Best Solar Panel Installation Companies in California

Finding the Best California Solar Panel Installers

Find the best California solar company for your needs from our directory of local solar panel installers below or save time and get free quotes from multiple California installers to find out how you can go solar today.

How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in California?

Do you want to know how much solar panels may cost you to buy and install in California?
Use our simple solar panel cost calculator below to get an estimate of solar installation costs in California.


Compare California Solar Panel Installers By City

How to Find the Best Solar Installation Companies in California

When it comes to solar, California is king.

The state boasts an incredible 1,322 solar installers – far more than any other state – so you’ve got huge options.

But that can make finding the best solar companies in California rather difficult.

California ranks first in the country in just about every solar data point.

It’s home to 40% of the country’s solar capacity, 30% of the company’s solar jobs, and almost 50% of the 2 million solar installations in the country.

Why is solar so popular the Golden State?

It has everything solar panels love: great sunshine, high utility prices, and excellent incentives.

Even so, not every solar installation company is right for you.

The best way to get an accurate savings estimate is to get multiple quotes from the best California solar panel installers here.


Average California Home Solar Installation Costs

The average cost to install solar in California sits around $3.10 per watt, a bit higher than the national average thanks to the state’s higher sales tax and labor wages. At this cost, a typical installation of 6,000 watts costs about $18,600. Of course, this price can increase or decrease based on equipment quality, complexity of the roof, and installation size (bigger installations mean more wiring, electrical conduit, and larger inverter).

While the initial installation costs in California are higher than in other states, CA homeowners can actually save far more than most Americans can over the life of the installation. While a 6,000 watt installation would likely save a non-California homeowner between $10,000 and $20,000, in California – even with the state’s new net metering regulations – that same installation can save you about $41,000.

Let’s take a look at a few common solar installation sizes to compare cost and savings:

System Size $/watt Cost Total Cost Total Cost (with ITC) Total Savings
4 kW $3.10 per watt $12,400 $8,680 $27,593
6 kW $3.10 per watt $18,600 $13,020 $41,396
10 kW $3.10 per watt $31,000 $21,700 $68,990

While all the 1,300 solar installers can certainly install solar panels on your roof, there’s a huge variety in experience, knowledge, equipment, and prices from one installer to the next. The best way to ensure a great customer experience and quality installation is to talk to several solar companies from our trusted marketplace. All installers provide free estimates and it’s a great opportunity to talk about cost, equipment, warranties, and incentives.

With so many installers in California, picking ‘the best’ can be quite difficult. We’ve looked at dozens of companies and found three that really stood out thanks to their customer service, experience, and services. Here are our top 3 picks for the best solar Companies in California for 2021.

The Top 3 Best Solar Companies in California for 2021


California Solar Company Reviews

Let’s take a look at each of these more in depth.

Solar Optimum: Best Customer Service

Quick Look: 10,000 installations and near-perfect customer reviews

Solar Optimum is the golden jewel of California installers. Thanks to their well-known, high-quality customer service, the BBB gives them an A+ and Optimum has won numerous ‘best of’ awards for California installers, including from the LA Daily News and Angie’s List. Review sites like Best Company and Solar Power World routinely rank them at the top of their lists of installers. Regardless of where you like to read your customer reviews, Optimum has a near-perfect track record.

Based in Glendale, Optimum has been around since 2008 – middle-aged by solar industry standards. In that time they’ve been pretty busy, having installed 10,000 residential solar installations. All their installations come with a 25-year workmanship warranty on top of the 25-year warranties the equipment manufacturers offer. Solar Optimum is certified to install some of the most premium solar products on the market, including ultra-efficient Panasonic solar panels, Enphase microinverters, and Tesla Powerwalls.

If you’re looking for an excellent customer experience, with top-notch staff and equipment, Optimum can do it right.

Baker Electric: Most Experienced

Quick Look: 12,000+ installations, founded in 1938

Few installers in the entire country can beat Baker Electric’s experience. Founded in 1938, they have over 70 years as an electrical contractor and have installed over 12,000 residential solar installations. That makes them the most experienced solar installer on our list (indeed, pretty much anyone’s list). Baker also installs larger commercial solar as well and in 2015, they hit 1 gigawatt of total installed solar – that’s enough energy to power about 160,000 homes!

