We closely evaluated seven crucial factors for comparing solar panel installation companies. Based on a 100-point scale, we came up with each provider’s score out of five stars. Here’s how we assessed each company:
- Cost and payment options (20 points): Companies that offer cash purchases and in-house loan financing earned full points in this category. Companies also receive bonus points if they offer solar panel leasing or power purchase agreements (PPAs).
- Services (20 points): Besides solar installations, companies offering backup battery and electric vehicle (EV) charger installations, energy efficiency audits and system monitoring earned the most points in this category. We also allotted points to companies that completed all their installations in-house (as opposed to contracting out installers).
- Reputation (20 points): We considered each company’s Google star rating, BBB customer review rating, BBB customer complaint response rate and NABCEP certification status to award each company its reputation score.
- Warranty (15 points): We verified that each company offers workmanship, product and performance warranties on all of its solar installs. Providers earned more points if their warranties were at or above the industry-standard length (10 years for workmanship and product warranties and 25 years for performance warranties).
- Customer support (10 points): Solar companies that offered virtual consultations, a mobile app, 24/6 customer support and high customer satisfaction with backend support earned the most points in this category.
- Industry experience (10 points): Providers with 10 or more years of experience in the solar installation industry earned a perfect score in this category.
Sustainability (5 points): Companies with a detailed sustainability statement, ESG disclosures, end-of-life panel disposal programs and community partnerships earned all five points in this category.
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.