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Find the Best Solar Energy Companies

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    by Zachary Shahan Solar Energy Contributing Editor

    Solar power is the most accessible energy source on Earth — and it’s currently the cheapest. Our research team vetted 17 solar companies that are rated by more than 6,840 customers. Read our guide to choose the best solar company by comparing solar panel options, installation costs and warranties.

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      Our picks for solar energy companies

      To pick our favorites from the companies above, we first ranked companies by their overall satisfaction ratings. To narrow it down, we excluded companies that have not received 30 or more total ratings. In addition to the number of verified customer reviews, each company’s availability of services and selection of products was also considered.

      Once we determined our picks, the ConsumerAffairs research team analyzed each recommended company’s recent review data and looked for patterns. Positive recurring sentiments expressed by happy customers were used to inform what we like most about each company. For example, Tesla is our pick for “solar roof replacement” because we found a relatively high density of associated phrases in the company’s most recent 5-star reviews.

      • Zenernet: Our pick overall
      • Sunpower: Our pick for widespread availability
      • Sunlux: Our pick for California
      • Tesla: Our pick for solar roof replacement
      • Sungevity: Our pick for complete panel installation

      Our solar company pick overall
      Zenernet

      Company nameContact
      zenernet logo
      Authorized Partner
      LogoSummary
      Zenernet highlights
      • Flat, modular pricing
      • Long warranty
      • Available in most states

      Get a Quote

      With an overall satisfaction rating of 4.9 out of 5, Zenernet is the highest-rated solar energy company on our site as of publishing. Happy customers frequently praise Zenernet’s customer service. People like that reps are knowledgeable and helpful enough to answer all their questions throughout the process.

      What to consider: Pricing structure and warranty

      Unlike other solar companies, Zenernet offers flat, modular pricing for its solar systems. This means that you can pick and choose the components and upgrades you want in your system, which gives you more control over the total price. The company also offers financing options.

      Zenernet systems are backed by a 35-year warranty, which is longer than many other companies we’ve looked at. It covers your roof and all system components from any material defects or damages caused during installation.

      What we like about Zenernet: Customizable systems

      Zenernet partners with Solar Edge, Generac, LG Solar and Enphase to offer a range of options. New customers work with a designer to lay out their solar array based on energy usage, roof size and other factors. A dedicated project coordinator then guides you through the installation process, including finalizing designs, applying for permitting and scheduling inspections. The entire setup process can be done remotely, including consultation and site inspection.

      Our pick for widespread availability
      SunPower

      Company nameContact
      sunpower logo
      Authorized Partner
      LogoSummary
      SunPower highlights
      • Free cost estimates
      • Equipment performance guarantee
      • Available in most metro areas

      Get a Quote

      SunPower is highly recommended by its customers. Positive reviews frequently mention helpful representatives who help answer questions before and after the installation process. As of publishing, the company has an overall customer satisfaction rating of 4.4.

      What to consider: Costs and monitoring systems

      Median costs per watt range from $3.20 to $4.50, according to SunPower. However, you must contact a representative to find out the most accurate price estimates in your area. SunPower offers multiple financing programs and purchase options. Those who qualify can get started with a small or no down payment.

      Once installed, you can control and monitor the system through the EnergyLink app. It’s free and compatible with Apple or Android devices. (However, some negative SunPower reviews claim the data sometimes lags behind. As of publishing, the app hasn’t been updated since 2018.) SunPower guarantees the panels won't lose more than 8% of their original power output for 25 years.

      What we like about SunPower: Equinox Home Solar System

      The Equinox is a complete home solar system, designed and engineered by SunPower to be efficient, reliable and stylish. The minimalist design generates power with built-in microinverters hidden behind each panel, eliminating the need for unnecessary and unsightly hardware on the walls of your home.

      Our pick for California residents
      SunLux Energy

      Company nameContact
      sunlux energy logo
      Authorized Partner
      LogoSummary
      SunLux Energy highlights
      • Get started for 0% down
      • Guaranteed warranty and lifetime support
      • Available in California and Texas

      Get a Quote

      SunLux Energy is a manufacturer that partners with an independent network of brands and retailers. As of publishing, it has an overall satisfaction rating of 4.8, with the most positive reviews from California residents. The happiest customers frequently mention the company’s project managers and customer service.

