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Best Solar Panel Companies in California 2024

California stands as a prominent figure in the solar industry nationwide, and it’s no wonder why. California ranks fifth in the nation for annual sunlight, enjoying more sunny days than many other regions. As a result, an impressive 27% of the state’s electricity stems from solar power. 

If you’re contemplating installing solar panels in California, navigating through the myriad of options can be overwhelming. We made a list of the top solar companies in California. This will assist you in finding the best one for your needs.

10 Best Solar Panel Companies in California

Here is a list of 10 best soalr panel companies in California which provides residential, Commercial and solar financing options 
 

Best Solar Panel Companies

1: Solar Earth Inc

Solar Earth Inc. is a trusted family-owned business specializing in residential and commercial solar installations in California and surrounding areas. With years of experience, they prioritize customer satisfaction and exceptional results in every project they undertake.

With more than 15 years of experience in the solar industry they offer their services in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Lompoc, Santa Ynez Valley, Los Alamos, Santa Maria and more. Partnering with S.M.A, probably one of the best American inverts, they also offer 25 years warranty.

Solar Earth provides different payment options like cash purchases, loans, leases, and power purchase agreements (PPAs). They also offer in-house loan financing, eliminating the need for a third-party lender. You can find more information about Solar Earth’s financing options on their website.

Services Offered by Solar Earth Inc:

  1. Commercial Solar Installation 
  2. Residential Solar Installation
  3. Solar Consultancy 
  4. Solar Tracking Systems
  5. Solar Financing 
  6. Complete Solar Installation with Battery Backups
Contact Details & Location:

Phone Number: (805) 691-8000

Buellton, Orange County, CA 93427

Google Business Profile Link: Solar Earth INC.

Reviews on Google Business and BBB

Happy customers often praise Solar Earth for their substantial savings and expertise, as seen in positive reviews. They also appreciate the clear communication. However, some customers mention delayed installations and issues with maintenance services in negative reviews. Additionally, Solar Earth’s Google My Business page showcases these reviews, helping potential customers make informed decisions. 

Furthermore, BBB declared them the recipient of the Best Customer Service Award in 2018 with no outstanding reports.

2: SunPower

SunPower believes in making clean energy and storage accessible to everyone. They offer all-in-one residential solutions, along with personalized customer service and an industry-leading warranty. SunPower has nearly 40 years of experience in solar energy. The only U.S.-based company that has been in business longer than its 25-year warranty.

Established in Silicon Valley in 1985, SunPower boasts a diverse portfolio of leading residential and solar storage solutions. SunPower is an industry leader in solar sustainability and social responsibility, with over 1,000 patents for solar innovation.

SunPower offers a variety of services:

  1. Installing solar panels
  2. Installing backup batteries
  3. Installing electric vehicle (EV) chargers
  4. Providing a mobile app
  5. Monitoring your system\’s performance

Adress and Contact Details:

Richmond, CA 94804

1-510-540-0550

Google my Business Profile: SunPower Corporation 

Reviews on BBB

Positive reviews of SunPower highlight the significant savings from their panels and commend their technical expertise and clear communication. On the other hand, negative reviews often mention delayed installations and challenges with maintenance services.

3: SunRun

Sunrun personalizes the solar installation process with custom solar systems. They assess your home, roof, and sunlight exposure to determine system cost and energy needs. Technicians also inform you about government incentives in California to save money on panels.

Given California’s high electricity rates, solar panels help homeowners avoid hefty bills. Sunrun offers solar leases to make energy savings accessible without the large upfront cost of buying a system.

As one of the pioneers in solar leasing, Sunrun offers prepaid and monthly options in California. In addition, they offer a service package that includes an extended system warranty for 10 years. This warranty covers free equipment replacement and repairs, as well as proactive monitoring and panel insurance.

Sunrun offers the following services:

  1. Solar panel installation
  2. EV charging system installation
  3. Access to a mobile app
  4. Optional ongoing service package
  5. Solar System monitoring

In addition to Sunrun’s leasing options, you have the choice to buy a solar system outright or utilize financing. Financing options may include no money down for eligible individuals based on their credit score. Sunrun offers immediate online quotes, however, for more accurate estimates, a virtual or face-to-face consultation is necessary.

Address and Service Areas:

Sunrun operates in over 175 cities across 22 states and Puerto Rico, with 4,000 employees brightening homes with solar energy every day. Our local presence is expanding, so keep an eye out for us in your neighborhood.

