By Dan Simms
Updated Nov 3, 2022
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Despite the cloudy skies and rainy weather Washington is known for, many Washington residents are turning to rooftop solar systems to help reduce their electric bills and save money. Washington’s northern latitudes and lack of sunshine don’t render solar panels useless, and some of the nation’s best solar companies call the Evergreen State home. This article covers the seven best solar companies in Washington, giving you all the information you need to take the leap and convert to solar electricity.
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|Company||Our Take||Our Rating||BBB Rating||Warranty||In-House Installation||Cost|
|SunPower||Best National Provider||9.8||A+||25 years for equipment, workmanship, and efficiency||Sometimes||$$$$|
|Puget Sound Solar||Best Local Installer||9.7||A+||25 years for equipment for most products, 25 years for workmanship||Yes||$$$|
|Tesla||Best Technology||9.3||B||25 years for equipment, 10 years overall||No||$$|
|Solara Solar||Outstanding Local Installer||9.5||A+||25 years for equipment, 10 years for workmanship||Yes||$$$|
|Blue Raven Solar||Best Solar Financing||9.4||A+||25 years for equipment||Yes||$$|
|Northwest Renewables||Outstanding Regional Provider||9.4||A+||25 years for panels, 10–25 years for inverters||Yes||$$$$|
|Sunergy Systems||Outstanding Local Installer||9.3||A+||10 years for performance, labor, and equipment; variable lengths from the manufacture’||Yes||$$$|
SunPower is a national solar company that’s been in business since 1985. The company operates throughout Washington, bringing the company’s highly efficient Maxeon panels to homeowners from Puget Sound to Spokane. High-quality panels like the ones from Maxeon are a big advantage in a notoriously cloudy state like Washington and can help you eke out as much solar energy as possible. The company backs its installations — which are sometimes handled by a third-party contractor — with an excellent 25-year warranty on parts and labor.
SunPower is one of the giants of solar energy. The company knows its panels outperform most of the competition and is not afraid to charge more, although most SunPower customers say the company’s service is worth the extra cost.
SunPower is a premium solar brand and costs more than the Washington state average.
SunPower’s warranty covers system performance, parts, and workmanship for 25 years.
SunPower is a full-service solar company offering solar panels, battery backups, electric vehicle (EV) chargers, and solar monitoring.
Customers can choose to pay for a SunPower solar panel system in cash or take advantage of a solar loan, solar lease, or power purchase agreement (PPA).
SunPower rewards you with $100 for every person you recommend who signs up for an in-home consultation.
SunPower is transitioning to a business model where it handles its installations internally, but independent contractors are still conducting some installations.
SunPower only installs Maxeon brand panels.
SunPower has a high-profile partnership with the San Francisco 49ers, and its panels are installed at the team’s Levi’s Stadium. The company is also accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and maintains an A+ rating.
Puget Sound Solar is a local solar company based in Seattle. The company was founded in 2001 and has amassed a cult-like following in the intervening years thanks to its outstanding customer service and attention to detail.
The company’s technicians are skilled and knowledgeable and can help you take advantage of the various tax credits you have at your disposal as a Washington resident. Puget Sound Solar doesn’t suffer from common problems smaller solar companies face, like limited product and brand selection. The company also manages to stay competitive with larger companies in terms of price, giving it a big leg up compared to other local installers.
Puget Sound Solar is a great choice for anyone looking to patronize a local solar business. The company offers an excellent selection and provides enough solar services to meet most homeowners’ needs.
Puget Sound Solar costs about the same as the Washington state average, although the price varies depending on what brands and services you want. The company has a sample quote on its website to help give you an idea of what to expect if you make an appointment for a free quote.
The company’s warranties are solid, offering 25 years of coverage for workmanship, equipment, and energy production for most products. Make sure to ask about warranty details when you get a quote in case your preferred brand’s warranty is different.
