Top 5 Best Solar Companies in Virginia [2022 Reviews]

In this guide on Virginia’s leading solar companies, you’ll learn:

  • What are the best solar installers in Virginia?
  • How will solar affect your property value in Virginia?
  • What qualities are most important in a solar company in Virginia?
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What Are Virginia’s Top 5 Solar Energy Companies?

Virginia is currently ranked by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) as 10th in the country for solar adoption.1 Given how popular photovoltaic (PV) equipment has become in the Old Dominion, there are tons of solar installers popping up to meet the demand.

While having a strong local solar industry is great for providing homeowners with options, it also means you’ll likely have some difficulty choosing the best installer for your solar project.

We’ve reviewed dozens of installers in your area and have picked six that provide outstanding value for the money, good warranty coverage to protect your solar energy system through the wild weather and solid financing options to keep costs down. Below are our top picks and why we’ve chosen each one.

In the sections below, you can explore the drop-down menus to see why we chose each of these companies for Virginia residents in particular. You can also get in-depth information about each of these companies, including the average cost, services offered, our overall rating, warranty coverage and more.

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Nova Solar

Outstanding Local Installer

Local Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

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Pros

  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • NABCEP-certified technicians
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Great warranty coverage

Cons

  • Limited service area
  • Slightly limited service offerings
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Virtue Solar

Outstanding Local Installer

Local Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

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Pros

  • Educational, no-pressure sales approach
  • Representatives are experts on local policies
  • NABCEP-certified technicians

Cons

  • Relatively young company
  • Limited service area
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SunPower

Best National Provider

Nationwide Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

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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
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Blue Raven Solar

Best Solar Financing

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

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Pros

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

Cons

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

Best Warranty Coverage

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area

Cons

  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

How To Save Money When Hiring A Solar Company In Virginia

virginia best solar companies

The average cost to go solar in Virginia is around $30,250 for solar equipment, or $21,175 after the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is considered. These numbers are accurate if you pay the average of $2.75 per watt for PV equipment and need the average system size in VA of 11 kilowatts (kW).

The typical system price in VA is well above the national average of $16,758 (after the ITC). Like most Virginia residents, you’ll likely look for ways to save money when converting to solar energy. Below, we’ll list some ways you can keep costs down in your area, and we’ll provide additional information and tips in the sections below.

  • Take advantage of state tax credits in Virginia
  • Choose the best solar panel brand for the sunlight availability in Virginia
  • Choose a company with robust warranty coverage
  • Get multiple quotes

Take Advantage of Virginia Solar Incentives

Virginia has long been a solar-friendly state, in part because it provides a handful of helpful incentives to help keep solar panel costs down and maximize upfront savings for customers. Taking advantage of as many solar tax credits and incentives as possible will help reduce your effective system cost and your panel payback period.

Some of the most helpful Virginia solar incentives available are listed below:

Solar Incentives in Virginia Description
Federal Tax Credit The federal solar tax investment credits 30% of your total system cost to your tax liability for the year you install your panels. This can be rolled over for up to five years.
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) SRECs are credits you earn for solar power production. If you opt into SRECs, you can sell each credit for a profit on the local market, which helps you pay off your system more quickly.
Property Tax Exemption Depending on which city you live in, you might automatically get this perk or have to file for it. This solar incentive prevents your property taxes from increasing due to the value added by your PV system.
Net Metering Most electric companies — like Dominion Energy — automatically opt you into net energy metering (NEM), but you might need to request enrollment. This program lets you overproduce when solar energy is readily available and banks credits for use when the sun isn’t shining — like on cloudy days or at night.

Choose the Right Panel Brand for the Area

All of the major panel manufacturers in Virginia come with a different efficiency rating, which determines how much of the available sunlight can be harnessed for power generation. Since Virginia receives around the average number of sunny days per year, most brands will be suitable for meeting local energy needs.2

However, since the per-watt price of solar equipment in Virginia is above the national average, it’s sometimes a better idea to pick a brand with a leading efficiency rating — like Maxeon panels from SunPower. This can help reduce the number of panels you need, which can often lead to a lower overall system cost.