Contact number: (833) 324-5886

Google My Business: SunRun Solar

BBB Reviews

Positive feedback for Sunrun praises the dependability of its backup battery systems and the adaptability of its solar leases. However, customers in negative reviews often mention slow service and communication issues when they need repairs.

4: Palmetto Solar

Palmetto Solar is one of the top solar companies in California. They offer a wide range of solar system equipment. This is why they are well-known in the industry. They base their reputation on the quality of their products and services.

The company manages every aspect of the installation process, including custom design, permitting, and applying for California solar incentives. Their setups include high-efficiency black roof-mounted panels, a conventional inverter, and a link to the electricity grid.

Palmetto Solar provides a standard 25-year output warranty, ensuring system performance efficiency. Additionally, they offer an optional Peace of Mind Protection Plan, covering labor for part replacement or servicing. This plan guarantees on-time service, discounts on pest control, and maintenance for solar panels, including dismantling and reassembly.

Palmetto Solar offers the following services:

  1. Solar panel installation
  2. Audits for energy efficiency
  3. Solar power battery installation
  4. Solar Energy storage solutions
  5. Cleaning, detaching, and reinstalling panels
  6. Assurance Protection Scheme
  7. Pest abatement services
  8. System monitoring

Palmetto provides four payment options: cash payment, solar loan, solar lease, or a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Contact Details:

(855) 339-1831

help@palmetto.com

Google my Business: Palmetto Solar

Feedback on BBB

Positive feedback for Palmetto Solar emphasizes the firm\’s professionalism throughout the installation phase and transparent communication. However, negative feedback often mentions long delays before installation and slow responses from the customer support team.

5: NRG Clean Power

NRG Clean Power stands out from other companies because it offers a lifetime guarantee on their work. In addition, they provide a 25-year guarantee on their equipment. Recognized as a REC Premier Certified Solar Installer, NRG utilizes top-tier solar panels for homes.

NRG offers three options for batteries and They offer these options in compliance with California’s Net Energy Metering 3.0 (NEM 3.0) program.

This initiative reduces fees for exporting solar power to the grid. You can use these batteries to store extra solar energy. This way, you can keep all its value for yourself. Instead of selling it back to the grid at lower rates.

Furthermore, NRG Clean Power provides roofing services, ensuring seamless installation without the hassle of coordinating with another company. This integrated approach eliminates concerns about conflicting warranty terms and ensures a smooth transition to solar energy.

NRG Clean Power provides the following services:

  1. Solar Installation
  2. Solar poer battery installation
  3. EV charger installation
  4. Roofing services
  5. Cleaning of solar panels
  6. Complimentary online consultation
  7. Installation of heat pump
  8. System monitoring

Contact Number:

800.698.6627

Google my Business: NRG Clean Power

Reviews on BBB

Customers of NRG Clean Power have the option to purchase a system using cash or a solar loan.

Positive feedback for NRG Clean Power often emphasizes the usefulness of their sales staff, transparent communication, and affordable rates. On the other hand, negative feedback frequently emphasizes prolonged installation processes and extended wait periods.

6: Momentum Solar

Switching to solar energy with Momentum Solar is a breeze. They handle everything from design to financing, making the transition easy and engaging. Their California-based team helps navigate the state’s solar policies for maximum savings. Momentum also installs solar batteries, crucial as net metering policies change.

With a wide selection of solar panels, you can customize your system to fit your needs. Momentum may cost a little more, but their top-notch quality and service make it a worthwhile investment.

Momentum provides the following services for its solar customers:

  1. Solar panel installation
  2. EV charging system installation
  3. Access to a mobile app
  4. Optional service package
  5. System monitoring
  6. Energy efficiency audits

Customers of Momentum Solar have several payment options. They can purchase solar panels through a lump-sum payment or a solar loan. Alternatively, they can lease panels or enter into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Leases and PPAs involve third-party ownership. This could make customers ineligible for state and federal solar incentives. Being aware of this is important.

Feedback on BBB

Positive feedback for Momentum Solar emphasizes its cost-effective solar panel choices, supportive sales staff, and transparent communication. Negative feedback often mentions delays in the initial setup, slow customer service responses, and pushy sales tactics.

Google my Business: Momentum Solar

7: Elevation

Operating in California since 2014, Elevation is committed to bringing solar energy to homes. Through its Elevated Home service, the company transforms entire houses into sustainable and energy-efficient spaces.

Elevation begins with an energy audit of your home, followed by the creation of a custom solar energy system. They offer monocrystalline solar panels, microinverters, EV chargers, solar batteries, and energy efficiency services like duct sealing and insulation.

