Best Solar Companies of 2022 | Reviews and Alternatives
Are you interested in learning about the best solar companies of 2022? Then feel free to read this extensive guide on your options.
The United States has enough solar energy to power nearly 18 million homes. Switching to solar power may seem like an expensive leap, especially with rising labor and supply costs. Below, 4 Solar Estimates talks about the top-rated solar companies in the nation.
Find The Best Solar Company For You
Ready to switch to solar panels? Our experts review the 12 best solar companies in the nation and explain the key pros and cons of solar energy to help you make an informed decision.
We have put in the work for you. We’ve compiled the top 12 solar companies, detailing the pros, cons, and unique traits of each one. If you keep reading, we also have put together everything else you need to know about getting started with a solar company and how to save the most money!
Top 12 Solar Companies – 2022 Review
Finding the top-rated solar companies can make a difference in cost, performance, and longevity. You want a team that comes highly recommended and ranks on multiple sites as one of the best solar company options. What should you look for in solar companies?
- Online reviews
- Price estimates
- Comparison quotes
- Check licensure and qualifications
- Check where they are located
Your top choices should be close to home, reasonably priced, and won’t lock you into unfair agreements.
1. Momentum Solar Review
3096 Hamilton Blvd #2B
South Plainfield, NJ 07080
Momentum Solar is a great option when you pull up a list of the best solar panel companies. They help design and plan the whole solar panel installation process from start to finish. They guarantee their services and don’t defer to other parties.
The benefit of a quality company with one point of service means fewer middlemen and costs. You can also get a no-obligation quote from their company before committing. They offer multiple financing options, including leasing or outright purchases.
On the downside, Momentum Solar is only found in ten states, including California, Nevada, and Texas. Why would you want to choose Momentum Solar?
If you want to be a part of the solar design, installation, and functioning process, this is the company for you.
2. SunPower Review
51 Rio Robles
San Jose, CA 95134
SunPower may edge out Momentum Solar in terms of availability. SunPower is available in all 50 states, but the larger company means that there may be more issues with on-site customer service. You may also find slightly higher prices than local companies, and you must purchase their unique products.
Yet, the nationwide availability means they help deliver reliable results. They also have multiple options, batteries, and even in-house electric vehicle chargers. Packaged systems can sometimes save you more money than getting quotes and labor costs from multiple companies if you own an electric car.
Level 1 chargers don’t need anything special, but it takes longer to charge your vehicle. Level 2 chargers are faster and offer potential state or utility incentives. The fast in-home charging stations can save you money and the headache of finding local charging stations.
3. Blue Raven Solar Review
Blue Raven Solar
1403 Research Way
Orem, UT 84097-6201
Blue Raven Solar is drifting away from leases and PPAs, which some homeowners may be okay with. As mentioned earlier, leases often don’t provide you with long-term benefits. Yet, without this option, some homeowners may not be able to afford or acquire a solar loan.
While it has a broader expanse than Momentum Solar, it does not have SunPower’s scalability. It has limited availability in under 20 states currently.
On the positive end of the spectrum, it has some of the best solar incentives and savings. Its financing plan offers 0% APR for 18-months. They will work with you on transparent rates after the 18-month introductory savings, meaning you can begin saving immediately and avoid payment plans.
This incentive may make up for the fact it does not offer any leases, and there are no tricks up its sleeves that limit you from owning the panels after payments are complete.
4. Sunpro Solar Review (now ADT Solar)
38340 Innovation Ct Bldg G Suite 704-706
Murrieta, CA 92563
Sunpro would likely overtake SunPower if it were offered in every state. This solar company has business in over 30 states and excellent customer reviews. They are reliable, efficient, and cost-friendly, making them one of the best solar companies in the country.
They have recently teamed up with ADT under a new name – ADT Solar. They provide solar panel installation and energy storage. In combination with their security options, the goal of ADT Solar is to combine security and sustainability.
