Top 7 Best Solar Companies in California (2024 Reviews)

In this guide on the best solar companies in California, you’ll learn:

  • Who our top 5 picks are for solar providers in California
  • How we evaluated California’s solar companies
  • What Californians should look for when choosing a solar company
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California is the #1 state in America to go solar, which is why there are an incredible 1,103 local companies that handle solar panel installation. Installing panels in the Golden State can pay for itself and save you an average of around $34,829 after the system pays for itself, but choosing a disreputable company can mean your system ends up costing you rather than saving you money. This is especially true now that California has adopted net metering 3.0 (more on this later). It’s critical that you choose a company that’s professional and experienced.

In this guide, we’ll be discussing what we believe are the top best solar companies in California. We’ll explain what we like — and dislike — about each of them and why we believe each is well suited to handle your solar project.

What Are the Best Solar Companies in California?

We’ve reviewed countless solar installers in California and have used a rigorous grading methodology to rank them in terms of quality, affordability, trustworthiness and more. The companies below are the ones we believe are your best options in California:

Compare California’s Top-Rated Solar Providers

In the following sections, we’ll explain why we’ve hand-picked each of these solar panel installation companies as the best in your area. Overall, we strongly recommend you go with SunPower or ADT Solar, two of the top national companies in the solar industry. The table below provides a look at how these installers compare to other top picks in the state.

Solar Providers Superlative Our Score Avg Cost ($–$$$$$) Warranty Financing Options Get Quote
SunPower Best National Provider 5/5 $$$$ Varies – minimum of 25 years for equipment, workmanship and production Cash, solar loan, solar lease, PPA Get Quote
ADT Solar Best Warranty Coverage 4/5 $$$ 25 years for equipment, workmanship and production Cash or solar loan
Tesla Best Technology 4.5/5 $$ 25 years for equipment and performance; 10 years for workmanship Cash, solar loan, solar lease, PPA Get Quote
Elevation Solar Best Customer Service 4/5 $$ 25 years for equipment and performance; 30 years for workmanship Cash or solar loan Get Quote
Green Home Systems Best Value 4.5/5 $$ 25 years for equipment and performance Cash or solar loan Get Quote
SunLux Solar Best Financing Options 4/5 $$$$ 25 years for equipment, performance and workmanship Cash, solar loan, solar lease, PPA Get Quote
Stellar Solar Best Local Expertise 4.5/5 $$$$ 25 years for equipment, performance and workmanship Cash, solar loan and solar lease Get Quote
Badge icon


Best National Provider

Nationwide Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

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  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage


  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer
Badge icon

Tesla Energy

Best Technology

Nationwide Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

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  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market


  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer
Badge icon


Outstanding Regional Installer

EcoWatch rating

Average cost


  • Comprehensive service offerings
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Full-service home energy solutions


  • Limited service area
  • Quality of installation may vary by location
Badge icon

Green Home Systems

Outstanding Regional Installer

EcoWatch rating

Average cost


  • Outstanding customer service
  • Expansive service area
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Multitude of products and services


  • Relatively young company
Badge icon


Best Maintenance Support

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

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  • Covers panel maintenance for 25 years
  • Offers rewards for customer referrals
  • In-house roofing services


  • Slightly limited service area
  • Relatively young company
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Stellar Solar

Outstanding Local Installer

Local Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

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  • Educational, no-pressure sales approach
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Representatives are experts on local policies


  • Slightly limited service offerings

Watch Below: California Updated Their Net Metering Policy. What Does That Mean For You?

How Can You Save Money on California’s Best Solar Companies?

The average cost per watt of solar in California is around average, sitting at $3.33. But because solar goes further in the Golden State, it offers more value in California compared to the majority of states.

That’s mostly thanks to the availability of sunshine, allowing a smaller system to work more efficiently. As such, the average California homeowner can power their home with a relatively small 6 kW system, compared to the national average 9 kW system.

Location Pre-Incentive Cost for Average Solar System
California $19,980
U.S. Average $29,970

The typical solar panel system costs a California homeowner $19,980, while the average U.S. homeowner pays $29,970. These figures are also before applying any solar incentives and assuming top-quality brands. After the federal credit, you’re looking at $13,986 in California.

