Dan Simms

Written By

Dan Simms

Dan Simms

Written By


Dan Simms worked in real estate management for five years before using his experience to help property owners maintain their own homes. He got his master’s degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, and he now enjoys sharing his knowledge about homeownership and DIY projects with others on Today’s Homeowner. When he’s not writing, he’s usually outdoors with his wife and his dog, enjoying mountain biking, skiing, and hiking.

Reviewed By

Roxanne Downer

Reviewed By

Roxanne Downer


Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes & Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

Updated On

April 26, 2023

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    With its incredible, almost-always-sunny weather, California is one of the best places in the country to install solar panels. Since the solar industry is rapidly growing in California, the abundance of solar installers can be intimidating to navigate, especially since it’s wise to do extensive research before you choose an installer for your solar project. That’s why we put together this list of the best solar companies in California, as well as a guide on what to look for when you’re shopping around.

    Get free quotes from solar panel installers in California:

    Top Solar Companies in California

    California is the country’s number one state for solar energy, with an estimated 1.5 million solar projects generating a combined 13,000 MW. If you want to hop on the solar bandwagon but aren’t sure which solar company is right for you, this article is for you. Below you’ll find a comprehensive guide covering the ten best solar companies in California.

    Compare the Best California Solar Companies

    The table below provides a quick look at our lineup of the best solar companies in California. We’ll include additional information on each company further down.

    CompanyOur TakeOur RatingBBB RatingWarrantyIn-House InstallationCost
    Momentum SolarBest Customer Service9.8A+25 years for equipment and workmanship Yes$$$$
    Palmetto Solar Best Customization Options9.7A+25 years for equipment, ten years for workmanshipYes$$$
    TeslaBest Technology9.5B25 years for equipment, ten years overallNo$$
    SunLuxBest Regional Installer9.4A+25 years for parts and laborYes$$$$
    ADT SolarBest Solar Warranty9.3A-25 years for parts and workmanshipYes$$$
    NRG Clean Power Outstanding Local Provider9.2A+25 years for labor, variable warranty for equipment Yes$$$
    SunrunBest for Leasing9.5A-25 years for leased equipment, ten years for workmanshipSometimes$$
    Freedom ForeverOutstanding Warranty9.6A+25-year performance guarantee, manufacturer’s warranty for equipmentNo$$$
    SunPowerHighest Efficiency Panels9.8A+25 years for equipment, workmanship, and efficiencySometimes$$$$
    Stellar SolarOutstanding Regional Installer9.6A+25 years for equipment and workmanshipYes$$$

    Momentum Solar

    Momentum Solar is a privately-owned installation company founded in New Jersey in 2009. The company has grown in the past decade and now provides solar services to 11 states across the country, including California. Momentum Solar installs high-quality panels and battery backups and offers outstanding customer service via its unique Concierge Service.

    Best Customer Service
    Momentum Solar

    Pros & Cons


    • Excellent customer service
    • Values transparency
    • Solid warranties on all products
    • Familiar with California solar laws and permits


    • Product selection is good, but small

    Momentum Solar Cost, Warranty, & Services

    Momentum Solar’s prices are competitive, but on the high side, especially when considering the relatively limited services the company provides. However, most Momentum customers are willing to pay more for the company’s streamlined installation process and top-notch customer service.

    • Average Cost: The average cost of installing solar panels with Momentum Solar is around $20,000. For comparison, the statewide average for systems between 5 kW and 7kW is between $14,000 to $19,000, making Momentum a bit more expensive than the competition on average.
    • Warranty: Momentum values its customers, and that is evident in the outstanding warranties it offers on all its solar products. The company provides 25-year warranties on equipment and workmanship, giving its customers peace of mind.
    • Solar Services: Momentum Solar’s weakest offering is its services. The company provides solar panel installation and battery backup installation but doesn’t offer more advanced options.
    • Financing Options: Momentum Solar offers several flexible payment options, including solar loans, solar leases, and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Customers can also pay for their panels in cash.
    • Specials or Incentives Offered: Momentum Solar has a Family Referral Plan, although the details are not posted on the company’s website.
    • In-House or Contracted Installations: Momentum Solar is an end-to-end solar company, so they handle the entire process, including installation, in-house.
    • Solar Equipment Brands Offered: Momentum Solar does not disclose what panels it uses; however, the company is on record saying that it only uses Tier 1 panels. Momentum uses Enphase energy storage. Customers can choose between the smaller 3.36 kWh Encharge 3 or the higher capacity 10.08 kWh Encharge 10 systems.
    • Partnerships: Momentum is partnered with Enphase, where it gets all its microinverters and batteries. Many of its installers are also certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

