Top 6 Best Solar Companies in North Carolina (2023 Reviews)

Here’s what you’ll learn in this guide to the best solar installers in North Carolina:

  • What are the best solar companies in North Carolina?
  • How do I choose a solar installer in North Carolina?
  • How do I save money on solar panels in North Carolina?
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What Are North Carolina’s Top 6 Solar Energy Companies?

The environmental benefits of home solar systems are nationally recognized, but many homeowners go solar because of the money it saves them on their energy bills. With a lower-than-average cost per watt and average lifetime savings of more than $20,000, many North Carolina residents have made the decision to switch to solar energy. 

Whatever your reason may be for making the switch, the first step for North Carolinians is to find a trustworthy solar company to take on the installation. Instead of committing to the first solar company that gives you a quote, reach out to several of our best solar installers to compare quotes and find the right solar system for your home.

Here are the top six solar energy companies in North Carolina that we recommend starting with:

It’s not always easy to find a solar installer that’s right for your home solar system, which is why we sifted through all available solar companies in North Carolina and found the installers that we truly believe are the best. Check out our in-depth reviews in the drop-downs below.

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8M Solar

Outstanding Local Installer

Local Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Competitive pricing
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Great warranty coverage

Cons

  • Some reported issues with financing partners
Badge icon

NC Solar Now

Outstanding Local Installer

Local Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Locally owned and operated
  • Competitive pricing
  • NABCEP-certified technicians

Cons

  • Less customization than competitors offer
  • Slightly limited service area
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ADT Solar

Best Warranty Coverage

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Read full review now

Pros

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area

Cons

  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs
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Blue Raven Solar

Best Solar Financing

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Read full review now

Pros

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation

Cons

  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)
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Covenant Solar

Outstanding Regional Installer

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Competitive pricing
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Educational, no-pressure sales approach

Cons

  • No leases or PPAs
Badge icon

SunPower

Best National Provider

Nationwide Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Read full review now

Pros

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

How To Save Money When Hiring A Solar Company In North Carolina

At about $2.54 per watt, the average price for a North Carolina solar system is between $8,890 to $17,780 after the federal investment tax credit. This price may be lower than the average solar system price, but many homeowners still look for ways to save as much money as possible.

Luckily, the state of North Carolina and local utility companies offer several different incentive programs to help you save money and there are other money-saving tricks to employ.

North Carolina Incentives and Rebates

Your solar panels will save you money on your monthly energy bill, but one of the best ways to save money on your new solar system is to cash in on incentive programs and rebates. Every North Carolina resident can benefit from the 30% back from the federal solar tax credit, but there is even more money to be saved.

We’ve included a brief list of incentives below that you may be eligible for, but also have an entire page dedicated to how North Carolina’s solar incentives can help to reduce the cost of going solar.

North Carolina Solar Incentive Description
North Carolina Property Tax Abatement Even though solar panels will increase your property’s value, you will not be taxed on this increase.
North Carolina Net Metering Policy Overproduction from your solar panels may be credited toward future energy bills.
Duke Energy Solar Rebate Duke Energy customers can get monetary incentives by installing solar panels.
Financing Program for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency North Carolina law states that solar loan programs cannot go above 8% interest rate and must have a maximum term of 20 years.
Local North Carolina Incentives More local incentives may be available in your area. Ask your solar contractor for more information.

System Size

To save the most money on your solar system, don’t buy a system that is too large. North Carolina does have good net energy metering policies that will credit extra energy production towards your next energy bill, but you still don’t need to invest in a large system that consistently produces more energy than you can use.

Instead, evaluate your monthly energy usage and determine the right-sized system for your home. You can easily do this by reviewing your monthly energy statements, but you should also ask local solar installers for their opinions because they know the area best.

Community Solar in North Carolina

If you want to benefit from solar energy but do not want to pay the high upfront costs for solar electricity, you should consider community solar. It may still be a work in progress, but some North Carolina communities have community solar gardens that will save you money on your energy bills.1 If you are a renter or have another constraint that limits your solar-building capabilities, all you need to do is pay for the monthly subscription.

Currently, this perk is available in cities such as Fayetteville, Greensboro and Durham. So if you reside in other areas, such as Raleigh and Asheville, you may need to install your own solar panels.

Read Also: Calculate How Much You Can Save By Going Solar

EcoWatch Solar NC

Will Solar Increase Your Home Value In North Carolina?

Yes, solar panels do increase your home’s value. Monthly energy savings are likely the driving force behind your desire for solar panels, but it’s important to keep the other benefits you can reap from your solar panel system in mind. When you install solar panels on your home, you will see an increase in your home’s value. The best part? You don’t have to pay taxes on that increase.

According to data gathered from Zillow, the average North Carolina home is valued at $322,055, and at the average 4.1% property value increase2, homeowners will see $13,205 added to the value of their home. This makes solar panels an excellent investment, and one you will see should you sell your home.

Should North Carolina Residents Hire a Professional Solar Installer Or DIY?

