Best Solar Companies in Connecticut

We compared 115 brands and chose the top solar energy companies

    • SunPower
      3.5(2,281)
    • Sunrun
      4.2(2,895)
    • Tesla Energy
      2.0(535)

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      Best Solar Companies in Connecticut

      If you’re ready to go solar in Connecticut but aren’t sure where to start, you’re not alone. ConsumerAffairs is here to help you compare your options and get the best deal.

      Our research team compared popular solar companies on ratings and reviews, equipment options, warranties, availability and other factors to select the top picks for this guide. Our picks may be Authorized Partners that compensate us — this does not affect our evaluations but may impact the order in which companies appear. Read our full methodology for all the details on how we selected the best solar companies in Connecticut.

      Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
      • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
      • 4,480,424 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.

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      The 3 best solar companies reviewed

      SunPower and Sunrun stand out as reputable companies with good warranties, efficient systems and useful monitoring apps. Palmetto Solar and Green Home Systems are also worth considering. Both are generally well-rated solar companies available in Connecticut, but we haven’t talked to any locals about their experiences with them. For do-it-yourself projects, we recommend ShopSolar.

      Our top solar company picks

      1. SunPower: Best overall 
      2. Sunrun: Great leasing option
      3. Tesla Energy: Good for storage batteries

      SunPower

      Buyer's Choice Award Winner
      Max. panel efficiency
      22.8%
      Payment options
      Cash, loan, lease
      Workmanship warranty
      25 years
      Year founded
      1985
      2x Award Winner
      Selected for having one of the highest satisfaction rates for Best Customer Service and Best for Installation

      SunPower is a top national company that uses high-efficiency solar panel technology. It won two 2024 Buyers Choice Awards for having one of the highest satisfaction rates for Best Customer Service and Best for Installation in the solar category. These awards are based on sentiment analysis of reviews by verified customers.

      Its SunVault storage battery is good for maximizing energy savings, and we like that the warranty covers rust damage for seaside solar installations. What really sets SunPower apart, though, is its seamless solar panel installation process.

      • “SunPower's explanations were clear and the process went smoothly. The products were delivered on time and on budget. They went through options of the different systems and what could be done. … The system has been very good. It does its thing which is exactly what I want. I got over a year of experience and I'm very happy.” — Wayne in Hebron, CT
      • “… Absolutely hooked on watching the SunPower app and seeing how much power we are generating and saving on electricity. Have numerous friends and neighbors with solar and they are jealous of the app. Friends without solar are jealous that we no longer have a monthly electric bill.” — Gary in Southington, CT
      • “The reps were great. The enrollment was a very smooth process. The installers did everything in a day. It was pretty quick. SunPower has an app that's awesome. 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.” — Douglas in Wolcott, CT
      • “Everything has been great in my experience with SunPower. Now, my electric bill is $9 a month. Their app is also great. They redid it a couple of months ago, made it easier to read. The font was too small initially. They made it much bigger, so I don't have to get my glasses to read it.” — Mark in Glastonbury, CT

      SunPower is a huge company, and sometimes, it can take a while to hear back from somebody. For instance, Adam in New Hartford, Connecticut, said that “they take weeks to respond to emails and calls,” and Kevin in Wolcott, Connecticut, said, “It takes at least 48 hours for someone to get back to us.”

      It also has to do with your expectations. Another customer, Judith in Coventry, Connecticut, said that “the customer service representative was so patient and helpful” when she needed help changing her email address. If direct, in-person talking is important to you, consider working with a small local operation.

      SunPower offers Connecticut homeowners premium equipment and full-service installation. Reps can evaluate your home energy needs, design a custom system, help secure any necessary permits and work out financing options. The mySunPower app tracks your energy production and consumption once everything is complete.

