Solar power offers numerous benefits, including reduced energy bills, fewer carbon emissions, and even a potential increase in home value. While the initial cost of solar panel installation can be high, homeowners can often take advantage of tax credits and rebates that can lower the cost. For this reason, more homeowners in Connecticut are taking the leap to solar power and reaping the benefits of sustainable energy.
When researching residential solar companies, Connecticut homeowners will want to make sure that their chosen company can meet their requirements, install their system in a timely manner, and work within their budget. It’s important for a homeowner to feel confident with their choice of company for such a large project, especially when they will likely be working with the same company for the life of their solar panels. We have taken on the initial research to help homeowners find the best solar companies in CT, whether they’re looking for the best customer service or the lowest prices.
- BEST OVERALL: SunPower
- RUNNER-UP: ADT Solar
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Tesla
- BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: Momentum Solar
- ALSO CONSIDER: Green Power Energy
What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Solar Companies in CT
There’s a lot of information to consider when planning a solar panel installation project. Here are the most crucial factors to keep in mind when preparing for a solar panel installation and vetting a solar company.
Home Location and Roof Type
When a homeowner considers installing a solar panel system, the first thing they will want to think about is their house, specifically the roof’s orientation, pitch, and material. For maximum sunlight exposure throughout the year, it’s recommended to install solar panels on a south-facing roof in the northern hemisphere, as the sun follows a slightly southern path due to the earth’s tilt. Southeast and southwest orientations are also potential options since they still capture some of the sun’s southerly path. However, panels installed on other roof orientations may not generate power as efficiently.
The optimal angle for mounting solar panels is between 30 and 45 degrees, but for flat roofs, panels can be mounted on brackets that tilt them up to 30 degrees. While panels can be mounted on steep roofs, they may not generate enough power for a home to become energy independent. Any roof material can support a solar panel system, but certain types are easier to work with. Composite shingles are resilient and can withstand the installation process well, while standing seams on metal roofs reduce the need for drilling and modifications. Installing a solar panel system on a tile roof can be challenging due to the irregularities of each tile, and it may require more labor and cost.
Type of Panels and Efficiency
Solar panels that are commonly used for powering homes are either monocrystalline or polycrystalline. Monocrystalline panels are more efficient at converting sunlight into usable electricity but come with a higher price tag. On the other hand, polycrystalline panels are more affordable but less efficient at producing power. One can distinguish between the two types of panels by their color: monocrystalline panels are black, while polycrystalline panels are blue. Choosing the right panel will depend on a homeowner’s budget and power production goals. A skilled solar installer in Connecticut can assist in making the best decision.
It is important to note that the efficiency of a solar cell is not equivalent to the efficiency of a panel. A solar cell is a component of a solar panel, and it can have an efficiency of over 40 percent. However, a panel’s efficiency is lower. Monocrystalline panels have a maximum efficiency of about 23 percent, while polycrystalline panels reach approximately 16 percent. Although researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed solar panels with an efficiency of almost 40 percent, this technology is not yet publicly available.
Thin-film solar panels are another type to consider. These panels are thin, lightweight, and flexible, but they are less efficient than polycrystalline panels. Thin-film panels also have a shorter lifespan of 10 to 20 years compared to the 25-year-plus lifespan of monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. Because of their lower efficiency, more thin-film panels would be required to power a home fully, and most roofs do not have the necessary space. However, thin-film panels can be used as supplemental power sources and can be useful for homes with irregularly shaped roofs that may not be suitable for traditional panels.
On-Grid vs. Off-Grid
When installing a solar system, homeowners must decide whether to connect their home to the local power grid or not. A solar panel array connected to the municipal grid is called a grid-tied or on-grid home. Grid-tied homes can still draw power from the utility during times when the solar system is not producing enough electricity. However, the home will still lose power during a local power outage.
