiency services.

What Customers Are Saying: Any large-scale utility provider is going to receive some complaints, and Duke Energy is no exception. However, most customers who explore Duke's solar energy services praise its initiative in laying the groundwork for a sustainable energy future in North Carolina.

Duke Energy at a Glance:

  • Year Founded: 1904
  • Services Provided: Utility-scale energy, community solar projects, solar leases/PPAs
  • Warranty: Home protection plans
  • Financing Options: Solar leases/PPAs, community solar (shared solar)

How We Chose the Best Solar Companies in North Carolina

We combed through research surrounding the services, reviews and reputations of as many solar companies in North Carolina as we could find, ranking them impartially. Following this methodology, we landed on the companies listed above as the best North Carolina solar installers.

How to Find the Best Solar Companies in North Carolina

The high number of quality solar companies in North Carolina means a wide range of specializations and services. When evaluating the best solar companies in North Carolina, we recommend keeping these considerations in mind. Here's another helpful resource for finding a local solar installer near you and reading a solar proposal.

Services Offered

The various solar installers in North Carolina will all differ slightly in the services they offer. For example, if you need a new roof and are thinking about installing solar panels on it, Covenant Solar & Roofing would offer the best services for your needs. When you're considering the best solar company, think about specific features or add-ons you may want, such as energy efficiency packages, EV chargers or backup batteries. That might help provide some guidance into the best choice for you.

Installation Process

The ease and quality of a solar installation will vary from provider to provider. Larger installers with more resources like Sunpro Solar may be able to pull off a quick and easy installation. If time isn't an important factor, locally focused companies might offer a more hands-on approach.

When speaking with representatives from the best North Carolina solar companies, ask what the installation process involves. You may want to avoid companies that hire subcontractors or can't spell out permitting and net metering processes to you. Most bad solar experiences come from snags during or after installation.

Coverage Areas

North Carolina has a huge number of high-quality solar companies given its size, and some are smaller than others. Bear in mind that not all of the companies listed above cover the entire state of North Carolina, and the greater the distance your chosen solar company is from you, the more the installation will cost (due to transportation fees). For example, if you live in Raleigh, choosing NC Solar Now will likely cost less overall than a company based elsewhere.

Pricing and Financing

We understand that installing solar comes with a significant cost. In response to financial accessibility issues, many solar panel companies now offer more flexible financing. Be sure to ask about your options, and check if loans are offered in-house or by loan partners. Remember, the best way to understand how much solar would cost you is to compare quotes from a few of the best solar companies in North Carolina.

Types of Panels

Most solar providers differ in which products they consider best (either for their customers or their bottom lines), and different panels, inverters, batteries and chargers will all vary in cost, quality, ethics and warranties. If the type of panel you install is of specific importance to you, be sure your provider offers it before signing a contract.

Rebates and Tax Credits

North Carolina offers a wide variety of opportunities to claim solar energy incentives, rebates and federal tax credits to lay the foundation for a more sustainable future in the state. Ask your solar provider for guidance navigating these different savings opportunities, or check the solar incentives in your local area using the DSIRE database.

Warranty

As with any major purchase, you'll want some peace of mind that your investment is protected. A solar warranty can provide the trust necessary to make a major financial decision. Luckily, most solar installers provide warranties on their technology and workmanship for 25 years or more, but you'll definitely want to ask about this upfront.

Cost of Solar in North Carolina

Based on market research and data from top solar panel brands, we found the average current cost of solar in North Carolina to be around $2.54 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 $9,398, and a 10-kW system would cost around $18,796.

Any of the best solar companies in North Carolina will be able to help you find local incentives and solar tax exemptions to reduce your overall project costs. In North Carolina, expertise in the many statewide incentives will be key to securing the most value for your money. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with what's available in your area, as some cities, like Asheville, offer their own solar rebates.

In the meantime, here's a brief rundown of North Carolina's statewide solar incentives:

North Carolina
Solar Incentive
Incentive Overview
Net Metering Duke Energy and Dominion Energy, the two main utilities in North Carolina, both offer generous net metering rates as a way to help offset the cost of solar. If you live in the jurisdiction of a local energy co-op, it's likely net metering is still available, but your rates may vary.
Solar Property Tax Exemption Since solar increases your property value, under normal circumstances, you'd have to pay a corresponding increase to your property taxes. But in North Carolina, the state provides property tax exemptions for solar and other qualifying renewable energy equipment.
Duke Energy Solar Rebates Duke Energy offers annual solar rebates for select commercial and residential solar applications across North Carolina.
Low-Interest Solar Loans In order to increase the accessibility of solar, North Carolina provides low-interest loans for qualifying solar projects.

