The Best Solar Companies in the Country

SunPower's high-quality panels and large service area make it our top choice

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According to a Pew Research Center survey, about 8 percent of homeowners in the U.S. have installed solar panels, and another 39 percent have considered adding solar panels to their homes. These numbers will likely grow now that a 30 percent federal solar tax credit has become law. 

If you’re part of the growing 39 percent hoping to add a clean, renewable energy source to your home, reduce your environmental impact, and save money on your energy bills, it may be time to consider solar panels for your roof. 

But installing solar panels is not an easy DIY project; thus, seeking professionals is the best choice. They’ll help you determine your energy needs, which type of panels are best, how many panels are right for your home, and then correctly install the panels and batteries. What’s more, professional installers can often point out any repairs or issues that may need to be addressed on your roof or home before work begins, ensuring you get the most out of your solar system without damaging your home. Finding the best solar company for your needs and budget can be challenging, so we’ve created a list of the best solar companies nationwide to help determine the best option for you.

Best Solar Companies of 2023

Best Overall : SunPower

Key Specs
  • Nationwide Availability: 50 states
  • Warranty: 25 years for performance, labor, and parts
Pros & Cons
  • Online design studio to preview your potential complete system

  • Most energy-efficient panels

  • All-inclusive 25-year warranty

  • Complete system of solar panels and power storage

  • More expensive than some other options

  • Customer service and expertise may differ between local certified dealers and SunPower's Master Dealer

  • Master Dealers only available in 21 states

Why We Chose It

SunPower is the top choice for best overall solar companies due to its nationwide availability, energy-efficient panels and components, and excellent all-inclusive, 25-year warranty coverage. SunPower offers various lines of solar panels in various series lines. The M-Series panels are the most efficient, produced by Maxeon with patented solid-copper foundations; fewer panels are needed to produce optimal power. In fact, Maxeon panels have been recognized as a top performer by third-party testing company PV Evolution Labs.

To begin the process, you can head to the SunPower website and use its design tool to plan a solar system for your home and see what it would look like on your roof. The tool will also provide an estimate of how much money you could potentially save on your electric bill when converting to SunPower’s solar energy system. Users can also request a free virtual consultation for personalized advice from SunPower’s team of professionals.

If financing is a concern, SunPower offers a $0 down financing option with competitive interest rates and helps you obtain any government-sponsored incentives to reduce costs. Its warranty provides all-inclusive 25-year coverage on the system and all its components including any material defects, rust damage, and free replacement and repair (including shipping).

Best Protection Plan : ADT Solar

Key Specs
  • Nationwide Availability: 30 states
  • Warranty: 25 years on power production, panels, inverter, and labor
Pros & Cons
  • Provides constant solar monitoring

  • Pricing guarantee for lowest rates

  • Provides roof assessment and repairs before installation

  • No in-house financing

  • Pricing information difficult to find online

Why We Chose It

ADT provides a 25-year guarantee on power production, performance, labor, and a warranty on panels and inverters making it a stand out option for those looking for optimal protection and peace of mind for the lifespan of their solar system.

As part of the performance protection plan, one year after installation and for 25 years afterward, ADT guarantees 95 percent of the estimated production rate for each year with a 0.33 percent degradation rate taken into account. If your system doesn’t live up to these expectations, ADT provides compensation of $0.10 per kWh for the difference between the actual and guaranteed production of electricity. 

ADT provides a roofing assessment to check for damage and needed repairs before panel installation. While the company is currently available in only 30 states, several more states are expected to be serviced in years to come. While there is not an in-house financing option, homeowners can opt for a cash purchase, a loan, or a lease to have solar panels installed.

