Best Solar Companies in Vermont

We compared 64 brands and chose the top solar energy companies

    • SunPower
      3.5(2,282)
    • Sunrun
      4.2(2,899)
    • ShopSolar
      4.7(149)

    Top Picks

    See who reviewers like

    SunPower logo
    Sunrun logo
    ShopSolar logo
    See our top picks

    Find a Solar Energy partner near you.

      Author pictureAuthor picture
      Author picture
      By:
      Author picture
      Edited by:

      Best Solar Companies in Vermont

      If you’re ready to go solar in Vermont 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 who compensate us — this does not affect our evaluations but may impact the order in which companies appear. Read the full methodology for all the details on how we make solar company recommendations.

      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.

      Find a Solar Energy partner near you.

      Find a match

      The best solar companies, reviewed

      Our top solar company picks

      1. SunPower: Best overall
      2. Sunrun: Best leasing program
      3. ShopSolar: Best DIY equipment selection

      SunPower

      Buyer's Choice Award Winner
      Max. panel efficiency
      22.8%
      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 both customer service and installation in the solar category. These awards are based on sentiment analysis of reviews by verified customers.

      Happy SunPower customers often tell us about great customer service, quality installations and long-term savings. C. in West Windsor, Vermont, said their SunPower system generates more power than used. “I'm net negative, so grid connected, but exclusively using solar power in the aggregate,” they told us, highlighting the SunPower app for tracking energy production.

      Most conversations happen over email. So, if direct, in-person talking is important to you, consider working with a small local operation. We’ve also heard about issues with customer service after installations are complete.

      SunPower offers Vermont 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. Once everything is complete, the mySunPower app tracks your energy production and consumption.

      • 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%
      Workmanship warranty
      10 years
      Year founded
      2007

      Sunrun offers personalized residential solar panel system design throughout Vermont. Reps start by looking at your past electricity bills to estimate your energy needs, and then reps use a specialized computer tool to create the optimal solar system design for your roof.

      We really 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 permits. Sunrun owns the system, and you pay a fixed monthly fee.

      Linda in Montpelier, Vermont, also appreciated that you don’t have to pay anything upfront. Another customer, Matthew in Brattleboro, Vermont, had a similar experience: “Signing up was great. Everything went very well during the installation. Going solar has lowered my electric bill.”

      Installers are polite and professional, according to Amber in Newport, Vermont. “They were in and out by the time they said they were gonna be,” Amber told us. “My solar power has supplemented my energy and lowered my bill, not only by half. I'm completely satisfied.”

      Everything went very well during installation.”
      — Matthew in Brattleboro, Vermont

      Sunrun reviews are overall positive. However, we’ve heard a few negative comments about communication and delays in the process. For instance, Robert in Cabot, Vermont, was quite dissatisfied on multiple points. He told us the installation was done incorrectly. Specifically, one panel is positioned too close to another roof section, posing a risk of roof damage or collapse from snow accumulation. He also said it cost $300 for an additional meter, which was not disclosed during the sales pitch. Overall, Robert seemed angry due to unexpected costs, perceived dishonesty and lack of support 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 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. It also has a 95% system performance guarantee. Sunrun also stands out by offering roof leak warranties.

      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.

      • 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.

      Pros

      • Long time in business
      • Flexible payment options
      • Comprehensive warranties
      • Daily system monitoring

      Cons

      • Some communication issues
      • Limited price transparency

      ShopSolar

      Buyer's Choice Award Winner
      Max. panel efficiency
      Varies
      Workmanship 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 DIY projects. It 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.

      We like that ShopSolar gets overall positive feedback on value, quality and customer service. One resident, Brent in Belvidere Center, Vermont, put it this way: “ShopSolar had good prices and they had a customer service line that was manned by people.”

      Some customers experienced problems with their purchases, such as damaged or faulty equipment. However, ShopSolar 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 online retailer that sells custom solar kits and other equipment, such as generators, batteries, cables and racks. You can find top-quality brands like Panasonic, REC, Renogy, Canadian Solar and EcoFlow. Orders typically arrive within 10 business days.

      • New and used solar panels
      • Solar generator bundles
      • Batteries, inverters, mounts and racks
      • Additional hardware and accessories

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

      You pay for your order in full upfront through ShopSolar’s secure website. It also has financing options for as little as $0 down.

      • 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. Rates range from 0% to 36% APR.

      Pros

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

      Cons

      • Some shipping and delivery delays
      • Occasional issues with defective or damaged products

      Vermont 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. Here’s what to expect and what to look out for when buying solar panels in Vermont.

      Key insights

      • In Vermont, a typical residential solar panel system costs $11,530 to $32,943, 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 Vermont. 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.

      Going solar in Vermont

      The State of Vermont does not mandate any certification or licensing requirements specifically for solar power system installers. However, Renewable Energy Vermont (REV), a prominent industry association, has curated a database of solar installers operating within the state. This database provides pertinent information about each company, including years in business, professional credentials and the cumulative quantity of systems it has installed.

      » BEST STATES FOR SOLAR: Vermont ranks 1st in 2024

      What to look for in a solar company in Vermont

      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: great reviews, quality equipment and solid warranties. Here are some other things to look for.

