1. Homeowners
  2. Going Solar
  3. Best Solar Companies
  4. Best Solar Companies in California

Best Solar Companies in California

Find a Solar Energy partner near you.

    Find a Solar Energy partner near you.

      Author pictureAuthor picture
      Author picture
      Written by
      Author picture
      Edited by

      California’s solar industry is booming right now. Plenty of sunshine and financial incentives make switching to solar an easy decision for many homeowners (and it’s mandatory if you’re building a new home in the state).

      The ConsumerAffairs Research Team has talked to thousands of California homeowners who switched to solar. The happy ones tell us about an easy installation process, great customer support and long-term cost savings.

      To choose our top picks, we compared solar energy companies on ratings and reviews, equipment options, warranties, availability and other factors. Read our full methodology for all the details.

      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.

      Our editor's top picks

      Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
      • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
      • 4,347,415 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 8 top solar companies in California


      Choose what information you want to see across each brand. At least one option must be selected.

      Need help making a decision?

      Find a Solar Energy partner near you.

      More details about California’s top-rated solar companies

      Investing in solar panels is a big commitment. With so many options — more than 2,000 solar companies statewide — it’s hard to know which is best for you. That’s why we found the best solar installation companies available in California for you.

      Our pick for an easy process


      Max. panel efficiency
      25 years
      Payment options
      Cash, loan, lease
      Year founded

      When it comes to making solar simple, few companies can match the end-to-end experience of SunPower. The company has refined an installation process that minimizes headaches for California homeowners. Reps will guide you through available incentives and tax credits to maximize your savings. We also like that SunPower’s premium Maxeon solar panels are highly rated for efficiency.

      SunPower services

      • Solar panel installation
      • Storage batteries
      • Energy monitoring
      • Solar lease services

      “Even though the product is good, the experience with the people was not that great,” according to Bryant in Northridge. We’ve heard other complaints about customer service, too. Daniel in Irvine and Pei in Fremont both told us about issues with a project coordinator.

      “SunPower made it very easy, and was the most cost-effective of all of the companies that I interviewed,” Rachel in San Diego told us.

      Dale in Del Mar said he “liked the business configuration: roofing needs and installation, labor and product guarantee are handled through the same company and contacts” and like “the quality of the system equipment and the longevity of (the) manufacturer.”

      “After several months of research and consultation, SunPower stood out the most,” Terry in Rancho Cucamonga said. “SunPower conducted the entire solar installation from consultation to end. The overall process was easy and smooth.”

      Our pick for a nice monitoring app


      Max. panel efficiency
      25 years
      Payment options
      Cash, loan, lease, prepay
      Year founded

      Sunlux is a highly rated solar company only available in California and Texas. We like that it has a variety of equipment options and a 25-year performance guarantee. It's a certified Tesla installer. Additional services include EV charging and smart-home solutions.

      Sunlux services

      • Solar installations
      • Solar financing
      • Solar storage batteries
      • Smart-home solutions
      • EV charging
      • Roofing

      We like the Sunlux app, but some customers wish it were more advanced, like Cesar in Corona. Cesar said, “The Sunlux app, all in all, gives me the information I need, but it could be a little bit more detailed or it could be a little more interactive.”

      Sunlux isn’t the cheapest option, but it’s still worth considering if you’re a particular person with a specific vision. Additionally, some customers in California have told us about installation delays, like Pierce in Simi Valley.

      Most communication is done over email. So, if you prefer in-person or over-the-phone conversations, you might be better off working with a different company.

      Sunlux has “very helpful, very informative” reps, according to Francisco in Norwalk. “The install crew was very professional, made everything quick, also answered any questions I had, very informative and gave me all the info I needed,” he said.

      David in Whittier likes tracking how much energy he’s generating through the Sunux app. “I can see what I'm producing every hour of the day. It's nice and there's a lot of information on there,” he said. “It's a total positive experience with Sunlux and I've been telling people it's gonna save them money.”

      Another customer, Daniel in Wildomar, appreciated that sales reps weren’t overly focused on making a buck: “I spoke to other companies. They were somewhat pushy. But with Sunlux, it was nothing like that. I asked for a quote. They gave me a quote and left me alone.”

      Our pick for a long warranty

      Ameco Solar

      Max. panel efficiency
      40 years
      Payment options
      Cash, loan, lease, PPA
      Year founded

      Ameco Solar has a long track record of providing solar solutions with fair pricing and an efficient installation process. The company has great reviews and one of the longest warranties we’ve seen. Headquartered in Valley Village, Ameco is available to residential and commercial customers throughout California. Ameco generally charges between $25,000 and $30,000 for residential solar installations (before any financial incentives are applied).

