5 Best Solar Companies in Virginia of November 2023 – MarketWatch

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ADT Solar was the most popular solar company among respondents in Virginia, according to our 2023 survey. Get a quote on your own solar system installation today.

Aniket Bhor is a solar engineer who has spent nearly a decade studying and working in the solar power sector in the European, Asian and North American markets. He is a climate enthusiast and avid cyclist, and he also loves to lose himself in books and cooking.

Tori Addison is an editor who has worked in the digital marketing industry for over five years. Her experience includes communications and marketing work in the nonprofit, governmental and academic sectors. A journalist by trade, she started her career covering politics and news in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her work included coverage of local and state budgets, federal financial regulations and health care legislation.
Virginia ranks 9th in the country for installed solar power. This is evidence that more and more residents are looking to go solar and searching for the best solar companies in Virginia in the process.
We at the Guides Home Team ranked the best solar companies nationwide based on consumer surveys, discussions with industry experts and our detailed provider review methodology. The Old Dominion State has numerous solar installers, but our top picks are SunPower, Freedom Solar, Sunrun, ADT Solar and Blue Raven.

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Over 200 solar companies operate in Virginia, so choosing the right installer can be difficult. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a solar installer for your home.
Solar panels cost $2.85 per watt in Virginia, or around $17,040 for a 6 kilowatt (kW) system. But different installers in the state may quote you drastically different prices — and the cheapest may not always be the best. Look for companies that offer quality equipment and reliable solar services at reasonable prices. You can also look for installers with multiple payment options, such as solar loans, leases or power purchase agreements (PPAs), which can reduce the upfront cost of your system.
For many homeowners, going solar is a new and relatively unknown process. As such, company trustworthiness is an important selection criterion. The best installers have customer ratings that reflect positive experiences and trustworthiness, especially for the buying process and post-installation services.
Many solar installers offer more than solar panel installations. Experienced solar companies also provide other services such as solar battery installations, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, roof repairs, tree removal and more.
 
 
 
 
Founded in 1985, SunPower is one of the biggest names in the solar industry. SunPower offers solar power systems with exceptional warranties and a hassle-free installation process using a national network of installers. It is also renowned for its high-quality Maxeon solar panels, which offer high efficiency and durability. Overall, SunPower has achieved a reputation for being a highly reliable installer in Virginia and nationwide.
 
To learn more: Read our SunPower review
 
 
With experience installing over 14,000 systems, Virginia homeowners can hardly go wrong with Freedom Solar. Freedom is one of the largest national dealers of SunPower panels, offering some of the best solar modules on the market.
 
Freedom Solar extends a leading warranty that covers system performance, parts and labor for 25 years. And it provides no-charge repairs or replacements if you need to claim the manufacturer’s warranty for your panels. Freedom also offers off-grid solar systems for remote applications with components that include the highly-rated Tesla Powerwalls.
 
 
A national installer with 15 years of experience, Sunrun is known for popularizing the solar lease option in the U.S. It has some of the most reliable leasing programs and a local presence in Virginia with an office in Fairfax. When customers choose Sunrun’s 25-year lease packages, the company handles regular system monitoring and maintenance and will repair or replace parts without an additional cost. Sunrun also installs top-quality solar equipment, including tier-1 panels and Tesla batteries.
 
To learn more: Read our full Sunrun review
 
 
With operations in nearly two dozen states and a headquarters in Ashland, Va., ADT Solar is among the largest solar installation companies in the country. It offers a 25-year warranty on products and workmanship and uses high-quality solar panels from Q Cells and Silfab. ADT Solar also installs Enphase microinverters, which improve system performance and longevity.
 
While the company does not offer solar lease or PPA options, you can purchase a system in cash or apply for a solar loan. ADT Solar also provides roof repair services alongside its solar solutions.
 
To learn more: Read our ADT Solar review
 
 
Founded just eight years ago, Blue Raven has won several awards, installed hundreds of systems and racked up many positive customer reviews online. The company stands out with its excellent financing options — you can buy a system from Blue Raven without paying anything for 18 months.
 
The company offers two financing options for its solar energy solutions with its BluePower+ and Smartstart loans. Both programs make it easier for homeowners to go solar without spending large amounts upfront.
 
To learn more: Read our Blue Raven Solar review
 
 
Solar energy has experienced tremendous growth in Virginia over the years, with an increasing number of homeowners going solar each year. The state has installed 4,286 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity — enough to power 476,108 homes — and plans to install 5,757 more megawatts over the next five years.
Of the solar companies that operate in Virginia, our top picks include veteran installers like SunPower, Sunrun and Freedom. We also like ADT Solar for its high-quality products and warranties and Blue Raven for its solar loan options.
We recommend Virginia residents request a free quote from multiple installers to compare pricing, warranties and equipment.

