Best Solar Panel Installation Company in Orange County

California's Orange County is known for its sunshine, Disneyland, beautiful beaches, and popular state parks.

That solar also powers many residents' homes, more than 93,000 in a county of 3.1 million people, said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy and Storage Association. of homes are using solar panels.

“The more sunlight you get where you live, the better the solar system functions,” Del Chiaro says. “The further south you go in California, the better it is for solar power. Orange County, with its sun and surf, is one of the best places for solar power.”

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Orange County's geography makes it a favorable location for solar panel installations. Not only can we generate electricity because of the sun, but we also need that electricity to run our air conditioners. “Orange County is a hot place, so we use a lot of energy and we get a lot of sunlight,” Del Chiaro said. “This cross-section is very special when deciding whether or not to go solar.”

If you are interested in solar energy for your home, incentives and credits are available. This coincides with the sharp decline in solar power prices dating back to 2010. Solar power could be of particular interest in California, where electricity prices have risen sharply in recent years.

Orange County's Premier National Solar Panel Company

Many national solar panel installation companies operate in Orange County, including some of the nation's top solar companies. Here are CNET's top picks:

NRG Clean Power brings one of the solar industry's most confident approaches to its efforts, offering value for money and a 40-year warranty. As long as you live in Texas and California, NRG Clean Power is a solid choice. NRG Clean Power does not provide leases or power purchase contracts, but we do provide solar panel cleaning and roofing services, as well as a reliable equipment menu.


Solar panels are typically low-maintenance devices, but they are also less familiar. If you want to reap the benefits of solar power, but want a little more peace of mind knowing that someone else is making sure your solar power is up and running, Palmetto may be right for you. Remember to include the cost of Palmetto's monitoring services in your payback period calculations.


Elevation's focus on home energy efficiency is not common in the industry. If you are planning to tackle energy efficiency first, working with Elevation allows him to do the entire process with one company. Elevation solar power equipment comes from established and reputable companies. Elevation's warranty on workmanship and weather resistance could be a little longer.


If you're looking for top-of-the-line solar panels, SunPower is your best bet. However, don't ignore them if you're looking for a less fancy installation to get the job done. This year, the company started installing his Qcells panels. This should make the installation of the longest-tenured company on our list available to more people.


If you need help from a national company installing a variety of the most popular solar installations, include Freedom Forever in your search. Freedom Forever is also expanding several products that reduce the burden and risk associated with solar deployment, including production guarantees and cash purchase escrow options. Online reviews say customer satisfaction has been low recently, but the company says that's changing.


Tesla's solar business seems to be the least beloved of Elon Musk's businesses. Even Tesla's solar roof seems to be getting more love.

If price is important to you, consider Tesla. By all accounts, Tesla installs high-quality panels and manufactures the Powerwall, the most well-known product in the solar storage space.

What can be overlooked is customer service. Online discussions seem to suggest that Tesla's service is a bit of a gamble.


Momentum has installations in 11 states without the use of subcontractors. Using an in-house installer does not guarantee a better experience, but it does suggest that you will likely get a more uniform experience from the installer. The fact that Momentum carries his 25-year quality guarantee on its equipment shows strong confidence in the abilities of its workers. If Momentum is part of your search, consider the breach protections offered by other companies. The momentum is 5 years, but it is possible to exceed that.

Local Solar Installation Company in Orange County

Orange County Solar says it offers potential customers an array of maintenance options, including system diagnostics, inverter replacement, monitoring system replacement, solar panel removal and reinstallation, and solar panel cleaning. .

According to the company's website, a representative will meet with you and provide an estimate of your potential monthly savings.

Big Deal Solar promises solar, pool, and battery storage installation services on its website. The company offers its customers both his 5-year and 10-year solar power service plans. The company's website offers free consultations.

How to Determine Which Solar Power Company in Orange County Is Best for You

If you conclude that solar panels are the right choice, the next step is to hire an installer.

Del Chiaro suggests verifying that the installer is legal by obtaining multiple bids and ensuring that the installer is properly licensed by the California Contractors Licensing Board. doing.

A good contractor will come to your home and explain why your home is a good candidate for solar power, detailing how much you can save, how you will benefit from the installation, and any incentives available. She says she should make a written bid. she said.

“A good contractor will take the time to work with you for free,” she says.

