People depended on nature to survive from, well, the appearance of the human race. They used what they had, and by the constant need to make things easier, people evolved and changed the world as they knew. The evolution hasn’t stopped, but it seems like we are going back to nature. People these days tend to use the sun more and more to power up their houses. Vivint Solar even has a marketing strategy to go from house to house offering photovoltaic panels.

This article will bring you back in time to the time that the below-mentioned brands appeared and will provide you with a quick pic of the future- where they are headed.

We will briefly go through the best solar companies and hope to provide all the information you need on the issue (if you are a rookie) in this field with our beginner’s guide and the frequently asked questions sections.

Let’s first see what we valued when closing the brands and then guide you through the essentials of the best solar companies. Hope you will enjoy it!

Top Choices For The Best Solar Energy On The Market

  1. SunPower – Overall Best Solar Energy Company
  2. Vivint Solar – Best Solar Company in the Market
  3. Sunpro Solar – Recommended Alternate Power Source Company
  4. Tesla –  Most Popular Brand for Solar Energy
  5. Sunrun – Well Known Solar Brand Among Customers

#1. SunPower – Overall Best Solar Energy Company

The first brand that made our list of best solar companies is Sun Power. It was founded in 1985 and has a lot of experience in the field. This solar company prides itself on delivering reliable energy and long-term peace of mind for its potential users. Moreover, the company holds more than 500 U.S. patents for solar technology.

SunPower offers top-quality and high-efficiency solar panels that generate more power than conventional solar technologies. They are known for their attractive appearance and come in a few different sizes and wattage options. Also, most SunPower installations are completed by its expansive network of certified dealers.

Highlights

  • Depending on the model, their panel’s Power output rating ranges from 250 watts to 400 watts on average.
  • Outstanding efficiency of up to 22.8 percent
  • Power tolerance rating of -0/+5%
  • Type of panel: Monocrystalline panels

Awards and Certifications

This company stands out because it was awarded the solar industry’s Sustainability Award in 2019. Moreover, it was the first solar panel manufacturer to achieve Cradle to Cradle recognition. It was recognized as material health, renewable energy use, water stewardship, and social fairness.

SunPower is also certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Meaning SunPower dealers have to pass the SunPower Equinox Best Practices exam before installing SunPower’s premium products, one of the listed certification programs available through the NABCEP.

Lower total expenses

Because their panels have high efficiency and produce more electricity, the number of panels you need in your house is decreased, which lowers the total costs, making them perfect for homes with limited roof space.

Satisfaction guarantee

You get a 10-year product warranty term for monitoring hardware. Plus, they guarantee that your panels won’t lose more than 8% of their original power output in 25 years. Compared to conventional solar, where the rate is 19%, it is pretty impressive.

A quick pic in the company’s story

In 2019, SunPower announced that it would produce solar panels under the newly formed company Maxeon Solar, while SunPower will continue to focus on designing and monitoring solar systems. The founders completed this process in August 2020, and now the company’s panels (aside from the P Series) are marketed under the name “SunPower Maxeon.”

Another news is that, in February 2022, The owners had extended Maxeon Solar Technologies’ performance warranty on panels (sold under SunPower Maxeon brand in Australia) from 25 years to 40 years. For Sunpower Maxeon 5 A.C., the 40 years only cover the panel, and the integrated micro inverter is under Enphase’s 25-year warranty.

You should know that the product warranty for SunPower P series panels is still 25 years.

Pros

  • Uses an all-in-one, comprehensive installation system
  • Comes with an unmatched 25-year performance warranty and 10-year for hardware monitoring
  • Eco-friendly
  • Low maintenance
  • Minimizes your electricity bills
  • Will provide your roof with a classy look
  • They use the purest silicon with their Maxeon series
  • Unmatched efficiency of 22.8%
  • Different certifications, e.g., Cradle to Cradle, ISO achieved for their excellent performance

Cons

  • Initial cost reasonably highly.

Costs

You will need to pay a minimum of $3.30 per watt for this company’s solar system.

Just to get an idea- it is calculated to be $19,800 before incentives for the average 6 kW system.

=> Click here to visit the official website of SunPower

#2. Vivint Solar – Best Solar Company in the Market

The second brand that we consider one of the best is Vivint, which is one of the largest solar installers in the United States. Suppose you’re a homeowner in California, New Mexico, or Arizona, in that case, you are probably familiar with Vivint, as there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve had a salesperson from Vivint Solar knocking on your door.

