By Dan Simms
Updated Nov 4, 2022
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Going solar is a worthwhile endeavor for most Virginia homeowners, as solar panels typically save residents thousands of dollars over the lifespan of the equipment. This is partially why VA is ranked 10th in the country in terms of solar adoption and why the local solar industry is booming.
However, the abundance of solar installers can be intimidating to navigate, especially since it’s wise to do extensive research before you choose an installer for your solar project. Luckily, we’ve done most of the hard work for you. In this guide, you’ll read about the best solar companies in Virginia and what sets them apart from other installers in the area.
Below are our top picks for the best solar installers in VA:
The table below should help you compare our top picks for solar installers at a high level. We’ll also go into further detail about our top companies in the sections below.
|Company||Our Take||Our Rating||BBB Rating||Warranty||In-House Installation||Cost|
|Nova Solar||Best Overall||9.8||A+||25 years for equipment, 10 years for workmanship||Yes||$$$|
|SunPower||Solar Veteran||9.8||A+||25 years for equipment, production, and workmanship||Some (see notes below)||$$$$|
|Blue Raven Solar||Best Financing Options||9.7||A+||25 years for equipment, 10 years for workmanship||Yes||$$$|
|Lumina Solar||Best Local Installer||9.7||N/A||10-25 years for equipment, 10 years for installation (extendable up to 30 years)||Yes||$$$|
|Southern Exposure Solar||Best Customer Service||9.6||N/A||25 years for equipment, performance, and workmanship||Yes||$$$|
|Virtue Solar||Best Sales Approach||9.4||A+||25 years for equipment, 10 years for workmanship||Yes||$$$|
|ADT Solar||Best Warranty Coverage||9.1||A+||25 years for equipment, production, and workmanship||No||$$$|
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The table below should help you compare our top picks for solar installers at a high level. We’ll also go into further detail about our top companies in the sections below.
Nova Solar is based in Virginia and services the entire state, and it also installs panels in Washington D.C. and Maryland. It’s a local company with a small size that helps guarantee outstanding customer service, and it provides high-quality equipment and stellar warranty coverage at affordable prices.
Nova Solar provides excellent equipment and service at relatively low prices, meaning you get above-average value when you choose this company. We’ll discuss the specifics regarding cost and quality below.
Nova Solar doesn’t include specific solar panel cost information on its website, but based on consumer reports, it is around average in price. However, the value offered is above-average, as you get top-quality equipment at average prices. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay around $15,000 for your solar panels after tax credits are applied with Nova.
Nova Solar covers all of its equipment for 25 years, and it also provides a 10-year warranty for the installation. This isn’t quite as good as some other solar panel companies, but the outstanding customer service means making warranty claims is a breeze.
Nova installs solar panels and solar batteries. This is not the company for you if you’re looking for solar roofs, add-on products like electric vehicle (EV) chargers, or services like ongoing solar monitoring.
Nova Solar accepts cash purchases and solar loans only. Solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) are not available.
Nova Solar has an in-house team of installers that perform all of its installations. Best of all, the company is certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), which means you’re likely to get a professional and safe installation every time.
Nova installs equipment from SolarEdge, REC, LG, QCells, and Enphase. These are considered top-tier brands that deliver excellent efficiency and value.
Nova Solar is NABCEP-certified, and it’s also accredited by the BBB.
SunPower is a national company and one of the longest-standing installers in the solar industry. It provides only the best and most efficient equipment, and it has some of the top warranty coverage available.
SunPower is one of the most expensive companies in the Old Dominion, but it also brings some of the highest-quality equipment and service to the table. We’ll discuss the specifics of this company below.
SunPower only installs Maxeon solar panels, which are the most costly option in the industry at around $3.30 per watt, on average. Since most VA homeowners will need a system of around 11 kW to eliminate electric bills, which means the typical solar panel installation cost from SunPower will be around $22,000 after tax credits are applied. This is above the national average.
While SunPower might be the most expensive company in the area, it also provides the best warranty coverage. It includes a 25-year warranty for the equipment, labor, and energy production. It also provides roof leak coverage, which is a bit of an anomaly in the industry but ideal for areas like VA, where hurricanes, tropical storms, and above-average rainfall are expected.
SunPower is a full-service solar company providing solar panels, solar batteries, electric vehicle chargers, and solar monitoring services.
SunPower accepts cash purchases, solar loans, solar leases, and power purchase agreements (PPAs), so just about every customer will be able to find an option that works for them.
SunPower offers a $100 referral bonus for each individual you refer that gets an in-home estimate written up for them.
SunPower is currently transitioning from third-party installations to in-house installations. You could get either in VA, and the service can vary a bit based on which company installs your panels.