Solar panel installation is expensive, so you — like many other North Carolina residents – may have considered a DIY solar installation. If you install your own panels you may save money now, but if you aren’t careful as you undergo the installation process, you could cost yourself thousands of dollars in damage to your home.

Save Your Home From Roof Damage

Even if you have extensive DIY home improvement experience, there is always the chance that you could damage your home when you install solar panels. When you hire professional solar installers, your solar panels will be installed correctly and without damage to your roof and home.

Install Solar Panels to Building Codes and Pass Building Inspections

To install solar panels, you have to get certain permits and pass inspections before you can receive permission to operate. If you do not install your panels correctly, you could potentially be fined or have to remove your panels altogether.

By hiring professionals, you are guaranteed to pass all your inspections and are much less likely to run into any problems with building permits.

Benefit from Workmanship Warranties

Most professional solar installers have workmanship warranties that will cover the cost to fix your solar panels or shingles if any were damaged during installation. If you install your panels yourself, you’ll miss out on this protection.

Even if you have product or performance warranties from your manufacturer, you may not be able to benefit from these. Your solar panels’ manufacturer could come back and claim that the problem is poor installation and not the product, which means you’d have to pay to fix your panels by yourself.

What Should North Carolina Residents Look For in a Solar Installer?

As you look for the right solar installer for your home, it’s important to find a company that checks all your boxes. Quality solar panels and expert installation should be your top priority, but you should also consider:

  • Warranty coverage
  • Years in business
  • Services offered
  • Service area and headquarters
  • Industry affiliations
  • Customer experience
  • Solar pricing and financing

Warranty Coverage

A reputable solar energy system is backed by a strong warranty, and every single company on our list of best solar panels in North Carolina comes with an industry-excellent 25-year warranty. Not all warranties are equal, but any company that offers a separate workmanship warranty alongside product or performance warranties should be at the top of your list.

Solar panels often come with these two types of warranties:

  • A performance warranty on solar panels often guarantees 90% production for up to 10 years, then 80% until 25 years.
  • An equipment warranty on solar panels usually guarantees 10 to 12 years of working without failing.

Keep in mind that solar panel warranties don’t cover severe weather damage or accidents that occurred on your property. However, photovoltaic installations are considered home improvement projects, and insurance companies often extend coverage to such incidents.

Years in Business

A company’s age is not always the best indicator of its services, but many solar veterans have ten or more years in business to their names. We advise homeowners to look for companies that have more experience because these companies have likely installed more solar panels in North Carolina, and thus, have the expertise needed to advise you on your home solar project.

The most experienced solar provider on our list is SunPower, but that doesn’t mean you should count out newer companies such as ADT because this company alone has installed more than 55,000 solar panels.

Services Offered

Many solar companies primarily install solar panels, but additional services — such as electrical contracting, roofing and energy efficiency audits and upgrades — show how much industry knowledge and experience a provider brings to the table.

Local companies, such as NC Solar Now and 8M Solar, offer more services than just solar panel installation. North Carolina residents can trust these providers to do more than just install solar panels and move on. Instead, these companies want to do more for your home and will quickly come to your aid should your panels need repairs.

Service Area and Headquarters

north carolina best solar companies

Take note of both the solar provider’s service areas and headquarters. A company based out of state may have issues with communication if it relies on third-party subcontractors. If you have a backup battery or inverter failure, will the company respond efficiently and investigate thoroughly?

Local companies – such as NC Solar Now, 8M Solar and Covenant Solar – are located in North Carolina. Not only do local installers know the area best, but it means that you won’t have to scramble to find an electrician to do maintenance on your panels should your system break down.

Industry Affiliations

A solar provider’s industry affiliations reflect its service scope, ethics and qualifications. You should look for these certifications because it indicates a company upholds industry standards and follows solar installation best practices.

  • Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
  • North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)
  • Certified B Corps

We also advise our readers to check IREC’s National Solar Licensing Database, as well as your state government’s licensing requirements. Your solar provider should operate with the proper business and contracting licenses.

Customer Experience

One of the best ways to research a company is to read its reviews. You can look at the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Google Reviews or Yelp because you will find honest reviews from real North Carolina customers. If you look for ADT, for example, you might find that customers rave about how smooth the solar installation process was, but others complain about pushy sales pitches and poor communication after installation.

Solar Pricing and Financing

Cost is one of the biggest concerns that solar shoppers have as they research solar panel options. Solar panel systems are expensive, and not every homeowner wants to pay top dollar for a high-efficiency panel from SunPower. Instead, some homeowners may want more affordable options, such as the panels and financing packages offered from Blue Raven.

You can get a good sense of financing options if you gather quotes from reputable solar companies. As you get quotes and talk to solar representatives, you should look for:

  • Companies that focus on education on solar incentives, such as rebates, renewable energy credits, the federal tax credit and application assistance, such as 8M Solar
  • Flexibility with down payments, payment plans, interest rates and loan partners, such as SunPower
  • No obligation, free quotes and no upselling, like with NC Solar Now

Methodology: How We Ranked North Carolina’s Solar Companies in 2023

When we rank our top solar companies, we identify the factors that matter most to ensure that our readers find a trustworthy, reliable and environmentally responsible installation. We then weigh these factors against the industry benchmark and rate each company. A company meeting the industry standard would earn 4 stars, while a perfect score would earn 5.