      What to consider: Limited availability

      SunLux is based in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and serves residents of Los Angeles, Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Diego, Valencia and Bakersfield. The company also has an office in Texas and is available in the Austin area.

      What we like about SunLux: Equipment selection and guarantee

      Customers work with SunLux representatives to figure out what solar panel option makes the most sense for them. You can purchase, finance or lease solar systems from leaders in the industry, including Tesla, Panasonic and LG, among others. The company is a certified Tesla Powerwall installer.

      No matter which brand you choose, all physical system components are covered by the SunLux 25-year equipment guarantee. If maintenance and repair services are needed at any time, the team works with different manufacturing partners to file a claim on your behalf. This is supposed to help simplify and streamline the process.

      Our pick for solar roof replacement
      Tesla Energy

      Company nameContact
      tesla energy logo
      LogoSummary
      Tesla Energy highlights
      • Price-match guarantee
      • 25-year panel warranty
      • Available across the U.S.

      Read reviews

      Tesla’s solar roof replacements stand out because happy customers are consistently pleased with the design and installation process. From our analysis of recent five-star reviews, people seem to appreciate that the entire process is simple to complete online. According to one review, the system was installed within a month after completing paperwork and looked “fantastic.”

      What to consider: Subscription and purchase options

      Tesla offers a few ways to get a system. The solar subscription program works like a lease. There’s no upfront payment, but you pay a monthly fee to use one of the systems. We did notice that some instances of 1-star reviews include complaints about the leasing terms and customer service. Loan purchase and cash purchase options are also available for those who want to own their system.

      Tesla solar systems cost between $6,068 and $24,272 after incentives. Systems include a 10-year comprehensive and 25-year panel performance warranty.

      What we like about Tesla Energy: Powerwall backup battery

      Powerwall is a compact home battery that reduces your home’s reliance on grid electricity.

      It stores up to 14 kWh of energy that can be used to provide backup power when you need it. You can also monitor and control your solar production from anywhere through the Tesla app.

      Our pick for complete solar installation
      Sungevity

      Company nameContact
      sungevity logo
      LogoSummary
      Sungevity highlights
      • Flexible financing plans
      • 20-year panel warranty
      • Available in some states

      Read reviews

      Sungevity delivers custom solar energy solutions for residential homes and commercial properties throughout the United States. As of publishing, the company has an overall satisfaction rating of 4.1 on ConsumerAffairs.

      What to consider: Leasing options and availability

      Sungevity is not a direct lender, meaning that solar loan terms are subject to approval by a third-party lender. Leasing terms are available with $0 due at signing and no security deposit. With approved credit, a 6.5-kilowatt system lease starts at between $65 and 155 per month. According to the company’s site, the total costs to go solar can range from $10,000 to $45,000 or more. However, costs, payment terms and system options vary by location. Sungevity is currently available in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

      What we like about Sungevity: SOURCE Hydropanels

      SOURCE Hydropanels are a solar-powered, infrastructure-free solution for purified drinking water. The company uses advanced hygroscopic materials to absorb water vapor from the air. Water then flows from an onboard reservoir into a polishing cartridge and then a dispenser. However, water production is somewhat dependent on your local humidity levels. Contact a representative for more information — there are some extra considerations if you live in a particularly windy area.

      What is solar energy?

      Solar energy is the most accessible and abundant energy source on Earth, and it’s also the cheapest. Sun energy is a form of renewable energy, meaning it doesn’t use up natural resources or harm the environment. Compared to fossil fuels, solar energy reduces the amount of carbon and other contaminants emitted into the environment, which ultimately creates less pollution and leads to cleaner air and water.

      The most practical and common way to capture solar energy for residential use today is through solar panels. Solar panels are made up of a collection of photovoltaic cells, commonly referred to as PV cells. Air conditioners, water heaters and anything else that operates on gas or electricity can run on power generated by solar panels.

      How does solar energy work?

