Make the Jump to Green Energy With These Solar Power Companies

Tesla Solar has the sleekest panels, a substantial warranty, and a price match guarantee.

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Energy Efficient House With Solar Panels
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As far as home energy sources go, solar panels can, in the long run, save you money on energy costs. Though once highly expensive technology, solar panels have become more affordable, and increasingly more energy efficient. Now, entire solar roofs can be built onto your home (as opposed to just panels), adding even more value to your property.

As more companies spring up to meet the demand of solar panel buyers, a lot of brands are offering niche services to help stand out from the crowd. Some companies excel in making aesthetically pleasing panels or roofs, while others are all about using creative methods to reduce costs. However, the best solar companies take many of these factors into account, ensuring that your installation is efficient, safe, and to your own personal taste. 

RELATED: Here’s How Much You Can Save by Switching to Solar and Wind Power

It’s best to determine what is most important to you in a solar company before committing to a service. If budget matters more to you than looks, or if you’re seeking a highly energy-efficient model, be sure to take all of this into consideration when selecting a solar company. To help you make a decision, we researched multiple solar companies, taking into account a variety of criteria ranging from cost to eco-consciousness. 

Best Solar Companies of 2023

Best Overall: Tesla Solar

Tesla Solar logo

Tesla Solar

Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 50 states
  • Financing Options: Purchase or loan

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • A price match guarantee ensures competitive pricing

  • Offers panel or full roof installation

  • Has a convenient mobile app that links with your panel

Cons
  • Installation services are limited in specific parts of various states

Why It Made the List

Tesla Solar makes the top of our list of solar companies due to its wide availability and comprehensive package, making it stand out from other competitors on our list. The company offers a 25-year performance warranty, and price-match guarantee, and provides a quick and free online quote process. Additionally, the service has a handy app that lets you manage and monitor your panels, allowing you to see your energy production and usage.

Although solar panels are not typically the most beautiful objects in the world, Tesla’s panels are sleek, simple, and relatively unobtrusive. Tesla also manufactures solar roofs to further camouflage your panels. In addition to your solar panel, the company will also install a Powerwall battery, which gathers and stores energy from panels for usage at night or during a power outage. 

Although Tesla Solar services all 50 states, there are places within those states where installation services may be limited. Despite this, the company is still one of the most widely available solar companies in the country. If you’re interested in learning more about Tesla Solar’s services, you can schedule a virtual consultation with a Tesla agent on the company’s website.

Best Protection: ADT Solar

ADT logo

ADT

Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 31 states
  • Financing Options: Purchase, loan, lease

Pros & Cons 

Pros
  • Has a comprehensive 25-year guarantee

  • Roofing division handles any installation issues

  • Offers three financing options

Cons
  • Service is limited to just over half the country

  • Doesn’t offer in-house financing options

Why It Made the List

Formerly known as Sunpro Solar, ADT Solar has, by far, the best warranty in the solar panel business. Not only does the policy last for 25 years, but it also covers the solar panels themselves, the labor required to install them, and their power production. That means pretty much every aspect of the solar panel process is guaranteed to meet your satisfaction. If your system falls short and produces less than the projected amount of energy, ADT will pay you 10 cents per kilowatt-hour of the difference between actual production and guaranteed production.

In addition to this impressive warranty plan, ADT also has a great mobile app and its own roofing division to handle any issues that might occur during panel installation. If you’re interested in hiring the company, ADT Solar offers three methods of financing your solar panel installation—purchase, loan, or lease—giving you flexibility for whatever your budget size is. 

While the company does have a sizable service range, it’s still limited to just 31 states. However, if you do live in a state that ADT Solar serves, you can get a free online quote to get a better idea of how much the whole project will cost. Do note though that if you plan on financing solar panels, the company doesn’t offer any in-house options, meaning you’ll have to seek financial assistance from a third party.

Best Budget: Blue Raven Solar

blue raven solar

Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 22 states
  • Financing Options: Purchase and loan

Pros & Cons 

Pros
  • Financing program delays payment for up to 18 months

  • Provides free online estimates

  • Offers a 25-year warranty

Cons
  • There are no lease agreements

  • Services less than half of the U.S.