Since 2011, Vivint Solar has been committed to providing customers with more affordable and environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional electricity. This brand allows clients to take advantage of the benefits of solar energy with little to no upfront fees. Moreover, Vivint Solar strives to deliver the best service on the market. One proof of their reliability is that they have 69% five-star reviews on Trustpilot from 191 reviews.

Highlights

  • Power output rating between 250 watts and 370 watts.
  • Efficiency between 15% and 18%
  • Type of panels: Monocrystalline panels

Customers service

Vivint has the most impeccable customer service and technicians that are widely known for their professionalism in installing and maintaining the panels. It is one of the features that make them stand out from the rest!

Satisfaction guarantee

When you purchase a solar energy system from Vivint, you can get a 10-year warranty on all craft, meaning they cover any damages to your home or solar system resulting from improper installation.

Also, you get a 25-year linear performance warranty, which means if the solar panels don’t produce as much energy as promised, they will replace it, ensuring your panels and solar equipment are degrading at a specified rate.

However, all other warranties (such as panels, batteries, and inverters) are guaranteed to be ten years. It surprises us that they come with a 20-year warranty on energy prices (included in the power purchase agreement PPA), ensuring that you pay Vivint a lower price for electricity than the local utility.

A quick pic in the company’s story

Vivint is an automation company started in 1999; at first, it was APX Alarm Security Solutions and just in 2011 to be rebranded as Vivant.

Back then, the main product was home security systems, and alarms which continue to be the primary part of its business, although they offer other home automation products such as doorbell cameras.

In 2011, Vivint spun off Vivint Solar as a standalone company. While operating separately, the company retains some things in common with the original company, especially the use of door-to-door sales.

Then in late 2020, Vivint Solar was acquired by Sunrun, another big name in the solar industry. The two companies have more than 600,000 customers. Although Sunrun owns Vivint Solar, Vivint Solar still operates as a subsidiary of the larger company, meaning with them you can expect to pay their prices and deal with their customer service agents and employees.

Pros

  • No additional maintenance charges
  • The installation process lasts just a day
  • They provide you with a solar generator system and solar roofing system
  • You get a 25 years satisfaction guarantee
  • They have unmatched customer service

Cons

  • We couldn’t find information on their power tolerance rating.

Costs

When it comes to the costs – Vivint’s installation costs are $3.56 per watt.

#3. Sunpro Solar – Recommended Alternate Power Source Company

Sunpro Solar has made big waves in the solar market since 2008. Sunpro Solar sells exclusively renewable energy systems and doesn’t offer leasing solar panels. Plus, they provide high-quality storage solutions.

Sunpro Solar offers comprehensive warranties, system monitoring, and has an A+ rating from the BBB, making Sunpro Solar a reliable provider for homeowners looking into solar. To further the customer support you receive, this company is owned by one of the most reputable names in home security, ADT. *Read more in the section: Quick pick in history and future!

Sunpro Solar has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA) for the seventh consecutive year. That must say something about this brand, right?

Highlight

  • Power output rating ranges between 150watts to an amazing 540 watts (if you go for the highest watts model option)
  • Efficiency between 15–20%
  • Positive output tolerance (0-3%);
  • Type of panels: Monocrystalline panels

Sunpro Solar refer and earn

With SunPro Solar, you can go solar and earn money. You might ask how? This brand offers the Sunpro Solar Referral app.

This app (that you can download from the App Store or Play Store) lets you earn by referring your friends to Sunpro’s solar or roofing services.

So, receive $35 for each qualified referral or $25 for your friend meeting with the company. If your referral goes through and decides for their solar services, you receive an additional $1,000, or if they decide to get a new roof, you receive $500; on top of all, each time someone in your network submits a solid solar referral, you receive $200 for no extra work!

Satisfaction guarantee

Sunpro Solar provides you with a 25-year guarantee that the solar system will produce its highest levels. You get a labor guarantee that the solar panels are professionally installed and that there will be no harm to the property or any other equipment. However, all other warranties (such as panels, batteries, and inverters) are guaranteed to be ten years.

*Sunpro Solar also offers Tesla Powerwall 2 and the Enphase Encharge 10 are two of the most excellent solar battery solutions on the market.

A quick pic in the company’s story

American District Telegraph (ADT) founder Edward Callahan has created a telegraph-based “call-box” which was used to signal for assistance to a central office. He connected 50 other homes in the neighborhood and created the first residential security system network.