    Read More: Momentum Solar Review

    Palmetto Solar

    Palmetto Solar is one of the nation’s largest residential solar installers and is known for offering a wide range of flexible service options. This flexibility makes it the perfect solar company for many Californians, an impressive feat given California’s immense size and geographical variability. A unique feature of Palmetto’s business structure is its advanced protection plan, which offers customers extra monitoring and maintenance options for an additional fee.

    Best Customization Options

    Pros & Cons


    • High-quality solar equipment
    • Excellent monitoring options
    • Easy to use website and mobile app
    • Good financing options


    • Monitoring is only available as an add-on
    • Workmanship warranty is lacking

    Palmetto Solar Cost, Warranty, & Services

    Palmetto Solar’s prices are competitive, although customers who want access to monitoring and maintenance discounts have to sign up for the company’s protection plan, which raises monthly payments.

    • Average Cost: Palmetto Solar is fairly priced, with an average cost approximately equal to the California average. Unfortunately, the company’s website doesn’t provide detailed pricing information, so you’ll have to get a free quote if you want specifics.
    • Warranty: Palmetto Solar offers a 25-year warranty on equipment, but the workmanship warranty is only good for ten years. Palmetto uses Enphase inverters that come with a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty or SolarEdge inverters that have a 12-year warranty.
    • Solar Services: Palmetto does solar panel installation, battery backup installation, solar monitoring, and maintenance, as well as detailed pre-installation surveys and designs.
    • Financing Options: Palmetto customers can purchase panels from Palmetto in cash or through traditional financing or can opt to lease them monthly or enter a PPA.
    • Specials or Incentives Offered: Palmetto Solar offers a $100 referral reward to anyone who refers a friend or family member who signs up with the company.
    • Solar Equipment Brands Offered: Palmetto Solar doesn’t have any brand allegiance for its panels, preferring to offer whatever options are best at the time of installation. Currently, the company uses Q Cells solar panels primarily in conjunction with Enphase or SolarEdge inverters and Sonnen batteries.
    • Partnerships: Palmetto Solar has a partnership with Exelon Utilities to promote solar adoption by educating the public through its proprietary Mapdwell Solar API. As of late 2021, Exelon customers can access detailed data about how solar can help them reduce their electric bills, encouraging more homeowners to consider rooftop solar.

    Tesla Solar

    Tesla’s solar equipment often takes a backseat to the company’s impressive lineup of electric vehicles, but it’s some of the best solar technology available today. Tesla’s panels are more energy efficient than most other brands’ panels, and its Powerwall lithium-ion storage leads the industry in reliability.

    Perhaps more important than the company’s technological prowess is its ability to manufacture highly durable solar equipment. Californians have to deal with more natural disasters and severe weather than most people, making sturdy panels from Tesla a safer investment than many other options.

    Best Technology
    Tesla Energy

    Pros & Cons


    • State-of-the-art solar technology
    • Speedy installation with short wait times
    • Price matching makes them more affordable


    • Limited workmanship warranty
    • Only sells Tesla products
    • Purchase only (no PPAs or leases)
    • Installation is contracted out

    Tesla Solar Cost, Warranty, & Services

    Tesla knows that its strength as a solar provider lies in its technology, and leans into that advantage by only offering Tesla brand products. It also doesn’t have the best warranties and doesn’t handle installations in-house, making it a tough choice for people who value full-service solar.