Final Thoughts

The Tar Heel State has a great reputation for solar, and a good number of the best North Carolina solar companies have near-spotless reputations among industry groups and customers alike.

Given the political groundwork incentivizing solar, this clean energy source offers tremendous value to customers in North Carolina. With so many solar providers to choose from, there's a good chance you can also secure a highly competitive price if you take the time to shop around.

To start getting free quotes from the best solar companies in North Carolina, fill out the 30-second form below or use this tool.

FAQ: Best Solar Companies in North Carolina

What is the most reputable solar company in North Carolina?

North Carolina has a lot of reputable solar companies, so it's hard to narrow down the list. The best home solar installation company in North Carolina will depend more on your specific energy needs and location. See if you can narrow down our list from there.

Does North Carolina have a tax credit?

All North Carolina home or business owners are eligible for the 26% federal solar tax credit. North Carolina does not offer its own statewide solar tax credit, but the Tar Heel state does offer a number of other incentives that can generate a lot of value.

Is North Carolina a good state for solar panels?

North Carolina is an excellent state for solar panels. Homeowners can enjoy the benefits of a fairly sunny climate paired with a number of effective incentives to save huge amounts on their investment in solar — and their electric bills.

How many solar companies are in North Carolina?

According to the SEIA, North Carolina has 250+ commercial and residential solar installers. If you're looking for a solar contractor in your area, it should be easy to find. Remember that these companies are competing for your business, so take your time and talk to as many as you can. Most offer free quotes, and you can then compare what options are available to 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.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) heads to a vote in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol on June 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. Samuel Corum / Getty Images

By Mark Hertsgaard

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

Joe Manchin has never been this famous. People around the world now know that the West Virginia Democrat is the essential 50th vote in the U.S. Senate that president Joe Biden needs to pass his agenda into law. That includes Biden's climate agenda. Which doesn't bode well for defusing the climate emergency, given Manchin's longstanding opposition to ambitious climate action.

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PavloBaliukh / iStock / Getty Images

Through net metering programs, homeowners who have installed solar energy systems can get utility credits for any electricity their panels generate during the day that isn't used to power home systems. These credits can be "cashed in" to offset the cost of any grid electricity used at night.

Where net metering is available, solar panels have a shorter payback period and yield a higher return on investment. Without this benefit, you only save on power bills when using solar energy directly, and surplus generation is lost unless you store it in a solar battery. However, net metering gives you the option of selling any excess electricity that is not consumed within your home.

Generally, you will see more home solar systems in places with favorable net metering laws. With this benefit, going solar becomes an attractive investment even for properties with minimal daytime consumption. Homeowners can turn their roofs into miniature power plants during the day, and that generation is subtracted from their nighttime consumption.

What Is Net Metering?

Net metering is a billing arrangement in which surplus energy production from solar panels is tracked by your electricity provider and subtracted from your monthly utility bill. When your solar power system produces more kilowatt-hours of electricity than your home is consuming, the excess generation is fed back into the grid.

For homeowners with solar panels, the benefits of net metering include higher monthly savings and a shorter payback period. Utility companies also benefit, since the excess solar electricity can be supplied to other buildings on the same electric grid.

If a power grid relies on fossil fuels, net metering also increases the environmental benefits of solar power. Even if a building does not have an adequate area for rooftop solar panels, it can reduce its emissions by using the surplus clean energy from other properties.

How Net Metering Works

There are two general ways net metering programs work:

  1. The surplus energy produced by your solar panels is measured by your utility company, and a credit is posted to your account that can be applied to future power bills.
  2. The surplus energy produced by your solar panels is measured by your home's electricity meter. Modern power meters can measure electricity flow in both directions, so they tick up when you pull from the grid at night and count down when your solar panels are producing an excess amount of electricity.

In either scenario, at the end of the billing period, you will only pay for your net consumption — the difference between total consumption and generation. This is where the term "net metering" comes from.

How Does Net Metering Affect Your Utility Bill?

Net metering makes solar power systems more valuable for homeowners, as you can "sell" any extra energy production to your utility company. However, it's important to understand how charges and credits are managed:

  • You can earn credits for your surplus electricity, but utility companies will not cut you a check for the power you provide. Instead, they will subtract the credits from your power bills.
  • If your net metering credit during the billing period is higher than your consumption, the difference is rolled over to the next month.
  • Some power companies will roll over your credit indefinitely, but many have a yearly expiration date that resets your credit balance.

With all of this in mind, it is possible to reduce your annual electricity cost to zero. You can accumulate credit with surplus generation during the sunny summer months, and use it during winter when solar generation decreases.

