California’s Top 5 Solar Panel Companies

California’s Top 5 Solar Panel Companies


So you’re in the market for some solar panels.

You’ll find you’re in good company. Whether it’s for reducing utility costs, receiving some tax credits, or just having a reliable back-up power source, more and more people are turning to solar panels for the energy their homes and businesses need.

Of course, environmental concerns can also play a role in the decision-making process – and customers will often want the most ecologically sound panel they can find.

However, the real reason most people finally decide on solar panel installation is (get ready for it)…

…to save money.

Lower electric bills. Receiving a 30% federal tax credit, as well as additional rebates and subsidies. Simply an overall reduced cost of living.

And now more than ever, it’s the right time to buy: even with solar panel cost at an all-time low, many of the government tax incentives that come with installation are fading fast.

So which solar panel company is right for you? Because despite the numerous cost-saving incentives that come with solar panel shopping, actually finding a reliable solar panel company can be a whole other story. That’s why we’ve taken the trouble of reviewing the ones that matter. Here are California’s Top 5 Solar Panel Companies.

#1 SunPower – San Jose, CA

Billing themselves as “the world standard” in solar panel provision, SunPower lives up to its own acclaim for a few standout reasons: customers seem to love the easy installation, reliable service, and extended warranty. Environmentally-conscious consumers also won’t mind SunPower’s 21.4% efficiency rating. The company also claims to use the latest and greatest in solar technology – American-made, and with an extended 25-year warranty (one of the longest in the business).

Our Rating: 95/100

#2 Solar City – San Mateo, CA

SolarCity has some of the highest-rated performance reviews by customers you can find online. They also say they’ve created the most efficient rooftop solar panel, claiming a module efficiency rating of 22 percent. Solar City offers both a PPA (solar power purchase agreement), as well as a no money-down, panel lease-plan (if you prefer to pay monthly). People seem to love the wide-ranging financial plans the company offers, and SolarCity is also making some ambitious entrepreneurial moves, including opening more offices in California to provide solar energy to small businesses there. The company also offers customers a personalized agreement that guarantees predictable solar energy costs for the next 20 years of use (depending on your finance options).

Our Rating: 94/100

#3 First Solar – Huntington Beach, CA

With new offices open in Orange County, First Solar recently made headlines when it claimed to have panels which converted 22.1 percent of sunlight energy into electricity. They also rank as one of the market’s more economical, money-saving installers. And if you’re looking for a more efficient, less environmentally-taxing panel (the energy source comes from cadmium telluride – an element that boasts a smaller carbon footprint and cheaper costs than most typical solar cells), First Solar might be what exactly you’re looking for.

Our Rating: 90/100

#4 Sungevity – Oakland, CA

Sungevity continues to collect a heap of awards — from being one of MIT’s ’50 Smartest Companies’ to receiving Planet Forward’s “Company of the Year” Award, Sungevity is a company to watch. They also offer a hassle-free “Remote Solar Design” tool, which provides cost estimation and system design options – without the hassle of technicians visiting your house. For both their multiple accolades and low-maintenance consultations, Sungevity continues to be one of the most sought-after solar companies in America.

Our Rating: 89/100

#5 SunRun – San Francisco, CA

SunRun is known for customizing solar panels to customers’ specific needs, as well as providing solutions like remote monitoring (which enables access to your solar panels from most electronic devices, making it easy to track exactly what your energy output is). They also offer a longer warranty than other companies with their 25-year panel guarantee. Even if your house or place of residence is in the midst of being re-roofed, SunRun will handle the permits, the installation, and the work that comes with it all. For making panel installation painless and stress-free, SunRun offers a lot of options.

Our Rating: 89/100