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Sunny North Carolina ranks fourth in the nation for solar investment with more than $11 billion invested in renewable energy at the end of 2022, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The Tarheel State’s coastal weather and long summers make it ideal for using solar energy to power your home.
We looked into the most popular solar panel installation companies available in North Carolina to see how they compare. We browsed provider websites, read customer reviews, conducted secret shopping, received online quotes, checked out prices, and researched warranties and financing options before narrowing our selection down to the five best solar companies.
Top Solar Companies
|Star Rating||Location Presence||BBB Rating||Link|
|SunPower||50 States||A+||Get Free Quote|
|ADT Solar||23 States||A+||Get Free Quote|
|Sunrun||21 States||A+||Get Free Quote|
|Blue Raven Solar||18 States||A+||Get Free Quote|
|Palmetto Solar||20 States||A+||Get Free Quote|
|Momentum Solar||11 States||A+||Get Free Quote|
|Tesla Solar||50 States||A+||Get Free Quote|
We narrowed down our list to these five solar providers:
- Most Experienced: SunPower
- Best In-House Financing: Blue Raven Solar
- Best Comprehensive Coverage: ADT Solar
- Most Protection: Palmetto Solar
- Most Aesthetic: Tesla
How We Chose the Best 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. We weighed several significant factors, including the quality and type of solar panels offered, the customer support network, warranty lengths and limitations, and additional benefits such as mobile apps for monitoring and customer service.
Speaking directly to representatives, 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.
Each company on our list comes with big benefits. Since going solar is about utilizing clean energy and saving money on electricity, we recommend SunPower and Blue Raven as our top choices. SunPower’s solar panels have higher-than-average efficiency. Blue Raven also sells SunPower panels, so you should see excellent performance with either.
For more information on what a solar energy system typically costs, see our solar panel cost guide.
Solar Installation Process
Most solar installations follow this or a similar process after your system’s design is approved:
- Site evaluation: An installer will visit your home to confirm the planned design and estimate the scope of work. This person or their team will also inspect your roof, attic, and electrical setup.
- Permit approval: Most states require a permit to install solar panels. Your solar provider should handle the paperwork with your local municipality.
- Installation: Installation typically takes one to three days. You don’t need to be home for it, but we recommend that you are so you can ask questions along the way.
- Clean-up: Installers should remove any debris and leave your property in good condition.
- City inspection: Your provider should coordinate with your city to have an inspector come out to check that your system is up to code.
- Utility connection: Lastly, your system must be connected to your local utility system if you’re connecting it to the grid. You’ll apply for connection through your utility company, which will also want to inspect your system to make sure it’s in accordance with its utility guidelines—some providers will take care of this step for you. After getting permission to operate, your system can be turned on.
Solar Installation Cost Factors in North Carolina
The average cost of a solar system in North Carolina is roughly $38,000. Several factors impact that price, including the following:
- Company: Solar providers charge different prices for their products. If the company you buy your panels from is not the manufacturer, the manufacturer will also influence pricing. Better quality and reputation mean a higher price tag.
- Panel type: Homeowners can choose between monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film panels. Monocrystalline panels are the most recommended for residential solar panel systems for their high performance, but they’re also the most expensive option.
- System size: The more panels you have, the more expensive your system will be.
- Energy efficiency: Expect to pay more for high-efficiency panels.
- Location: Costs vary by city and state. This is compounded by the state and local solar incentives offered in that area.
- Roof pitch: Most solar installation companies charge more for riskier or more difficult installations. Plan to pay more in labor costs if your roof has a steep pitch.
Getting Solar Quotes in North Carolina
Getting a solar quote takes just a few minutes whether you do it online or by phone. While you can call and speak to a representative and get a quote in around 10 minutes, the simplest way is to visit the provider’s website and follow these steps:
- Click on the “Get a Quote” button, which in our experience is typically either in the top-right corner of the homepage or at the bottom of the site.
- Fill out the required information. This usually consists of your basic contact information, home size, roof pitch, and type of solar equipment you’re interested in.
- You may be given a quote on the website after you submit your information, or the company may email you within a few minutes with your estimate.
When we went through the quote process with some solar providers, we noticed they used more aggressive tactics to get information and move us further along in the sales process. If you’re just starting to research solar and want a basic estimate without having to provide a ton of information, we recommend calling to speak with a representative so you have more control over what you provide.
Solar Tax Incentives in North Carolina
North Carolinians can benefit from several solar incentives and rebates. Save money on your solar power system by keeping these in mind:
- Duke Energy solar rebate: This program offers homeowners a 40 cents per watt rebate for systems up to 10 kilowatts. There are also rebates available for nonresidential customers, worth 30 cents per watt up to $30,000, and for nonprofit customers, worth 75 cents per watt up to $75,000.
- State property tax exemption: North Carolina homeowners who used their solar panels for residential purposes only don’t have to pay property tax on the value the system adds to their home.
