With the escalating cost of energy and growing concerns about climate change, an increasing number of homeowners are contemplating renewable energy solutions like solar panels. Solar panel systems have gained significant popularity in recent times, partly due to tax credits that encourage homeowners to embrace clean energy and decrease their reliance on fossil fuels. Even though Washington state receives a below-average number of sunny days compared to other states, solar panels are a wise investment, as they can still produce power when the sun isn’t fully shining.
Washington homeowners considering the installation of solar panels on their residences likely have numerous inquiries regarding energy production, solar panel efficiency, and overall expenses. The best solar companies in Washington state present a range of choices tailored to diverse energy requirements and budgets, simplifying the transition to solar power. When exploring solar energy companies in Washington, homeowners will want to conduct thorough research to ensure the selected company aligns with their needs. To assist homeowners in this process, we have conducted preliminary research to identify the top residential solar companies in Washington state, providing a starting point for narrowing down their options.
- BEST OVERALL: SunPower
- RUNNER-UP: ADT Solar
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Tesla
- BEST FOR FINANCING: Blue Raven Solar
- ALSO CONSIDER: Northwest Renewables
What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Solar Companies in Washington State
There is an abundance of data to consider before embarking on a solar panel installation endeavor. Here are the paramount aspects to bear in mind when searching for “solar providers near me” and assessing nearby solar panel companies.
Home Location and Roof Type
When a homeowner contemplates the implementation of a solar panel system, their primary focus will likely be the home itself, specifically the alignment, slope, and composition of the roof. To achieve optimal exposure to sunlight throughout the year in the northern hemisphere, it is advisable to install solar panels on a south-facing roof. This is due to the trajectory of the sun, which tends to be slightly southward due to the earth’s tilt. Roofs facing southeast and southwest are also viable options as they still capture a significant portion of the sun’s southerly path. Conversely, solar panels installed on other roof orientations may yield less efficient power generation.
To ensure peak performance, solar panels should be mounted at inclines ranging from 30 to 45 degrees. On flat roofs, brackets can be employed to tilt the panels by up to 30 degrees. While steep roofs can accommodate solar panels, they may not generate sufficient energy to achieve energy independence for the home. Although any roofing material can support a solar panel system, certain types offer greater convenience during the installation process. Composite shingles are durable and resilient, capable of withstanding the installation procedures, whereas metal roofs with standing seams allow panels to be mounted on the seams, minimizing the need for drilling. The installation of solar panels on a tile roof can be more challenging due to the uneven nature of each tile’s surface, potentially requiring additional labor and expenses.
Types of Panels and Efficiency
When considering solar panels, homeowners can choose between monocrystalline and polycrystalline options. Monocrystalline panels excel in converting sunlight into usable electricity but come at a higher cost, whereas polycrystalline panels are less efficient yet more affordable. Distinguishing between the two is possible based on color, with monocrystalline panels appearing black and polycrystalline panels having a blue hue. The choice of the panel should be made based on the homeowner’s budget and power production objectives. Consulting a solar installer in Washington can provide valuable expert guidance.
It’s important to understand that the efficiency of a solar cell differs from that of a panel. While a solar cell can achieve efficiencies exceeding 40 percent, panel efficiency is relatively lower. Monocrystalline panels typically reach a maximum efficiency of approximately 23 percent, while polycrystalline panels achieve around 16 percent. Although solar panels with nearly 40 percent efficiency exist, they are not widely accessible yet.
Another consideration is thin-film solar panels. These panels offer advantages such as lightweight construction, flexibility, and thinness. However, their efficiency falls behind that of polycrystalline panels. Additionally, thin-film panels have a shorter lifespan of 10 to 20 years compared to the 25-year-plus lifespan of monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. Due to their lower efficiency, a greater number of thin-film panels may be required to fully power a home, and most roofs will not have ample space to accommodate them. Nonetheless, thin-film panels can prove beneficial for homes with nonstandard roof shapes that are unsuitable for traditional panels, serving as supplemental power sources.
On-Grid vs. Off-Grid
Homeowners face a decision regarding whether to connect their solar system to the local power grid or not. When connected, it is referred to as a grid-tied or on-grid home. Grid-tied homes retain the ability to draw power from the utility company during periods when the solar system fails to generate sufficient electricity. However, they will lose power during local power outages.
Conversely, off-grid homes are completely self-sufficient in terms of energy, generating enough power to meet all their needs. These systems store surplus energy in solar batteries for use during nighttime or cloudy days, utilizing solar charge controllers to regulate the flow of energy. Off-grid homes remain unaffected by local outages, but they will experience a power outage if their batteries are depleted and the panels fail to generate adequate electricity. The viability of off-grid solar systems varies depending on the region and the specific home, and seeking guidance from a professional solar installer can help homeowners make an informed decision.