Why It Made the List

Blue Raven Solar stands out for its unique programs designed to make paying for your solar panels easier and cheaper than most competitors. The company offers the BluePower Plus loan program which gives you 18 months of free solar panels with no upfront costs. Ideally, this allows you to save money on your energy bills, which you can put toward the cost of solar panel ownership later on. 

After that 18-month period, you’ll begin payments toward ownership of your solar panels. There’s an online estimate tool that will help give you a sense of how much you will have to pay when all is said and done. Blue Raven Solar also offers promotions that provide additional discounts, saving you even more money. 

Although Blue Raven has plenty of budget-friendly finance options, the company doesn’t offer leasing options at this time, meaning that your only choice is to own your panels. Additionally, its service area only spans 22 states, limiting accessibility. But if you’re within its coverage zone and you’re looking to save some money via a flexible payment plan, Blue Raven is a solid choice.

Best Customer Service: Momentum Solar

Momentum Solar logo

Momentum Solar

Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 11 states
  • Financing Options: Purchase, loan, lease

Pros & Cons 

Pros
  • Guarantees a point of contact throughout installation process

  • Sells solar batteries for additional energy usage

  • Panels are backed by a 25-year warranty

Cons
  • Service is limited to a select few states

Why It Made the List

With over a decade of experience in the solar business, Momentum Solar makes customer service especially easy with its concierge service. This service guarantees you will have just one readily accessible point of contact throughout your entire experience with the company. Your dedicated rep will oversee the solar panel installation process from start to finish while ensuring that everything is according to your liking. 

Many large-scale companies—solar or otherwise—tend to pass customers around from one person to the next, making it easy for miscommunications or other mishaps to occur. We love that Momentum Solar dedicates a single person to your project, minimizing any potential headaches. This allows for a more personalized approach to your solar panel installation project, giving you a little more input.

In addition to its stellar customer service, Momentum Solar also offers a 25-year warranty and multiple financing options. Most importantly, the company sells solar batteries, which store energy from your solar panels for later usage. While we wish that the company was more available throughout the U.S., those who are within its coverage area will likely enjoy a pleasant customer service experience from start to finish.

Best Energy Efficiency: SunPower

SunPower logo

SunPower

Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 50 states
  • Financing Options: Purchase and lease

Pros & Cons 

Pros
  • Provides lab-tested, highly efficient solar panels

  • Can lease panels with no down payment

  • Has an app that allows you to monitor energy usage

Cons
  • Not available in all areas

  • Panels tend to be more expensive than those of competitors

Why It Made the List 

With nearly 40 years of experience under its belt, SunPower has had plenty of time to develop one of the most energy-efficient solar panels on the market. The company boasts that its M-series panels are capable of reaching 22.8% energy efficiency, as tested and verified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). With higher efficiency, you need fewer solar panels to produce large amounts of power, saving you extra bucks. 

If you order panels through SunPower, the company will create a customized system based on your roof and house location. Panels from the company are simple and aesthetically pleasing, and even better, SunPower services all 50 states. If you get SunPower panels installed, you can easily monitor its energy production through a convenient mobile app.

Like most solar companies, SunPower offers a 25-year warranty, however, this particular policy covers power output, defects due to workmanship and materials, and service charges for defective panels. The only possible downside to selecting SunPower is that its prices tend to be on the higher end, and the company lacks a price-matching program. Nonetheless, you are all but guaranteed to get superb energy from SunPower’s panels.

Best Environmentally Conscious: Palmetto Solar

Palmetto Solar logo

Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 24 states
  • Financing Options: Purchase and loan

Pros & Cons 

Pros
  • Donates to nonprofits that combat climate change

  • Dedicates a single point of contact to spearhead installation

  • Offers phone, email, and online customer support

Cons
  • Financing details are not available online

  • Not widely available throughout the U.S.