      The sun releases photons. When sunlight hits the photovoltaic (PV) cells of a solar panel, those photons knock loose electrons from atoms. The electrons flow through a circuit via a conductor to generate electricity. The PV modules then produce a direct current (DC), which is converted into alternating current (AC) by an inverter.

      Solar production is measured in watts, kilowatts and kilowatt-hours (kWh). Watts measure power, while kilowatt-hours measure energy produced. The average solar panel ranges from 250 to 400 watts and — under proper conditions — generates about 1 kWh per day.

      Most solar panels' wattage ranges from
      250 - 400.

      For example, imagine you have five 300-watt solar panels and get four hours of peak sun hours each day. Multiply each panel's wattage by peak sunlight hours, which gives you a production of 1,200 watt-hours per panel. Then divide by 1,000 to convert to kilowatt-hours per panel, which is 1.2 kWh. Multiply by the number of panels you have to estimate the total amount of energy your solar array can produce per day, which is 5 kWh.

      Remember that solar energy systems only work as well as the solar cells used in the panels. Installing quality solar panels on the roof of your home or business benefits the environment and your wallet. You can further maximize your solar energy's efficiency with a power box, which combines a battery, inverter and generator into one unit. Be sure that the mounting system is durable and certified for weather-related issues in your area, such as high winds or cyclones.

      Solar systems don’t always generate the exact amount of energy you need. With a solar battery, you can store energy to use when the sun isn’t shining. If you’re connected to the electrical grid and live in a state that allows net metering, you can also sell surplus electricity to your local utility company.

      Types of solar companies

      Even the best alternative energy companies usually aren’t equipped to manufacture, install and finance your solar energy system. Instead, many solar companies specialize in one or several of those areas. Homeowners mostly deal with installers and financing companies, but it’s essential to understand how the different types of solar companies function.

      • Solar panel manufacturers: Solar panel manufacturers create the solar cells and assemble the solar panels that go on your roof. Solar panel manufacturers are often at the forefront of solar energy research and development. The best solar panel manufacturers own their supply chain, assemble high-efficiency solar panels from the cells they create and offer long-term warranties on their products.
      • Solar panel retailers: Retailers are the middlemen between the manufacturer and the installer. Solar equipment retailers and distribution companies work with networks of suppliers, manufacturers, contractors and installers.
      • Solar installation companies: If you think about purchasing a solar energy system like buying a car, your installer is like the dealership. Usually, solar panel installers source panels from a manufacturer directly or through a solar panel wholesaler or retailer. A solar panel installer’s primary business is getting solar panels working on your rooftop, which requires other components, including wiring or inverters. These companies can be small or large. Some serve only certain geographic areas, while others operate nationwide.
      • Solar financing companies: These companies help people finance a solar panel system for their home through solar leases, loans or power purchase agreements. For more information, read our guide on solar financing companies.

      Should I go solar?

      If your yard receives a decent amount of sunlight, solar panels might be a good investment for you. Ask yourself two questions when considering switching to solar energy for your home or business:

      1. How much is your energy bill?
        Most of the time, your current utility bill needs to be at least $75 per month to save money by going solar. Residential solar companies set this $75 threshold because your electricity usage isn’t high enough to see energy savings by installing solar panels if your monthly utility bill is less than that.
      2. What kind of roof do you have?
        Solar panels are most efficient if they're mounted toward the rotation of the sun (that’s south-facing if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere). The best solar panels have a life expectancy of 40 or more years, so you need to be sure your roof can last just as long. Solar panels also require mounting hardware, which works best on composite or asphalt shingles, concrete tiles, standing-seam metal or other sturdy materials. If you’ve been thinking of replacing or repairing your roof, prioritize that over installing residential solar panels.

      Is my house a good candidate for solar?

      The benefits of solar probably outweigh the disadvantages if you have a sturdy roof and your utility bill is more than $75 per month. Next, consider the size of your roof, how much sun you get and your location to determine if your house is a good candidate for solar.