    • Average Cost: Tesla panels have high sticker prices, but the company offers price matching that makes its panels very affordable. Pricing will vary based on what other quotes you have.
    • Warranty: Tesla’s solar warranties cover performance for 25 years but only offer 10 years of coverage for equipment. The performance coverage is specific and robust, guaranteeing 80% of the advertised power capacity for 25 years.
    • Solar Services: Tesla offers solar panels, battery backups, EV chargers, and solar roofs.
    • Financing Options: Tesla offers its customers the option of paying in cash or through a loan. The company does not offer PPAs or leases.
    • In-House or Contracted Installations: Tesla contracts its solar installations to local companies, adding a middleman to the process that some customers prefer to avoid. Tesla installations have mixed reviews since they’re handled by different companies depending on where you live.
    • Solar Equipment Brands Offered: Tesla only sells and installs its own equipment.
    • Partnerships: Tesla is a Better Business Bureau (BBB)-certified company and works with installers across the country.

    Read More: Tesla Solar Panels Review

    SunLux Solar

    SunLux is an up-and-coming solar company that provides service throughout Southern California and Texas. The company has locations in Los Angeles, Bakersfield, San Diego, Rancho Cucamonga, Valencia, Irvine, and Rancho Santa Margarita. As a local Californian business, SunLux is keenly aware of the subtleties of installing equipment throughout the state, giving it an advantage over national solar businesses.

    Best Regional Installer

    Pros & Cons


    • California-based company
    • Monitoring is included with all installations
    • In-house installations
    • Outstanding warranty


    • On the expensive side

    SunLux Cost, Warranty, & Services

    SunLux’s prices are a bit higher than the California average, although many customers prefer to pay more for the company’s local expertise, especially for assistance navigating California’s numerous incentive programs.

    • Average Cost: SunLux solar installations are pricier than most companies, but not prohibitively so. You can expect to pay above-average prices but will also receive top-of-the-line service and high-quality equipment.
    • Warranty: SunLux offers a comprehensive 25-year warranty that covers parts, repairs, and maintenance. This is one of the best solar warranties in the business and helps distinguish SunLux from its competition.
    • Solar Services: SunLux offers solar panel installation, battery backups, system monitoring, and EV charger installation. The company also offers a free consultation for prospective customers.
    • Financing Options: SunLux has flexible financing options, including solar loans, solar leases, PPAs, and cash purchases. SunLux offers $0 down options for qualified customers and a choice between short and long-term loans to suit your needs.
    • Specials or Incentives Offered: SunLux has a referral program that offers $500 for every customer you refer who signs up with the company.
    • Solar Equipment Brands Offered: SunLux installs Panasonic and Q Cells panels and offers Enphase, Tesla, and LG Chem storage solutions.
    • Partnerships: SunLux is BBB accredited and partners with GAF and Owens Corning professional roofing companies.

    ADT Solar (Previously Sunpro)

    ADT is best known for its home security products but recently acquired SunPro to jumpstart its expansion into solar energy. The company brings a lot to the table for Californians, including excellent solar warranties, an extensive product selection, and competitive prices. Despite being a large company with locations in 20 states, ADT Solar is well versed in the unique challenges Golden State solar customers face.

    Best Panel Warranty
    ADT Solar

    Pros & Cons


    • Plenty of equipment options
    • Outstanding warranty
    • BBB accredited
    • In-house installation


    • Mediocre financing options
    • Some reports of lackluster customer service

    ADT Solar Cost, Warranty, & Services

    ADT Solar offers reasonably-priced solar services across a variety of products and brands, making them a good choice for California residents. The company’s solar warranty is a strong point, as is its reputation for stability and reliability.

    • Average Cost: ADT Solar is the epitome of fair pricing. Customer reports and online reviews suggest that the company charges average prices compared to other California solar companies.
    • Warranty: ADT sets itself apart from some of its competitors by offering an outstanding 25-year warranty covering parts, performance, and labor.
    • Solar Services: The company installs solar panels, solar batteries, and EV chargers.
    • Financing Options: Financing is one of ADT Solar’s weakest areas. The company accepts cash and offers traditional financing but doesn’t have leasing or PPA options.
    • Specials or Incentives Offered: Currently, ADT Solar is running a rewards program offering $1,000 for any referrals that lead to a sign-up. The rewards program is easy to use via a convenient mobile app.
    • In-House or Contracted Installations: ADT Solar handles all installations in-house, so you don’t need to deal with any outside contractors.
    • Solar Equipment Brands Offered: ADT offers high-quality panels and other equipment from Panasonic, LG, and Tesla.
    • Partnerships: ADT partners with Buildpro Roofing Specialists and Energypro Home Energy Specialists and is certified by Enphase, Tesla, and NABCEP.