      • Battery storage options
      • EV charging
      • Energy monitoring services
      • Leasing and financing

      SunPower’s “Complete Confidence Warranty” covers your entire solar energy system for 25 years, including the panels, inverter, racking and monitoring. There’s also a 10-year warranty and unlimited cycles for SunVault storage. During this period, the company repairs or replaces equipment at no cost to you (including labor and shipping). Solar panel models have varying power output protection for 25 years:

      • M-Series (SPR-M), A-Series (SPR-A), X-Series (SPR-X), E-Series (SPR-E): All have a maximum annual decline of 0.25%, with a minimum of 92% energy performance.
      • The U-Series (SPR-U): Has a maximum annual decline of 0.55%, within a minimum of 84.8% energy.
      • Cash: You can pay for the system in full upfront.
      • Loan: Qualified customers can find reasonable rates with no money down. All financing processing and approvals are handled through the mySunPower portal.
      • Lease: You pay a monthly fee to use solar panels that SunPower owns. The company reimburses you if the system doesn’t perform as guaranteed. Agreements are transferable if you ever sell your home.

      Pros

      • Long time in business
      • Highly efficient equipment
      • Comprehensive transferable warranty
      • Good monitoring app
      • Ongoing support

      Cons

      • Some installation delays
      • Some communication issues
      Our pick for solar leases

      Sunrun

      Max. panel efficiency
      22%
      Payment options
      Cash, loan, lease
      Workmanship warranty
      10 years
      Year founded
      2007

      Sunrun offers personalized residential solar panel system design throughout Connecticut. Reps start by looking at your past electricity bills to estimate your energy needs. Then they use a specialized modeling tool to create the optimal system design based on your specific roof characteristics like shading, pitch and sun exposure.

      Its leasing program is great for Connecticut homeowners who want to go solar without the big upfront investment. You don’t have to pay for the equipment, installation, permitting or financing. Sunrun owns the system, and you pay a fixed monthly fee. Lease agreements typically last 25 years.

      • “Signing up with them was very pleasant and easy. Then the installers came and did everything in one day. Everything about it was great. My bill is a lot less and it's pretty convenient.” — Yessel in Bristol, CT
      • “Sunrun sent a lot of information and I just have to sit and digest it, such as how I'm able to store the solar. They will give me the report on what I’m producing and I gotta look at that and compare it. The installation was professional and smooth. The experience with Sunrun has been good so far and I'll recommend them.” — Jonathan in Bridgeport, CT
      • “The salesman with Sunrun did a thorough job of explaining what the process was and what they were offering. … The installation was seamless. The installers were in and out in a day. The permitting process was well-organized and it was a very smooth experience. Sunrun is saving me tons of money. The app could be an area of improvement though. I'm an engineer and a data guy so I wouldn't mind drilling into more details.” — Joshua in Windsor, CT

      Eric and Melanie in Seymour, Connecticut, said that their local rep was fantastic: “Responsive, explained things in great detail, always communicated changes that were occurring and what step of the process we were on.” But everything else was awful. They are paying more than expected, and customer service has not been helpful. “Lots of run around and lots of no answers,” Eric and Melanie told us. “Their customer service representatives are trained to reiterate what you say, over and over again. It is infuriating.”

      Similarly, C. In Hartford, Connecticut, said that reps were helpful at first, but customer service isn't that great when you call. Another customer, Angela in Seymour, Connecticut, told us about roof leaks and poor customer service from Sunrun.

      Sunrun is a leading residential solar, battery storage and energy services provider in the United States. The company pioneered solar-as-a-service models, making clean energy adoption accessible to homeowners through flexible purchase, leasing and payment plans without large upfront costs. Its Brightbox battery storage system works with both Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem lithium-ion batteries.

      • Accessible financing
      • Battery storage solutions
      • Monitoring and maintenance
      • EV charging solutions

      Sunrun offers warranty coverage, system maintenance and a performance guarantee. The warranty covers workmanship and equipment for 10 years. The 95% system performance guarantee lasts 25 years. Leased systems typically come with free maintenance and repairs.