What is the price of solar panels in Orange County?

The cost of solar panel installation varies depending on the size of the system being installed. The larger the system, the higher the cost. Therefore, since system sizes vary in kilowatts, it is advantageous to know the cost per watt.

The average residential price per watt in California is about $4, Del Chiaro said. She said a typical Orange County home would cost her about $24,000 upfront to install a 6-kilowatt system. That's before federal tax credits.

Orange County residents can expect to see a return on their investment in solar power through standalone systems within about 11 years, Delchiaro said.

Another cost to consider is the purchase of solar cells. The batteries will protect you in the event of a power outage, but Del Chiaro estimates the cost will probably be an additional $15,000.

“The battery adds about $15,000 to the cost, but it also qualifies for a federal tax credit, which adds $10,500 to the cost of the system. “It can ‘shine’ and save you more money than a stand-alone solar power system,” she said.

More than 7,600 batteries have been installed in solar systems built in Orange County so far, Del Chiaro said.

According to, common costs and system sizes are:

cost of solar panels in california

Typical system size (kW) price per watt Total installation cost Cost after 30% federal tax credit
California Five $3.47 $17,350 $12,145
National average Five $3.67 $18,350 $12,845

Orange County Solar Power Incentives and Rebates

There are various federal and state programs to make solar power a more affordable option. If you live in Orange County, consider ways to reduce costs.

The biggest incentive, of course, is the federal solar power tax credit, officially known as the Residential Clean Energy Credit. This tax credit allows you to get up to 30% of the total cost of your solar installation back in your next year's taxes.

Orange County Solar Power Incentives

Installation factors to keep in mind

There are several other considerations that homeowners should take into account before proceeding with a solar installation. These include roof angles, homeowner association regulations and permits.

Roof condition: Del Chiaro said the biggest issue related to roofs is whether they are overly shady and may not allow enough sunlight to reach the home.

The second question is whether the roof faces south or west.

“If you have a flat roof, you can handle it, but if your roof only faces north and the south side is in the shade, it’s not very good for solar power,” she said.

Homeowners Association Rules: If you live in a home with a homeowners association, that can be an issue. “They can be very painful,” Del Chiaro said.

California has a law that prohibits homeowners associations from turning members away from solar power, but HOAs could still push back or impose other restrictions, she said.

permission: Obtaining a solar power permit in California can be an arduous process. Del Chiaro said it may be necessary to consult the building department or local fire department. “Often our local governments don’t take the time to streamline their processes, which creates a lot of red tape,” she said.

All of California's separate governing bodies can lead to potential problems. “Everyone has their own construction department, so it's a patchwork quilt of chaos,” Delchiaro acknowledged.

Real estate energy requirements: If a customer lives in a small house or apartment and doesn't use much electricity, it could take a while for the solar investment to pay off, Del Chiaro said. If you spend more than $100 a month on electricity, you're probably a good candidate for solar power, she says.

How to pay for solar panels in Orange County

Although there are ways to reduce costs, installing solar panels requires a large investment costing thousands of dollars. You need to decide how best to fund your project.

cash: If you have cash on hand, this is the easiest way to pay for solar panel installation. It will cost you a lot of money initially, but you won't have to pay interest or fees in the future.

Solar power loan: Some solar companies offer loans specifically for solar power, offering financing and installation opportunities from the same company and simplifying the process.

Other types of loans: Some homeowners take out a personal loan or consider a home equity loan or line of credit to finance the installation. Be wary of high interest rates, and if you're borrowing against your home equity, be aware of the risk of losing your home if you can't make the payments.

Power purchase agreement: Power purchase agreements create a system in which a third party owns the solar power system and sells the power at a discount. California allows power purchase agreements.

How to find the best solar panel installation company

The companies listed as “best” above are hand-picked from CNET's list of the best solar companies. Companies that make the best list are scored on the equipment they offer, warranties, and customer service. Next, check to see if these recommendations are available in your state. You can learn more about how we screen solar companies here.

The companies listed in Local Installers were selected using a less rigorous method. We chose them because they were offering something unique and noteworthy to customers in the state, seemed to be well-received by internet critics, or because they were in the state. They were one of the few installers I could find information on.

Regardless of whether you have done your due diligence on a company, it is a good idea to get multiple quotes from different installers before choosing one.

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