Puget Sound Solar uses PSCCU Energy-Smart Loans and Verity Credit Union for its solar loans. PSCCU loans have rates between 3.24% and 9.84% for 240 months up to a maximum of $50,000. Verity Credit Union loans have a higher maximum loan amount of $60,000 and similar rates. Loans through Verity can have up to a 20-year term.
The company does not offer solar leases or PPAs.
Puget Sound Solar is an end-to-end solar company that handles its installations in-house.
Puget Sound Solar offers a staggering variety of solar brands, including SunPower, Enphase, SMA, Fronius USA, IronRidge, Outback Power, Panasonic, SolarEdge, Sunmodo, Hyundai, Hanwha, Silfab (manufactured in Bellingham, Washington), LG, Tesla, Solaria.
The company has a partnership with Lochwood-Lozier Custom Homes Remodeling & Landscaping to work on the innovative NW Idea house, a showcase of cutting-edge building and solar technologies. It also has close relationships with Tesla and Enphase.
Many people don’t think of Tesla when they think about renewable energy, but the company is one of the largest national solar companies. Tesla’s solar panel technology is state-of-the-art, offering better energy efficiency and higher durability than most competing brands. The company also leads the field with its Powerwall solar energy storage solution and is one of the only companies that offers innovative solar roofing and solar shingles.
Unfortunately, Tesla contracts out all of its installations to a network of local installers, making it somewhat difficult to manage the installation process. However, there are many certified installers throughout the state in Seattle, Olympia, Kenmore, and Port Townsend. The company’s panels are very expensive at face value, but Tesla has a price matching program that reduces the costs considerably.
Tesla is a divisive solar company. On the one hand, it offers high-quality solar tech and innovative designs. On the other hand, its use of third-party installers makes the customer experience highly variable, and it lists its products at exorbitant prices.
Tesla’s solar systems are very expensive if you go by the MSRP. However, the company offers price matching, making its systems affordable, as long as you jump through hoops to find a reasonable quote.
One area where Tesla leaves something to be desired is its warranty. The company offers a standard 25-year warranty on equipment and performance, but it only covers workmanship for 10 years.
Tesla offers all the standard solar services, including solar panels, battery backups, and EV chargers. It also offers unique solar roofing and solar shingles.
Tesla offers solar loans and accepts cash. The company does not partake in PPAs or leasing.
All Tesla solar systems are installed by certified third-party contractors.
Tesla only carries its own brand of solar equipment.
Tesla is accredited by the BBB and works with an extensive network of solar installers throughout Washington state.
Don’t let the tongue-twisting name fool you; Solara Solar is a serious solar company and one of the best local solar installers in Washington. If you’re looking for a smaller, local solar company, Solara Solar is worth your attention. The company has excellent communication and customer service, and customer reviews indicate that its representatives are friendly and helpful.
One of Solara’s strengths is its connection with local utility companies. The company can expedite setup if you’re interested in net metering and will help you navigate local solar policies. Despite being a smaller company, Solara carries top-notch solar equipment and offers competitive prices. One of the only downsides is that the company’s workmanship warranty only lasts for ten years, a small blemish on an otherwise outstanding business.
Solara Solar primarily serves Bellevue, Tacoma, Tri-Cities, Walla Walla, and Yakima. You can fill out a form on the company’s website to see if it services your area.
Solara Solar is an average-cost solar company.
Solara Solar’s performance warranty lasts for 25–30 years, depending on the brand. The company’s workmanship warranty is lacking and only covers labor for ten years. However, the company does offer performance guarantees with monthly and yearly targets, which is nice to have.
Solara Solar is a turnkey solar company, meaning it handles the entire process for you, from system design and permitting to installation, maintenance, and interfacing with your utility company.
Solara Solar partners with Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union, Tri-Cut Credit Union, and Umpqua Bank to offer its customers a suite of flexible financing options. The company offers zero-money-down loans and competitive rates for qualified customers.
The company has a refer-a-friend program that offers $500 for every person you recommend who signs up with Solara.
Solara Solar handles the entire process internally, including installation.
