8 Solar Companies That'll Help You Make the Transition to Green Energy

Solar installation is expensive, so it's important to weigh all of your options.

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Sunset over a house with a 3.8 Kw solar power panel system on the roof

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A residential solar system is among the most affordable ways to light your home. Solar is also the safest and cleanest source of energy, producing fewer carbon emissions and other environmental damage than any other source of electricity. And so, solar panels are a great option for those hoping to lower their carbon footprint while running power through their homes. Solar panels work by capturing the sun’s energy and converting it to electricity. You can use that electricity in your home, store it in a home battery to use at a later time, or send it back into the electrical grid and, in many states, get credit for it on your utility bill. 

The best solar companies offer high-quality and high-efficiency solar panels, competitive rates for installing your solar system, solid warranties meant to protect your investment, and excellent customer service both before and after your system is installed. How much you’ll save depends on too many factors for us to offer price comparisons; with all solar companies, cost estimates only come after the company examines your solar potential and designs a sample system.  That's understandable since every house is different in terms of location, roof design, orientation, and sun exposure, making it difficult to give ballpark estimates. Still, in almost all circumstances, solar will save you money at the same time that you help save the planet and buy yourself peace of mind.

Best Solar Companies of 2023

Best Overall: SunPower

SunPower logo


Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 50 states
  • Key Products: Panels, solar roofs, batteries, EV chargers
  • Warranty: 25 years

Pros & Cons

  • Highly efficient panels

  • Excellent warranties

  • Wide variety of products

  • Discrepancy in service and knowledge between local certified dealers and SunPower's Master Dealers

Why It Made the List

SunPower is among the largest and most experienced full-service solar companies, having been in business since 1985. It's also one of the most sustainable, having won the 2019 Sustainability Award from PV Magazine. Its easy-to-use Design Studio allows you to configure your solar system based on your roof design and solar exposure.  

The high-quality, high-efficiency solar panels are made by its own subsidiary and are used even by rival installers. While they tend to be pricier than competitors' panels, they also produce more power more efficiently, which may save you money in the end. 

In addition to solar panels, SunPower offers all the major products for a complete solar system: batteries, electric vehicle chargers, solar roofs (rather than panels) for new homes, energy audits, and monitoring equipment to optimize your system. Warranties cover up to 25 years on equipment, labor, and panel efficiency, with 12-year warranties against roof penetration. 

SunPower offers multiple purchase and financing packages: full cash purchase, loans and leases through in-house and commercial financing, and power purchase agreements (PPAs), where power is purchased on long-term contracts.

Best Design: Tesla Solar

tesla logo

Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 50 states (but not all ZIP codes)
  • Key Products: Panels, solar roofs, batteries, EV chargers
  • Warranty: Up to 25 years

Pros & Cons

  • Will match any competitor's price

  • Installs its own well-integrated equipment

  • Strong focus on aesthetic quality of products

  • Less aggressive sales tactics

  • Spotty customer service

  • In-house financing not available in all states

Why It Made the List

Tesla is by far the best known of the companies we reviewed, even if its solar division takes a back seat to its electric vehicles. The company is able to keep costs low by doing everything in-house, including designing, producing, and selling its own panels, roof tiles, inverters, Powerwall batteries, monitoring software, and EV chargers. This means Tesla customers will have a well-integrated system run by sophisticated, user-friendly software. You can also use that software to earn extra money in some states by providing services to your local utility company.

As with its vehicles, Tesla places emphasis on the aesthetics of its solar products. Its panels have a low profile and its solar roof tiles are both sleek and unobtrusive, perfect for homeowners looking to keep their home design minimally changed. Your Tesla power ecosystem can also be fully managed on the company's app; you can monitor and control everything for the ultimate level of efficiency.

Tesla's online-only sales tactics are less aggressive than other companies, but so, too, is its customer service. Customers have complained about the company's slow response time. While you can't expect concierge service, Tesla will match any price on its high-quality products, making them the best value on the market.

Best Smart Home System: Elevation

elevation solar logo

Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 5 states
  • Key Products: Panels, batteries, EV chargers, appliances
  • Warranty: 25 years

Pros & Cons 

  • Strong focus on home efficiency

  • Full array of smart-home products

  • All work done in-house

  • Only available in 5 states

  • No leasing or power purchase agreements

Why It Made the List 

Elevation is the smallest solar company on this list, available in only five states (Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, and Texas). But its business model is unique: Elevation focuses on whole-home energy efficiency solutions to reduce your energy consumption. Rather than just installing solar panels, the company does an energy efficiency audit of homes to determine how much energy is being used, how much energy can be saved, and how many solar panels are required. Overall, energy-efficient homes require two to five fewer panels, which can mean thousands of dollars in savings. Plus, you'll enjoy clean energy as well as the comfort of a quieter, smarter, well-insulated home. 