      • The size of your roof: One solar panel is 5.5 feet tall by 3.5 feet wide, so the area of available space on your roof might determine how much of your energy need can be met by solar panels. For example, if you use 30 kWh of power daily, you would need an average of 20 to 30 solar panels to generate the required power.
      • How much sun you get: Solar panels produce more power when they get direct sunlight and aren’t shaded by trees or taller buildings. Solar energy companies calculate “peak sun hours” specific to your home. The more peak sun hours in your area, the more electricity you can produce. You can calculate your peak sun hours by placing an insolation meter in direct sunlight — the meter measures the potential solar power supply and current light intensity in your area. Most homes in the United States average three to five peak sun hours, with less in the winter and more in the summer.
      • Where you live: Some states are better for going solar than others. For example, California’s solar industry has boomed in the last few years because of the state’s $46 billion investment in renewable energy. Your climate also affects how much energy you need (e.g., you use more power if you must continuously run air conditioning). Keep in mind that if your home is surrounded by shade from tall buildings, large trees or other obstructions, this interferes with the amount of sunlight your panels receive and makes them less effective.

      Going solar

      Going solar is much easier than it used to be. Once you determine your energy needs and compare solar energy companies, make sure your roof can handle having solar panels installed. You should understand solar incentives and consider the available financing options.

      It’s smart to get quotes from multiple companies — this ensures you get the best deal on all your solar equipment components. If you hire an installer, its employees do all the heavy lifting and help you complete permitting paperwork. Finally, connect to the grid to officially go solar.

      1. Determine your energy needs
      The first step in going solar is determining how much energy your home uses. The average U.S. household requires approximately 900 kWh of electricity per month. Considering each solar panel generates between 1 to 1.5 kWh of power each day, the average American home would need between 20 and 30 panels to run entirely on solar power.

      Generally, the more panels on a home or business, the more energy a solar power system can create. The amount of electricity your panels generate varies by location and available sunlight. The efficiency of your solar panels and how much power you require in your home or business affects the number of solar panels you need.

      2. Understand solar incentives
      Find out if your state offers solar incentives, such as government subsidies or rebate programs designed to encourage more residential solar energy systems. Solar investment tax credits also make the economic benefits of solar energy accessible to more people. After tax credits have been applied, the average price to go solar ranges from $7,926 for a 4-kW system to $37,985 for a 20-kW system.
      3. Consider solar financing options
      Solar modules and installation costs have gone down since the commercial solar industry started. Still, going solar isn't affordable for the average homeowner without a little help. To offset the high upfront price of going solar, many solar companies offer financing loans or power purchase agreement (PPA) programs.

      Solar loans have terms and conditions similar to most other home improvement loans, and some states offer subsidized solar energy loans with below-market interest rates.

      Solar lease companies let you use solar panel equipment for a fee. Homeowners who choose to lease solar panels instead of purchasing them don't receive the same tax credits, rebates or other incentives offered by the federal government and local utility company.

      4. Get quotes from at least three companies
      Select a handful of companies in your area that provide residential solar power options, then request quotes so you can compare pricing. Most solar energy companies want to see an annual statement from your utility company to estimate costs, so it’s smart to have that information ready when you are requesting bids.

      As you compare companies, be sure to ask how long the installation process takes and how long each equipment component is covered by warranty. Remember that you don’t have to go with the same company for installation and financing.