- Revolving loans: North Carolina legislation requires that solar loans are no longer than 20 years and have an interest rate no higher than 8%. They can also be easily renewed.
- Federal solar tax credit: The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) reduces the cost of your photovoltaic solar system by 30% if you purchase your system in full at installation.
- Net metering: If you use Dominion Energy or Duke Energy, you can sell any excess energy your system generates back to these utility companies.
- Building permit rebate: Asheville residents get a rebate on the building permit required to install a solar system.
What to Ask Solar Providers
A solar power system is a major investment. Ask plenty of questions before committing to a solar provider. We recommend asking solar panel companies the following questions:
- How long have you worked in solar?
- How many systems have you installed? May I see photos?
- Are you NABCEP-certified, licensed, bonded, and insured?
- What is your business license number?
- Can you share a few customer references?
- Have you worked with my local utility company?
- Does your team do all the work, or do you use subcontractors? How do you quality-check the work your subcontractors perform?
- Who do I contact if I have a question or issue? What are the typical turnaround times for resolving issues?
In addition to questions about the installer, we suggest asking these questions about equipment:
- What are the benefits and drawbacks of this equipment?
- Is this what you have/would put on your home or business?
- What warranty protection is offered for each piece of equipment?
- What do customers complain about with this equipment?
Solar Company Services Provided
Most solar energy companies offer similar services to help guide homeowners through the process and make the most of their system. Common solar services include the following:
- Consultation: All companies should offer an up-front consultation to discuss your home’s energy needs and whether your property is a good fit for solar. This can often be done virtually or in person. While virtual consultations are more convenient, be aware that the representative won’t be able to provide as specific or potentially accurate information as they would if they saw your property in person.
- Design: Providers have in-house design teams that design the best array layout for your roof. You’ll approve this design before installation moves forward.
- Installation: Not all companies use an in-house installation team. Some use third-party companies. Some only install panels, while others also install batteries, electric vehicle chargers, and other equipment.
- Maintenance and cleaning: Many warranties include some sort of maintenance plan through your provider for a period of time. Check to see if a company provides any maintenance or cleaning services after installation.
- System monitoring: If a company has a mobile app, it’s likely it includes some degree of system monitoring. If not, or if you don’t want to monitor your system yourself, see if a provider offers system monitoring to track your panels’ performance.
- Additional services: Some companies partner with third parties to handle services that help your installation run smoothly. Roof repair and pest control, for example, are common additional services since solar installation isn’t wise on a damaged or infested roof.
Solar Company Reviews
Most Experienced: SunPower
SunPower is one of the longest-running solar companies in the industry with more than 35 years of experience. It’s considered a solar pioneer and has received more than 1,000 patents for its innovation. The company is not only high in experience but also in quality—it has some of the most energy-efficient panels on the market thanks to its SunPower Maxeon cell technology.
Best In-House Financing: Blue Raven Solar
Blue Raven Solar offers customers in-house financing, setting it apart from many other providers that partner with lending institutions. You can purchase your system outright at installation or get a solar loan and make monthly payments. You can also get 18 months of free solar with no money down, depending on your credit score, through the provider’s BluePower Plus program.
Best Comprehensive Coverage: ADT Solar
ADT Solar offers some of the best solar warranty protection of any provider. The company provides a 25-year labor warranty, 25-year energy production guarantee, 25-year panel manufacturer warranty, and 25-year Enphase microinverter warranty. That means the products, installation workmanship, and energy performance are all covered.
Most Protection: Palmetto Solar
Palmetto Solar offers a 25-year manufacturer warranty on many of its panels, but the company protects your investment in other ways, too. The Palmetto Peace of Mind plan provides active system monitoring to keep an eye on panel performance. It also offers discounts on services such as panel cleaning and battery maintenance for just $12 per month.
Best Aesthetic: Tesla
If you’re interested in going solar but don’t like the look of raised panels on your roof, the Tesla Solar Roof is a great option. The company’s solar roof uses solar shingles instead of panels, so your roof will look flat while still absorbing sunlight and generating electricity.
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Solar Companies FAQ
What is the average cost for solar installation in North Carolina?
The average cost for a solar installation in North Carolina is approximately $38,000.
Is North Carolina a good state for solar?
Yes. North Carolina’s long summers and consistently sunny weather allow for high production of solar energy. The state also has several solar incentives to help residents save money on a solar system.
What is North Carolina ranked in solar?
North Carolina is ranked fourth nationwide in solar investment. Cities such as Raleigh, Charlotte, Cary, Durham, Wilmington, and Greensboro lead the way for investment in solar energy.
Does North Carolina offer incentives for solar power?
Yes, North Carolina has several incentives to help residents save money on solar equipment and installation. NC solar incentives include the Duke Energy rebate, the federal tax credit, net metering, and the property tax exemption that keeps residents from being charged property tax on the value solar panels add to their homes.
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