Keep in mind that the recent shifts in 2024 in the net metering policy in California mean that batteries are often required to save money over time with solar. Most homeowners in the area need one or two batteries, depending on the capacity, which will add an average of $10,000 or $20,000 to your system costs, respectively.

Even accounting for the added cost of batteries, you should save over $34,000 in California by switching to solar.

There are also several ways you can save money on going solar in California:

We’ll discuss how you can save money when buying solar panels in California below. But first, here are our preferred picks:

Take Advantage of California Specific Solar Incentives and Rebates

There are a number of solar incentives in California — including tax credits, exemptions and rebate opportunities — that make installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems more affordable for residents while helping the state produce more clean energy. Below is an overview of those incentives:

California Solar Incentive Incentive Overview
Federal Solar Tax Credit (ITC) The federal solar investment tax credit, or ITC, allows homeowners to claim 30% of their system costs as a credit against the federal taxes they owe. As it stands, the credit is set to reduce to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034 and will be eliminated for residential systems in 2035.1
Net Energy Metering (NEM) Net Metering allows customers to feed excess energy generated by their solar panels back to the local power grid. In exchange, customers receive credits from their utility companies that can be applied to future energy bills. California has historically offered one of the nation’s best net metering programs, compensating its solar customers at full retail rate. However, the program recently went through changes that made it much less beneficial.
Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) The SGIP as described by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) offers rebates for installing energy storage systems at both residential and non-residential facilities.2 Making getting a favorite battery, like the Tesla Powerwall more afforable with increased savings.
SGIP Equity Resiliency Program Offered as an additional incentive within the SGIP program, California provides additional rebates of either $850 or $1,000 per kWh of battery storage. This program works primarily with low-income households and families living in areas prone to wildfires or power outages.3
Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program The California Solar Initiative (CSI) launched its SASH program (aka DAC-SASH) to provide fixed, up-front incentives on qualifying affordable single-family housing.4
Active Solar Energy System Property Tax Exclusion This incentive ensures the addition of a solar panel installation doesn’t raise homeowners’ property taxes.5
Local Solar Incentives Some local utility companies and municipalities offer their own solar incentive programs. For example, The Rancho Mirage Energy Authority offers a $500 rebate to its residential customers who install or expand a home solar system, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District offers up to $2,500 for solar users with battery storage systems.

Net energy metering (NEM) is often a great way to benefit financially from your solar panels. However, California’s new net metering 3.0 policy makes the program much less beneficial. You’ll likely need batteries to offset electricity consumption and save the average $34,829 over the lifespan of your system.

Compare Types of Solar Equipment

Just like clothing brands, solar equipment brands come with their own price tags and level of quality. Solar panel systems are sized by watt, and different types of solar panels have varying watt output.

California sees ample sunshine, so you may be able to power your entire home even with a cheaper solar panel that produces less energy (for example, buying an older 350W model instead of a cutting-edge 400W). Or, you can pick high-efficiency PV panels and install fewer of them. Either way, you’re saving money.

If you don’t live in an area prone to power outages, you can also save by skipping out on a solar battery installation. However, keep in mind that utility companies, like PG&E, will frequently perform public safety power shut-offs when there are wildfire risks, which have been especially frequent up and down the Golden State.

Shop Different Solar Companies in California

California is home to nearly 900 registered solar installers, which means you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a solar company.6 We’ve outlined the top five best solar installers in California in this article — don’t hesitate to reach out to each one and compare quotes to ensure you’re getting the best deal. If you get a quote from one solar company but prefer another, see if they’ll match the rate.

Pay for Your System in Cash (If You Can)

The method you choose to pay for your solar panels will alter the total cost of installation. We recommend paying in cash if you can. Of course, cash purchases require the highest payments up front, but they save the most over time because they don’t require you to pay interest. Solar loans make your equipment more affordable up front, but they save slightly less because they include interest paid over time.

Luckily, California has plenty of financing programs to make solar more affordable and accessible to most homeowners. For example, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs are available to the majority of homeowners, and they serve to reduce financing costs and up-front payments for solar systems.7

Keep in mind that savings in California are likely only possible if you couple your panels with batteries, which will push up installation costs quite a bit. Solar is still worth it in California, but the upfront cost is significantly higher.

save money with california solar companies by paying in cash

Will Solar Increase Your Home Value In California?