Off-grid homes, on the other hand, are entirely energy independent, generating all their power needs. They use solar batteries to store excess energy for use during the night or on cloudy days, and they rely on solar charge controllers to regulate energy flow. Off-grid homes are not affected by local outages but will experience a power outage if their batteries are depleted and the panels are not producing enough electricity. The suitability of off-grid solar systems varies by region and home, and a professional solar installer can assist homeowners in making a well-informed decision.
Financing, Rebates, and Tax Incentives
The average cost to install a solar system in Connecticut is about $16,000, and not every homeowner has that lump sum of money readily available. The financing options available to a homeowner will, in part, depend on where they live. In Connecticut, homeowners have three financing options: a solar loan, a solar lease, or a power purchase agreement (PPA).
- Solar loan: A homeowner borrows money from a lender or solar developer to purchase and install a solar system. In this situation, the homeowner owns the system, but it’s still subject to a lien or lender security interest. However, not every homeowner will be eligible for a loan, and the homeowner is totally responsible for any maintenance costs.
- Solar lease: A homeowner enters into a contract with a solar leasing company or developer. The homeowner makes regular payments and, in exchange, receives the energy the panels produce. Some contracts may require the homeowner to make a down payment. At first, the lease payments are often less than the value of the power being generated. However, payments for solar leases often escalate as time goes on. Eventually, the cost of the payment may be greater than the value of the power being produced. This option is attractive because there’s little to no up-front cost and the solar developer is in charge of any maintenance. However, homeowners may not be eligible for tax incentives, and there may be restrictions if a homeowner wants to add new construction (e.g., if the homeowner wanted to build a new addition that would block the panels from getting light).
- Power purchase agreement (PPA): A PPA is similar to a solar lease. The solar company buys and installs the solar system, and the homeowner pays the company per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the energy that’s produced. A homeowner typically pays less for the solar energy than they would buying the equivalent amount from the utility. However, the PPA rate generally increases over time. The advantages and disadvantages are similar to those of a solar lease.
Solar panel installation in Connecticut can be made even more affordable with federal and state tax incentives.
- Federal investment tax credit (ITC): For solar systems installed between 2023 and 2032, homeowners are eligible for a 30 percent tax credit. So, for example, if the solar system cost $10,000, the homeowner can obtain a $3,000 reduction on their federal income taxes. Solar leases and PPAs do not qualify for this credit.
Solar sales tax exemption: Home solar systems are not subject to Connecticut’s 6.35 percent sales and use tax.
Property tax exemption: The installation of solar panels does not raise a homeowner’s property taxes in Connecticut.
Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program: Connecticut has an initiative known as the Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program that helps homeowners get reimbursed for energy production. For each megawatt-hour of solar energy produced, a homeowner will receive a renewable energy certificate (REC), which they can sell to utility companies.
Similar to other types of home improvement projects, labor warranties are commonly provided with solar panel installations to address any issues resulting from the installation process. These warranties can typically range from 10 to 25 years. In addition to labor warranties, the solar panels will also come with a manufacturer warranty, which can usually last up to 25 years. Moreover, several solar companies operating in Connecticut offer power-production guarantees, which ensure that the solar system will produce a certain level of energy for the entire guarantee term, often ranging from 20 to 25 years.
Solar companies that provide various customer support options typically receive higher satisfaction ratings, as customers find it easier to contact representatives with their questions and concerns. While phone support is the norm, some companies may have longer wait times to speak with a live person. For this reason, some customers prefer to email the company, which also provides a written record of the conversation.
Our Top Picks
We performed extensive research to find the best solar companies in Connecticut. The following companies stood out from the competition.
Why It Made the Cut: SunPower offers the highest efficiency rate in the industry, a Cradle to Cradle certification for sustainability, and a virtual design studio so customers can gauge exactly how many solar panels they need for their home.
One of the main benefits of installing solar panels is energy efficiency, and SunPower delivers with a 22.8 percent efficiency rating—the highest in the industry. In addition, SunPower’s Maxeon solar panels are certified by Cradle to Cradle, which is the gold-standard certification when it comes to rating sustainability. This means that the materials used in the panels’ construction is safe, both to humans and to the environment, and that the company recycles materials at the end of their life to prevent them from entering a landfill.
