Best Solar Companies in Rhode Island (2022 Rankings & Reviews)
We recommend vetted solar companies that have:
- Availability in your area
- Affordable pricing and financing options
- At least 5 years of experience
- Outstanding customer reviews
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- Most efficient panels on the market
- National coverage
- Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
- Great warranty coverage
- Customer service varies by local dealer
- Solar Panels
- Solar Batteries
- EV Chargers
- System Monitoring
You can search the web for the best solar companies in Rhode Island, but few review sites take the time to research what’s most important to locals. Here at EcoWatch, our team of solar industry experts has done in-depth research on factors affecting solar in the Ocean State to determine the best solar installers near you.
What Are the Top 5 Solar Companies in Rhode Island?
Below you’ll find an overview of the top five companies that offer solar panel installations in Rhode Island. Note that because Rhode Island is a small and densely populated state, there aren’t many solar companies dedicated to serving just Rhode Island — most offer clean energy throughout New England.
Each of these companies has been vetted, reviewed and ranked by the EcoWatch Solar Reviews Team. You might not find popular solar brands like Vivint Solar in this review. That’s an intentional decision due to issues that EcoWatch has found to be unethical, like lawsuits and routinely poor customer service in Rhode Island, specifically.
|Company||Solar Services||Warranty Coverage||BBB Rating||Year Founded|
Green Power Energy
|Solar panel, solar battery, solar roof shingles and EV charger installations||25-year product and workmanship warranties||A+||2009|
|Solar panel, battery and EV charger installations; system monitoring||25-year product, workmanship and production warranties||A+||1985|
|Solar panel and battery installations; energy-efficiency upgrades; community solar||30-year SolarInsure Warranty||A+||2016|
|Solar panel and battery installations; energy-efficiency upgrades||25-year product warranty;
5-year workmanship warranty
|Solar panel and solar battery installations||25-year product warranty;
10-year comprehensive warranty
Note: The EcoWatch Ratings you see in the company snapshots at the top of this page reflect our overall assessment of the company, but our rankings reflect the best solar companies in Rhode Island, specifically. If you notice that a company lower on our list has a higher EcoWatch Rating, it’s likely because it’s a great company but there are better installers for this specific area.
1. Green Power Energy
Green Power Energy has diverse product offerings, hundreds of positive customer reviews online and a stellar reputation for customer service across the region, which make it a top choice for those lucky enough to live in its service area.
Although headquartered in New Jersey, Green Power offers installations of basic panels, as well as energy storage, solar roof shingles and EV chargers in five states — including Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Built on core values of integrity and quality, Green Power Energy seeks to educate its customers on how to get the most out of both their investments and their solar technology.
Green Power Energy holds several solar industry certifications, including from the American Solar Energy Society and the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). The company is also a certified Tesla Powerwall installer and has partnerships with other top solar panel brands, like Panasonic and LG.
Pros for Green Power Energy
- Wide range of products and brands available
- Variety of financing options offered
- Hundreds of positive customer reviews on online
Cons for Green Power Energy
- Headquartered in New Jersey (priority projects may be outside Rhode Island).
Facts and Figures: Green Power Energy
|Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating||A+|
|Solar Services||Solar panel, solar battery, solar roof shingles and EV charger installations|
|Brands of Solar Equipment Offered||LG, Tesla, Panasonic|
|Financing Options||Cash payments, loans, leases, PPAs|
SunPower is one of America’s biggest names in solar, and its quality holds up in Rhode Island. While the company used to focus mainly on manufacturing solar equipment, SunPower has since expanded to offering full-service solar power installations.
Because SunPower produces its own equipment through sister company Maxeon, you’re limited to using the SunPower band for installations. However, it’s not much of a sacrifice, as SunPower offers some of the best solar panels on the residential market. Plus, all that technology is protected by SunPower’s lengthy 25-year all-inclusive warranty.
Founded in 1985, SunPower is the oldest company to make it into our list of the top five best solar companies in Rhode Island. It maintains positive reviews for its equipment and an A+ rating from the BBB. However, it’s worth mentioning that because SunPower is not local to Rhode Island, the quality of your installation process may vary depending on your local SunPower dealer and the electricians it contracts with.
Pros for SunPower
- All products in a system are covered by one all-inclusive warranty for 25 years
- Most efficient solar panels on the market
- Sustainably designed panels are Cradle to Cradle certified
Cons for SunPower
- Quality of your solar project will depend on the certified SunPower dealer near you (though certification is rigorous)
- Limited selection of brands (restricted to SunPower products)
Facts and Figures: SunPower
|Solar Services||Solar panel, battery and EV charger installations; system monitoring|
|Brands of Solar Equipment Offered||SunPower/Maxeon|
|Financing Options||Cash payments, loans, leases, PPAs|
3. Summit Energy
Summitt Energy Group is a New England-owned and -operated company headquartered in Weymouth, Massachusetts. Although it’s a relatively new company — founded in 2016 — Summit’s website states its leadership team has experience installing solar since 1977. The company also employs technicians certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), which is a promising sign your installation will be in good hands.