All Elevation’s products are Energy Star-certified and meet EPA standards. Elevation does not list pricing on the website, but offers a price-match guarantee to ensure competitive rates.

Elevation Solar offers these services:

  1. Installation of solar panels
  2. Installation of solar batteries
  3. Installation of EV chargers
  4. Sealing of ducts
  5. Insulation services
  6. Elevated Home service

Elevation provides two modes of payment: complete payment in advance or a solar loan. If you can’t lease or use a PPA for solar panels, it’s better to buy them with cash or a loan. This way, you’ll save money in the long term and have full ownership of the system.

Contact Number:

(602) 675 – 5402

Google my Business: Elevation Solar 

Feedback on BBB

Compliments for Elevation highlight the firm’s transparent communication, streamlined installation procedure, and contentment with the reductions on electricity bills. On the other hand, criticisms frequently refer to sluggish replies and inadequate follow-through from the customer support team.

8: Tesla Solar

We recommend Tesla for its widespread availability. Tesla sells solar panels nationwide and aims to provide competitive prices. They even offer price matching to ensure you get the best deal.

With a history spanning nearly 15 years, Tesla Solar has become well-known in the industry. Their products are now available through third-party solar companies across the country.

We gave Tesla a rating of 4.6 out of five stars for various reasons. The company excels in affordability and availability. Tesla\’s solar roofs provide homeowners with a stylish alternative to traditional solar panels.

Tesla’s solar panels are popular in California. However, we deduct some points because of mixed reviews on customer service. Additionally, there are concerns about third-party installation services. Tesla relies on external companies for installations, so your experience with Tesla products depends on the seller.

Tesla offers a range of services and payment options for its solar products:

  1. High-efficiency solar panels
  2. Solar roofs
  3. Solar batteries
  4. 24/7 system performance monitoring app

Tesla’s solar panels are sleek and low-profile, appealing to homeowners seeking a discreet solar system.

Contact number:

Google my Business: Tesla Solar 

Reviews on BBB

You have different payment options for solar panels if you are a Tesla customer. You can pay with cash, get a solar loan, or choose a power purchase agreement (PPA) or solar lease. These options are available for existing Tesla customers.

Tesla Solar has earned high ratings on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), reflecting positive experiences among customers. However, it’s important to note that Tesla does not provide installation services. Therefore, your installation experience will depend on the solar installation company you choose in California.

9: Solar Negotiators

Solar Negotiators is our top choice for maintenance services, starting in 2013 and serving California with solar installation services. Ideal for homeowners in California seeking guidance in installing solar panels. They offer free resources and personalized, in-house designs tailored to your home and lifestyle.

We rated Solar Negotiators 3.9 out of 5. They use Aurora Solar to create custom designs.

This allows you to preview your solar installation before it is completed. Through Aurora Solar, they analyze utility data, property details, and shade analysis to ensure an optimal plan.

Solar Negotiators has received nearly five stars from more than 1,300 Google reviews. They provide extensive assistance for inquiries related to solar energy. However, they limit their services to specific regions in California.

Solar Negotiators provides visual modeling, solar panel installation, maintenance, battery storage, roofing, and EV charging services. They offer various payment options through third-party lenders, including a $0 down payment, or you can pay in cash.

Locations:

Fresno Headquarters: 4603 W Jennifer Ave, Fresno, CA 93722

Bakersfield Warehouse: 19456 Colombo St, Bakersfield, CA 93308

San Diego Office: 10620 Treena St Suite 230, San Diego, CA 92131

San Diego Office: 600 S Andreasen Dr Suite A, Escondido, CA 92029

Contact Details:

559-934-5778

info@solarnegotiators.com

Google my Business: Solar Negotiators 

Reviews on BBB

Customers who selected Solar Negotiators appreciate the transparency, lack of pressure, and clear communication from the sales consultants. They also found the installation process to be smooth and worthwhile.

10. AMECO Solar 

Established in 1974, AMECO Solar & Roofing has been a front-runner in renewable energy solutions for nearly half a century. With an extensive track record spanning decades, they have solidified their position as the leading solar panel company in California.
 
Their commitment revolves around delivering state-of-the-art solar technology, premium quality products and services, unmatched efficiency, and utmost customer satisfaction. Backed by years of experience and an exemplary safety record, AMECO Solar & Roofing stands out as the premier choice for solar panel installation services in California. 
 
