Solar Tribune

Top Rated Solar Companies for

Southern California

Pricing, reviews, and ratings of the Best Solar Companies in Southern California for 2018. Cost per watt:

SolarCity: $5.30 per watt, Vivint: $4.31 per watt, SunPower: $4.75 per watt, Sunrun: $3.00 per watt, Baker Electric Solar: $3.76 per watt, Petersen Dean: $4.04 per watt, Sullivan Solar: $4.30 per watt, Future Energy Savers: $6.99 per watt, Sun Time Energy: $6.31 per watt, SolarMax: $3.61 per watt.

by Brooks Lape | April 15, 2018

SolarCity


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

$5.3 cost per watt, 2.5 stars, A+ BBB rating.


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More About SolarCity

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. ...Read More


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.


Related Information

Vivint


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

$4.31 cost per watt, 2.5 stars, A- BBB rating.


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More About Vivint

Vivint opened in 2011 and works with other professional partners like Mercedes-Benz Energy to make solar power more affordable for residents throughout Southern California. The firm was named #2 on Solar Power World’s Top 500 Solar Contractors in North America list. ...Read More


Vivint features numerous accolades for its dedication to the community and customer service. It won the 2013 People’s Choice Stevie Award for Favorite Customer Service Provider and the 2013 Silver Stevie Award for Customer Service Department of the Year. The firm also received the Community Impact Award from Trade & Industry Development magazine and regularly hires local professionals.

The company offers a variety of services. Its employees will evaluate a property to determine whether or not it can handle solar energy, design and create a customized system, handle the permitting, install the equipment, and finally activate the system. Vivint claims that its products help the majority of customers save between 10-30% on their energy bills due to its quality.

Vivint can be reached through its website at https://www.vivintsolar.com/state/california or its phone number 1-877-404-4129.


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SunPower


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

$4.75 cost per watt, 3.5 stars, A+ BBB rating.


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More About SunPower

SunPower claims to develop solar panels which produce 70% more energy than other brands currently on the market and recently made the first solar-powered airplane to circle the globe without requiring another, supplementary, fuel source. ...Read More


SunPower works with people throughout southern California and serves residential properties, commercial businesses, and entities seeking to build solar power plants based on the firm’s designs. The company possesses over 750 patents for its innovations and offers services like full home evaluation, the design and creation of custom solar energy systems, installation, and equipment maintenance.

The firm recently won the Cradle-to-Cradle Certified Silver designation because it manufactures its equipment in an environmentally stable manner. SunPower is the only company to be awarded the designation and is also the first and only member of the solar energy industry to be given landfill-free verifications from NSF Sustainability.

SunPower can be reached through its website at https://us.sunpower.com/ or its phone number 1-800-786-7693.


Sunrun


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

$3.00 cost per watt, 4.5 stars, A+ BBB rating.


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More About Sunrun

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


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.


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Baker Electric Solar


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

$3.76 cost per watt, 4.5 stars, A+ BBB rating.


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More About 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. ...Read More


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.


Petersen Dean


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

$4.04 cost per watt, 4.5 stars, A+ BBB rating.


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More About Petersen Dean

Petersen Dean only uses solar panels and equipment manufactured in the United States by local companies like Unirac and Eagle. The firm emphasizes the importance of developing regional communities to improve financial prosperity as well as environmental health. ...Read More


Some of the available services from Petersen Dean include a professional consultation from qualified employees, free estimates, full system design and customization, installation, one final inspection, and then the powering up of a client’s new solar energy system. Unlike some other companies, Petersen Dean locks in its customers’ rates for equipment and energy consumption so they never have to handle escalating payments.

The firm realizes that California frequently suffers from blackouts and brownouts and thus offers additional products like batteries designed to back up the energy produced by its PV solar panels. The company also remains dedicated to helping its customers receive the full number of rebates and tax breaks they qualify for and serves residents throughout southern California.