ADT acquired Sunpro Solar in 2021. ADT will rebrand Sunpro to ADT Solar and enter the rooftop solar business.

Sunpro is the perfect partner for ADT as Jim DeVries, ADT president, says: by combining a cash-flow-positive company with the high-growth solar business. This way they will offer more to customers and that will be good for the customers and for ADT and ADT Solar.

Pros

  • Earn $1,000 for each friend referral
  • App available for iOS and Android
  • Brand won several awards in its domain
  • Large service area
  • Comes with 24/7 solar monitoring
  • Offers a 25-year warranty (panel, inverter, and labor)

Cons

  • No lease options
  • Not available nationwide
  • Doesn’t provide pricing estimates online

Costs

You will need to pay a minimum of $3.30 per watt for this company’s solar system.

Just to get an idea- it is calculated to be $19,800 before incentives for the average 6 kW system.

#4. Tesla – Most Popular Brand for Solar Energy

Tesla is maybe known the most for producing electric cars. Still, after 2016 with the purchase of the solar company SolarCity, it found its place in the solar market in 2020, and now is the second-largest solar panel installation company in the U.S. by market share. According to the market analysis firm Wood Mackenzie had 7.6% of the market as of the end of last year.

Customers can use the Tesla app to monitor their solar system remotely. Homeowners may check just how much energy their system produces, and with using the Tesla, app customers can even look at past trends to determine if it is becoming less efficient over time. Tesla is the perfect panel for customers that appreciate the transparency of prices.

Highlights

  • The power output rating is 425 watts
  • Tesla claims that its solar panels have 19.6% efficiency. They also claim that the panels degrade by approximately 0.5% each year inefficiency.
  • Power tolerance (-0/+5) watts
  • Types of panels: Monocrystalline panels

Solar panel design

Solar panels from Tesla have a fancy appearance that blends well with the current roof of every type of roof. Plus, Tesla’s solar panels have no visible grid, a hidden edge, so your system will not draw unwanted attention after installation. They interlock and form a single solid solar panel array when the panels are mounted. Moreover, they can resist temperatures of up to 185°F.

Satisfaction guarantee

With Tesla, their manufacturer guaranteed your solar panels to work at least 80% power capacity for a minimum of 25 years. At your request, Tesla will process your claim and perform any related labor at their cost.

Moreover with them, you get a 10-year comprehensive warranty that covers your entire Tesla solar system, for at least ten years. Tesla will perform any related labor at their cost, including the following aspects of your solar system: Powerwall, Solar inverter, and Roof mounting and leaks.

A quick pic in the company’s story

We mentioned that Tesla had purchased SolarCity in 2016. Solar City was a company that was founded by cousins of Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. From then on Tesla and numerous other solar manufacturers have made strong plays in the solar market, and some of those are SunPower and Vivint Solar, who have jockeyed back and forth with Tesla for being the market leader.

Pros

  • Free evaluation
  • Variety of financing options
  • 25 year of warranty

Cons

  • Not the best customer service

Costs

  • Small system (4.8 kW, 12 panels) costs – $2.44 per watt
  • Medium (9.6 kW, 24 panels) costs – $1.95 per watt,
  • Large (14.4 kW, 36 panels) costs – $1.93 per watt
  • Extra Large (19.2 kW, 48) costs – $1.84 per watt

#5. Sunrun – Well Known Solar Brand Among Customers

The last brand that we find offering a great value is Sunrun, which is a solar power installation company. This brand was founded in 2007 to create a world powered entirely by solar energy, Sunrun has grown rapidly and now operates in over 20 states. This brand stands out because it uses satellite information to create solar panel layouts, offering homeowners more effectiveness of their systems.

Sunrun is aware of the difficulties while converting to solar power. They strive to make the procedure as straightforward as possible while still giving customer support and assistance at every step.

Highlights

  • Power output rating between power output ranges from 250 to 400 watts
  • The efficiency rating of Sunrun solar panels ranges from 15 to 22 percent
  • Type of panels: Monocrystalline panels

Prepaid solar lease

The brand has also Prepaid Solar Lease, which means you get to pay your solar lease in full at the start of the term. However, you are likely to save less and not get any tax breaks.

Satisfaction guarantee

Sunrun offers warranties directly from manufacturers. Their high-quality craft is backed by 20 years of residential solar experience, plus you get a ten-year craft warranty. Your purchase also includes a 15-year roof penetration warranty to protect your roof.

