2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING RESIDENTIAL SOLAR PANELS


Moving Into an Energy Efficient Future with Home Solar Panels

Homeowners across the country have started to consider both the money and energy saving benefits of solar power for homes. The energy industry has started an irreversible trend toward green technology, with companies and governments eager to enter the next chapter of powering the world in a way that is sustainable and healthy for the planet.

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Award Emblem: Best Residential Solar Panels

The adoption of residential solar panels has picked up in popularity. There are several companies in the United States that can help you adopt a solar power home system. Many of them are limited in terms of geography, with a lot of the serviced areas being along the east and west coasts, but with time and additional resources, the number of home solar panels providers is only expected to grow.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of Top 6 Best Sources of Solar Power for Homes

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the solar power company names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that solar power company):


Top 6 Best Home Solar Panels | Brief Comparison

Top Home Solar Panels

BBB Rating

States Serviced

PPA

Complete Solar

A+

1

Yes

NRG Home Solar

A

2

Yes

Sunpower Corporation

A+

Nationwide

No

Sunrun

A+

15

Yes

Vivint Solar

A+

20

Yes

Xoom Solar (Xoom Energy)

A+

8

Yes

Table: Top 6 Residential Solar Panels | Above list is sorted alphabetically



Financing Options for Residential Solar Panels

A solar power home system can cost, on average, between $25,000 and $35,000.  Nowadays, there are numerous options for financing your home solar panels.

Solar Power For Homes

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  • Buying the solar panels outright: You can buy your solar panels outright and benefit from the long-term savings and tax benefits.
  • Buying the solar panels with a loan: You can buy your solar panels but finance the purchase through a loan. This way, you still benefit from the energy savings and tax advantages of getting solar panels for your home, but you will have to pay off the accompanying solar home loan.
  • Purchase Power Agreement (PPA): With a purchase power agreement, you do not have to pay for any of the upfront costs. The cost of installation is covered by the company you get the home solar panels from, but you will not own the panels. Instead, you pay for the power and agree to pay for power for a fixed number of years, usually about 20.


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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Solar Panels for Homes

Below, please find the detailed review of each company on our list of the best providers of home solar panels. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these residential solar panels providers to score so highly in our selection ranking.

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Complete Solar Review


Complete Solar only services areas in California at present, but it has certainly made a name for itself in the Golden State. The home solar panels provider boasts great feedback on review sites like Yelp and Consumer Affairs. This solar panels for home company also has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website.

Home Solar Panels

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If you want solar panels for your home, but you want to see hard data about the initial costs and potential savings, Complete Solar offers a free, comprehensive quote. To get this information, prospective customers can visit the website and enter their name, address, and zip code. The free solar power for homes quote includes (list from Complete Solar website):

  • Shade analysis
  • Savings projections
  • Solar system design
  • A mock-up of how the solar panels will look on your roof
  • A guaranteed price quote

The home solar panels company uses a specialized, highly sophisticated residential solar panels software that allows them to provide fast, detailed information about solar power for homes on a case-by-case basis.

Complete Solar Offers a Customized Solar Home Solution

While many other solar homes outfitters provide a one-size-fits-all solution to home solar power, Complete Solar treats each customer’s needs uniquely. They provide custom solar-powered homes and solar power home systems that are optimized to provide the best results for that particular customer.

Additionally, the cost of solar panels for homes outfitted by Complete Solar is equal to an investment. Because of their unique treatment of each solar home they work on using their proprietary solar homes software, customers achieve maximum savings.

Solar panels for homes are quickly installed by Complete Solar. Solar panels for your home can be installed in a matter of weeks as opposed to months, meaning you can start using solar panels for homes to start saving sooner as opposed to later.

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NRG Home Solar Review


NRG Home Solar offers the environmental and energy benefits of a solar homes company with the perks and offers of a popular credit card company. In addition to providing solar panels for homes, this company offers rewards through partnerships with different companies and referral bonuses as well.

The solar panels for home company operates in three states: New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

Getting solar panels for your home can be a confusing process, especially if you are not entirely familiar with the technology. Fortunately, NRG Home Solar provides a step-by-step consultation with a live agent who can help find the best home solar panels solution for you.

A solar home specialist will get on the phone with you to discuss your rooftop and your household’s electricity costs. The kind of information customers need to make this home solar power consultation call as effective as possible is a recent electricity bill and the approximate age and type of their roof, meaning shingle, tile, or slate.

The company will then work with you to develop a home solar power plan that includes different options and the money that you are projected to save with their solar power home system. This involves an assessment of the cost of solar panels for home and the specific residential solar panels system that you will need.

After figuring out the estimated cost of solar panels for home use, a home solar panels consultant will book an appointment to assess your home. To set up solar panels for your home, they will undergo a thorough evaluation and take measurements that will allow them to design a custom plan for your residential solar panels.

After this has been done, the following needs to be completed before you get solar power for homes:

  • Permitting: Receive approval from the local municipality, which is handled by the company. This is the part with an uncertain timeline since it is up to the municipal government.
  • Installation: This step takes approximately 1-3 days.
  • Inspection: To ensure quality performance. The company works with your utility company.
  • System activation: The company will work with your utility company to get things up and running.

Rewards Program and Referral Bonus

NRG partners with a number of companies to bring rewards to their customers, providing an added bonus for people to choose solar power for homes. Customers can benefit through the following companies when they choose to set up solar powered homes with NRG:

  • American Airlines
  • The Home Depot
  • I Teach America
  • JetBlue
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Nissan
  • Nurses USA
  • MileagePlus from United
  • Virgin America

The rewards vary based on the company. For instance, when you get a solar power home system with NRG, you receive 5,000 miles from American Airlines just for participating in an in-home solar consultation and 25,000 miles when you commit to solar powered homes.