You will achieve the best results when your solar power system has just the right capacity to cover your annual home consumption. Oversizing your solar array is not recommended, as you will simply accumulate a large unused credit each year. In other words, you cannot overproduce and charge your power company each month.

Some power companies will let you pick the expiration date of your annual net metering credits. If you have this option, it's wise to set the date after winter has ended. This way, you can use all the renewable energy credits you accumulated during the summer.

Is Net Metering Available Near You?

Net metering offers a valuable incentive for homeowners to switch to solar power, but these types of programs are not available everywhere. Net metering laws can change depending on where you live.

In the U.S., there are mandatory net metering laws in 38 states and Washington, D.C. Most states without a mandate have power companies that voluntarily offer the benefit in their service areas. South Dakota and Tennessee are the only two states with no version of net metering or similar programs.

If net metering is available in your area, you will be credited for your surplus energy in one of two ways:

  • Net metering at retail price: You get full credit for each kilowatt-hour sent to the grid. For example, if you're charged 16 cents per kWh consumed, you'll get a credit of 16 cents per kWh exported. This type of net metering is required by law in 29 states.
  • Net metering at a reduced feed-in tariff: Surplus electricity sent to the grid is credited at a lower rate. For example, you may be charged 16 cents per kWh for consumption but paid 10 cents per kWh exported. Feed-in tariffs and other alternative programs are used in 17 of the states where retail-rate net metering is not mandatory.

Note: This is just a simplified example — the exact kWh retail price and solar feed-in tariff will depend on your electricity plan.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is an excellent resource if you want to learn more about net metering and other solar power incentives in your state. You can also look for information about solar incentives by visiting the official websites of your state government and utility company.

Other Financial Incentives for Going Solar

Net metering policies are one of the most effective incentives for solar power. However, there are other financial incentives that can be combined with net metering to improve your ROI:

  • The federal solar tax credit lets you claim 26% of your solar installation costs as a tax deduction. For example, if your solar installation had a cost of $10,000, you can claim $2,600 on your next tax declaration. This benefit is available everywhere in the U.S.
  • State tax credits may also be available depending on where you live, and they can be claimed in addition to the federal incentive.
  • Solar rebates are offered by some state governments and utility companies. These are upfront cash incentives subtracted directly from the cost of your solar PV system.

In addition to seeking out solar incentives available to you, you should compare quotes from multiple installers before signing a solar contract. This will ensure you're getting the best deal available and help you avoid overpriced offers and underpriced, low-quality installations. You can start getting quotes from top solar companies near you by filling out the 30-second form below.

Frequently Asked Questions: Solar Net Metering

Why is net metering bad?

When managed correctly, net metering is beneficial for electricity consumers and power companies. There have been cases in which power grids lack the capacity to handle large amounts of power coming from homes and businesses. However, this is an infrastructure issue, not a negative aspect of net metering itself.

In places with a high percentage of homes and businesses using solar panels, surplus generation on sunny days can saturate the grid. This can be managed by modernizing the grid to handle distributed solar power more effectively with load management and energy storage systems.

How does net metering work?

With net metering, any electricity your solar panels produce that isn't used to power your home is fed into your local power grid. Your utility company will pay you for this power production through credits that can be applied to your monthly energy bills.

Can you make money net metering?

You can reduce your power bills with net metering, using surplus solar generation to compensate for your consumption when you can't generate solar power at night and on cloudy days. However, most power companies will not pay you for surplus production once your power bill has dropped to $0. Normally, that credit will be rolled over, to be used in months where your solar panels are less productive.

On very rare occasions, you may be paid for the accumulated balance over a year. However, this benefit is offered by very few electric companies and is subject to limitations.

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.

Best Solar Companies in New Jersey: 2021 Rankings & Reviews

What are the best solar installers in the Garden State?

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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.

Solar Financing: How Should You Pay For Solar Panels?

We'll walk you through cash payments, solar loans and solar leases.

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So, you've identified the best solar company and the best solar panels for your home; now comes the hard part: deciding on a solar financing plan. One of the biggest obstacles to making the switch is the cost of solar, but thankfully, there are a number of ways for homeowners to pay that require little to no money down even if you can't afford a large initial payment.

In this article, we'll break down avenues for solar financing including paying in cash, taking out a loan and solar panel leasing. Read on to learn which option might be the best choice for you.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on for and is not intended to provide accounting, legal or tax advice.

Don't know how much you'll need to finance? To find out more about the cost of solar for your home and receive a free, no-obligation quote, fill out the form below or use this tool to get connected with a solar installer in your area.