If you upgrade to the Sunrun Premium Base Plus offering, you get a 25-year roof penetration warranty. With Sunrun, you will get a product warranty of the panels, typically between 12-25 years. But, the panel manufacturer will manage all warranty claims rather than Sunrun.

A quick pic in the company’s story

Sunrun was co-founded in January 2007 by Lynn Jurich, Ed Fenster, and Nat Kreamer with a business model which offers customers either a lease or a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) business model. With this model, homeowners pay for electricity usage but not for solar panels outright, reducing the initial capital that the homeowners need to pay. However, Sunrun is only responsible for installation, maintenance, monitoring, and repairs.

Pros

  • Free online quotation
  • 24 hour telephone customer service available
  • No upfront fees
  • Free maintenance costs
  • Installation process within 2-5 days
  • Solar generator and solar roofing systems
  • 20 years satisfaction guarantee

Cons

  • Customer service is sometimes unavailable.

Costs

A single solar panel with Sunrun can cost you $2.67 and $3.43.

*The average cost ranges anywhere from $15,000 to $29,000, affordable for almost every consumer. Sunrun also partners with Costco to make solar panels available at lower prices.

How We Made This List For The Best Solar Companies?

Power output rating

The first thing that we valued was the power output rating (or known as wattage) of a solar panel; in simple words, it measures how much electricity the solar panel can produce.

The brands we choose have a power output rating between 250, the lowest wattage possible, and an incredible 540 with one of the models of Tesla.

*A high output in this field is considered around 300 watts (per panel) or more.

Efficiency rating

This rating of a solar panel is the percentage of sunlight that hits the panel and that gets turned into electricity. The brands that we choose have an efficiency rating from 15%-22,8%.

Just to note here, any panel with an efficiency of 18% will have around 15% efficiency after about ten years ahead. The first solar panels produced in the mid-1950s had only an efficiency of 2%. On the current market, there are panels in development reaching efficiency levels nearing 50%.

Solar panel efficiency is crucial, especially for those with limited roofing space, as they can’t just go and buy a lot of panels, they need one of a few high-efficiency ones. As for the others, it is up to you to decide if you will go for extra efficiency or more panels of the low efficacy ones.

Power tolerance

Power tolerance is another crucial specification when buying solar panels, although it’s often overlooked. Solar panels’ power tolerance refers to how much electricity they can fluctuate – even in the same conditions.

Most solar panels (also the ones on our list) have a power tolerance rating between -0/+3% and -0/+5%. What exactly does that mean? The -0 means that the panel always operates at least at its rated capacity; the +5% means it could produce up to 5% more power under the same conditions.

Just to make things more straightforward, we will take a solar panel of 100 W with power tolerance of -5%/+5% which would mean the panel could produce 95 W to 105 W under real-world conditions.

Cell type

We only chose monocrystalline solar cells panels, which we found more efficient because they are cut from a single silicon source. Polycrystalline on the other hand are mixed from multiple silicon sources which is why they are slightly less efficient. Thin-film technology costs less than mono or poly panels, but it lacks efficacy compared with monocrystalline panels.

Monocrystalline solar panels typically have 15-20% efficiency. Polycrystalline panels have efficiency rates typically in the 13-16% range, and the level of efficiency of thin-film modules can be between 6 and 10%.

Product warranty

All chosen brands have a 10 years product warranty, meaning that their panels will be free from material and craft defects, and if there is a problem of such nature they will be replaced.

Performance warranty

As solar panels degrade as they get older, the performance warranty refers to how your solar panels will operate as they age.

All of the chosen brands have a 25 years performance guarantee. Meaning in the first year, they will operate at no less than 98%, and for the next 24 years, the panels will degrade no more than 0.25% each year.

To get an idea, the annual degradation rate on most panels out there is 0.5%, so we can say the chosen brands are a pretty good deal.

Buying Guide To Before Choosing From The Best Solar Energy Companies:

What is solar energy?

In simple words, solar energy is the energy from the sun that reaches the earth. Light, heat, and solar electricity are all made up of these energetic particles. Many companies have worked out how to harvest this energy and convert it into solar panels. This article elaborated on photovoltaic solar panels; some use the sun’s heat to give you energy.

In general, sunlight is absorbed by roof panels and then converted to electricity, and they supply enough energy to run your house appliances. Although solar energy is still not widely used, more and more people are becoming aware of its benefits and are taking advantage of it.

