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April 12, 2024

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    California is one of the best states in the country for solar panels. The Golden State ranks fifth in average annual sunshine, and the electricity rates equate to above-average solar savings. The abundant sunshine and relatively high electricity rates in California mean solar panels can save you a lot of money, an average of $35,323 over 25 years, with an estimated payback period of just eight years.

    California’s countless solar incentives and sunshine make it a hotbed of competition between solar installers, with countless companies trying to outbid one another in an attempt to win your business. Unfortunately, not all solar providers in California are experienced, reputable companies, and it can be hard to tell the difference if you don’t have experience in the solar industry.

    That’s where we come in. This guide is designed to help you make the best decision by weeding out the companies just looking to capitalize on solar’s increasing popularity. We spent countless hours analyzing California solar companies, ranking them based on the quality of the service they provide, cost, product selection, and more.

    Highest Quality Panels


    Installs high-quality Maxeon panels

    Outstanding customer support

    Best-in-class warranty lasts 40 years

    Best Damage Protection


    Affordable prices

    Excellent selection of panels and services

    Locations in 22 states

    Best Solar Financing
    blue raven logo


    No payments needed for 18 months

    Provides in-house financing

    Offers top brands like LG and Trina

    Best Customer Service


    Highly rated customer service

    Provides  24/7 panel monitoring

    Solid A+ rating with the BBB


    Compare California’s Top-Rated Solar Providers

    There are more than 1,000 solar installers in the Golden State, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Finding the best one on your own is a daunting task. Luckily, we’re here to make your life a bit easier. It’s hard to go wrong with SunPower or ADT Solar, but the other companies on our list are also excellent choices.

    The table below compares the seven best solar companies in California based on our analysis and expert opinions.

    CompanyLogoStar RatingBest ForService AreaLink

    Highest Quality Panels

    All 50 states

    Best Technology

    All 50 states

    Best Customization Options

    AZ, CA, FL, TX, & NV

    Best Customer Service


    Best Local Installer

    AZ, CA, NV

    Best Product Selection

    10 states

    CompanyStar RatingBest ForService AreaBBB Rating

    Highest Quality Panels

    All 50 states


    Best Technology

    All 50 states


    Best Customization Options

    AZ, CA, FL, TX, & NV


    Best Customer Service



    Best Local Installer

    AZ, CA, NV


    Best Product Selection

    10 states


    What Are the Best Solar Companies in California?

    Here’s a quick look at our picks for the best solar companies in California:

    SunPower: Best National Provider

    What Should You Look for When Choosing a Good Solar Installer in California?

    As with any sizable investment, making the wrong choice regarding a solar installer can haunt you for years to come. Purchasing solar panels is a big investment for most homeowners, especially in California, where going solar is more expensive than in most states. Choosing the right solar company is crucial for making the most out of your investment and realizing the long-term savings the solar industry promises.

    Below are the three main things you need to consider before going solar in California:

    Local expertise. California is a big state, and the average home in San Diego or Los Angeles has different energy needs and available sunlight than the average home in Sacramento. Choosing a solar provider familiar with your local weather and energy consumption trends is important if you want a system tailored to your needs.

    A high-quality warranty. California’s propensity for natural disasters and inclement weather can wreak havoc on solar panel systems. Ensure the solar company you’re considering offers a solid warranty that protects your system and home from damage. The industry-average warranty covers equipment for 25 years, energy production for 20 years, and labor for ten years. We recommend choosing a company that at least meets these thresholds or — preferably — exceeds them.

    Your budget. The cost per watt of solar in California is higher than the national average, so it’s even more important to determine what you can afford before shopping around. We encourage most people to pay for their systems in cash or via a solar loan since these options offer the most long-term savings and make you eligible for tax credits like the federal investment tax credit (ITC). The solar installer you choose can also affect your total due to labor costs and product markup, so choosing one that fits your budget is crucial.

    Highest Quality Panels



    Our Rating

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    SunPower is the best company that does business in California, in our opinion. The company installs the industry’s most efficient panels from Maxeon, has an unbeatable warranty, and has more than 30 years of experience in the American residential solar business.

