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Best Solar Companies of May 2023

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Tesla solar panels

Tesla Photo voltaic

Finest photo voltaic panels strictly on value

The shape beneath contains details about our associate services. The corporate quotes you obtain can differ from these we have researched independently.

SunPower tops CNET’s 2023 record of one of the best photo voltaic panel firms due to its high-efficiency panels and its sturdy warranties. However if you happen to can generate sufficient renewable vitality to satisfy your wants with cheaper panels, need extra customer support help or need your array to be extra visually refined, you may discover one of the best decide right here.

Should you’re planning to purchase photo voltaic panels to keep away from rising vitality prices and growing blackouts or spend money on renewable vitality, you are not alone. Residential solar installations grew by 40% in 2022 from the earlier yr, in response to the Photo voltaic Vitality Industries Affiliation.

You may get 30% of the price of photo voltaic panels again in your taxes and take part in native incentives and web metering (the place accessible). The Inflation Discount Act that was handed final yr opened up extra rebates for energy-efficient residence enhancements, electrical home equipment and different renewable vitality options, which might enable you to save much more with photo voltaic panels.

With local weather change anticipated to gasoline extreme climate that may cause more power outages, photo voltaic panels with a backup battery can maintain your own home powered.

Photo voltaic panels are a important funding although, to not point out a choice that requires some cautious thought and analysis. Under are my selections for one of the best photo voltaic firms by a number of totally different parameters. Nonetheless, with a purchase order as large as photo voltaic panels, do not let this record be your solely cease. Photo voltaic panel firms, as a result of their merchandise require prolonged, skilled set up, are examined a bit otherwise than different classes on CNET.

This record and the critiques it attracts from aren’t based mostly on any hands-on testing. There isn’t any possible method to do hands-on testing of the acquisition course of, set up or a house photo voltaic panel array after it is put in. As an alternative, these photo voltaic firm critiques depend on interviews with firm spokespeople, publicly accessible knowledge and evaluation of developments (like photo voltaic panel costs). Whereas the critiques are as completely researched as attainable, the character of the product means there are some limitations in comparison with one other class like moveable energy stations.

Finest photo voltaic firms of 2023

This finest record attracts from nationwide and notable installers of (principally rooftop) photo voltaic panels. As we publish critiques of extra firms, this finest record might be up to date to replicate our present prime selections. These had been rated one of the best photo voltaic firms for the range and high quality of apparatus and merchandise they provided, their said warranties and obvious commitments to customer support. (Customer support is tough to pin down and subsequently makes up a smaller portion of the rating, regardless that it is a important a part of the buying course of.)

Should you’re searching for a photo voltaic panel installer, be sure you get a number of quotes together with from native installers the place attainable. The specifics of a photo voltaic array might change given the form and angle of a given roof or the vitality utilization and habits of a given household. Photo voltaic could be a nice funding however requires you to do your individual analysis.

Solar panels on a wooden house.


SunPower Photo voltaic takes the highest spot on our greatest record due to its top-of-the-line photo voltaic panels and robust warranties. The photo voltaic panels SunPower presents have trade main effectivity marks (22.8%) and a guaranty that ensures at the very least 92% manufacturing after 25 years. It additionally earns an A+ score from the Higher Enterprise Bureau. It presents sturdy warranties on batteries as properly.

SunPower’s photo voltaic panels may be a bit costlier than others (although correct pricing trade extensive is difficult to come back by). The corporate has stated it plans to proceed rolling out extra accessible photo voltaic options. Learn our SunPower assessment.



Palmetto Photo voltaic has sturdy photo voltaic tools choices and is attempting one thing totally different from most photo voltaic firms in the case of customer support. Palmetto presents proactive monitoring and tiered ranges of help on a subscription mannequin known as Palmetto Shield. Whereas among the higher tiers may solely repay solely in essentially the most excessive circumstances of failure, photo voltaic prospects feeling uneasy about their tools should buy a little bit of peace of thoughts for a small charge.

It is value noting that photo voltaic panels are usually low upkeep methods. Folks can monitor their methods by way of apps accessible from most installers, together with Palmetto. Palmetto additionally receives an A+ from the Higher Enterprise Bureau. Learn our Palmetto Photo voltaic assessment.

Timberline Solar shingles on a roof.

GAF Vitality

Most residential photo voltaic prospects so far have photo voltaic panels mounted on racks bolted to their roofs. That is one thing GAF Vitality is attempting to vary with Timberline Photo voltaic shingles, its photo voltaic roofing product. Connected with nails as an alternative of bolts and put in on the similar time and by the identical crew as a brand new roof, the photo voltaic power-generating shingles sit flush to the roof. They appear a bit sleeker and might be much less susceptible to leaks than conventional photo voltaic panels.