      5. Select solar power system equipment
      The best solar brands maximize the amount of energy you can generate in the minimum amount of space. You should evaluate solar panels and other equipment options on three primary parameters: electricity production, durability and quality. Remember to ask about the warranty for all solar equipment components.
      • Solar panels: As you compare solar energy options, remember that higher efficiency is always better. Currently, three types of panels are available on the solar market — monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film amorphous. Residential solar energy systems most commonly incorporate monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels. Thin-film amorphous solar panels are cheaper but also less efficient, which makes them more ideal for commercial applications where space isn’t a concern.
        • Degradation rate: Pay attention to the degradation rate and temperature coefficient to find quality solar panels. The degradation rate refers to how much the output declines each year — the average degradation rate for solar panels is about 0.8%, so anything less than that is more durable than average.
        • Temperature coefficient: The temperature coefficient refers to how much panels decrease in efficiency each degree above 25 C. (PV modules are tested at 25 C, so 25 C is the solar industry’s universal reference point.) Look for PV modules with a temperature coefficient between -0.3% and -0.5%.
      • Power inverter: An inverter converts DC electricity into AC electricity, which is what powers your home. After panels, your inverter is the most critical part of your solar energy system. To select the best inverter for you, consider how many watts you need and the power rating. The most common kinds of inverters are string inverters, central inverters and micro-inverters.
      • Storage batteries: Solar storage batteries provide continuous power to your home, even when the sun isn’t shining. These batteries come in handy whether you're on or off the grid. The best solar batteries can store large amounts of electricity and withstand multiple discharge-recharge cycles.
      • Charge controllers: Charge controllers regulate current and voltage to prevent batteries from overcharging. Solar charge controllers can be either PWM (pulse width modulation) or MPPT (maximum power point tracking). Generally, MPPT controllers are more expensive but more sophisticated.
      • Monitoring equipment: Monitoring equipment connects to the inverter and lets you know how efficiently your panels are generating electricity. Most solar energy companies use proprietary software to monitor solar arrays.
      6. Hire a local or national installer
      Once you have an idea of the solar equipment you want, start thinking about whether you want a national or local installer. There are pros and cons to both — national companies often have better warranties, but local companies are more familiar with your state’s incentives and permitting requirements. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), local solar installers cost an average of 10% less than national residential solar installers.

      Before selecting a local solar installation company, review the companies’ customer ratings and seek references from homeowners who've recently completed a similar system installation. Find out if they employ in-house installers or use contractors. You should also consider whether or not the company offers in-house financing and if it offers warranties for parts or equipment.

      7. Complete municipal permits and utility paperwork
      There’s some paperwork to complete before solar panels can be installed. Homeowners must apply for proper permissions with their state or local government. You might have to comply with building codes, depending on where you live. Without the correct paperwork, you risk hefty fines.

      You then need to make arrangements with your local utility company to outline a net-metering agreement, a contract that details the responsibilities for you and the utility company and covers information like electric rates and compensation for excess energy fed into the grid. Your utility company may also require justification for the size of your system, particularly if it produces more power than you typically use.

      8. Connect solar panels to the grid
      A final inspection is required to ensure the system meets safety regulations before you can connect to your local utility grid. A grid system provides reliable, economical electricity. Solar panels can be directly connected to a power inverter and then connected to a home grid, or they can be connected to the inverter through the battery and then to the home grid. It’s not wise to install the panels yourself, though; instead, hire a qualified professional with certification who works with high-quality solar panels.

      What are the best solar energy companies near me?

      We compared the top local solar energy companies across the U.S. to help you find the best in your city:

      Solar energy questions

      How much does solar installation cost?
      Average solar installation costs range from about $10,000 to $25,000 before incentives and tax credits. Solar panel installation prices vary depending on multiple factors, including:
      • Where you live
      • Incentive eligibility
      • The type of panels
      • The number of panels
      How does the federal solar tax credit work?
      The residential federal solar tax credit is a reduction in the amount of taxes you owe, based on a percentage of the cost of your solar energy system, including the panels, mounting equipment, inverters, permitting fees and installation. Homeowners are allowed to claim this tax credit on a solar photovoltaic system they own, whether they purchase it outright or through a financing plan.

      For systems installed in 2021, the federal solar tax credit is 22% of the cost of a system if you meet all the eligibility requirements. The tax credit decreased from 26% in 2020. Keep in mind that you could also be eligible for other state and local incentives. The residential federal solar tax credit is set to expire in 2022 unless Congress takes action.

      Do you really save money with solar panels?
      Solar panels really do save money on electricity costs. For those who install solar panels in 2021, the average savings are $1,492 per year, according to SolarReviews. This means you could save almost $30,000 on energy bills over 20 years. Plus, you might even make money. Through net-metering, you can sell extra electricity your panels produce back to your local power company.
      How many solar panels would it take to power a house?
      The average American house needs approximately 20 to 30 solar panels to cover 100% of its electrical power needs. The exact number of solar panels you need to power your house depends on a few factors, including:
      • Your electricity usage
      • Type of panels you have
      • Solar exposure

      If you’re concerned about the number of solar panels you’re going to need, don’t be afraid to get quotes from different providers and compare benefits.