Based in Escondido, Baker installs throughout southern California. Besides solar, they also installs energy storage (Tesla Powerwall), smart home technology, and HVAC. And if you’re looking to install Sunpower’s ultra-efficient, premium panels, Baker does that too.

With such a long history and so many installations under their belt, the people at Baker know what they’re doing. And their customer reviews prove it, with hundreds of homeowners reporting Baker’s salespeople are courteous and the installers are professional, clean, and hard working.

PetersenDean: Best General Contractor

Quick Look: 10,000 installations, founded in 1984, installs solar, roofing, HVAC, and fencing

If you’ve got multiple home projects you need to take care of, take a look at PetersenDean before any others. This company can install your PV solar system, give you a new roof, replace your HVAC system, and even fix up your fencing.

With so many options, you might think they’re like those restaurants with 100-page menus: They can do it all, but they can’t do anything well. But since their founding in 1984, they’ve installed 10,000 solar systems and homeowners report their customer service both before and after the installation is top-notch. However, to be fair we should note that there are a few more poor reviews than the companies above. But their reviews are still miles better than all the big-box installers and the BBB gives them an A+ rating.

PetersenDean is actually one of the largest companies on our list, installing solar throughout California as well as Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, and Texas.

How to Choose the Best Solar Installer in California

Compared to other electrical systems, solar installations are pretty simple. However, you still need a knowledgeable, experienced installer to make sure it all works as well as possible. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best for you.

Get Free Estimates and Compare Quotes

Even though savings can be higher in California than most states, with the state’s high installation costs, taking time to compare quotes from multiple installers can ensure you get the best deal and help you save even more. Get multiple quotes from the best local California installers to find the best choice for you.

Not only do different installers offer various equipment and prices, but each one has their own preferred lenders and financing types, so talking to a handful of solar companies gives you a broader view of the available financing out there. With so many financing options available in California – cash, loan, PACE, and PPAs – you need to weigh the pros and cons of each type to see what makes the most sense for you. Of course, your installers will be able to tell you all about what they offer and can help you decide.

Licenses/accreditations

The state of California requires all solar systems to be installed by a licensed contractor. The state actually has a specific license for solar contractors (type C-46) which allows them to install both photovoltaic solar (electricity generating solar panels) and thermal solar (solar hot water).

California also allows businesses holding numerous license types to install PV solar, including General Engineering (type A), General Build (B), and Electrical (C-10). Plumbing contractors (C-36) and Hot Water Heating contractors (C-4) can install solar water heaters, but not PV solar. Lastly, swimming pool contractors can install solar heating for pools.

Of course, a license – especially a general non-solar license – doesn’t necessarily mean the installer has a lot of experience installing solar systems, so do some research beforehand, ask lots of questions, and talk to multiple installers.

Warranties

Warranties are a crucial area of consideration for your solar installation. While your equipment will be covered by 12 to 25-year manufacturing warranties, your installer will cover all your installation work, so you need to discuss this with all your potential installers beforehand. If your roof starts leaking in five years (which is quite rare, but can happen), you’ll want to know you’re covered.

The state of California requires all solar installers to offer a 10-year workmanship warranty that protects against unusual degradation, components breaking, and defective work. While 10 years is the minimum, some installers will warranty their installations for even longer, sometimes up to 25 years – that’s just one more reason to talk to multiple installers!

Common Solar Panel Installation Financing Options in California

California boasts the most mature solar industry in the country, with more financing options than pretty much any other state.

Cash

Paying in cash is the simplest way to finance your solar installation. Just save up that $18k and pay your installer. With no interest rates or leasing fees, you’re spending as little as possible upfront, so you’ll see the highest savings over the life of your installation. Of course, your hard-earned cash is tied up in the investment, so if you bank account isn’t overflowing, take a look at loans instead.

