Best Solar Companies in Kentucky

We compared 63 brands and chose the top solar energy companies

    • SunPower
      3.6(2,279)
    • Blue Raven Solar
      4.8(229)
    • ShopSolar
      4.7(149)

    Top Picks

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      Best Solar Companies in Kentucky

      To choose our top picks for this guide, we compared popular solar companies on ratings and reviews, equipment options, warranties, and other factors. Read our full methodology for all the details. Our picks may be Authorized Partners that compensate us — this does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may impact the order in which companies appear.

      Our top solar company picks

      1. SunPower
      2. Blue Raven Solar
      3. ShopSolar
      Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
      • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
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      • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

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      The 3 best solar companies reviewed

      SunPower

      Buyer's Choice Award Winner
      Max. panel efficiency
      22.8%
      Payment options
      Cash, loan, lease
      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, and the SunVault storage battery is excellent for maximizing energy savings during peak rate times. But what really sets SunPower apart is its seamless solar panel installation process.

      Local reps can evaluate your home energy needs, design a custom system, help secure any necessary permits and work out financing options. One verified customer, Angela in Manchester, told us that installation workers are fast and friendly.

      Another, Nakisha in Louisville, was extremely happy with SunPower. She highlighted that the people were friendly, customer service was helpful, and financing options were very acceptable. “The value of the products is 100% and everything was just right,” Nakisha said.

      SunPower benefits

      • 35+ years of experience
      • Comprehensive 25-year warranty
      • Battery storage options
      • Ongoing support

      SunPower is a reliable solar company with comprehensive services, but it’s not the cheapest option. Your upfront costs tend to be a little higher than other companies.

      SunPower’s “Complete Confidence Warranty” covers your entire solar energy system for 25 years, including the panels, inverter, racking and monitoring. The company repairs or replaces equipment at no cost to you (including labor and shipping).

      Payment options

      • Cash: Get immediate ownership of the solar panel system by paying cash upfront.
      • Loans: Qualified customers can find reasonable rates with no money down. All financing approvals and processing happen through the mySunPower online portal.
      • Leases: Customers pay a monthly fee to use solar panels that SunPower owns. SunPower reimburses you if your solar system doesn’t perform as guaranteed. You can transfer the agreement to a new buyer if you sell your home.

      Blue Raven Solar

      Buyer's Choice Award Winner
      Max. panel efficiency
      Varies
      Payment options
      Cash, loan, lease, PPA
      Warranty
      25 years
      Year founded
      2014
      1x Award Winner
      Selected for having one of the highest satisfaction rates for Best for Installation

      Blue Raven installs top-tier solar panels and microinverters to maximize energy production. We like that the sleek, low-profile solar systems are designed to withstand variable climates.

      It also has a unique financing option that sets Blue Raven apart from other solar companies in Kentucky. BluePower Plus+ combines aspects of a solar lease or power purchase agreement with the flexibility of solar panel ownership.

      This option lets you go solar with no upfront costs — a good deal if you want the benefits of clean energy without making a big initial investment. Plus, you aren’t affected when electricity rates increase over time.

      Blue Raven benefits

      • Sleek, durable systems
      • $0 down financing options
      • Tier 1 solar equipment
      • 25-year warranty on all installations

      Blue Raven Solar provides a standard 25-year warranty. Storage battery warranties vary by manufacturer. The company offers the FranklinWH aPower battery (12-year warranty), SunPower SunVault (10-year warranty), Enphase IQ Battery 5P (15-year warranty) and Tesla Powerwall 2 (10-year warranty).

      Payment options

      • Cash: You can pay upfront and get immediate ownership of the solar panel system.
      • BluePower: This fixed monthly payment option lets you go solar without a significant upfront cost. There’s no prepayment penalty, and the plan is transferable to a new homeowner if you ever sell your house.
      • BluePower Plus+: Eligible customers can pay $0 upfront, get 18 months of free solar power and make fixed monthly payments after that. You own the system and are responsible for maintenance.

      Blue Raven Solar gets overall positive feedback. However, we have heard some complaints about installation issues, including delays in turning on the system, from reviewers in other states.