Since the companies combined, over one-quarter of ADT homeowners showed interest in purchasing residential solar panels. They also help you navigate the most savings and tax incentives to avoid being left in the dark. After comparing quotes from Sunpro and other companies, you will have to call the company for more detailed solar plans.
5. Sunrun Solar Review
San Francisco, CA
Are all of these ‘sun’ companies running together for you? Despite the similarities in name to Sunpro and SunPower, Sunrun is an entirely separate company offered in over 20 states.
They provide stellar financing options and service-protection plans. Their focus is on solar panel and battery systems.
Sunrun can help you check for local net metering regulations and include any state tax incentives. Most of its problems stem from a lack of follow-up with customer concerns and higher labor costs.
Additionally, their warranty isn’t as extensive as other businesses, but they do offer 10-year guarantees on their workmanship. Compared to Blue Raven, they offer leases and PPAs.
The lease offer extends to services, maintenance, and protection. When the system’s function declines, Sunrun will replace or repair it without extra costs.
6. Vivint Solar Review
For those who have been paying attention, you may wonder why Vivint Solar hasn’t made the list so far. It is important to mention that Vivint was acquired by Sunrun, the second-ranked solar company in the U.S. at the time.
The combination means more expansion and market share. The acquisition further distances Sunrun from Tesla’s solar market share and appeals to many homeowners based in Utah, California, and the surrounding area. The new company now offers services for rewiring and battery installation for cleaner energy usage.
7. Tesla Solar Review
1 Tesla Road
Austin, TX 78725
Did you know that Tesla’s market increased by $500 billion in 2020? It is worth more than most major car brand markets combined. One of the ways that Tesla has expanded its market is by offering solar installation.
Tesla solar companies are available in every state but check your exact location before inquiring about a consultation. The company backs its installations with a 25-year guarantee and mobile app monitoring. Like their vehicles, Tesla has low to minimal appearance solar panels that are visually appealing and modernized.
And before you start assuming that the Tesla brand will cost more than others, think again! Tesla will price-match other companies, making it even more critical to use a quality solar panel installation cost estimator before picking your best solar panel company.
If you want the option of a solar roof, Tesla provides innovative installation that can replace your entire roof with solar tiles. Ultimately, if you want something that helps you get off-grid, this is arguably one of the few companies that can help you make that dream happen.
The technological advances of this company let homeowners constantly check and monitor their solar panel output and efficiency. However, it has stricter regulations and offerings with solar panel leases.
Other downsides are delayed installation times, so check out recent customer reviews in your area before getting started. It also wouldn’t hurt to inquire about installation timelines upfront.
8. Palmetto Solar Review
1505 King St Ext Suite 200
Charleston, SC 29405
If you want a safe and reliable company, Palmetto Solar is a great option if it has one of its offices located in your state. They offer unique protection plans and outstanding customer reviews.
Palmetto’s easy-to-use website lets you calculate energy savings while providing options for online customer chats. The process is easy and surprisingly affordable.
At the same time, they aren’t located nationwide. If you live in a region where Palmetto is located and has existing solar panels, give the company a call.
They also offer their protection services on existing solar systems. They operate in a decentralized format, meaning each company has individual operations and management.
This can provide you with easier access to local contractors and installers. Unlike other companies, their full-service team and monitoring are hard to beat, but you will have to pay for a consultation.
9. Zenernet Solar Review
4340 E Indian School Rd Suite 21-132
Phoenix, AZ 85018
Like Palmetto, Zernent is another of the best solar companies that give top-quality customer service. This solar company prides itself on customer experience, which can get lost in large businesses or companies.
They also use local installers, which have their own list of pros and cons. You might have great outcomes and quick installations, or you could have a poor installation process, depending on who you get assigned. Since it is dependent on the region you live in, it pushes Zenernet down the list a bit.
However, it does appeal to homeowners who want a remote, easy-to-use process. Zenernent is fully remote and provides a free initial consultation.