    The only downside to choosing SunPower is the cost, which is significantly more expensive than most of its competition. 

    Why We Chose SunPower as the Best National Provider

    If you want the highest quality residential solar experience — and don’t mind paying a premium for it — SunPower is worth your attention. The company installs high-efficiency panels manufactured by its sister company, Maxeon. High-efficiency panels are better at converting sunlight into energy, which helps make the most out of California’s abundant sunshine.

    In addition to installing top-notch panels, SunPower also offers an industry-leading warranty. Having a solid solar warranty is essential for all homeowners, but it’s especially important in California, where your system may be exposed to earthquakes, concentrated rain, and other weather-related wear and tear.

    SunPower’s systems don’t come cheap, but the company offers several financing options to help customers pay for their premium panels. You can pay in cash, take out a solar loan, or enter into a lease or power purchase agreement (PPA).

    We don’t have many negative things to say about SunPower, but the one major downside to choosing SunPower is the cost. SunPower’s panels cost about $3.30 per watt, almost $0.60 more than the average cost of solar in California, which is $2.73 per watt. If you can get past the up-front cost, SunPower’s superior efficiency will likely save you more money in the long run if you can get past the up-front cost.

    The only other minor drawback worth mentioning is that SunPower only carries Maxeon panels, which means people looking for variety and a customized system are out of luck.

    SunPower only carries Maxeon panels, which come with the distinction of having a 22.8% efficiency rating, the highest available to residential customers. Maxeon panels are also extremely reliable and have low failure rates, so your system is expected to continue performing and save you money for many years.

    High-efficiency panels also come in handy in the northern parts of the state, where increased rainfall and snow make every ounce of sunlight count.

    Besides Maxeon panels, SunPower also offers the following products and services:

    • SunVault solar batteries, SunPower’s solar energy storage system
    • WallBox Pulsar Plus electric vehicle (EV) charging station
    • The MySunPower solar monitoring mobile app

    SunPower accepts cash, loans, leases, and PPAs. We recommend paying in cash or by loan if you can since both options lead to panel ownership. Leases and PPAs are more affordable but also reduce your lifetime savings and don’t lead to ownership.

    It’s important to realize that paying in cash or by loan makes you eligible for the federal ITC, which can save you $4,000–$5,000, on average, in California. Leases and PPAs don’t qualify since you’re not actually buying the system.

    SunPower offers a comprehensive warranty that covers equipment, workmanship, and energy production for 25 years. The equipment coverage and production guarantee align with the industry average, but the workmanship warranty is two and a half times higher than most companies’ ten-year term. 

    Read our full review of SunPower for more information.

    Featured Video: California Updated Their Net Metering Policy. What Does That Mean For You?

    Best Panel Warranty

    ADT Solar


    Our Rating

    ADT Solar — formerly Sunpro — manages to barely eke out SunPower as our pick for best warranty coverage. It also has significantly better prices than SunPower, so it’s a great option for homeowners with limited budgets.
    ADT Solar doesn’t offer leases or PPAs, so you’ll have to pay in cash or take out a solar loan to finance your panels.

    Why We Chose ADT Solar as Best for Warranty Coverage

    ADT Solar’s warranty coverage distinguishes it from the competition by covering its equipment, workmanship, and energy production for 25 years. The comprehensive coverage protects your panels, rack mount, and inverters from damage, even if the damage is due to a mistake during installation. This kind of end-to-end coverage is hard to come by and essential for peace of mind in a state like California, where mother nature isn’t so kind to solar panels.

    Another point in favor of ADT is that its systems are more affordable than SunPower. The average price of ADT Solar’s systems is closer to the statewide average cost of $2.73 per watt. Don’t let the lower cost fool you. The company still installs high-quality panels, microinverters, and other equipment from tier-one manufacturers.

    ADT Solar is also known for providing excellent customer service and support throughout the installation. Customer reviews of ADT Solar are full of praise for the company’s technicians and support staff, so you’re unlikely to have any issues during your installation.

