Solar Tribune

Top Rated Solar Companies for

Southern California

Discover the best solar installers in Southern 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 | June 16, 2017

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ASI Hastings


ASI Hastings Heating and Air Conditioning is a whole-home energy management provider, and San Diego’s Energy Upgrade Contractor of the Year for 2013 and 2014. ASI has saved residents thousands of dollars by making energy efficient upgrades. Numerous organizations have recognized ASI for its excellence.


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

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Summary

The company won the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) torch award for business ethics and integrity eight times, and currently holds an A- rating with the BBB. Customers appreciate generating electricity at 15% less per installed watt than the regional average, as well as ASI’s lifetime workmanship and service guarantees. The U.S. Department of Energy also awarded ASI its Century Club Award for ENERGY STAR residential contractors that complete a minimum of 100 projects in a single year.

ASI has been serving Southern California for more than 60 years. It’s managed to stay in business by providing superior service. The company only uses certified technicians, and offers zero down financing based on the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. In addition to solar, ASI Hastings upgrades HVAC systems by installing new furnaces and air conditioners.

ASI Hastings Heating and Air Conditioning can be reached through its website at asiheatingandair.com, or by phone at (800) 481-2665.


Solar City


Headquartered in San Mateo, SolarCity is one of the largest solar panel installers in Southern California. The company also contributes more solar to the grid than any other installer in the United States.


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

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Summary

SolarCity chairman Elon Musk is one of the biggest names in the renewable energy sector. Musk is renowned for his drive, “out of the box” thinking, creative business models, and remarkable success as CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. All three of his initiatives made FastCompany’s list of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2014.

SolarCity’s distribution model contracts local installers to complete projects under the SolarCity brand — a strategy that spurred significant growth within the industry. The firm received Renewable Energy World’s Innovation of the Year Award, completed commercial installations for some of the largest companies in the world, and worked with the United States government.

SolarCity continues to install hundreds of vehicle charging stations across the region as part of its mission to help the United States transition away from fossil fuels.

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


West Coast Solar


West Coast Solar is an experienced, midsize company that’s able to offer choices while still providing a personal touch. Customers can select from a wide range of top-quality solar panels and financing options.


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

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Summary

The company has nearly 10 years of experience designing and installing unique PV systems of all sizes for homeowners, businesses, and farmers. In addition to roof-mounted systems, West Coast Solar will also install panels as shade awnings (over a driveway or parking space, for example) or on the ground, as needed.

It inspects all equipment before setup and employs its own NABCEP-certified installers, rather than subcontractors. This makes it a simpler, smoother process, which is one of West Coast Solar’s key goals. Customers have full access to their system data over the Internet.

The firm offers CaliforniaFIRST efficiency financing, leases, loans, and power purchase agreements. West Coast Solar’s staff will work with you to take advantage of tax credits and clean energy programs, and identify a plan that fits your financial situation. The Better Business Bureau gives the company an A+ rating for quality and service.

West Coast Solar can be reached through its website at westcoastsolar.com, or by phone at (844) 492-7652.


Sullivan Solar


Sullivan Solar is one of the fastest growing and most respected installers in Southern California. Founder and San Diegan Daniel Sullivan was the only staff member when he established the company in 2004. Today, it’s the seventh largest solar firm in California.


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

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Summary

It has designed and installed more than 5,000 systems covering everything from residential to municipal solar. In 2013, the San Diego Business Journal named Daniel Sullivan its Most Admired CEO for his drive, skill, and accomplishments, and pegged the company as one of the fastest growing businesses in the city in 2010.

Several national recognitions have also gone to Sullivan Solar, including the Angie’s List Super Service Award, which it won on several occasions, most recently in 2013. Sullivan made Inc. Magazine’s list of the fastest-growing companies seven years in a row.

The company’s success can be attributed to quality installations and customer service. It’s certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, and only hires licensed electricians who’ve completed a minimum of 5,000 hours of training. The Better Business Bureau gives Sullivan an A+ rating for customer service, with no complaints filed since the business opened its doors.

Sullivan Solar can be reached through its website at sullivansolarpower.com, or by phone at 1-800-SULLIVAN.


Sunline Energy


This residential and commercial installer is #30 on Solar Power World’s list of the Top Solar Contractors headquartered in California, and #55 in the United States. It won the Angie’s List Super Service Award in 2014, and holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.


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

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Summary

Customers give Sunline Energy high ratings for its prices, quality, and professionalism. Thanks to its extensive knowledge of local regulations, the firm guarantees turnaround within three weeks of requesting a quote, which is much faster than the industry average. Getting connected faster means that Sunline customers start saving on their energy bills sooner. Sunline installs on clay tile and standard roof surfaces at nearly 15% less per installed watt than the California average.

Prices start at around $18,700 for for a 6 KW system, which includes panels, inverters, and wifi-based monitoring. A backup generator and power consumption monitoring are available as add-ons. Some of Sunline’s systems pay for themselves in as little as four years.