      Will my roof support solar panels?
      You shouldn’t be concerned about the weight of solar panels on your roof. An inspector makes sure that your roof is in good enough condition to support PV modules before installation. Most of the time, panels are installed on top of a racking system, which runs horizontally underneath roof rafters. This helps distribute the weight of the modules evenly over your roof. Once the installation is complete, the panels actually make your roof stronger than before.
      Can HOA prevent solar panels?
      Most residents of planned neighborhoods and condominiums are members of a homeowners association (HOA). Depending on where you live, your HOA might have set requirements for the type, location and number of solar panels that can be installed. Some states, such as Texas, have regulations in place that prevent HOAs from banning solar panel installation.

      Other states, such as Maryland, restrict solar panel installation on historic homes. California, Utah and Florida have “solar access” laws that protect homeowners’ rights to install solar panels on their properties. Still, HOAs are allowed to make system requests, as long as it does not increase the overall price. Arizona has similar regulations.

      What is a solar panel warranty?
      Solar panel warranties are designed to protect the equipment you invested in. Unlike insurance, they're not to cover expenses related to accidents, extreme weather or other “acts of God.” Instead, a solar warranty is there to cover issues related to the efficiency (performance) and quality of various system components (product and materials).

      Different solar companies offer different warranty plans. As you compare options, make sure you ask about the warranties available and understand what’s covered and what’s not covered. The most common types of solar warranties include:

      • Manufacturer's warranty: Manufacturer's warranties are backed by the brand that made the panels. Both product and performance warranties are considered types of manufacturer's warranties.
        • Product warranty: The product warranty covers the solar panel equipment for issues caused by manufacturing defects, premature wear and tear and some environmental issues. Product warranties typically last between 10 and 25 years.
        • Performance warranty: Sometimes called a performance “guarantee,” these cover the energy output and power efficiency of the solar array. Performance warranties pay to replace the equipment if it underperforms per the terms of your contract. Usually, the energy output is guaranteed using a percentage. For example, if the system underperforms an output by 10% to 20%, the manufacturer will replace the panels free of charge. Panels should come with a performance warranty of at least 25 years.
      • Inverter warranty: The inverter warranty is issued by the maker of the inverter. It provides coverage if the inverter equipment fails or underperforms. Depending on the type of inverter you have, the warranty can last anywhere from five to 25 years.
      • Service warranty: Sometimes called workmanship or installation warranties, service warranties protect you from labor-related defects, including roof damage that could occur during the installation process. Service warranties typically last between five and 10 years.
      Can solar panels withstand hail and heavy rains?
      Most panels are certified to withstand up to one-inch hail falling at 50 miles per hour, according to EnergySage. During a hurricane, quality panels can withstand hurricane-force winds up to 140 miles per hour. Luckily, solar systems these days typically come with aluminum and tempered glass casings, which are waterproof even during severe rainstorms. If extreme weather does cause damages to the PV array, it should be covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
      Does solar increase home value?
      Yes, solar energy systems usually increase home value. On average, homeowners who install solar panels see a 3% to 4% increase in property value. Most property owners recoup the cost of solar power installation when they sell their homes.
      Is it harder to sell a house with solar panels?
      Sometimes it’s harder to sell a house with solar panels, but not always. The process is relatively straightforward if you own the solar panels on the house you’re selling. Be aware that solar panels occasionally complicate appraisals if you don’t include them in the value of your home.

      It’s much more challenging to sell a home if you leased solar panels. You most likely will have to buy out of the lease or transfer the lease to your buyer. Some companies allow early termination, though an exit fee will likely apply. Transferring a solar lease can become complicated because the buyer and seller must both cooperate.