Along with solar panel installations, Summit Energy emphasizes energy-efficiency upgrades for Rhode Island homeowners, which means it can show you even more ways to lower your electricity bills. The most impressive thing about Summit Energy is its SolarInsure warranty, which covers equipment and labor for up to 30 years and roof penetrations for up to 25 years.
Pros for Summit Energy
- Industry-leading warranty coverage
- NABCEP-certified professionals on staff
- Flexible financing plans
Cons for Summit Energy
- Founded in 2016 (not as much industry experience as competitors)
Facts and Figures: Summit Energy
|Solar Services||Solar panel and battery installations; energy-efficiency upgrades; community solar|
|Brands of Solar Equipment Offered||LG, Silfab, Q Cells|
|Financing Options||Cash payments, loans|
4. Trinity Solar
Trinity Solar has been “providing energy with integrity since 1994,” which is why EcoWatch has awarded it our Solar Veteran title. Trinity is the biggest privately held residential solar installer in the country and has an outstanding reputation for reliability and customer service. Trinity Solar is NABCEP and Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified and has completed more than 65,000 successful solar projects throughout the seven states it services.
Although it’s a regional installer, Trinity’s West Wareham, Massachusetts, office is conveniently located near the border, so Rhode Island residents will likely receive local-level treatment. One last thing to mention: Trinity makes charitable contributions on behalf of its customers — even those who only meet for a free consultation and don’t end up choosing Trinity for their solar energy system needs.
Pros for Trinity Solar
- More than 25 years of solar industry experience
- NABCEP-certified technicians
- Variety of financing options, including $0 upfront
Cons for Trinity Solar
- Only offers 5-year workmanship warranty (industry standard is 10 years)
Facts and Figures: Trinity Solar
|Solar Services||Solar panel and solar battery installations; energy-efficiency upgrades|
|Brands of Solar Equipment Offered||LG, Tesla and more|
|Financing Options||Cash payments, loans, leases, PPAs|
5. Sol Power
Based in Charlestown, Rhode Island, Sol Power is our one true local installer for Rhode Island homeowners. This company has NABCEP-certified installers on staff and has a fantastic reputation throughout the Ocean State. From this company, you can expect all of the typical benefits of choosing a neighborhood installer, including:
- More personalized and prompt service
- Opportunity to maintain a relationship years down the line
- Expertise with Rhode Island laws, policies and incentives
Sol Power is an employee-owned company with just one office, and it only serves Rhode Island and Massachusetts, so you’re likely to get the best, most personalized customer care. The company has performed over 550 successful solar installations since 2013.
Pros for Sol Power
- Local to Rhode Island
- Great warranty coverage, including 25-year equipment and 10-year full-service coverage
- NABCEP-certified installer
Cons for Sol Power
- Doesn’t have a wide variety of solar brands or solar services
- Not many financing options available
Facts and Figures: Sol Power
|Solar Services||Solar panel and solar battery installations|
|Brands of Solar Equipment Offered||LG, Silfab|
|Financing Options||Cash payments|
EcoWatch Criteria for Selecting the Top Solar Company in Rhode Island
This compilation of best solar companies in Rhode Island is based on facts and data collected from hundreds of solar installers across the nation. The seven factors below explain how our EcoWatch rating is formed, but if you’d like to learn more about our process you can visit our methodology page.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are costly, which makes a reliable warranty important to have in states where harsh winters and severe weather conditions are possible. Solar panel companies almost always provide some kind of warranty to cover either equipment, labor or both.
Here at EcoWatch, we typically highlight solar companies that have a 25-year performance warranty as well as at least a 10-year workmanship warranty. Here’s a quick explanation of solar warranties and the industry-standard minimum lengths we look for:
- Product warranty (also called manufacturer warranty): Covers specific elements of the solar panel system in case of manufacturing defects. Industry standard is 25 years.
- Workmanship warranty (also called labor warranty): Covers the design, assembly and installation of your system (think roof leaks, faulty wiring, etc.). Industry standard is 10 years.
- Performance guarantee (also called output guarantee): Ensures your system maintains a certain power output over time. Industry standard is 25 years.