Solar Loan Options

Loans offer a way to avoid paying that high initial investment that a cash payment requires. Credit unions, banks, and specialty loan companies dedicated to green energy all offer low-interest loans for solar installations. Your installer will likely have a preferred lender they typically work with, but it pays to call up a few credit unions to ask about interest rates.

PACE Financing

California is one of only three states in the US that allows homeowners to take advantage of PACE, or Property Assessed Clean Energy, financing. PACE financing is similar to a credit union loan, but it’s actually financed through your local government and you pay back the loan via additional fees on your property taxes (hence the name, ‘property assessed’).

PACE financing has a few distinct advantages over traditional loans. First, since the loan is connected to your home, not the homeowner, you don’t need to worry about paying off the entire loan when it’s time to move. The PACE loan simply stay with the house and the new homeowner will take over the payments as part of the property taxes. PACE loans can also have lower interest rates than conventional loans and generally include much longer terms as well, so your monthly payments can be much smaller.

Counties across California offer PACE financing via numerous 3rd party companies, so be sure to ask your installers what PACE options are available in your area.

Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)

Under a Power Purchase Agreement, your solar installer owns your solar installation, and you pay them for all the clean electricity your installation produces. This removes the burden of paying those thousands of dollars to install the system, but also takes away some of the benefits, including the federal tax credit (which goes to the owner of the installation) and by extension much of the potential savings.

While PPAs and leases initially drove the solar boom a decade ago, homeowners are now turning to ownership, as you can generally see a better financial return with a cash or loan purchase.

Solar Rebates and Tax Credits

Just a handful of years ago, investor-owned utilities (like PG&E and SDG&E) shelled out huge rebates, mandated by the state, for homeowners installing solar. While most of these utility incentive programs have already met their participation caps and dried up, California homeowners still have a few excellent incentives available to help drop the cost of solar, including the best incentive around: the federal income tax credit.

Federal Tax Credit

This credit, officially known as the Investment Tax Credit or ITC, is worth 30% of the cost of your solar installation, which can also include reroofing costs if your roof is too old or damaged for solar, solar water heaters, or energy storage systems.

If your tax liability is high enough, this credit is a virtual dollar-for-dollar discount on your solar installation, which you’ll claim at your next tax season. For a 6,000 watt system that costs $18,600 to install, you’d be eligible for a $5,580 credit on your federal taxes, dropping your total investment to $13,020.

The federal tax credit is set to decrease to 26% at the end of 2019, so you’d better act quickly if you want to take full advantage of this incentive – by far the best solar incentive out there today!

Property Tax Exemptions

California also offers solar homeowners a property tax exemption on the assessed value of the solar installation. Until 2024, all new installations are eligible for this incentive. The average property tax in California is 0.79%, so the property tax exemption could theoretically save you about $147 in the first year alone for that $18,600 installation.

City and Utility Rebates

Beyond the federal tax credit and the state property tax exemption, a handful of cities and utilities also offer rebates for homeowners going solar. Through its GoSolarSF initiative, San Francisco still offers homeowners rebates of $200 per kW with a cap of $8,000. Beyond that, Sacramento municipal utility SMUD offers $300 per installation and the City of Ukiah offers solar rebates, but is currently updating the program at the time of writing.

California Solar Policy

California has some of the best renewable energy policies in the country. In 2018, it adopted a goal of 100% clean energy by 2045. That’s a huge deal, especially considering California is the world’s 5th biggest economy and even larger than the UK’s.

The state has also made it incredibly easy for homeowners to install solar. They passed laws to make the interconnection process (connecting your solar installation to the utility grid) as painless and cheap as possible.

The most important policy for solar homeowners, however, is California’s net metering regulations. Under the new NEM regulations, solar is still a great investment, but all solar homeowners must move to Time-Of-Use rates, where you’ll pay more (or less) throughout the day depending on energy demand, and require solar homeowners to pay a few additional fees, including:

  • Mandatory one-time interconnection fee, typically around $100
  • Per-kWh fee, called ‘non-bypassable charges’, for all solar energy sent to the grid.
  • Both solar and non-solar homeowners must pay a monthly fee

Lastly, after installing solar, your utility will send you a ‘true up’ bill at the end of each year. If you used more electricity than you produced, you’ll need to pay the difference. If you produced more than you used, your utility will pay you for that excess (about $0.03 to $0.04 per kwh).

