Best Solar Companies – Top 10
Reviews of 2019
Solar energy is the most accessible energy source that exists and it is also the cheapest. Every appliance that runs on gas or electricity can run on solar power as well. If you’re tired of paying high bills then it is high time you go solar. In this article, we listed the best solar companies there are for you to choose from. And, if you’re still not sure whether you should switch to solar energy, there is a guide that will help you determine if your home is a suitable candidate for solar.
Momentum Solar Reviews
Established in 2019, Momentum Solar is a newer addition to the solar sector, but they have already made a name for themselves through quality products and an easily accessible service. Thousands of customers are happy with their solar installations after collaborating with Momentum Solar. The latter offer attractive prices for their services, as well as excellent customer support.
Reliant Energy Review
A subsidiary of NRG Energy, Reliant Energy operates from Texas to provide solar panel solutions for thousands of home- and business owners. Although their services are qualitative, there have been some complaints regarding their pricing options. Otherwise, Reliant Energy is adequately equipped to provide informed advice about solar energy for your needs and to deliver on your design of choice.
Trinity Solar Reviews
Trinity Solar boasts more than 30,000 solar energy home installations in operation at present. They have vast experience in the sector and they work with high-quality solar panels for affordable costs. They also provide design, permitting, and regular inspections, together with free installation for your solar system of choice.
Legend Solar Reviews
As one of the top solar companies, Legend Solar installs high-quality solar panels produced by SunPower. Even though these panels are costly, they last longer than others. Legend Solar offers a Power Payback Guarantee and loan options which include a 25-year warranty. The company also offers Sonnen backup batteries in case of a blackout.
Sunrun is one of the largest and best solar companies in the United States. The company offers four payment plans. Regardless of the payment agreement, every user gets a 10-year roof warranty, a workmanship warranty, and backup battery storage (available in select locations only). Sunrun covers 17 states across the US.
NRG Energy Review
Also tied to NRG Energy, NRG Solar is one of the largest providers of solar energy systems in the US. They complete installations for homes, businesses, and utility-scale applications. Their NRG community program allows communities to share a “solar garden” that can be placed off-site for convenience. The installation and maintenance costs for the shared solar system are also split …
Revision Energy Review
Revision Energy brings upwards up 10 years of experience to the table and a current total of 5,000 installation projects. Though smaller than other companies, it is a Certified B Corp, which means it upholds the highest standards in terms of environmental and social performance, as well as public transparency. Revision Energy offers assistance every step of the way for solar energy beginner…
Sunnova is a competitive solar panel company which works a little different than the others. Instead of installing solar panels itself, Sunnova partners with experienced regional installers. By doing so, the company can provide customer-specific solutions and a more personalized experience. Sunnova also may soon start offering backup storage batteries as well.
A sister company to Tesla Inc., SolarCity benefits from research done by the smart energy company. As one of the top solar companies, Solar City offers some advanced features such as the Powerwall – a backup power supply that will provide power in your home šin case of blackouts.
Vivint Solar Reviews
Just like all the best solar companies, Vivint Solar focuses on providing more affordable and environmentally conscious alternative energy. The company offers four payment plans, solar panel performance monitoring, and warranties. The warranties include a 25-year performance warranty and a 20-year workmanship warranty. Vivint Solar also offer backup battery storage but only in select areas.
What Do Solar Companies Do?
In the simplest terms, solar companies make solar cells and solar panels that are placed on the roof to provide an alternative energy source – solar energy. Solar energy is derived directly from sunlight. Sun releases particles of light call photons and once they come into contact with a solar panel, an electric flow is created that can be converted into electrical energy. There are two types of solar energy technologies: photovoltaic cell (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP).
Photovoltaic Cell (PV) Technology
Also known as PV, this technology uses panels to convert sunlight into electricity. PV panels contain solar cells which have semiconductor materials to capture the light. Once the sunlight reaches these cells, electrons create an electric current and generate electricity
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Technology
CSP is not recommended for residential use and it is usually used in large power plants. This technology uses mirrors and reflectors to gather solar energy and then turn it into thermal energy. This thermal technology converts the sun’s heat into mechanical energy before converting it to concentrated solar power. The energy that is generated can be used to power turbines that, in turn, make electricity.
Types of Solar Companies
Not even the top solar companies are equipped to manufacture, install, and finance your solar panel system. Instead, they specialize in one of those areas. There are different types of solar companies and as a homeowner, you should be aware of how different companies function. It is very likely that you’ll deal only with installers and financing solar electric companies. But, keep in mind that you don’t have to choose the same company both for financing and installation.