      ShopSolar

      Buyer's Choice Award Winner
      Max. panel efficiency
      Varies
      Payment options
      Cash, loan
      Warranty
      Varies
      Year founded
      2018
      1x Award Winner
      Selected for having one of the highest satisfaction rates for Best Customer Service

      ShopSolar is a great option to buy solar equipment for do-it-yourself projects. We like that ShopSolar has a nice selection of equipment, fast deliveries and good communication. The online company stocks brands like Panasonic, REC, Renogy, Canadian Solar and EcoFlow, plus it sells custom solar kits. Orders typically arrive within 10 business days.

      You can find new and used solar panels, solar storage batteries, inverters, charge controllers, cabling and hardware, mounts and racks — everything needed for an off-grid or hybrid setup. It’s great for homes, RVs and outbuildings.

      In Kentucky and other states, the company gets great feedback. For example, Jon in Sandy Hook is 100% off the grid, and ShopSolar had the batteries that he was looking for.

      “They asked what I wanted and they listened and understood and I got everything in a timely manner,” he said. “I'm very mechanically inclined and the installation was very straightforward and easy. Plus customer service will walk you through. It was an excellent experience and I'd recommend them.”

      ShopSolar benefits

      • Free shipping
      • Price-match guarantee
      • 30-day return policy
      • Lifetime customer support

      Some customers experienced problems with their purchases, such as damaged or faulty equipment, but ShopSolarKits generally resolved these issues with refunds or replacements.

      The important thing to keep in mind is that ShopSolar doesn’t offer professional installation services, so it’s best to know about solar panels and electrical work. Otherwise, you might get frustrated with the process or install something incorrectly.

      » DIY SOLAR PANELS: Pros, cons and installation guide

      ShopSolar is an authorized distributor of the brands it sells, so all solar equipment is covered by the individual manufacturers’ warranties. If you run into a warranty issue, reps can help you contact the equipment manufacturer.

      Payment options

      • Online payments: ShopSolar accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, Shop Pay and Diners Club International.
      • Financing: ShopSolar partners with Affirm on financing. Customers can make payments every two weeks or once a month for up to 36 months. Annual percentage rates (APRs) range from 0% to 36%.

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        Kentucky solar panel buyers guide

        If you've been thinking about going solar in Kentucky 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 team has talked to thousands of solar customers across the country — here’s what to expect and what to look out for.

        Key insights

        • A professional solar panel installation can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 or more.
        • The federal solar tax credit is the most significant way to lower the cost of buying solar panels. Kentucky has few additional financial incentives to make going solar more affordable.
        • Leasing your solar equipment can minimize the initial cost, but you won’t be eligible for the federal solar ITC because you won’t own the system.

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

        Solar panel costs in Kentucky are comparable to the national average of around $18,000 for a 6-kilowatt system (that price drops to $12,600 after factoring in the full federal solar investment tax credit). The size of your system plays a big factor in how much it costs overall. On the high end, one Kentucky solar customer told us they paid $87,000 for a system.

        » COMPARE: Solar costs in other states

        How can I pay for solar panels?

        You could pay the full cost upfront, but many choose to finance their system through a solar loan. It works like most other types of loans — there is an application process, and you pay the loan back over time with interest.

        Alternatively, you can lease solar panels. There are pros and cons to leasing. It’s sometimes cheaper in the short term, but you’ll be disqualified from some of the best financial incentives, like the federal solar investment tax credit.

        » SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy?

        What solar incentives are available?

        The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the most significant way to make installing panels more affordable in Kentucky. The ITC gives you a federal income tax credit equal to 30% of your solar power system’s total cost — including equipment, labor and permits. The credit is nonrefundable, so any unused portion rolls over into the next tax year.

        Net metering in Kentucky

        Net metering is a system that reimburses you for any extra electricity your solar panels produce and send to the transmission grid. In Kentucky, most electric companies and cooperatives have net metering. Customers can send extra power to the electric company and get a credit on their electric bill.

        Remember, setting up net metering involves some coordination with your solar provider and the local electric company.

        » MORE: Kentucky solar incentives

        How do I choose a solar company in Kentucky?

        The best solar companies have a few things in common: high-efficiency equipment, transparent contract terms and long warranties (at least 10 to 25 years). Here’s what else to look for.

