Best Solar Energy Companies of 2023

Find a Solar Energy partner near you.

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    As the demand for clean energy continues to grow, the solar industry continues to thrive. The good news is there’s more competition, technology is improving, and solar panels are cheaper than ever.

    A common misconception is that going solar is a complicated process — it’s actually relatively simple. Solar companies can take care of everything for you, from designing the system to installing it on your roof and ongoing monitoring.

    Still, it can be hard to know which company best fits your needs. This is where we come in to help you compare our top picks. In this guide, you’ll also learn about factors to consider when selecting a company, whether your house is a good candidate for solar, some tips to maintain your new panels after installation and more.

    How we selected the best solar companies

    Our research team conducted extensive research and analysis to rank the top solar companies in the industry based on their quality of products, range of services, financing options, customer reviews and ratings, overall reputation, availability, and other factors. For more detail on how we selected our top picks, read our full methodology.

    Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
    • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
    • 4,244,400 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
    • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
    • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
    • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

    Compare our top 6 solar energy companies

    SunPower logoSunPowerSunlux logoSunluxElevation logoElevationTesla Energy logoTesla EnergyPalmetto Solar logoPalmetto SolarSunrun logoSunrun
    # of reviews2,12353210747532,569
    Our pick for Easy process Prepaid energy Customer service Panel design Community impact Quick installation
    Warranty 25 years (system) 25 years (product and performance) 25+ years (product and labor) 25 years (system) 25 years (product and performance) Varies by system
    Payment options Cash, lease, loan Cash, lease, prepay, loan Not disclosed Cash, lease, loan Cash, loan, lease, PPA Cash, loan, lease
    Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews
    All information accurate as of time of publication.
    Our pick for easy process SunPower
    • ConsumerAffairs reviewer rating: 4.3
    • Warranty: 25 years (system)
    • Payment options: Cash, lease, loan
    • Availability: Nationwide

    SunPower is a great option if you’re not a solar expert. The company’s team takes care of everything — evaluating your energy needs, creating a customized system, helping you with permits and coordinating the installation.

    You can choose between front- or back-contact panels with low-profile and solar roofing tile options. The company’s Maxeon 5 series solar panels, known for durability, reliability and efficiency, are built on a solid copper foundation. SunPower also offers solar battery servicing and energy auditing to help you see how your power usage changes over time.

    After installation, SunPower offers monitoring and maintenance services to maximize efficiency and, if necessary, diagnose any issues.

    As a solar energy and storage technology provider, SunPower specializes in designing, installing and maintaining panel systems for residential, commercial and industrial applications.

    SunPower was awarded the Cradle to Cradle Certification for sustainable manufacturing processes in 2014 and 2016, and its Maxeon (DC) solar panels won the inaugural PV Magazine Sustainability Award in 2019.

    SunPower is an excellent choice but not the cheapest option — upfront costs tend to be a little higher than other companies. After all, you get what you pay for.

    Also, even though the company is available nationwide, dealers may provide different service levels in different states. For example, "Master Dealers" (those vetted by the most stringent installation, training and customer satisfaction criteria) aren't available in all areas.

    Satisfied SunPower customers on ConsumerAffairs frequently mention the company’s helpful service staff and the ease of its processes.

    “SunPower has exceeded my expectations in quality and customer service for the last year,” a ConsumerAffairs reviewer in California said, adding, “SunPower is consistently one of the top providers for good reason.”

    When an issue does come up, the company usually does what it can do to fix it, as another reviewer described: “My experience when I enrolled was extremely positive. I like the communication, the professionalism and the work ethics of the crew that came out to the house. The only thing was there's a turn-off switch that is on the street. … They came back out and fixed it for no charge.”

    A reviewer in Connecticut highlighted SunPower’s “awesome” app: “I check it all the time. I can predict my electric bill from that app because it tracks all my power in and out. So I can just look at that to know how we're doing.” Their only issue was it’s been difficult to add more panels after the initial installation was complete.

    » READ MORE: SunPower reviews

    Our pick for prepaid energy Sunlux
    • ConsumerAffairs reviewer rating: 4.5
    • Warranty: 25 years (product and performance)
    • Payment options: Cash, lease, prepay, loan
    • Availability: California and Texas

    Sunlux has flexible financing options, including prepaid energy — with this option, you pay for the energy you'll consume before you use it. When your balance reaches zero, you can either recharge or add more funds to the account.

    Once you receive permitting and Sunlux installs your system, the company takes care of submitting the PTO (permission to operate) to your local utility.