Elevation's warranties are as good as the best, offering 25-year warranties on its products and labor. It installs Energy Star-certified appliances, smart home devices like internet-connected thermostats, insulation, duct sealing, solar panels, batteries, electric vehicle chargers, and a home monitoring system to keep your electricity consumption low. 

While Elevation does not offer solar leases or power purchase agreements, full ownership pays for itself in the end. If you can afford the higher upfront costs and you live in its service area, Elevation is an attractive whole-home solar solution.

Best Range of Products: Sunnova

sunnova logo

Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 40 states and territories
  • Key Products: Panels, batteries, EV chargers, roofing, generators
  • Warranty: 10 and 25 years

Pros & Cons

  • Offers a full array of energy products

  • Very informative website

  • Offers home solar protection on non-Sunnova systems

  • Numerous post-installation consumer complaints

  • Full warranties only at extra cost

Why It Made the List

Sunnova has grown quickly since its founding in 2012 and continues to push the envelope on what solar power can offer its customers. Beyond the standard panels, batteries, and EV chargers, Sunnova also offers roofing services, backup generators, and grid services through virtual power plants. Customers can bundle various technologies: You can just install solar panels, combine them with an extra battery, or go all out with panels, a battery, EV charging, and a generator. There are also two types of protection services (Sunnova Protect and Sunnova Protect Services) that Sunnova customers are automatically opted into and non-customers can purchase. The company also has its eyes set on expanding into microgrids to allow planned residential communities to produce and consume their own power as well as set their own utility rates. 

Sunnova's website offers an extensive explanation of solar products and gives state-by-state information about utility rates, incentives, and opportunities. While we've seen a number of customer complaints about its post-installation service, the company does seem to respond to them quickly.

Best Purchase Options: Palmetto

Palmetto solar panel company logo

Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 20 states
  • Key Products: Panels, batteries
  • Warranties: 10, 12, and 25 years

Pros & Cons

  • Hosts a financing marketplace to drive down costs

  • Offers annual cleaning and inspections

  • Wide choice of equipment

  • Some warranties are shorter than competitors

  • Only subcontracts with local installers

Why It Made the List

Palmetto is one of the largest solar companies in the United States and offers the greatest number of options in terms of products and financing. The company is equipment agnostic: It offers top-quality panels with high-efficiency ratings as well as lower-cost panels with good-but-not-great efficiency. In addition, Palmetto provides a range of service products for monitoring and maintenance, from free basic monitoring to premium priority service. You have the choice of outright purchase, loan payments, a lease option, and a power purchase agreement. And Palmetto operates a finance marketplace that offers 40 different loan products from multiple lenders, allowing you to include energy efficiency expenses or other related home improvements into your loan package.

Palmetto's warranties are not as comprehensive as some of its competitors. It offers only a 10-year warranty on workmanship, a 12-year warranty on some of its inverters, and a 25-year warranty on its panels only guarantees that they will produce 85 percent of their original capacity. The batteries it installs are not weather rated, meaning they will need protection from the elements.

Best Customer Service: Momentum Solar

Momentum Solar logo

Momentum Solar

Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 11 states
  • Key Products: Panels, batteries
  • Warranty: 25 years

Pros & Cons 

  • Excellent warranties

  • Top-notch solar panels from multiple manufacturers

  • Concierge-level customer service

  • Installations limited to 11 states

  • Limited number of home energy-related products

Why It Made the List

Momentum Solar's Concierge Convenience service gives customers a single point of company contact throughout the entire installation process: consultation and a free quote, audit and design, solar panel installation, solar system protection and monitoring, plus the company will assist customers in enrolling in government programs. 

The company's warranties offer all-inclusive, 25-year protection of both equipment and workmanship. Its website is clear and informative, and its mobile app covers both the installation and monitoring processes. While the company's product offerings are limited, they are of high quality, with Tier 1 solar panels and Enphase microinverters, battery storage, and energy management systems. 

Momentum only works in states with supportive solar policies (tax credits and rebates, and net metering programs) to allow solar customers to get full or partial credit from their utility company for surplus energy sent to the grid. Without net metering, the payback time can be prohibitive for many people seeking to go solar. By limiting itself to these states, Momentum is better able to guide its potential customers through the process of taking advantage of these programs.

Best Warranties: ADT Solar

adt solar logo

Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 31 states
  • Key Products: Panels, batteries, EV chargers, energy audits
  • Warranty: 25 years

Pros & Cons 

  • First-class warranties

  • Wide selection of panels

  • Price guarantees

  • No in-house financing

  • Does not serve the northeastern U.S.

