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Best solar companies of 2021

Updated: May 07, 2021

There are currently 6,718 solar energy companies operating in America. That's a lot to choose from, especially when you're making such a big investment. Below, you can compare the top installers in your area by the type of solar company, their review score, and even how much they cost - so you can get one step closer to making the switch to solar.

It is worth noting that none of the reviews on this site are influenced by any business relationships between SolarReviews and the solar companies. These are truly unbiased reviews.

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10 best installers near you

 

How to choose the best solar panel company?

There are many factors to consider when looking for the right solar company. The solar industry is filled with fly-by-night solar companies - both big and small - and you definitely don't want to get burned.

The best solar companies will meet the following criteria:

  • Located near you
  • Been in business for 5 or more years
  • Employs their own installation crews
  • Uses quality, Tier 1 solar panels and inverters

In many cases, going with a local, family-owned solar company is the best choice. Not only does this support your community, but they often provide better customer service than large corporations. You can see this reflected in their reviews: large companies tend to have far worse scores, as they can't give you the same individualized attention that you need throughout the entire solar installation process.

You're going to want a solar installer who can help you with problems over the 25-year warranty of the solar energy system. That's why it's important to keep in mind how long a solar company has been in business and what their customer service reviews say.

100 top rated solar installation companies in the U.S.

These are the highest-rated solar contractors in the U.S. according to customer reviews here on SolarReviews:

Types of solar companies

Solar manufacturers

Solar panel manufacturers are the companies that make solar panels. The leading photovoltaic panel manufacturers are LG, Panasonic, QCells, SunPower, LONGi, Trina Solar, Canadian Solar, and JA Solar.

Most solar panels are manufactured overseas, however, there are a few notable solar panel brands that are manufactured in the U.S., including Mission Solar, Tesla, and Jinko Solar.

Solar wholesalers

Solar wholesalers act as the middlemen between solar manufacturers are solar installers. The largest solar wholesalers are CED Greentech and Krannich Solar. These companies do not sell to the public, as they only sell solar equipment in large quantities.

Solar wholesalers have their own network of warehouses that are filled with stock straight from solar manufacturers. They then distribute the stock to solar installation companies.

Initially, these companies only had warehouses in big solar states such as California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. But, as solar has continued to grow, they have expanded their distribution facilities in most states, including Florida and Texas.

Solar installers

Solar installation companies are typically one-stop-shops that both sell and install solar power systems. Essentially, solar panel installation companies are the ones who will get solar up on your roof. Installation companies will typically help you with local permitting, the utility company connection, and finding incentives and rebates.

Solar installers can be small local companies or large national corporations. SolarReviews has found that local companies tend to have higher review scores than national companies, as local companies have their own installation crews and provide high-quality, hands-on customer service throughout the installation process and the working life of the system.

Solar financing companies

Solar financing companies provide homeowners with solar financing options, like solar loans, to help cover the upfront costs of a solar project. Some solar financing companies also offer solar leases or solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) in order to make it easier for just about anyone to power their home with clean energy.

Solar financing companies sometimes work directly with banks to help you get a home improvement loan. Some large solar providers, like Sunrun and Vivint Solar, offer solar leasing, solar PPAs, and solar loans themselves, so you don’t need to worry about an additional solar financier.

Average cost of residential solar panels installation 2021

The current average cost of solar panels in the United States is $2.85 per watt. This is the cheapest solar has ever been! But be warned - if a solar company’s pricing is extremely low, they might not be offering the highest-quality solar products or installation.

Chart 1: What is a good price for a 10.2kW solar system after tax credits.

$15K
SolarReviews average

Table 1: Average cost of residential solar systems by system size
System size* Avg cost per watt Avg cost
(After tax credit) show before tax
4kW $3.25 $9,620
5kW $3.25 $12,025
6kW $2.85 $12,654
7kW $2.95 $15,281
8kW $2.75 $16,280
9kW $2.75 $18,315
10kW $2.75 $20,350
12kW $2.65 $23,532
15kW $2.85 $31,635

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Top 20 solar panel brands of 2020

When choosing a solar installer, you want to make sure that they are using quality equipment. Here are some of the most popular solar modules used for residential solar systems:

Is solar right for you?

Solar is a great investment, as it lets you save money on your home energy bills and power your home with renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. But, there are a few key things to consider before you install solar panels, including:

  • How much electricity do you use?
  • How much does your power company charge for electricity?
  • How much roofing space do you have?
  • How much of your roof is shaded?
  • What solar incentives are available in your area?

Our solar panel calculator will provide a free quote of the costs and utility bill savings of installing a home solar panel system.

All you need is your address and the amount of your latest electricity bill, and our calculator will determine how many panels you need, where they can be installed on your roof, and what incentives you can take advantage of.

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