Conclusion

Ready to go solar in California? Get multiple quotes from the best local California installers to find the best solar company in California for you.

Compare California Solar Panel Installers

View our list of California solar panel installers below or get quotes from multiple companies to find the best deal.

Showing 1 - 100 of 869
Simple Power Solar

11020 Trails End Ct

Truckee, CA, California 96161
775-786-4006
Wing Solar & Wood Energy

22040 Manor Ln

Red Bluff, CA, California 96080
530-527-0557
Huhn Electric

14675 Molluc Dr

Red Bluff, CA, California 96080
530-527-6659
Halcyon Solar Construction

20834 Front St

Cottonwood, CA, California 96022
530-347-9756
GTI Solar

20645 Gas Point Rd

Cottonwood, CA, California 96022
530-377-5116
PowerHouse Solar

4616 Caterpillar Rd

Redding, CA, California 96003
530-275-5600
Integrity Heating, Air & Solar

5213 Industrial Way

Anderson, CA, California 96007
530-365-9100
Addy Solar & Electric

8865 Airport Rd # E

Redding, CA, California 96002
530-276-0231
Solar Solutions

8796 Airport Rd

Redding, CA, California 96002
530-364-2457
Chico Roofing Co.

3030 Thorntree Dr UNIT 2

Chico, CA, California 95973
530-892-9071
Hammond Electric

1303 Gray Ave

Yuba City, CA, California 95991
530-671-2149
Climate & Energy Solutions

3268 Esplanade

Chico, CA, California 95973
530-891-6787
Phoenix Solar Energy

13290 Contractors Ln

Chico, CA, California 95973
530-433-0339
Chico Electric

36 W Eaton Rd

Chico, CA, California 95973
530-891-1933
California Green Energy Construction

17492 Rollins View Dr

Grass Valley, CA, California 95945
530-305-5647
SunStor Solar

3163 Olive Hwy

Oroville, CA, California 95966
888-573-3933
That's Byers

11773 Slow Poke Ln

Grass Valley, CA, California 95945
530-272-8272
Sustainable Energy Group

420 Sierra College Dr # 320

Grass Valley, CA, California 95945
530-273-4422
Royal Aire Heating, Air Conditioning & Solar

2530 Zanella Way

Chico, CA, California 95928
530-899-9999
Marks Solar

1632 Garden Rd

Durham, CA, California 95938
530-680-7331
All Around Heating, Air and Solar

3125 Southgate Ln

Chico, CA, California 95928
530-521-4433
Ilum Solar

4135 Northgate Blvd Suite 9

Sacramento, CA, California 95834
888-696-4586
Thor Electric Services

4640 Northgate Blvd STE 100

Sacramento, CA, California 95834
916-692-8997
SunElectric

8175 Alpine Ave # H

Sacramento, CA, California 95826
916-706-0698
Alex Perez's Roofing

901 W El Camino Ave

Sacramento, CA, California 95833
916-910-5542
Yancey Company

8250 Alpine Ave suite e

Sacramento, CA, California 95826
916-441-1616
Solaron

3460 Business Dr

Sacramento, CA, California 95820
916-631-9293
Valley Solar Inc.

9265 Beatty Dr

Sacramento, CA, California 95826
916-254-5111
Apex Solar

4354 Town Center Blvd #114

El Dorado Hills, CA, California 95762
916-878-7723
Infinity Energy

3825 Atherton Rd

Rocklin, CA, California 95765
916-573-1546
Gold Rush Energy Solutions

4911 Windplay Dr STE #4

El Dorado Hills, CA, California 95762
866-557-6937
Senga Energy

4650 Golden Foothill Pkwy Ste 135

El Dorado Hills, CA, California 95762
916-400-9920
Laibach Solar LLC

5170 Golden Foothill Pkwy

El Dorado Hills, CA, California 95762
530-388-5536
V3 Electric

4925 Robert J Mathews Pkwy #100

El Dorado Hills, CA, California 95762
844-837-6937
Epic Energy

9083 Foothills Blvd #390

Roseville, CA, California 95747
833-374-2229
Spectrum Energy Development

5 5050 Laguna Blvd Suite 112-324

Elk Grove, CA, California 95758
916-330-4425
Aztec Solar

11370 Trade Center Dr #3

Rancho Cordova, CA, California 95742
916-853-2700
Sun Up Electric Inc.

