Top 4 Best Solar Companies in North Dakota (2023 Reviews)

In this guide to choosing a reputable solar installer in North Dakota, you’ll learn:

  • What are the best North Dakota solar panel installation companies?
  • How do you choose the right solar installer for your needs and budget in North Dakota?
  • Will installing your panels yourself save you money in North Dakota, and is it a good idea?
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What Are North Dakota’s Top 4 Solar Energy Companies?

As indicated by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), there are few solar installers operating in North Dakota.1 However, there are plenty of companies in neighboring states and national companies that service homeowners in the area, so you’ll still have lots of companies to choose from to convert your home to clean energy.

We’ve researched each of the installers that operate in ND and have determined that the options below are the best in the state:

You can check out the drop-down menus below to get more information on each of these companies and see why we believe they’re good matches for solar customers in North Dakota.

Badge icon

Lightspring Solar

Outstanding Regional Installer

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Locally owned and operated
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Custom system designs
  • Representatives are experts on local policies

Cons

  • Relatively young company
  • Limited warranty coverage
  • No leases or PPAs
Badge icon

GenPro Energy Solutions

Outstanding Regional Installer

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • NABCEP-certified technicians
  • Competitive pricing
  • Multitude of products and services

Cons

  • No leases or PPAs
  • Limited warranty coverage
Badge icon

REAL Solar

Outstanding Regional Installer

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Outstanding customer service
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • NABCEP-certified technicians
  • Representatives are experts on local policies

Cons

  • Limited service area
  • No leases or PPAs
  • Slightly limited service offerings
  • Limited warranty coverage
Badge icon

Wind and Solar World

Solar Veteran

Local Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Outstanding customer service
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Representatives are experts on local policies

Cons

  • Limited warranty coverage
  • No leases or PPAs

How Can You Save Money When Hiring A Solar Company In North Dakota

sunset shining on solar panelsWith the average North Dakota solar system cost sitting at $26,620 before incentives, most residents will look for ways to save money on their conversion costs.

We have some tips you can use to help you save money on your PV equipment, including:

  • Take advantage of available solar benefit programs
  • Choose a high-efficiency panel
  • Do your best to get warranty coverage
  • Get multiple quotes

We’ll explain how these tips can save you money in the sections below.

Take Advantage of Solar Incentives

The easiest and often the most effective way to keep down your installation costs is to take advantage of the solar incentives available to you. North Dakota isn’t the most generous with solar benefit programs, but there are some that can bring your effective system costs down by thousands of dollars.

We’ll include a quick list of the incentives in ND in the table below. You can also check out our guide to solar benefit programs in North Dakota for more information on these perks and how to file for them.

Solar Benefit Program Program Description
Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) The federal solar tax credit is for 30% of your entire system cost, including panels, inverters, batteries and labor. That amount gets applied to the income taxes you owe and effectively brings down your tax burden. In ND, the federal tax credit averages out to $7,986.
Net Metering Net metering is a billing policy that credits you for any excess power you generate and send to your local utility company. The credits you earn are applied to future bills where your consumption has been greater than production. Net metering is mandated in ND, although the avoided-cost rate (below the retail rate) is used, which isn’t ideal.
North Dakota Solar/Wind Easement Laws These laws guarantee solar owners the right to access the sunlight that would normally hit their roofs. Although it doesn’t specifically bring down installation costs, it can help maximize the production of your panels, which pushes up your energy savings.
Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption PV panels are expected to bump up your property value quite significantly.2 Normally, a value-increasing home improvement would cause your property taxes to go up, but this exemption prevents that from happening when you convert to solar.

Choose a Panel Brand With a High Efficiency

Next, we recommend that you choose an installer that offers high-efficiency panel brands. Some brands that work well in North Dakota include:

  • SunPower
  • Tesla
  • REC
  • Qcells
  • Canadian Solar
  • Panasonic
  • Trina Solar

High-efficiency panels are helpful in North Dakota because monthly power consumption is well above average, with below-average sunshine. Although the electricity rates are around average, the energy bills are high due to the consumption. Higher consumption means you need more solar electricity to offset your usage.

Efficient panels generate more electricity in all situations, so they’re better suited to save you money over time in the state.

Get a Workmanship Warranty If You Can

We also recommend choosing an installer that offers workmanship warranty coverage, if possible. North Dakota residents see well-above-average amounts of snowfall, which can expose issues with the installation rapidly and lead to roof leaks if errors are made.