      Do solar companies put a lien on your house?
      Only solar lease companies put a lien on your house. Homeowners who lease their solar panels agree to have a lien on their property. Because of the lien, homeowners who lease solar panels may face challenges should they wish to refinance their homes while the panels are installed.
      What are the different types of solar energy technologies?
      When it comes to harnessing photons into energy, there are two main types of solar energy technologies: photovoltaic cell (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP). Both convert sun energy into electrical power.
      • Photovoltaic technology: PV technology converts sunlight into electricity with solar panels. Most common for home use, photovoltaic panels are made of many solar cells with semiconductor materials that capture light. When the sunlight hits those solar cells, electrons are knocked loose, which creates an electric current. The electrons flow through a circuit to generate usable electricity — the more panels on a home or business, the more energy the solar power system can create.
      • Concentrated solar power: Concentrated solar power is used mostly in large power plants and is not typically recommended for residential use. CSP technology concentrates sunlight using mirrors and reflectors to collect solar energy and turn it into thermal energy. This thermal technology harnesses the sun’s heat and converts it to mechanical energy before converting that to concentrated solar power to heat homes and water. This energy can be used to power turbines, which then makes electricity. CSP plants can also store their energy in order to produce electricity at all times of the day.
      How do I choose a solar company?
      Before making any decisions, research multiple solar energy companies and read their customer reviews to make sure the solar company you choose is right for you. To narrow down your solar power options, check each company’s licenses and insurance policies. You should request quotes from at least three of your top picks. As you’re requesting a quote, ask the following questions:
      • What solar loans or financing programs do you offer?
      • How many solar panels will I need based on my monthly energy consumption?
      • What does your warranty cover, and for how long?
      • Will you take care of city permitting and state requirements?

      Not sure how to choose?

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        Solar company reviews

        Dividend Solar

        Dividend Solar is a financing company that gives homeowners a way to invest in solar. It has brought to market a solar financing and solar investment solution that is unavailable from any other entity in the solar industry.

        Read 644 Reviews
        AUTHORIZED PARTNER
        Vivint Solar

        Vivint Solar is available to consumers in 22 states. Plans include solar purchase, solar loan, solar power purchase agreement (PPA) and solar lease. Monitoring is available through the Vivint Solar app.

        • Solar products: Vivint offers monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels plus a line of solar batteries, powerful chargers and smart home apps. The company partners with LG Chem to provide batteries with an energy capacity of 9.8 kWh and a warranty of 10 years. They are wall-mounted, noiseless and safe to touch.
        • Financing options: Vivint Solar offers solar loans, but its most popular financing option is its PPA structure.
        • Installation process: The Vivint installer team attaches panels to your roof and completes the grid and electrical work. Typical solar panel installation takes four to eight hours.
        • Warranty: The company’s solar panels are covered by a 25-year warranty and its inverters are covered by a 10-year warranty.
        • Coverage areas: Vivint Solar is available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
        Read 2463 Reviews
        SolarCity

        Perhaps the largest residential solar installation company, this California-based subsidiary of Tesla manufactures and installs solar panels, servicing about 275,000 residential and commercial customers in 19 states and Washington, D.C.

        Read more about SolarCity
        Solar Five

        Solar Five is based in Massachusetts and believes in building a stronger community by supporting neighborhood businesses that employ local residents. The company also supports local initiatives. It provides affordable solar energy to homeowners, businesses and governments.

        Read 27 Reviews
        AUTHORIZED PARTNER
        Sunrun

        Sunrun specializes in customized solar energy systems. Through the mySunrun app, you can track your system’s energy production, share your system’s stats via social media and change your billing preferences.

        • Solar products: With Sunrun, you can purchase an LG Chem battery in addition to your solar energy system. This battery stores the excess energy that your system produces, making it available to you in an outage.
        • Financing options: If you want to lease the system, you can pay Sunrun a set amount per month or pay them a higher upfront fee and avoid the monthly payment. If you want to own the system, you can pay off the system in full or finance it with a loan.
        • Installation process: Sunrun’s installation team mounts and installs the inverter, meter and panels on your roof.
        • Warranty: SunRun guarantees the performance of its product throughout the product’s lifetime. This warranty promises free repairs to your solar energy system. SunRun’s systems also include a roof warranty in case of leaks or holes.
        • Coverage areas: Sunrun is available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin.
        Read 1614 Reviews
        AUTHORIZED PARTNER
        SunLux

        SunLux handles everything: site evaluation, paperwork, installation and maintenance. The company also works with commercial clients in California to maximize energy savings and return on investment.