Most Common Solar Financing Options

When installing solar panels, there are generally three ways homeowners pay for their systems: cash, loan or lease.

1. Paying for Solar Panels in Cash

Paying for solar in cash maximizes your long-term savings. Sticker shock can be common, but keep in mind that by buying a residential solar system outright, you're essentially paying for about 25 years of electricity in advance.

Cash purchases provide a number of benefits — primarily protection from rising utility costs, inflation and interest — which can save you thousands in the long run and help you accurately and reliably budget household or business expenses years in advance.

The downside of paying cash is obvious: The upfront cost of solar equipment tends to be significant. Even after you take into account incentives like federal tax credits and rebates, you're looking at an investment of at least $10,000 to $20,000. This isn't going to be feasible for every homeowner.

2. Solar Financing Through Loans

For homeowners who can't (or prefer not to) spend this much money upfront, solar loans let you borrow money from a lender to fund your installation, and you can pay it back over time with your energy savings. The most common types of solar loans include unsecured personal loans, home equity loans or lines of credit, and in-house financing through your solar installation company.

The key benefit of a solar loan is that it allows borrowers more flexibility with their budgets while still maintaining the benefits of system ownership — mainly being able to claim the federal solar investment tax credit, which can be used to pay off a sizable portion of the loan soon after installation.

Some solar-friendly states and local governments have low-interest loan programs for clean energy systems or energy efficiency upgrades that you can take advantage of, such as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans.

If you choose a loan as your solar financing route, pay special attention to your annual percentage rate (APR), down payment amount, whether it's an adjustable or fixed rate, origination fees and loan payment terms. Interest rates and fees will be a main determinant of your solar payback period and the aggregate amount of money you spend on your installation.

If you're interested in paying for a solar installation via a loan, make sure you research all low-interest financing options available to you. A little research can save you a lot of money in the long run.

3. Leasing Solar Panels

You may also choose to lease your solar panels or participate in a power purchase agreement (PPA), through which you can buy the electricity the panels on your roof are producing. The solar company you lease through will retain ownership of the panels, letting the company cash in on the solar tax credit.

Solar leases and PPAs are pretty similar, but there's one significant difference: a solar lease entails fixed monthly payments to use solar panels and other solar equipment, whereas in a PPA, you make monthly payments simply for the electricity produced by the panels. Leases are more common through larger solar companies like Sunrun and SunPower.

The convenience of a solar lease can seem attractive at first, but for most homeowners, it doesn't make as much financial sense. Without system ownership, you won't be eligible for the solar tax credit, and the solar on your home won't enhance your property value.

In fact, leases can even make moving or selling a home more difficult, as you either have to transfer your lease (and pay to move your panels) or convince the new homeowner to assume it (which is hardly guaranteed).


Chart with projected lifetime savings of cash purchase of solar panels, solar loan or solar lease EcoWatch

Is Owning a System Better Than Leasing?

Purchasing a system either in cash or with a loan is what we refer to as system ownership, and it provides a number of key financial benefits. Though leases are still a great way to more simply cut your energy impact, choosing a lease will mean missing out on the following:

  • Eligibility for the federal solar tax credit: Currently, purchasing a solar system qualifies you for a tax credit that's worth 26% of the total equipment and installation cost of your system. (This number is set to decline in the coming years, so to take full advantage of it, act soon.)
  • Eligibility for local utility rebates: Many municipal utility companies offer rebates to homeowners who go solar. Research your utility provider to learn more.
  • Sales and property tax exemptions: Most states offer exemptions on sales and property taxes for qualifying solar equipment.
  • Property value addition: Solar increases your property value, but only if you own the system.

Think about it this way: one way or another, someone will have to purchase the panels that go on your home. This may be you or it may be your solar company. You may not know this, but some solar companies prefer when you choose a lease, because it means that they get to own the panels and reap the financial benefits, even if the panels are on your home.

Which Solar Financing Option is Right for You?

Ultimately, the best way to finance your solar power system will depend on a number of factors, including your expendable income, your credit score, your ability to get a good loan rate and more.