8850 Auburn Folsom Rd Suite F

Granite Bay, CA, California 95746
833-786-8748
Sun At Work Electric

11419 Sunrise Gold Cir STE 5

Rancho Cordova, CA, California 95742
530-206-9030
Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort

2550 Mercantile Dr ste d

Rancho Cordova, CA, California 95742
800-551-3040
Blue Mountain Air

707 Aldridge Rd

Vacaville, CA, California 95688
800-889-2085
Citadel Roofing & Solar

4980 Allison Pkwy

Vacaville, CA, California 95688
707-446-5500
Right Now Air & Solar

821 Eubanks Dr Suite C

Vacaville, CA, California 95688
707-514-3442
Sunrise Energy Solutions

1780 Vernon St #6

Roseville, CA, California 95678
916-791-2426
Solar Savings Direct

4420 Commodity Way Suite A

Shingle Springs, CA, California 95682
530-344-3237
NewGen Energy

4470 Yankee Hill Rd

Rocklin, CA, California 95677
833-663-9496
Brower Mechanical

4060 Alvis Ct

Rocklin, CA, California 95677
916-461-7232
Gilmore Heating, Air and Plumbing

4429 Missouri Flat Rd

Placerville, CA, California 95667
530-290-5551
Sunstone Home Services

3039 Kilgore Rd Suite 110

Rancho Cordova, CA, California 95670
916-426-6108
Ready Home Energy

1536 Eureka Rd

Roseville, CA, California 95661
800-782-1899
ES Electric & Solar

2210 Taylor Rd

Penryn, CA, California 95663
916-663-0557
Villara Corporation

4700 Lang Ave

McClellan Park, CA, California 95652
916-646-2700
Energy Saving Pros

3334 Swetzer Rd

Loomis, CA, California 95650
916-259-2501
Magic Sun Solar

3750 Taylor Rd #8

Loomis, CA, California 95650
916-259-2587
I Love My Solar

1550 Carbondale Rd

Ione, CA, California 95640
877-607-6527
AMP Electric

763 Swallowview Ct

Lincoln, CA, California 95648
916-289-2899
Modernize Power

9477 Greenback Ln #511

Folsom, CA, California 95630
916-293-5900
Solar Revolution

9580 Oak Ave Pkwy #14

Folsom, CA, California 95630
916-542-9420
Robert's Solar

400 Manning Way

Dixon, CA, California 95620
707-678-2058
Future Energy Savers

9721 Kent St

Elk Grove, CA, California 95624
916-686-3008
Greiner Heating & Air Conditioning

8235 Pedrick Rd

Dixon, CA, California 95620
707-678-1784
Smit's Solar Heating & Air Conditioning

6205 Enterprise Dr Suite A

Diamond Springs, CA, California 95619
530-622-8446
Solar Hut

6590 Commerce Way Suite C

Diamond Springs, CA, California 95619
530-651-5111
Cal-Sun Construction

694 Pleasant Valley Rd #8

Diamond Springs, CA, California 95619
888-422-5786
Sun Metrics

430 D St

Davis, CA, California 95616
530-564-5383
Solar Roof Dynamics LLC

1490 Drew Ave #140

Davis, CA, California 95618
530-564-7054
Quality First Home Improvement

6545 Sunrise Blvd

Citrus Heights, CA, California 95610
800-859-7494
EverGreen Solar

8328 Olivine Ave

Citrus Heights, CA, California 95610
916-316-8975
Sol Power Development

5840 Gibbons Dr f

Carmichael, CA, California 95608
916-426-8399
ACR Solar

5840 Gibbons Dr Suite H

Carmichael, CA, California 95608
916-481-7200
American Home Energy

970 Riverside Pkwy #70

West Sacramento, CA, California 95605
800-597-1418
DC Solar Electric Inc.