They will also give you up to $1,000 for a first-time referral. The company is highly customizable, so you aren’t locked into hefty prices or limited plans that don’t fit your home’s energy needs.
10. Trinity Solar Review
7 McKee Place
Cheshire, CT 06410
Trinity Solar is a large, private-owned solar company. They started back in the mid-1990s, making it a reliable company compared to Tesla, which has only been in the solar market for a few years comparably.
While the company started in the 90s, it didn’t transition to solar until 2004. Since then, they have made an impact on the industry.
They offer leases and PPAs as options for financing. Trinity Solar also uses different manufacturers, although they use Q Cells for most installations.
Q Cells is one of the most efficient solar panel systems globally. Their efficiency ranges from approximately 20.5% to over 21 percent.
However, using Q Cells doesn’t offer as great long-term performance reports as seen by LG. After 25 years, they average around 86% productivity, just shy of the 90% cut-off from other manufacturers.
Trinity Solar also installs solar batteries, including those offered by Tesla. Where they start lagging is in their warranties. Trinity Solar only provides a 5-year workmanship warranty, outpaced by many other companies that range from ten to 25.
Before you tack it onto your comparison tool, remember that Trinity Solar only operates in nine states.
11. Elevation Solar Review
1601 Summit Ave #103
Plano, TX 75074
Like Trinity Solar, it is hard to rank Elevation Solar too high on the list because it only operates in five states. Yet, its base of operations is in some of the hottest spots for solar installation, including:
The smaller company is still one of the best up-and-coming solar companies that helps you customize solar panel systems for your residential needs. Elevation Solar also pulled a financially smart move by teaming up with Curb Energy.
The combination has helped Elevation Solar offer better solar panel tech monitoring to compete with the likes of SunPower and Tesla. Their smart technology is on par to make a difference in the solar market once it expands to more states, but it is one of the best companies if you live in an area it services!
12. POWERHOME Solar Review
While not the best company on this comprehensive list, POWERHOME has some of the most affordable solar prices. For first-time homeowners, or those looking to save a few dollars, it might be worth checking into POWERHOME’s costs and installation fees.
If POWERHOME doesn’t have the best reviews, why did it make this list?
Arguably, it has the most extensive warranty on the solar market with a 30-year limited offer. It provides a further incentive with no money down, and you get up to 12-months of free solar. Their smart set-up works seamlessly with your Nest, LED light bulbs, and more.
In addition to the subpar customer reviews, POWERHOME also has a fee for a consultation.
Runner-Up Solar Companies
There are several other solar companies to keep an eye on in 2022, such as:
- Element Solar
- Project Solar
- Integrity Solar
- Sunlux Solar
You have likely not heard of these companies since they often get outpaced by more extensive market shareholders such as Sunrun, Tesla, and SunPower. Yet, if you live in a region that doesn’t have services from big companies, you may find cheaper rates and excellent customer support through up-and-coming businesses.
Element Solar Review
Element Solar has a great mission to install cleaner energy sources nationally and support global climate change. They donate clean energy and plant trees in developing countries to help reach carbon-neutral goals. Supporting this smaller company can help you be a part of a bigger cause.
Project Solar Review
Project Solar is arguably the cheapest-priced solar company. And now, more than ever, you may want to consider lower prices. Raw materials for building solar panels have increased by 300% in some regions. Entire systems increased from $0.20 per watt to almost $0.28 per watt towards the end of 2021.
Their online algorithm means you’ll get a fairly accurate price quote compared to other companies, and you won’t have to negotiate or talk to a sales representative. For some, that may be incentive enough to give this company a try!
GoSun Solar Review
GoSun is another company like Tesla (although not nearly as big) that helps people live off-grid. They supply solar panels, generators, and appliances. Even if you don’t want to live out in the woods, you can use them as backup batteries in case of power outages.