    Sunlux is a Tesla-certified installer, so you get sleek panels plus ongoing customer support. The company can also take care of any necessary roof repairs or replacements before installing your system, whether for commercial or residential use, for an additional charge.

    Overall, its focus on high-quality products, comprehensive services, flexible financing options and exceptional customer service sets it apart from other solar companies in California and Texas.

    Sunlux isn’t ideal for small installations. Because of the weight of the panels, you might have to replace your roof, which can get pricey, as this reviewer in California noted.

    Because of its limited availability, it won’t be a good fit for you unless you live in Southern California or Central Texas.

    “I spoke to other companies. They were somewhat pushy,” a reviewer in California told us. “But with Sunlux, it was nothing like that. I asked for a quote. They gave me a quote and left me alone. The gentleman that gave me the quote showed me how extensive their installation process is to prevent roof leaks. That was another selling point.”

    Other customers highlight the company’s clear communication and transparency.

    “I've been in sales long enough to know when somebody's telling me a lie and somebody's not telling me the whole truth,” another reviewer in California said recently. But Sunlux's integrity was what I wanted. Communication is everything to me and they've been very communicative.”

    One customer said they were frustrated by the credit approval process and the fact they needed a new roof to support the panels, but “that aside, all the people were super nice.” A few others we talked to were annoyed by supply chain delays (a common theme in many solar company reviews).

    » READ MORE: Sunlux reviews

    Our pick for customer service Elevation
    • ConsumerAffairs reviewer rating: 4.1
    • Warranty: 25+ years (product and labor)
    • Payment options: Not disclosed
    • Availability: Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas

    We like that Elevation's in-house team completes the installation and provides ongoing support if you run into any issues.

    You can monitor your energy usage with the Curb monitoring app. Curb connects to your home's electrical system to give you real-time data about your energy usage. The app also lets you remotely turn on and off your smart devices to stop waste and maximize efficiency.

    Elevation specializes in low-profile panels and solar panel roofing tiles. Systems incorporate high-quality solar panels and either Tesla Powerwall or Generac PWRcell batteries. It earned the ENERGY STAR Award for three years in a row, from 2019 to 2021.
    Customers occasionally experience installation delays due to equipment upgrades, local permitting and supply chain issues. Additionally, the company only offers solar panel services in the Southwest.
    “I can't believe how helpful these people were. It made the experience super stress free,” a reviewer in California said. Others who were pleased with their experience with Elevation Solar mentioned reasonable prices and the Curb app.

    “Elevation Solar had the cheapest quote that I got,” another in California said. “The only thing about the part was it took a little longer than expected. But other than that, it went nice. Everything worked as it should.”

    A customer in Arizona told us they “LOVE the Curb monitoring app, it’s super cool! It shows me all the power/usage/data/etc. I can even see how much energy my pool pump is using vs the AC unit so that’s fun to play around with. Biggest benefit is my power bill has been cut in half.”

    » READ MORE: Elevation reviews

    Our pick for panel design Tesla Energy
    • ConsumerAffairs reviewer rating: 3.3
    • Warranty: 25 years (system)
    • Payment options: Cash, lease, loan
    • Availability: Some states

    We like that Tesla manufactures its own panels — made of sleek black anodized aluminum — that you can have installed in the ground or on your roof. We also like the company’s Powerwall backup battery that lets you store solar energy to use later.

    You can schedule virtual or in-person consultations to determine your needs, and a rep helps you find any solar incentives you qualify for. After installation, the Tesla app lets you monitor your energy usage.

    Tesla rolled out more efficient and powerful solar roof tiles a few years ago. The company also offers options for community solar and low-profile solar panels and has a price-match guarantee.
    Tesla’s solar services are limited to California, Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico.

    Keep in mind it can be difficult (and sometimes impossible) to add more panels after purchase, so make sure that you take advantage of the consultation to explain exactly what you need. Additionally, the process from consultation to installation can be somewhat lengthy.

    “The install was professional. It was pleasant seeing highly experienced people have fun and do an exceptional install,” a customer in California said, echoing others who were happy with the installation process.

    However, some people mentioned having trouble with the app or Powerwall after the installation was complete. “The price that Tesla offered was great and the installation went smoothly, everything else has been a nightmare,” a customer in Rhode Island told us, noting there were multiple delays and a lack of communication during the initial design phase.

    » READ MORE: Tesla Energy reviews

    Our pick for community impact Palmetto Solar
    • ConsumerAffairs reviewer rating: Not enough reviews
    • Warranty: 25 years (product and performance)
    • Payment options: Cash, loan, lease, PPA
    • Availability: 23 states

    Palmetto will identify and initiate any minor roof repairs and replacements you need to go solar, and the company’s representatives help you find incentives you qualify for in your area. Like the other picks on our list, Palmetto offers low-profile panels and solar panel roofing tiles, and you can get started with an in-person or virtual consultation.

