Best Solar Companies in California (2023)

Learn how to start generating clean energy in California with our guide to the state’s best solar companies.

Alex Hawkins

Mar 13, 2023

California residents looking to make the transition to solar power may feel intimidated at first. Not only is there a lot of technical jargon to sift through, but there are nearly 2,000 solar providers available in the state.

In order to make the process easier and help you narrow the search down to the best solar companies in California, we’ve compiled all the need-to-know information in this in-depth guide. We researched solar panel options, warranties, available tax incentives, and more to help you determine the right solar installer for your home. To get a head start on the solar installation process, use our tool below to determine what solar installation companies are near you.

The Top Solar Installation Companies

Based on our research and methodology, the following providers are the best solar companies in California:

Momentum Solar

Fast Facts:

  • Warranty Options: 25-year workmanship and equipment warranty
  • Panel Options: Monocrystalline (various manufacturers)
  • Payment Options: Full purchase, solar loan, solar lease, and power purchase agreement (PPA)

What We Like: Momentum Solar is our top pick for a solar installation company. The company limits its availability to states with well-established net-metering programs. Net-metering is a program in which your utility company tracks the surplus energy your solar system generates. The metered amount is then subtracted from your power bill, helping you save or make money.

Momentum’s limited availability also allows it to focus more on service and quality than other solar installation companies. To make the solar installation process more convenient, Momentum conducts virtual consultations via Zoom. During this process, you will provide a copy of your power bill for the last 12 months of power usage so that Momentum can maximize your savings.

The company also provides solar panels from various manufacturers to fit your specific solar needs and offers an excellent warranty with a combination 25-year workmanship and equipment warranty.

Get your Solar quote today.


Fast Facts:

  • Warranty Options: 25-year system and labor warranty
  • Panel Options: Monocrystalline (Maxeon)
  • Payment Options: Full purchase, loan, lease, and PPA.

What We Like: SunPower is a pioneer in the residential solar market. Founded in 1985 in San Jose, the company has more years of experience than any other provider on our list.

SunPower partners with Maxeon Solar Technologies to produce its solar panels. Maxeon was originally part of SunPower. Because of this close relationship, SunPower fully integrates and designs your solar system so that each component works together seamlessly—from manufacturing to installation and monitoring.

SunPower also customizes its solar energy systems for California’s climate and offers further customization via its SunPower Design Studio. This software lets you see how SunPower designs your system specifically for your home. Finally, SunPower offers an above-average combination system-and-labor warranty.

Read More:Sunpower Review

Get your quote from Sunpower today.


Fast Facts:

  • Warranty Options: 25-year workmanship and product warranty
  • Panel Options: Monocrystalline (various manufacturers)
  • Payment Options: Purchase, solar loan, solar lease, and PPA

What We Like: If you’re building a new home or installing a new roof, it’s the perfect time to invest in a solar power system with Sunrun. The company offers significant perks for residential home builders, including its BuilderChoice New Homes Program.

Designed for code compliance in each state Sunrun operates in, this program provides a dedicated team to handle all of the complicated paperwork required by local utility companies and other bureaucratic California organizations. It also works with your choice of roofers to subcontract all labor and ensure the system is activated and running smoothly before you’re granted permission to operate (PTO).

Get your quote from Sunrun today.

Palmetto Solar

Fast Facts:

  • Warranty Options: 25-year manufacturer warranty
  • Panel Options: Monocrystalline (Q Cells)
  • Payment Options: Purchase, loan, lease, and PPA

What We Like: Though solar panels are stronger than you might expect, you never know what could happen between the Golden State’s earthquakes and home maintenance mishaps. Because of this concern, Palmetto Solar offers its optional Palmetto Peace of Mind Plan. This $12-per-month plan includes active monitoring and discounts on various services, such as panel cleaning, repair, or battery services. Palmetto also provides a 25-year manufacturer warranty for its Q-Cells monocrystalline solar panels.

To conveniently monitor your system, Palmetto has a smartphone app. This lets you track your system’s performance by day, week, and month. You can also set goals for spending and power output.