Best Panel Design : Tesla

Key Specs
  • Nationwide Availability: 50 states (installation offered in 32 states)
  • Warranty: 25-year performance guarantee
Pros & Cons
  • Solar system can be bundled with Tesla Powerwall for energy generation and storage

  • Obtain an instant online quote

  • Efficient solar panel or roof design works on wide range of roof angles

  • Installation not available in all states

  • May need to wait for repairs

Why We Chose It

Beginning in 2016 with the purchase of SolarCity, Tesla has become one of the country’s largest solar panel installers. Tesla has a nationwide scale that allows the company to offer very competitive rates along with a price-match guarantee that ensures you get the lowest price on comparable systems by beating the competitors. 

Tesla not only wins on accessibility and efficiency but also on the aesthetic design of the panels. Its solar panels are made with a very low profile with no visible grid and a concealed edge to hide any hardware. The all-black monochromatic panels also don’t require rails for mounting onto a roof, which means the panels are interlinked without any gaps—sleek and minimalistic. 

Tesla produces efficient solar panels with a larger, 400-watt option that results in the need for fewer panels. The low-profile panels are powered by Tesla’s solar inverter as a complete system. The company also takes care of all details necessary for getting your solar system up and running, including permits, design, and installation. The Powerwall option can be bundled with your solar panels to store energy for outages, nighttime use, or to sell back to the grid. You can conveniently control and manage all aspects of your Tesla solar panels (an account) through the Tesla App.

Best Financing Options : Blue Raven Solar

Key Specs
  • Nationwide Availability: 21 states
  • Warranty: 25-year manufacturer warranty
Pros & Cons
  • Free 18 months of use before payment

  • SmartStart promotion provides 42 months of savings

  • Installed range of monocrystalline solar panel brands

  • No solar batteries available

  • Not a good option if your state does not have net metering

Why We Chose It 

Blue Raven Solar is a fast-growing solar panel company that provides the best financing options for customers. Firstly, it offers $0 payments for the first 18 months. Secondly, the SmartStart promotion provides 42 months’ worth of savings while keeping payments the same. Blue Raven does not provide leasing options due to its customer-forward approach; leasing leads to ineligibility for federal and state solar tax credits and incentives.

Blue Raven’s technology includes Enphase inverters, which are long-lasting, reliable, and high performing. Enphase inverters convert direct current from solar panels into alternating current, which is used throughout your home. These microinverters are considered safer with fewer failure points due to a unique design that uses fewer components and connects directly from the panel to the inverter. They can also be expanded if you choose to add more in later years. Blue Raven installs everything using an in-house crew with a rigorous quality assurance program and workmanship guarantees.

Unfortunately, Blue Raven has no battery storage option, so if your state does not allow for net metering (this allows homeowners to earn credit for selling back excess electricity), then Blue Raven may not be the best choice for you. However, the company plans to add battery storage options in the future.

Best Warranty : Momentum Solar

Key Specs
  • Nationwide Availability: 11 states
  • Warranty: 25 years on all equipment and workmanship
Pros & Cons
  • All-encompassing care including design, installation, customization, and financing

  • Permitting and government incentive aid included

  • Mobile app allows tracking of installation and performance status

  • Limited state availability

  • Battery storage option only available in some service areas

Why We Chose It 

From start to finish, Momentum helps you plan, customize, obtain permits, and install your solar system with one point of contact. Momentum Solar has been in business for over a decade and prides itself on providing comprehensive care in a one-stop-shop model, including in-home consultations. If your solar panels or inverters have any issues, Momentum will address them. Any problems with installation, such as roof or panel damage, will be taken care of by Momentum’s team of technicians without any further charges to you. 

Before installation, Momentum’s specialists will do an initial site survey to check your roof and surroundings, such as trees and shade, to ensure the best results. Shading from trees or other obstacles can significantly reduce output power. They’ll additionally suggest any changes that will help with efficiency. Then the specialists will design the best solar system for your needs, such as number of panels, placement, and battery. After installation, you can monitor your energy usage on a mobile app that also allows you to share your savings on social media. 

Financing options include full purchasing, financed loans, and a solar panel purchasing agreement that allows you to buy the power generated by a developer-owned system on your property at a low, fixed rate, and a lease. Whichever you choose, Momentum Solar’s experts will walk you through the purchase and obtain any government-offered incentives for you, helping lower costs.

