Solar Tribune

Top Rated Solar Companies for

Orange

Discover the best solar installers in Orange County, California. Read reviews, research average installation costs, and get BBB ratings to help you decide on the best solar panel installer for your home or business.

by Brooks Lape | July 9, 2017

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Solar City


Founded in 2006, this forward-thinking company quickly became the largest residential and commercial installer in the United States by disrupting the solar industry.


Cost
Per Watt
vs. $4.38 (CA avg.)
Based on 95 reviews
A+
BBB Rating

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Summary

SolarCity was one of the first installers to offer solar leases for little to zero down. By making solar achievable for average homeowners, the company enrolled thousands of customers in California, and eventually expanded across the country. Today, SolarCity has hundreds of thousands of residential customers alone.

The company offers elegant, all-black panels, and rolled out solar roof tiles in late 2016 for truly seamless aesthetics and coverage. Made of extremely durable tempered glass, the tiles are unaffected by hail moving at up to 200 miles per hour.

Chairman Elon Musk has had a strong influence on the company’s strategy. Musk is the cousin of SolarCity cofounders Peter and Lyndon Rive, as well as the CEO of Tesla, Inc. and SpaceX.

SolarCity continues to push forward on several ambitious projects under Musk’s leadership. Tesla purchased SolarCity in 2016 with the goal of integrating renewable energy with its Powerwall battery storage system and vehicle charging stations. Tesla hopes to offer residential customers a comprehensive energy solution for both homes and transportation. Residential and commercial customers give the company an A+ rating through the Better Business Bureau.

SolarCity can be reached through its website at solarcity.com, or by phone at (888) 765-2489.


Vivint


Vivint Solar is a cutting-edge company at the intersection of renewable energy and smart homes.


Cost
Per Watt
vs. $4.38 (CA avg.)
Based on 95 reviews
A+
BBB Rating

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Summary

CEO David Bywater is guiding the company’s expansion into the smart technology space. Bywater previously served as COO of sister company Vivint Smart Home and Xerox before joining Vivint Solar in 2016. The company plans to unveil an integrated solar generation and home management solution in 2017. Customers who sign on will be able to set preferences for heating, lighting, appliances, and security; automate adjustments; and control devices remotely.

Bywater is the ideal person to take Vivint Solar in this new direction. In addition to his experience with smart home technology, he holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. He gives back to the community through his promotion of solar energy and service as a board member of Youthlinc, a nonprofit organization that encourages students to become humanitarians.

The company was founded in 2011 as a dedicated residential installer. Low prices and a focus on getting home solar right spurred Vivint Solar’s growth. The company is now one of the fastest-growing residential installers. The Better Business Bureau gives Vivint an A- rating.

Vivint Solar can be reached through its website at vivintsolar.com, or by phone at (877) 404-4129.


Petersen Dean


PetersenDean Roofing and Solar is a major installer in Orange County and southern California. It was also a major influence on the expansion of the solar market during the 1980s and 90s. The company is an industry veteran with thousands of happy customers across the region.


Cost
Per Watt
vs. $4.38 (CA avg.)
Based on 95 reviews
A+
BBB Rating

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Summary

Jim Petersen and Joe Dean founded PetersenDean Roofing and Solar from their garage in San Jose in 1984. The company grew exponentially over the following decades. In 1999, it produced 500 solar homes through a partnership with General Electric, catapulting California’s solar market forward.

It offers full roof retrofits and replacements as part of its holistic approach to solar installation. PetersenDean is GAF Master Elite Certified in roofing and recognized by the National Housing Quality Program. The company provides whole-home efficiency upgrades that go well beyond the capabilities of other C-46 solar contractors.

PetersenDean Roofing and Solar, Inc. holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. The company is one of the most recognized and lauded solar firms in the region, and an ideal choice for homeowners in Orange and the surrounding area.

PetersenDean can be reached through its website at petersendean.com, or by phone at (800) 564-0362.


Ameco Solar


Ameco Solar has reigned as the top residential and commercial contractor in Southern California since 1974. These solar experts have amassed decades of knowledge about the solar industry and completed thousands of projects in SoCal.


Cost
Per Watt
vs. $4.38 (CA avg.)
Based on 95 reviews
A+
BBB Rating

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Summary

The company continues to develop its product line and services as the industry evolves. It now offers black-on-black panels, painted conduit, and minimalist mounting hardware that maintain curb appeal. Customers can choose from a variety of solar panel brands from national companies, all of which Ameco has vetted for performance and durability. The company also provides solar hot water systems and solar pool heating.

Ameco has been in business for more than 40 years, which means it will likely be around to provide support in the decades to come. As a family-owned business, it knows the importance of developing positive relationships with customers. Ameco is verified by the California Solar Initiative and has a perfect safety record. Its longevity and A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau are also testaments to its excellent quality and service.

Ameco Solar can be reached through its website at solarexpert.com, or by phone at (888) 595-9570.


Sunrun


Sunrun is the nation’s top solar company dedicated exclusively to residential installations. bestcompany rated Sunrun its #1 solar company of 2016, owing largely to Sunrun’s unusually transparent payment plans.


Cost
Per Watt
vs. $4.38 (CA avg.)
Based on 95 reviews
A+
BBB Rating

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Summary

Homeowners can quickly identify plan options online by filtering for service level (Sunrun or self-maintained panels) and payment schedule (monthly or upfront). Sunrun presents the results in an easy-to-understand table, so visitors are well-informed about their choices from the start. After filtering the available plans, customers can request a quote with the click of a button.