      Ameco services 

      • Solar panel installation
      • Solar battery installation
      • Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations
      • Roof replacements
      • Composite shingle roofing

      You might need to replace your roof before installing solar panels, especially if you live in an older home. Solar panels last 25 to 30 years, so you need your roof to last at least as long. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay to remove the panels, replace the roof and reinstall the panels again — an expensive and frustrating process.

      Since Ameco is also a top-rated roofing company, it’s worth considering working with them on both projects. “If you're a California resident looking to go solar or upgrade your roofing, Ameco Solar is the company to trust,” according to one customer, Davis in Santa Ana.

      Satisfied Ameco Solar customers in California often tell us about reasonable costs, knowledgeable reps and a streamlined process.

      “Amazing experience with product, install and customer service,” according to SeJin in South Pasadena. “Ameco Solar is one of the lowest bids in terms of pricing and has the ability to get the job done on a quick timeline.”

      “With Ameco Solar, you can expect an easy installation process, exceptional quality and substantial energy savings,” Ethan in San Jose told us.

      “I would consider myself someone with high expectations when it comes to service, and I was impressed they were able to communicate clearly with me and answer any questions I had,” Shayla in Corona said. “I recommend this company for solar panel service, especially since they offer an affordable price.”

      Our pick for customer service
      Max. panel efficiency
      25 years
      Payment options
      Cash, loan
      Year founded

      First American Solar has a really cool design and installation process, plus reasonable pricing. It’s a local company — headquartered in Glendale — with a great reputation throughout Southern California. We also like that the 25-year warranty covers your solar panels, roof and racking as well as production and workmanship.

      First American Solar services

      • Residential solar installations
      • Commercial solar installations
      • Nonprofit solar installations

      First American Solar’s availability is somewhat limited. It isn’t an option if you live in central or northern California.

      “What truly sets First American Solar apart is its exceptional customer service,” according to Khalil in Los Angeles. “They were always available to address my questions and concerns, and their follow-up after installation was remarkable,” he said.

      Romik in Los Angeles appreciated First American is a “very responsive company with attention to details,” and that reps made a 3D model of their house to create a design that maximizes solar power generation.

      “First American Solar has been a game-changer for me,” Mary in Glendale said. She has a pool plus high energy usage, and First American helped dramatically decrease her monthly energy costs. “It's been a truly transformative experience. The team was professional, efficient, and they guided me seamlessly through the entire process,” she said.

      Like Mary, Jordan in Glendale went solar for the cost savings. They also like to support local, family-owned businesses and went with First American Solar because it isn’t a large national corporation or franchise.

      “Since going solar, my energy cost has gone down substantially,” Jordan told us. “I figured it was about four and a half years [to] break even. So, it's like paying our electric bill four and a half years in advance. Then after that … you're home free.”

      Our pick for good value

      Orange County Solar

      Max. panel efficiency
      25 years
      Payment options
      Cash, loan, lease
      Year founded

      Orange County Solar provides informative and efficient service, and its customers typically end up with significant energy bill savings. It’s the Exclusive Panasonic Elite Dealer for Orange County. The company was founded in 2016 and serves the greater Los Angeles area. Small residential solar installations typically start between $12,000 and $24,000.

      OC Solar services

      • Solar installation
      • Home battery backup
      • Equipment maintenance
      • Roofing

      Some Orange County Solar reviewers have told us about issues with communication and delays in the installation process. At least one customer experienced delays in the installation process due to weather conditions, though these types of delays can happen with any solar company.

      Many Orange County Solar customers highlight the company’s reasonable pricing and fair estimates. Matt in Anaheim said he got five quotes, and “Orange County Solar was one of the less expensive for a higher-end solar system.”

      Another customer, Mark in Irvine, said he liked how Orange County Solar reps “came out, gave an estimate and they were quick and professional about it. They also stood by their estimates, so nothing ever changed once I made my decision.”

      Others like that easy process and ongoing savings: “My bill has already dropped immensely,” Winnie in Anaheim said. “From start to finish, it was seamless. They had great customer service and they did quality work.”

      Our pick for custom projects

      LA Solar Group

      Max. panel efficiency
      25 years
      Payment options
      Cash, loan, lease, PPA
      Year founded

      LA Solar reps are professional, knowledgeable and good at communication. The company is based in San Fernando, California. It’s currently available throughout California, Nevada, Texas and Hawaii. LA Solar is an authorized Tesla installer, so it has high-performance solar panels with a sleek, black-on-black design.