    As we mentioned above, ADT Solar doesn’t accept leases or PPAs, which isn’t a huge loss but could be a factor if you’re on an extremely tight budget. Leases and PPAs don’t lead to panel ownership, but they are the only option for some people, and we’d love to see ADT Solar offer more financing options.

    On a more problematic note, some customers claim that ADT Solar drags its feet in handling warranty claims, which makes the company’s impressive warranty less effective in practice. It typically still provides the expected coverage, but you might encounter delays waiting for a resolution.

    ADT Solar installs panels from tier-one companies like Silfab, QCells, and Canadian Solar. While these panels aren’t as efficient as Maxeon, they come with perfectly serviceable 21.4% ratings, which should be high enough to soak up that California sun.

    Your ADT advisor will work with you during your initial consultation to help you figure out which panels are right for you and your home. We recommend asking about QCells’ panels if you want to keep costs down since the company is known for its affordable equipment.

    ADT Solar offers the following solar products and services alongside its selection of panels:

    • Tesla Powerwalls
    • Enphase IQ solar batteries
    • Tesla solar monitoring app
    • Enphase monitoring app

    ADT accepts cash and loans but doesn’t allow leases or PPAs. While we don’t recommend leases and PPAs to most people, not having them as options makes ADT Solar less accessible overall.

    We recommend you pay cash if you can afford to. Paying in full up-front gives you the most savings over your system’s life and lets you take advantage of your energy bill savings immediately.

    ADT Solar’s warranty is the best in the business, covering equipment, workmanship, and production for 25 years. We can’t overemphasize how important a good warranty is in California. The extra protection you get from ADT Solar’s warranty could save you from tons of headaches down the road if your system gets damaged or if its production falters as it gets older, even if a resolution takes some time to come to fruition.

    Read our full review of ADT Solar for more information.

    Best Technology

    Tesla Energy


    Our Rating

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    No current offers available.

    Tesla’s solar systems are more sophisticated than most, with unique features like StormWatch, which prioritizes charging your Powerwall batteries automatically when it detects nearby severe weather.

    Unfortunately, Tesla outsources its installations to third-party contractors, which makes the customer experience extremely variable.

    Get free estimates from Tesla and other local options.

    Why We Chose Tesla as the Best Technology

    To put it simply, Tesla’s solar technology is strictly better than the competition in many areas. The company’s Powerwall batteries have higher capacities and power ratings than most residential batteries and come with several innovative features. You can control your Powerwalls from your phone via the Tesla solar monitoring app and choose whether you prefer to maximize savings or storage. This is particularly helpful in California, where time-of-use electricity plans are prevalent.

    Tesla also offers some of the best home EV charging stations, a big advantage over other companies in a state like California, where a large fraction of the population owns electric vehicles.

    Tesla offers price matching, which keeps its solar panel systems affordable despite its industry-leading tech. The company also offers flexible financing, which makes its systems accessible to most people.

    The most glaring downside to choosing Tesla is that the company doesn’t perform its own installations. That means that a local third-party contractor will install your system. While that’s not inherently bad, it means that the customer experience varies depending on the quality of the contractor performing your installation.

    Tesla also doesn’t offer any system customization. The company only installs one brand of each piece of equipment, so you can’t tweak and tune your system based on your preferences.

    Tesla only installs QCells panels. QCells makes one of the best solar panels for residential customers, boasting above-average efficiency, top-notch durability, and a lower-than-average cost.

    Tesla also offers solar roofs, which use sleek solar shingles instead of bulky rack-mounted panels. A solar roof is a great option for someone who doesn’t love the look of traditional solar panels but still wants to power their home with solar energy.

    The company offers the following solar products and services to go with its solar panels and solar roofs:

    • Tesla Powerwalls
    • Tesla EV chargers
    • The Tesla solar monitoring app

    Tesla offers all four main financing options: cash, loans, leases, and PPAs. Leases and PPAs have low or no up-front costs but reduce the money you save in the long run. We recommend paying cash if you can or taking out a solar loan otherwise.

    Paying via cash or a loan makes you eligible for the federal ITC and will save you more money on electric bills in the long run than leasing your panels or entering into a PPA.