C‍ontact Details:
(888) 695-1205
info@AmecoSolar.com
Google my Business: AMECO Solar 

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Solar Installation Company?

When considering going solar, keep these four factors in mind:

  1. Solar system size: Determine the right size of the solar panel system for your home to meet your energy needs.
  2. Additional system components: Consider other components like inverters, batteries, or solar roofs, and ensure your installer offers them.
  3. Warranty and guarantees: Look for companies with comprehensive 25-year warranties and workmanship guarantees for peace of mind.
  4. Solar financing and payment options: Compare payment plans, including leases, loans, and PPAs, to find what suits your budget.

How to look for the best California Solar Company?

When looking for a best solar company, consider one with fair pricing. In California, a 6 kW system typically costs around $15,060. To ensure reliability, read verified reviews on platforms like the BBB and Trustpilot. Considering California’s unique circumstances, here are some tailored tips when evaluating solar providers.

To find the best solar company in California, consider these key factors:

Energy storage options: 

If you are installing a home solar system in California, participating in net metering may not be the best option. This is because of the updated NEM 3.0 policy. This policy reduces payments for excess solar energy sent to the grid. Instead, consider storing excess energy in a battery bank for later use.

Look for a solar company experienced in battery systems and California’s installation requirements. NEM 3.0 makes solar battery systems a better investment than standalone solar panels.

Knowledge of incentive programs: 

Ensure your solar installer helps you claim all available incentives in your area. For instance, California offers rebates through the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) for adding energy storage systems. Seek a solar company that can assist in qualifying for this incentive, significantly reducing costs.

Experience with state codes and regulations: 

California’s building codes don’t just affect new buildings. They also apply to home improvement projects, such as installing solar panel systems. To expedite project approval and avoid permitting delays, choose a solar company familiar with local codes.

How Much Does Solar Installation Cost in California?

In California, the average cost per watt of solar panels is $2.51.

We asked 1,000 homeowners with solar panels how much they paid. Most said they spent between $15,000 and $20,000. However, for residential solar systems, total costs can exceed $25,000, inclusive of installation expenses.

Are Solar Panels Worth It in California?

California leads the nation in installed solar capacity. With abundant sunlight year-round and substantial solar incentives, solar panels are generally a smart investment in the state. Moreover, given California’s higher-than-average traditional energy costs, switching to renewable energy can result in significant savings.

However, solar may not be suitable for everyone. If shade covers your home’s roof, your solar system may not produce enough energy to fully offset your usage. Consult with a solar installer to determine if solar is the right choice for your situation.

Pros:

Because of California’s expensive energy prices, there’s a bigger opportunity to save money on utility bills by using solar panels.

The federal government offers a 30% tax credit for solar energy. In California, there are also additional incentives available. These incentives can significantly lower the upfront cost of installing solar panels.

Solar panels can save the average household almost 17,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

Cons:

California’s new net metering program, NEM 3.0, lowers the amount homeowners can make from selling extra solar energy.

Solar panels in California are cheaper than the national average, but they still have a high upfront cost.

Solar Incentives in California

Several California tax credits and incentives are available to help reduce the cost of your solar investment. Major utilities like SCE, SCG, SDG&E, and PG&E do not offer incentives for solar panels. However, smaller municipal utilities and electric cooperatives may provide them.

Look into these options if you are interested in installing solar panels. These smaller companies may have programs in place to help offset the cost of solar panel installation. Be sure to research and compare different incentives available from various providers.

Federal Solar Tax Credit

The federal tax credit is also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Available nationwide. The credit will be available until 2034.

When you install a home solar system, you can claim 30% of the total cost as a federal tax credit. For instance, by installing a 6 kW solar system in California for $15,060, you can qualify for a $4,518 tax credit. This would bring down your net system cost to $10,542.

Net Metering in California

California once had a good net metering policy. This policy paid residents almost the full value of extra solar energy they sent to the grid. However, with the introduction of NEM 3.0 in April 2023, net metering tariffs have significantly decreased.

Consequently, storing excess energy in batteries now makes more financial sense than selling it to a utility company. It’s important to note that NEM 3.0 does not apply to past solar owners. Those who qualified for the old rates can still keep them.

Other State Solar Initiatives

California offers two major incentive programs that can benefit solar panel and home battery owners:

  1. Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP): This program provides $150 per kilowatt-hour for battery systems in the service territories of SCE, SCG, SDG&E, and PG&E.
  2. Property tax exclusion: The state’s property tax exemption means you won’t have to pay additional property taxes due to installing a solar system. This exemption is available for systems installed before Jan. 1, 2025.

