Best Solar Companies in Massachusetts

We compared 97 brands and chose the top solar energy companies

    • Customer service
      SunPower
      3.5(2,280)
    • Solar leases
      Sunrun
      4.2(2,895)
    • DIY projects
      ShopSolar
      4.7(149)

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      Best Solar Companies in Massachusetts

      If you've been thinking about going solar in Massachusetts but aren’t sure where to start, you’re not alone. We’re here to help you compare your options and get the best deal.

      The ConsumerAffairs Research Team compared popular solar companies on ratings and reviews, equipment options, warranties, availability and other factors to choose the top picks for this guide. Read our full methodology below 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. Sunrun
      3. ShopSolar
      Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
      • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
      • 4,479,104 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

      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 with high-efficiency solar panel technology. We like that its 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 evaluate your home energy needs, design a custom system, help secure any necessary permits and work out financing options. They work with local installers on Massachusetts projects, and SunPower’s monitoring app lets you track the system’s performance once everything is complete.

      SunPower benefits

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

      SunPower reviews often mention how easy it is to get started and significant savings on utility bills after the installation is complete.

      “SunPower's customer service is leaps and bounds better than any others we encountered,” Julianna in Newburyport told us. “They are incredibly kind and do great work that they stand behind if any questions or concerns come up.”

      Michael in Northampton compared a few companies before making a final decision. “SunPower impressed us the most, particularly because we thought the resilience of the solar panels were superior to the other products that we had seen,” he told us. “And we still have enough power to charge our system, and our car. We're delighted. SunPower was very reliable and worthwhile investigating.”

      Another verified customer, Kevin in Lenox, had a good experience with customer service and installation, including putting in battery storage and getting all the permits. “They also have a nice app that you can track your energy usage and how much you're saving. That's useful,” Kevin said. “They also send you monthly reports that are insightful.”

      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. It’s also a huge company with locations all over the country. If direct, in-person communication is important to you, consider working with a smaller operation or hiring locally.

      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).

      Most customers seem to finance their systems through a solar loan. You can also lease or pay in full 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.
      Our pick for solar leases

      Sunrun

      Max. panel efficiency
      22%
      Payment options
      Cash, loan, lease
      Warranty
      25 years
      Year founded
      2007

      Sunrun is a leading full-service installer with battery storage options. It offers personalized residential solar panel system design throughout Massachusetts. The company starts by looking at your past electricity bills to estimate your energy needs. Then, reps use a specialized computer tool to create the optimal solar system design for your roof.

      We like that Sunrun’s solar lease program lets you go solar without a huge upfront investment. There’s no initial charge for any solar equipment, installation or permitting. Sunrun owns the system, and you pay a fixed monthly fee to use it. Sunrun also stands out by offering roof leak warranties. Plus, its Brightbox battery storage system works with both Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem lithium-ion batteries.

      Sunrun benefits

      • Flexible payment options
      • Custom solar designs
      • Daily system monitoring
      • Solar storage battery and electric vehicle charging solutions

      Happy Sunrun customers in Massachusetts say that ?the process is generally smooth and installers are professional. Many also say that their solar panels are effective in reducing electricity bills and providing clean energy.

      Peter in Attleboro has been pleased with his Sunrun system for years. His rep “went above and beyond” when assessing his energy needs. Since the installation, “the savings on our electric bill have been great, and it’s nice to know we are utilizing a cleaner energy source,” Peter said.

      Shayla in Buzzards Bay also had a great experience with Sunrun reps. “We are very happy with our experience today and feel that we can reach out if we have any concerns going forward,” she said. “The rep did a good job. The installers came, did what they needed to do, and they were out of here.”

      Another customer, John in Somerset, appreciated that the installers came in and got the job done quickly. “The app is pretty good. I like it,” he added. “My electric bill is $0, which is nice.”

      Frank in Lowell did say that some reps are more knowledgeable than others. “But in general, they're okay,” he told us. “I'm very satisfied with going solar. I saved a lot of money and I'm very happy with the service.”

      Some customers have told us about installation delays and problems with solar panel activation. There have also been some complaints related to communication and responsiveness from customer service.

      Sunrun has warranty coverage, system maintenance and a performance guarantee. The warranty covers workmanship and equipment for 10 years. The 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 sets it apart from other solar options in Massachusetts:

      • Monthly plan: You can lease Sunrun panels for $0 or little 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.

      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 an awesome place to buy solar equipment for do-it-yourself projects. We like that ShopSolar has a nice selection of equipment, fast deliveries and good communication.

      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.

      The online company stocks brands like Panasonic, REC, Renogy, Canadian Solar and EcoFlow. It also sells custom solar kits, and orders typically arrive within 10 business days.

      ShopSolar benefits

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

      People like Peter in Hudson appreciate how easy it is to shop a huge selection of solar equipment.

      “There is more diversity. I order a product, it shows up, and it works. I'm happy,” Peter said. “I called them for questions and I sent a couple of emails to them. They got back to me within a day or two and everything was answered.”