Solara Solar carries an impressive lineup of solar equipment from top brands like Enphase, SMA, Canadian Solar, SolarEdge, IronRidge, REC, Fronius USA, Axitec, and LG.
Solara Solar has tons of industry partnerships with major solar companies. The company is affiliated with Outback Power, SolarEdge, Generac, LG Chem, and Enphase. It also is a member of Solar Washington and Solar Installers of Washington and is accredited by the BBB.
Blue Raven Solar is a national solar energy company that prides itself on making solar power affordable. The company offers rooftop solar at unbeatable prices and has the best financing program in the industry. The tradeoff is that its services are limited, and the brands it offers leave little room for customization. If you’re interested in investing in clean energy through a home solar panel installation but can’t afford a premium system from a more expensive company like SunPower, Blue Raven is an excellent choice.
Blue Raven Solar has made a name for itself by offering customers more affordable rooftop solar, and despite its status as a large, national company, it manages to deliver high-quality customer support.
Blue Raven’s prices are well below the Washington state average, making the company the best choice for homeowners on a tight budget.
Blue Raven Solar’s warranty covers parts for 25 years but workmanship for just 10 years. While a limited workmanship warranty is disappointing, we believe it’s worth it to help lower costs, as long as you understand the risks.
Blue Raven doesn’t offer as many services as other solar providers. In fact, the company currently only offers solar panel installations, with battery backups in the works. The company’s website indicates that battery backups are scheduled for 2022 but doesn’t offer a specific date.
Blue Raven handles its solar financing in-house, giving customers unparalleled access to flexible financing options. The company’s BluePower Plus+ program has options for delayed payment plans for financially-sophisticated customers, as well as $0 down plans for qualified customers. The company also offers 24-month 0% interest loans and ordinary loans with more traditional terms.
Blue Raven Solar’s referral program is one of the best we’ve seen. You receive $1,000 for your first two referrals and $1,500 for every referral starting with your third.
Blue Raven is an end-to-end solar business, and its solar installations are conducted by an in-house team of skilled technicians.
The company’s commitment to keeping its systems affordable means it doesn’t offer premium panels from expensive companies like Tesla or SunPower, but it carries quality equipment from Silfab, Q Cells, and Trina.
Blue Raven partners with GivePower to bring clean water to people in need via solar-powered desalination.
Northwest Renewables is a regional solar company based in Spokane, Washington, that services Washington state and parts of Idaho. The company offers a solid selection of solar equipment from several well-respected brands, and its customer service is reportedly excellent. The most glaring disadvantage of going solar with Northwest Renewables is that the company doesn’t offer a workmanship warranty.
Another major downside to Northwest Renewables is its experience. The company has only been in business since 2016, making it a bit of a question mark compared to the experienced companies higher up on our list. Still, the company gets excellent reviews, and its customers have nothing but good things to say, making it a safe bet despite its youth.
Northwest Renewables is a solid choice if you’re looking for a Washington-based solar company and don’t mind doing business with a relatively young company. The company’s services are excellent, and customer service is outstanding, making it a great choice if you can look past its lack of a workmanship warranty.
Northwest Renewables costs more than the average Washington solar company, a problem that plagues many local solar panel companies.
One of the least attractive aspects of Northwest Renewables is that it doesn’t offer a workmanship warranty. It does, however, cover equipment for 25 years.
Northwest Renewables is an all-in-one solar company that offers solar panel and battery storage installations. The company also handles system maintenance and offers general contracting services.
The company accepts cash and solar loans.
Northwest Renewables handles its installations in-house.
Northwest Renewables carries several high-efficient solar systems from top-notch brands like SunPower, Panasonic, Enphase, Sonnen, Generac, and Outback Power.
The company’s owner, Harlan Heise, is certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
Rounding out our list, we have Sunergy Systems, a local solar company with headquarters in Seattle. The company is a staple of Washington residential solar and has installed more than 2,000 residential solar systems throughout its 15 years in the business. The company carries equipment from major brands and handles everything in-house, so you don’t have to track down third-party contractors during installation.