    Read More: ADT Solar (Previously Sunpro) Review

    NRG Clean Power

    NRG Clean Power has been serving up renewable energy solutions to Californians for three decades. The company prides itself on offering flexible service options at competitive prices and prioritizes education and individual attention over profits. The company’s website is a testament to its dedication to informing the public about the benefits of solar power and has an extensive learning center to help potential customers get up to speed on the latest developments in the solar industry.

    Outstanding Local Provider
    NRG Clean Power

    Pros & Cons


    • 30 years of experience in California
    • Knowledgeable technicians
    • Easy-to-navigate and informative website
    • Tons of products to choose from


    • Doesn’t offer solar leases
    • Can be on the expensive side

    NRG Clean Power Cost, Warranty, & Services

    NRG Clean Power is an outstanding local solar provider and offers California-specific knowledge and experience to its customers. The company has impressive statewide coverage and will steer you toward the right solar power system for your region’s climate and sunlight characteristics.

    • Average Cost: NRG Clean Power costs are average to above-average. Customer reviews are generally positive, with many customers indicating that they’re happy to pay more for the specialized attention they get from NRG.
    • Warranty: NRG Clean Power offers a 25-year warranty on parts and labor.
    • Solar Services: NRG Clean Power is a full-service solar energy company offering panels, battery storage, and EV charger installation.
    • Financing Options: NRG Clean Power’s financing options aren’t as comprehensive as most companies, although it does offer solar loans. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to lease panels from NRG or enter a PPA.
    • Specials or Incentives Offered: The company offers $500 for each of your first ten referrals and $1,000 for every referral thereafter.
    • In-House or Contracted Installations: NRG handles all its installations in-house.
    • Solar Equipment Brands Offered: NRG Clean Power offers a range of both monocrystalline and polycrystalline photovoltaic solar panels from REC, Hyundai, LG, Panasonic, and Mission Solar Energy. The company also offers solar storage via Tesla Powerwall, LG Chem, or Enphase Encharge batteries.
    • Partnerships: NRG Clean Power is proudly certified by NABCEP.

    Read More: NRG Clean Power Review


    If you prefer to lease your panels rather than purchase them outright — which we don’t recommend due to lower long-term savings — Sunrun deserves your attention. The company’s business model incentivizes leasing by offering better protection for leased panels compared to purchased panels. Sunrun also has more leasing options than most solar providers, making it easy to find a leasing option that works for you and your financial situation.


    Pros & Cons


    • Best leasing options in the industry
    • Premium equipment from well-known brands
    • Large company with extensive coverage in California


    • Not the best choice for purchasing panels
    • Aggressive sales team
    • Some instances of poor customer service

    Sunrun Cost, Warranty, & Services

    Sunrun offers residents of the Golden State several solid leasing options that make it the best company for people who don’t want to own their solar panels. It also offers solid protection plans and insurance for solar panel systems, making it a great choice in areas prone to severe weather and natural disasters, like California.

    • Average Cost: Sunrun is one of the most affordable solar companies in California, with costs below the state average. Specific pricing is unavailable, as there are many factors that can affect your total.
    • Warranty: If you purchase panels from Sunrun, be aware that they’re only covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Leasing gives you a better warranty, with Sunrun covering repairs, replacements, and maintenance for 25 years.
    • Solar Services: Sunrun installs solar panels, batteries, and electric vehicle (EV) chargers and provides solar monitoring services.
    • Financing Options: Sunrun’s financing options heavily favor customers who want to lease their solar equipment. Customers can choose to lease fully, paying the full price of the lease upfront, or lease on a monthly basis. Sunrun offers no-money-down financing for qualified customers as well.
    • Specials or Incentives Offered: Sunrun offers a $1,000 reward for every person you refer who signs up with the company.
    • In-House or Contracted Installations: Sunrun performs its own installations and uses proprietary software to customize the design of your system.
    • Solar Equipment Brands Offered: Sunrun used to use LG solar panels but recently switched to using undisclosed Tier 1 panels after LG stopped manufacturing panels. Sunrun’s storage solutions use either Tesla Powerwall or LG Chem lithium-ion batteries.
    • Partnerships: Sunrun partners with CHANEL to bring renewable energy to low-income families throughout California. The company also partners with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) to certify its technicians for photovoltaic (PV) panel installations.