        • Solar products: SunLux offers Panasonic HIT Solar Panels, LG Solar Panel and Q.Peak Solar Panels. Inverters are from SolarEdge, Enphase Microinverter and SMA. Solar battery storage options include Tesla, LG and Enphase systems.
        • Financing options: You can pay for your SunLux system in full or explore loan and lease options. SunLux Energy partners with finance companies to offer financing for its energy systems. It also partners with solar leasing programs and offers leasing options for people paying more than $100 per month on their energy bills.
        • Installation process: SunLux provides full-service installations. Once your initial evaluation is complete, its engineers design a system that fits your property and send it to you for approval. The company handles all required permits.
        • Warranty: SunLux provides complete coverage for 25 years, including parts, labor and shipping costs for any repairs or maintenance.
        • Coverage areas: SunLux has locations in California, Texas, Nevada and Arizona.
        Read 391 Reviews
        AUTHORIZED PARTNER
        SunPower

        SunPower manufactures Maxeon solar panels and keeps distribution in-house. SunPower helps you choose the best financing option for your situation and handles permitting paperwork, tax incentive applications, testing, monitoring and maintenance.

        • Solar products: SunPower manufactures flexible solar panels that can be used outdoors, on vehicles or to power small devices in case of power outage or emergency. The company offers SunPower Equinox solar for home use, SunPower Helix for commercial customers and SunPower Oasis for solar plants. The SunPower solar panel line includes the X-Series with 22.7 percent efficiency, E-Series with 20 percent efficiency and P-Series with 17 percent efficiency. The panels are available in 320 to 470 watts.
        • Financing options: The company offers upfront purchasing, leases and loans.
        • Installation process: Inverters and panel boards arrive on-site ready for fast installation, and no field wiring or tools are required.
        • Warranty: The installation and panels are covered by a 25-year warranty.
        • Coverage areas: SunPower master dealers are located in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Oregon and Texas.
        Read 1234 Reviews
        AUTHORIZED PARTNER
        Zenernet

        Zenernet provides convenient consultations, upfront pricing and financing options. Professional solar panel installation is available across the U.S. with long-term warranties.

        • Solar products: Zenernet builds solar panels systems to look good and perform well with sleek, black-on-black panels. It also partners with Sense to integrate smart home technology to monitor energy usage.
        • Financing options: Solar loans are available, but not leases. PACE partners include California First, Hero and Ygrene.
        • Installation process: Solar power system installations are typically completed in 60 to 75 days. Zenernet’s network of professional local installers with solar experience are all certified and insured.
        • Warranty: All system components are covered by a 35-year warranty.
        • Coverage areas: Zenernet is available in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas and Utah.
        Read 171 Reviews
        Complete Solar

        Complete Solar specializes in sales and installation. Complete Solar offers a range of services and helps clients choose specific features while staying within their budgets.

        Read 190 Reviews
        PetersenDean

        PetersenDean is a residential and commercial roofing and solar company that handles estimating, design, permitting and installation.

        Read 137 Reviews
        Sungevity

        Sungevity is a leading solar power provider that designs and installs residential and commercial solar systems. It offers flexible financing options and fast installation times.

        Read 318 Reviews
        Go Solar

        This Colorado-based and Colorado-focused full-service solar company has partnered with high-quality U.S.-based companies to offer great solar products made in the U.S.

        • Solar products: Go Solar Inc. uses quality German-engineered, 310-watt monocrystalline solar panels and state-of-the-art inverters. Go Solar Group designs your solar array to fit your home’s specifications.
        • Financing options: You can pay in cash or get a solar loan. Go Solar does not lease solar arrays.
        • Installation process: Go Solar has a team of in-house installers.
        • Warranty: Solar panels include a 25-year warranty. Go Solar Inc. keeps the customer experience smooth and pleasant with in-house contractors, financing, maintenance, monitoring and even roof repair.
        • Coverage areas: Go Solar is available in Nevada, Utah and Texas.

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        by Zachary Shahan Solar Energy Contributing Editor

        Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, and his key areas of focus are solar energy and electric vehicles. He has been referenced or interviewed by essentially every major media organization as a recognized global thought leader on solar energy.

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