    We like its “Get Solar, Give Solar” program, an initiative the company launched in 2021 to provide clean energy to underserved communities. Palmetto has pledged $5 million to invest in Solar Sister, a woman-owned entrepreneur program dedicated to making solar energy more accessible.

    Since 2015, Palmetto has had the mission of “flipping the traditional solar industry model on its head.” The company developed software to calculate your monthly savings instantly, and its decentralized network of solar sellers and installers gives you quick access to service and support. In-house project management and active system monitoring also set Palmetto apart.
    Palmetto is a relatively new solar company with limited availability. Upon submitting an initial reservation order for a residential solar installation, you will be required to pay a $99 refundable deposit.
    One reviewer in Massachusetts emphatically recommends Palmetto: “They're honest and informative. The quote was almost [$3,000] less than the other two we received. So we went with Palmetto. The whole process went smooth up to installation… and the project manager assigned to us answered all our questions throughout the whole process.”

    However, another reviewer in Georgia seems annoyed with their financing deal: “The amount I could ‘save’ was an exaggeration to say the least, between my electric bill now, and my solar panel payment, I am losing $80 a month. … I simply want my money back and these things off my house.”

    (In general, solar panel companies don’t offer money-back guarantees or free solar panel removal if you change your mind.)

    » READ MORE: Palmetto Solar reviews

    Our pick for quick installation Sunrun
    • ConsumerAffairs reviewer rating: 3.4
    • Warranty: Varies by system
    • Payment options: Cash, loan, lease
    • Availability: Some states

    Sunrun is a residential solar panel company that designs, installs, finances, monitors, maintains and insures its systems. It customizes home systems based on your energy usage history, roof space and design preferences, using an automated site modeling tool that profiles roof characteristics like shading, pitch and sun exposure.

    Navigant Research ranked Sunrun as the world’s leading solar-plus-storage vendor in 2018. Its Brightbox system, a solar battery storage system it calls “a holistic service that puts the power in your hands,” works with both Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem lithium-ion batteries.

    Unlike some of its competitors, Sunrun contracts have a roof warranty covering leaks and holes and options for community solar. As of publishing, the company’s available discounts include $0 down for some financing and loan plans.
    Sunrun can’t add panels to an existing system. It also has somewhat limited price transparency and availability.
    Some reviewers appreciate Sunrun’s efficiency and expertise, like this Nevada resident, who said their rep was “very professional with explaining the benefits of going solar as well with keeping the meeting in a timely manner. And the information contained enough so I didn’t get overloaded on everything that has to do with solar.”

    Others have issues with customer service.

    “Sunrun needs to tighten up their act a little bit when it comes to their people in customer service,” according to one reviewer. “Other than that, the installation went smoothly and there were no problems. They did the panels in one day then they had to come back and tie up some loose ends with the box,” the reviewer said.

    » READ MORE: Sunrun reviews

    How to choose a solar company

    Solar energy systems are designed to last for up to 25 years or more, so you want to find an installer you’re comfortable working with in the future. Here are some tips to narrow down your options and choose a solar energy company that is reputable and experienced and provides quality service at a competitive price.

    » LOOK OUT: Solar panel scams

    In general, a company that has been in business for several years is more likely to have a track record that reflects they have the necessary skills and knowledge to install your system correctly.

    “The reality is that solar installation is a service, not a product,” said Luke Cove, managing director of Lightning Energy, an Australian solar energy company. “It really does matter who you get it from. The company you buy solar from is everything, not the products.”

    Start by doing some research on the company's ratings and check for any complaints filed against it. When reading solar company reviews, look for indications that a company is responsive to questions and concerns and provides good communication throughout the installation process.

    » LEARN MORE: Solar panel installation guide

    When comparing solar panels, look for reliability, efficiency and durability. Higher-efficiency solar panels are more expensive but generate more electricity and require less space. Depending on where you live, the panels might need to be tough enough to withstand harsh weather conditions like hail, wind and snow.
    • Monocrystalline panels: Use cells made from a single silicon crystal. They are highly effective and the most expensive.
    • Polycrystalline panels: Use cells made from multiple silicon crystals. They are slightly less efficient but can still produce a significant amount of electricity.
    • Thin-film panels: Made by depositing layers of photovoltaic (PV) material onto a substrate, such as glass or metal. They are the least expensive and also the least efficient.

    Monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels are the most common types of solar panels for residential and commercial installations. There are pros and cons to each — compare monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline solar panels for more information.

    » COMPARE: Best solar panels

    Additional hardware: In addition to solar panels, you need several other pieces of hardware, including wiring that connects the panels to the inverter and the wiring that connects the inverter to your home's electrical system. You may also choose to install a battery to store power for at night or in poor weather.

    • Solar inverter: This is a device that converts the direct current (DC) electricity produced by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used to power your home or business.

      It’s not worth it to skimp on the inverter: “A cheaper inverter might be covered under warranty but it could take up to three months to get it replaced, if that happens over summer then you would lose hundreds — potentially thousands — of dollars,” Cove said.

    • Mounting system: This is what attaches the solar panels to your roof or another location on your property. The mounting system needs to be sturdy and weather-resistant.
    • Optional storage options: If you want to store the energy produced by your solar panels for use later, you need to install solar batteries. This is especially useful if you live in an area with frequent power outages or if you want to use solar energy when the sun is not shining. If you get a battery, you’ll also need a charge controllerSolar generators are another option to get a sustainable source of backup electricity.
    Compare a few quotes, but remember the rule that “good quality doesn’t come cheap and cheap isn’t usually good quality,” Cove said.

    According to Cove it’s often worth it to pay a little more in exchange for skilled labor, installation quality and customer service. Otherwise, you risk ending up with an underperforming system, leaky roof or equipment, with the company not willing to help — “or worse, gone bankrupt from selling too cheap; that happens all the time in the solar industry.”

    It’s a significant investment, but you don’t have to pay everything upfront and out of pocket. People often finance or lease solar panels, and many companies offer power purchase agreements (PPAs).

    • Loan: Solar loans work a lot like other types of loans, so pay attention to the interest rate — a bad financing deal will really throw a kink into your overall cost-benefit.
    • Lease or PPA: Both are ways to trade ownership of the system for upfront savings, but there are several differences.

    » EXPLORE: Best solar financing companies

    Installing a solar energy system is a long-term investment. You want a company to help set everything up and be there if you need assistance with maintenance and repairs in the future.
    • Monitoring service: This lets you track the performance of your solar energy system and monitor the amount of energy it's producing.

      A good monitoring service will make everyday life more convenient. For example, a solar customer in California without reliable monitoring has to “go outside every single day right before sunset and write down all the numbers off of both of the inverters and the hardware that sends it off to the city.”

    • Warranty or guarantee: Look for solar panel manufacturers with a good reputation and a history of standing by their products. Panels typically come with a warranty covering the panel's performance and materials. A good warranty should cover at least 25 years.

    Should I go solar?

    Going solar is an awesome idea for many homeowners. Despite the high upfront costs, “the energy savings can offset the initial investment with a great ROI,” according to Warren Matthews, co-founder of and head editor at Helius Hub.

    “We invested in a solar energy system for our home because of environmental and utility cost benefits,” a resident of Friday Harbor, Washington (the “greenest state”) told us. They said they took advantage of the 30% federal solar tax credit and that “OPALCO (Orcas Power & Light Cooperative) supports net metering, so we now offset 100% of our yearly electric-grid consumption.”

    Still, it isn’t for everyone. You might not want to make the switch if you:

    • Don’t get enough hours of sunlight
    • Plan on moving soon
    • Have a limited budget

    Is my house a good candidate for solar?

    How much sunlight your house gets is critical to the success of a solar panel system — high levels of sunshine and minimal shading are ideal. The other big factor is your roof:

    • Roof orientation and pitch: Roofs that face south, southeast or southwest are typically the best orientations for solar panels. Generally, a roof pitch of 15 to 40 degrees is best.
    • Roof condition: Solar panels can last for 25 years or more, so your roof needs to last at least that long. If your roof is old or in poor condition, it may need to be repaired or replaced before installing solar panels.
    • Roof size: Average dimensions of a solar panel are roughly 5.5 feet by 3.25 feet, so your roof needs to be big enough to fit the number of panels required to meet your energy needs.

    It's best to consult a professional installer to determine if your home is a good candidate for solar panels and to receive a detailed estimate for installation costs and energy savings.

    » MORE: Are solar panels worth it?

    Pros and cons of going solar

    If your house is a good candidate for panels, going solar can be a wise investment in both financial and environmental terms. But there are pros and cons to consider before making the full commitment.