Sunergy epitomizes local solar companies. It’s a small business with a limited coverage area and product selection but provides excellent customer service and is knowledgeable about local Washington solar rules and regulations.
Sunergy Systems’ solar installations cost average to above-average based on Washington’s standards.
The company offers a SolarClad warranty covering workmanship, performance, and equipment for ten years, well below the industry standard. This is in addition to any manufacturers’ warranties, which differ for each brand.
Sunergy Systems provides solar panel installations, battery storage solutions, and EV chargers.
Sunergy accepts cash and solar loans through PSCCU. Zero-money-down loans are available for qualified customers.
Currently, the company is offering $500 for your first two referrals and $750 for each referral from your third onward through its SolarPass program.
Sunergy Systems is a one-stop shop, handling the entire process from initial permitting to installation internally.
Sunergy Systems offers equipment from Enphase, SunPower, SolarEdge, Silfab Solar, and Tesla.
The company is accredited by the BBB and is certified by NABCEP. It’s also a member of both Solar Washington and Solar Installers of Washington.
In our opinion, SunPower is the best solar company in Washington state. The company has been in business for almost 30 years and has established itself as one of the best solar providers for customer service and quality. The company’s Maxeon panels are among the most efficient on the market, making them perfect for generating as much electricity as possible in cloudy Washington.
If you prefer to patronize a local solar company, look no further than Puget Sound Solar. The company offers an impressive lineup of high-quality solar panels and solar equipment and will help you take the most advantage of Washington’s solar incentives.
If you still can’t decide which company is right for you, don’t worry. The following sections cover the most important factors to consider when choosing a solar company and can help you figure out your priorities to make the decision easier.
Solar systems are expensive, but don’t let steep upfront costs deter you. Many people don’t realize that residential solar energy systems are quite affordable after you factor in state and federal tax credits, solar incentives, and the lifetime savings you’ll enjoy from reduced utility bills. A local company is best suited to helping you save the most money, but national providers can also offer guidance in that area.
If paying for your solar system outright isn’t in the cards, consider taking out a solar loan. Most providers offer solar loans to help homeowners invest in solar without the need for large initial investments. We recommend avoiding PPAs and solar leases, as these payment plans greatly reduce the lifetime savings you’ll get from your solar system.
Solar warranties can be confusing, so don’t be afraid to take some time to make sure you understand what a company’s solar warrant covers before committing to a contract. In general, solar warranties cover some combination of parts, labor, and performance.
Solar equipment often comes with a warranty from the manufacturer; the industry standard is 25 years. Some companies supplement this coverage by protecting your solar system from damage and degradation for anywhere from 10–25 years. Generally speaking, the longer the coverage, the better, although extensive warranty coverage can increase the cost substantially.
Make sure you figure out what solar services you want before you start shopping since that will make it much easier to focus on the companies that have what you’re looking for. Virtually all solar companies offer panels and battery backups, with more providing EV chargers as electric vehicles continue to increase in popularity.
Financing is a great way to afford solar on a budget, and most companies offer some type of financing these days. Steer clear of PPAs and solar leases if you can, as these agreements won’t save you as much money in the long run as owning your panels.
The solar industry as a whole is moving towards an all-in-one approach where one company handles your solar project from start to finish, but that wasn’t always the case. Some companies — most notably SunPower and Tesla — still contract out to third-party companies for installation, but the practice is becoming less common.
Most people prefer to keep everything in-house and choose companies that install solar systems themselves because third-party installations often lead to more headaches and issues than internal installations.
In a cloudy place like Washington, you want the most efficient panels you can afford. Brands like SunPower and Tesla excel at offering state-of-the-art technology and can help Washington homeowners get more power from their solar systems than less efficient brands. However, the differences between brands are becoming smaller as photovoltaic technology matures, so don’t invest more than you can afford to squeeze a few more dollars from your panels.