Solar panels are a big investment, especially when homeowners may not be sure how many panels they need or what they will look like on their roof. Although customer service is only available by phone, SunPower offers an interactive online design studio so potential customers can visualize what the panels will look like after installation. This can also give them a better idea of how many panels they may need to reach their energy goals, which can help them make a realistic budget for the project. SunPower’s solar panels are designed to be sleek and have built-in microinverters to convert energy from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), which is needed for home use. Customers can buy, lease, or finance their solar panels, and SunPower offers an impressive 25-year complete-system warranty, giving customers peace of mind as they contemplate their investment.
- Type of panels: SunPower Maxeon monocrystalline
- Payment options: Buy, finance, lease
- Guarantee: 25-year complete-system warranty
- Customer support: Phone
- High 22.8 percent efficiency rate
- Cradle to Cradle–certified equipment
- Interactive online design-studio feature
- Sleek solar panel design with built-in microinverters
- Customer service only available by phone
Why It Made the Cut: ADT Solar offers 24/7 solar monitoring, as well as additional roof repair services, to ensure that a customer’s solar system works seamlessly and without interruption.
While ADT is best known for its home security systems, the company has a solar arm that is also a leader in its industry. ADT Solar gives customers the option to buy, finance, or lease their solar panels, and it provides a 25-year power-production guarantee that promises to refund the customer the difference if their system does not produce the amount of energy guaranteed by the company at installation. For Connecticut homeowners who are unsure about the efficacy of solar panels, especially on cloudier days, this guarantee could be the nudge they need to feel confident in their decision to go solar.
ADT Solar works alongside Buildpro, a roofing company, to address any roofing concerns that arise following solar panel installation. This is a somewhat unique feature in the solar industry, and it can help ease customers’ concerns about the potential effects to their roof from installing solar panels.
While battery warranty information isn’t readily available on the company’s website, ADT Solar offers 24/7 solar monitoring through the Enphase Enlighten app. Through the app, customers can see their energy savings in real time, monitor the health of the system, and track their energy consumption. The app will even send an alert to the customer if there is an issue that needs to be addressed.
- Type of panels: Q Cells, Silfab, Canadian Solar
- Payment options: Buy, finance, lease
- Guarantee: 25-year power-production guarantee
- Customer support: Phone, email
- Generous 25-year power-production guarantee
- 24/7 solar monitoring
- Additional roofing repair services available
- Warranty information on battery not readily available on website
Why It Made the Cut: Tesla is a leader in the electric-vehicle industry and brings that same leadership experience to its solar branch, offering instant online quotes and a price-match guarantee.
Tesla might not be a homeowner’s first thought when it comes to solar panels, but the company is well worth consideration, especially for customers who are concerned about the relatively high price of installing solar panels. Tesla offers a generous price-match guarantee that will meet a competitor’s pricing for a solar panel system of comparable size, provided the quote is recent and includes permit and installation costs. While there is no option for customers to lease solar panels from Tesla, the company allows customers to purchase or finance traditional solar panels or glass solar tiles that are designed to blend in more easily with a home’s design.
Additionally, customers can get an instant quote online through Tesla’s website, while many other solar companies require a customer to contact a representative and go through a sales pitch. This instant quote option gives homeowners a more realistic idea of what it will cost to install solar panels or solar tiles on their home.
- Type of panels: Tesla monocrystalline
- Payment options: Buy, finance
- Guarantee: 25-year performance guarantee, 10-year comprehensive warranty
- Customer support: Live chat
- Traditional solar panels and sleek solar tiles available
- Generous price-match guarantee
- Instant online quotes available
Why It Made the Cut: Momentum Solar caters to customers through its “concierge” service, which provides customers with a single point of contact for a more streamlined experience.