      You can also pay for your system upfront or take out a loan, but Sunrun’s leasing plans are what really set it apart from other solar options in Connecticut:

      • Monthly plan: You can lease Sunrun panels for as little as $0 down. Then, you pay a fixed monthly payment for the term of your leasing contract, typically 25 years.
      • Full amount lease: You can prepay for up to 25 years of solar energy.

      Pros

      • Custom solar designs
      • Flexible payment options
      • Decent warranty
      • Daily system monitoring

      Cons

      • Some customer service complaints
      • Some communication issues
      • Limited price transparency
      Our pick for storage batteries
      Max. panel efficiency
      Varies
      Payment options
      Cash and loan
      Workmanship warranty
      20 years
      Year founded
      2015

      We like that Tesla Energy manufactures its own solar panels — made of sleek black anodized aluminum — that you can have installed in the ground or on your roof. It also offers solar roofs, which are special tiles that generate electricity while blending in with your existing roof. Tesla solar roof costs vary significantly: anywhere from $60,000 to $120,000.

      Tesla gets decent feedback from Connecticut customers. However, it’s worth noting that other locations have worse reviews, which is why the overall star rating might be lower than you expect.

      • “The Connecticut Tesla Energy solar system installation crew … did a great job! They arrived right on time, reviewed the installation plans and process with me. The installed system looks sharp and professional. Hats off to the crew working this job in 90+ degree weather.” — Tedd in Cheshire, CT
      • “We had a great crew install solar. I was concerned about the appearance and they went over and above to make sure it looked good. It took an extra day and it was no extra cost. They also installed the (inverter) in my basement as requested.” — Matt in Darien, CT
      • “The whole team was amazing and very helpful. We had the full solar team as well as the Powerwall team and every single one was informative and had great attitudes. Everyone had a smile on their face and the job came out better than we even expected. If you have the means to get a Tesla Solar setup, you can have complete confidence in the team installing it.” — Jacob in Clinton, CT

      Overall, Tesla Energy reviews in Connecticut are mixed. Some customers had positive experiences with the installation process and the performance of the solar panels. Others mention issues such as delays in installation, poor communication and inadequate power backup during outages.

      For instance, Stephan in Westport, Connecticut, found the ordering process with Tesla to be easy and convenient, but was disappointed with the inadequate power backup and the panels not producing electricity during a snowstorm. Bob in Orange, Connecticut, said that delays and misinformation from Tesla caused his system to fail inspection. Additionally, there were concerns about the high cost of the system.

      Tesla Energy focuses on clean energy solutions for residential, commercial and utility-scale customers. You can schedule virtual or in-person consultations to determine your energy needs, and a rep helps you find any local solar incentives you qualify for. After installation, the Tesla app lets you monitor your energy usage.

      • Solar roofs and panel installations
      • Home battery systems
      • EV charging
      • Energy monitoring services

      Tesla Energy systems are priced based on size and Powerwall quantity. A deposit or down payment may be required.

      • Cash purchase: The full payment is due at inspection.
      • Tesla financing: There’s nothing due upfront. Your first payment is due 35 days after your system gets permission to operate (PTO). Payments after that are due each month on the day you made the first payment.

      Solar panels come with a 25-year performance warranty, meaning they are guaranteed to function at at least 80% capacity for 25 years. Tesla provides a 10-year comprehensive system warranty for the Powerwall, solar inverter, roof mounting and leaks. At your request, Tesla will process claims and perform any related labor at no cost during the warranty period.

      Pros

      • Sleek, modern designs
      • Simple online quote process
      • Free virtual consultation
      • 24/7 system performance monitoring

      Cons

      • Expensive
      • Some customer service complaints
      • Some installation delays

      Connecticut solar panel buyers guide

      We’ve heard from more than 100,000 verified solar customers since 2018. A couple of things we know for sure: People like powering their homes with a reliable source of cheap, clean energy. They don’t like getting into solar contracts that don’t meet their expectations.