      Another customer, Scott in Duxbury, also said ShopSolar is a good company. “The products work well. I was a little frustrated with not being able to call them on the phone, but they were fairly responsive on emails. The reps seemed knowledgeable on what they were talking about.”

      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 a little 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 all 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.

      ShopSolar accepts most major credit cards and partners with Affirm to offer financing:

      • Online payments: ShopSolar accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, Shop Pay and Diners Club International.
      • 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%.

      Massachusetts solar panel buyers guide

      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. You won’t be eligible if you lease the equipment.
      • The best solar energy companies have a few things in common: great reviews, transparent contracts, reliable equipment and comprehensive warranties.

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

      Average solar panel costs in Massachusetts 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 role in how much it costs overall. The price also varies depending on which installer you hire and if you need a solar storage battery. Solar storage battery costs are sometimes almost as much as the panels. Storage batteries are a must if you want real energy independence and essential if you go off-grid.

      » COMPARE: Solar costs in other states

      How can I pay for solar panels?

      You could pay the full cost of solar panels 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, including the federal solar investment tax credit.

      Some solar companies suggest using a home equity line of credit or loan to finance a solar installation. This can be a financially beneficial option — home equity interest rates are relatively low, and it lets homeowners take advantage of the federal solar tax credit.

      » SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

      What solar incentives are available in Massachusetts?

      The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the most significant way to make installing panels more affordable. The ITC is a federal income tax credit worth 30% of your solar energy system’s total cost, including equipment, labor and permits. The ITC is not a rebate or a refund, and any unused portion rolls over into the next tax year.

      Homeowners may also take advantage of additional solar tax breaks, rebates and loan programs in Massachusetts.

      Net metering in Massachusetts

      Net metering lets Massachusetts homeowners get credits for extra electricity their solar panels generate and feed onto the local transmission grid. The goal of net metering is to let you produce enough renewable electricity for your own home's needs, but not drastically more than what you use. Any credits that are more than a year old will expire. Here's how it works:

      1. Your home's electricity meter keeps track of both the electricity used from the local power grid and any extra electricity that your solar panels feed into it.
      2. At the end of each billing period, your utility company looks at whether your system put more electricity into the grid than you pulled out.
      3. If you put back more than you used, you get a credit towards next month's bill for the extra amount. If you used more than your system produced, you only pay the utility company for that additional amount.

      » MORE: Massachusetts solar incentives

      How do I choose a solar company in Massachusetts?

      The best solar energy companies have a few things in common. When hiring a solar installer in Massachusetts, you'll want 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 Massachusetts. It makes it easier to navigate regulations, permits and available financial incentives. Legitimate solar companies also have proper licensing, insurance and NABCEP certification for installers.
      • 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 a good idea to ask about critter guards in Massachusetts.
      • 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 Massachusetts?

      With electricity costs continuing to rise, more Massachusetts homeowners find solar power is financially worth it in the long run.

      Ronald in Groton has had solar panels since 2012. “They were paid off in four years, and since then, I have received an average of $2,400 per year in SREC payments,” he told us. “I’ve driven a Chevy Bolt EV since 2019, charging from my roof solar, essentially costing me nothing and saving two tons of CO2 by not using fossil fuel.” That’s pretty cool.

      The cost to go solar in Massachusetts has fallen 47% over the last 10 years.

      High upfront costs are the biggest barrier for people who want to go solar. In general, getting a loan to pay for solar panel installation is worth it as long as the loan payment is cheaper than your existing electric bill.

      David in Provincetown lives on Cape Cod, where the electricity rates are very expensive, and decided to finance a system through a “very reasonable arrangement.” However, “because we live in Cape Cod, procedures and processes with town governance and electrical inspections are very problematic on a good day. So, it took extra time for our system to get online,” David told us. He’s still happy with the decision to go solar, despite the administrative delays.

      » STILL NOT SURE? Solar energy pros and cons

      FAQ

      Can I get free solar panels in Massachusetts?

      We are not aware of any legitimate programs for free solar panels in Massachusetts. 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 Massachusetts?

      The cost to go solar in Massachusetts has fallen 47% 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?

      Consider fixing your roof before going solar if it’s more than 10 years old. 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.

      » SHOULD YOU: Replace your roof before going solar?

      Methodology: How we picked the best solar companies in Massachusetts

      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 Massachusetts. 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 10 to 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 Massachusetts are:

      • Our pick for customer service: SunPower
      • Our pick for solar leases: Sunrun
      • Our pick for DIY projects: ShopSolar

      Not sure how to choose?

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        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, “Massachusetts Solar Programs.” Accessed Feb. 14, 2024.
        2. EnergySage, “The cost of solar panels in Massachusetts.” Accessed Feb. 14, 2024.
        3. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Massachusetts Solar.” Accessed Feb. 14, 2024.
        4. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Feb. 14, 2024.

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