Momentum Solar has a unique “concierge” service designed to make customers’ lives easier. Through this service, customers will work with one representative who is aware of every detail of the customer’s home and their solar installation, which means the customer won’t have to repeat their information to a new representative every time they call. Additionally, their representative will sign them up for any available tax rebates and incentives, saving the customer time. With other solar companies, the customer will likely have to sign up for these rebates and incentives themselves.
Although there is limited information online about the types of panels and payment plans available, Momentum Solar allows consumers to choose between purchasing, financing, or leasing their solar panels. And while the company doesn’t currently offer batteries, there is a 25-year warranty on equipment and labor, which can help ease customers’ minds.
- Type of panels: Monocrystalline (various manufacturers)
- Payment options: Buy, finance, lease
- Guarantee: 25-year equipment and labor warranty
- Customer support: Phone, email
- Streamlined “concierge” service offered
- All paperwork and permits handled on behalf of the customer
- Somewhat limited information available online
- No batteries available
Why It Made the Cut: With unique features like an on-site microgrid system and an available electric vehicle (EV) charger, Green Power Energy is a top contender in the solar industry.
While some solar companies outsource their labor, Green Power Energy keeps its entire process in-house, from design and consultation to installation. This can give homeowners peace of mind that there will be accountability if something should go wrong during installation. In addition, customers can opt to have a charger installed for an electric vehicle at the same time as their solar panels, allowing their panels to power their car as well as their home.
Because Green Power Energy has multiple offices in the states it serves (including Connecticut), there are mixed reviews when it comes to responsiveness from customer service. However, it’s unlikely that all customers will have the same experience, and Green Power Energy allows customers to contact its customer service representatives via phone or email.
One of Green Power Energy’s most unique features is its Platinum+ Package. This includes an on-site microgrid and battery storage system designed to supply the home with power during an outage. Homeowners can choose to purchase, finance, or lease the solar panels, and Green Power Energy offers a 25-year warranty on labor and equipment.
- Type of panels: Panasonic, Q Cells, REC, Solaria, Silfab
- Payment options: Buy, finance, lease
- Guarantee: 25-year equipment and labor warranty
- Customer support: Phone, email
- Innovative on-site microgrid system
- EV charger installation available
- Entirely insourced labor
- Reports of unresponsive customer support
SunPower received our award for Best Overall thanks to its high-efficiency panels, Cradle to Cradle certification, and intuitive online design studio. Our Runner-Up is ADT Solar because of its generous power-production guarantee, 24/7 solar monitoring service, and additional roof repair services.
How We Chose the Best Solar Companies in CT
To find the best solar companies in Connecticut, we looked at a variety of factors. First, we reviewed each company to determine the types of solar panels available, their efficiency levels, and the available financing options customers can use to purchase their solar panels. We also researched any available guarantees or warranties—a long guarantee suggests that a Connecticut solar company is confident in its products and labor, which can give homeowners additional peace of mind. Customer service was also an important factor, and we looked for companies offering a variety of options for customers to use to contact their solar panel provider. Finally, we looked for any unique features on offer, such as price-match guarantees, roofing services, and EV charger installation.
Before You Work With One of the Best Solar Companies in CT
While the Connecticut solar energy companies listed in this guide are among the best in the state, that doesn’t mean they will be the best options for every customer. Since all homeowners have different needs and requirements, Connecticut residents may find that a company not listed in this roundup is the best choice for them. It’s important for homeowners to research the available solar power companies in their area to weigh the pros and cons of each and find the one that will best suit their needs and their budget.
Before signing a contract with their chosen company, customers will want to ask for a project outline that details the installation timeline and the components being installed (including the number and location of the solar panels). It’s also advisable for a customer to ask whether the company employs its own installation professionals or whether they outsource this work—while this may not matter for many homeowners, some customers may be more comfortable working with a company that insources its labor.