Here's a breakdown of which type of solar panel financing is generally best for which homeowners:

Solar Financing Option

Who it May Be Right For

Cash payment

  • Homeowners who want maximum savings
  • Homeowners who have enough tax liability to take advantage of the federal credit
  • Homeowners with enough cash to pay for their solar installation outright

Solar loan

  • Homeowners who don't have the funds to buy a solar system outright (or don't want to) but still want the benefits of system ownership
  • Homeowners who want to be eligible for all rebates and tax incentives

Solar lease or PPA

  • Homeowners who don't want to deal with system maintenance
  • Homeowners with low credit scores
  • Homeowners who are ineligible for tax credits
  • Homeowners who care more about helping the environment with solar and less about saving money

Costs of Solar Financing

The costs associated with solar financing will depend mostly on the interest rate you're able to secure from your lender. Here are a few tips to keep your rates as low as possible when financing a solar panel system:

  • Shop around: Spend some time shopping around and comparing rates and offers from various lenders. Most sources will give you a free quote that's valid for a few days while you survey other offers. Have a plan before you start getting quotes.
  • Have someone co-sign: Have a family member or close friend with excellent credit? Having a co-signer on your loan can make a lender far more likely to give you a better interest rate.
  • Raise your credit score: The higher your credit score, the better your interest rate will be. Even small adjustments to your credit score can alter what interest rates are available to you, sometimes saving you thousands in the long run.

To start comparing free quotes and financing options from solar companies in your area, you can use this tool or fill out the form below.

Frequently Asked Questions: Solar Financing

What is the best way to finance solar?

If you have the funds, paying in cash will maximize your long-term savings. For those without the necessary cash flow, a solar loan will make the most sense. Leases, for the most part, are still guaranteed to save you money, but they come with fewer benefits and less flexibility.

Is financing available for solar?

Yes, there are plenty of ways to finance solar panels. Banks, credit unions and even some solar installers offer their own lines of credit specifically to be used for installing solar equipment. A few solar-friendly states offer loan programs to help their residents enjoy the benefits of solar. Loan terms will vary depending on where you're located. Visit the DSIRE database to browse incentives available to you.

Is it smart to finance solar panels?

For those without the funds to buy solar equipment outright, financing solar panels can be a flexible and affordable way to lower monthly utility bills and reduce environmental impact. We recommend avoiding financing solar panels if you plan to move soon after your solar installation, however. Transferring a loan can be tricky.

Are solar loans worth it?

Taking out a solar loan delays your break-even point, but it still lets you cut your electric bills and enhance your property value. For many homeowners, solar loans are well worth it and offer much more upside than leasing a solar system.

Can you rent solar panels?

Yes, leasing solar panels is still a great option for homeowners who wish to quickly cut their dependence on non-renewable energy. However, for most homeowners, it is not financially prudent to do so.

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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Broadly speaking, state governments have led the way in implementing renewable energy policies in the U.S., and a couple of states have always been at the forefront of these efforts. Despite not having the vast land of California or the year-round sun of Arizona, the availability of a Massachusetts solar tax credit has long been a reason that this New England state is a top state for solar energy installations.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Massachusetts is currently eighth in the country for solar energy installations, which is especially impressive given how small the state is geographically compared with many of the states it's outranking. For residents, the availability of Massachusetts solar rebates and incentives has made solar energy an appealing and logical option, and in offering such opportunities, the Massachusetts government has set a great example for the rest of the country.

If you live in Massachusetts and are wondering how much a solar panel system would cost for your home, you can get a free quote from a certified solar installer near you by using this tool or filling out the form below.

Massachusetts Solar Tax Credit

The most appealing Massachusetts solar tax credit available is the Personal Income Tax Credit, otherwise known as the Residential Renewable Energy Income Tax Credit. Massachusetts residents who purchase home solar energy systems are eligible for a tax credit on their income tax filing that totals 15% of the cost of the solar system (up to a maximum tax credit of $1,000).

Massachusetts implemented this tax credit back in 2016, and the direct impact is bringing down the cost of solar panels for homeowners. This serves as a hefty incentive to adopt solar power or another renewable energy system. The impact has been steady and notable, which is no doubt a reason that solar installers have seen such demand across the state of Massachusetts.

Other Massachusetts Solar Incentives

While the Massachusetts solar tax credit has been the most heralded and impactful of the solar incentives available in the state, residents of Massachusetts have several additional opportunities to take advantage. The following programs and policies make the decision to go solar even more financially savvy.

Massachusetts Solar Rebates and Incentives

Description

Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program

Customers who install approved solar systems can get direct compensation for every kilowatt-hour generated by their system.

Massachusetts Solar Tax Exemptions

Massachusetts does not collect sales tax on solar systems and omits the value of solar systems from property value assessments for tax purposes.

Massachusetts Net Metering Program

Homes and businesses are paid per kilowatt-hour for all excess electricity they generate and send back to the central power grid.

Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program

The goal of the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program is to offer direct incentives for both residential and commercial solar energy systems that are tied to one of three investor-owned utility grids in the state: Eversource, National Grid and Unitil.

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources instituted this program in late 2018 and it directly pays the owners of solar systems for all power generated by their systems for 10 years.