Installation starts at zero down with the BrightSave lease. Homeowners get a a 95% production guarantee with this plan. Prepaying the entire lease up front with the BrightSave Prepaid plan will lock in the current energy rate for 20 years, and comes with a 100% production guarantee.

Homeowners can choose to add the company’s proprietary BrightBox battery storage system for extra security during grid outages. Sunrun customers save up to 20% on their electric bills.

Sunrun can be reached through its website at sunrun.com, or by phone at (888) GO-SOLAR.


Semper Solaris


Semper Solaris is a good choice for consumers who want to support American workers and veterans.


Cost
Per Watt
vs. $4.38 (CA avg.)
Based on 95 reviews
A+
BBB Rating

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Summary

Owned and operated by former US Marines, Semper only installs the highest quality American-made solar panels, and hires military veterans whenever possible. Semper partners with solar manufacturer SunPower to bring its customers superior panels that hold the industry record for efficiency.

Even if you used a different installer for your existing solar system, Semper will diagnose and repair any problems. It will also inspect your monitoring equipment to make sure the data it collects is accurate. It offers a 90-day warranty on all repairs.

Semper Solaris is also a roofing expert that does repairs and replacements with LEED-certified shingles made of wood, tile, and asphalt. This means homeowners can use a single, reputable contractor for multiple improvements.

The company is EGIA certified as licensed, insured, and in compliance with state laws. It’s also certified as a Master Trainer by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Semper Solaris can be reached through its website at sempersolaris.com, or by phone at (888) 210-3366.


American Solar Direct


American Solar Direct is a well-networked solar installer and a strong advocate for renewable energy in California. It’s fully licensed and insured, and committed to growing the industry in Orange and the rest of the state. Its connections and experience in local and regional politics help facilitate quick and convenient installations for all new systems.


Cost
Per Watt
vs. $4.38 (CA avg.)
Based on 95 reviews
A+
BBB Rating

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Summary

American Solar Direct holds a C-10 electrical contractor’s license and a C-46 solar contractor’s license from the Contractors State License Board. The certifications allow American Solar Direct to perform all of the electrical work on new installations in-house. They also indicate that the technicians are highly trained and experienced installers. The company holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

American Solar Direct can be reached through its website at americansolardirect.com, or by phone at (855) SOLAR-55.


LA Solar Group


LA Solar is the top solar company in Los Angeles. The firm plans and installs custom systems for homeowners for as little as zero down.


Cost
Per Watt
vs. $4.38 (CA avg.)
Based on 95 reviews
A+
BBB Rating

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Summary

Founded by engineers in 2012, LA Solar Group is now one of the fastest growing companies in the US, according to Inc. 500 and the Los Angeles Business Journal. It achieved this growth by putting money into employee training and technology, rather than marketing.

LA Solar only hires staff with years of experience, and puts them through a rigorous pre-screening process. The company also keeps up with new developments and technologies in the solar field. Before taking any action, LA Solar Group will use satellite imagery to make sure your roof is a good candidate for solar. It promises to install each solar system on time and on budget.

The firm focuses on low prices, superior installations, and creating positive, long-term relationships with its customers. It relies largely on referrals and word of mouth. This strategy has appeared to work well. The company has a perfect A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and thousands of satisfied customers.

LA Solar Group can be reached through its website at la-solargroup.com, or by phone at (855) 552-7652.


A1 Solar Power


A1 Solar Power has been working exclusively in California for over 30 years. Headquartered in Van Nuys, A1 Solar has offices in Westlake, San Diego, Riverside, Petaluma, Concord, and San Jose.


Cost
Per Watt
vs. $4.38 (CA avg.)
Based on 95 reviews
A+
BBB Rating

Compare quotes for your home.


Summary

The company’s staff of more than 150 provides full solar service for both residential and commercial sites. So far, A1 Solar Power has set up more than 3,000 systems across the state.

The company installs environmentally friendly panels manufactured in the United States, and assigns a single project coordinator to each project. It offers a 10-year warranty on the installation work, as well as continuous monitoring for each solar system. A1 also has an in-house finance department that helps customers choose the right lease, purchase, or power purchase agreement (PPA) option from its large network of lenders.

Bear in mind that A1 Solar Power has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau, however, due to more than 75 complaints customers have filed against the company, some of which A1 has yet to resolve.

A1 Solar Power can be reached through its website at a1solarpower.net, or by phone at (855) 410-4700.


Green NRG


Green NRG has been designing turnkey and bespoke systems for homes and businesses for nearly ten years. This fully licensed and insured company offers a range of solar panels, including SunPower, Bosch, and Sharp.


Cost
Per Watt
vs. $4.38 (CA avg.)
Based on 95 reviews
A+
BBB Rating

Compare quotes for your home.


Summary

Green NRG also installs several different types of inverters, such as SMA Sunny Boy inverters that provide power during grid outages. Customers can monitor system output through a mobile app that works on all Apple and Android devices.

The company arranges affordable financing options with CaliforniaFIRST, the HERO program, GreenSky, and Medallion Bank. It offers a senior citizen discount and a solar rebate program. Signing on with Green NRG gives customers the opportunity to do more than just reduce greenhouse gas emissions; the company will also make a donation to a local charity on your behalf.

Additional insulation, asbestos removal, air duct cleaning, and crawl space repair services make Green NRG a solid choice for homeowners and businesses looking for holistic energy solutions.

Green NRG holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Green NRG can be reached through its website at greenpowersolarpanels.com, or by phone at (866) 835-2423.