Although most installers in ND don’t offer workmanship warranties, they’re a great option for protecting yourself against expensive property damage if you are able to secure them.

Get Multiple Quotes

Finally, we recommend that you get quotes from a few different installers. Each company can offer wildly different system prices based on labor charges and the quality and cost of the equipment it installs. Getting a few quotes and comparing them based on price and value for the money is a great way to save when converting to solar.

See Also: Calculate How Much You Can Save By Switching to Solar

Will Solar Increase Your Home Value In North Dakota?

Yes, installing a solar energy system is expected to bump up your property value in any state. Experts estimate that your property value should increase by around 4.1%.3 Based on the average home value of around $285,000 in North Dakota, that’s an expected bump of over $11,500.4

Thankfully, that value increase doesn’t come with a bump in property taxes, as it would in some states. North Dakota offers a property tax exemption for solar equipment, so your taxes will remain unaffected by the value increase.

There aren’t any particularly solar-friendly cities in ND, although you’re likely to see a more significant value increase in areas where homes are more expensive. The cities below are some of the most expensive and should, therefore, see a greater upside to converting to solar:

  • Watford City
  • Surrey
  • Grand Forks
  • Fargo
  • Dickinson

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

DIY solar installation often seems appealing in places like ND, where the cost to convert to solar through a professional is above average. Hiring an expert to install your system will average around $26,500, but a DIY PV panel system in the area would likely cost closer to $15,000.

Unfortunately, as appealing as the initial savings may be, there are some drawbacks to installing your own PV equipment. These include:

  • Lower panel efficiencies
  • Limited warranty coverage
  • A greater risk of installation mistakes and resulting property damage

Ultimately, we believe paying a professional to carry out the work for you is worthwhile. We’ll explain why in the sections below.

DIY Panels Aren’t As Efficient

First off, DIY panel brands like Renogy and WindyNation have below-average panel efficiencies — usually between 15% and 18%. Professional brands like SunPower and Tesla have efficiencies between 20% and 23% in most cases.

A high panel efficiency may cost you more up front, but it’s a better option in ND, where energy consumption is so high. More-efficient panels can very often pay for themselves by providing greater energy savings and reducing your panel payback period.

Warranty Coverage With DIY Panel Brands Is Minimal

Warranty coverage is important in North Dakota for a few reasons:

  • Equipment warranties help ensure your system is free from manufacturing defects that cause lower energy production
  • Efficiency warranties ensure your panels continue to perform at their peak capability, which means you’ll tend to save more on energy bills over time
  • Workmanship warranties help avoid issues with poor installation technique, which can lead to roof leaks — especially when snow falls onto your rooftop solar panels

Although many professional installation companies in ND don’t provide the greatest warranty coverage, even those that offer just the manufacturer’s warranty — 25 years for equipment — often overshadow what you’d get with a DIY panel — around ten years.

DIY Installations Come With a Greater Risk of Property Damage

Finally, DIYers are far more likely to make mistakes during the installation process. Mistakes can be costly as solar installations require roof penetrations that open you up to leaking and water damage.

You’ll almost always pay more for a professional installation, but having an experienced technician do the work reduces your risk of costly property damage. Ultimately, that can save you money on repairs or system replacement.

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

Although there are only a handful of solar installation companies available to you in ND, choosing the right one for your needs can still be overwhelming. There are a few things we recommend you focus on to make sure you get the best system and service possible. These include:

  • High-efficiency panel brands
  • A reasonable price coupled with accessible payment options
  • A workmanship warranty, if possible

We’ll explain why we believe you’ll find these factors most helpful in a solar installer in the sections below.

High-Efficiency Panel Brands

North Dakotans use more energy than residents in most other states, which means higher-efficiency panels will be more likely to offset your energy bills. Choosing an installer that offers brands like Maxeon, Tesla and Panasonic gives you a better chance of paying off your system quickly and maximizes your long-term energy savings and return on investment.

Pricing and Payment Options

The cost of converting to solar in ND is approximately $5,000 more than in most other states. This being the case, we believe it’s important to find an installer that offers at least average pricing, but giving precedence to those priced below average is a good option for saving money.

We also recommend looking at the solar financing options available. Since solar can be expensive, choosing an installer that accepts cash purchases, loans, solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) gives you a better chance of being able to afford solar and find a payment option that suits your budget.