        • Good reputation: Research the company's track record and read reviews. Look out for red flags — complaints about misleading sales tactics, equipment failures, billing issues and lack of communication are common themes in negative solar company reviews.
        • Long time in business: Look for companies with plenty of experience installing solar panels in Kentucky. It makes it easier to navigate regulations, permits and available financial incentives.
        • Comprehensive service: Consider if you want a solar storage battery, electric vehicle (EV) charger or a monitoring system to ensure optimal output. It’s also smart to ask about critter guards in Kentucky.
        • Free consultations: 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.

         » TIPS: Get the best solar quotes

        Are solar panels worth it in Kentucky?

        Kentucky has a decent amount of solar potential. Despite few incentives to help homeowners go solar, more and more Kentucky homeowners are finding solar power is financially worth it in the long run.

        “The high cost of electricity is what brought me to looking into solar energy,” Jessie in Lexington told us. Despite some challenges with a solar company early on, Jessie said their “electricity bill is quite low” now.

        But, unfortunately, it doesn’t work out for everybody. For instance, Jon in Vine Grove told us the “whole process has been a nightmare since day one.” He ran into all the typical problems people have with poorly rated solar companies: pushy sales tactics, limited price transparency, equipment malfunctions and lack of customer support. That’s why it’s so important to hire a reputable company, which isn’t cheap.

        Kentucky receives an average of 3 to 4 peak sun hours a day.

        Another solar customer, Collin in Bowling Green, told us it was easy to get set up with a system, and the equipment “worked great as soon as I got it.” It’s a great value, he said: “I wouldn't trade it for anything!”

        Solar panels are expensive, and upfront costs are the biggest deterrent for many. If you finance solar panels, it makes sense as long as the solar loan payment is lower than what you would be paying Louisville Gas and Electric Company, Kentucky Utilities or Kentucky Power anyway.

        A common misconception is that homeowners with solar panels don’t get electric bills at all. This is not always the case. On the bright side, you’ll still probably save money in the long run.

        » STILL NOT SURE? Solar energy pros and cons

        FAQ

        Can I get free solar panels in Kentucky?

        We are not aware of any legitimate programs for free solar panels in Kentucky. However, you can lease a solar energy system with little to no upfront costs. Just look out for scams that promise free solar panels — they can end up costing you quite a bit of money.

        » FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

        How are solar costs trending in Kentucky?

        The cost to go solar in Kentucky has fallen 42% over the last 10 years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

        What’s the difference between a solar broker and a solar installer?

        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.

        Should I replace my roof before installing solar panels?

        As a rule of thumb, if your roof is more than 10 years old, consider fixing it 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 again. This will cost around $5,000 for a 19-panel setup.

        » SHOULD YOU: Replace your roof before going solar?

        Methodology: How we picked the best solar companies in Kentucky

        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 31 popular providers. First, we narrowed it down to the ones available in Kentucky. We then weighted several key features to get our final rankings:

        Reviews, ratings and testimonials: 40%
        We analyzed verified customer reviews and ratings to gauge real-world satisfaction.

        Overall reputation: 20%
        We considered each company's history, mission and value. Companies with generally positive feedback on our site scored highest in this aspect.

        Warranties: 20%
        A long warranty is important. We compared both product and craftsmanship warranties available from our top picks. All of our top picks have warranties of at least 25 years.

        Equipment selection: 10%
        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.

        Monitoring and maintenance: 10%
        We gave preference to companies that offer real-time monitoring, regular maintenance services and solid after-sales support.

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

        • Our pick for customer support: SunPower
        • Our pick for low upfront costs: Blue Raven Solar
        • Our pick for DIY projects: ShopSolar

        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, “Kentucky Solar Programs.” Accessed Jan. 23, 2024.
        2. EnergySage, “The cost of solar panels in Kentucky.” Accessed Jan. 23, 2024.
        3. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Kentucky Solar.” Accessed Jan. 23, 2024.
        4. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Jan. 23, 2024.
        5. Kentucky Public Service Commission, “Interconnection and Net Metering Guidelines - Kentucky.” Accessed Jan. 23, 2024.

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