Today, we take a look at the Best Rated Solar Companies , top solar companies in the world and the best solar companies to invest in. The below results are based strictly on customer satisfaction. We applaud these companies and the contributions that they are making to the solar industry.
This list is continuously updated as new reviews come in. While these rankings are based on all-time ratings, recent reviews are weighted heavier than older reviews. Therefore, this list is an ideal representation of the best installers right now.
best rated solar companies
JinkoSolar is currently one of world’s largest solar energy companies and top solar panel manufacturers. Headquartered in Shanghai, China, JinkoSolar distributes its solar products and sells its solutions and services to a diversified international utility, commercial and residential customer base in China, the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Chile, South Africa, India, Mexico, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, and other countries and regions. In 2018, JinkoSolar shipped a total 11.4 GW of modules, making it the largest solar panel manufacturer in the world.
Canadian Solar is another one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world, providing world’s leading solar PV modules and advanced solar energy solutions. Canadian Solar is headquartered in Ontario, Canada, but has production facilities in China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brazil, where ingots, wafers, solar cells, solar PV modules, solar power systems and specialized solar products are manufactured. By far, Canadian Solar has shipped more than 32 GW PV modules over its 18-year history, it also has over 9.5 GW shipment in the pipeline.
Trina Solar is a world’s largest solar panel manufacturers based in Changzhou, China. Trina solar manufactures a huge range of solar modules for residential, commercial and utility scale installations. Its main products include ingots, wafers, solar cells and solar modules with the latest solar energy technologies such as bifacial, half-cell, dual glass, PERC, standard p-type mono-crystalline and multi-crystalline cells. Trina Solar is currently the largest supplier of solar equipment supplier in India.
SunPower Corp has been in the solar panel manufacturers for over 30 years. Today, this Silicon Valley based solar energy company is already the world’s leader in solar innovations. The company designs and manufactures crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and solar panels, providing high-efficiency solar panels for both residential and commercial purposes around the world. SunPower’s total solar energy generated has surpassed 18,000,000 MWh in 2019.
best solar companies to invest in
Hanwha Q Cells
Hanwha Q Cells is one of the world’s largest solar energy companies and solar panel manufacturers. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea and R&A based in Thalheim, Germany. Hanwha offers a huge range of solar panel products covering from small modules to large-scale solar power plants. Currently, Hanwha Q Cells is one of the top solar panel suppliers in European and Japanese markets.
Based in Shanghai, JA Solar is one of the world’s top solar energy companies and the largest manufacturers of high-performance photovoltaic (PV) products, with a business portfolio including wafers, cells, modules and photovoltaic power stations. Over the years, JA Solar has been shipping its solar energy products across Europe, Americas, Africa, and Asia. The company’s annual sales revenue has surpassed $3 billion last year. As of 2017, JA Solar’s accumulative shipments reached 27 GW.
Longi Solar is a world leading mono-crystalline solar module manufacturer and LCOE (levelized cost of electricity) solution provider. The company, headquartered in Xi’an, China and owned by the LONGi Group, has focused on p-mono for nearly two decades and is nowadays the largest supplier of mono-crystalline products in the world, with total assets above $5.71 billion by 2018, LONGi Group has plans to reach 45 GW mono-crystalline wafer production capacity by 2020.
Risen Energy is one of the top solar energy companies and photovoltaic power products manufacturers in the world. Headquartered in Ningbo, China, Risen Energy is engaged in R&D, production, sales and service of solar modules, products of photovoltaic technology, solar terminal application and integration. Its solar energy products are exported to more than 30 countries and regions such as Europe, America, South Africa and Southeast Asia.
GCL-SI is a Hong Kong based solar energy companies, which was founded in 1990. Since then, the company has had a significant growth. As 2018, GCL-SI supplies nearly 30% of the total global wafer capacity wafer yield, represents 22.2% silicon market shares, and owns global assets worth nearly 3.3 billion USD, making it one of the leading solar energy companies in the world.