Why It Made the List

While all solar companies aim to spread the use of environmentally friendly energy sources, Palmetto Solar is visibly more financially invested than most. In addition to providing solar panel installation services, the company donates a portion of its funds to nonprofit environmental organizations. Such programs include Solar Sister, an initiative which helps train women in developing countries to implement solar technology. 

In addition to feeling good about Palmetto Solar’s support of worthwhile nonprofits, you’ll also enjoy the support you’ll receive from the company during installation. Palmetto Solar ensures top-notch treatment throughout the process by dedicating a single person to be your point of contact. With this rep by your side, you can minimize any miscommunications, as they’ll know what’s happening with your panels the entire time.

Alongside your dedicated solar panel installation rep, Palmetto Solar has convenient customer support channels that you can access via phone, email, or online chat. Through these portals, you can learn about the company’s loan assistance programs to help finance your solar panel installation, as details regarding this offering aren’t readily available online. Be mindful as well that while the company has an extensive coverage zone, services are not available in every state.

Best for Batteries: Sunrun

SunRun logo

SunRun

Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 20 states
  • Financing Options: Purchase, lease, loan, PPA

Pros & Cons 

Pros
  • Offers Tesla Powerwall battery with free maintenance

  • Flexible financing options available

  • Insurance policy protects from theft and damage

Cons
  • Limited customer service throughout the week

  • Service coverage is limited to less than half the U.S.

Why It Made the List

A few companies on this list offer batteries, but we especially like Sunrun due to its free battery maintenance and panel theft protection. Sunrun has comprehensive protection plans, but its willingness to extend these protections to its solar battery helps it stand out. Plus, Sunrun offers both LG’s Brightbox Home Battery as well as the Tesla Powerwall, both of which help power your home during an outage. 

Sunrun also has a considerable amount of flexibility when it comes to payments, including purchases, leases, loans, and power purchase agreement (PPA) options. The company also offers free online quotes to prevent any surprises. However, solar and battery options may vary by state, and Sunrun’s customer service line is not operational seven days a week. Overall, the company is a great selection for those seeking protected solar battery options in addition to solar panels.

Final Verdict

What solar company you decide on will likely vary based on your needs, budget, and more. For example, our most accessible solar company, Blue Raven Solar, allows you to delay payments up to 18 months after installation and offers a handful of financing options, making it a solid option for those looking to save money. If energy usage is important to you, SunPower will likely satisfy your needs as it is the most energy-efficient solar company on our list. 

While many solar companies provide a variety of services to adjust your home to a new source of energy, Tesla Solar outperforms competitors due to its extensive list of additional offerings. The company price-matches other competitors, creates sleek and aesthetically pleasing panels, offers branded batteries for extra energy usage, builds solar roofs, and is available almost everywhere in the country. What’s more, it backs all of this with a generous warranty policy and makes pricing estimates easy with its online quote tool. If you’re looking to make the jump to solar power, Tesla Solar will likely satisfy several of your needs.

Compare the Best Solar Companies

Company Nationwide Availability Financing Options Warranty Average Installation Cost Free Estimate?
Tesla Solar 50 states Purchase, loan 25-year $27K Yes
ADT Solar 31 states Purchase, loan, lease 25-year $20-34K Yes
Blue Raven Solar 22 states Purchase, loan 25-year $15-25K Yes
Momentum Solar 11 states Purchase, loan, lease 25-year $13-40K Yes
SunPower 50 states Purchase, lease 25-year $13-40K Yes
Palmetto Solar 24 states Purchase, loan 25-year $16-35K Yes
Sunrun 20 states Purchase, lease, loan, PPA 10-year $22-33K Yes

Guide to Choosing the Best Solar Company

Since there are a handful of solar companies that all likely provide similar services, making a choice will come down to what matters most to you (i.e., budget, aesthetic, etc.). Despite this, you should always consider the following criteria before committing to a solar company. 