      LA Solar Group services

      • Residential, commercial and government solar installations
      • Battery backup solutions
      • Solar financing
      • Roofing
      • Solar equipment maintenance

      Some LA Solar customers have had a few issues with billing and communication, but, overall, most were satisfied with the installation and cost of the service.

      “LA Solar is a solid local company,” according to one customer, S. in Los Angeles. “Our system is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Whatever it costs, you're guaranteed the return on your money. It's like having a factory on top of your house making energy for you. You have to be brain-damaged not to do it if you can.”

      Steven in Camarillo appreciated that LA Solar was willing to update his existing solar system when others wouldn’t.

      “LA Solar did it the right way. I have this really steep-pitched roof that faces the morning sunlight. It gets no afternoon sunlight,” he said. “I got a great deal with LA Solar. I thought it was a very fair price considering everything that they did.”

      Our pick for innovative tech


      Max. panel efficiency
      25 years
      Payment options
      Cash, loan
      Year founded

      Soleeva was founded by a mechanical engineer and a manufacturing finance expert. Their goal was to develop more efficient, longer-lasting solar panels.

      Soleeva panels come with a special kind of coating that makes them last longer against wear and tear. Its self-cleaning panels are another standout feature. We also like the company’s responsive customer service and willingness to address issues — before, during and after installation.

      Soleeva services

      • Residential solar design, engineering and construction
      • Commercial solar projects
      • Farm and agricultural solar solutions
      • Credit-based and non-credit-based financing

      Installation is generally smooth, although some customers have reported broken tiles or difficulty with the wireless connection. One customer, Brenda in Annapolis, was upset that the installation took longer than expected.

      “Installation-wise, our experience with Soleeva was perfect,” Jeffrey in San Mateo told us. “It was completed in about a day and a half. But communication-wise and the follow-up, I would give that a much lower rating.”

      “Soleeva's price was good and so was their service,” according to Nickolas in San Jose.

      Another customer in San Jose pointed out that “Soleeva isn't the cheapest, but they are the most reasonably priced for some of those services that they offer over the long-term.”

      Sukhdeep in Stockton likes Soleeva because “their technology is US-made, plus their price is reasonable.” Other happy customers across California have given Soleeva positive reviews, particularly about helpful reps and cheaper electric bills after installation.

      Our pick for DIY projects


      Max. panel efficiency
      Payment options
      Cash, loan
      Year founded

      ShopSolar is an online store where you can buy custom solar kits. You can find solar panel brands like REC, Renogy, Panasonic, Canadian Solar, EcoFlow and more. We like that there’s free shipping on all solar kits, plus a price match guarantee and lifetime customer support.

      ShopSolar products

      • New and used solar panels
      • Solar generator bundles
      • Storage batteries
      • Inverters
      • Charge controllers
      • Cabling and hardware
      • Mounts and racks
      • Off-grid appliances

      Unlike our other top picks, ShopSolar does not provide professional installation services. You need to know quite a bit about solar panels and electrical work for this kind of DIY project to make sense.

      “The only thing that is tough is getting good instructions,” Dylan in Long Beach told us. “They have videos to teach you about solar, but they don't really have videos on teaching you what you should do.”

      You’re also basically on your own when it comes to the permitting process.

      Californians seem overall satisfied with ShopSolar’s products and customer support. “ShopSolarKits was awesome,” Chris in Santa Maria told us. “They got the product to me quickly. It all came complete and everything was all right.” Another customer, Cole in Mad Rover, said the setup was easy and only took a few hours.

      The reps from ShopSolar “answered all my questions about shipping and return issues that I might have, and I felt good doing business with them, so I did,” John in Foster City said. ShopSolar was also available to address any follow-up questions or concerns. “They took plenty of time to talk to me, too. I didn't feel like they made their sale and they didn't care. That was nice,” John said.

      Steven in Oakhurst went with ShopSolar because he wanted something more than a portable gas generator available during power outages (especially after the snow storms last winter). “I had no problem setting it up once I got on YouTube and looked up how to hook up the solar panels correctly and safely,” he said.

      Compare California solar companies

      • Best Rated
      • Most Reviewed
      • Highest Rated

      Find a Solar Energy partner near you.

        California solar energy buyers guide

        California is a great state for going solar. The state offers multiple statewide and local solar incentives, and the average resident saves an estimated $30,000 over 25 years for adding solar panels to their house.