Talesun Solar Technologies is a world’s leading manufacturer of photovoltaic solar cells and modules. Headquartered in Suzhou, China, Talesun Solar has an annual capacity of 4 GW cells and 5 GW modules. So far, Talesun Solar has cumulatively invested and developed more than 6 GW PV power plants and its accumulative module shipment surpassed 10 GW.
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Types of solar companies
Even the best alternative energy companies usually aren’t equipped to manufacture, install and finance your solar energy system. Instead, many solar companies specialize in one or several of those areas. Homeowners mostly deal with installers and financing companies, but it’s essential to understand how the different types of solar companies function.
- Solar panel manufacturers: Solar panel manufacturers create the solar cells and assemble the solar panels that go on your roof. Solar panel manufacturers are often at the forefront of solar energy research and development. The best solar panel manufacturers own their supply chain, assemble high-efficiency solar panels from the cells they create and offer long-term warranties on their products.
- Solar panel retailers: Retailers are the middlemen between the manufacturer and the installer. Solar equipment retailers and distribution companies work with networks of suppliers, manufacturers, contractors and installers.
- Solar installation companies: If you think about purchasing a solar energy system like buying a car, your installer is like the dealership. Usually, solar panel installers source panels from a manufacturer directly or through a solar panel wholesaler or retailer. A solar panel installer’s primary business is getting solar panels working on your rooftop, which requires other components, including wiring or inverters. These companies can be small or large. Some serve only certain geographic areas, while others operate nationwide.
- Solar financing companies: These companies help people finance a solar panel system for their home through solar leases, loans or power purchase agreements. For more information, read our guide on solar financing companies.
Should I go solar?
If your yard receives a decent amount of sunlight, solar panels might be a good investment for you. Ask yourself two questions when considering switching to solar energy for your home or business:
- How much is your energy bill?
Most of the time, your current utility bill needs to be at least $75 per month to save money by going solar. Residential solar companies set this $75 threshold because your electricity usage isn’t high enough to see energy savings by installing solar panels if your monthly utility bill is less than that.
- What kind of roof do you have?
Solar panels are most efficient if they are mounted toward the rotation of the sun (that’s south-facing if you’re in the northern hemisphere). The best solar panels have a life expectancy of 40 or more years, so you need to be sure your roof can last just as long. Solar panels also require mounting hardware, which works best on composite or asphalt shingles, concrete tiles, standing-seam metal or other sturdy materials. If you’ve been thinking of replacing or repairing your roof, prioritize that over installing residential solar panels.
Is my house a good candidate for solar?
The benefits of solar probably outweigh the disadvantages if you have a sturdy roof and your utility bill is more than $75 per month. Next, consider the size of your roof, how much sun you get and your location to determine if your house is a good candidate for solar.
- The size of your roof: One solar panel is 5.5 feet tall by 3.5 feet wide, so the area of available space on your roof might determine how much of your energy need can be met by solar panels. For example, if you use 30 kWh of power daily, you would need an average of 20 to 30 solar panels to generate the required power.
- How much sun you get: Solar panels produce more power when they get direct sunlight and aren’t shaded by trees or taller buildings. Solar energy companies calculate “peak sun hours” unique to your home. The more peak sun hours in your area, the more electricity you can produce. You can calculate your peak sun hours by placing an insolation meter in direct sunlight — the meter measures the potential solar power supply and current light intensity in your area. Most homes in the United States average three to five peak sun hours, with less in the winter and more in the summer.
- Where you live: Some states are better for going solar than others. For example, California’s solar industry has boomed in the last few years because of the state’s $46 billion investment in renewable energy. Your climate also affects how much energy you need (e.g., you use more power if you must continuously run air conditioning). Keep in mind that if your home is surrounded by shade from tall buildings, large trees or other obstructions, this interferes with the amount of sunlight your panels receive and makes them less effective.
Going solar is much easier than it used to be. Once you determine your energy needs and compare solar energy companies, make sure your roof can handle having solar panels installed. You should understand solar incentives and consider the available financing options.
It’s smart to get quotes from multiple companies — this ensures you get the best deal on all your solar equipment components. If you hire an installer, its employees do all the heavy lifting and help you complete permitting paperwork. Finally, connect to the grid to officially go solar.