The specifics of how much a customer gets paid varies based on their utility provider and the size of their system, but the payouts range from $0.22 per kilowatt-hour produced all the way up to $0.34 per kWh. Further, the SMART program has added provisions for higher payouts if a battery storage system is added. While many solar systems can already pay for themselves via reduced energy bills in less than a decade, the additional incentives offered by the SMART program can nearly cut the solar payback period in half.

Massachusetts Solar Tax Exemptions

Direct tax exemptions are another way that the state of Massachusetts seeks to ensure that the cost of solar panels is not preventing residents from investing. Most products in the state will have a standard sales tax of 6.25% applied at the point of sale, but Massachusetts would rather the tax not be collected if it would deter any additional homes from investing in solar. As a result, solar energy systems are exempt from sales tax.

Another solar tax exemption offered to owners of systems in Massachusetts is the property tax exemption. For any typical home upgrade — such as an extension to a house, a new pool, or otherwise — the property will get inspected, and the value of the home is reassessed so taxes can be paid on the full value of the home. While solar energy systems increase the value of a home and how much it can sell for, the state of Massachusetts opts to not include the value of the solar system when assessing the total amount at which the property should be taxed.

Massachusetts Net Metering Program

Lastly, Massachusetts is ahead of the curve when it comes to net metering as a benefit allowed for owners of solar systems. Through net metering, properties that are generating electricity, whether through solar panels or otherwise, can be compensated for sending excess power that they don't need in a given moment back into the grid.

For example, the peak time to generate solar power is mid-afternoon, but if a home is empty during those hours because its residents are at school or work, it's likely that all of that energy will not be used. In such an instance, the home can send power to the local grid to be used by other people in the service area, and thanks to net metering policies in Massachusetts, the owners of those solar systems are compensated at the same price they pay when consuming power from the grid.

When done optimally, such net metering policies can nearly wipe out an entire power bill for efficient homes operating with solar.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

While Massachusetts is going out of its way to offer tax incentives and rebates to potential solar customers, these projects are eligible for the relevant federal solar tax credit as well. In fact, the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the most commonly utilized tax credit for new solar projects and has been for a number of years.

For eligible customers and solar systems, the ITC allows 26% of the cost of solar systems to be claimed as a credit against federal tax returns, provided those systems are operational before December 31, 2022. For systems placed into service in 2023, the tax credit is 22% of the total system cost. As the code is currently written, there is no ITC for solar systems installed after 2023, though clean energy advocates and pro-solar politicians are seeking to extend the federal solar tax credit in the future.

FAQ: Massachusetts Solar Incentives

Does Massachusetts have a solar tax credit?

Massachusetts has a solar tax credit called the Residential Renewable Energy Income Tax Credit. Homeowners can claim this credit on their state tax filing, and it's worth 15% of the cost of the solar system (up to a maximum tax credit of $1,000). All Massachusetts installations are also eligible for the federal investment tax credit (ITC).

Is it worth going solar in Massachusetts?

Yes, Massachusetts offers numerous financial incentives that help the already profitable endeavor of installing solar energy to be even better for the budget in the long run. With properly planned and installed solar systems, many in Massachusetts can expect their payback period to be just a couple of years, though you should consult with an expert about your exact situation for any unique aspects of your potential solar system.

Can you get free solar in Massachusetts?

Solar energy systems will always come with some level of upfront costs, though many opportunities exist for financing (including on-bill financing) that bring the initial capital required down to a manageable and accessible level for residents across Massachusetts. Once systems are installed, the reduced energy bills, the availability of net metering, and potential participation in the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program will all pay back the initial investment and the bulk of the solar system's life will represent profit.

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Massachusetts?

The specific costs will vary based on the size of the system and how well suited the potential location is to solar installations. That said, our research shows that the average cost paid in Massachusetts is $2.94 per watt for solar system installations, slightly higher than the nationwide average of $2.66 per watt.

To see how much a solar system would cost for your home, specifically, you can use this tool or fill out the form below to get a free, no-obligation quote from a certified solar installer near you.

2022 New Jersey Solar Tax Credits, Incentives & Rebates

See what kind of financial incentives are available for Garden State homeowners who go solar.

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If you're looking for information about New Jersey solar tax credit and incentive programs, you've come to the right place. According to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), electricity prices in New Jersey are about 30% higher than the U.S. average. However, this also means that the kilowatt-hours produced by solar panels will save you about 30% more, and the state offers many financial incentives that improve your return on investment.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports that by the end of Q2 2021, New Jersey had an installed solar capacity of 3,739 MW, which is enough to meet the electricity needs of over 579,000 homes. The NJ solar industry has already received over $11 billion in total investment, and there are 470 solar companies providing more than 5,300 jobs in the state.