Best Leasing Options : Sunrun

Key Specs
  • Nationwide Availability: 21 states & Puerto Rico
  • Warranty: 10 years
Pros & Cons
  • Provides four financing options with two lease options

  • Full protection plans for theft and damage

  • Provides tailored solar battery storage services

  • Installation costs can be expensive

  • Some complaints about customer service

Why We Chose It

If you’d prefer to lease your solar system, Sunrun has excellent options, which include a monthly lease or a full lease. The monthly lease starts from $0 down, providing low upfront costs with monthly payments protected from hikes and sent directly to Sunrun. The full-lease option allows you to pay upfront and save later so you can pay for 25 years of energy costs at one low rate. Sunrun also offers full purchase and monthly loan financing plans.

For further savings, you can add a Tesla Powerwall or LG Chem to your purchase. These additions will help you save any excess energy produced by your panels. You’ll be able to use the stored energy later for yourself or sell it back to the grid, both of which will help lower your electricity bills. And if you own an electric vehicle, consider installing a Ford Intelligent Backup Power charging station, which will allow you to use any additional energy for your vehicle. 

Sunrun’s warranty and full servicing are provided to all customers, regardless of whether they lease or own. It includes free equipment replacement and system repairs, covers all parts and labor, plus provides coverage for a watertight roof for 10 years. If something breaks, needs maintenance, or goes wrong, Sunrun will take care of it, from the paperwork to the scheduling, at no cost. Its warranty also covers any damage that may occur to your roof during installation.

Best Customer Service : Palmetto

Key Specs
  • Nationwide Availability: 20 states
  • Warranty: 25-year product and performance warranty
Pros & Cons
  • Low pricing options from $85 per month

  • Palmetto Protect provides monitoring, service, and home efficiency recommendations

  • Offers online tools for calculating potential savings

  • No leasing options

  • Active monitoring fee

Why We Chose It

Reaching customer service can be done through a call, email, or online chat option using the Palmetto app. The app also allows you to track your solar system’s performance and energy consumption and will alert you to potential issues or changes. Before installation, you can book an in-home or virtual consultation with a tech who will analyze your home to determine the best setup and options for you. All of this is accomplished through a dedicated project coordinator who will be your single point of contact for any questions or issues you may have.

For just $12 per month or $96 annually, Palmetto Protect will cover active monitoring, recommendations, and discounts on several services such as panel cleaning, roofing service, pest abatement, and more. You can purchase this plan even if your solar system was not installed by Palmetto. 

The energy company produces panels for many solar companies and is well known for its value. Palmetto offers a smart-home battery option that helps you save energy to use during outages, nighttime, or low-light time. Alternatively, it can be used for cheaper use during peak electricity rate times or sold back to the grid. 

Exact pricing and financing details are not shown online, but you can reach out to customer service for more information.

Best Home Integration : Elevation

Key Specs
  • Nationwide Availability: 5 states
  • Warranty: 25-year warranty on products and workmanship
Pros & Cons
  • Provides total home energy efficiency assessment

  • In-house repairs and installation

  • Installations include battery

  • Only available in five states

  • No leasing options

Why We Chose It

Elevation provides thorough, whole-home reviews to see where potential leaks or insulation needs should be addressed, along with any other issues that could potentially increase your electricity usage. The assessment allows Elevation to accurately determine the number of panels your home will require, which will ensure you’re paying the fair amount for the energy that your home needs. 

Each solar panel system from Elevation is custom-built for your home and needs and is installed by its in-house installers. All repairs are also performed by its in-house team. A patented energy monitoring system is activated during installation, which keeps track of your energy usage.

Final Verdict

SunPower is our top solar company for its nationwide availability, high-quality company-produced solar panels, and top-notch warranty. Also, SunPower provides $0 down purchasing and leasing options without hidden fees. Lastly, SunPower offers backup storage batteries that help you save excess energy.