Tesla Solar

Fast Facts:

  • Warranty Options: 25-year performance guarantee
  • Panel Options: Monocrystalline (Q Cells)
  • Payment Options: Purchase and loan

What We Like: You might know Tesla as one of the biggest names in renewable energy due to its electric vehicles. However, Tesla also offers innovative solar energy products. Namely, it offers solar shingles, which make a solar roof.

Solar shingles are solar panels that mimic the appearance of roof shingles. This offers a sleek, low-profile look that preserves your home’s aesthetic beauty and avoids the sometimes distracting appearance of solar panels.

Tesla is also known in the solar industry for the Tesla Powerwall solar battery. This energy storage device supplies your home with backup power during power outages and at night. Combine Tesla’s solar roof and Powerwall with its mobile app, and you have a fully integrated, aesthetically pleasing, custom solar system with 24/7 active monitoring from any location in the world.

ADT Solar

Fast Facts:

  • Warranty Options: 25-year Power Production Guarantee
  • Panel Options: Monocrystalline (LG)
  • Payment Options: Purchase and loan

What We Like: ADT Solar (formerly known as Sunpro Solar) offers high-quality monocrystalline solar panels from LG. The company includes a comprehensive combination of four warranties in one. ADT Solar’s Power Production Guarantee includes a 25-year labor warranty, a 25-year energy production guarantee, a 25-year solar panel manufacturer warranty, and a 25-year Enphase microinverter warranty. This guarantee covers all components of a solar PV system and its performance.

ADT Solar also provides free home-energy audits and connects you with roof replacement experts if any roofing needs arise. The company promises that if another solar installer offers comparable products and benefits for less than ADT Solar’s price, it will refund the difference. We suggest getting multiple quotes if you consider this provider to negotiate the best price.

Get your quote from ADT Solar today.


Fast Facts:

  • Warranty Options: 25-year bumper-to-bumper warranty
  • Panel Options: Monocrystalline (Panasonic, LG, and Q Cells)
  • Payment Options: Purchase, loan, lease, and PPA

What We Like: SunLux is proof that quantity does not equal quality. The company has specialized service areas only in California and Texas. SunLux provides many of the services and perks of larger companies—such as a mobile app, active monitoring, and comprehensive warranties—but with a personable and accessible customer support team. The company also uses highly reputable solar panel manufacturers for its systems.

SunLux has a specialized understanding of solar needs, both physical and bureaucratic, in California. If you want a system tailored to the Golden State’s climate and clear-cut communication about getting enrolled in California’s solar incentives, we recommend you look into SunLux.

Factors That Affect Solar Installation Cost in California

If you want to make the most out of your investment in solar energy, consider the following factors.

  • Energy consumption: If you experience a higher-than-average monthly electricity bill, you can expect to save more with solar energy. According to a 2020 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), California‘s average monthly electricity bill is $116.94. If you spend more than that per month, you can get more savings from switching to solar.
  • Solar panel type: The type of solar panel you choose for your system will influence the overall cost of your system. Monocrystalline solar panels tend to cost more than polycrystalline and thin-film panels. This price difference is because the manufacturing process for monocrystalline panels is more extensive, but they offer the highest efficiency rates.
  • Roof type: Solar panels work on metal, shingle, and flat roofs. Each type of roof requires different labor and components to install a solar system properly. For example, a completely flat roof or one with multiple chimneys requires more labor and components to build a mounting system. A roof with a steep angle of 45 degrees to 60 degrees facing south will yield better power output than other roofs.
  • Shading: A system that experiences total sun exposure will produce more energy with fewer panels.If your home experiences more shade from trees, surrounding buildings, or weather patterns, you may have to purchase more panels to provide the same energy.
  • Payment option: Your payment option with a solar installation company influences the cost-effectiveness of your solar system in the long term. A solar lease or a power purchase agreement (PPA) does not let you own the system yourself or take advantage of tax incentives and rebates. A solar loan and other financing options are more cost-effective options; however, you might pay more over time due to interest rates. Purchasing your solar panels up-front is the most cost-effective payment option.

