Kentucky is most likely best known for bourbon and its annual Kentucky Derby. Additionally, it’s an excellent state for solar due to the mild climate and four distinct seasons. The number of household solar installations has more than doubled since the early 2020s, helping more homeowners go solar and save money, despite the slow growth of renewable energy and incentives in the state. Due to the higher-than-average electric rates experienced by Kentucky homes, solar can help you save a significant amount of money over time. If you’re ready to install solar in your own home, here are the six best solar companies in Kentucky to check out.
Solar Power Importance in Kentucky
Is solar important in Kentucky? We’d say yes. First, Kentucky is a fairly sunny and mild state, which makes it perfect for solar panels. The average peak sun hours per day in Kentucky is 4.94 hours. While Kentucky’s climate can include severe rain and storms, installing solar panels can be helpful during those times, too. Kentucky residents can have another reliable option to keep their homes running even during storms. Plus, having solar power can mean lower utility costs year-to-year.
Unfortunately, Kentucky doesn’t have state-level solar incentives, but it does offer net metering. This means you can sell the excess energy your solar panels create back to the grid. You can also get a federal tax incentive for up to 30% back on a solar install if it qualifies. This can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket costs. You can become an early adopter of solar in Kentucky, and save quite a bit of money in the process.
What to Look For in a Solar Company in Kentucky
Before working with any company, there are always questions you should ask to ensure they know what they’re doing. When it comes to solar companies, here’s what to keep an eye out for.
Working with a solar company with both a panel performance warranty and a craftsmanship warranty is essential. These warranties will ensure that your panels work and perform well (or will be fixed if they don’t) and that your solar installation will be constructed properly so it will last at least 10 years. Some companies offer warranties that last up to 25 years.
Before working with any solar company, you’ll need to ensure that they have the right credentials. These include standard certifications from organizations like the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) or the Institute for Sustainable Power Quality (ISPQ). Certifications from these establishments are seen as the gold standard, and the company should have at least one. You’ll also want to choose an installer that is registered, bonded, and insured. If they use subcontractors, they should also have insurance.
High-Quality Solar Panels
Solar panels aren’t as rare as they used to be. However, this doesn’t mean that they are all created equal. Manufacturers make different products, and while it’s not always true, cheaper panels usually mean lower quality. You’ll want to work with a company that installs high-quality solar panels that are efficient and made from top-of-the-line materials.
First, installers should have at least three years of experience, which means greater knowledge, better services, and the ability to offer comprehensive warranties. While hiring a new company that promises the best may seem like a great idea, you may end up with more problems than you bargained for. It’s better to choose a company with a longer history.
Additionally, you should look up consumer reviews on websites like Google, Yelp, Facebook, BBB, and others. Reviews and ratings might alert you to improper installation procedures or unprofessional installer behavior. If you notice a trend of complaints, steer clear. Don’t forget to ask friends and relatives for referrals too, especially if they’ve had a recent install.
Solar panel installation requires a large financial commitment. Comparing quotes is crucial because installers charge varying prices for the same job. Almost all of these businesses provide free estimates, so you should opt for at least three to five quotes before choosing a company.
If a certain contractor’s price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This could mean inferior panels or that the company performs subpar work. While you may not need to work with the most expensive company, we recommend not choosing the cheapest option simply because it’s the most affordable.
As we mentioned, buying solar panels is a big investment that costs a lot of money. Not every customer can pay the cost in full in cash, so ask about payment options. Many companies offer loans, solar leases, and power purchase agreements (PPAs), just to name a few alternatives.
The 6 Best Solar Companies in Kentucky
Now let’s talk about the best solar companies in Kentucky that you can contact right now.
Since its founding in 1985, SunPower has been able to provide its services to all 50 states. Four monocrystalline solar panel lines from the business’s own brand, Maxeon, are available for selection. SunPower also provides EV charger options and its SunVault battery storage system, although these aren’t mandatory.
Solar panel monitoring is possible using EnergyLink and a mobile app. Despite the panels’ high cost, their greater efficiency typically makes up for it. SunPower also takes cash payments, solar loans, leases, and power purchase agreements (PPAs), making payments flexible for most customers.
With a 25-year warranty that includes a power performance guarantee, SunPower guarantees that your solar panels will continue to produce at least 92% of their power production levels after 25 years.
SunPower currently outsources installations to third-party companies. However, these companies have to earn a certification from SunPower to be able to work with their panels and install solar using their name.
|This company offers some of the most efficient panels on the market.
|SunPower is usually more expensive than other companies.
|SunPower offers national coverage and installs.
|There is little panel variety, and you can’t choose different components or batteries.
|The company has great warranty options.
Since 2020, Tesla has provided solar options for homeowners, ranging from solar roofing to the potent Tesla Powerwall — a home battery that stores energy from solar.
