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Founded in 2006, SolarCity is now the #1 full-service solar provider in the United States.
It became an industry leader by pioneering the solar lease, which removed the high upfront cost of going solar. Putting solar within financial reach and simplifying the process of bringing them online earned the company hundreds of thousands of customers.
SolarCity also provides top-of-the-line equipment like sleek, all-black panels and solar roof tiles, which debuted in late 2016. The tiles look like traditional roof materials, cover more surface area than solar panels, and withstand hail impacts of up to 200 mph.
While the company originally focused on residential customers, many businesses and organizations have chosen SolarCity for their installations. The firm has completed projects for hundreds of schools and universities, the U.S. Armed Forces, the Department of Homeland Security, eBay, HP, Intel, Walmart, Whole Foods, and many other commercial clients.
SolarCity contributes to social causes through its nonprofit organization GivePower, which aims to improve economic and environmental conditions in poor communities around the globe by providing access to solar electricity.
SolarCity holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. It can be reached through its website at solarcity.com, or by phone at (888) 765-2489.
Eco Roof and Solar
This Denver area roofing contractor offers cutting-edge solar shingles made by Dow Powerhouse. The shingles blend in naturally to maintain curb appeal, and typically cover more area than solar panels. Dow shingles are made in the U.S., designed to withstand hail impacts, and maintenance-free. They come with an output monitoring system and a 20-year warranty.
Eco Roof and Solar primarily focuses on roofing repairs for residential and commercial customers in the metro Denver area. Employees receive training on a regular basis, and the company offers a long-term warranty on its solar installation and roofing work.
With more than 10,000 roofing projects completed to date, Eco Roof and Solar has grown by over 200% since it launched in 2007. The company is a 2016 GAF President’s Club Recipient and a GAF Master Select Commercial Roofing Contractor—a distinction that only 3% of all roofing contractors achieve. Eco Roof and Solar is also the DaVinci Masterpiece Contractor for the Denver Front Range, and a top-rated BBB accredited business.
The company recycles old roofing materials and recommends environmentally-friendly products to customers. Denverites interested in solar shingles or environmentally responsible roofing services may want to consider Eco Roof and Solar.
Eco Roof and Solar can be reached through its website at ecoroofandsolar.com, or by phone at (303) 484-9854.
With $5 billion worth of solar installations, Sunrun is the nation’s largest residential solar company.
Sunrun is known for its low prices and “solar as a service” model—a power purchase agreement where customers pay a fixed rate for the energy the rooftop system provides, rather than the panels themselves. The company owns, maintains, and insures the system.
Sunrun offers a 10-year limited warranty and a 10-year workmanship warranty, in addition to product manufacturer warranties. It also offers a production guarantee on its BrightSave battery system. When fully charged, the BrightSave provides 20 megawatt-hours of energy for overnight use or backup power during grid outages.
The company holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Customers note how easy it is to go solar with Sunrun, as well as the team’s speed and professionalism.
“I am very happy with the system and also with the entire process starting from the sales people to the installers to the customer support,” Valentino D'Ambrosi writes on the company’s website. “Everyone made a not so simple process into a very simple one with no impact to the customer.”
Sunrun can be reached through its website at sunrun.com, or by phone at 888-GO-SOLAR.
1-800 Solar USA
1-800 Solar USA is a Denver area residential company that installs high-quality Solar World and SunEdison solar panels. Every piece of equipment it uses exceeds the International Electrotechnical Commission’s requirements by at least 200%.
In addition to installing solar panels, this Denver area company uses “whole home” energy strategies to reduce overall demand.
If requested, 1-800 Solar will conduct an energy audit, then identify options that will cut consumption, such as attic insulation, weather stripping, radiant barriers, adjustable thermostats, solar reflective roofing, and energy efficient windows.
“There was no up front cost. They were not the cheapest. However they provided me with top of the line sol[a]r panels and inverters along with top of the line triple pane double argon gas windows,” Alan Gordon writes. “YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! Bottom line! Im very happy with my production so far and the installers were great. They didn’t just sell me solar…. They sold me a solar package. This made my old home much more efficient [thereby] allowing my solar panels to really make a difference on my electric bill. Glad [I] went with 1800 solar USA.”
1-800 Solar USA has offices in Offices Westminster, Portland, Austin, and Houston. It can be reached through its website at 1800solarusa.net, or by phone at (800) 475-7559.
SunPower is an industry veteran providing residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar, as well as battery storage.
It’s also a major manufacturer that turns out the most efficient solar panels available. SunPower equipment produces 70% more energy over the first 25 years of use than the average solar panel.
The company achieves a record-holding efficiency rate partly by adding an inverter to each individual panel, rather than centralizing the inverters. The panels also meet the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s standards for material health and reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water conservation, and social fairness.
