Looking into solar panels but not sure where to start? We've reviewed the best solar panel companies to determine which one will suit the needs of your home.
Of all the solar companies we've researched and reviewed, SunPower Solar tops our list of the best solar companies for 2023 with its top-of-the-line solar panels and strong warranties. Whether you're looking to do something good for the environment, save some money or want to rely a bit less on your utility, it might be your year to go solar. The federal investment tax credit will now give you 30% of the cost of your solar system back on your taxes, and local incentives (like net metering) are still strong, though there are some efforts to roll them back.
Climate change is expected to make the grid less reliable and increase the likelihood of extreme weather events. Solar panels with battery storage and the ability to disconnect from the grid can keep the lights on during a power outage.
Solar panels are a significant investment though, not to mention a decision that requires some careful thought and research. Below are my choices for the best solar companies by a few different parameters. However, with a purchase as big as solar panels, don't let this list be your only stop. Solar panel companies, because their products require lengthy, professional installation, are tested a bit differently than other categories on CNET.
This list and the reviews it draws from aren't based on any hands-on testing. There's no feasible way to do hands-on testing of the purchase process, installation or a home solar panel array after it's installed. Instead, these solar company reviews rely on interviews with company spokespeople, publicly available data and analysis of trends (like solar panel prices). While the reviews are as thoroughly researched as possible, the nature of the product means there are some limitations compared to another category like portable power stations.
GAF Energy Timberline Solar
Most residential solar customers up to now have solar panels mounted on racks bolted to their roofs. That's something GAF Energy is trying to change with Timberline Solar shingles, its solar roofing product. Attached with nails instead of bolts and installed at the same time and by the same team as a new roof, the solar power-generating shingles sit flush to the roof. They look a bit sleeker and could be less prone to leaks than traditional solar panels.
GAF Energy's solar shingle, installed in 16 states with more to come, could make the decision to go solar easier by rolling it in with the purchase of a new roof. If you don't like the look of solar panels, Timberline Solar shingles have a subtler look, though they're not invisible. You also get a solar roof without the major markup of other options, like the Tesla solar roof. Read CNET's GAF Energy review.
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