    Tesla’s equipment and production warranty lasts 25 years, but its workmanship warranty lasts only ten years. While ten years is the industry average for workmanship warranties, many of the top solar installers offer 25-year workmanship warranties, making Tesla’s ten years seem a bit lacking by comparison.

    Read our full review of Tesla Solar for more information.
    Best Customization Options

    Elevation Solar


    Our Rating

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    Earn $500 When You Refer a Friend To Elevation

    Elevation Solar goes above and beyond installing solar systems. The company also performs home energy audits and can help you improve your home’s overall energy efficiency.

    The company has only been around since 2014, and while it’s already established itself as a reputable solar installer, its relative inexperience may make some people uncomfortable.

    Click here for a free quote from Elevation Solar.

    Why We Chose Elevation Solar as the Best for Boosting Energy Efficiency

    Elevation Solar takes a holistic approach to helping homeowners transition to solar power. A clean energy system is only part of the picture, and Elevation takes its service to the next level by working with you to ensure your home is as energy efficient as possible before installing solar panels.

    The company performs energy audits and recommends non-solar fixes like insulating attics and garages and installing energy-efficient windows. These fixes improve your home’s overall energy efficiency, which often means you can save money by purchasing a smaller solar system.

    Elevation Solar handles everything in-house, including any efficiency upgrades and the final solar panel installation, which makes for a cohesive and painless process. The company also pairs you with a dedicated concierge to answer any questions you have throughout the process.

    One of the only things about Elevation Solar that gives us pause is its relative youth in the solar industry. The company has an excellent reputation and has performed solid work throughout California since its inception in 2014, but its staying power is still uncertain. If Elevation were to go out of business, you’d be left without a warranty and would have to pay for any repairs your system needed for the remainder of its life span.

    Otherwise, the only thing you need to know about Elevation is that it doesn’t accept leases or PPAs. As we’ve stated before, this isn’t a huge loss, but it could put the company’s service out of reach for some people.

    Elevation Solar installs panels from tier-one manufacturers like QCells and REC. The company also performs energy-efficiency upgrades like insulation and home sealing and installs smart thermostats, energy monitoring devices, and energy-efficient appliances.

    • Tesla Powerwall batteries
    • GeneracPWR batteries
    • ENERGY STAR appliances
    • Insulation and home sealing

    Elevation Solar customers can choose to pay in cash or via a solar loan. Both options lead to panel ownership, but paying in cash will save you the most money in the long run. The company does not accept leases or PPAs.

    Elevation Solar’s warranty is excellent, covering equipment and system performance for 25 years and workmanship for 30 years. The 30-year labor warranty is well above the industry standard of ten years and surpasses even the best manufacturer warranties.

    Best Customer Service

    Stellar Solar


    Our Rating

    Limited Time Offer:
    No current offers available.

    Stellar Solar takes a refreshing approach to residential solar, prioritizing education and knowledge over making a sale at any cost. The company excels at customer service and treats its customers well during installation and afterward.

    Stellar’s installation costs are 10%–15% higher than the competition, but we think it’s worth the extra cost for the level of service you get.

    Get free estimates from Stellar Solar and other local options.

    Why We Chose Stellar Solar as the Best for Customer Service

    Stellar Solar is committed to doing residential solar right, which means educating customers and helping homeowners pick the right photovoltaic systems for their situations. A consultation with Stellar feels more like an informational session than a sales pitch, which is unusual and refreshing in a state like California, where solar competition is fierce, and other companies often use more aggressive sales tactics.

    Stellar Solar’s technicians are familiar with the challenges of installing residential solar systems in California, which helps the company tailor your system size and storage options to suit your specific needs. Its employees are also experts in California solar and can help you navigate the state’s labyrinthine solar incentives and tax rebates.

    The company installs Maxeon panels, which could be a positive or a negative depending on whether you value efficiency or cost more. We view it as a positive since Maxeon’s high-efficiency panels will make your system more cost-effective and save you more money throughout your system’s lifetime.