Why It Made the List

ADT Solar offers the best warranty protections of any company, though others come close. Its warranty is a comprehensive 25-year plan that covers labor, panels, and inverters, plus a guarantee to pay you $0.10 per kilowatt-hour if your production falls short during that time span.

Known for its home-security systems, ADT bought out SunPro Solar in 2021, the same year that SunPro was ranked No. 2 in Solar Power World as a Top Residential Solar Installer in the U.S. Its products are high quality, and you have a choice of solar panel manufacturers. ADT Solar will also provide you with an audit for energy efficiency to help you lower your energy costs. Although it doesn't offer in-house financing, it will refund the difference between its costs and a quote from a competitor.

Most Informative: Green Home Systems

Green Home Systems Solar Panel Company Logo

Key Specs

  • Nationwide Availability: 10 states
  • Key Products: Panels, solar roofs, batteries, generators
  • Warranty: 25 years on most components

Pros & Cons

  • Quality equipment

  • LG battery storage

  • Ground-mounted options

  • Only 10 states

  • No leases or power purchase agreements

Why It Made the List

It will serve you well to get as much information as possible before contacting any solar company, and Green Home Systems' website provides more information than any other. Its FAQ list answers 25 important questions every potential customer should ask. The specs drill down deeper than any other website we've reviewed. Want to know the temperature coefficient of your panels (an important consideration if you live in a hot climate)? You don't have to wait for the sales pitch for Green Home Systems to tell you. Its Project Map displays 360 different installations, sortable by numerous filters, including descriptions of each project. 

Green Homes Systems uses top-of-the-line American-made solar panels but also its share of imported batteries and panels; it's an authorized partner of Panasonic and LG Electronics. Overall, the company has a whole-home perspective on solar installations, providing generators and battery backups as well as smart electrical panels to monitor and control everything plugged into your home. Even if you don't end up hiring Green Home Systems, its website is a good reference point for what you need to know and what questions you'll want to ask when you do your comparative shopping.

Final Verdict

There is a growing number of solar companies locally and nationally that are able to provide you with reliable, cost-effective solar panels. Some, like Tesla, are known for low rates and high-value aesthetics. Others, like Elevation and ADT, offer complete packages of energy audits, panels, battery storage, and more. Every roof is different, so you'll need to find the right fit for your needs, but in our judgment, SunPower is the best place to start your search. With industry-leading solar panels, excellent warranties, and a host of financing options, SunPower's nearly 40 years of experience is a testament to the quality of its products and the satisfaction of its customers, especially in an industry known for its instability.

Compare the Best Solar Companies

Company Nationwide Availability Financing Options Warranty Key Products In-House Financing?
SunPower Best Overall All 50 states, varies by ZIP code Purchase, lease, loan, Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) 25 years Panels, solar roofs, batteries, EV chargers Yes
Tesla Solar Best Design All 50 states, varies by ZIP code Purchase, loans Up to 25 years Panels, solar roofs, batteries, EV chargers Yes, but only in some states
Elevation Best Smart Home System 5 states Purchase, loans 25 years Panels, batteries, EV chargers, appliances No
Sunnova Best Range of Products 40 states and territories Purchase, loans, lease, PPA 10 and 25  years Panels, batteries, EV chargers, roofing, generators Yes
Palmetto Best Purchase Options 20 states Purchase, loans, lease, PPA 10, 12, and 25 years Panels, batteries Yes
Momentum Solar
Best Customer Service
11 states Purchase, loans, lease, PPA 25 years Panels, batteries Yes
ADT Solar Best Warranties  31 states Purchase, loans 25 years Panels, batteries, EV chargers, energy audits No
Green Home Systems Most Informative 10 states Purchase, loans 25 years on most components Panels, solar roofs, batteries, generators Yes

How to Choose a Solar Company Near You

Only a few companies are truly national. Many local companies with good reputations can offer you faster service and customer support, but their prices may be higher. Whether local or national, here are key factors to consider:

  • Longevity: The solar industry isn't that old, so longevity is relative. The "solar roller coaster" has led to businesses coming in and out of existence relatively quickly. Buyouts and mergers happen frequently as well. Longevity might best be measured by the number of installations a company has done rather than the number of years it has been in business.
  • Certification and Insurance: Installation of electrical equipment on a roof requires in-depth knowledge of electricity and engineering, and is fraught with danger. Make sure your installer has the proper certifications required in your state and has workplace insurance, which protects both you and the installer.
  • Non-Roof Options: Don't be surprised if your installer says your roof does not get enough sun for your solar system to ever pay for itself. A solar installer may have community solar programs that allow you to either purchase panels installed off-site or pay a monthly fee to use the electricity they produce, with nothing installed on your roof.
  • Financing: National solar companies often offer their own financing. As with car loans, you might find better financing at a financial institution that provides government-backed, low-interest "green loans" to customers.   
  • Panel Efficiency: Some solar panels cost more but are more efficient at producing electricity per square meter, while others are less expensive but also less efficient. For economic reasons, different installers may only stock a single type. If you have a lot of roof space, efficiency is less important than if you need to get as much energy out of every inch of the rooftop. Also important is the temperature coefficient of your panels, which estimates panel's efficiencies in higher temperatures. Panels work better in cold climates, so the temperature coefficient will matter more if you live in a warmer climate.
  • Inverters: There are two types of inverters: string inverters and microinverters. Some companies offer both. If all your panels receive relatively the same amount of sunlight all day, then string inverters will save you money. If you have a roof where panels will be partially shaded during parts of the day, micro-inverters are a big benefit. String inverters only produce as much energy as the weakest solar panel—if one panel goes out, the entire system goes out. Micro-inverters cost more, but they work in parallel, where each panel contributes electricity independently—the entire system isn't dependent on its weakest link.
  • Aesthetics: There are two main types of solar panels: black monocrystalline panels and blue polycrystalline ones. Your solar installer may only stock one or the other, so the choice between black or blue panels may influence your choice of installers.
  • Installation Time Frame: How long do you have to wait until your panels are installed? Solar panels are an excellent way to reduce your energy bills, so time is money.

Why Are Solar Products Considered Environmentally Friendly?

Rooftop solar panels emit no carbon emissions or air pollutants when they generate electricity, but they do have environmental impacts, including the use of hazardous materials, the consumption of energy in the manufacturing process, and their ultimate disposal. The question is: How much impact do solar products have compared to the alternatives? Various studies comparing different energy systems from cradle to grave have demonstrated that the lifetime emissions of solar panels are lower than all other forms of energy production other than wind and nuclear (the latter of which has a waste disposal problem).

A solar panel has an estimated lifetime of 30 years: As the panels on people's roofs begin to be removed and replaced, recycling programs will need to be in place to keep the panels' toxic materials from ending up in landfills and waterways. In 2023, only the state of Washington requires solar panels to be recycled. Other states and perhaps the federal government will need to implement similar mandates.

Cost Breakdown: Solar Equipment & Installation

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that the cost for the installation of a 22-panel rooftop solar system (enough to power the average American household) is $2.71 per watt. This amounts to around $17,900 for the entirety of the installation, before any federal, state, and local incentives, which can significantly reduce the price. This includes installing solar panels, racks that raise them off of your roof, wiring to connect them to your home electrical system, an inverter that converts the DC electricity that panels produce to the AC that your house uses, and all the nuts, bolts, and other hardware that hold it all together. 

Solar panels themselves cost from $300 to $400 per panel, while an inverter can cost $1,000-$2,000, constituting roughly half of your system. The remainder is "soft costs" like permitting, inspections, and labor. These costs can vary widely from company to company, which is why shopping for the best installer can save you a bundle.

What Are the Incentives for Going Solar?

Beyond the environmental benefits, solar panels can pay for themselves in as little as four to five years and as long as 20, depending on a variety of factors that include state and federal policies. After that, your electricity is free. 

Installing solar on your roof also gives you energy independence. For example, a home battery system can continue to power your house even when grid power goes out. Electrify everything and you can fuel your car, heat your home, mow your lawn, and clear snow from your driveway using the power of the sun.

How Do Solar Warranties Work?

Solar installations come with warranties for labor, materials, and performance. Warranties on solar panels range from 10 to 25 years and cover manufacturing defects, wear and tear, environmental damage, and other material shortcomings. For performance, a warranty from leading manufacturers guarantees 80 to 90 percent efficiency at 25 years.

Inverters, which play the crucial role of converting electricity from DC to AC, often have 10-year to 25-year warranties. As the workhorses of a solar installation, they are more likely to break down than the panels themselves.

Any quality solar installer will offer a warranty on their workmanship—if they don't, look elsewhere. Lengths of the warranty vary from company to company, but poor installation usually becomes apparent within the first few months, so the warranty need not extend to the life of the panels. Your solar installer can potentially go out of business if your equipment is still under warranty. Make sure your workmanship warranty also includes a roof penetration guarantee, meaning, your roof won't leak.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Hard Is It to Switch to Solar Power?