Our goal is to deliver unbiased reports and honest reviews, thus, our methodology is not affected by commercial partnerships and is specifically tailored to North Carolina homes.

  • Solar Services (20%) 
  • Qualifications, Reputation & Certifications (20%)
  • Solar Warranty & Customer Support (15%)
  • Solar Financing Options (15%)
  • Experience (10%)
  • Availability (10%)
  • Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance Factors (10%)

Solar Services

A company earns a perfect score in this category if it offers in-house installations, energy storage systems (solar batteries) and home-efficiency audits or upgrades. A company can earn bonus points if it offers additional services that we don’t yet consider essential in NC, including electric vehicle chargers, home thermostats, roofing etc. The industry standard that we measure against includes solar panel and backup battery installations only.

All of the solar companies on our North Carolina list offer more than just basic solar panel installation. However, NC Solar Now and Covenant Solar excel in this category because each offers so much more. NC Solar Now specializes in ground-mounted solar systems and electric vehicle chargers, and Covenant has technicians skilled in roof replacement and solar installation.

Qualifications, Reputation & Certifications

A company earns a perfect score in this category if it is: NABCEP-certified, has a minimum of four stars over its last 100 reviews on Google, an A+ with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and 4 or more stars on Glassdoor to reflect employee satisfaction and low turnover rate. It isn’t common that every company on our list of recommended solar providers has an A+ BBB rating, but each company on the list in this report currently has an A+.

We give bonus points for additional certifications, such as LEED or with the Building Performance Institute (BPI). We flag a company for further review if it has any track record of lawsuits or customer rights violations.

Solar Warranty & Customer Support

A company earns a perfect score in this category if it offers 25-year warranties that cover performance, product and workmanship. The industry standard that we measure companies against is 25-year product and performance warranties, along with a 10-year workmanship warranty. We also look closely into the track record of the post-installation support each company provides in terms of honoring its warranties.

All of our recommended companies have 25-year warranties, but not everyone is as responsive to customers who want to use those warranties. In some regions, ADT has not been great at post-installation communication, but 8M Solar customers rave about its responsive customer service team.

Remember, a warranty is only any good if your company honors it.

Solar Financing Options

best solar installer NC

A company earns a perfect score in this category if it offers multiple financing options, including in-house options in addition to partner organizations. As many solar companies choose not to offer leases and PPAs in the interest of consumer well-being, we do not dock points for companies that don’t offer them.

Blue Raven is well known as one of the most affordable solar installers around and has flexible in-house financing, so it does very well in this category. SunPower also rises above the rest in this category because as of 2020, it secured $1 billion in residential solar and storage financing through its partnership with Technology Credit Union.

Experience in North Carolina

A company earns a perfect score in this category if it has 10+ years of experience installing solar. The industry standard that we measure against is at least five years of experience, and luckily, every installer on our North Carolina list has well over five years of experience.

SunPower has been in the solar industry since 1985, so it of course does well in this category. Yet, local installers, such as 8M Solar and NC Solar Now have the valuable in-state experience that gives each an edge over larger national businesses.

Availability

A company earns a perfect score in this category if it offers services in the majority of North Carolina. Even if a company services North Carolina, it may only stick to certain areas. For instance, Covenant Solar is only available in some areas of North Carolina whereas 8M Solar and NC Solar Now will work with any home in this state.

Environmental, Social & Corporate Governance Factors

A company earns a perfect score in this category if it offers public data disclosure, addresses end-of-life (EoL) products or processes and demonstrates a commitment to uplifting the communities that it serves. SunPower’s Maxeon solar panels were the first to become Cradle to Cradle sustainability certified, so you can trust this company to be both sustainable and committed to improving the environment.

FAQ: Best Solar Companies in North Carolina

Understandably, several unanswered questions come to mind as you shop for home solar. Here are a few of the most common questions we get from our North Carolina readers about the best local solar installers. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at solar@ecowatch.com.

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Article author
Based in the Minneapolis area, Alora is an avid writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Alora has a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in child, family and school psychology, but she has always had a love for biology and environmental studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Alora spent her days working with children with disabilities and nights as a freelance writer of commercial, blog and technical content. When she is not at the workplace, Alora can be found hiking with her dogs, chasing sunsets with her camera or plotting her next novel.
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Expert reviewer
Karsten is an editor and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. His work has been shared by sources including NPR, the World Economic Forum, Marketwatch and the SEIA, and he is certified in ESG with the CFA Institute. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.

Comparing authorized solar partners

EcoWatch rating
Average cost
Pros
Cons
BBB Rating
Year founded
Service Area
Brands of Solar Equipment Offered
  • 5.0
    • Competitive pricing
    • Representatives are experts on local policies
    • Offers products from leading manufacturers
    • Great warranty coverage
    • Some reported issues with financing partners
    A+
    Outstanding Local Installer

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