New England is a hot market for renewable energy solutions, especially because of its great incentives and rebate programs for homeowners who install solar panels. That also means a lot of newer companies are popping up looking to capitalize on the booming solar opportunity. With so many installers serving Rhode Island, EcoWatch places an emphasis on the installers who have been around a while and have a proven track record in New England. Plus, remember that your solar warranty is only valid if the solar company you choose stays in business, so you don’t want to pick an unreliable supplier.
Each solar company offers different services to cater to the individual needs of the homeowner. For example, homeowners with smaller rooftops may need a ground-mounted system, and those who live in areas with frequent power outages might prioritize a backup solar battery. Solar installation companies that offer a wider variety of services rank higher with EcoWatch because they appeal to more homeowners.
Brands of Solar Equipment Offered
Not every solar company offers every solar brand. Some of the top solar companies only install one brand, often because they manufacture their own equipment (like SunPower or Tesla). Other installers may carry a variety of brands so customers can pick their solar panels based on their preferences with durability, energy efficiency and price.
EcoWatch tends to favor companies that sell many different solar equipment brands because they can appeal to solar customers looking for specific high-quality hardware, like Tesla Powerwalls, or they might offer the cheapest solar panels on the market, which makes them more accessible. However, we still like some single-brand installers.
When solar companies are registered as B Corporations, or if they have connections with industry giants like the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) or Grid Alternatives, that tells us that they are serious about making renewable energy more accessible and aren’t just trying to make a profit.
We also look for companies that employ technicians who are certified as experts by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
Size of Company
Although it might not seem like an important factor, the size of the company you choose can have a fairly significant impact on your solar panel installation experience. Whether it’s better to choose a smaller, local provider or a national provider for your solar installation is completely personal preference, as they both have their pros and cons.
Large national companies can typically offer better deals because they buy their panels, batteries and inverters in bulk. Plus, they often have more resources and employees, meaning more flexibility when it comes to scheduling. On the downside, national companies usually don’t provide top-notch customer service in all areas they serve and they may not have the same knowledge of local solar incentives that smaller companies do.
Smaller local companies usually have better customer satisfaction and more customization options. And with stronger relationships to local utility companies, they can usually expedite your solar system’s connection to the grid and net metering program. However, smaller companies can be pricier and they might be less readily available for installation because they have fewer employees and resources.
Solar Pricing and Financing
EcoWatch values variety in every category, but it might be most important when it comes to solar financing. We know that installing solar isn’t cheap, so we want to highlight companies that offer flexible pricing packages to make solar more accessible to more people. As such, companies that offer more means of payment, like solar loans and solar leases, tend to score higher with EcoWatch.
EcoWatch FAQ: Best Solar Companies in Rhode Island
Consumers trust the EcoWatch brand when it comes to solar, so we get a lot of questions about the best solar companies. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received from Rhode Island homeowners, along with our responses.
Yes, the type of solar panel you select can greatly affect your solar panel system. Photovoltaic (PV) panels may all look similar, but they vary greatly in durability, efficiency, and price. We recommend doing some reading on the best solar panels to find the ones that fit your needs, then you can narrow down which of the five solar installers we’ve listed on this page is best based on if they carry your desired solar panel brand.
Most Rhode Island homeowners maintain that company experience and track record are most important when choosing a solar installation company. New England is a highly competitive region for solar, and most installers in the area serve all of Rhode Island, so there are many companies to choose from. You want to make sure you’re choosing a reputable solar company with a long-standing and proven track record of successful installs.
It’s hard to know exactly which company will be the most affordable for you because solar panel installation costs vary depending on the specifics of your home. But cheap is not always better when it comes to solar, especially because panels that are more expensive are usually more energy-efficient, which leads to more savings in the long run.
We know that installing a solar panel system is costly, which is why we recommend shopping around to get quotes from multiple solar companies in Rhode Island. When figuring out the cost of solar, don’t forget to factor in Rhode Island’s solar incentives, like the federal tax credit, state sales, and property tax exemptions, and National Grid’s Renewable Energy Growth Program (which gives you credit on your energy bill for the energy your solar panels produce).
No, not necessarily. New England clean energy companies can provide more local expertise to Rhode Island homeowners. However, you may feel more comfortable choosing a major installer like SunPower which has a strong reputation across the nation. In the end, choosing a bigger company over a local company is a personal preference and cannot be defined as “better” or “worse.”
While PV solar panels work best when they’re soaking up direct sunlight, they still work when in the presence of indirect sunlight on cloudy winter days. Solar panels are tilted so that, in most cases, snow will slide right off of them and they can still receive sunlight. Plus, electricity actually flows faster in lower temperatures, so you may see your panels work more efficiently in the winter.