      Key insights

      • In Connecticut, a typical residential solar panel system is $11,104 to $31,726, depending on the size of your system and what financial incentives you qualify for.
      • The federal investment tax credit (ITC) is the most significant financial incentive for buying solar panels in Connecticut. You can also lease a system with little upfront cost, but you aren't eligible for the ITC.
      • Many solar customers are happy with the service, installation and cost savings. Others felt misled by pushy sales tactics and ended up with monthly bills higher than expected. Watch out for door-to-door solar scams that attempt to gather your personal information, misleading claims, false advertising and aggressive sales tactics.

      Going solar in Connecticut

      Solar panel installations must be licensed by the state. Make sure the contractor you hire is a "PV-1 Limited Solar Electric Contractor" — that's the official certification they need in Connecticut. It's important to make sure your solar installer is properly licensed before you hire them. The state takes that stuff seriously, so it's better to double-check upfront.

      » BEST STATES FOR SOLAR: Connecticut ranked No. 7 in 2024

      What to look for in a solar company in Connecticut

      Solar panels last a long time — you want to hire a well-established company that will still be around for system support for at least 25 years. In our experience, the best solar energy companies have a few things in common:

      • Industry credentials: Legitimate solar companies have proper licensing, insurance and NABCEP certification for installers. You can check if your contractor is licensed by looking them up on the State of Connecticut's eLicense portal.
      • Good reputation: Don’t blindly trust what a sales rep tells you. Look at reviews on platforms like the ConsumerAffairs, Better Business Bureau and solar-specific forums to see real customer experiences. Look out for recurring complaints: equipment failures, misleading sales tactics and billing issues are major red flags.
      • Local experience: Companies with extensive experience installing solar panels in Connecticut are better at navigating regional incentive programs, permit processes, utility policies and designing systems to maximize energy production given the state’s climate and weather patterns.
      • Free consultation: Get multiple quotes from different solar companies to compare prices and services. Be cautious of companies that provide significantly lower quotes than others — this may indicate lower quality.
      • Complete services: The best solar companies provide end-to-end services, from system design and engineering to permitting, installation, inspection, monitoring and maintenance. Also consider if you want a solar storage battery, electric vehicle (EV) charger or critter guard.
      • Transparent terms: The contract should be easy to understand. If anything about payment schedules, warranties, monitoring services or system maintenance doesn’t make sense — ask for clarification. Warranties and productivity guarantees provide peace of mind once your system is up and running.

      » TIPS: Get the best solar quotes

      How much does it cost to go solar in Connecticut?

      Connecticut solar panel costs typically range between $11,104 to $31,726. The size of your solar panel system is a big factor in your total cost. It also depends on what incentives you’re eligible for, the condition of your roof and how much sunlight exposure it gets.

      A typical Connecticut household needs a system with the capacity of 9.01 kW to offset enough energy costs to make solar viable. Depending on your household energy usage, you might need a smaller or larger system.

      Most installers set the price according to the system's wattage, with a typical cost between $2.50 and $5 per watt. In Connecticut, the cost per watt is $3.20.

      Average solar installation cost by system size in Connecticut

      This doesn’t include the cost of a solar storage battery — which sometimes costs as much as the panels. Solar batteries are a must if you want real energy independence and essential if you go off-grid. Permitting, utility fees and maintenance also add to the cost of going solar.

      How can I pay for solar panel installation?

      Getting solar panels is similar to buying a car. You could pay cash, but many people finance their system through a solar loan. If you have enough savings to pay upfront, the biggest advantage of paying upfront interest charges.

      Leasing solar equipment is an attractive option for people who don’t want to get a loan or be responsible for maintaining a system.

      Solar panels are designed to last 25 to 30 years.

      Connecticut also has legalized power purchase agreements (unlike many other states). PPAs work very similarly to leases. This biggest downside to both is that you’ll be disqualified from many of the best financial incentives, like the 30% federal solar tax credit. It also might make your house harder to sell, since a new buyer will have to take over the lease agreement.

      » SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

      Solar incentives in Connecticut

      The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) reduces your federal tax liability by 30% of the cost of your solar energy system. This tax credit applies to both residential and commercial installations, and it includes the cost of the solar panels and other equipment, labor and additional features for monitoring the system.

      For example, if you spend $10,000 installing a solar panel system, the ITC is worth $3,000. If you owe $15,000 in taxes, the ITC reduces what you owe to $12,000. You don’t get these benefits automatically, though. You have to claim your solar equipment, labor and permits on your federal taxes for the same year you started using your system on Form 5695.

      The ITC drops to 26% in 2033 and then 22% in 2034.

      Don’t get confused: The ITC is a credit, meaning it directly decreases the amount of taxes you owe. This is different from a deduction, which reduces your taxable income. It isn’t a rebate or a refund. It only offsets your tax liability; you can't take advantage of the ITC if you don’t owe taxes in the first place. However, the credit rolls over to the next tax year if you don’t use the full amount.

      Residents may take advantage of more solar incentives in Connecticut, like additional tax breaks and loan programs. There’s also statewide net metering, which compensates eligible residents at full retail rate.

      Are solar panels worth it in Connecticut?

      Installing solar panels is a good investment for most Connecticut homeowners. For many, going solar is worth it for the reduction in energy bills and reliance on local power companies.

      Like a lot of people, Bhadrik in East Lyme, Connecticut, said he went solar to “save money for electric bills and to avoid ever increasing electric costs.” Similarly, Dariusz in New Britain, Connecticut, said that “with the current energy prices, it was a no-brainer, especially since my home has a good location.”

      Your energy production will likely be affected by seasonality. Leigh in South Glastonbury, Connecticut, said their bills vary by time of year. “During summer, we're running the air conditioning and the system doesn't cover it. We ended up with bills probably around $300, which was better than the $1,500 in the first year when we moved in here.” During the spring, they “basically don’t pay anything at all,” Leigh said.

      For some, like Emily in Fairfield, Connecticut, the ecological benefits are enough to make it worth it: “It’s really important for our country and for our kids and future generations that everybody do what they can for the environment.” Emily said her family is doing what they can to “make the future cleaner, and healthier, and better for everyone.”

      The general consensus is that solar panels make a lot of sense in Connecticut. Assuming an upfront purchase, it takes about 6 years to break even (when your savings with solar panels make up for the cost). Homeowners can avoid $83,759 in total utility costs over 25 years.

      Use the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PVWatts Calculator to estimate how much electricity a solar panel can produce over a year on your house — just type in your address. Project Sunroof is a free solar savings estimator powered by Google Earth imagery.

      » STILL NOT SURE? Solar energy pros and cons

      FAQ

      Can I get free solar panels in Connecticut?

      There’s no totally free option to get solar panels in Connecticut that we’re aware of. Unfortunately, scams that promise free solar panels can cost consumers a lot of money. However, you can lease solar equipment to reduce your upfront cost. You won’t own your panels with these options, though, so you won’t be eligible for the federal solar investment tax credit.

      » FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

      Is my HOA allowed to restrict solar panels?

      No. In 2022, the state legislature declared that homeowners associations could not block residents’ efforts to install rooftop solar panels.

      ​​How do I know if my house is a good candidate for solar?

      Plenty of unshaded roof space that faces south or west is best for optimal sun exposure. Solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies, more commonly known as solar panels, absorb sunlight and convert it into usable electricity. If you have a lot of shading around your house, they might not get enough sun to power your home.

      It’s also smart to upgrade any old, inefficient appliances first. Reducing your electrical loads now means you can get a smaller system, which will be cheaper. The condition of your roof matters too — if it needs replacement soon, do that before going solar. Installing solar panels on an old roof might mean you have to remove the panels, replace your roof and then reinstall the panels. This will cost around $5,000 for a 19-panel setup.

      Do I need any permits to install solar panels on my house?