Sunline Energy can be reached through its website at sunlineenergy.com, or by phone at (858) 777-7910.


LA Solar Group


This residential and commercial installer is the ninth fastest growing company in the city, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal.


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

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Summary

LA Solar has enjoyed rapid growth over the past few years, reporting a remarkable revenue increase of more than 1,000 percent between 2013 and 2015. Launched in Van Nuys in 2011, the company also now serves Texas, Arizona, Oregon, New York, and Colorado.

"Key to our growth was and continues to be customer service,” says Ara Petrosyan, founder and CEO of LA Solar Group. “Every customer is treated with great attention and care."

The company opened offices in Bakersfield, California as Kern Solar Group and Fremont, California as Bay Solar Group in late 2016 — areas where energy costs have been rising by at least five percent. Inc. Magazine recently named LA Solar the 75th fastest growing company in the nation.

"Our goal is to go beyond just solar and tap into new technologies that bring more sustainable solutions to those that want to make a difference with the environment and with their pockets," Robert Sarai, Business Development Manager for LA Solar Group, explains.

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


Sunrun


Sunrun is America’s premier residential installer, and bestcompany’s #1 solar firm.


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

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Summary

Prices are part of what makes it so popular. Roughly two-thirds of Sunrun customers save at least 20 percent on electricity, which can amount to $20,000 over 20 years. More than 100,000 homeowners have signed on to take advantage of the savings Sunrun offers. The company installs one system every ten minutes, and recently cemented new partnerships that will spur further growth.

Prospective customers can calculate potential savings online, simply by entering some basic personal information and choosing a price range for their average electric bills. The installation phase takes two to five days. Known for its transparency, Sunrun outlines the entire process on its website; visitors can see how long each step may take, from the initial site assessment to activation.

Customers can add the BrightBox energy storage system, which provides backup during grid outages. The company offers a warranty for the life of the entire system, as well as continuous monitoring. The company will know immediately if something needs adjustment.

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


Stellar Solar


Stellar Solar is a mainstay of San Diego County with more than 6,000 systems under its belt. The firm has completed projects for homeowners, businesses, churches, and nonprofit organizations since it opened its doors in 1998.


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

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Summary

Referrals drive most of this local company’s growth. Union Tribune readers voted it San Diego’s best installer for the first time in 2011, and then again from 2013-2015. It also holds a perfect A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

The company has experience installing solar at most types of sites, including ground mounts in rural areas and mobile panels at special events. It has its own system for installing solar on complex tile roofs without damaging any of the tiles.

Stellar installs industry-leading SunPower panels. At 22%, this American-made solar equipment has the highest available efficiency rate. The company offers a 30-day installation guarantee and a 25-year warranty on the panels. Customers can choose from lease and purchase options, with purchases paying for themselves in 4-7 years.

Stellar Solar can be reached through its website at stellarsolar.net, or by phone at (866) 787-6527.


Semper Solaris


Semper Solaris is a well-regarded company with a connection to our military veterans. It’s owned and operated by former U.S. Marines, and hires vets whenever possible. It only installs gold standard SunPower panels, which have the industry’s highest efficiency rate. The panels are also made in the United States.


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

Compare quotes for your home.


Summary

SunPower named Semper Solaris its Residential National Dealer of the Year in 2015. The company was also awarded a Residential National Rising Star Award in 2014. Semper Solaris is a certified solar installer and an International Renewable Energy Council (IREC) certified master trainer. The the Better Business Bureau gives it an A+ rating.

“As a Captain in the US Marine Corps trust means everything,” Co-founder Kelly Shawhan says. “Trust, to be there for my Marines. Trust, to be the expert. Trust, to get the job done right. That same philosophy stayed with me for the past 20 years as a contractor and a solar specialist. Solar can be complicated, but at Semper Solaris we pride ourselves on taking the time to help you understand how solar works and how to choose the right system.”

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


Baker Electric Solar


Baker Electric Solar has been a San Diego institution for the better part of a century. This family-owned business has been based in Escondido since 1938.


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

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Summary

Originally an electric power company, Baker has installed thousands of systems in Southern California since it branched out into solar power about 10 years ago. Today, it complements its solar systems with battery storage and backup.

The company has won numerous awards, including the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, the Angie’s List Super Service Award, and recognitions from Inc. Magazine, Solar Power World, and PV American WEST. The Better Business Bureau gives it an A+ rating.

The firm’s goodwill extends beyond its customer base to the local community. For each solar system it installs, Baker Electric provides 125 meals to the San Diego Food Bank. The company sponsors several local charities, including Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs Greater San Diego, the Susan G Komen Foundation, Jr. Achievement San Diego, and Ronald McDonald House. It also provides solar education to local residents.

Baker Electric Solar can be reached through its website at bakerelectricsolar.com or by phone at (877) 543-8765.