Best Solar Companies in North Dakota

We compared 32 brands and chose the top solar energy companies

    • SunPower
      3.6(2,279)
    • ShopSolar
      4.7(149)

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      Best Solar Companies in North Dakota

      We compared popular solar companies on ratings and reviews, equipment options, warranties, availability and other factors to choose our top picks for North Dakota. Read our full methodology for all the details on how we chose the best.

      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.

      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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      North Dakota’s top 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 smart choice if you want to power your home with solar and lower your electric bills. SunPower is a solar energy and storage technology provider that specializes in designing, installing and maintaining panel systems for residential, commercial and industrial properties.

      We like that SunPower installs high-efficiency Maxeon panels that are built to withstand harsh weather for decades. The SunVault storage battery is great for maximizing energy savings and protecting yourself from power outages, and it seamlessly integrates with any SunPower solar panel system.

      SunPower benefits

      • Over 38 years of experience
      • 25-year comprehensive warranty
      • Advanced monitoring app
      • Battery backup options

      SunPower is a large national company. If direct, in-person communication is really important to you, consider working with a smaller operation.

      SunPower’s product warranty covers all components — including the panels, inverter, racking and monitoring — and performance for 25 years. There’s a 10-year warranty for the SunVault storage battery. During this time, the company will repair or replace equipment at no cost to you (including labor and shipping).

      Payment options

      • Loan: Qualified customers can get reasonable rates with no money down. All financing approvals and processing are handled through the mySunPower portal.
      • Lease: You pay a monthly fee to use solar panels that SunPower owns. If you sell your home, the agreement can be transferred to a new buyer.
      • Cash: You can pay SunPower upfront, giving you immediate ownership of the system.

      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 specializes in DIY solar solutions, including custom solar kits with all the equipment you need for self-installation. The do-it-yourself approach can cost thousands less than typical solar installs, and you can still get quality gear.

      The online store stocks top brands like REC, Renogy, Panasonic, Canadian Solar, EcoFlow and more. ShopSolar provides free nationwide shipping on all orders.

      ShopSolar benefits

      • Huge selection of solar equipment
      • Price-match guarantee
      • 30-day return policy
      • Lifetime customer support

      ShopSolar sends detailed installation instructions, but it doesn’t provide professional installation services. Some might struggle with the process, especially those with little solar or electrical experience.

      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.

      Payment options

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

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        North Dakota solar panel buyers guide

        If you've been thinking about going solar but aren’t sure where to start, we’re here to help you compare your options and get the best deal in North Dakota. Our team has talked to thousands of solar customers all over the country — here’s what to expect and what to look out for.

        Key insights

        • Residential solar panel installations cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 or more. The size of your solar panel system is the biggest factor in total costs.
        • The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the most significant way to lower the cost of installing solar panels. North Dakota also has few 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 North Dakota?

        A typical residential solar panel installation costs $26,620 in North Dakota. That price drops to $18,634 after the full federal solar investment tax credit (ITC).

        The size of your system plays a big factor in how much it costs overall. The average solar panel system in North Dakota is 11 kilowatts (kW). Depending on your household energy usage, you might need a smaller or larger system.

        Average cost by system size in North Dakota

        Other cost factors include the types of your panels and if you want a battery for storage. 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.

        The ConsumerAffairs Research Team conducted an in-depth analysis to determine how much it costs to go solar in North Dakota and the average solar costs in other states.

        How can I pay for solar panels?

        There are a few ways to pay for a residential solar energy system in North Dakota. You have the option to pay the full cost upfront, but many people choose to finance their system through a solar loan. You can also lease your equipment to minimize your initial cost. However, you won’t be eligible for the federal solar ITC since you aren’t actually buying the system.

        If you’re considering a solar loan or lease, always ask:

        • Is there a down payment?
        • How much will I pay per month?
        • Will my monthly payments increase, and if so, by how much?
        • Do you put a lien on my house?

        » SOLAR PANELS : Lease vs. buy

        What solar incentives are available in North Dakota?

        The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the biggest factor in reducing the cost of going solar in North Dakota. If you install a residential solar panel system by the end of 2032, you can receive a federal income tax credit equal to 30% of the system's total cost — including equipment, labor and permits.

        For example, a system in North Dakota costs $26,620 on average. At that price, you can get a $7,986 credit when you file your taxes.

        North Dakota also has a property tax exemption on the value solar panels add to your property. A solar property tax exemption means that your property tax bill won’t go up if your solar panels raise the value of your home.

        » EXPLORE: North Dakota solar incentives

        Net metering in North Dakota

        Net metering is the process of selling excess energy your system produces back to the grid for compensation. Utilities are required to buy back the power in North Dakota. Most residential solar customers are eligible for net metering (up to a system size of 100 kilowatts).