    Read our full review of Sunrun

    Freedom Forever

    Freedom Forever is an excellent choice for residential solar, offering fast installations at reasonable prices. The company has been in business since 2011, following its mission to increase solar adoption throughout California and the country. The company has outstanding customer reviews and an excellent reputation for installing high-quality residential solar panel systems.

    Outstanding Customer Service
    Freedom Forever

    Pros & Cons


    • Fantastic customer service
    • Many financing options
    • Performance guarantee


    • A limited number of services are available.

    Freedom Forever Cost, Warranty, & Services

    Freedom Forever carries equipment from most of the solar industry’s top brands and backs its installations with a generous performance guarantee. If you’re looking for a company with a strong sense of purpose and strong moral backing, Freedom Forever is a perfect choice.

    • Average Cost: Freedom Forever charges average prices for its solar installations.
    • Warranty: Freedom Forever relies on the manufacturer’s warranty to protect the equipment it installs. However, the company offers its customers a generous performance guarantee that compensates homeowners if their systems underperform the advertised production levels during their system’s first 25 years.
    • Solar Services: If you’re looking for advanced solar services, Freedom Forever isn’t the best choice. The company only offers basic solar panels and battery backup installations.
    • Financing Options: Freedom Forever customers can purchase their systems outright, take out a loan, or enter a lease or PPA with the company.
    • In-House or Contracted Installations: Freedom Forever contracts its installations to local installers.
    • Solar Equipment Brands Offered: Freedom Forever is one of the few solar companies manufacturing its own panels. The company installs LG Chem and Tesla Powerwall batteries.
    • Partnerships: The company partners with certified solar installers throughout California, making it easy to use the company throughout the state.

    Read More: Freedom Forever Review


    SunPower is one of the most well-respected solar providers in the country. The company has been in business for three decades, bringing high-efficiency panels and high-quality solar energy systems to homeowners throughout the United States. Its Maxeon panels are the most efficient panels on the market today, and its solar systems are known for producing more energy and saving customers more money than any other brand.

    Read more Sunpower details and review.

    Best National Provider

    Pros & Cons


    • High-efficiency panels
    • 30 years of experience in the solar industry
    • Excellent customer service track record


    • More expensive than other brands
    • Installations are contracted out

    SunPower Cost, Warranty, & Services

    SunPower is all about quality. Its solar panels have the highest efficiency ratings of any panels on the market today, giving its customers a higher potential for savings over time. Unfortunately, SunPower’s panels are not cheap, although most SunPower customers are happy to pay more for a better product.

    • Average Cost: SunPower solar panels cost well above the California average.
    • Warranty: SunPower’s warranty covers equipment and workmanship for 25 years. The company also offers leak protection in case your solar system damages your roof.
    • Solar Services: SunPower is a full-service solar provider offering solar panels, battery backups, and EV chargers.
    • Financing Options: SunPower customers can finance their solar panels with a loan, lease panels from the company, pay upfront in full, or enter a PPA.
    • In-House or Contracted Installations: One of the only downsides to choosing SunPower is that the company doesn’t handle its own installations. SunPower contracts its installations out to local businesses, which makes the customer experience more variable than you would get from a company that conducts its installations internally.
    • Solar Equipment Brands Offered: SunPower only carries its brand of Maxeon solar panels.
    • Partnerships: SunPower has an extensive network of third-party solar installers throughout California.

    Stellar Solar

    Stellar Solar was founded in 1998 in San Diego. In the intervening years, the company has installed more than 14,000 residential solar systems, making it one of the largest solar providers in the region. The company is known for outstanding customer service and has been voted San Diego’s number-one solar company in ten out of the last twelve years.

    Outstanding Regional Installer
    Stellar Solar

    Pros & Cons


    • Superior customer service
    • Many financing options
    • Good selection of panels and batteries


    • Only available in southern California

    Stellar Solar Cost, Warranty, & Services

    Stellar Solar offers top-notch solar installations at reasonable prices. The company’s technicians are friendly and knowledgeable, with detailed knowledge of local solar policies and incentives. They’re happy to help you design a custom solar system for your home.