If your goal is to improve your entire home’s efficiency to reduce your impact on the environment while potentially saving money on your energy bill and total solar system needs from the start, Elevation is our pick for whole-home integration. 

If purchasing or financing your solar system is out of reach, you can still get started with solar by leasing. Our pick for best leasing options is Sunrun, which offers two leasing options starting at $0 down, but still provides the same level of care and warranty guarantees across payment options.

Compare the Best Solar Companies

Company Available States Warranty Finance Options? Online Estimate? Free Consultation?
SunPower Best Overall 50 states 25 years Yes Yes Yes
ADT Solar Best Protection Plan 30 states 25 years No No Yes
Tesla Best Panel Design 32 states 25 years Yes Yes Yes
Blue Raven Solar Best Financing Options 21 states 25 years Yes Yes Yes
Momentum Solar Best Warranty 11 states 25 years Yes No Yes
Sunrun Best Leasing Options 22 states 10 years Yes Yes Yes
Palmetto Best Customer Service 20 states 25 years Yes Yes No
Elevation Best Home Integration 5 states 25 years Yes Yes Yes

How Does Solar Energy Work?

Solar technologies, such as the panels installed on homes, convert photons from sunlight into electrical energy (voltage) using photovoltaic (PV) panels or mirrors that concentrate solar radiation. This concentrated energy is then used to generate electricity for immediate use or is stored in batteries or thermal storage for later use.

Solar radiation is electromagnetic, meaning it has electric and magnetic properties, traveling through space at the speed of light. Solar radiation travels through packets of energy called photons. When photons hit the photovoltaic array, an electric current is generated. This occurs due to atoms becoming excited, which allows electrons to flow inside the PV cell. Thousands of cells are interlinked to generate more electrical currents within the entire solar panel, which is made of these individual cells. The type of current generated is called direct current, also known as DC, and flows in only one direction, as opposed to alternating current (AC), which can reverse direction. DC current does not change in voltage as AC does. Since AC is used in homes, inverters are installed by solar companies to create AC from solar panel-generated electricity. 

After inversion, the solar panels are connected to your home or business panel board to be distributed throughout your home as needed. Solar energy will be used first, and if any additional electricity is needed, then panels will draw from the grid. If your area of residence allows for selling back solar-generated electricity to the grid, then any extra power your system creates can be sent into the grid via a bidirectional meter. If you want to rely even less on the grid or go completely off-grid, then a battery system can help you store power for later use.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar-generated kilowatt hours help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants, including CO2, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter. Reducing these improves air quality and the environment. Additionally, solar energy helps cut back on the consumption of water, which further benefits the environment.

Solar energy also benefits your budget. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), home value increases by $20 for every single dollar saved on your electricity bill due to solar-generated electricity. What’s more, although solar energy systems can be initially expensive to set up, after six or so years, the investment will break even and then begin to save money over the lifespan of the panels, often for another 10 to 15 years.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Solar Company

When choosing a solar company, there is a range of factors to consider that depend on your home, budget, and preferences. 


Solar companies’ prices vary, based on the products and services they provide. Although solar energy systems are likely to save you plenty of money in the long run, you should still examine your budget and compare the prices of various companies to see which one best fits your circumstances and needs.


Each solar company provides panels of varying performance levels. Some panels are more efficient and perform better than others, which is often reflected in the price. Consider how the entire system performs based on the conversion efficiency of sunlight to electricity. 

This will depend on what materials the panels are made from, whether or not they have an anti-reflection coating to help prevent light from reflecting away from the cells instead of being captured, and how they are maintained.

Panel Size

Solar panels are made in various sizes, with those designed for residential use being shorter and having fewer cells than the longer panels designed for businesses.

Each cell is approximately six by six inches, with residential panels containing 60 cells and commercial panels containing 72 cells. Solar panel companies will measure your roof’s total area to determine how many panels you will need or can accommodate.

Roof Compatibility

Solar panels vary in weight but are typically light enough not to be a risk to your roof. However, if your roof is damaged or in need of repairs, you may need to factor that in first. 