The company distinguishes itself as one of the only businesses to provide complete, clear pricing online before speaking to a representative. Tesla has an online system that evaluates the design of your home and your typical energy bills to generate a custom price. In other words, you don’t need to meet with your potential installer to get a quote if you don’t want to. You can change the configuration of your system to include extra panels and up to ten Tesla Powerwall batteries.
Tesla offers a 25-year performance warranty in addition to a 10-year comprehensive warranty covering the goods and craftsmanship. However, customers can only purchase their systems in full, or get a loan — which is only available in certain areas. While Tesla does offer installs in all 50 states, some customers have claimed that Tesla wouldn’t work with them due to living in a more rural location. However, it’s still worth getting a quote!
|Tesla offers low-profile rooftop panels to aid in your home’s aesthetic.
|Tesla can be more expensive than other installation companies.
|Tesla provides transparent pricing right on their website.
|Solar loans are only offered in certain cities and states.
|You can choose to have off-grid battery storage.
With offices in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland, and portions of Virginia, Solar Holler is a full-service solar company. Since they’re a regional installer, they know what it’s like to install solar in certain areas and climates, making them a great option if you want to get the best benefits out of your solar installation. They’ve been in business for over a decade, too, which speaks to their knowledge and reliability.
Solar Holler offers solar loans for 20 or 25 years, including no-cost and low-interest financing. However, they only have a three-year guarantee that your solar system will produce at least 95% of the annual estimated production. This isn’t a great warranty compared to other companies, so this is something to consider.
Luckily, the installation staff of Solar Holler have union training, decades of electrical experience across the board, and the workers are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. This ensures that your installation is in the right hands.
|This company has a lot of local expertise.
|The company carries limited brands.
|Solar Holar offers affordable pricing options.
|Their warranties aren’t as long as other solar installers.
Blue Raven Solar
Blue Raven Solar has earned a high reputation over the years, mainly because the company offers in-house financing, full-service system design, and in-house staff installation. They build custom systems with products from some of the best solar brands too, like Silfab, Canadian Solar, and Q Cells. The company offers service in 17 states, including Kentucky.
Despite not providing solar leases or PPA options, Blue Raven Solar does offer its own PowerPlus+ financing. You won’t have to pay anything for your system for the first 18 months if you decide to finance with the company.
A 25-year manufacturer warranty and a two-year power production guarantee are also offered by Blue Raven Solar. You may be entitled to a complimentary upgrade if your system falls short of your expectations. Another benefit for many customers is that they will give you $500 for your first referral, and $1,500 for the next one if you refer at least three people who decide to use the company.
|Customers can receive 18 months of free solar.
|There is only one battery option available for installations.
|This is the only company on this list that has a referral program.
|There are no solar lease or PPA options.
|Customers can receive 18-months of free solar.
Solar Is Freedom
Solar Is Freedom may be the best option for you if you’re seeking a local business that offers excellent service and communication. They service all of Ohio and Kentucky and have recently expanded into some parts of Indiana.
The selection of goods offered by Solar Is Freedom includes some of the most reasonably priced solar panels. However, customers looking for solar batteries or other products will need to contact another contractor, since Solar Is Freedom only installs panels.
A 25-year internal warranty is provided by Solar Is Freedom for both parts and labor. While this seems like a decent warranty option, we do have to note that this is a younger company, established in 2016. They haven’t even reached 25 years yet, which means you’d be taking a gamble on the warranty process if they go out of business.
|This company has almost all five-star reviews online.
|They are a younger company.
|They work with multiple manufacturers for fully customized panels and systems.
|The company doesn’t install batteries at this time.
With experience dating back to 2009, Icon Solar has one of the most extensive installation histories in Kentucky. This can mean a quicker installation due to ties with utility providers and permitting offices.
Icon Solar is aware of the higher potential for roof leaks in Kentucky, so for your peace of mind, they provide a five-year roof leak warranty. They also offer a 25-year product warranty, five years of labor coverage, and a 25-year performance warranty for panels.
Icon Solar installs solar panels and solar batteries and offers a respectable range of products to help meet your requirements. For example, Icon Solar is a Tesla-certified installer, so the company can install Tesla Powerwall batteries.
Its in-house installers are also NABCEP-certified and members of the Green Umbrella Regional Sustainability Alliance. However, they don’t take PPAs or leases; they only accept cash purchases and solar loans. If PPAs and leases are the only payment options you qualify for, you may need to look elsewhere.
|They offer amazing warranty coverage for products and home roofs.
|They don’t offer PPAs or leases.
|The company has state-specific experience.
|There is a short-term workmanship warranty.
|They work with multiple panel and battery options.
Is Kentucky Ready to Go Solar?
While there are dozens of solar installers in Kentucky, the companies we’ve mentioned are highly rated, include incredible warranties, and are currently considered the best of the best in the state. We don’t think you can go wrong with any of them!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Diyana Dimitrova/Shutterstock.com.