    • Average Cost: Stellar Solar’s prices are average by California standards.
    • Warranty: Stellar Solar backs all of its solar systems with a solid 25-year warranty. 
    • Solar Services: The company offers solar panel installations, battery backups, and EV charging stations.
    • Financing Options: Stellar Solar accepts cash and offers solar loans with 3.99% interest and no upfront costs. It also offers no-fee and no-prepayment options for SunPower Equinox systems.
    • In-House or Contracted Installations: Stellar Solar uses a team of in-house experts to install its solar systems.
    • Solar Equipment Brands Offered: Stellar Solar installs solar panels from SunPower and Q Cells. The company offers LG Chem, Tesla Powerwall, and Enphase Encharge batteries.
    • Partnerships: Stellar Solar has several partnerships with leading brands like SunPower and Enphase. It also works with local car dealers to bring more awareness to the benefits of electric vehicles and help San Diego residents learn how to save money by pairing an electric vehicle with a rooftop solar system.

    Final Verdict: Our Top Solar Company Pick in California

    In our opinion, Momentum Solar provides the best solar service in California. Despite the company’s above-average prices, Momentum customers have access to the best solar technology available on the market, expert support from industry veterans, and tons of great financing options. However, all of the companies on this list offer outstanding solar products for Golden State residents, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.

    Factors Homeowners Should Consider When Choosing The Best Solar Company in California

    If you’re having trouble deciding which solar company is right for you, check out this rundown of general things to think about when weighing your options. These factors should help you find the best company for your solar project.

    Avoid solar scams by educating yourself on common underhanded tactics and how to identify them.

    Cost of Services & Installation

    The most glaring factor to consider when considering switching to solar energy is the upfront cost. Many people are turned away by the steep prices they see when they request a free quote, but transitioning to solar is more affordable than many people realize.

    Equipment and Damages Warranty

    Unfortunately, California is a state known for natural disasters, making solar systems a risky investment if you don’t choose a company that offers a comprehensive warranty. The best Californian solar companies offer 25-year warranties on parts, labor, and performance, and we highly recommend giving some weight to the warranty when choosing which company to patronize.

    Solar Services Offered

    Some companies offer barebones solar installations that are comprised of just panels and batteries. If you’re only looking for a simple installation that might work for you, but want advanced features like EV charging, detailed monitoring, or solar shingles you will need to choose a more flexible company.

    Solar Financing Options

    Financing is an important factor for many would-be solar customers. If you can’t afford to purchase your solar system in cash, you’ll need to find a company that offers financing. Many California solar companies offer solar loans and leases, and some offer PPAs as well. If you have good credit, it won’t be hard to find a company that offers no money down options at competitive rates.

    Do They Use Their Own Installers?

    Many people incorrectly assume that all solar companies perform their own installations. While the industry as a whole is moving toward a full-service structure, many companies still contract installations out to third-party businesses. Customer service is less consistent when you’re dealing with an external installer, although this is the only option for many companies, even well-known ones like Tesla.

    Brands of Solar Equipment and Products Offered

    Solar technology is improving rapidly, but most Tier 1 solar panel manufacturers make panels with similar efficiency statistics. Still, you can squeeze a bit more out of the best panels, so consider a brand like Tesla if you’re looking for the best panels.

    Solar systems are made of more than just panels, so don’t forget to consider what inverters and batteries a company uses before signing any contracts. Enphase is an industry leader for inverters, and LG, Tesla, and Enphase offer what many people consider the best solar battery technology.

    Average Online Rating and Customer Reviews

    Online ratings and reviews shouldn’t be the only things you rely on when choosing a solar company, but they help paint a picture of what it’s like to be a customer. You should read as many reviews as possible from a variety of sources to get an unbiased view of the public opinion on any companies you’re considering. Be wary of companies without reviews, especially newer companies where a lack of reviews may indicate a lack of experience.

    Industry Partnerships

    Partnerships are a sign that a solar company is important to the industry as a whole. Companies with many partners are more likely to stick around, giving you additional peace of mind.