When it comes to panel manufacturing solar companies, they produce solar cells and assemble solar panels. They are also the ones in charge of the research and development of solar energy. These solar electric companies frequently create their own supply chain and offer warranties on their products.
Solar installers function similarly to a car dealership. They provide you with panels from a solar panel manufacturing company or a solar panel wholesaler. The main aim of these energy companies is to install and get solar panels to work on your rooftops. So, they need to be specialized in areas that solar panel manufacturers usually are not. These companies can be large or small and they can function nationwide or only in certain regions.
Last but not least, solar financing companies help people finance their switch to solar systems. They provide loans, leases, or even power purchase agreements.
Is My Home a Good Candidate
for Solar Energy?
If you struggle with high electric bills, then contacting one of the best solar companies might be the right solution for you. Here are some tips that will help you understand whether your home is a good candidate for solar energy.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is how much is your energy bill. In order to benefit from going solar, your utility bill should be at least $75 per month. If your bill is less than that, then you won’t save up much money by installing solar panels.
Then, you should pay attention to your roof. Solar electric companies install panels that can last more than 40 years, so you need to make sure that your roof can last as long as that. When installing solar panels, top solar companies use mounting hardware which works best on sturdy materials. If you think that you should replace your roof, make that your priority instead of buying solar panels.
Besides the condition of your roof, you should also take the size of your roof into consideration. In general, one solar panel produces about 1 kWh per day. The amount of your daily kWh usage determines the number of solar panels needed to meet your energy needs. Keep in mind that one solar panel is 5 ½ feet tall and 3 feet wide. So, the available space on your roof can also determine whether you can switch to solar systems.
Since solar panels require solar energy to work properly, you should know how much sun you actually get. Solar panels produce more power when they get direct sunlight. The less shade there is, the more electricity your panels will be able to produce. Solar energy companies point out that every home has unique “peak sun-hours.” These are the hours on a typical day that determine how much of the sunlight can reach your solar panels at 1,000 watts per square meter.
The majority of homes in the United States have three to five peak sun-hours per day, with less in the winter and more in the summer. In order to get the most out of your solar panels, solar electric companies recommend mounting them toward the rotation of the sun. For example, if you live in the northern hemisphere, the solar panels should be placed on a south-facing part of your roof.
Last but not least, where you live can also affect the amount of energy you need. For example, if your home is surrounded by shade produced by large trees, tall buildings, or any other obstructions, this might hamper the amount of sunlight your solar panels receive, making them less effective. In addition, the climate in your region might affect the performance of your solar panels. This specifically refers to the peak sun-hours. Peak sun-hours can be calculated by placing an insolation meter in direct sunlight. The meter will provide information about the solar power supply and light intensity in your area.
How to Choose the Best Solar Company
Plenty of consumers make poor decisions and choose the wrong solar companies. Some overpay for the system, others purchase solar panels that are not suitable for their home, and some choose a poor quality solar company. Investing in solar power can be a great purchase, but if done wrong it can turn into a financial drain. Here are some tips that will help you choose the best solar company for your home.
1. Avoid Canvassing Companies
Many solar energy companies send crews of canvassers to neighborhoods. Tesla itself did this but stopped the practice due to reputation issues. The canvassing teams can use aggressive sales tactics and create a sense of urgency since they are compensated on commissions sales. In a way, they can “force” you to sign a contract without giving you the time to do your own research. Don’t let this happen to you! Choose the best solar company for your home based on research and find one that will fulfill all your needs.
2. Check Out Multiple Companies
Good news is that there is not only one solar panel company in your region but many of them. Take your time, shop around, and get multiple quotes. Some platforms, such as EnergySage and PickMySolar, have made this process easy and they allow you to get quotes from the comfort of your home.
3. Find Information Specific for Your Neighborhood
Switching to solar energy is a unique purchase that will last for decades. In the majority of states, there are organizations that manage solar incentives and publish local pricing data. This information can be quite helpful when you have to compare multiple quotes and decide what the best solar company for you is. For example, The California Solar Initiative offers this information; all you have to do is insert your zip code and you’ll get the most recent info.
4. Consider a Local Company
When it comes to solar electric companies, there are three best-known national installers – Solar City, Vivint, and SunRun. As of September 2016, these three solar energy companies are in charge of about 60% of the residential solar market, according to data provided by Greentech Media. The remaining 40% belongs to regional installers and their presence in the market has been gradually increasing. One great thing about local companies is that they can offer more affordable prices and high-quality solar systems at the same time, so it is definitely worth checking them out.