      • Licensed, insured and certified: Solar companies listed in the REV directory maintain active general liability insurance coverage with a minimum of $1 million in policy limits. This ensures that homeowners are protected in the event of unforeseen incidents during the installation process. It’s a bonus if the company also has NABCEP-certified installers.
      • Long time in business: Research the company's track record and reputation. Look for companies with plenty of experience installing solar panels in Vermont. Local knowledge is valuable in navigating state-specific regulations and incentives.
      • 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.
      • Comprehensive services: Choose a company that provides the services and products you want, like battery storage, electric vehicle chargers or a monitoring system to ensure optimal output.
      • Transparent terms: Carefully review proposals and financials carefully, understand legal considerations and ask about maintenance before signing an agreement with any solar company. If you don’t understand something about the payment terms, warranty or ongoing services, ask the representative.
      • Ongoing support: You want a company that’s still around if your system needs service after installation. Honest communication is essential before, during and after the installation process.

      » TIPS: Get the best solar quotes

      How much does it cost to go solar in Vermont?

      Average solar panel costs in Vermont typically range between $11,530 and $32,943. 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.

      Most installers set the price according to the system's wattage, with a typical cost between $2.50 and $5 per watt. In Vermont, the average cost per watt is $3.30.

      Average solar installation cost by system size in Vermont

      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.

      Vermont also has legalized power purchase agreements (unlike other states). PPAs work very similarly to leases. The 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 Vermont

      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.

      Although Vermont does not have as many favorable policies as other states, it can still be a good place to go solar for many homeowners. Tax breaks, power purchase agreements and community solar make Vermont a decently solar-friendly state.

      » EXPLORE: Vermont solar incentives

      Are solar panels worth it in Vermont?

      We’ve talked to dozens of solar customers in Vermont, and most seem happy with their decision to invest in solar panels. For many, going solar in Vermont is worth it for lowering energy costs. Electricity rates are high, so you can save more over time than you would in other states. On average, Vermont homeowners with solar panels can avoid $70,243 in total utility costs over 25 years.

      Patricia in Burlington, Vermont, put it this way: “I don't see any downsides at all in going solar. You’re always saving money.” For others, it’s more about reducing reliance on local power companies or helping the environment.

      Another resident, Bonnie in Burlington, Vermont, is overall satisfied with going solar. She made a good point, though, about being dependent on peak sun hours. “It all depends on what Mother Nature does,” she said. “If Mother Nature doesn't give you sun, you don't get this. That's the one thing that some people don't get.”

      Vermont averages 3 to 3.5 peak sun hours a day.

      We recommend using NREL’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.

      Your return on investment also depends on the efficiency and size of your system. Assuming an upfront purchase, it takes about 7.5 years to break even (when your savings with solar panels make up for the cost). 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 Vermont?

      We’re not aware of a totally free solar option in Vermont. Scams that promise free solar panels can end up costing consumers quite a bit 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.

      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.

      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. This will cost around $5,000 for a 19-panel setup.

      » SHOULD YOU: Replace your roof before going solar?

      Is my HOA allowed to restrict solar panel installations?

      No, Vermont laws protect your right to install solar panels and other renewable energy devices on your property. Homeowners associations can’t restrict their installation.

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

      A broker is helpful if you value convenience. If you want more control and potentially lower costs, working directly with a solar installer is best. Just be sure to thoroughly research your options and vet installers before hiring anyone.

      How does net metering work in Vermont?

      Net metering is a system of give-and-take between you and your utility company. It lets you access power from the grid when your panels don’t generate enough electricity. Net metering also lets you earn credits for sending any excess solar energy to the grid. These credits can offset the cost of electricity consumed at other times.

      Sometimes, your solar panels might generate more electricity than your household can use. Net metering lets you sell that extra to the local power grid. Net metering lets you sell extra energy generated by solar panels back to the local power grid.

      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 Vermont. 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 Vermont are:

      1. Best overall: SunPower
      2. Best leasing program: Sunrun
      3. Best DIY equipment selection: ShopSolar

      Not sure how to choose?

      Get buying tips about Solar Companies in Vermont delivered to your inbox.

        By entering your email, you agree to sign up for consumer news, tips and giveaways from ConsumerAffairs. Unsubscribe at any time.

        Thanks for subscribing.

        You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter! Enjoy reading our tips and recommendations.

        Read Vermont solar company reviews

        Sort
        • Best Rated
        • Most Reviewed
        • Highest Rated

        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, "Vermont Programs." Accessed March 29, 2024.
        2. EnergySage, “The cost of solar panels in Vermont.” Accessed March 29, 2024.
        3. Solar Energy Industries Association, "Vermont Solar." Accessed March 29, 2024.
        4. SolarReviews, “How much do solar panels cost in Vermont, 2024?” Accessed March 29, 2024.
        5. Vermont General Assembly, “ Title 30: Public Service, Chapter 089: Renewable Energy Programs.” Accessed July 17, 2023.
        6. Vermont Public Service Department, “A Vermonter’s Guide to Residential Solar.” Accessed April 22, 2024.
        7. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Feb. 8, 2024.

        Want your company to be on this guide?

        Yes, continue
        Comparing

        ×