    The primary downside to Stellar Solar is that the company is more expensive than your average California solar installer. Not only does it only install expensive Maxeon panels, but it also upcharges between 10% and 15% for its expertise. In our opinion, the maxim that you get what you pay for applies here, but it means that Stellar is simply out of reach for some people due to its above-average up-front costs.

    Stellar Solar only installs Maxeon panels, so it’s not the company for you if you want tons of customization options. With that said, the company does offer the following additional solar products and services: 

    • Tesla Powerwall batteries
    • Enphase IQ batteries
    • The Tesla solar monitoring app
    • Enphase solar monitoring app
    • EV charging stations

    Stellar Solar accepts cash, loans, and leases, but doesn’t offer PPAs. Having leases available makes Stellar’s expensive systems more accessible, although we still recommend paying in cash or taking out a loan if you can afford to.

    Stellar Solar’s systems come with a 25-year warranty that covers equipment, energy production, and labor. This is an excellent warranty that will serve you well and offer protection against the worst that California’s weather can throw at your system.

    Stellar has an excellent reputation for standing behind its installations and handling warranty claims in a timely manner. 

    Best Local Installer

    Solar Optimum


    Our Rating

    Limited Time Offer:
    Get 20% OFF Solar & Battery Storage

    If you’re looking for a more personalized experience, Solar Optimum should be high on your list. The company excels at providing outstanding customer service and will work closely with you to ensure your solar system matches your specific needs.

    Solar Optimum’s prices are a bit higher than most solar installers, so you might have to stretch your budget if you’re interested in getting a more personalized experience. 

    Get free estimates from Solar Optimum and other local options.

    Why We Chose Solar Optimum as the Best Local Installer

    Solar Optimum has been in business since 2008, giving it 15 years’ worth of experience installing solar systems throughout California. There are more experienced providers on this list, but few that have amassed more local experience than Solar Optimum.

    The company offers unbeatable customer service, and representatives are readily available to answer any questions you might have during the installation process. The company’s reputation for customer support is also excellent, with many customer reviews praising the company for quickly addressing problems that arise after installation.

    Solar Optimum’s warranty is also outstanding, which isn’t always the case with smaller local solar installers. A top-notch warranty is important in California, and Solar Optimum’s warranty demonstrates its local expertise and dedication to providing quality service.  

    Solar Optimum’s prices are quite high, which isn’t surprising for a smaller company but is something to consider if you don’t have a flexible budget.

    The company also doesn’t offer the best selection of brands and equipment, which makes it harder to customize your system. The brands it carries make high-quality panels and equipment, but the lack of options makes it harder to find a solar energy solution that works for every situation.

    Solar Optimum installs panels from high-quality manufacturers like QCells and REC. It also installs top-of-the-line solar batteries from Enphase and Tesla, which are becoming more popular in California since the state changed its net energy metering policy.

    Solar Optimum provides the following products and services to complement its solar panel systems:

    • Tesla Powerwall batteries
    • Tesla solar monitoring app
    • Enphase IQ batteries
    • Enphase solar monitoring app 

    Solar Optimum only accepts cash and loans. We don’t recommend leases or PPAs to most homeowners, but Solar Optimum’s high prices make it even harder for customers to afford its systems. It would be nice if the company offered more flexible financing options like leases and PPAs to make its products more accessible to a wider demographic.

    Solar Optimum provides a 25-year warranty for equipment, production, and workmanship, which is exceptional for a small, local installer. The workmanship coverage is particularly impressive at 2.5x longer than the industry average.

    Best Product Selection

    Green Home Systems


    Our Rating

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    $0 Down For Qualifying Buyers

    Green Home Systems offers excellent rooftop solar systems at affordable prices, making it a great choice for Californians looking to save money. The company is known for its stellar customer service and wide selection of solar products.

    The company doesn’t offer a workmanship warranty, which is a major downside in a state like California, where natural disasters and harsh weather are prevalent in some areas.

    Click here for a free quote from Green Home Systems.

    Why We Chose Green Home Systems as the Best Regional Provider

    Green Home Systems is one of the best regional renewable energy companies we’ve encountered in our research. The company is the archetypal smaller solar provider, emphasizing customer service and personalization more than its larger brethren.