New Jersey gets modest sunshine compared to states like Texas and California, but it has favorable laws and incentives for solar power. This has helped the Garden State become one of the best states for solar in the nation.

In this article, we'll take a look at the full array of New Jersey solar incentives. If you'd like to see right away how much a solar installation would cost for your home, you can use this tool or fill out the form below to get a free, no-obligation quote from a pre-screened New Jersey installer.

New Jersey Solar Tax Credits and Solar Rebates

When you consider New Jersey solar incentives and electricity prices, it's possible to get a solar payback period of less than six years. This is great for an investment that has a service life of 25 years or more and is covered by manufacturer warranties for the majority of that period. The following chart summarizes all the benefits available when going solar in New Jersey:

New Jersey Solar Incentive

Program Overview

New Jersey Net Metering Programs

Net metering is required by law in NJ, which means you get credits for surplus solar energy that gets exported to the grid. These credits can be used to pay power bills.

Transition Renewable Energy Certificates

You earn one TREC for every 1,000 kWh generated by your solar panels, and each TREC sells for $91.20 (as of November 2021).

New Jersey Solar Tax Exemptions

Solar panels are exempt from the 7% sales tax in NJ, and your home value increase after installing solar is exempt from property taxes.

Local Incentives

Additional incentives and low-interest financing programs may be available, depending on where you live in New Jersey.

New Jersey Net Metering Programs

Net metering is a simple concept, and it makes solar power much more valuable for homes. When your solar panels are producing more electricity than what your home is consuming, the difference gets fed back into the grid. Thanks to New Jersey's net metering regulations, electricity providers must give you full retail value credit for surplus solar energy, which gets subtracted from your electric bills.

  • As a quick example, assume your solar panel system produces 1,000 kWh of energy during a month, but you only consume 600 kWh. The other 400 kWh is exported to the grid.
  • Thanks to net metering, you'll receive the full value of that 400 kWh. In states without this benefit, electricity companies decide how to compensate you for surplus solar power, and many of them only give partial credit.

Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) and PSE&G currently have the two largest net metering programs in New Jersey. If there is a month where your solar generation is higher than your electricity consumption, credits are rolled over to the next billing period. Once per year, accumulated credits in your favor are compensated at wholesale price (not retail price) and the balance resets to zero.

Transition Renewable Energy Certificates

In New Jersey, solar panels not only give you power bill savings. You can also accumulate Transition Renewable Energy Certificates based on how much electricity is generated.

  • For every megawatt-hour (1,000 kWh) of solar generation, you get one TREC.
  • Electric utilities and other companies with a legal obligation to support renewable energy will purchase TRECs as part of their compliance efforts.
  • As of November 2021, each TREC sells for $91.20.

If a solar energy system in New Jersey produces over 10,000 kWh per year, you get an additional 10 TRECs. With an electricity tariff of 16 cents/kWh, you would save $1,600 per year. However, you also get $912 for the 10 TRECs, and your total economic benefit is $2,512 per year.

New Jersey Solar Tax Exemptions

There are two main tax incentives for New Jersey homeowners going solar: a property tax exemption and state sales tax exemption.

  • Solar panels are exempt from increased property taxes. If a home has an assessed property value of $400,000, and solar panels increase this to $420,000, the owner will still be taxed on $400,000.
  • Solar panels are exempt from New Jersey's 7% sales tax, which immediately makes them more affordable. For example, if the sales price of your home solar system is $15,000, you're saving $1,050 right away.

Solar Rebates and Other Local Incentives

In addition to the incentive programs described above, additional benefits such as solar rebates may be available in some New Jersey municipalities. Before installing solar panels, make sure you're not missing out on any incentives available in your area.

New Jersey has also enacted laws that enable PACE financing in the state. PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy, and these programs give you low-interest loans for solar panels and other clean energy upgrades. As of the end of 2021, there are a few PACE programs under development in New Jersey, but the options are still limited.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

The 26% federal solar tax credit is a nationwide benefit, and you can combine it with New Jersey solar incentives to improve your ROI. The official name of this incentive is the Investment Tax Credit or ITC. The credit is set to reduce to 22% in 2023 and will not be continued thereafter unless Congress approves an extension.

You can read our federal solar tax credit guide for more information on how this credit works.

Any top solar company will be able to help you identify and apply for financial incentives available in your area. To get connected to a certified installer near you, you can use this tool or fill out the form below.

FAQ: New Jersey Solar Incentives

Is solar really free in NJ?