 
 
Homeowners planning to go solar in Virginia can expect to spend $2.85 per watt. This brings the cost of a 6 kW system to $17,040. Compare our picks for the best solar companies and average system costs below.
*Note: Pricing data is based on responses to our March 2023 solar cost survey of 1,000 homeowners with solar systems. BBB ratings are accurate as of May 2023.
 
 
With nearly 120 annual days of sunshine, Virginia is not among the sunniest states in the country. However, the state’s climate does not discourage Virginians from adopting solar power. Below is a list of the benefits of going solar in Virginia:
 
 
Virginia’s strong RPS goals have driven state policymakers to create beneficial incentives for solar customers. The combined effect of federal and local incentives can help Virginia homeowners shave money off their solar energy systems and earn energy credits for producing solar power.
The federal solar tax credit is the most important solar incentive available in Virginia and nationwide. Officially known as the investment tax credit (ITC), this incentive allows you to claim a tax credit worth 30% of your solar panel system. For example, the credit would bring the net cost of a $25,000 system down to $17,500.
You can only claim the credit once for the year you install a solar system. If you can’t apply the full credit amount to your tax burden, you can roll the remainder over for up to five years.
Virginia offers three main state solar incentives that are available to all residents, regardless if you live in Richmond, Virginia Beach, Norfolk or elsewhere.
Incentive
Savings
Explanation
Virginia Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC)
Savings vary
This program offers monetary benefits to homeowners in exchange for solar power production. For every 1,000 kWh your panels generate, you can earn and sell energy credits worth $20 to $50 each.
Residential property tax exemption
100% of property tax increases from installing solar
Virginia homeowners do not have to pay additional property tax resulting from solar panel installation.
Net metering
Savings vary
Net metering allows you to send excess solar power to the grid in exchange for energy credits you can use towards electricity bills. All of Virginia’s utility companies, including Dominion Energy, offer net metering programs.
Depending on where you live, your local municipality or utility company may offer additional incentives. Your solar panel company can help you find and apply for available solar incentives and rebates.
 
 
We think going solar is worth it in Virginia. Going solar can help you reduce your energy bills and your carbon footprint. Residents who install a battery system can also secure their homes against power outages, which can result from storms in Virginia.
The average cost of a rooftop solar system in Virginia is $2.85 per watt. So a typical 6 kW system would cost around $17,040. However, the cost of your solar project will vary depending on your location, system size, equipment and installer. We recommend getting solar quotes from at least three providers to compare your options.
Virginia does not have a state solar tax credit, but residents can claim the 30% federal tax credit to apply toward their solar system cost.
Since every homeowner has unique solar needs, it is difficult to label a single installer in Virginia as the best. Our top picks for Virginia solar companies are SunPower, Sunrun, ADT Solar, Freedom Solar and Blue Raven. But other prominent installers in the state include Nova Solar, Commonwealth Solar and Lumina Solar.
 
 
 
 
We closely evaluate solar installation companies with a focus on the factors most important to homeowners like you. We based our solar company methodology on input from multiple homeowner surveys, discussions with industry experts and research into the renewable energy market. Our review process involves assessing each company on the following criteria, which we then use to calculate a rating out of 5 stars.

  • Cost and payment options (20 points): Cost is one of the most important factors when installing a solar energy system. Solar providers that offer cash purchases and in-house loan financing earn full points in this category. Companies also receive bonus points for offering solar panel leasing or power purchase agreements (PPAs).
  • Services (20 points): In addition to solar installations, companies offering backup battery and electric vehicle charger installations, energy efficiency audits and system monitoring earn the most points in this category. Companies can also receive points for completing installations in-house, as opposed to using third-party contractors.
  • Reputation (20 points): To assess the reputation of each company, we consider Google star ratings, Better Business Bureau (BBB) scores and reviews, and NABCEP certification status. We also look at customer complaint rates on sites like the BBB and weigh how the company responds.
  • Warranty (15 points): We verify that each company offers workmanship, product and performance warranties on all of its solar installs. A provider earns more points for extending warranties that meet or exceed industry standards, including 10 years for system workmanship and products and 25 years for panel performance.
  • Customer Support (10 points): Solar companies that offer virtual consultations, a mobile app, 24/7 customer support and high customer satisfaction with backend support earn the most points in this category.
  • Industry Experience (10 points): Providers with 10 or more years of experience in the solar installation industry earn a perfect score in this category.
  • Sustainability (5 points):To measure sustainability, we assess each company based on whether it shares a detailed sustainability statement or ESG disclosures on its website. We also conduct research to see if companies offer end-of-life panel disposal programs or have eco-friendly community partnerships.

 
Aniket Bhor is a solar engineer who has spent nearly a decade studying and working in the solar power sector in the European, Asian and North American markets. He is a climate enthusiast and avid cyclist, and he also loves to lose himself in books and cooking.
Tori Addison is an editor who has worked in the digital marketing industry for over five years. Her experience includes communications and marketing work in the nonprofit, governmental and academic sectors. A journalist by trade, she started her career covering politics and news in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her work included coverage of local and state budgets, federal financial regulations and health care legislation.
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