        If you participate in net metering, any power your system creates that you don’t use is sent back to the grid. Your utility purchases the power from you to help offset the cost of drawing power from the grid during times when your energy demand is greater than your solar panels’ output.

        How to choose a solar company in North Dakota

        Finding the right solar company to install your system is key to maximizing the benefits. These hiring best practices will help you choose an installer that delivers top-quality system performance. With the right solar partner, you’ll be on your way to reaping the many short- and long-term rewards of switching to solar energy.

        What to look for in a solar installation company

        We’ve talked to thousands of solar customers across the country. The best solar energy companies have a few things in common: experience, licensing and certifications, detailed project quotes and warranties. Here are a few more things to look for:

        • Long time in business: Choose a company with plenty of experience installing solar panels in North Dakota. Local knowledge is valuable in navigating state-specific regulations and incentives.
        • Good local reviews: Research the company's track record and reputation. Look for positive customer reviews, ratings and testimonials.
        • Licensed, insured and certified: Ensure the company is appropriately licensed and insured and has NABCEP-certified installers. This protects you and shows the installers take their business seriously.
        • 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.
        • Equipment options: Keep in mind that solar quotes don’t always include the cost of a solar storage battery — sometimes those are almost as much as the panels. Solar batteries are a must if you want real energy independence and essential if you go off-grid.
        • Comprehensive service: Choose a company that provides the services and products you want, like battery storage or electric vehicle chargers. Don't settle for less.
        • Solid warranty: A reputable company should offer comprehensive warranties to protect your investment. Look for warranties that last at least 10 to 25 years.
        • Transparent terms: Carefully review all the fine print before signing a contract with any solar company. If you don’t understand something about the payment terms, warranty or ongoing services, ask. Good communication is essential before, during and after the installation process.
        • Ongoing support: Quality solar panels last at least 25 years, so you want a company that’s still around if your system needs service after installation. Some newer, less reputable solar companies might not even exist next year.

        » MORE: Tips for getting the best solar quotes

        Solar brokers vs. solar installers

        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 broker and an installer depends on how much you want to be involved.

        A broker is helpful if you value convenience. Working directly with a solar installer is best if you want more control and potentially lower costs.

        Are solar panels worth it in North Dakota?

        Historically, North Dakota's dark winters and abundant coal power created skepticism around solar energy in the state. However, with dropping prices and improvements in solar technology efficiency, more households are seeing that solar panels are worth it.

        For some homeowners, the appeal lies in solar power's environmental benefits and reduced carbon footprint. Others are motivated by long-term energy cost reduction or a desire for emergency backup electricity.

        Solar savings in North Dakota don't yet match sunnier regions like California. Still, tax incentives and plunging solar costs mean you can get substantial returns even with the state's limited winter sunlight. Solar panel systems can pay for themselves within 10 to 12 years. Homeowners with solar panels are estimated to save an average of $26,028 over 25 years (the lifespan of a typical system).

        You get the most savings from going solar if you purchase your system upfront, but the significant initial investment leads many people to finance their equipment through a solar loan. If you finance, it’s worth it if your loan payment is cheaper than your current utility bill.

        » STILL NOT SURE? Solar energy pros and cons

        FAQ

        Can I get free solar panels in North Dakota?

        We’re not aware of a totally free solar option in North Dakota, and scams that promise free solar panels can end up costing you quite a bit of money. However, you can lease solar equipment to reduce your upfront cost. You won’t own your panels with a lease, though, so you won’t be eligible for the federal solar investment tax credit.

        » FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

        Do I really need a solar storage battery?

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

        Will hail damage my solar panels?

        Hail can damage solar panels, but you shouldn’t let that deter you from installing them. Many solar panels can withstand small hail. Your homeowners insurance may cover the cost of fixing any damage that does occur.

        Methodology: How we picked the best solar companies in North Dakota

        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 North Dakota. We then weighted several key features to get our final rankings:

        Reviews, ratings and testimonials: 40%
        We analyzed thousands of 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 and elsewhere on the internet scored highest in this aspect.

        Warranties: 20%
        A good 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%
        Companies were evaluated on their 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:

        • Our pick for professional installation: SunPower
        • Our pick for DIY solar 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. EcoWatch, “Solar Panel Cost in North Dakota.” 2023.Accessed Dec. 12, 2023.
        2. Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), “North Dakota Programs.” Accessed Dec. 12, 2023.
        3. Solar Energy Industries Association, “North Dakota Solar.” Accessed Dec. 12, 2023.
        4. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Dec. 12, 2023.

        Not sure how to choose?

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