GAF Vitality’s photo voltaic shingle, put in in 16 states with extra to come back, might make the choice to go photo voltaic simpler by rolling it in with the acquisition of a brand new roof. Should you do not just like the look of photo voltaic panels, Timberline Photo voltaic shingles have a subtler look, although they are not invisible. You additionally get a photo voltaic roof with out the foremost markup of different choices, just like the Tesla photo voltaic roof. Learn CNET’s GAF Vitality assessment.

Tesla solar panels


Tesla’s Photo voltaic department appears to be the least cherished of Elon Musk’s ventures. Even Tesla’s Photo voltaic Roof appears to get extra love. Nonetheless, photo voltaic panels from Tesla are more likely to be the most cost effective possibility the place they’re accessible. It can save you hundreds of {dollars}, with out sacrificing on high quality of apparatus.

What you may sacrifice is customer support. From delays to cost modifications, to gradual responses, to system malfunctions, social media experiences of damaging experiences aren’t exhausting to search out, together with some who remorse their selection. That is true of all photo voltaic firms, however the amount of experiences regarding Tesla is regarding. Others describe experiences that are not so unhealthy, to make sure. The final consensus is that going with Tesla is a chance.

Learn our Tesla Photo voltaic assessment.

Different firms we reviewed

We have reviewed different photo voltaic firms that do not seem in our greatest record above, together with some that scored larger total than Tesla’s photo voltaic panels. Given the character of the photo voltaic panel trade, which shifts from state to state and roof to roof, a few of these different firms may be higher suited to your state of affairs. 

  • Sunrun: The largest photo voltaic firm in America. Sunrun presents high quality panels, a selection of a few batteries and high quality inverters. It additionally presents sturdy warranties. Most of its enterprise is in leases or energy buy agreements, and Sunrun offers stronger warranties for energy buy agreements than purchases. Its total rating is larger than Tesla’s, however simply missed edging out the others resulting from its missing a price-match coverage.
  • Tesla Photo voltaic Roof: Tesla’s Photo voltaic Roof is an thrilling method to think about photo voltaic. It is glossy, it is low profile, nevertheless it’s very costly. Relying on the scale of your roof and your location, it may be a number of instances costlier than photo voltaic panels. 
  • Smartflower: The photo voltaic sunflower is a lovely method to set up photo voltaic panels. Except you are attempting to promote your inexperienced commitments or discover a assertion piece in your yard, it is possible an excessive amount of cash for too little photo voltaic.
  • ADT Photo voltaic: ADT Photo voltaic is a relative newcomer, after ADT bought Sunpro and rebranded it in 2022. The corporate was compelled to discover a new panel provider after LG left the market, however has dedicated to putting in tier one panels. It acquired excessive marks for its warranties and value match.
  • Trinity Photo voltaic: For some time, Trinity was CNET’s prime firm for customer support and nonetheless receives prime marks for there. It additionally presents high quality tools and warranties, although a few of its warranties, like its workmanship guarantee, are a bit weaker than different firms’. 

How we take a look at and fee photo voltaic firms

Photo voltaic firms are tough to assessment. Even when it was possible to put in photo voltaic panels from each installer on a single home one after one other and evaluate them, variations in climate and season would have an effect on output. You’d additionally nonetheless be left with the subjective rankings for customer support, which is a significant component within the expertise of getting photo voltaic panels for a roof.

Even and not using a laboratory take a look at for photo voltaic panel firms, we stored our assessment as standardized as attainable. We evaluated photo voltaic firms in three classes: breadth of service, worth and buyer care. The breadth of service covers issues like whether or not or not an organization provided a wide range of high quality panels, batteries or inverters and if it provided panels for buy, lease and energy buy settlement. It additionally takes into consideration the energy of warranties. Worth covers value and another advantages, for instance, a extremely rated app for patrons to watch their photo voltaic panels. Buyer care included some anecdotal proof from on-line boards and assessment websites, but in addition buyer satisfaction and care rankings (the place accessible) from respected sources just like the Higher Enterprise Bureau.

Photo voltaic panel FAQs

How a lot do photo voltaic panels price?

The typical residential solar installation costs $3.04 per watt, in response to the Photo voltaic Vitality Trade Affiliation. Which means a 7-kilowatt photo voltaic panel system would price about $21,280. (The price of photo voltaic panels varies by location, due to so-called comfortable prices, like allowing, inspection charges and labor, which accounted for 62% of the entire price in 2021.)

