Best Solar Companies in West Virginia

We compared 52 brands and chose the top solar energy companies

    • SunPower
      3.5(2,281)
    • ION Solar
      4.4(68)
    • ShopSolar
      4.7(149)

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      Best Solar Companies in West Virginia

      If you want to go solar but get overwhelmed by all the choices, you're not alone. We’re here to help you compare your options and get the best deal.

      To select the top picks for this guide, our research team compared popular solar companies on ratings and reviews, equipment options, warranties, availability and other factors. Our picks may be Authorized Partners that 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.
      • 4,480,424 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

      Our top solar company picks

      1. SunPower: Great customer service
      2. ION Solar: Nice monitoring app
      3. ShopSolar: Excellent DIY options

      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. We like that reps can evaluate your home energy needs, design a custom system, help secure any necessary permits and work out financing options. The mySunPower app tracks your energy production and consumption once everything is complete.

      SunPower also won two 2024 Buyers Choice Awards for having one of the highest satisfaction rates for customer service and installation in the solar category. These awards are based on sentiment analysis of reviews by verified customers.

      “The service that I used was quick and easy and the customer service rep was very knowledgeable and able to help with my every need … I was thankful to have chosen this company. It was a great overall experience compared to others I have had with other Solar power companies. The reps are very knowledgeable and the value was great for what I got. They continue to be the best decision I could have made. When they arrived with my solar panels for my out building they were ready to get to work. The entire process only took a couple of hours and it has worked like a dream since installation.” — Stacy in Princeton

      Most conversations happen over email — if direct, in-person talking is important to you, consider working with a small local operation.

      We’ve also heard that SunPower can be a little expensive. “Not the lowest of prices but not the highest either,” Stacy in Princeton told us. Costs are reasonable for what you get, according to Stacy.

      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%, with a minimum of 84.8% energy performance.
      • 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 online 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
      • Ongoing support
      • Battery storage options

      Cons

      • Some installation delays
      • Some communication issues
      Our pick for nice app

      ION Solar

      Max. panel efficiency
      21.9%
      Workmanship warranty
      10 years
      Year founded
      2013

      ION Solar is a reputable solar installer with a strong track record. It stands out for its professionalism, quality workmanship, strong customer service and a generally smooth end-to-end installation process for many customers. NABCEP-certified installers use Silfab solar panels and Enphase microinverters. Most projects are completed in 60 to 90 days.

      We suggest getting a personalized quote to determine if ION Solar is the best fit for you. The company offers various solar panel and system options to meet different needs and budgets.

      “The sales guy of ION Solar was very informational and laid-back. The installation went smoothly. The app is easy to use, too. I like being able to open and see where I'm at. It could just use more information to explain a little bit more the whole process and what each thing means.” — Jasmine in Charleston

      Some reviewers in other states mentioned communication issues or delays during the installation process. We think ION Solar could be a little more transparent about its financing options and additional services provided.

      ION Solar panels are guaranteed to produce at least 85% capacity for 30 years. Enphase microinverters come with a 25-year warranty. All work performed on your home during the installation is covered for 10 years. If there’s anything wrong with your panel or process, you can contact its customer service team for support.

      You can purchase the system outright or finance it through a solar loan. Rates and terms vary.

      Pros

      • Sleek, black-on-black panels
      • No upfront payment required
      • 24/7 monitoring
      • Solid warranty
      • Good reviews

      Cons

      • Doesn't offer maintenance or repair services
      • Some communication issues
      • Some installation delays

      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 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, batteries, inverters, mounts and racks from brands like Panasonic, REC, Renogy, Canadian Solar and EcoFlow — everything needed for an off-grid or hybrid setup. It’s great for homes, RVs and outbuildings.

      “The installation was easy because the guy told us exactly what we needed, made sure we had all the parts, and told us how to do it. ShopSolarKits even has videos on YouTube you can watch if talking isn't your way of learning. My husband did what the guy told him, and it worked perfectly. The solar panels were set up to be a backup for the freezer, for the refrigerator, and for some lights. Every single day, I made my coffee, use my appliance, any accessory appliances on it, etc. to save a little money here and there. We loved it. We're gonna do it again probably.” — Dianna in Bluefield

      The important thing to keep in mind is ShopSolar does not offer professional installation services. So, it’s best to know a little about solar panels and electrical work. You might get frustrated with the process or install something incorrectly otherwise.

      » 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.

      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

      West Virginia solar panel buyers guide

      Our team has talked to solar customers in West Virginia and all over the country. 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.

      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. Here’s what to expect and what to look out for.

      Key insights

      In West Virginia, a typical residential solar panel system costs $10,238 to $29,250, depending on the size of your system and what financial incentives you qualify for.

      Jump to insight

      The federal investment tax credit (ITC) is the most significant financial incentive for buying solar panels in West Virginia. You can also lease a system with little upfront cost, but you aren't eligible for the ITC.

