Best Solar Companies in California (2024)

By Alex Hawkins Updated February 6, 2024

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All products and services featured are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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 energy 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


Compare Solar Companies Across CA

Providers
Star Rating
Best For
Location Presence
BBB Rating
Best Solar Leasing Option
19 States
A+
Best In-House Financing
19 States
A+
Best Add-On Protection Plan
19 States
A+
Best Installation Process
12 States
A+
Most Advanced Solar Tech
50 States
A+
Location Presence Star Rating BBB Rating Link
SunPower SunPower 50 States
A+ Get Quote
Momentum Solar Momentum Solar 12 States
A+ Get Quote
Sunrun Sunrun 19 States
A+ Get Quote
Palmetto Solar Palmetto Solar 19 States
A+ Get Quote
Tesla Solar Tesla Solar 50 States
A+ Get Quote
SunPower
Logo SunPower
Location Presence 50 States
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Get Quote
Momentum Solar
Logo Momentum Solar
Location Presence 12 States
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Get Quote
Sunrun
Logo Sunrun
Location Presence 19 States
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Get Quote
Palmetto Solar
Logo Palmetto Solar
Location Presence 19 States
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Get Quote
Tesla Solar
Logo Tesla Solar
Location Presence 50 States
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Get Quote

 


 

Momentum Solar

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.

 


 

SunPower

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

 


 

Sunrun

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).

 


 

Palmetto Solar

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

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.

 


 

SunLux

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. 

 


 

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. 

Get a Quote on Your Solar Installation


 

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:


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 $20,000 to $97,000 with Solar Panels on Average Over Typical System Life Span
Get a Quote on Your Solar Installation in 30 Seconds

 


Solar Companies FAQ

Who is the largest solar company in California?

Sunrun claims to be the number one national installer of residential solar that offers services in California, but SunPower likely rivals its market share in the state.

Does going solar affect my insurance?

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reports that most solar systems should be covered in a standard homeowners insurance policy. However, we recommend that you contact your insurance provider before you install your system, so you can know how the change may influence your coverage.

How many solar panels do I need for a 2,000-square-foot home?

A 2,000-square-foot home requires a solar array of roughly 4,000 watts. Depending on the type of solar panels you use, this system would be between 10 to 20 panels.

What is the process to get my system permitted?

Local municipalities handle solar permitting, so the permitting process will vary based on location. However, your solar provider should handle all the permits unless you do a do-it-yourself (DIY) installation. 


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. 

Read more: Our Methodology