Choose a Company With Good Warranty Coverage

As we mentioned above, Virginia residents experience their fair share of extreme weather, from hurricanes and tropical storms to tornadoes and strong winds during thunderstorms.

Choosing an installer that provides robust warranty coverage can not only provide you with peace of mind that your large investment into clean energy is protected, but it can also help you avoid costly repairs and replacement fees.

Damage to your panels, malfunctioning equipment and faulty installation can all lead you to replace your system or pieces of it before you pay it off. Robust warranty coverage means you’ll be protected from these costs.

It’s also worth choosing a company that has a reputation for good customer service, as an installer’s warranty coverage is only ever as good as the service and response times it provides.

Get Multiple Quotes

Finally, we always recommend getting multiple quotes. When you get competing offers, you can usually find one that provides more value than the others. Solar contractors often offer specials or discounts on equipment that they may have a surplus of — in short, you never know where you might get a deal unless you ask around.

Some companies may even lower their prices if they know that you have offers from their competitors. As a homeowner looking to go solar in Virginia, there are a number of companies competing for your business.

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

Will Solar Increase Your Home Value In Virginia?

Going solar will increase the value of your home – research from Zillow suggests you can expect it to rise by around 4% after solar conversion.3 In Virginia, where the average sale price is around $382,000, that’s an expected increase of over $15,000. This added value alone is often enough to effectively offset your system costs.

Plus, property values in Virginia have risen an incredible 10.5% over the last year, while solar equipment prices have dropped by around 50% over the past ten years.4,5 Not only does solar boost your property value but the value increase is expected to become even more pronounced in the future.

best solar company virginia
Credit: nattanan23 / Pixabay

Since the expected value increase is a function of your existing value, the boost to value is most appealing in major cities in Virginia, where property values are already high. If you live in the high-rent cities below, you’ll see the biggest bump in value:

  • Fairfax
  • Alexandria
  • Falls Church
  • Fredericksburg
  • Charlottesville
  • Waterford
  • High View
  • Hamilton
  • Richmond
  • Clifton

EcoWatch Preferred Partners

Here is a list of preferred partners in this area.

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Should Virginia Residents Hire a Professional Solar Installer Or DIY?

If you’ve been doing research on DIY solar conversion as opposed to hiring a professional, you’ve likely found that the cost of doing the work yourself is significantly cheaper. However, there are a few reasons we’d strongly recommend that you go with a professional instead. We’ll discuss each of these below.

Better Warranty Coverage

First and foremost, going the DIY route usually means you’ll only get a short warranty period on the equipment and the efficiency. Most DIY panel brands provide coverage for between five and ten years, while professional installers offer coverage for up to 30 years.

Warranty coverage is an important consideration in areas like Virginia, where extreme weather is common. Long warranties protecting your investment are the primary reason we suggest hiring a professional for your solar conversion project.

Access to High-Efficiency Panels

Finally, Virginia receives around the average number of sunny days per year, but the monthly energy consumption per household is well above the national average.6 In some cases, DIY panels won’t be efficient enough to cover consumption, especially since there’s a limit to how many panels your home can support.

It’s often a better idea in Virginia to opt for high-efficiency panels to guarantee that your system can provide the energy you need. This helps minimize the cost you pay for your system, shorten the payback period and provide the most savings on your electricity bills.

Above-Average Rainfall

Virginia residents see around 44 inches of rain each year, which is well above the national average.7 One of the most common problems property owners see with rooftop solar installations is roof leaks.

If you install your panels yourself, you’ll have nothing to fall back on for coverage if your roof penetrations lead to leaking. If instead, you hire a professional, there’s a chance the roof issue will be covered by the warranty.

EcoWatch Preferred Partners

Here is a list of preferred partners in this area.