      To install solar panels on your house, you first need to obtain a building permit. Additional permits may be required depending on your location in Connecticut, such as if your house is in a historic district. The cost of these permits varies with the design of your solar system. Generally, for a standard roof-mounted system, there is an application fee of approximately $14.26 per $1,000 of the total project cost. The solar company you choose should help you navigate all the necessary paperwork and fees.

      How does net metering work in Connecticut?

      Net metering is the process of sending excess energy your system produces back to the grid for compensation. Connecticut replaced net metering with the Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program in 2022. The program requires the two main utility providers, Eversource and United Illuminating, to give credits to customers who generate any amount of electricity with residential solar panels. You receive a flat rate for power you send back to the grid with the option of an annual cash-out or monthly credits on your electric bill.

      Is it cheaper if I install solar panels myself?

      It’s potentially cheaper to install solar panels yourself. It’s also tricky and dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, especially for a large residential project.

      » DIY solar panels: Pros, cons and installation guide

      What is the difference between a solar lease and a PPA?

      If you lease a solar system or enter a PPA, you don't own the panels, but you benefit from the cheap electricity they produce. The solar company that owns the system is responsible for maintaining it, so you don't have to worry about ongoing maintenance costs. The key difference is how you pay.

      • Lease: Entering a solar lease is basically renting a solar panel system. As with leasing a car, you pay a fixed amount every month over a set period of time, typically 25 years.
      • Power purchase agreement: With a PPA, you don't pay a fixed monthly price. You pay for the electricity the panels produce, usually at a fixed rate that’s lower than you would receive without a PPA.
      What is the difference between a solar installer and a solar broker?

      A solar broker is a middleman or intermediary who helps connect homeowners with solar installation companies. A solar installer specializes in designing, procuring and installing solar panels and related components.

      Ultimately, deciding between a solar broker and a solar installer depends on how much you want to be involved in the process. A broker can be helpful if you value convenience. If you want more control and potentially lower costs, it’s best to work directly with a solar installer.

      Methodology

      The ConsumerAffairs Research Team objectively evaluates solar providers to highlight those best equipped to meet most homeowners' needs. To choose our top picks for this guide, we started with a list of popular providers. First, we narrowed it down to the ones available in Connecticut. We then weighted several key features to get our final rankings:

      Reviews, ratings and testimonials: 40%
      We analyzed solar company reviews by verified solar customers to gauge real-world satisfaction. Companies with the most positive recent ratings left by local reviewers on our site were given preference.

      Equipment selection: 20%
      We evaluated each company’s selection of solar panels, storage batteries and inverters. Those with proprietary technology or a wide equipment selection from trusted brands ranked highest.

      Warranties: 20%
      A long warranty is important — it shows that a company stands behind its product and services. We compared companies on both equipment and craftsmanship warranties terms. All of our top picks have warranties or production guarantees of at least 10 to 25 years.

      Financing and payment options: 10%
      We gave preference to companies that offer multiple payment and financing options for transparent terms and conditions.

      Overall reputation: 10%
      We considered each company's history, mission and value. Companies with generally positive feedback on our site scored highest in this aspect.

      To recap, our top picks for the best solar companies in Connecticut are:

      1. SunPower: Best overall
      2. Sunrun: Great leasing option
      3. Tesla Energy: Good for storage batteries

      Guide sources

      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. DSIRE, "Connecticut Programs." Accessed March 29, 2024. 
      2. EnergySage, “The cost of solar panels in Connecticut.” Accessed March 29, 2024. 
      3. Solar Energy Industries Association, "Connecticut Solar." Accessed March 29, 2024. 
      4. SolarReviews, “How much do solar panels cost in Connecticut?” Accessed March 29, 2024. 
      5. Interstate Renewable Energy Council, “National Solar Licensing Database.” Accessed May 8, 2024. 
      6. EcoWatch, “How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Connecticut?” Accessed Dec. 12, 2023.
      7. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Dec. 12, 2023.

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