Financing, Rebates, and Tax Incentives
The typical expense of installing the best solar system for a home in Washington amounts to approximately $15,400 before federal incentives. Homeowners have the choice of purchasing the system outright, which entails a substantial up-front financial commitment but yields long-term savings, or they can opt for system financing over several years.
Through a solar loan, homeowners can borrow funds from a lender or solar developer to acquire and install a solar system. In this scenario, the homeowner becomes the owner of the system, although it remains subject to a lien or lender security interest. It’s important to note that not all homeowners will qualify for a loan, and they bear full responsibility for any maintenance costs. Some of the leading solar panel suppliers offer in-house financing options, while others may require the homeowner to secure one of the best solar panel loans from a third-party lender.
Alternatively, in a solar lease agreement, homeowners enter into a contract with a solar leasing company or developer. Regular payments are made by the homeowner, and in return, they receive the energy produced by the panels. Certain contracts may require an initial down payment. Initially, lease payments often amount to less than the value of the generated power. However, as time progresses, payments for solar leases frequently increase. This option is appealing as it involves minimal to no up-front expenses, and the solar developer assumes responsibility for maintenance. However, homeowners might not qualify for tax incentives, and there may be limitations if they intend to undertake new construction that could obstruct the panels’ access to sunlight, such as constructing a new addition.
Similar to other categories of home improvement endeavors, solar panel installations frequently include labor warranties designed to address any issues that may arise during the installation phase. These warranties typically span from 10 to 25 years. In addition to labor warranties, the solar panels themselves are accompanied by a manufacturer warranty that can extend up to 25 years.
Moreover, numerous solar energy contractors in Washington provide power-production guarantees, assuring that the solar system will generate a predetermined level of energy throughout the guarantee period, commonly ranging from 20 to 25 years.
Solar system companies in Washington that provide various avenues for customer support generally receive better solar company reviews. This is because customers find it more convenient to reach out to representatives for their inquiries and concerns. Although telephone support is the conventional method, customers may experience longer waiting periods with some companies before being connected to a live representative. As a result, some customers opt to contact the company through email, which also ensures a written record of the conversation.
Our Top Picks
We evaluated dozens of companies to determine the best solar companies in Washington state. The following outshined their competitors in several ways.
Why It Made the Cut: SunPower offers the most efficient solar panels currently available in the industry, along with an interactive design studio that can aid customers in determining the necessary quantity of panels and visualizing their appearance upon installation on their property.
For homeowners who face difficulty envisioning the visual impact of solar panels on their home, SunPower provides a practical online design studio. This tool allows potential clients to input their address and obtain an aerial view of their property featuring installed solar panels. This feature serves a dual purpose, assisting homeowners in estimating the required number of solar panels and enabling them to develop a realistic project budget.
SunPower Maxeon solar panels boast an impressive efficiency rate of 22.8 percent, which stands as the industry’s highest. This superior efficiency allows clients to generate more power while utilizing a reduced number of panels. Moreover, SunPower has earned Cradle to Cradle certification, denoting the use of environmentally friendly and sustainable materials that undergo recycling at the end of their life cycle. This attribute makes SunPower Maxeon solar panels a wise investment for Washington homeowners seeking a clean and sustainable living approach.
While SunPower’s customer service is limited to phone support, the company offers an extensive FAQ section to assist homeowners in addressing concerns that may arise outside of regular operating hours. Additionally, SunPower’s low-profile solar panels are equipped with built-in microinverters that ensure uninterrupted power supply, even during power outages.
- 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: Washington homeowners who select ADT Solar will enjoy several distinct advantages, including round-the-clock solar monitoring, a 25-year power-production guarantee, and access to roof repair services.
ADT Solar collaborates with its sister company, BuildPro, to provide roof repair services, and the costs can be consolidated into the total price of the homeowner’s solar energy system. This is especially beneficial for homeowners who have concerns about potential roof damage during the installation of solar panels. Moreover, ADT Solar and BuildPro assert that solar panels can provide shade to specific areas of the roof, reducing UV damage and contributing to a longer-lasting roof.
Although ADT Solar does not explicitly outline battery warranty details on its website, the company offers an impressive 25-year power-production guarantee. Upon the installation of solar panels, ADT Solar informs homeowners of the guaranteed energy output their panels will deliver. Over the next 25 years, if the panels generate less energy than the guaranteed amount, ADT Solar will compensate homeowners with the difference in cash. This guarantee offers homeowners peace of mind, ensuring that they won’t suffer financial losses if their solar energy system performs below expectations.