Petersen Dean can be reached through its website at https://petersendean.com/ or its phone number 877-552-4418.


Sullivan Solar


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

$4.3 cost per watt, 4.5 stars, A+ BBB rating.


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More About 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. ...Read More


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.


Future Energy Savers


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

$6.99 cost per watt, 2.5 stars, A+ BBB rating.


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More About Future Energy Savers

Future Energy Savers is a solar energy company which has been recognized for its installation of solar panels on the White House. The company serves residents throughout southern California and only uses solar panels made in the United States to promote local industry. ...Read More


Future Energy Savers provides services like property evaluation for the equipment, the design of a customized energy system, and the full installation of products. The firm is a Platinum Installer for SolarWorld-USA and only uses the manufacturer’s products with accompanying warranties. Some other environmentally products available from the company include solar hot water systems and energy efficient HVAC equipment.

Future Energy Savers is an award-winning business with accolades from professional groups like the State of California and the Department of Water and Power. Since its opening in 1978, the firm has installed over 6,500 solar energy systems for residential properties.

Future Energy Savers can be reached through its website http://www.energysavers.com/ at or its phone number 888-258-2120.


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Sun Time Energy


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

$6.31 cost per watt, 2 stars, A BBB rating.


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More About Sun Time Energy

SunTime Energy focuses on providing people with low-cost routes to install solar energy systems on residential and commercial properties, including referral programs, Solar Leases, and Solar PPAs. ...Read More


The firm operates from its base in Van Nuys and serves residents throughout southern California by offering high-quality solar energy services. SunTime Energy’s skilled employees provide services like free initial consultations to determine if a residence can handle solar energy equipment, full system design, installation, and system monitoring.

SunTime Energy primarily installs PV solar panels and personalizes each system to suit the unique needs of each residence or business. The firm can help interested people research whether or not they qualify for local rebates or discounts with an environmentally friendly energy system. The company has won several awards for its quality and customer service, and it has been featured in professional publications like the Los Angeles and New York Times.

SunTime Energy can be reached through its website at http://www.suntimeenergy.com/ or its phone number 866-437-6445.


SolarMax


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

$3.61 cost per watt, 4 stars, A- BBB rating.


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More About SolarMax

SolarMax completed over 6,000 residential property installations since 2008 and continues to innovate and develop new technologies for solar energy systems. The firm offers a 25-year warranty on workmanship and takes pride in cutting out the middleman and working with clients directly. ...Read More


SolarMax assembles all of its projects locally and serves residents throughout southern California. The firm specializes in developing entire properties which function using patented solar energy systems. The company’s qualified employees provide interested people with a variety of services, including free solar panel consultations, the creation and design of a custom system, permitting, and the installation of all of the equipment.

The firm recently released new technology like the FLEX Energy Storage System, which is a battery that can be attached to an existing solar system. The battery stores up to 5 kWh of extra energy to keep powering a home if something goes wrong with the panels. SolarMax also features several financing options for people who cannot afford the total cost of solar panels, including solar loans and PPAs.

SolarMax can be reached through its website at https://www.solarmaxtech.com/ or its phone number 855-279-2103.


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ASI Hastings


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

$3.55 cost per watt, 3.5 stars, A+ BBB rating.


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More About 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. ...Read More


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.


West Coast Solar


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

$3.9 cost per watt, 5 stars, A+ BBB rating.


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More About 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. ...Read More


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.


Sunline Energy


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

$3.39 cost per watt, 5 stars, A+ BBB rating.


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More About 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. ...Read More


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


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

$3.81 cost per watt, 4.5 stars, A+ BBB rating.


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More About LA Solar Group

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


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.


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Stellar Solar


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

$3.84 cost per watt, 4.5 stars, A+ BBB rating.


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More About 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. ...Read More


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


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

$4.5 cost per watt, 4.5 stars, A+ BBB rating.


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More About 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. ...Read More


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.