You will also need to consider the type of roof you have, and whether it is compatible with the solar panel installation you prefer. Asphalt, standing metal, and tile roofs tend to work with most solar panels, but wood and slate roofs may not work.

Many solar companies will offer a free consultation—and sometimes an audit—to evaluate whether or not your roof’s size and location (in terms of exposure to the sun) will be compatible with a panel they offer.


Solar panel durability is measured by degradation rate, which is the speed at which panels reduce their conversion output over time. Typically, degradation rates average around 0.5 percent per year, but the durability and degradation rates of solar panels will vary based on panel quality and maintenance.


The warranty provided by each solar company is a significant factor to consider when deciding on a solar panel. 

Typically, each company will have a warranty on performance and materials. Performance warranties will often change over the lifespan of the panels, with a certain percentage being offered for the first 10 years (usually 90 percent coverage), then a reduced production is guaranteed for the next 10 to 15 years (typically 80 percent). Material warranties vary and include a certain time frame the company guarantees the product will last. Warranty insurance guarantees the product will be covered from premature wear and tear, manufacturer defects, and other potential issues for a specific time frame.

Provider Maintenance

Maintaining your solar panels is crucial for performance, and the best solar companies will offer maintenance. The most common type of maintenance is cleaning debris and dirt to allow sunlight to fully reach the cells in the panels. Most solar panel installers provide complimentary checkups to ensure panels are not damaged and working optimally. Check to see if the solar companies you are considering offer regular maintenance and if it is included (and to what degree) in your initial inquiry and/or purchase.

Different Types of Solar Panels

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline solar panels are the most commonly used type, and this is likely due to their superior efficiency. About 95 percent of solar panels sold are either monocrystalline or polycrystalline, according to the NREL. 

Monocrystalline solar panels use semiconductors made from silicon that are refined to make crystalline silicon, formed into blocks, and cut into thin wafers to become solar cells. Monocrystalline solar cells are made from one crystal structure and are highly efficient due to electrons moving more freely to generate electricity. While they are more expensive to produce than other types, they are the most efficient.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline solar panels are made in much the same way as monocrystalline but have multiple crystals instead of one crystal structure. Although polycrystalline solar panels are less efficient than monocrystalline panels, they are less expensive to produce. Customers with a tighter budget may want to consider polycrystalline panels for some savings in terms of upfront costs.

Thin Film Solar Panels

Thin film solar panels are lightweight, easier to install, and less expensive than mono- and polycrystalline panels. There are several types of thin film solar panels available: amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS).

Amorphous silicon panels are ideal for very warm climates since they withstand heat well, but they are less efficient (7 percent) than monocrystalline, and they do not last quite as long—about 10 to 20 years, according to the American Solar Energy Society. However, they are the cheapest on the market, use less material, and generate less waste to produce than other types.

Cadmium telluride panels are made from toxic materials that are effective at capturing and converting sunlight to energy. However, tellurium is rare, and the production of these panels takes special precautions due to toxicity. CIGS panels use each element in a layered fashion to create powerful semiconductors. They are cheaper to produce and are increasing in efficiency with advancing technology and production methods and are approaching 20% efficient.

Passive Emitter and Read Cell Panels (PERC)

PERC panels are a more recent technology that is designed to be more efficient than monocrystalline. Silicon is used to produce the cells on the backs of panels, and they are less expensive to make. However, this technology is still being developed and tested, so it is less available on the market.

Do Solar Panels Really Save Money?

Solar panels have the potential to save you a lot of money. How much depends on the quality of the panels, how they are installed, and whether they are maintained properly. Although the initial cost of solar panels is hefty, over the long term, solar panels typically pay for themselves after about 10 years and then save you money over the next few years of use.

In terms of home value, NREL estimates that your property value increases by $20 for every $1 dollar your solar system saves on your electricity bill, which further increases your financial gains over the long term.