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What Should Virginians Look For in a Solar Installer?

solar installers virginia
Source: Dimitrisvetsikas1969 / Pixabay

Picking an installer is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when converting to solar in Virginia. There are a few things you should consider when deciding to make sure you get a company that can provide equipment suitable for your home and maintain good customer service throughout the installation process.

We’ll list some of the most important factors to consider below, and we’ll explain why each of these is so important in the following sections.

  • Warranty Coverage
  • Pricing and Payment Options
  • Brands of Equipment Offered
  • Size of the Company
  • Year Founded
  • Industry Affiliations

Warranty Coverage

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are costly, which makes a reliable warranty even more important to have — especially in states like Virginia, where severe weather conditions are possible.

Solar providers almost always provide some kind of warranty to cover either equipment, labor or both. Workmanship warranties, or “labor warranties,” cover faulty installation or roof damage, while equipment warranties cover physical damage and energy production.

While nearly all solar installation companies offer warranties, we recommend companies that offer above-average warranties.

Pricing and Payment Options

As we mentioned previously, solar equipment is a bit more costly on a per-watt basis in VA, and most homeowners need above-average system sizes to offset energy bills. That means the typical cost of going solar in the area — just over $30,000 — is prohibitively expensive for many residents.

As such, it’s worth considering the relative cost of your installer, as well as the payment options made available by the company. You can get free quotes to compare prices. Those with below-average pricing or a wealth of payment options are more likely to be accessible to you.

Brands of Equipment Offered

Every company offers different equipment brands that you can install, from panels and inverters to batteries. It’s challenging to quantify all of the specifications of a particular brand, but in VA, it’s often a good idea to prioritize the below specs:

  • Efficiency Rating:A high efficiency rating means greater production to offset high energy consumption in Virginia. Anything above 20% is considered high efficiency.
  • Warranty: Most panels include a manufacturer’s warranty for defects and damage. Longer included warranty coverage means your equipment is more likely to stand up to VA’s harsh weather.
  • Cost: Each panel brand also comes with a different average cost per watt. With above-average system costs as it is, choosing a relatively low-cost but high-quality brand is often wise in Virginia.

Size of the Company

The SEIA reports that Virginia is home to over 70 solar companies.8 While there are solar companies both big and small that can take care of all your solar needs, the size of the company you choose to work with can greatly impact your solar conversion experience.

Larger solar companies often have better deals than their local competition because they can buy their solar equipment in bulk and often have more resources at hand. However, they tend to lack when it comes to customer care and local knowledge about incentives and rebates in Virginia.

On the other side, a smaller solar company might be more expensive and could take more time to complete the installation process. But local installers are also more likely to deliver top-notch customer care and expedite your connection to the power grid for things like net metering if they have relationships with local utility companies.

Year Founded

Virginia is one of the leading states for solar energy, with more than 22,000 solar conversions throughout the state.9 While that’s great news for clean energy efforts, it could also mean there are a lot of new, unreliable solar panel companies popping up.

Some of these companies are just trying to capitalize on the hot solar market and may not make it for the long haul, which also means their warranties hold little weight.

We typically recommend companies with a proven track record of great solar conversion. While some newer installers did make our top solar companies in Virginia list, we do factor in the year each company was founded when it comes to grading these solar companies.

Industry Affiliations

Not all of the top solar companies have industry affiliations, but it is a nice bonus. Connections with companies like the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Grid Alternatives and other similar organizations typically tell us that an installer is serious about making clean energy more accessible and isn’t just trying to make a profit.

We also look for certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), which suggests that a company’s technicians can perform a professional and safe installation.

Both Nova Solar and Virtue Solar guarantee a NABCEP-certified employee on every solar conversion job, which is part of the reason why we ranked these two companies as some of the best solar installers in Virginia.

Methodology: How We Ranked Virginia’s Solar Companies

top solar companies in virginia

When we’re assessing solar providers in VA, we look at a handful of factors that we believe makes a company more likely to be able to serve you and provide a high-quality system that will save you money over time. Below is a quick look at what we believe are the most crucial company characteristics in Virginia.