SunPower only installs Maxeon panels, which have the highest guaranteed efficiency rating in the industry. This is both good and bad, as you’ll get the best of the best, but you can’t choose a brand that suits your budget if Maxeon panels are too expensive.
SunPower is accredited by the BBB, and it is a member of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
Blue Raven Solar is another national company that serves Virginia, and it edges out some of the other local companies mostly because its service area covers the entire state. It maintains good customer service, and it’s a top option for affordable solar in VA.
Blue Raven is well-known as one of the best affordable solar installers in the country. Its BluePower Plus+ financing program also makes its equipment and services affordable to most customers.
Blue Raven doesn’t post average cost information on its website, but customer reviews and general pricing information put the company below average when it comes to cost. On average, you can expect a solar system from this company to total between $12,000 and $15,000 after credits are applied in VA.
Blue Raven is about average in terms of warranty coverage, with a 25-year equipment warranty — from the manufacturer — and a 10-year warranty on labor.
Blue Raven only installs solar panels at this time, although it does also offer solar monitoring. It also notes that it has plans to expand its services to include solar batteries, but that option has not been available yet.
Blue Raven accepts cash purchases and solar loans only. Although it doesn’t accept leases or PPAs, its BluePower Plus+ program is one of the most appealing financing options in the industry. It provides $0-down purchase options with no payments due for the first 18 months. Plus, it offers fixed payments and no early repayment penalties after that.
Blue Raven has an incredible referral program that offers you $1,000 for the first two customers you refer to them — plus $500 for each of those customers — and then $1,500 for every customer you refer thereafter.
Despite Blue Raven’s massive size and nationwide reach, this company completes all of its own installations, so none of the work on your solar project will be outsourced.
Blue Raven installs top-tier and mid-tier solar equipment, including brands like SolarEdge, SMA, Hyundai, Solar World, Trina, Canadian Solar, Axitec, and Enphase.
Blue Raven is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and it is a member of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
Lumina Solar is a relatively small company that is based in Baltimore, MD, but it serves all of Virginia along with Maryland and Washington D.C. This company has limited experience in the industry, but it already has a reputation for outstanding customer service.
Lumina Solar offers top-tier solar brands and high-quality customer service but still manages to maintain relatively low pricing. Below, you’ll find some additional information about this company that should help you decide if it’s right for you and your home.
Lumina Solar’s average pricing isn’t available online, but it typically comes in around average. You can reasonably expect your system to cost around $15,000, although this can fluctuate wildly based on a few different factors.
Lumina Solar offers a 10-year warranty on the labor and installation, but you can extend it up to 30 years, which is outstanding. Additionally, your equipment is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty for up to 25 years.
Lumina Solar can install panels, batteries, and EV chargers. It doesn’t offer solar monitoring or energy efficiency audits.
This company accepts cash purchases, solar financing, and solar leases. However, you’re out of luck if you’re looking for a PPA.
Lumina’s referral program can net you $500 for every customer you refer that installs solar, which is a decent incentive for spreading the word about clean energy.
All of Lumina Solar’s jobs are completed by the company’s in-house installation team, which is partially why you can expect such a high level of customer service from this solar provider.
Lumina stocks and installs solar equipment made by Tesla, REC, Enphase, Silfab, and Canadian Solar. These are all considered top-tier equipment brands.
Some of Lumina’s installers are certified by the NABCEP. The company is also accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
Southern Exposure Solar is a local solar panel installation company based in Ashland, VA. It serves customers throughout many parts of Virginia, offering outstanding customer service and top-of-the-line warranty coverage at an affordable price.
Southern Exposure Solar is a great option for VA homeowners looking for great value for the money. We’ll discuss some of the more important aspects of this company below to help you decide if it’s right for your solar project.
The company doesn’t post its prices online because system cost can fluctuate based on many factors. However, Southern Exposure Solar usually comes in around average in terms of pricing.
Southern Exposure Solar has an outstanding warranty that covers the equipment, labor, and roof penetrations for 25 years. This rivals SunPower’s warranty, although it doesn’t guarantee solar power production.
Southern Exposure Solar provides panel and battery backup installations, as well as solar monitoring. It can also tackle roof repair and roof replacement if it’s required prior to installing your panels.
Southern Exposure Solar only accepts cash purchases and solar loans, so those looking for leases or PPAs for the benefit of putting no money down will have to turn elsewhere.
Southern Exposure Solar is a small local company that handles all of the work on your system in-house, so you don’t have to worry about poor communication or workmanship from a third party.
Southern Exposure Solar installs equipment from Enphase, REC, Sonnen, and CertainTeed.