    Despite its smaller size, Green Home Systems’ prices are lower than most of its competition, which is helpful given California’s higher-than-average costs for solar equipment. The company also carries a wide selection of products from top manufacturers, which makes it easier to customize your system to suit your home’s energy needs and budget.

    Green Home Systems has an outstanding reputation, and review sites are full of customers praising the company for its communication throughout the installation.

    One thing you should be aware of before committing to Green Home Systems is that the company doesn’t offer a workmanship warranty. That means that your solar panels and equipment are not protected against any issues arising from a faulty installation. The company’s warranty does cover equipment and production.

    On a less serious note, Green Home Systems doesn’t offer PPAs or leases, which may put it out of some people’s price range. However, the company has several low-cost options that cater to homeowners who can’t afford more expensive systems.

    Green Home Systems’ product lineup is expansive. The company sells panels from QCells, TrinaSolar, Canadian Solar, Panasonic, URE, and other tier-one manufacturers. We usually recommend QCells to people looking for a low-cost panel that doesn’t sacrifice much in the way of efficiency, but you should discuss your options and your budget with Green Home Systems during your initial consultation.

    In addition to its selection of panels, the company also offers the following equipment and services:

    • Enphase IQ batteries
    • SolarEdge batteries
    • HOMEGRID batteries
    • Tigo batteries
    • FranklinWH batteries
    • Enphase solar monitoring app

    Green Home Systems only accepts cash and loans, so you won’t be able to purchase your system with a lease or PPA. We advise against PPAs and leases, but you’ll have to choose another company if you can’t afford to pay cash or take out a loan.

    Green Home Systems offers a 25-year warranty covering its equipment and production.

    As discussed, the company doesn’t provide a workmanship warranty, which doesn’t necessarily mean its workmanship is poor, but it also doesn’t offer much peace of mind. California’s climate and weather can be tough on solar panel systems, so we recommend getting as much protection as possible.

    Read our full review of Green Home Systems for more information.

    How Much Does It Cost to Go Solar in California?

    The average cost of solar equipment in California is $2.73 per watt, and the average system size is 6 kilowatts (kW), based on the typical monthly energy demands.

    These numbers combine to make the average cost of going solar in California about $16,380 before any tax rebates or tax credits. However, Californians can take advantage of the federal tax credit to effectively reduce the cost of their solar systems by between $4,500 and $5,000, on average.

    Related: NRG Clean Power Review

    How Can You Save Money With California’s Best Solar Companies?

    For a state with one of the highest average costs of living in the country, solar panels are surprisingly affordable in California. A solar system is still quite a large investment for most people, so it’s still worth reviewing a few ways California residents can save money on solar panels.

    • Take advantage of solar incentives. California has some of the best solar incentives in the country. In addition to the federal ITC we discussed above, California also has several state and local programs that help make solar more affordable for its residents. The state’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) offers rebates between $850 and $1,000 per kWh of battery storage you install. California homeowners also don’t have to pay higher property taxes even if a solar panel installation raises their property value, thanks to the Active Solar Energy System Property Tax Exclusion.
    • Take advantage of net metering. If your solar panels generate more energy than you consume, you can sell the excess power back to your local utility company. California recently moved to net energy metering (NEM) 3.0, which lowers the total compensation you get for excess energy, but it’s still a viable way to save some extra money on your above-average utility bills if you generate more power than you can use.
    • Buy a system only as large as you need. California’s above-average sunshine makes it easy to get by with a smaller system. The average system size in California is 6 kW, which is about 30% smaller than the national average of 9 kW. You should work with your solar installer to ensure the system you buy is the right size for your home, as avoiding oversizing will save money on up-front costs, and avoiding under-sizing will help avoid missing out on long-term savings.

    So, Which California Solar Company Should You Hire?

    In our opinion, SunPower and ADT Solar are the two best solar companies that operate in California. SunPower offers a premium experience with an excellent comprehensive warranty and best-in-class panels from Maxeon. The only downside is the price, which is significantly higher than the statewide average.