Solar Tax Incentives in California

In addition to the federal tax credit offered by the U.S. government, California offers a variety of state tax incentives and rebates to make your investment in solar energy even more cost-effective. We have listed some of the significant California incentives below.

  • Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP): The California Public Utilities Commission offers an up-front rebate for installing an energy storage system. However, this incentive is a tiered-block program. As a result, the incentive value declines as more battery installations occur in California. SGIP currently offers $200 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) stored energy capacity, meaning that a popular solar battery like the Tesla Powerwall provides a $2,700 rebate.
  • Solar Energy System Property Tax Exclusion: The Active Solar Energy System Exclusion makes your property taxes not increase until the end of the 2024 fiscal year. You can use this exclusion to install a new home solar system in California or build a house with a solar panel system.

What to Expect From Your Solar Installation Inspection

Each solar installation requires a home inspection, which helps the solar installer know what rigging system is required and what kind of panels, inverters, energy storage systems, and other vital components you will need. Overall, the solar inspection aims to ensure all the details are right for your solar panels to work for the next 25 to 30 years.

Solar installation inspections tend to follow these steps:

  • Roof inspection: The company takes roof measurements to check the fit and dimension of the solar system. Based on these findings, it identifies any existing roof obstructions and discusses modifications to the proposed layout. In addition, roof damage, including broken tiles and worn shingles, is photographed.
  • Attic inspection: A solar installer checks your attic for accessibility and the truss layout.
  • Electrical inspection: The solar company evaluates your home’s current electrical system. Using these findings, the company creates a utility interconnection plan. It also notes the locations of electrical conduits and disconnecting means.
  • Internet inspection: An installer may ask about your internet access to determine the appropriate performance monitoring hardware to install.

Our Recommendation

California is ripe for investment in solar power. The state offers plenty of sunshine, tax incentives and rebates, and top-tier solar installation companies. However, a ranch home near Los Angeles requires different energy solutions and solar services than a cabin near Sacramento.

Momentum Solar offers an excellent combination of solar products and professional installation services. Combining its solar panels with an established California net-metering program will help move your community closer to clean energy and get you some serious savings.

SunPower has plenty of experience in the solar industry to meet your needs. Plus, you get access to its in-house solar panel manufacturer. Sunrun is also an excellent choice if you want to build a new California home or rebuild your current home’s roof.

We recommend getting quotes from three different solar installers in your ZIP code to compare offerings. To get started on this process, use our tool below.

Homeowners Save $5,000–$20,000 with Solar Panels on Average

Get a Quote on Your Solar Installation in 30 Seconds

Solar Companies FAQ

How We Chose the Top Solar Companies

We researched and analyzed dozens of solar panels and solar installation companies. We then formulated a rating system based on each solar installer or manufacturer’s services and products on several significant factors. Factors include the types of solar panels and their quality, customer support network, warranty lengths and limitations, and additional benefits for homeowners, such as mobile apps for monitoring and customer service.

Speaking directly to a representative at each company, we determined how each solar company personalizes its solar panel installation for each home. We also analyzed each company’s warranty options to ensure their product and performance guarantees match or exceed industry standards.

We evaluated each provider based on their rating and history with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to determine reputation. In addition, we analyzed the 100 most recent Google Reviews for each provider across various locations and branches.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Mrs. Angelic Larkin

Last Updated: 03/15/2023

Views: 6021

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Mrs. Angelic Larkin

Birthday: 1992-06-28

Address: Apt. 413 8275 Mueller Overpass, South Magnolia, IA 99527-6023

Phone: +6824704719725

Job: District Real-Estate Facilitator

Hobby: Letterboxing, Vacation, Poi, Homebrewing, Mountain biking, Slacklining, Cabaret

Introduction: My name is Mrs. Angelic Larkin, I am a cute, charming, funny, determined, inexpensive, joyous, cheerful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.