Several of the installers that work for Southern Exposure Solar are NABCEP-certified.
Virtue Solar is a relatively small local company with headquarters in Madison, VA. It’s known for excellent customer service and its educational approach to sales rather than aggressive sales tactics.
Virtue Solar provides excellent value for the money, with high-end equipment, great customer service, and years of local experience. We’ll include some of the more important information about this installer below.
Virtue Solar doesn’t post specific prices for its services on its website, although it does note that most solar energy solutions cost between $15,000 and $30,000 before the federal tax credit. It’s safe to assume that the prices for this company are around the national average.
Virtue Solar offers a standard 25-year warranty for the equipment, which comes from the panel manufacturers. It also has a warranty on the installation labor, but it’s only for 10 years.
Virtue Solar offers solar panel and solar battery installations, as well as solar monitoring. It doesn’t provide EV chargers, solar shingles, or any other add-on solar services. However, it can tackle roof repairs and replacement if they’re needed prior to installing your panels.
Virtue Solar only accepts cash payments and solar financing, so you won’t be able to go with a solar lease or PPA if you choose this company.
Existing Virtue Solar customers can get a $500 bonus check when they refer a friend or family member to the company. However, this is not a recurring bonus, so you’ll only get it for the first referral.
Virtue Solar handles the entire process from consultation to connection to the electric grid in-house, including the installation process.
Virtue Solar doesn’t advertise the types of solar equipment it installs, although there is confirmation that its product lineup includes LG batteries.
Virtue Solar has several installers on its team who have NABCEP certification, and the company is BBB certified.
ADT Solar, which used to be SunPro Solar, is a massive national company, so its customer service can be lacking in some cases. However, it provides outstanding warranty coverage and top-level equipment at relatively affordable prices.
ADT — which also provides home security services — maintains affordable pricing and provides outstanding value for the money. We’ll include some of the crucial information about this company below.
ADT comes in around average in terms of pricing, so you can expect to pay between $13,000 and $15,000 for your solar energy system.
When ADT purchased SunPro, it implemented outstanding warranty coverage that includes your equipment, solar energy production, and workmanship for 25 years.
ADT Solar is a one-stop shop for solar services, including solar panels, solar batteries, solar monitoring, energy audits, and even roof repairs and replacements if needed.
ADT only accepts cash purchases and loans. While we don’t recommend leases or PPAs, it is surprising that a company of this size doesn’t offer them.
ADT Solar offers a $1,000 bonus when you refer someone for a solar installation and a $500 bonus when you refer someone for a roof replacement.
Much like SunPro did before the company buyout, ADT outsources its solar panel installations to third parties. This is likely why the company also has an issue with customer service in some cases.
ADT installs LG and Panasonic panels. We’d like to see more brands offered, but these options are excellent ones in terms of energy efficiency and durability.
Many of the installers ADT works with are NABCEP-certified, and the company as a whole is also BBB-accredited.
There are quite a few solar companies you can choose from in Virginia, all of which bring different levels of quality and service to the table. It’s important to choose an installer that not only fits into your budget but also one that can provide the warranty coverage and customer service that you expect. Additionally, solar panels are expensive, so choosing an installation company that can provide various financing options is wise.
Nova Solar is our pick for the best solar company in Virginia. This is a relatively small regional company that provides outstanding service and high-quality equipment at relatively low prices. It maintains excellent customer reviews, provides great warranty coverage on all of its equipment and service, and it is NABCEP-certified and BBB-accredited.
Going solar in Virginia is usually well worth the investment, with some organizations estimating that the average VA homeowner can save around $50,000 in energy savings over the lifespan of the equipment. However, you need to make sure you find a reputable and reliable company that installs high-quality equipment and covers it with a long-lasting warranty, as this will help ensure your system lasts and performs as intended.
Below, we’ll include some of the key things to consider when deciding on a solar company in Virginia. These tips should help you find the best company for your needs.
Solar equipment is expensive, but certain companies can be much more costly than others. As such, it’s important to have a budget in mind when deciding on solar and to consider the financing options afforded by each solar company. Installers can be more costly than others for two primary reasons: they install higher-quality equipment that naturally costs more, or they charge more for labor and installation. You should be aware of where your installer falls in terms of pricing with respect to both.
Additionally, remember that solar power systems can fluctuate in cost due to your average monthly energy usage, the specific solar products you install, shading on your property, and more.
All of the mainstream solar brands include equipment warranties, and they can vary from 10 years to 30 years in most cases. Your installer can also offer warranties to cover issues with the installation and, in some cases, roof leaks that occur because of the roof penetration. Virginia is prone to some severe weather, including intense thunderstorms, tropical cyclones, and hurricanes, so your warranty coverage can go a long way in protecting your investment and guaranteeing that you continue to save money on your energy bills.