Their company prides itself on preparedness and using technology to help save lives. Tropical storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and winter weather can cause widespread power outages. Ultimately, a lack of power during severe weather can put people’s lives at risk.
In 2020, Isaias was a tropical storm that left nearly two million people without power along the East Coast. After one week, almost half a million people in Connecticut still did not have any power.
If that isn’t shocking enough, the United States has more power outages than other developed countries. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared with backup solar generators and batteries in a nation dealing with frequent power outages and trying to combat global warming and climate change.
Klick Solar Review
Although Klick Solar does not have many reviews, what they do have is an excellent sign of where this company could go in the future. They are based out of Colorado and have only been in operation for a couple of years. If you are local to the area, you may want to pull this solar company upon a comparison quote tool.
Integrity Solar Review
Integrity Solar is another business that teams up with local companies for high-quality installation and services. They boast excellent customer reviews and base their entire company’s values off its name – integrity. You can expect honest work and prices with this smaller solar company based along the East Coast.
SunLux Solar Review
While their installations are quick, prep time with SunLux can take weeks. They are also more expensive than other options but make up for it with customer satisfaction. Even with longer prep times, customers claim the company is very responsive.
They are a bit larger than other companies on the list, and a simple comparison tool shows that they have plenty of reviews to back up their services. Unfortunately, they are only offered in California and Texas.
However, the company picked the right area to be in. California and Texas are the top two states for planned solar additions this year and are prime regions to switch to residential solar panels if you haven’t already.
What Are the Most Efficient Solar Panels?
While cost and where businesses are located are two common comparisons you should use, don’t neglect solar panel brands. More efficient solar panels may cost more upfront, but they will last longer and provide more savings.
Many companies offer multiple brands, but some only use theirs. The top-rated efficient solar panels are:
- REC Solar
SunPower takes the number one spot with an almost 23% efficiency rate. LG is an entire percentage below SunPower and Solaria is nearly 2.5% behind that. While these numbers may seem small, they play an essential role in long-term savings.
Over 20 years, you could save nearly $23,000 with a 5kW solar system. And those numbers are based in Washington. If you live in a sunnier region, like California, you could save close to $60,000.
How Do You Finance Solar Panels?
There are three ways you can finance solar panels: cash, loan, and lease. Some people shy away from companies that only push for lease agreements since they can lock you into contracts. You may also see power purchase agreements that sell you electricity and installation rates at a set rate.
The benefit is that you have a third-party business that keeps up on your solar panel maintenance. However, since you are locked into rates, you may see higher costs than other finance options in the future. You also miss out on other financial incentives such as rebates and federal tax credits.
When you sell your home, you do not own the solar panels and won’t reap the benefits of selling your home at a higher value. You can ask the new homeowners about taking over the lease. The best option is to purchase the lease before selling your house.
Loans and cash purchases are the two most common options. When you look into the best solar panel company, you should ask about multiple financing options. They should advertise the benefits of purchasing or borrowing money for solar panels so you can receive the financial benefits currently available for installing solar.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?
On average, solar panels cost $13,000 to $37,000. Unfortunately, this number is highly variable and dependent on:
- Inverter costs
- Regular maintenance
- Number of solar panels
- Solar panel type
Between companies, you may notice different prices. It is important that you have an online solar comparison and estimate tool that allows you to quickly and seamlessly compare local companies.
Cost should not be your ultimate determinant in choosing a solar company. Look at their warranties, which average around 25 years and guarantee up to 90% output during this time.
Is the higher cost worth it?
Long-term investments show that homeowners save on monthly energy costs and can themselves off in less than 12 years. Afterward, you’ll continue saving on yearly energy bills, and you could sell your home at a higher price tag. Remember, areas that receive more sun exposure will take fewer years to pay off than northern states with fewer days of sunlight.