Service Area

Depending on where you live, some companies may or may not offer services in your area. Even companies like Tesla Solar and SunPower that cover all 50 states don’t necessarily service every single ZIP code in those states. It’s best to always check a solar company’s website to determine if your exact location is covered. Do this before you look into any other details, because if a company can't provide its services to you, then all other research is moot!

Budget

The cost of installing solar panels will vary depending on what you’re looking to achieve. For example, installing an entire solar roof will cost more money than installing a few panels. Additionally, the number of panels you want to install will affect your total price. Beyond this, exact costs tend to differ depending on the specifics of your home, where you live, and what type of panels you select. 

General cost estimates will provide a range so you have a ballpark idea of what an installation will run you. However, it’s always best to seek out specific quotes from each company to compare. Most solar companies offer free online quote tools on their websites so you can easily get an idea of how much your project will cost.

Customer Service

Many solar companies offer typical customer service channels like phone, email, and live chat. However, some companies such as Momentum Solar go above and beyond these methods with their concierge service, which provides individualized customer service. With this offering, a single representative will be your point of contact throughout the entire solar panel installation process, preventing you from getting tossed around between employees. If you end up deciding on a solar company that comes with basic customer service offerings, take note of the company’s hours, as some brands may not take calls or inquiries in the evening or on weekends.

Warranty

Most solar companies offer warranty periods for panels and roofs, but details, coverage, and length may differ. It’s important to consider what type of guarantees you feel you need to move forward with a specific solar company. Some warranties may only cover your panels for 10 years, while others may be inclusive and cover defects due to workmanship. Take the time to read the terms of the warranty, and don’t hesitate to chat with an expert so you can get a thorough understanding of a company’s warranty policy.

Energy Efficiency

Depending on your budget and the level of productivity you’re expecting from your solar panels, you may need to weigh the right balance between cost and efficiency. Some companies, such as SunPower, specialize in providing energy-efficient solar panels, which will help save you money as you’ll need fewer panels to produce energy. However, installing highly efficient models can cost extra due to the higher tech involved in manufacturing such panels. 

There are other factors beyond just panel manufacturing that can determine efficiency, but the details are best discussed with a customer service representative who will know more about your home and needs. You may also want to read up a bit on the cost and efficiency differences between types of solar panels so that you know which one to pick.

Aesthetic

Let’s face it, solar panels aren’t exactly the prettiest sight on a house roof, so you do have to ask yourself how much aesthetics matter to you. Some solar panels do come in different designs to help make them look less obtrusive. For example, Tesla’s solar panels are especially sleek and futuristic-looking, making them a little easier on the eyes. Some companies also offer multiple design options so you can pick one that most appeals to your taste. If looks are important to you, feel free to compare and contrast panel designs from a variety of solar companies.

How Do Solar Panels Work?

There is enough sunlight reaching our planet to easily power all of humanity’s energy needs. The issue is not the amount of sunlight but rather building the infrastructure to harness the sun’s energy—that’s where solar panels come in. Solar panels convert light from the sun into electric energy by absorbing the sunlight in photovoltaic (PV) cells. Once that happens, electricity can either be used to immediately generate power or stored for future consumption.

Types of Solar Panels

There are four main types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact (PERC), and thin-film, each with their own varying qualities.

Monocrystalline

Sometimes called single-crystal panels, monocrystalline solar panels are made from one silicon crystal that is cut into multiple parts. These panels are dark black in color, are long-lasting, and take up the least amount of space. Due to these reasons, they’re a popular solar panel option. However, since these panels are made with high-quality materials, they tend to cost more. Therefore, a monocrystalline panel might be outside some clients’ preferred budget range.

Polycrystalline

Polycrystalline panels are made from multiple crystals instead of one. These panels are more affordable than monocrystalline but also less energy efficient, especially in hot environments.

PERC

PERC panels are relatively new in the world of solar energy and aim to improve upon monocrystalline panels by having better efficiency. They do this by collecting more solar energy in a smaller amount of space. Because they are more compact than other panels, they are great for smaller surface areas. Although PERC panels are pricier than other types of panels, they aren’t any more expensive than monocrystalline ones. If you have a flexible budget and less space to install solar panels, PERC panels can be a great option.