    Experienced installers can put panels on a simple roof in a day. As described below, the permitting process takes time and is often the most frustrating part of a solar installation. Your solar installer handles the permitting and inspection process for you.

    Most solar systems are tied to the electrical grid, allowing you to send power into the grid during the day and draw power from the grid at night. (A home battery system can allow you to store solar electricity so that you use less grid electricity.)

    With ownership of your own power generation comes responsibility. You should monitor your electricity generation to make sure the system is working properly and clean the panels if needed, but otherwise, with well-established technology and no moving parts, solar panels are maintenance free.

  • Do You Need a Permit to Install Solar Panels?

    Not every state requires permits to install solar panels, but your local municipality may. You will most likely need a few permits and approvals to install solar panels. This can take more time than the installation itself, but many municipalities that have adopted the SolarAPP+ system can speed up the permitting process by 90 percent. Also, check with your homeowner's insurance provider to make sure your panels are covered.

    Building permit: Your roof needs the structural integrity to support the weight of solar panels, so a building permit from your local government is often necessary. 

    Electrical inspection: Your system will most likely need a local electrical inspector to verify that your system is up to code. If your rooftop system is tied to the electric grid (as most are), your local utility will send a technician out to inspect your system before connecting it to the grid.

  • How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

    Just as cars usually outlive their warranties, so too do solar panels. Solar panels slowly lose efficiency (converting the sun's energy into electricity) at a rate of about 0.5 percent a year. After 30 years, you may still get 85 percent of the electricity you did when they were first installed. At that point, however, you may have lower electricity needs if you have retired, your energy-hungry children have left home, or you’ve simplified your life in other ways. If not, you may need to replace some panels, or—if roof space allows—add a panel or two to supplement the decrease in electricity generation.

  • What States Have a Solar Tax Credit?

    Beyond the federal tax credit provided by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, many states and localities have a variety of incentives for installing rooftop solar. They can include income tax credits, exemptions from property tax assessments, low-interest loans, grants, rebates, and sales tax reductions. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is an excellent resource, but your state energy office can also supply information. For example, your local utility may offer discounts or rebates on an EV charger, as they are happy to help you switch from gasoline to electricity to power your car.

    Many states also have net metering programs that allow solar customers to get up to 100 percent credit for the energy that they send into the grid, which offsets the electricity that they draw from the grid. (Search “net metering” in DSIRE for your state.)

    Finally, many states have regulations that create renewable energy credits (RECs) for every unit of energy you produce. You can then sell these RECs as part of a carbon-offset market, lowering the overall cost of your solar installation.

    Your solar installer should be aware of all potential incentives and be able to walk you through the process of applying for them, but it pays to do your homework.

  • Does Solar Power Increase Your Property Value?

    An oft-cited report from Zillow states that solar panels increase your home's value by 4 percent, which is $8,000 on a $200,000 home—perhaps half the cost of the solar installation. But as with real estate more generally, location matters. Solar panels on your roof are likely to be more valuable in states where solar power is abundant and environmental consciousness is higher rather than those where both are lower. 

  • Do Solar Panels Get Damaged Easily?

    Unless your area is subject to powerful hail storms or tornadoes, solar panels are quite rugged. They are engineered to withstand a wide range of weather conditions. Installed correctly, they are as wind resistant as your roof—one more reason to choose an experienced installer. 

    The most maintenance you're likely to need to do is a regular cleaning to increase their efficiency, especially if you live by the seashore, in an area where it doesn't rain frequently, or have bird feeders nearby. Use water only, and treat your panels like you would a pair of glasses: Any scratch reduces their efficiency.


We reviewed and compared 15 multistate solar companies, some of which did not make this list. Among the honorable mentions are Sunrun, Blue Raven Solar, Trinity, Vivint, and Sunflower. All of the companies operate in the nation's largest solar markets but none cover every ZIP code in the country. Rather than only comparing similar-sized companies that all provide the same products, we looked for both comprehensive services and unique ones to highlight.

We evaluated each company's website to see how much information a customer could obtain before making contact and what information was left for the sales pitch. All of the companies took a "contact us" approach to pricing, since each installation is different, prices for materials vary from state to state, and local labor costs make up a significant portion of the cost estimate.

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  1. Our World in Data. "What are the safest and cleanest sources of energy?" https://ourworldindata.org/safest-sources-of-energy

  2. Rabaia, Malek Kamal Hussien, et al. "Environmental impacts of solar energy systems: A review." Science of The Total Environment, 754 (2021), 141989. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141989

  3. Jordan, Dirk C. et al. "Compendium of photovoltaic degradation rates." Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, 24:7 (2016), 978-989. https://doi.org/10.1002/pip.2744

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