Solar Panel Installation Financial Incentives
There are two types of financial incentives for solar panel installation:
- Federal tax credits
- State rebates
The federal tax credits are fixed rates, but you must check with your local state and company guidelines on rebates. Some states are more proactive on solar installation and offer better rebates. Some of the fastest-growing states for solar installation are:
- North Carolina
To no one’s surprise, most of these states are in sunny regions with plenty of opportunities to use solar as a reliable energy source. Some of the best states for local rebates are New Jersey, California, Rhode Island, and New Mexico, to name a few.
Federal Tax Incentives
The federal government will continue offering incentives to install solar panels with the residential solar energy credit. This federal tax credit is claimed at the end of the year and covers a percentage of solar panel system installation and costs. There are a few criteria that must be met, such as:
- Installation during the current tax year
- Used in the United States
- Located at a primary or secondary residence
- Purchased through cash or loan
- Must be original installation
How much does the tax credit cover? If installed between 2020 and 2022, the government will provide a 26% tax credit. After 2022, this drops to 22 percent.
Currently, the tax incentive will expire in 2024 unless it is renewed. Luckily, the percentage is standard, and there are no maximum amounts you can reach. Some of the solar costs included are:
- Solar panels or cells
- Labor costs
- Other equipment (e.g., wiring, inverters, mounting)
- Energy storage devices (e.g., solar batteries)
- Sales tax
State tax incentives or company rebates change federal credits. For example, if a company offers a one-time rebate, you must deduct that before sending in your final cost.
Local Solar Incentives
There are several local incentives that vary by region, such as:
- State tax credits
- Zero sales tax
- Property tax exemptions
- Net metering
- Solar Renewable Energy Credits
Net metering is an excellent incentive that helps you receive credits on solar energy you don’t use. Any unused solar power will be distributed to the electrical grid for other homeowners. When you need additional electricity on cloudy days, you can pull from the grid, and the amount or cost will be reduced from what you have already contributed.
In some scenarios, you may receive money back from power companies. Although, it is usually not in the form of cash. Instead, it will come through as credits you can use in the future.
Most state solar tax credits operate similarly to federal credits. For example, Utah offers state tax credits to cover all your solar panel installation costs of up to 25% or $1,600, whichever is the cheapest. Not all states have similar set-ups, but it is pretty common that there will be a monetary cut-off on installation cost coverage.
Are Solar Panels Right for You?
Now that you have an idea of different companies, incentives, and solar panel types, you want to know if solar panel installation is suitable for your home. First, you’ll want to examine your electricity costs closely.
If you deal with higher monthly electricity costs, you will notice more savings that offset the price of solar. Some of the most expensive states for electricity costs are:
- Rhode Island
California, where solar is widely used, costs nearly 22.44 cents per kilowatt-hour. On the contrary, Nevada costs only 11.86 cents per kilowatt-hour. Other low-cost states include:
- North Dakota
While you will still notice savings in these states, they won’t be as significant. Next, look at your sunlight exposure.
While Utah has low electrical costs, it boasts over 220 sunny days. Compared to national averages, this is nearly 20 days more.
Regions with more sunny days will benefit the most from solar, so states like Utah are still prime spots for switching to solar. Lastly, it doesn’t do any good if you install solar panels and your entire roof is shaded.
It would be best if you had a sunny spot on your roof for installation, no matter where you live. If you need to replace your roof in a few years, you might want to prioritize a roof replacement (and consider adding in solar at that time).
Most companies will do a good job advising on roof spots, slopes, and whether you may need a roof replacement. However, it always pays to do your homework first.
Roofs over 20 years might need a replacement before a company offers installation. If you have loose shingles or damaged flashing you may need to repair that beforehand.
Finding the Best Solar Company
One good solar company review probably isn’t enough to sway you towards a company, but what if you had a site that offered multiple comparisons at no cost. You could simply pull up the companies off this list you are interested in and see which one checks your solar installation boxes.
At 4SolarEstimates, we have reliable and user-friendly comparison tools that easily let you compare our top-rated solar companies. Are you ready to get started? Check out our website and find a company located near you!