And if a solar homes customer makes a referral that results in a friend or family member deciding to install a solar panel home system, they get a $200 bonus. And that bonus is available for every referral — you can make as many as you want!



Sunpower Review


Sunpower is a solar energy company that has been around for over 30 years. Of course, they are a prominent player in the solar power for homes business, offering residential solar panels for those who are interested in energy efficient alternatives for their home.

The home solar panels stand out for another reason aside from longevity. They are manufactured by the same company. Whereas many other solar power for homes companies outsource the manufacturing and deal with the servicing and installation themselves, Sunpower makes their own for consistent quality across the board.

The company also comes with convenient monitoring tools for staying on top of the solar panels for your home. You can monitor the savings from your home solar panels using the Sunpower app that allows you to view your home’s savings.

The solar homes company includes a step-by-step process for how to acquire home solar power.

  • Free consultation: A solar home expert designs a solar power home system and provides a proposal for the homeowner interested in solar-powered homes.
  • Installation: A certified residential solar panels installer deals with the installation, permitting, and paperwork related to setting up solar panels for your home.
  • Activations: After Solarpower solar homes specialists have liaised with your utility company and completed final connections, it’s time to flip the switch and join the growing number of solar powered homes.

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Sunrun Review


Sunrun provides its customers with customized solar home solutions that are tailored not only to their energy needs but to their savings goals as well. They have an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website and provide residential solar panels to 15 states.

Their specialized software, BrightPathTM, allows the company to come up with a customized plan when providing solar power for homes by using select pieces of information and satellite imagery. These designs can maximize the amount of energy that will be produced much better than if these solar panels for home were mapped out by hand.

They also offer different solar home payment options to make solar panels for homes as accessible to as many people as possible.

Financing Options to Cover the Cost of Solar Panels for Home

Customers have several options when it comes to financing their solar power for homes through Sunrun. They can choose from the following packages:

  • BrightSave Monthly: Customers agree to a 20-year term where they do not have to pay the upfront costs associated with installing the residential solar panels, but they do commit to paying for the energy for the term length.
  • BrightSave Prepaid: Customers can pay outright for 20 years of energy costs, but they do not pay for the cost of installing the home solar panels system since it will be owned by the company.
  • BrightBuy: Customers buy the entire solar power home system.
  • BrightBuy Advantage: Customers own the solar power for homes system, but pay it off through a loan arrangement.

Customers also benefit from regular monitoring in addition to repairs that are covered by the company. As a result, homeowners can put the “what ifs” about residential solar panels out of their minds.



Vivint Solar Review


Vivint Solar covers 14 states in the U.S. On their site, they advertise that they can save customers between 10-30% on their power bill by using Vivint’s solar power home system, and they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

The path to getting solar panels for your home with Vivint Solar is similar to the other residential solar panels companies on this list.

  • Consultation: Participate in a no-obligation, information consultation about your house’s energy needs and your financing options; plus, get any questions you have about solar panels for homes answered by a home solar panels expert.
  • Design: A custom home solar panels plan is created to ensure you save the most money on your power bill.
  • Permitting: All of the pesky paperwork and approval process necessary to get solar panels for your home is handled by a Customer Success Manager who is personally assigned to you.
  • Installation: Once the home solar panels for your house have been approved, your residential solar panels can be installed within 4 to 8 hours.

Vivint Solar also offers diverse options for covering the cost of solar panels for homes. You can own the home solar panels outright and pay for them upfront. You can own the residential solar panels but finance the cost through a loan. Or, you can simply buy the power, which means you don’t own the solar power home system but you also do not have to pay for any of the set-up or installation.

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Xoom Solar Review


Xoom Solar operates in eight countries, and it is an option for those who may be located in areas not covered by the other solar panels for homes providers on this list. Customers start by creating a solar profile on the site so that the cost, potential savings, and feasibility of home solar panels for their residence can be assessed.

The estimate that is provided by completing this profile can be further adjusted by providing additional information, like your current monthly electricity usage or by indicating what your preferred financing option for the residential solar panels is.

Once you’ve completed the profile, you get the opportunity to speak with a consultant who specializes in solar power for homes who can ensure you have entered the information accurately and help answer any additional questions.

After speaking with a solar power home system specialist and obtaining a program that you are satisfied with, someone will be sent to your home to check the design, get necessary measurement, and start working out the permits necessary for setting up residential solar panels. After this has been done, they will return to have your home solar panels set up.

Xoom Solar also provides a number of financing options. Those who get solar-powered homes through Xoom can choose to own their home solar panels outright or simply pay for the energy each month. If they choose to own their home solar panels, they can either pay upfront or finance it. Either way, they will benefit from the tax incentives included in owning residential solar panels.

You can also choose to just pay for the energy as mentioned earlier, in which the company pays for the cost of solar power for home installation and you just pay a monthly bill for the energy.


Conclusion—Top 6 Sources of Solar Power for Homes

Depending on where you live and your household’s energy consumption, adopting a solar power home system can help you save a decent amount of money each month. It can also increase the value of your home if you plan to sell. While permits and installation can feel like a burden, many of the solar panels for homes providers are eager to help customers overcome this initial hesitation and provide step-by-step consultations and a process that ensures you do not have to worry about liaising with the municipal government or your utility company.



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Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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