    • Reduced electricity bills
    • Increased property value
    • Lower carbon footprint


    • High upfront costs
    • Maintenance requirements
    • Not a one-size-fits-all solution

    The primary benefit of going solar is the reduced cost of electricity. Most homeowners see significant savings on monthly bills, even if they're making payments on the system. For example, a solar customer in Nevada said their bill went from over $300 per month to about $100, and that includes all their financing payments and connection fees.

    Plus, houses with solar panels tend to sell faster and for more money than others (and if you go with a reputable company, there shouldn’t be any issue transferring the system to the new owners).

    But the high upfront cost and ongoing maintenance can be a drawback.

    “Based on my experience, people often overlook when buying/installing solar panels the importance of proper installation and maintenance of the panels,” Matthews said.

    Dirt, debris and other substances accumulate on panels over time, reducing their effectiveness. Jesse Silkoff, CEO of MyRoofingPal, recommends cleaning solar panels about twice a year. Unfortunately, doing it yourself can lead to expensive mistakes, and it costs about $150 per visit to hire a professional.

    » TIPS: Solar panel cleaning


    How much do solar panels cost to install?

    On average, a residential solar system costs $20,650 in 2023. However, how much you pay going solar is going to depend on a range of factors, including your location, the size of the system, the supplier and available incentives. It’s not a fixed price, but a range.

    “In my experience, people don't always understand the full cost associated with buying and installing solar panels. It's important to factor in the cost of the panels, the installation fees and any additional components that may be needed,” according to Dave Conway, a solar expert at Eco Motion Central. You should also consider the cost of maintenance and any potential repairs.

    » READ MORE: Are solar panels worth it?

    How many solar panels do I need to power my house?

    The average American home ends up needing 15 to 30 panels. How many you need depends on your energy usage. To figure out your energy usage, check your utility bill for “kWh used.” To get your monthly average, look at bills for the past year, add up the stated kWh used and divide by 12.

    » CALCULATE: How many solar panels do I need for my house?

    How do solar panels work?

    In simple terms, panels harness the power of the sun and convert it into usable electricity. The panels can't generate electricity at night or in low light conditions because they are not receiving any sunlight. As a result, the energy stored in the battery bank (if there is one) can be used to power your devices or appliances.

    Alternatively, if your solar panel system is connected to the grid, any excess energy generated during the day can be fed into the grid and credited to your account through net metering. At night, the system can draw energy from the grid to power devices and appliances in the home.

    » MORE DETAILS: How solar panels work

    What happens to your solar panels if you need to replace your roof?

    If you need to replace your roof and you have solar panels installed, you will need to temporarily remove the solar panels, mounting hardware and electrical connections, which gets expensive.

    This is why it’s so important to get a thorough inspection before installing solar panels.

    A solar customer in California told us that when the company “came to inspect our roof to make sure it was suitable to install the panels, they said everything was ok. One year later, with the recent rainstorms, we noticed several leaks in our roof. We decided to replace our roof,” and it cost $5,000 to remove the panels and reinstall them again.

    How does the federal solar tax credit work?

    The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) reduces your total solar installation costs by up to 30%. Applied against your federal income tax liability, the solar ITC represents a dollar-for-dollar reduction in avoided tax payments. For example, if your new system costs $18,000, you may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $5,400.

    » MORE: How does the federal solar tax credit work?

    How has COVID-19 affected the energy industry?

    The solar industry was “hit hard” by the pandemic, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

    “Due to the pandemic, manufacturers have experienced disruptions, leading to delays in production and delivery and longer wait times for installations. This resulted in increased prices for solar panels.”

    Neil Gallagher, who owns a solar company in Tampa, Florida, told us that the cost of labor has also increased.

    “However, supply chain issues have been addressed and soon the market is expected to stabilize in the coming months,” Matthews, from Helius Hub, added.


    To choose our top picks for solar energy companies, we started with 24 popular providers (including those not yet featured on our site). Our picks may be Authorized Partners who compensate us — this does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may impact the order in which companies appear. We compared several key features, including:

    • Financing options: All our top picks provide at least one alternative to outright purchase — this may include options for solar loans, solar leases or solar PPAs.
    • Range of services: We prioritized companies that offer a broad range of services, including permitting and incentives help, energy auditing, usage monitoring, cleaning and maintenance.
    • Availability: Although many solar companies are regionally focused, we made sure to include options in our top picks that service a broader area..

    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. EnergySage, “How much do solar panels cost in 2023?” Accessed April 20, 2023.
    2. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, “Berkeley Lab Illuminates Price Premiums for U.S. Solar Home Sales.” Accessed April 20, 2023.
    3. Solar Energy Industries Association, “COVID-19 Impacts on the U.S. Solar Industry.” Accessed April 20, 2023.

    Not sure how to choose?

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