Best Solar Companies in South Dakota

We compared 37 brands and chose the top solar energy companies

    • SunPower
      3.5(2,282)
    • ShopSolar
      4.6(149)

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      Best Solar Companies in South Dakota

      The ConsumerAffairs Research Team compared popular solar companies on ratings and reviews, equipment options, warranties, availability and other factors to choose the top solar companies for this guide. 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.

      Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
      • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
      • 4,482,017 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 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.

      What really sets SunPower apart, though, 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.

      Adi in Brookings recommends SunPower to others going solar. “You spend money on this, but overall, you end up saving money in the long run. It is good for you and your family and it is also good for our environment,” Adi told us. “They also have very nice customer service for us in our overall experience. We like it. The installation was easy too.”

      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. After all, you get what you pay for.

      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).

      Financing options

      • 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.

      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 if you need 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, plus it sells custom solar kits. Orders typically arrive within 10 business days.

      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 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.

      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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        South Dakota solar panel buyers guide

        If you've been thinking about going solar in South Dakota 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

        • Professional solar panel installation can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 or more.
        • The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the most significant financial incentive for homeowners to lower the cost of buying solar panels in South Dakota.
        • 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 South Dakota?

        Solar panel costs in South Dakota 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 based on how you pay, whether you want a solar storage battery, if you need to replace your roof first and other factors.

        How can I pay for solar panels?

        There are a few ways to pay for a residential solar energy system in South Dakota. You have the option to pay the full cost upfront, but many people choose to finance their system through a solar loan.

        Leasing is cheaper upfront, but you’ll be disqualified from some of the best financial incentives, like the 30% federal solar investment tax credit. It could also (potentially) make it harder to sell your house.

        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?

        » COMPARE: Solar costs in other states

        What solar incentives are available in South Dakota?

        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 equal to 30% of your solar power system’s total cost, including equipment, labor and permits.

        The ITC is not a rebate or a refund.

        South Dakota homeowners may also take advantage of a property tax exemption. A solar property tax exemption means that your property tax bill won’t go up if your solar panels increase the value of your home.

        » EXPLORE: South Dakota solar incentives

        Net metering in South Dakota

        Net metering lets homeowners with solar panels receive cash or credits for any extra electricity they send to the power grid. In many states, this helps offset the cost of installing solar panels.

        Unfortunately, South Dakota does not offer a statewide net metering program. This means there is no guarantee you can sell extra solar power back to the electric company. Some utility companies may buy back excess power on a case-by-case basis, often at wholesale rates.

        If no buyback program exists, pairing solar panels with batteries to store excess electricity may be the best choice. This lets you power your home with clean solar energy even when the sun isn't shining.

        How do I choose a solar company in South Dakota?

        Vetting solar providers thoroughly upfront is important since solar panels are supposed to last 25 to 30 years. Make sure to understand all terms and get any concerns addressed before signing an installation agreement.

        The best solar energy companies have a few things in common. When hiring a solar installer in South Dakota, you'll want to look for:

        • Experience: Extensive experience installing solar in South Dakota specifically, since local building codes and incentives matter
        • Reputation: Positive reviews from past South Dakota customers
        • Estimates: Free consultations to compare multiple quotes
        • Equipment: Options like battery storage or electric vehicle (EV) chargers if desired
        • Warranty: At least 10- to 25-year workmanship warranties and performance guarantees
        • Credentials: Proper licensing, insurance and NABCEP certification for installers
        • Transparency: Clear explanations of all proposals, costs, legal terms and maintenance needs
        • History: An established company that will be around long-term to service your system

        » MORE: Tips for getting the best solar quotes

        Are solar panels worth it in South Dakota?

        South Dakota gets a moderate solar potential — not as much sunlight as in the Southwest, but still enough to make solar panels worth it for homeowners.

        South Dakota receives an overage of 4.5 to 5 peak sun hours a day.

        Going solar is especially valuable if you also have an electric vehicle (EV). Having an EV increases your electricity demand. By using solar panels to meet this increased demand, you maximize the utilization of your solar energy system. This leads to a quicker return on your investment in solar panels, as you’re offsetting more electricity that you would otherwise have to purchase from the grid.

        Solar panels still aren’t as popular in South Dakota as in some other states. There aren’t many financial incentives encouraging homeowners to invest in solar, and relatively few solar companies operate within the state.

        Beyond just cost savings, using solar panels reduces reliance on nonrenewable energy sources, lowers your carbon footprint and gives you more energy independence, all important factors for some residents.

        » STILL NOT SURE? Solar energy pros and cons

        FAQ

        Can I get free solar panels in South Dakota?

        We are not aware of any legitimate programs for free solar panels in South Dakota. 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 people quite a bit of money.

        » FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

        How are solar costs trending in South Dakota?

        The cost to go solar in South Dakota 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, consider fixing or replacing your roof before going solar if it’s more than 10 years old. If you do replace your roof, expect removing and reinstalling the panels to cost around $5,000 for a 19-panel setup.

        » MORE: Should I replace my roof before going solar?

        Methodology: How we picked the best solar companies in South 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 South Dakota. 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 South Dakota:

        • Our pick for professional installation: SunPower
        • 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, “South Dakota Solar Programs.” Accessed Jan. 30, 2024.
        2. SolarReviews, “How much do solar panels cost in South Dakota?” Accessed Jan. 30, 2024.
        3. Solar Energy Industries Association, “South Dakota Solar.” Accessed Jan. 30, 2024.
        4. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Jan. 30, 2024.

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