Warranty Coverage

Although many solar installers in North Dakota just offer the manufacturer’s warranty for the systems they install, we recommend considering companies that offer more coverage. For example, Lightspring Solar includes the manufacturer’s warranty plus a 10-year comprehensive warranty that covers workmanship.

Lengthier and more robust warranties will always be better, as they keep your system and your home protected and help maximize your energy savings over time.

Methodology: How We Ranked North Dakota’s Solar Companies

Our goal in ranking solar installers in your area is to make the process of choosing a company more straightforward. In an effort to choose the best installers for your purposes, we use the following criteria, which we believe are the most crucial to prospective solar customers in ND like you:

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

Our rankings and methodology are never affected by commercial partnerships or relationships, so you can always be sure the companies we recommend are truly the ones we believe are best suited to bring you a cost-effective solar solution. We’ll explain why these criteria are so important to North Dakotans in the following sections.

Price & Payment Options

First, we consider the cost of each installer in your area and the financing options made available. Solar systems are significantly more expensive in ND than in most other states, so a below-average pricing model and access to a variety of financing options mean a company will be more accessible to more of our readers.

We give average scores to companies with average pricing that accept at least cash and loans. We rank companies a bit higher if they have below-average prices and also accept leases and PPAs.

Experience in North Dakota

Next, we look at the years of experience each installer has. North Dakota has had one of the slowest solar adoption rates in the country, so there are few skilled and experienced installers that service the area. We give precedence to companies that have proven they have the knowledge and company history to guarantee a professional conversion process.

Companies that have at least five years of experience get an average rating, while those with ten or more years get perfect scores.

Solar Warranty & Customer Support

Many companies in ND don’t provide additional warranty coverage above and beyond the manufacturer’s warranty.

However, labor warranties can help protect you from leaks and other property damage resulting from the weather and snowfall in North Dakota, and efficiency warranties can help ensure your panels continue to produce sufficient energy for the above-average electric bills in the area.

As such, we rank companies higher if they meet the industry standard coverages. These include a 25-year equipment warranty, a 25-year panel efficiency warranty and a 10-year workmanship warranty.

Solar Services

Companies that offer in-house installations for panels and solar batteries get an average score in this category. Installers that provide access to more equipment and services like solar water heaters, electric vehicle (EV) chargers and energy audits get ranked a bit higher, as they will be able to meet the needs of more customers.

Qualifications, Reputation & Certifications

Next, we look for a company’s qualifications and certifications above and beyond those required by the state. We also assess the installer’s reputation overall. Doing this is especially useful in an area like ND, where labor warranties are not the norm, and additional certifications help avoid installation issues normally minimized by workmanship guarantees.

Some things we look for in particular include:

  • Certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)
  • Certification from the Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
  • Certification from the Building Performance Institute (BPI)
  • 100+ 4-star-or-better customer reviews on Google
  • Accreditation and few unresolved customer complaints from the BBB

We also generally avoid recommending installers who have a history of customer complaints on any platform or issues with lawsuits.

Availability

Since solar is less popular in ND than it is in just about every other state, many installers limit their service area to a major city and the surrounding areas to maximize profits and minimize travel time. While we understand this, we prioritize installers who serve all of North Dakota, as they will appeal to more of our readers in The Peace Garden State.

Environmental, Social & Corporate Governance Factors

Finally, we rank companies higher if they make an effort to push the solar industry forward, maintain sustainable business practices and lift up the communities they serve. Some things we look for to those ends include:

  • A PV panel recycling program
  • Accessible payment options for low-income households
  • Public data disclosure
  • Alliance with local solar or environmental agencies and organizations
  • A low overall carbon footprint

FAQ: Best Solar Companies in North Dakota

Below, we’ll answer some of the questions we get asked most often by residents in ND about choosing a reputable solar installer.

Blog author image
Article author
Dan Simms is an experienced writer with a passion for renewable energy. As a solar and EV advocate, much of his work has focused on the potential of solar power and deregulated energy, but he also writes on related topics, like real estate and economics. In his free time — when he's not checking his own home's solar production — he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, skiing and rock climbing.
Reviewer image
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
Warranty Coverage
  • 4.5
    • Locally owned and operated
    • Offers products from leading manufacturers
    • Custom system designs
    • Representatives are experts on local policies
    • Relatively young company
    • Limited warranty coverage
    • No leases or PPAs
    Not Rated
    Outstanding Regional Installer

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