Thin-film

These panels are flexible, both physically and in terms of their adaptability to different situations. Thin-film panels do not need a frame backing, which makes them light and bendable. They can also come in a variety of sizes. Despite their pliable nature, they are less energy efficient than the three other types of panels.

What Are the Environmental Benefits of Solar Panels?

Solar panels harness sunlight to generate electricity, making this a very environmentally friendly way to generate power. Since this is a renewable resource, the use of solar energy helps reduce greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change. Using solar panels can also improve air and water quality by reducing the use of other forms of energy production.

How Cost-Effective Are Solar Panels?

Solar panels have the potential to reduce overall energy costs in your home—in the long term. Long is the key word here, as installation of the panels will cost a substantial amount of money upfront. Installation costs generally range from $15,000 to $25,000 or more, with the exact amount depending on the type of panel and the amount you need. Ideally, after six to nine years, solar panel installation begins to pay off financially. So from a strictly dollars-and-cents perspective, installing solar panels is a benefit for long-term homeowners.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which solar panels last the longest?

    Monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels tend to last the longest. Typically, companies cover these panels under 25-year warranties, but the panels can actually last as long as 40 or 50 years. However, weather elements such as high temperatures, wind, snow, and rain can slowly wear away at panels, making them less efficient over long periods of time. Generally, most solar panels have a degradation rate of 0.5 percent per year, meaning the panels’ efficiency reduces by half a percentage every year.

  • How often do solar panels need to be cleaned?

    In order to preserve a solar panel’s effectiveness, it’s generally recommended that each panel be routinely cleaned once or twice a year. Some panels may need to be cleaned more frequently if you live in an environment with above-average levels of dirt and pollution.

  • How many years does it take for a solar panel to pay off?

    It takes anywhere between six and nine years for you to recoup solar panel installation costs and save money on energy consumption in your home. This is a general estimate, and the time frame can differ substantially depending on the type and number of panels. As a rule of thumb, the more you’re spending on panels and installation, the more energy your panels will produce, saving you more money later down the line. 

  • What is solar tax credit?

    Solar tax credit is provided by the federal government and can be claimed on federal income taxes for a portion of the installation costs. Panels installed in the years 2020 and 2021 are eligible for a 26% tax credit, while panels installed between 2022 and 2032 are eligible for a 30% tax credit. For panels installed in 2033, the credit will be reduced to 26%, and then drop again to 22% for panels installed in 2034. The solar tax credit is currently set to expire in 2035, but Congress can choose to renew it when the time comes.

  • Do solar panels damage your roof?

    With correct installation, solar panels should not damage your roof. The installers will have to drill holes in your roof to attach the panels, but those holes will be filled with weatherproof material to prevent any damage both inside and outside your roof.

  • Do solar panels affect home insurance?

    Many home insurance plans do cover solar panels, however, they may only be covered if they are damaged by severe weather, fire, or other perils that are included in your insurance plan. They may also only be covered if you own the solar panels rather than lease them. Since solar panels also increase the value of your home, they may increase the cost of your home insurance policy, which is something to be mindful of. If your solar panels are not physically attached to your house, you will likely need a separate insurance policy to cover them. It’s recommended that you contact your home insurance provider to find out if solar panels are covered by your plan whether their installation may lead to potential changes to your policy.

Methodology

We determined the best solar companies by collecting several data points based on an extensive set of criteria ranging from nationwide availability to financing options. Our team reviewed more than a dozen companies, rating them based on the following categories:

  • Financing options
  • Installation cost
  • Nationwide availability
  • Customer service
  • Solar panel design
  • Company reputation
  • Online quote system
  • Warranties and guarantees

Any solar companies that provided extensive nationwide coverage, excelled in customer service, and offered a variety of financing options were awarded extra points during the scoring phase. Any services that excelled in a specific category such as energy efficiency or protection plan coverage were also awarded their respective superlatives on this list.

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Sources
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