    ADT Solar also offers high-quality equipment but at a more affordable price. ADT Solar’s warranty is the best in the business and offers Californians more protection against the state’s harsh climate and weather.

    We recommend getting multiple quotes to ensure you get the best deal possible. You can use the tool below to get quotes from reputable solar installers in your area to start the process.

    Get a Solar Quote in 30 Seconds
    On average, homeowners save $5,000–$20,000 with solar panels

    FAQs about Solar Installers in California

    Which are the best solar companies in California?

    SunPower and ADT Solar stand out as two of the top solar companies that work in California, but Tesla, Green Home Systems, and Elevation Solar are also solid choices. These companies combine high-quality photovoltaic (PV) equipment options, good customer service, and great warranty coverage for a positive overall experience.


    Which solar installation company is right for you ultimately depends on your energy needs, budget, and risk tolerance, which determines whether you’re comfortable with shorter warranty periods.

    What are the benefits of solar power in California?

    California gets more sunshine than most states, which makes it an ideal location for home solar services. The average California household can save more than $35,000 over 25 years if they pay cash for a solar panel system after the panels pay for themselves. Solar panels also come in handy during power outages since they can keep your house running despite the blackout if you install a battery backup alongside your system. This is especially nice given the high risk of power outages in the state.

    How do I choose a solar company in California?

    Selecting a solar company is a difficult task that requires researching which companies operate in your area and performing background checks to ensure they have a good reputation among their current customers. You should also learn about what products and services each company offers and create a shortlist of the ones that offer the services that interest you. Cost and equipment variety also plays an important role, often as a final filter.

    Methodology: How We Reviewed the Best Solar Companies in California

    We sifted through the extensive list of California solar installers to bring you only the best of the best. A lot of careful analysis and painstaking research went into creating this ranking. Here’s how we grade each company to determine its overall quality and rank it against other companies:

    • Local reputation and reviews (20%): With California's status as a leader in solar power generation, a multitude of companies have entered the market in an attempt to capitalize on solar’s popularity in the state. It is essential to identify companies that provide quality service and remove those that are in the business solely to turn a quick profit. We assess companies based on their local reputation and customer service, as reflected in their customer reviews and Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings. Companies with few complaints, consistently positive feedback, and a history of customer satisfaction rank higher in our ratings.
    • Pricing and financing (20%): Solar panels cost more in California than in many states. Given the sizable initial investment involved in going solar, we prioritize companies that offer competitive pricing without compromising the quality of their products and services. We also rank companies higher that offer diverse financing options such as solar leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs), and loans, thus making solar energy accessible to more Californians.
    • Services offered (20%): In light of California's progressive energy policies and high demand for electric vehicles, many customers opt for additional services like backup batteries, energy management systems, and EV charger installations. Companies providing a broad range of services, including energy efficiency upgrades, are preferred in our ranking system.
    • Warranty coverage (20%): Given California's diverse climate, from the hot, arid deserts of Southern California to the cool, coastal areas in the north, comprehensive warranty coverage is vital. Companies that offer robust warranties, including those for workmanship, equipment, and power output that safeguard the solar systems they install against possible damages score highly in our system.
    • Company experience (10%): California's complex solar incentives, varied climate, and regulatory landscape necessitate specific expertise. Therefore, we prioritize companies with at least ten years of local experience, as they are more likely to understand the intricacies of California's solar industry. Experienced companies are also more likely to stay in business, honor long-term warranties, and provide dependable service.
    • Brand quality (10%): We evaluate each solar installer based on the brands of equipment they install. Preference is given to companies offering a variety of high-efficiency, durable solar panels suitable for California's varied climate conditions. Companies providing various cost-effective options to cater to different customer requirements also score better in our rankings.
    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for 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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    photo of Lora Novak

    Lora Novak

    Senior Editor

    Lora Novak meticulously proofreads and edits all commercial content for Today’s Homeowner to guarantee that it contains the most up-to-date information. Lora brings over 12 years of writing, editing, and digital marketing expertise. She’s worked on thousands of articles related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation, roofing, plumbing, lawn/garden, pest control, insurance, and other general homeownership topics.

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