Multiple studies have shown that solar panels do increase the value of a home, including a 2022 EcoWatch Solar Growth Outlook survey where 63% of respondents said they would pay more for a home with solar panels than a home without.

A study from Zillow revealed that homes with solar installations tend to sell for about 4.1% more on average than homes without solar. The study specifically examined the housing market in Riverside, California, reporting that homes with solar energy systems went for roughly $9,930 above market value.8

And an older study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory revealed that home resale value jumps by nearly $6,000 for each kilowatt of solar that’s installed.9

DIY vs Professional Solar Installation in California

Installing solar panels in California is a worthy decision for many reasons, but the cost may lead to some hesitancy. Many homeowners may look to install DIY panels to avoid solar panel installation costs. But is it a good idea?

Here are a few things to consider:

  • How much do you save with a DIY solar panel installation?
  • Are you capable of installing your own solar panels?
  • Is the cost saved from DIY worth the risks?

How Much Do You Save With a DIY Solar Installation in California?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, labor typically accounts for about 10% of the total cost of solar installation.10 In California, that could lead to savings of $1,638.

Are You Capable of Installing Your Own Solar Panels?

There are people recording DIY solar panel installations on YouTube. So you may be thinking, how hard can it be?

The answer: it’s more complicated than you think. Unless you’re certified in a similar trade, we don’t recommend installing your own solar panels. Solar contractors have to go through rigorous training and licensing because there are complexities to the job.

Plus, solar companies have software designed to find the exact angle and placement of panels to maximize production, which can lead to savings of well over $1,600 when you consider 25 years of production. If you install your solar panels improperly or get a DIY solar panel, you’re not going to benefit as much as you could.

Is the Savings of DIY Solar Installation Worth the Risks?

While it sounds nice to save, you have to think about the risk involved in installing your own solar panels. DIY installations can be dangerous, as you’ll be up on the roof and dealing with direct electricity and wires. If you’re not 100% confident in what you’re doing, chances are higher that you could install them improperly, damage your solar equipment or even damage your roof.

Bottom line, unless you have relevant experience, we don’t recommend DIY solar panels installations.

What Should California Residents Look for in a Solar Installer?

California has hundreds of solar installers all competing for your business. The state is also home to high energy costs and frequent outages, which make for a unique energy market. With that in mind, we recommend considering the following factors when choosing the best company for your installation:

  • Local reputation and reviews
  • Solar pricing and financing
  • Services offered
  • Warranty coverage
  • Company experience
  • Brand quality

Local California Reputation & Reviews

We read through dozens of customer reviews and complaints from fellow California homeowners, as well as examining each company’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) score. Companies like Stellar Solar score well in this category thanks to its excellent local reputation, proven by the success of its referral network.

We also recommend working with a company that maintains membership in the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) or other professional associations. Membership in these groups is a great indicator of the company’s professionalism, workmanship, reputation and reliability.

Solar Pricing and Financing

Sticker shock is common with solar systems, especially now that the new net metering policy makes batteries a necessity for most customers. However, keep in mind that you’ll ultimately save money in the long run, thanks to the reduced energy costs. In addition, California offers statewide solar incentives that can help you reduce these upfront costs. We give high scores to companies that offer a wide range of solar financing options, as well as have proven experience navigating the many statewide incentive programs of California.

Services Offered in California

For one, it’s important to note that different solar companies may offer slightly different services. Most California homeowners will want a company that provides a wide range of services, assisting with everything from initial consultation to panel installation to applying for financial incentives. Since power outages and EVs are very common in California, we place special weight on companies that have ample experience installing solar batteries and EV chargers.

Warranty Coverage

Finally, we recommend seeking an installer that can offer a good warranty. Panels can last 25 to 30 years, and you will want to ensure your investment is protected for as long as possible. The top solar installers will offer 25-year warranties for roofing, performance and workmanship.

SunPower, ADT Solar and NRG Clean Power all offer comprehensive warranties of at least 25 years, hence why they scored well in this category.

Californian’s Company Experience

We typically only recommend solar companies that have at least 10 years of experience. In most cases, the more experience, the better. With more than 900 solar installers to choose from in California, a company that has a long track record and customer referrals is a strong sign that it’s a good company to work with.