You should take some time to read customer reviews on the internet before becoming a customer of any business yourself. Customer reviews often reveal the less savory aspects of a company and give you a more honest assessment of a company’s strengths and weaknesses. Keep in mind that some reviewers are biased, so it’s better to aggregate reviews from several sources whenever possible.
Partnerships are a sign of health, especially in a burgeoning industry like clean energy. While partnerships might not affect your day-to-day experience as a customer much, having industry relationships is a sign that a company is dedicated to growth and longevity.
Whether you choose a large or small solar company depends on what you value. Small companies generally offer superior customer service and are more communicative, while larger businesses excel at giving you great deals and a wide selection of products. These are just general guidelines, and some mid-sized companies blur these lines. A company’s size is not the most important factor to think about, but it can help you break a tie if two companies offer similar products at comparable prices.
The average cost of a solar installation in Washington is $27,000 before any solar tax credits and around $20,000 after tax credits. This average cost is based on an average system size of 10 kW. Keep in mind that your system cost can vary quite a lot based on many factors, like the direction your roof faces, tree coverage on your property, your average monthly energy consumption, and more.
Blue Raven Solar is the most affordable solar company in Washington — that we’re willing to recommend, that is. The company is focused on making rooftop solar accessible to everyone, offering low-cost systems and excellent financing options. Unfortunately, Blue Raven has to sacrifice variety to keep prices down, and its warranty leaves much to be desired. Still, the company remains competitive where it counts by offering excellent customer service and high-quality solar panels.
Washington state does not collect sales tax for solar equipment or labor for all systems smaller than 10 kW. Larger systems that produce more than 10 kW are exempt from 75% of state sales tax.
The state does not offer a state tax rebate or tax credit, but Washington residents are eligible for the federal income tax credit (ITC). Residents also get paid $0.15 per kWh their systems produce, up to $5,000 per household per year.
Yes! Real estate tech company Zillow estimates that solar panels increase a home’s value by 4.1% on average. Given Washington’s average home value of around $600,000, this means that solar panels add almost $25,000 to a home’s value, on average.
Many people incorrectly assume that solar energy is a poor investment in Washington due to the state’s reputation for dreary weather. While Washington is far from the sunniest state in the country — it’s actually ranked dead last by annual sunshine — rooftop solar systems can still produce enough energy to offset your monthly utility bill. Washington residents will need larger solar systems than residents of a sunnier state like California, but once the system is installed, they’ll enjoy reduced electric bills immediately.
When you factor in the value your solar system adds to your home, it makes it obvious that solar is an excellent investment, even in rainy Washington.
At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each solar energy company/service according to our methodology.
Our research team dug deep into the fine print of contracts, combed through more than one hundred customer reviews, and thoroughly investigated all of each solar energy company’s services, costs, and products. We’ve done the homework for you by researching nearly all of the solar energy companies on the market so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home.
We developed a formula to objectively determine the best solar energy companies and give each a score out of 100 based on the following criteria:
Plan Options (30): Do they provide a variety of plan options? We looked at the number of plans each solar energy company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.
Services offered (20): How many services are offered in each plan? We looked at whether the company manufactures its own solar panels, whether it contracts out installation, and what additional products each company offers.
Trust (10): What do customers say after their solar panels are installed? Does this company offer a guarantee? We considered how satisfied customers are post-service if the company does what it says it will, BBB accreditation, and service guarantees.
Prices (10): How reasonable are the costs of the plan or service in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors that offer the same solar energy services.
Unique perks (10): Does the company offer discounts or special services such as financial incentives, rebates, or a useful mobile app? We looked for extras each company offers that set them apart from the competition.
Customer Service (10): How is the customer experience when contacting the company? We considered the speed of response, weekend/holiday availability, and ease of communication through phone calls, email, and online chat functions.
Nationwide availability (10): How many states does the company offer its services? Companies that operate nationally and in all zip codes are favored over those with limited availability.
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