Cost of Working With One of the Best Solar Companies in CT
The cost of installing solar panels in Connecticut can vary greatly depending on several factors. These include the size of the system, the type and brand of solar panels used, the roof’s accessibility, the solar company installing the panels, and the cost of permits and interconnection. A Connecticut homeowner installing a 3-kilowatt system will pay just over $9,570 on average, while a homeowner who chooses a 6-kilowatt system will pay an average of $19,140. Costs can increase all the way up to $31,900 or more for a 10-kilowatt system—although the average home will likely not need a system that large. Connecticut homeowners will also want to look into available tax credits and rebates that can help offset the cost of installing the best solar panels on their home.
Homeowners will also want to consider whether they prefer to purchase, finance, or lease their solar panel system from their chosen company, as not all companies offer all three options. If a homeowner has substantial savings, they may want to purchase the solar panels outright, which may result in overall savings. However, doing so puts the onus on the homeowner to pay for maintenance and repairs down the line. Many homeowners choose to finance the system instead. Solar companies may offer special financing options, such as 0 percent APR, for customers who qualify, allowing homeowners without a large chunk of cash to pay off the system over the term of the loan without racking up extra interest costs. Finally, some solar companies may offer leasing options—but customers will want to be aware that leasing solar panels will not qualify them for rebates and tax incentives since they do not own the system. The best solar companies will typically offer most, if not all, of these options. Failing that, customers can look into the best solar panel loans to find one that meets their needs.
The Advantages of Working With One of the Best Solar Companies in CT
The best solar companies in CT offer many advantages for homeowners. These include sustainability, reduced energy bills, and off-grid living in more rural areas. Additionally, the top solar companies offer the following benefits:
- Long guarantees designed to help the customer maintain their solar panel system;
- A variety of options for customers to contact the company with questions or concerns; and
- Designs catered to each customer based on their home, location, and budget.
Installing solar panels for homes isn’t exactly a small or cheap project, so homeowners may have numerous questions when deciding on the best solar company for their home. The answers to the following common questions can help Connecticut residents understand the installation process so they can feel confident moving forward.
Q. Does Connecticut offer a tax credit for solar panels?
There are several tax credits and rebates available for Connecticut residents who install solar panels on their home. The main one is the federal tax credit, also called a residential clean energy credit, which can help decrease the cost of the system by as much as 30 percent. Additionally, the state of Connecticut offers a sales and use tax exemption for solar and geothermal systems—a 100 percent tax exemption that means homeowners won’t be required to pay tax on a solar power system.
Q. Which solar panel company is the most reliable?
Any of the companies included in this list has proven to be reliable when it comes to customer service, labor, and equipment.
Q. Is installing solar panels worth it in Connecticut?
Although Connecticut residents use a below-average amount of energy, the price of electricity in the state is high. This means homeowners break even approximately 8 years after installing solar panels—less time than the national average of 12 years. This is an especially worthwhile project for a customer whose roof faces west or south and does not get a lot of shading during peak sunlight hours. Many solar companies will offer a free consultation, so a homeowner can get a better idea of whether this project is worth it for them without committing to moving forward.
Q. How many solar companies are in CT?
As of February 2023, there are around 150 solar companies in Connecticut.
Q. How much does it cost to install solar panels in Connecticut?
The cost to install solar panels varies depending on the size of the system. Connecticut homeowners can expect to pay as little as $9,570 for a 3-kilowatt system and as much as $31,900 or more for a 10-kilowatt system. These costs do not include tax credits; if a homeowner qualifies for credits or rebates, they can expect their costs to be lower.
Q. Can I install solar panels DIY in Connecticut?
There are many projects that homeowners can undertake themselves, but installing solar panels is not one of them. The state of Connecticut requires solar panel installations to be completed by a licensed professional. A homeowner who installs solar panels as a DIY project will likely not be eligible for state tax credits or other incentives—not to mention it can result in an improperly installed system or even major damage to the roof. Solar installers have the experience and expertise to complete the project correctly the first time.
Sources: EnergySage, EcoWatch