ADT Solar customers can leverage the benefits of 24/7 solar monitoring through the Enphase app. This app enables homeowners to monitor the real-time energy production of their panels throughout the day, check the status of their system, and track the energy consumption of their appliances. This feature empowers homeowners to optimize their energy usage and maximize the benefits of their solar system.
- 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 online
Why It Made the Cut: Tesla’s price-matching guarantee provides customers the assurance of receiving the most competitive price for their solar panel installation. Additionally, the company offers an immediate online quote to assist customers in preparing financially for their solar roof endeavor.
In addition to traditional solar panels, Tesla provides solar tiles that seamlessly integrate with a home’s architecture. This allows customers to choose between retrofitting panels on their existing roof or constructing a new roof using state-of-the-art solar tiles. While leasing of solar panels is not available through Tesla, the company commits to matching a competitor’s price if the quote is recent and pertains to a comparable system size.
Tesla’s website offers a convenient feature that allows clients to acquire a free instant online quote by providing their address and average monthly electricity bill. This functionality enables prospective customers to estimate the approximate cost of solar panel installation and establish a suitable budget for the project. Furthermore, Tesla provides customer support through live chat, enabling clients to engage with a representative or request a callback in the event that no agents are immediately available.
- 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: Blue Raven Solar offers an exclusive financing solution called BluePower Plus+ that combines the advantages of leasing and financing, providing customers with 18 months of solar power at no cost.
With BluePower Plus+ financing, customers can enjoy enhanced value from their solar panels. This financing plan eliminates the need for up-front payments for design, permitting, and installation expenses, similar to a solar lease. Customers can benefit from 18 months of free solar power while still being eligible for applicable tax credits that can be utilized to reduce their solar panel costs. Should a customer choose to pay off their loan early, they can do so without incurring any prepayment penalties. Due to the availability of this unique financing option, Blue Raven Solar does not offer a solar lease alternative.
Alongside BluePower Plus+ financing, homeowners can further save money through the SmartStart program. This program ensures that customers receive a monthly payment for 42 months following the initial 18 months of the BluePower Plus+ plan, guaranteeing consistent payment amounts over a full 5-year period.
To further savings, Blue Raven Solar includes a complimentary energy-savings kit for all customers. This kit consists of a smart thermostat and an LED light package, enabling customers to reduce their heating and cooling expenses by an average of 20 percent annually.
- Type of panels: Monocrystalline (various manufacturers)
- Payment options: Buy, finance
- Guarantee: 25-year manufacturer warranty, 10-year labor warranty
- Customer support: Phone, email
- Flexible and relatively affordable BluePower Plus+ financing option
- Money-saving Smart Start program available
- Complimentary energy-saving kit
Why It Made the Cut: Northwest Renewables, a Spokane-based company, delivers solar installation services with a generous 25-year warranty so customers can feel confident in the work performed.
Homeowners looking for a Washington-based company to buy or finance a home solar project through will want to consider Northwest Renewables. The company serves eastern and central Washington and provides solar, generator, and EV charger installations. Northwest Renewables can also install heating and cooling systems, which is unique for solar companies. These multiple services are convenient for homeowners looking to bundle more than one installation through a single company. Customers can benefit from the company’s generous 25-year parts and labor warranty so they can feel confident that their systems will be protected.
- Type of panels: Monocrystalline (various manufacturers)
- Payment options: Buy, finance
- Guarantee: 25-year parts and labor warranty
- Customer support: Phone, email
- Generous 25-year parts and labor warranty
- Generator and EV charger installations offered
- Heating and cooling system installation offered
- Service area limited to central and eastern Washington
- No solar lease option
We have selected SunPower as our top pick for the best overall solar company in Washington because of its exceptional solar panels with the highest industry efficiency. Additionally, SunPower provides an interactive online design studio, enabling customers to visualize the appearance of their home following solar panel installation. Our Runner-Up choice is ADT Solar, primarily because of its user-friendly app that offers 24/7 solar monitoring. ADT Solar also offers a noteworthy 25-year power-production guarantee and convenient roof repair services.
How We Chose the Best Solar Companies in Washington State
To identify the top solar companies in Washington, we conducted a comprehensive evaluation based on several crucial factors. Our initial focus was on selecting companies that specifically serve the state of Washington, as not all solar providers operate in every state. Subsequently, we thoroughly assessed the solar panel options offered by each company, including any additional choices like solar roof tiles. Furthermore, we scrutinized the financing solutions provided by each company, giving preference to those offering diverse options such as leasing and financing.
