Best Solar Companies in Washington

We compared 58 brands and chose the top solar energy companies

    • SunPower
      3.5(2,281)
    • Blue Raven Solar
      4.8(232)
    • ShopSolar
      4.7(149)

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      Best Solar Companies in Washington

      If you've been thinking about going solar in Washington 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 the 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. Blue Raven Solar
      3. ShopSolar
      Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
      • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
      • 4,481,718 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.

      What really sets SunPower apart is its seamless solar panel installation process. The company’s representatives 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 Washington 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 customer support

      SunPower gets positive feedback on installation and customer service.

      “The panels are doing a beautiful job and giving us the power that we want to have,” Christian in Friday Harbor told us. “Also, the people who came and (installed) the panels were the best. They have a good team of people that do a very clean and wonderful job. They leave the place in great shape.”

      Another customer, Andrea in Seattle, said she had a great experience from beginning to end. “I had a good guy come out and explained everything to me. He was really good and laid everything out very clearly. The installation went very smoothly and my system is running perfectly,” Andrea told us.

      One customer, Anne Marie in Deer Harbor, likes the system overall. “The one negative,” she said, “is [they] keep making us sign in to the system, which requires both me and my husband to go find our passwords and login information to sign in.” She said she hasn’t used the SunPower app because she doesn’t remember to sign in.

      You might also keep in mind that SunPower’s upfront costs tend to be a little higher than other companies. It’s also a huge firm with offices all over the country. So, if direct, in-person communication is important to you, consider working with a smaller operation or hiring locally.

      The “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.

      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 Solar installs top-tier panels and microinverters to maximize energy production. We also like that the sleek, low-profile solar systems are designed to withstand variable climates. It has teams in Everett, Redmond, Spokane and Tacoma.

      The company also has a unique financing option: BluePower Plus+ combines aspects of a solar lease with the flexibility of solar panel ownership. This lets you go solar with no upfront costs and 18 free months before starting fixed monthly payments.

      This is potentially a smart deal for Washington homeowners who want to switch to clean energy while still saving on overall monthly expenses. Plus, you aren’t affected when electricity rates increase over time.

      Blue Raven benefits

      • Durable solar panel systems
      • $0 down financing options
      • Tier 1 solar equipment
      • 25-year warranty on all installations

      Blue Raven Solar gets great reviews on installations and customer service. “Blue Raven walked us through the process, answered all of our questions and kept us informed of the steps for installation,” Patty in Spokane said.

      Others highlight the value. “Comparing costs, warranties, customer service and reputations, to all the companies we met with, Blue Raven became a more obvious choice as the process unfolded,” Robert in Renton told us. “Our salesperson, the installation team, the electrician and coordinating with customer service were all positive experiences and exceeded my expectations,” he said.

      Another customer, Elie in Fife, recommends Blue Raven to “anyone looking to switch to green energy.”

      Blue Raven gets positive feedback from customers in Washington, but some reviewers in other states have reported communication issues.

      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).

      • 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.

      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. 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. The equipment is great for homes, RVs and outbuildings.

      ShopSolar benefits

      • Great for homes, RVs and outbuildings
      • Free shipping
      • Price-match guarantee
      • 30-day return policy
      • Lifetime customer support

      Happy customers appreciate ShopSolar’s quality products and knowledgeable reps. People like having reliable backup power and savings on electricity bills after purchasing their solar equipment.

      Rick in Clarkston particularly highlighted ShopSolar’s prices and customer service. “I had a combination kit thing, and I was inexperienced in buying solo and they had a whole kit. I just had to buy the kit, and I had everything, so that was good. I've had a few issues, and they handled them right away,” he said.

      The installation process is generally described as easy, thanks to clear instructions and helpful resources provided by ShopSolar. However, it can be challenging for those with limited knowledge or experience in solar systems.

      Additionally, some customers experienced problems with their purchases, such as damaged or faulty equipment. ShopSolar generally resolved these issues with refunds or replacements.

      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%.

      Washington solar panel buyers guide

      Going solar in the Evergreen State might be easier than you think. 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 Washington?

      Solar panel costs in Washington 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 cost to go solar in Washington has fallen 42% over the last 10 years.

      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: How much do solar panels cost in 2024?

      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, including the federal solar investment tax credit.

      » SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

      What solar incentives are available in Washington?

      The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the most significant way to make installing panels more affordable. The ITC gives you a federal income tax credit worth 30% of your 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 solar tax breaks and loan programs in Washington.

      » EXPLORE: Washington solar incentives, tax credits and rebates

      Net metering in Washington

      Net metering lets homeowners get credits for extra electricity their solar panels generate. In Washington, each credit is typically valued at the full retail rate, which means you get the same value for the excess electricity as you would pay for electricity from the utility company.

      If you put back more than you used, you get a credit toward next month's bill for the extra amount. If you use more than your system produces, you only pay the utility company for that additional amount.

      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.

      How do I choose a solar company in Washington?

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

      • Experience: Extensive experience installing solar in Washington specifically, since local building codes and incentives matter
      • Reputation: Positive reviews from past Washington 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

      » TIPS: Getting the best solar quotes

      Are solar panels worth it in Washington?

      Financial savings, environmental benefits and energy independence make going solar worth it for a lot of Washington homeowners.

      It’s a common misconception that solar panels always completely eliminate your electric bill. This is not always the case. Homeowners with solar panels commonly see lower monthly bills. However, some utility companies charge nominal fees that cut into savings.

      For instance, Anthony in Seattle said his monthly bill went from $400 to $40 after going solar. “But I'm pissed off with what PSE&G is charging me,” he said, noting that the $40 he’s each month is essentially the utility company’s service fee.

      Others install solar mostly to reduce their carbon footprint. The savings are nice, but it’s not the primary motivation. For example, Richard in Lakebay told us the decision to go solar was “based on reducing the impact our all-electric home imposes on the environment. Since the power we draw from the grid is virtually all derived from hydroelectric sources, the reduced load we put on the grid is more modest than if our utility relied on fossil fuels. But we hope to set an example for others.”

      High upfront costs and long payback periods make some hesitate about solar. Savings in Washington aren't as big as some other states. So, while solar helps many cut bills and allows self-reliance, payback time and utility fees reduce cost-effectiveness for some.

      » STILL NOT SURE? Solar energy pros and cons

      FAQ

      Can I get free solar panels in Washington?

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

      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 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?

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        Methodology: How we picked the best solar companies in Washington

        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 Washington. 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 labor 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 Washington are:

        • 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, “Washington Solar Programs.” Accessed Feb. 1, 2024.
        2. EnergySage, “The cost of solar panels in Washington.” Accessed Feb. 1, 2024.
        3. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Washington Solar.” Accessed Feb. 1, 2024.
        4. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Feb. 1, 2024.

        Not sure how to choose?

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