There are many incentives to cut back that price or offer you a refund in your taxes, although. The Inflation Discount Act elevated the federal tax credit score for photo voltaic panels to 30% and made it accessible for 10 years. Different native tax exemptions or incentives might be attainable, too. In case your utility has a web metering program, you would obtain credit in your utility invoice that may enable you to lower your expenses quicker than with out.

Are photo voltaic panels value it?

Photo voltaic panels will possible be value it, relying on the small print of your particular state of affairs. Should you use little or no vitality or have very low-cost vitality, you will not be saving as a lot cash every month and it’ll take longer in your panels to pay for themselves. Likewise, if you happen to dwell underneath deep tree cowl, rooftop photo voltaic panels possible will not generate sufficient electrical energy to be value it. 

Nonetheless, photo voltaic can repay in vitality financial savings for many years. Decreasing the associated fee with rebates and tax credit will assist repay your photo voltaic panels quicker. The way you pay in your photo voltaic panels will have an effect on that calculation, too. It is going to take longer to recoup your prices if you happen to take out a mortgage, which can accrue curiosity and include charges. You may calculate your payback interval if you already know the price of photo voltaic panels after rebates and the way a lot you may save on vitality prices annually.

How lengthy do photo voltaic panels final?

Should you purchase photo voltaic panels right now, there is a good likelihood they will be underneath guarantee for 25 years. You may typically see that listed because the lifespan of the panels, however that is not fairly correct. That guarantee covers manufacturing out of your photo voltaic panels. Photo voltaic panels lose their means to provide photo voltaic electrical energy as they age for any variety of causes, so a guaranty will assure a sure stage of manufacturing after a sure variety of years. For instance, Q Cells presents a 25-year guarantee, which ensures that your panels will produce at 86% of their rated capability at that time.

This does not imply these photo voltaic panels die on the finish of 25 years, they will simply produce much less. Photo voltaic panels can produce properly after their guarantee expires, although given that giant numbers of photo voltaic panels are simply now being put in, we’ll proceed to get a greater thought of how they age in years to come back.

Ought to I rent a photo voltaic panel installer?

Whereas expert do-it-yourselfers may be capable to pull off a photo voltaic panel set up, it is positively not advisable. Going by way of a good and licensed photo voltaic installer provides you numerous protections. Putting in photo voltaic panels will not be so simple as plugging in a big equipment. A certified photo voltaic installer will be capable to navigate native code and ordinances, and be certain that the guarantee on the panels stays intact. They may even be capable to let you know if you happen to want a brand new roof or different upgrades earlier than putting in photo voltaic panels.

A photo voltaic installer may even be capable to design your photo voltaic system to finest suit your objectives and habits by figuring out the most efficient places in your roof and angling panels to gather essentially the most solar. Additional, your installer ought to give you the chance that will help you troubleshoot any issues that come up after set up.

How do I do know if the quote I’ve is an efficient one?

One of the best ways to inform is to get a number of quotes. With a purchase order this large, it’s best to get a number of, together with one or two from native installers who may be capable to give you better selection.

There are additionally assets from the federal and lots of state governments to information you thru the method. You may look out for a number of purple flags from salespeople, too. 

Are native photo voltaic installers a superb possibility?

Native installers usually have much less prices for promoting and gross sales than the massive, nationwide companies. That represents attainable financial savings that might be returned to prospects. Alternatively, with a long-term funding like photo voltaic panels, it could really feel safer to have the backing of a big company. And bigger firms could possibly supply cheaper costs because of the quantity of installations they do.

Once you’re gathering quotes for a photo voltaic panel set up, be sure you contact native installers, too. The photo voltaic trade is a aggressive one, and checking round might prevent hundreds.

Will photo voltaic panels work in my local weather?

Similar photo voltaic panels will produce totally different quantities of electrical energy once they’re uncovered to totally different ranges of daylight. So, photo voltaic panels in sunnier locations (just like the American southwest) with extra direct daylight (like within the south) will produce extra electrical energy. However different components make photo voltaic a superb deal for householders.

New England has one of many highest regional adoption charges for residential photo voltaic within the US. That is not as a result of it has a ton of sunshine yr spherical, however as a result of it has favorable photo voltaic insurance policies, like web metering and rebates. Photo voltaic panels may make monetary sense even when they will be put in underneath ceaselessly cloudy skies. 

Can I get the federal tax credit score?

Correction, Jan. 31, 2023: An earlier model of this text misstated the Higher Enterprise Bureau’s grading course of. Any firm can obtain a grade from the Bureau, no matter whether or not it has paid to undergo the accreditation course of.

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