      Jump to insight

      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, misleading claims, false advertising and aggressive sales tactics.

      Jump to insight

      What to look for in a solar company in West Virginia

      In our experience, the best solar energy companies have a few things in common: great reviews, transparent contracts, reliable equipment and comprehensive warranties. Look for companies with plenty of experience installing solar panels in West Virginia. It makes it easier to navigate regulations, permits and available financial incentives.

      • Check certifications: To check if a prospective solar installer has a valid business license, check the West Virginia Division of Labor online contractor search. As of June 2024, there were 19 solar panel contractors with valid business licenses in West Virginia. Look for companies with NABCEP-certified installers. This shows you the company takes its business seriously.
      • Read reviews: 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.
      • Get quotes: Get multiple quotes from different solar companies to compare prices and services. Be cautious of companies that provide significantly lower estimates than others — this may indicate lower quality.
      • Ask questions: Consider if you want a solar storage battery, electric vehicle (EV) charger or a monitoring system to ensure optimal output. It’s also smart to ask about critter guards in West Virginia.
      • Read the fine print: Carefully review proposals and financials, 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.

      » TIPS: Get the best solar quotes

      How much does it cost to go solar in West Virginia?

      Average solar panel costs in West Virginia typically range between $10,238 to $29,250. 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 West Virginia, the cost per watt is $2.85.

      Average solar installation cost by system size in West Virginia

      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. West Virginia also has legalized power purchase agreements. PPAs work very similarly to leases. The 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 West Virginia

      There are relatively few solar incentives in West Virginia. However, residents can still take advantage of the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). The 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.

      The ITC drops to 26% in 2033 and then 22% in 2034.

      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.

      Net metering in West Virginia

      West Virginia residents who install solar panels on their property can participate in net metering. This allows them to sell excess electricity back to the utility company. The credit you receive is based on the retail rate you pay for your own electricity use. Remaining credits can roll over to future months and apply to the energy portion of your bill.

      Contact your local utility for the most current details. A new net metering settlement in West Virginia was reached in February 2024. This will impact homeowners and businesses using solar panels, allowing them to sell excess electricity back to the grid. Solar advocates support the settlement, and it must now be approved by the Public Service Commission. This agreement could make investing in solar energy more attractive in the state.

      » EXPLORE: Solar incentives by state

      Are solar panels worth it in West Virginia?

      For many, going solar is worth it in West Virginia for the lower utility bills and reduced reliance on local power companies. West Virginia households typically use more electricity than the national average, so solar panels are a smart energy choice.

      The main drawback is the high upfront cost of purchasing and installing the panels and equipment. On the bright side, once that’s paid for, solar panels can significantly reduce or even eliminate your electricity bills.

      We’ve talked to thousands of people who have gone solar. Many reported significant savings on their electricity bills after installing solar panels. Some just appreciate the environmental benefits of using solar energy. For many, it’s some combination that makes installing solar panels worth it in the long run.

      However, we’ve also heard about problems with leaks and roof damage caused by the installation of solar panels, leading to frustration and difficulties in getting repairs.

      You have plenty of options if you’re ready to go solar in the Mountain State, but choosing a solar company requires careful consideration if you want the best value for your investment. Assuming an upfront purchase, it takes about 10 years to break even (when your savings with solar panels make up for the cost). On average, homeowners can avoid $63,114 in total utility costs over 25 years.

      » BEST STATES FOR SOLAR: West Virginia ranked No. 19 in 2024

      FAQ

      Can I get free solar panels in West Virginia?

      There’s no totally free way to get solar panels in West Virginia that we’re aware of. Unfortunately, scams that promise free solar panels can cost consumers a lot 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.

      Use the National Renewable Energy Laboratory'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.

      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.

      Is my HOA allowed to restrict solar panels?

      Maybe. West Virginia code states that homeowners associations (HOAs) can put some restrictions on solar installations. However, they can’t prevent you from installing panels or do anything that prevents them from functioning.

      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.

      Will hail damage my solar panels?

      Hail can damage solar panels, but you shouldn’t let that deter you from installing them. Many panels can withstand small hail. The cost of fixing any hail damage may be covered by your homeowners insurance.

      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 West Virginia. 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 West Virginia:

      1. Best for customer service: SunPower
      2. Best for monitoring app: ION Solar
      3. Best 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, "West Virginia Solar Programs." Accessed March 29, 2024. 
      2. EnergySage, “The cost of solar panels in West Virginia.” Accessed March 29, 2024. 
      3. Solar Energy Industries Association, "West Virginia Solar." Accessed March 29, 2024. 
      4. SolarReviews, “How much do solar panels cost in West Virginia?” Accessed March 29, 2024. 
      5. Interstate Renewable Energy Council, “National Solar Licensing Database.” Accessed May 22, 2024.
      6. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Feb. 8, 2024.
      7. West Virginia Legislature, “36-4-19. Solar energy covenants unenforceable; penalty.” Accessed Dec. 19, 2023.

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