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Switching to solar energy is becoming more popular in Maryland—more than 5% of the state’s electricity now comes from solar power, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The state has more than 100 solar installers to choose from, so we did research to find out which ones have the most to offer customers.
We analyzed company websites, warranties, product selections, system performance, pricing, customer reviews, and more across installers in Annapolis, Baltimore, Frederick, and other popular areas. Learn more about our ranking of the best solar companies in Maryland below.
Top Solar Installation Companies
Based on our research, the following are our top picks for Maryland solar providers:
Solar Installation Cost Factors in Maryland
The average cost of a solar energy system in Maryland is roughly $15,000, which is more than $10,000 less than the national average of $26,500. Several factors impact the price of a solar system, including the following:
- Company: Solar providers charge different prices for their products. If the company you buy your panels from does not manufacture the equipment, the manufacturer will also influence pricing. Better quality and reputation mean a higher price tag.
- Energy efficiency: Expect to pay more for high-efficiency panels.
- Location: Costs vary by city and state. The available state and local solar incentives also affect cost.
- Panel type: Most solar companies today sell only monocrystalline panels due to their high performance, which makes them more expensive. You can opt for more affordable polycrystalline and thin-film panels, but they won’t be as efficient.
- 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.
- System size: The more panels you have, the more expensive your system will be.
Solar Tax Incentives in Maryland
Maryland residents benefit from several solar incentives. The following incentives help homeowners save money on their solar power systems:
- Federal solar tax credit: The federal solar investment tax credit, also known as the ITC, allows system owners to claim 30% of their total system cost on their income taxes for the year of installation.
- Net metering: Maryland’s net-metering rebate program allows you to sell the excess energy your system generates to local utility companies.
- Residential Clean Energy Rebate Program: The state will pay you $1,000 to install a system as long as it’s smaller than 20 kilowatts (kW), located at your primary residence, and installed by someone with the standard NABCEP certification.
- Property tax exemption: Marylanders don’t have to pay additional property tax on their increased home value after installing a solar array.
- Sales tax exemption: Residents also don’t have to pay sales tax on their systems.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs): Maryland residents are granted one SREC for each megawatt-hour of clean electricity their panels produce.
Getting Solar Quotes in Maryland
You can get a quote for your home solar system in just a few minutes by following these steps.
- Go to the website of the company you want a quote from. Click on “Get a Quote” or similar language either in the top right corner or at the bottom of the home page.
- Fill out the required information. This typically includes basic contact information and details on your property and roof size.
- You’ll either receive a free quote on the site or by email within a few minutes.
You can also do this process by phone if you prefer to speak to a representative. The typical time to get a quote by phone when we called providers was 15 minutes.
What to Ask Solar Providers
We recommend homeowners ask solar panel companies these questions:
- Are you NABCEP certified, licensed, bonded, and insured?
- Can you share a few customer references?
- Does your team do all the work, or do you use subcontractors? How do you quality-check the work your subcontractors perform?
- Have you worked with my local utility company?
- How long have you worked in solar?
- How many systems have you installed? May I see photos?
- What is your business license number?
- Who do I contact if I have a question or issue? What are turnaround times like to resolve issues?
We also suggest asking these questions about their equipment:
- Is this what you have/would put on your home or business?
- What are the benefits and drawbacks of this equipment?
- What do customers complain about with this equipment?
- What warranty protection is offered for each piece of equipment?
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Solar panel installation companies often provide a few services to help guide you through the solar process and care for your system after installation. These can include the following:
- Consultation: All companies should offer an initial 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 to create the best solar panel 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 likely includes some degree of system monitoring. Check 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 are common additional services, as it isn’t wise to install panels on a damaged or infested roof.
Solar customers in Maryland have an advantage. With so many solar company options available in the state, you can afford to be particular. We recommend Maryland solar companies SunPower, ADT Solar, and Sunrun due to their panel performance, warranties, years of experience, and reputation. Before committing to any company, take a look at its warranty, customer reviews, and panel selection. We also suggest getting a free quote from at least three companies to compare pricing before starting your solar project.
What Solar Installation Looks Like
Solar energy companies follow a similar process when getting you set up with solar. This typically includes the following steps:
- Site evaluation: A company representative will come to your home to evaluate the scope of work and inspect your roof, attic, and electrical setup.
- Permit approval: Most states require a permit to install solar panels. Your solar provider should handle this 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 it so you can ask questions along the way.
- Cleanup: 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 power company (some providers do this for you), which will also want to inspect your system to make sure it’s in accordance with its utility guidelines. After getting permission to operate, your system can be turned on.
Solar Companies FAQ
Is it worth going solar in Maryland?
Maryland’s many solar incentives and below-average system pricing make it worth going solar to save on energy bills.
What is the best solar company brand?
Our pick for the best solar company in Maryland is SunPower. The provider is known for the most efficient solar panels in the industry, has a 25-year warranty, offers multiple financing options, and receives positive feedback from customers.
How much does it cost to go solar in Maryland?
The average cost of solar installation in Maryland is $15,000.
Who has the best-rated solar panels?
SunPower’s high-quality solar panels are rated the most efficient in the solar industry, which helps cut down on electric bills even further.
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. 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.
Read more: Our Methodology