Another vital aspect we considered was the range of warranties and guarantees provided by the companies. Longer warranties can instill greater confidence in customers who are making a significant investment in solar panels. Lastly, we examined the available customer service channels and sought out distinctive features and offerings that set each company apart from its competitors.
Before You Work With One of the Best Solar Companies in Washington State
The installers and manufacturers of solar panels featured in this guide present viable options for many Washington homeowners. However, it is important to note that they may not be the optimal choice for every homeowner, nor are they the only solar panel providers in Washington. Prospective customers will want to diligently assess the offerings of each solar company to identify the most suitable match for their specific requirements. This assessment may result in selecting one of the aforementioned solar installers in Washington, or it may lead to exploring alternative options.
Once homeowners have narrowed down their choices, it is crucial for them to comprehend the installation process outlined by the selected company. This involves obtaining a comprehensive project timeline that specifies the precise number and placement of panels to be installed on their property. Additionally, customers will want to ascertain whether the company utilizes in-house installers or relies on subcontractors to carry out installation projects. While both approaches can be satisfactory, certain homeowners may prefer engaging a company that employs its own personnel to handle all aspects of the installation.
Cost of Working With One of the Best Solar Companies in Washington State
The cost of solar panels in Washington can vary depending on multiple factors. Primarily, the size of the home and the available roof space will determine the number of solar panels required for installation. The energy needs of the household will also be considered to ensure that the panels can generate sufficient power to significantly reduce or completely eliminate energy costs. Typically, the greater the number of solar panels installed on a roof, the higher the cost for homeowners. The average solar panel cost is $3.08 per watt, which comes out to an average cost of $15,400 for a 5kW system. Over 20 years, the net savings are estimated to be about $7,513. The average payback period for Washington homeowners, i.e., the time required to recoup the installation costs, is about 16 years.
Customers can leverage tax credits and rebates to reduce the overall cost of their solar panel system. Through the federal solar tax credit, homeowners across the country can claim a 30 percent credit on their tax return for systems installed between 2022 and 2032. There is a state solar incentive program, but it is currently completely subscribed to and not accepting new applicants. However, local utilities may offer incentives for homeowners who install solar.
When it comes to paying for solar panel installation, customers may be able to choose to lease, finance, or buy the panels outright. A homeowner with enough money in savings may choose to pay for the solar panels with cash, which will result in a $0 monthly payment. Many homeowners choose instead to finance their home solar panel system, and local solar companies often have special offers for customers who finance, such as 0 percent APR, for additional savings. Finally a homeowner may choose to lease the solar panels from the company if that is an option. However, doing so means they won’t be eligible for any available tax rebates.
The Advantages of Working With One of the Best Solar Companies in Washington State
Homeowners opting to partner with top solar companies in Washington can reap numerous advantages. These reputable companies typically provide a range of payment options, including leasing and financing, enabling homeowners to select the most suitable choice based on their requirements and financial circumstances. Moreover, the best solar companies offer extended warranties and guarantees, ensuring customers have added protection in case of panel malfunctions or lower-than-expected power production. Additionally, these exceptional solar companies in Washington may offer the following features:
- A streamlined and convenient online quoting process to assist customers in determining their budget effectively;
- High-efficiency solar panels specifically engineered to optimize a home’s solar energy potential; and
- Diverse customer support options, enabling homeowners to obtain assistance promptly whenever needed.
After reading through all of that information regarding the best solar companies in Washington state, homeowners may still have some lingering questions. Here, we’ve answered some common inquiries about going solar in the Evergreen State.
Q. How many solar companies are there in Washington?
There are 135 solar companies in Washington state.
Q. What is the average cost of solar installation in Washington?
The average solar panel cost is $3.08 per watt, which comes out to an average cost of $15,400 for a 5kW system.
Q. Which is the cheapest solar company in Washington?
There isn’t one company that will be the all-around cheapest option. The best solution for homeowners looking for the best price on a solar installation will be to acquire multiple quotes from different companies.
Q. Does Washington offer a solar tax credit?
Washington state does not currently offer a solar tax credit.
Q. Do solar panels increase home value in Washington state?
Yes, solar panels will increase a home’s value by an estimated almost $6,000 for each kilowatt that’s installed.
Q. Is Washington a good state to invest in solar?
Yes. Even though Washington may not be the sunniest state, solar panels still produce energy in low and indirect light, meaning that solar panels are still a worthwhile investment.
Sources: EnergySage, EcoWatch (1) (2)