        Key insights

        • California residents pay an average of %16,380 after using the full federal solar investment tax credit.
        • The biggest incentive for going solar in California is the federal solar ITC.
        • Although recent changes to the state’s net metering laws have reduced its benefits, it still makes financial sense for many residents to participate.

        How much does it cost to install solar panels in California?

        It costs an average of $16,380 to install solar panels in California after using the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). The federal solar tax credit lets you deduct 30% of the cost of your system from your federal income taxes, but the credit is nonrefundable — if you don’t use the full credit for the year you installed your solar energy system, it rolls over into the next tax year.

        The best solar installers perform a site inspection at your home to get an accurate quote for your solar panels. The cost varies by multiple factors, including how much energy your system produces, whether you include optional equipment (such as batteries), whether you need to repair or replace your roof and what local incentives are available.

        While it’s possible to pay for a solar power system upfront, the significant cost means many people choose to finance their energy system through a solar loan. You can also lease or enter a power purchase agreement, though you won’t be eligible for the federal solar tax credit because you won’t own the solar panels.

        What solar incentives are available in California?

        The federal solar investment tax credit is the most significant incentive for going solar in California. The tax credit lets you deduct 30% of the total cost of your solar energy system, including equipment, labor costs and permit fees.

        The 30% credit is available for systems installed by the end of 2032. It drops to 26% for systems installed in 2033, 22% for systems installed in 2034 and expires in 2035.

        California also has many statewide and local solar incentives, including a property tax exclusion on the value solar adds to your home and a rebate for installing energy storage technologies, including solar batteries.

        Net metering in California

        California offers net metering, which lets you be reimbursed for excess energy you produce that is sent back to the energy grid, but recent changes in how it works has resulted in lower rates for homeowners. The state’s new system, Net Energy Metering (NEM) 3.0, is tied to wholesale rates and applies to systems installed on April 15, 2023, or later.

        Depending on how much energy you use and when your highest usage times are, you may save more money by installing solar batteries. Talk to your solar installer about what would benefit you most.


        Is going solar worth it in California?

        We think it’s worth it to go solar in California. Residents save an estimated $30,000 over 25 years. The state receives an average of four to six hours of peak sunlight a day, which maximizes the time your system can produce the most power, and there are many state and local incentives.

        While recent changes to net metering have reduced the benefits of sending excess power back to the grid, the state’s net metering laws are still better than many other states.

        Can I get free solar panels in California?

        The Disadvantaged Communities - Single-family Solar Homes (DAC-SASH) program offers no- or low-cost solar equipment to income-qualified homeowners in disadvantaged communities.

        How do solar batteries work?

        Solar batteries let you store the solar energy you produce to use when your system is not producing power. A solar battery helps you increase your energy independence and is essential if you want to go off-grid.


        To choose our top picks for California solar energy companies, the ConsumerAffairs Research Team compared popular solar companies on several key features, including equipment quality, availability of services and financing options.

        1. Background check: We considered each company’s overall history, current reputation, mission and values. Solar is a booming industry, and there are a lot of fly-by-night companies. We preferred those with a longer time in business and a solid track record of reliability.
        2. Reviews, ratings and testimonials: We analyzed thousands of California solar customer reviews and ratings to gauge real-world satisfaction. The happy ones tell us about an easy installation process, great ongoing support and long-term cost savings on their monthly electric bills.
        3. Solar equipment selection: Companies were evaluated on their selection of solar panels, storage batteries and inverters. Our top picks use proprietary technology or partner with trusted brands to offer a wide selection of quality solar equipment.
        4. Financing options: Most people don’t pay cash upfront to install solar panels. All our top picks offer in-house financing options — such as loans, leases and power purchase agreements — to make it easier for the average person to go solar.
        5. Monitoring and maintenance: Solar panels don’t take very long to install. But then you’re stuck with them for 20 to 30 years. That’s why we picked solar companies that offer solid after-sales support, like real-time monitoring and regular maintenance services.
        6. Warranties: Any good solar panel manufacturer provides a product and performance warranty. We also made sure our top picks give you a warranty on their labor for installation.

        Not sure how to choose?

        Get buying tips about Solar Companies in California delivered to your inbox.

          By entering your email, you agree to sign up for consumer news, tips and giveaways from ConsumerAffairs. Unsubscribe at any time.

          Thanks for subscribing.

          You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter! Enjoy reading our tips and recommendations.

          Compare California solar companies