  • Warranty Coverage (20%)
  • Cost and Financing Options (20%)
  • Qualifications, Reputation and Certifications (15%)
  • Experience (15%)
  • Availability (10%)
  • Environmental Impact (10%)
  • Customer Service (10%)

Below, we’ll offer some insight into why we put so much emphasis on these qualities.

Warranty Coverage

The first thing we look for in a Virginia solar provider is the warranty coverage offered. Specifically, we prioritize companies that have a robust warranty for physical damage to panels.

VA is prone to some severe weather, including hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical cyclones. These weather events can put your rooftop solar panels at risk of damage, and given that the cost of a system in VA hovers around $30,000 before incentives, warranty coverage can provide some much needed peace of mind.

Efficiency warranties are also helpful, especially since Virginians pay more for electricity due to above-average consumption. A warranty guaranteeing panel efficiency can help ensure that your energy bills continue to be offset for years to come.

Cost and Financing Options

Since the relative cost of going solar in Virginia is so high, we next look at the overall cost of each provider. Every company can charge different prices for labor and equipment, so we look for affordability and overall quality of the equipment offered. Companies that keep costs down will naturally appeal to more solar customers.

We also give precedence to companies that offer a variety of financing options. A cash purchase is the most beneficial for customers, but it’s also the least accessible. Companies that offer affordable solar loans with low down payment requirements are ranked higher.

Leases and PPAs are less desirable, but they do appeal to some customers who can’t qualify for loans. As such, we take the other options into consideration as well.

Qualifications, Reputation and Certifications

There are over 70 solar installers that operate in Virginia, and some are far more likely to provide outstanding service and a positive customer experience than others. For that reason, we look for:

  • Certifications from organizations like the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and B-Corp
  • Affiliations with local solar organizations and non-profits, like Solar United Neighbors of Virginia and the Virginia Renewable Energy Alliance
  • An overall positive reputation for experience and quality of service in the local industry

Experience

In areas like Virginia, where the solar industry is really starting to take off and clean energy is becoming more popular, lots of solar companies are popping up to meet the demand.

Unfortunately, this means some companies focused on profit might provide below-average customer service. Plus, new companies are more likely to go out of business and void your warranty coverage.

As such, we prioritize companies that have at least five years of experience in the industry. We also look for localized experience, as companies that have more installations under their belts in VA, specifically, are more likely to understand your needs and the local laws that govern solar permitting and installations.

Finally, experienced companies are more likely to understand state rebates and incentives, and many of the more established companies will even help you apply for those beneficial programs.

Availability

Some solar companies are, understandably, focused on the more populated cities in VA, especially near the coast. Installers that have a wider footprint will, of course, be able to serve more customers, so we rank them a bit higher in our ratings.

The demand for solar in Virginia is also increasing rapidly, so we look for companies that have a large service area and the capacity to keep up with demand and avoid delays in installations.

Environmental Impact

As an eco-friendly website, we gravitate toward companies that are committed to promoting clean energy and reduced carbon emissions rather than companies that provide solar solely as a means of turning a profit.

Specifically, we look at each company’s other energy efficiency upgrades, their affiliations with environmentally-friendly non-profits and organizations and their commitment to reducing their own contribution to pollution and global warming.

Customer Service

Finally, we look at the company’s reputation for customer service. The number of providers available in Virginia naturally makes the local solar industry more competitive. Unfortunately, this can lead to companies rushing installations and focusing on new business rather than existing customers.

Especially in an area like VA, where solar equipment is at higher risk of being damaged by severe weather, a company’s commitment to its customer service reputation is crucial. Those with a better reputation are more likely to respond to warranty claims when you need them and provide an overall positive experience before, during and after installation.

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Read More About Going Solar in Virginia

FAQ: Best Solar Companies in Virginia

Below, we’ll provide our responses to some of the most common questions we get about solar providers in VA.

Blog author image
Dan Simms, Home Improvement Expert
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.
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Karsten Neumeister, Home Energy Expert
Expert reviewer
Karsten is a researcher, editor, writer 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.