    Size of Company

    Some people prefer the name recognition of a large, national company, while others are happier to do business with a smaller, regional company if it means more personalized attention. One is not obviously better than the other, so choose a company that matches your size preferences after filtering out companies that don’t meet your other requirements.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is solar worth it in California?

    Absolutely. California is the number one state in the country for solar energy — and clean energy in general — with more than 1.5 million solar projects generating an astounding 13,000 MW across the state. Southern California is especially well-suited for home solar installations, but even the northern parts of the state can benefit from solar systems.

    Does California offer solar incentives?

    Yes! California is a pioneer when it comes to solar incentives and one of the best states for affordable solar. California residents are eligible for the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC), Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), Solar Energy System Property Tax Exclusion, and the Single-Family Affordable Housing (SASH) Program. San Francisco and Sacramento residents also have access to several Local utility company rebates, depending on their utility provider.

    Is solar energy efficient in California?

    California is a big state, so how efficient solar energy is for you depends on where you live. Solar energy is an excellent value in southern California, where sunlight is direct and intense, but residents of northern California can also benefit from installing rooftop solar. Residents in areas with more frequent cloud cover or people who live in the northern parts of the state may need larger systems to match the energy production of homes in sunnier regions.

    How much does it cost to get solar panels in California?

    The average cost of solar panels in California is around $14,000 for a 5 kW system. Larger 10 kW systems cost $28,000 on average, and smaller 3 kW systems can be had for as little as $8,000. However, your system total can vary quite a lot based on the equipment you install, the contractor you hire, and many other factors.

    Does solar increase home value in California?

    Yes. A study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that adding solar panels to your home increases its value by about 3.74%. Buyers purchasing homes with solar systems installed understand that it means lower or non-existent energy bills, which is a huge incentive.

    Who is the most affordable solar company in California?

    SunRun is the most affordable solar company in California, although this company mostly pushes leases, which aren’t as appealing as purchase options. Tesla is the most affordable company for purchasing solar panels, as it offers price matching to compete with other companies.

    What is the most experienced solar installer in California?

    NRG Clean Power has 30 years of experience installing solar technology throughout California, giving it a big leg up on the competition. However, SunLux also has California-specific experience, and national companies like Tesla and Palmetto are well-versed in addressing the nuances of installing solar equipment in California.

    Today's Homeowner’s Solar Companies Rating Methodology

    At Today's Homeowner, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each solar energy company/service according to our methodology.

    Our research team dug deep into the fine print of contracts, combed through more than one hundred customer reviews, and thoroughly investigated all of each solar energy company’s services, costs, and products. We’ve done the homework for you by researching nearly all of the solar energy companies on the market so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home.

    We developed a formula to objectively determine the best solar energy companies and give each a score out of 100 based on the following criteria:

    • Plan Options (30): Do they provide a variety of plan options? We looked at the number of plans each solar energy company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.
    • Services offered (20): How many services are offered in each plan? We looked at whether the company manufactures its own solar panels, whether it contracts out installation, and what additional products each company offers.
    • Trust (10): What do customers say after their solar panels are installed? Does this company offer a guarantee? We considered how satisfied customers are post-service if the company does what it says it will, BBB accreditation, and service guarantees.
    • Prices (10): How reasonable are the costs of the plan or service in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors that offer the same solar energy services.
    • Unique perks (10): Does the company offer discounts or special services such as financial incentives, rebates, or a useful mobile app? We looked for extras each company offers that set them apart from the competition.
    • Customer Service (10): How is the customer experience when contacting the company? We considered the speed of response, weekend/holiday availability, and ease of communication through phone calls, email, and online chat functions.
    • Nationwide availability (10): How many states does the company offer its services? Companies that operate nationally and in all zip codes are favored over those with limited availability.
    Editorial Contributors
    Dan Simms

    Dan Simms


    Dan Simms worked in real estate management for five years before using his experience to help property owners maintain their own homes. He got his master’s degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, and he now enjoys sharing his knowledge about homeownership and DIY projects with others on Today’s Homeowner. When he’s not writing, he’s usually outdoors with his wife and his dog, enjoying mountain biking, skiing, and hiking.

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    Roxanne Downer


    Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes & Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

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