Additionally, any excess energy your panels produce may be sold back to the grid. This feature is available in many states and helps you make money from the energy your solar system produces that you do not need for personal use.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I Need to Get Permits to Use Solar Energy?

    According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, you will likely need a permit from your local government before installing rooftop panels. Once your system is installed, a local government professional may inspect the array to check for adherence to safety codes. Professional solar companies will know which codes to follow and ensure your system is installed correctly.

  • How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

    Solar panels typically last between 25 to 30 years, but the longevity and efficiency of the panels will inevitably decrease as time goes by. The quality of the panels, correct installation, and regular servicing and maintenance are all key components to ensure you have the best panels for the longest time. The NREL says that solar panels degrade at a rate of about 0.5 percent per year. After using solar panels for 20 years, you can expect the output to be 90 percent of what it was when new. Of course, this rate will vary based on quality, installation, and servicing. 

  • Do Solar Panels Need to Be Serviced?

    Solar panels need to be serviced regularly to remove debris and dirt that can hinder their performance. Having regular checkups done by a solar panel company is wise to ensure everything is clean and functioning the way it should.

  • What Is Net-Metering?

    Net metering is a form of billing where owners of solar energy systems receive a credit for the excess electricity they provide to the grid. To determine the specific net metering laws in your region or state, check the DSIRE NC Clean Energy Technology Center Database.

  • Do Solar Panels Produce Power When the Sun Isn’t Shining?

    Solar panels work when the sun isn’t shining, but they work best in direct sunlight to produce power. The light that is reflected or blocked by clouds will still enable solar panels to generate power. If you have net metering in effect, then the solar power your panels generated when it was sunny can help offset the energy used during the night and dark times or when your solar panels aren’t working optimally.

  • What Can Damage Solar Panels?

    Solar panels can become damaged by a variety of things, including debris, branches, dirt, and hail. Anything that falls on, covers, or scratches the panels can prevent them from working optimally. If they aren’t sealed properly, then water damage can also occur. It’s important to have your solar panels checked and regularly maintained to ensure they aren’t dirty or damaged.


To compile this list of the best solar companies, the writer collected data based on an extensive set of criteria, ranging from nationwide availability to financing options. The writer also considered:

  • Installation cost
  • Energy efficiency
  • Solar panel design
  • Warranties and guarantees
  • Protection plan coverage
  • Company reputation
  • Access to customer service
  • Quote processes

Solar companies that provide extensive coverage, excel in customer service, and offer a variety of payment plans were awarded extra points during the scoring phase.

best solar companies

ArtistGNDphotography / Getty Images

Article Sources
  1. Pew Research Center. "Home Solar Panel Adoption Continues to Rise in the U.S."

  2. "30% Federal Solar Tax Credit Extended Through 2032."

  3. PV Evolution Labs. "Top Performers."

  4. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. "How Does Solar Work?"

  5. Clinical Imaging (Third Edition). "Plain Radiographic Imaging."

  6. Office of Energy Saver. "Benefits of Residential Solar Electricity."

  7. NREL. "Planning for PV: The Value and Cost of Solar Electricity."

  8. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. "Solar Performance and Efficiency."

  9. Sunshine Contracting. "What Is the Best Roof for Solar Panels?"

  10. NREL. "Stat FAQs Part 2: Lifetime of PV Panels."

  11. NREL. "The Role of Advancements in Solar Photovoltaic Efficiency, Reliability, and Costs."

  12. Energy Sage. "Monocrystalline vs. Polycrystalline Solar Panels: Which is the Best for You?"

  13. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. "PV Cells 101: A Primer on the Solar Photovoltaic Cell."

  14. American Solar Energy Society. "Thin-Film Solar Panels."

  15. Scottish Institute for Solar Energy Research. "Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) and Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) Solar Cells."

  16. Blakers A. "Development of the PERC Solar Cell," IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics. 2019;9(3):629-635.

  17. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. "Permitting and Inspection for Rooftop Solar."

  18. Solar Energy Industries Association. "What Happens to Solar Panels When it's Cloudy or Raining?"

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