California also has a lot of local solar policies promoting certain residential solar add-ons, like EV chargers and energy storage devices. As a result, installations with add-ons are much more common here compared to other states. You want a company that knows California well.

Brand Quality

Pay attention to the specific type of solar technology in panels that is offered. Some companies, like SunPower, can exclusively offer best-in-class solar modules, while others may have a variety of products better suited for a budget-minded customer. Is the company certified to install leading brands like Tesla, Panasonic and LG? It never hurts to take a closer look into the company’s tech portfolio. If you have a specific brand of solar panel or battery in mind, check that the company you’re speaking with is certified to sell and install those products.

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The cost information presented in this article is derived from a comprehensive analysis, incorporating data from multiple industry sources. The average cost per watt per state was calculated based on figures from Consumer Affairs, Energy Sage, and Berkeley Lab’s Electricity Markets & Policy Department. Additionally, monthly energy consumption and the average monthly cost of electricity were sourced from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, ensuring a well-rounded and accurate representation of the information presented.

Methodology: How We Reviewed the Best Solar Companies in California

When we review solar installers in California, we have to be extra fastidious because there are over 1,100 installers that operate within the state. We look at many different factors to determine how likely a company is to provide above-average customer service, high-quality equipment and, most importantly, energy savings. We’ll explain the criteria we used to rank California solar companies below.

  • Local reputation and reviews (20%): First and foremost, we weed out the many companies that crop up just to take advantage of the high demand for solar in CA by assessing a provider’s local reputation. We do this by looking at ratings on BBB, Google Reviews, Yelp and TrustPilot. We also read through dozens of reviews to gauge how well the company serves its customers and where it falls short in comparison to other providers.
  • Pricing and financing (20%): Next, we consider the overall pricing and the financing options the company has available. The price per watt for PV equipment in California is above the national average, so companies that maintain below-average pricing get ranked higher. Plus, with above-average costs, companies that accept multiple financing options for homeowners of all financial backgrounds get higher ratings, as they help keep renewable energy more accessible.
  • Services offered (20%): We prioritize companies that offer more than the basic services, which usually include panel and solar battery installation. EVs are particularly popular in California, so we look specifically for this service. We also prefer companies that offer energy efficiency home improvements and smart home energy systems, as California is very energy conscious, in part because of the above-average cost of electricity.
  • Warranty coverage (20%): Warranty protection is always going to be important for solar, especially because of the high cost of converting. Unlike in rainier states, we prioritize equipment and performance warranties in California. Performance guarantees, in particular, help make the most use of the available sunlight in CA and help offset more of those high electric bills.
  • Company experience (10%): Since California is the #1 state for solar conversion — according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) — there are naturally more installers that pop up to capitalize on the demand. We prioritize installers that have over a decade of experience. Not only are these generally more reliable and knowledgeable about the area, but they’re also less likely to go out of business and take your warranty coverage with them.
  • Brand quality (10%): Finally, we consider the brands of solar panels and other equipment a company carries. We prefer installers that offer tier-one panels and sought-after batteries, but we also love when companies have varied equipment that can appeal to customers who want maximum efficiency and those who are more budget-conscious.

Read More About Going Solar in California

FAQs: Best Solar Companies California

California is one of the biggest solar markets, which means your questions about going solar set the tone for the future of solar. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at

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Article author
Karsten is an editor and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. His work has been shared by sources including NPR, the World Economic Forum, Marketwatch and the SEIA, and he is certified in ESG with the CFA Institute. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.
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Expert reviewer
Tom Peters is a commercial renewable energy developer and financial planner. He was a successful commercial real estate developer for 30 years before starting a solar development subsidiary for a Northeast regional roofing company in 2010. He has written white papers for the USDA on the creative use of renewable energy tax incentives and participated on the Steering Committee of the White House Rural Council to introduce Cross Laminated Timber manufacturing to the U.S. Tom enjoys sculpting, reading and writing on the subjects of environmental justice and spiritual evolution.

Comparing authorized solar partners

EcoWatch rating
Average cost
BBB Rating
Year founded
Service Area
Brands of Solar Equipment Offered
Warranty Coverage
  • 5.0
    • Most efficient panels on the market
    • National coverage
    • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
    • Great warranty coverage
    • Expensive
    • Customer service varies by local dealer
    Best National Provider
    25-year all-inclusive warranty

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