The pros and cons of solar energy

When it comes to solar energy’s pros and cons, we must say that the common misconception is that it is for hippies, it’s too expensive, or it doesn’t work. Yet more and more solar energy systems are being installed on homes and businesses. This section will explain some key facts about the pros and cons of solar energy, but first, let’s see: Are solar panels worth it?

Solar panels are efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly, and the 26% federal tax credit makes solar even more attractive from 2022. However, going solar won’t make sense for every homeowner; the benefits depend on their geographic location, roof orientation, and current electricity usage. A free consultation can be the quickest way to see if solar is right for you.

In most situations and areas in the U.S., solar panels are a worthy installation that provides you with a good return on investment. What is even more important is that there are benefits to the environment.

 Pros

  • Solar panels are a proven technology that was invented over 65 years ago.
  • Modern residential solar systems can work in different weather and climates.
  • Home solar is more affordable than ever.
  • You will be worry-free for 40 years or more
  • Solar panels can increase a home’s resale value.

 Cons

  • The only disadvantage is the upfront cost and the limitations of home size and location on system size. You should pay anywhere between $11,000 to $50,000, and it can take several years to witness a return.
  • The second disadvantage is that the available roof space can limit the size of a home’s solar system. Meaning that homeowners that find themselves in this situation may have to utilize a system that isn’t large enough but just enough to meet their daily needs or consider abandoning the idea altogether.
  • Standard home solar doesn’t “work” at night.
Cons that belong to the past

Let’s see some of the cons that apply to older or less advanced home solar technologies

  • Home solar panels are not attractive
  • DIY solar installation is complicated for most homeowners
  • Solar manufacturing is not suitable for the environment
  • Cheap solar panels are not of a high-quality and will not last

How do I clean my solar panels?

It is recommended to clean your panels with running water and soap when the sun is low. If there is an excess of dirt and debris on their panels, companies suggest that you hire a solar panel cleaning service.

Frequently Asked Questions Before Choosing a Solar Panel Companies:

Q1.How can I know if my home is suitable for solar panels?

Firstly, you should calculate how much you pay for electricity. That should be your first step to evaluate whether your house is a good candidate for solar.

The general rule is that it is an excellent financial decision if your monthly electricity bill is at least $75.

The second and also crucial factor is your home’s roof. It’s a good idea to go for a solar panel if you need to replace a roof. Solar panels should be installed on roofs in good condition and don’t need to be replaced in a 20 to 30-year span of time.

And last but not least – the amount of sunlight your home receives. If there are excessively high energy needs and live in a heavily shaded area, solar panels are not a good decision.

Q2.Is it possible to run a house entirely on solar power?

Most houses to be solar-run will need about 30 solar panels. This estimate is based on average energy consumption of 1,000 kW/h and 320-watt panels installed. However, the number of panels depends on the size of your home, the available rooftop space, and your average monthly household energy consumption.

So, the answer is yes; you can run a house entirely on solar power in many cases. However, solar power is not a necessary solution for every house as we mentioned above.

Q3.Do solar panels increase property taxes?

Maybe solar power systems increase the overall value of your home, but they do not increase your property taxes. Many states even have tax laws that prevent homeowners from paying additional taxes due to a new system.

Q4.Are solar panels covered under homeowners insurance?

Most residential homeowners insurance covers solar panels. We recommend checking your current plan for coverage limits and policies for solar panels before purchasing a solar system.

Q5.Which type of solar panel system is suitable for low sunlight?

Solar panels that have PERC cells are suitable for low sunlight situations. For example, the Maxeon panels from SunPower generate power from the panel’s backside, leaving the entire front just to gather sunlight. So, this can be one of your options to fight shading issues and manage even with low sunlight.

Q6.How long do SunPower solar panels last?

After installing solar panels, they last about 40 years. The brands mentioned above can provide 60% more power for 25 years than a traditional solar panel. Moreover, their degradation rate on average is as low as 0.25%, which is extraordinary because traditional solar panels have a higher degradation rate.

That is one of the main reasons they are an excellent investment, besides, being a bit costly they will payout in the long run.

Wrapping Up On How To Pick The Best Company For Solar Energy

Many companies can provide you with solar panels these days. Hope you understand why these are the best solar companies, and you already have a favorite.

We provided you with information about each brand’s past story and what the future holds for some of them.

Solar energy is maybe the future; in some states, there is an option for you to produce solar energy at your home and share it on the power lines for a reasonable price.

Consider the factors mentioned above and decide if you need it; if yes, don’t wait for another day; order your solar panel today!


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