No, New Jersey doesn't have any official programs that offer free solar panels. However, solar panels can achieve a payback period of fewer than six years in the state, while lasting for 25 years or more. In other words, you have free electricity for many years after recovering your initial investment.

With a low-interest loan, you can go solar for $0 upfront, then use electricity savings to pay off the loan. Strictly speaking, this doesn't make solar panels free, but they are essentially paying for themselves.

Is solar good in New Jersey?

Yes, solar is good in New Jersey. New Jersey has above-average electricity prices and many incentive programs for solar power, and this improves your return on investment when going solar. Although there are sunnier places in the U.S., New Jersey gets enough sunshine to make solar panels cost-effective.

Can you sell power back to the grid in NJ?

Yes, you sell power back to the grid in NJ. New Jersey has one of the best net metering programs in the U.S., where you get full credit for solar electricity that gets exported to the grid. Unused credit can be rolled over to the next month, and you get paid for accumulated credit once per year.

All electricity sent to the grid is credited at retail price, except for accumulated annual credits, which are paid at wholesale prices (the price paid by electricity providers when purchasing energy from power generators).

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.
2022 North Carolina Solar Tax Credits, Incentives & More

We break down solar incentives available in the Tar Heel State.

Renewable Energy
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North Carolina consistently ranks among the top states for solar energy, but what kinds of incentives are residents able to take advantage of to lower the cost of going solar? In this article, we’ll provide an overview of all North Carolina solar tax credit, rebate and other incentive opportunities available to homeowners, which have contributed to the local growth of clean energy.

The SEIA gathers detailed information about the solar industry in each state, and the outlook for North Carolina is very promising. According to the latest SEIA data, the state has over 7,200 megawatts of solar capacity, which is enough to power more than 846,000 homes. The accumulated investment in North Carolina’s solar industry now exceeds $9.8 billion, with more than 6,100 jobs created so far.

North Carolina has enacted favorable legislation for solar power. There is a net metering policy, which ensures you get full credit when exporting surplus solar energy to the grid. There is also a law that enables low-interest green energy loans from county and city governments. Let’s dig in.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on for and is not intended to provide accounting, legal or tax advice.

North Carolina Solar Incentives

Although there are sunnier regions in the U.S., the Global Solar Atlas shows North Carolina gets decent sunshine. The state also offers several incentive programs that improve your return on investment when going solar.

North Carolina Solar Incentive

Program Overview

Property Tax Abatement for Solar Electric Systems

North Carolina does not tax you for the increase in property value after installing solar panels.

North Carolina Net Metering Policy

Surplus electricity from your home solar system is credited at retail price on your next power bill.

Duke Energy Solar Rebate

Duke Energy customers can qualify for a cash incentive when installing a solar panel system.

Local Option - Financing Program for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

North Carolina has a law that enables revolving loan programs from cities and counties, with a maximum interest rate of 8% and a maximum term of 20 years.

Local Incentives

Additional incentives may be available from your county, city or utility company.

We'll go into detail about each North Carolina solar incentive below, but if you haven't already, we recommend getting a free quote from a certified installer in your area to see exactly how much these tax credits and rebates could save you. To get started, you can use this tool or fill out the following form:

North Carolina Solar Tax Incentives

North Carolina has offered a property tax exemption for solar panels and solar thermal electric systems since 2008. These systems increase the value of your property, like any other home upgrade, but NC does not tax you for that increase. For example, if solar panels increase the value of a home from $270,000 to $300,000, the owner will still be taxed for a $270,000 home.

This benefit is also available for solar power systems owned by commercial, industrial and agricultural energy users. However, in these cases, the property tax exemption applies for 80% of the system’s value, instead of the 100% exemption available for homeowners.

Net Metering in North Carolina

North Carolina offers net metering for solar power systems up to 1,000 kW of capacity, which covers all residential systems and many industrial and commercial solar systems. However, leased solar systems have a much lower limit for net metering: 20 kW or 100% of estimated demand, whichever is less.

Surplus electricity from your solar panels is credited on your next bill, which means you save the full value of the kilowatt-hours that get exported to the grid. However, your accumulated balance expires at the start of the summer billing period. Having an optimally sized solar power system is recommended, since an oversized system generates electricity that you can never subtract from your bills.

Duke Energy Solar Rebate

If you’re a Duke Energy customer who plans to install solar panels, you may qualify for the utility company’s North Carolina Solar Rebate Program. The available funding for 2021 ran out very quickly, but you can join a waiting list for when the program reopens in 2022. The incentive per kilowatt changes depending on the type of customer, but the program website lists the fol