TIPS FOR BUYING YOUR SOLAR POWER SYSTEM.
Buying a home solar power system can be a very exciting experience, but don’t get too carried away by advertising. Be sure to focus on the important aspects of your purchase as it’s a substantial investment and one you’ll be living with for a long time. The following are some buying solar tips on what to look for when purchasing a system.
Ask friends, family neighbours or colleagues who have had solar PV systems installed. Often the best buying solar tips com from right in your neighbourhood. They’ll be able to tell you about their experiences and perhaps alert you to any problems they experienced. Problems that you’ll be able to avoid. Learn more about potential issues in our consumers guide to solar power – avoiding tricks and traps.
Length of manufacturer’s warranty
Take note of what guarantees the manufacturer offers. If the manufacturer is reputable and the warranty period on the panels is substantial (at least 25 years) you would naturally expect your solar system to last long for a long time, long enough to pay for itself and make you a profit. However, for a warranty to be honoured, the manufacturer needs to be still operating. So, be cautious of brands without a track record in Australia.
Have realistic price expectations
If you are paying substantially less than many other similar size systems quoted, you may find poor quality equipment and/or poor installation work. Quality equipment and installation isn’t cheap and, like all other purchases, you often get what you pay for.
Compare components and warranty periods and check into the company providing the installation. While large, well established companies can pass on substantial savings due to increased buying power, other companies often reduce costs by cutting important corners.
Solar panel certifications
This applies to all solar panel purchases, but especially to the purchases that could attract a government rebate. The certification on solar panels indicates the type of testing that they have undergone. For instance, TUV IEC 61215 confirms that the solar panels have gone through testing by an independent laboratory and have met their advertised specifications. Other certification types are often self-assessed. Therefore, they rely on the company being honest in what it claims.
Decide on the type of panels
It used to be the case that if you had limited roof space you would need highly efficient (and very expensive) mono-crystalline solar panels. This is rapidly changing with advances in polycrystalline panel technology and some thin film technologies. Still, even if you have ample roof space you may still want to consider panel sizes vs. output. Filling up your roof with inefficient panels will affect your ability to add more panels at a later date, and does not maximise the power output of the space.
It’s also important to bear in mind that regardless of claim, no solar panel technology will produce a significant amount of power in full shade. Learn more about monocrystalline vs. thin film panels.
Solar panel mounting
Make sure that the roof, ground mounting or tracking system is engineer certified for the area you are in. For example, if you live in a cyclone prone area make sure the mounting system and mounting brackets are also cyclone rated. Quality systems are wind certified. After all you do not want your system to take off during a wild storm . The mounting system is a very vital component and some suppliers skimp on this item. Make sure you ask about wind certification, warranty arrangements and get copies of relevant documents.
Solar inverter efficiency
A power inverter is the box between the panels and your appliances that converts DC electricity from solar panels to AC suitable for use in your home.
Not all solar inverters are equal and inverter efficiency will have a direct impact on the amount of time it takes for a system to pay for itself. Look at the inverter efficiency before purchasing a system. Obviously, the more efficient the inverter the better. Less electricity will be wasted as heat during the conversion from DC to AC. Industry leading solar inverters for grid connect systems in Australia include SMA, Sungrow and Fronius. Be cautious of generic type brands.
Get a few solar quotes
It always wise to gather a few solar quotes when making a major purchase as you will find that prices vary widely between providers. But don’t be just swayed by price as inferior components can reduce the up-front cost of the system. However, they may wind up costing you more in the long run in terms of reliability and efficiency.
Avoid high pressure sales people
High pressure sales tactics are unfortunately common in the solar industry. Try not to make decisions on the spot, just ask the person to let you consider the offer. If it’s as good as they claim, it will still be a good deal tomorrow. Pressured decisions on the spot often turn out to be less advantageous in reflection.
High pressure sales people are only one of the pitfalls that may await you when you shop for a solar power system. Learn more about the potential issues and how to avoid them in our consumers guide to solar power – avoiding tricks and traps.