11760 Atwood Rd Suite #6

Auburn, CA, California 95603
530-432-8114
CitiGreen

11812 Kemper Rd

Auburn, CA, California 95603
877-506-2010
Scurfield Solar & Heating

550 S G St STE 14

Arcata, CA, California 95521
707-825-0759
SunPower by Hooked On Solar

4035 Grass Valley Hwy D

Auburn, CA, California 95602
855-466-5332
Radiant Solar Technology

355 Kunzler Ranch Rd Unit N

Ukiah, CA, California 95482
707-485-8359
Westhaven Solar & Electric

76 S G St

Arcata, CA, California 95521
707-376-9025
Taylor Energy Systems Inc

7171 Evan Ave

Sebastopol, CA, California 95472
707-494-6008
VITAL ENERGY SOLUTIONS

3595 Gravenstein Hwy S

Sebastopol, CA, California 95472
707-800-3884
Jonas Energy Solutions

9125 CA-53

Lower Lake, CA, California 95457
707-994-5911
Complete Construction Group

4584 Blank Rd

Sebastopol, CA, California 95472
707-293-8707
Harmony Air

10230 Hwy 175

Kelseyville, CA, California 95451
707-239-9288
Pure Power Solutions

1 Front St

Healdsburg, CA, California 95448
707-433-6556
Suntegrity Solar

3100 Dutton Ave #138

Santa Rosa, CA, California 95407
707-623-1465
Westcoast Solar Energy

2975 Dutton Ave Suite A

Santa Rosa, CA, California 95407
707-664-6450
Northern Pacific Power Systems

5580 Skylane Blvd STE B

Santa Rosa, CA, California 95403
707-528-7652
ARS Roofing, Gutters and Solar

3327 McMaude Pl

Santa Rosa, CA, California 95407
707-584-5900
JKB Energy

941 E Monte Vista Ave

Turlock, CA, California 95382
209-668-5303
Summit Technology Group

2450 Bluebell Dr

Santa Rosa, CA, California 95403
707-238-3772
CalSolar

580 N Wilma Ave suite h

Ripon, CA, California 95366
209-253-0923
Clear Solar Solutions

2200 Maryann Dr

Turlock, CA, California 95380
209-850-9290
Solar Installation Group

1824 Ackley Cir suite a

Oakdale, CA, California 95361
888-508-0558
Velocity Solar Power

623 Bitritto Ct Suite B

Modesto, CA, California 95356
844-633-3765
SunLectric

247 S Sierra Ave

Oakdale, CA, California 95361
209-565-4786
Mid-State Solar

450 Glass Ln

Modesto, CA, California 95356
209-551-7800
Honey's Air & Solar

501 Bitritto Wy

Modesto, CA, California 95356
209-566-1978
R T Maher Construction

3185 Stretch Rd

Merced, CA, California 95340
209-384-1227
Gosolarpros

426 14th St

Modesto, CA, California 95354
209-613-2604
Homex

415 N Main St #7

Manteca, CA, California 95337
510-592-4492
Offline Solar Electric

5182 CA-49

Mariposa, CA, California 95338
209-742-6333

Are Solar Panels a Good Investment in 2021?

That is a great question! In a word, absolutely. In fact, with installation costs dropping over 60% since 2010, solar is a better investment than ever before!

And while the price of solar technology continues to drop, the price of utility electricity continues to go up. In the last 15 years, utility rates have increased an average of 2.9% each year.

That is actually the main crux of solar savings. You pay a one-time fee (ie your installation cost) to install solar and you are then able to avoid those utility price hikes - as well as the current high utility prices - for the next 25 years.

Obviously, some states have much higher utility rates than in other states, so solar savings will be greatest in those states, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad decision in other areas.

Generally speaking, savings follows utility costs, but on average the lifetime solar savings for many homeowners is between $12k and $32k. That is a lot of money saved!

How much can you save by installing solar panels on your home? It is easy to find out. Simply get a free quote and see how much you can save by going solar today!