Additionally, California offers the DC-SASH and Equity Resilience Incentive programs exclusively for low-income households that meet specific requirements.

Solar Trends in California

California has long been at the forefront of adopting new technologies like solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and battery storage. Despite emerging competition from states like Texas and Florida, California remains the leader in solar capacity. Here are some key facts about California’s solar industry:

  • California boasts 41,675 megawatts (MW) of installed solar capacity, surpassing all other states. For comparison, Texas and Florida combined have 31,413 MW.
  • Over the next five years, California plans to add 21,002 MW of solar capacity, a 50% increase from current levels.
  • The state hosts the largest solar industry in the U.S., with over 2,400 solar companies contributing to a total investment of $92.8 billion.
  • Solar energy has generated 78,116 jobs in California.
  • In April 2023, California implemented NEM 3.0, a revised net metering policy that reduces tariffs for excess energy production. However, this presents an opportunity for increased savings through battery storage.

Take Advantage of California Specific Solar Incentives and Rebates

In California, there are several solar incentives available to residents to make installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems more affordable and promote clean energy production. 

Choosing the Right Solar Equipment

When comparing different types of solar equipment, it’s essential to consider factors such as price, quality, and energy output. Solar panel systems are typically sized by watt, and the wattage output varies depending on the type of solar panels used.

In California, where sunlight is abundant, homeowners may opt for cheaper solar panels with lower wattage output, such as older 350W models, instead of cutting-edge 400W panels. Alternatively, they can choose high-efficiency PV panels that produce more power, allowing them to install fewer panels overall. This approach can lead to cost savings while still meeting energy needs.

For homeowners not living in areas prone to power outages, investing in a solar battery installation may not be necessary. However, in regions like California, where utility companies like PG&E frequently implement public safety power shut-offs during wildfire risks, having a solar battery can provide backup power and enhance energy resilience.

Explore Various Solar Companies in California

California boasts nearly 900 registered solar installers, offering you a wide array of choices for your solar needs. In this article, we’ve highlighted the top 10 solar installers in California. Feel free to reach out to each company for a quote and compare them to ensure you’re getting the best deal. If you receive a quote from one company but prefer another, inquire about price matching options.

Consider Cash Payment (If Feasible)

The payment method you select for your solar panel system can impact the overall installation cost. Opting to pay in cash, if feasible, is often advisable. While cash payments necessitate higher upfront costs, they result in the greatest savings over time since they don’t entail paying interest. Solar loans, on the other hand, offer more immediate affordability but result in slightly lower savings due to accrued interest over time.

Fortunately, California offers numerous financing programs to enhance the affordability and accessibility of solar for most homeowners. For instance, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs are available to the majority of homeowners, reducing financing costs and upfront payments for solar systems.

It’s important to note that significant savings in California typically require coupling solar panels with batteries, which can substantially increase installation costs. Despite this, solar remains a worthwhile investment in California, albeit with a higher initial cost.

Will Solar Increase Your Home Value In California?

A study by Zillow revealed that homes with solar installations typically sell for about 4.1% more on average than homes without solar. Specifically, in Riverside, California, homes with solar energy systems sold for approximately $9,930 above market value.

Additionally, a study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that for each kilowatt of solar installed, home resale value increased by nearly $6,000.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth going solar in California?

Absolutely! Whether you reside in the state capital of Sacramento or further down in Southern California, going solar offers both potential energy savings and contributes to cleaner energy.

With abundant sun exposure and a plethora of tax incentives and rebates, California stands out as one of the prime states for installing residential solar power systems. Additionally, incorporating other solar technologies like backup batteries can ensure uninterrupted power supply during outages.

What is the best solar company to go with in California?

While our list of the best solar companies in California serves as a valuable starting point, your specific needs and preferences will ultimately determine the right choice for you. For instance, while Solar Earth Inc tops our list based on research, if you prioritize working with a local California company, Solar Negotiators might be a more suitable option for you.

Does California have a solar tax credit for 2024?

California does not provide its own solar tax credit. However, homeowners in California can take advantage of the federal solar tax credit, which offers a 30% tax credit. This federal tax credit can be used to reduce the cost of installing a solar panel system in California.

What is the average return on solar panels?

A typical photovoltaic (PV) system in California can yield a return on investment of around 20% in the first year. However, this return on investment could be even higher due to the state’s abundant sunlight and various solar incentives and rebates.v