All solar installers will be able to install solar panels, but other pieces of equipment aren’t guaranteed in the service offerings. For example, Blue Raven won’t install solar batteries, EV chargers, or other add-on products, while other companies tackle all of this and more. You might be able to eliminate some companies from your available options if they don’t provide the equipment or services — like solar monitoring — that you want.
There are four financing options for solar panel systems: cash purchase, solar loan, solar lease, and power purchase agreement (PPA). Each of these has its pros and cons, and you’ll have to choose the option that best suits your upfront and long-term budget. In some cases, you can rule out companies based on the options they offer for financing, especially if you want a solar lease or PPA, which are being slowly phased out in the industry.
Some solar installers outsource the installation services for your system to third-party companies. This is usually the case with larger national companies that prefer to hire an installer with local experience and resources. In-house and outsourced installations both have their upsides and downsides, so, again, you’ll need to choose which is right for you before ruling out companies accordingly. In-house installations tend to lead to better customer service and accountability, while outsourced installations tend to be more affordable.
Solar installation companies don’t all offer the same brands of panels and inverters, so you might want to choose a brand of solar panel you want based on efficiency, average cost, warranty, and durability, and then choose an installer that offers that brand. The brand you select can have a major impact on your total system cost, as well as your overall experience with your system and your long-term savings.
We always recommend looking into a company’s online ratings and reviews before signing anything. You can check sites like Yelp and Google Reviews for both positive and negative reviews. Reading through both should provide you with a good idea of the service you should expect, as well as the performance of the system after installation is completed.
The solar industry is continuously growing and improving, which is why it’s a good idea to check for industry affiliations that set certain companies apart from others. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a good one to look for, as this non-profit organization helps ensure that installers are completing work responsibly and in accordance with best practices. Looking for a company with BBB accreditation is also a good idea, as this distinction is given to those with positive customer service and a commitment to quality.
Finally, you should consider the size of the company you’re considering, and what it means in terms of the experience you’ll have with it. Larger, national companies usually have more affordable equipment and installation services, but smaller, local companies are often a better solution for excellent customer service and warranty coverage. You’ll have to decide which is best for you when searching for an installer.
Unfortunately, Virginia does not offer a statewide solar tax credit like some other states do. However, all homeowners in the Old Dominion are eligible for the federal investment tax credit (ITC), which, in 2022, promises a credit to your federal income tax in the amount of 26% of your entire system cost.
In addition to the federal tax credit mentioned above, Virginia also mandates net metering from utility companies, which helps homeowners eliminate energy bills by getting rebates for all overproduction of energy. Virginia also has a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) market that provides a cash incentive for producing more energy with your solar panels than your home uses. Finally, VA offers a property tax exemption for solar systems, which means your panels won’t cause your property taxes to go up.
In our opinion, Nova Solar is the most reputable solar installer in Virginia. This company is a relatively small regional installer that maintains outstanding customer reviews and offers high-quality equipment for affordable prices. It serves all of VA with a heavier presence in the eastern regions of the state. It also provides great warranty coverage and has many years of experience behind it.
There’s never any guarantee in any area that solar panels will end up being worth it, but for most Virginia residents, solar is a great investment. The state receives around the average amount of sunny days per year, has outstanding solar incentives to reduce costs and increase the value of panels overall, and ranks 10th overall in terms of solar adoption. Additionally, photovoltaic systems in VA tend to bump up your home value.
Yes, for most homeowners in Virginia, solar is an excellent investment. The average Virginian will pay off their solar system using energy savings in around 12 years, and the expected 8 years of remaining system life should produce plenty of savings to make the long-term investment a valuable one. Many systems — especially the higher-quality ones — will last even longer and can increase the return on investment.
The answer to this question depends on what you’re looking to get out of your system. If you’re looking for the highest efficiency or the best warranty in the industry, then the Maxeon panels from SunPower are generally considered the best. If you’re looking for a balance of affordability and durability, brands like LG, Panasonic, REC, Silfab, and Canadian Solar can be outstanding options.
There are companies that advertise free panels in Virginia, but panels aren’t actually free. In most cases, these offers mean that there is no upfront cost, and they usually turn out to be solar leases or PPAs in disguise. If you’re looking for long-term savings, these options are not advisable, especially since companies like Blue Raven offer panels at no cost for 18 months and then fixed payments thereafter with its BluePower Plus+ financing program.
Some of the best solar companies in Fairfax, Virginia, include Nova Solar — which is our top pick overall — SunPower, Blue Raven Solar, Freedom Solar, and Solar Energy World.
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