Sunpower has been struggling to earn a profit from its own residential installations, however. It laid off 2,500 workers and closed down some of its capacity in late 2016, and sold a Chilean plant in early 2017. Even so, it’s pushing forward with its Equinox package for homeowners, a combined solar generation/smart home management solution. All of the elements of the package, including the hardware, software, and monitoring app, are designed to work together.
The firm has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. It can be reached through its website at us.SunPower.com, or by phone at 800-SunPower (1-800-786-7693).
RGS Energy has installed more than 25,000 solar systems across nine states for homeowners, small businesses, and government clients since it opened in 1978.
The firm began as a small sustainable living store in California, and later retailed some of the first solar panels. It merged with Alteris Renewables in 2012. The partnership brings a combined 80 years of solar experience to RGS customers. Today, it serves thousands of homeowners and well-known corporate customers, including Aetna, Timex, and Yale.
The company installs top-quality SolarWorld panels and Enphase microinverters, and arranges for simplified leases and loans through its extensive network of financing partners. RGS was even recognized by Forbes Magazine for providing affordable solar systems and creative approaches to discounts. The firm makes a donation to a local chapter of the Audubon Society, the Waterkeeper Alliance, or another nonprofit when you sign on.
RGS relocated its corporate headquarters from Louisville to Denver in early 2017 amid financial losses. It has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, however, and a long history of success in the solar industry. It can be reached through its website at rgsenergy.com, or by phone at (888) 567-6527.
Sunshare specializes in community solar, a model in which customers subscribe to an existing community solar garden comprised of thousands of solar panels that sends energy directly to the grid. The utility then credits subscribers for the energy the garden contributes to the grid. The combined amount that members pay Sunshare and the utility each month is typically less than continuing with the utility alone.
Joining a community solar garden is one of the easiest ways to start using renewable energy, because there’s no need for a rooftop installation on the subscriber’s home. Customers simply agree to buy solar energy from Sunshare’s centralized installation through the grid over a period of 20 or 25 years.
While subscribers don’t receive tax credits, community plans eliminate the need for solar system maintenance, repairs, and replacement. It also makes moving to a new home as easy as transferring the subscription to a new address. The biggest advantage of a community plan, however, is that anyone can participate, including people who live in condominiums, apartments, and homes that aren’t eligible for rooftop systems.
Headquartered in Denver, Sunshare has been growing solar gardens in Denver and Colorado Springs since 2011. It sells its energy to Xcel Energy and Colorado Springs Utilities.
Sunshare maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. It can be reached through its website at mysunshare.com, or by phone at (800) 793-0786.
Solar Energy By Design
This small Denver shop handles solar installations and general electrical work for homeowners and businesses.
Solar services include system design, installation, audits, and inspections. As part of the solar installation process, the firm will upgrade electrical systems to maximize efficiency. It also sets up electric vehicle chargers and installs LED lighting. Prospective customers can view a gallery of solar projects on the company’s website.
Owner Bryan Peterson opened Solar Energy by Design in 2013. He is certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)—the highest-level credential for solar installers. He’s also a licensed master electrician providing a full suite of standard electrical services.
“Bryan was very professional and helpful at not just selling me unnecessary upgrades, but was honest with helping me determine what actually needed to be done so as not to break my budget,” Joey F. of Denver writes on Yelp!. “I was also impressed with his tidy and well labeled wiring...I am confident that should I need to renovate or make changes in the future, anyone qualified would be able to see his work and know what was what...next time I need anything done - I am calling Bryan first!”
Solar Energy by Design holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. It can be reached through its website at solarenergybydesign.com, or by phone at (303) 928-0313.
This local, employee-owned company provides residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar services. It’s also a Certified B corporation—a qualification indicating commitment to social and environmental responsibility.
Namasté powers its two LEED-certified office buildings with solar energy, aims to produce zero waste, encourages carpooling, and gives employees free bus passes. It gives back 10% of its annual profits to the community through donations, volunteering, and sponsorships, and also offers discounts to nonprofit organizations.
The company’s product warranties extend up to 25 years, and the installation warranty covers 10 years. All systems come with free monitoring. Customers pay via cash purchases or financing only, as Namasté does not offer leases or power purchase agreements.
None other than the National Renewable Energy Laboratory chose Namasté for its solar projects. Colorado State University, the Colorado Convention Center, and Colorado State University have also selected Namasté Solar. In total, Namasté has completed more than 4,000 projects across Colorado over the past decade.
Solar Power World named the company a top solar contractor in 2015. Namasté was also one of Inc. Magazine’s Top Small Company Workplaces of 2011, and the Boulder Daily Camera’s Best Solar Energy Provider of 2016.
Namasté Solar has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. It can be reached through its website at namastesolar.com, or by phone at (303) 447-0300.