- Rhode Island is in the top 20 states for solar power, with over 100,000 homes utilizing solar energy and over 1,000 people employed in the solar industry.
- Trinity Solar is a top choice in Rhode Island, offering a variety of financing options and in-house installation teams.
- SunPower is known for its efficient panels and offers a 25-year full warranty, but contracts out their installation and service processes.
- SUNRUN is the leading provider for solar installation, offering a wide range of financing options and additional services like EV charging systems.
- Venture Solar is a newer company with solid customer reviews, offering $0 down deals and one of the best-looking panel systems on the market.
The Northeast doesn’t have as much solar love as say the West Coast, but Rhode Island is in the top 20 when it comes to solar power. The state has over 100,000 homes that utilize solar energy and employs over 1,000 people in the solar industry. If you are looking to install solar in your home, Rhode Island has a great mix of local and national companies that can help you out.
Best Overall: Trinity Solar
Trinity Solar is one of the best solar companies in Rhode Island. Why is Trinity our top choice? First, they’ve been operating in the Northwest for over 30 years, and in Rhode Island for almost eight years. With Trinity Solar, you can choose from a variety of financing options, including leasing and purchase agreement (PPA).
As for installation, Trinity Solar works with in-house installation teams, instead of farming it out to a separate installation company. With over 85,000 installations under their belt, the Trinity Solar installation team has a deep well of experience.
One of the downsides to Trinity Solar is that its workmanship warranties are shorter than a lot of its competitors, lasting only five years. It does offer 10- to 25-year product and performance warranties, depending on your equipment.
Best for Equipment: SunPower
SunPower makes its own panels and equipment in-house, a unique feature for a solar company that allows the equipment to communicate more efficiently. In fact, its panels are regarded as one of the most efficient models. Since they are made in-house, however, it can also mean higher equipment costs upfront. Still, with the panels’ efficiency, you can end up making up that money in the long run with less utility bill costs.
SunPower also offers one of the best warranties; a 25-year full warranty covering workmanship, performance and products. This outshines most of its competitors’ warranty offers. Their SunVault system of energy storage allows you to power your home when the electricity goes out. It also connects to a SunPower Virtual Power Plant to help you earn extra cash and help the local electrical grid.
SunPower contracts out their installation and service processes, which can make it difficult for customers. Some online reviews of the company include complaints about not getting technicians out to help when there is a problem.
Best National Provider: SUNRUN
SUNRUN is the leading provider when it comes to solar installation. Its installation team has over 20+ years of experience, and SUNRUN offers a 25+ all-encompassing warranty, whether you lease or buy your equipment.
The company offers a wide range of financing options, one of the things that makes SUNRUN so popular. Its Monthly Lease plan allows you to rent equipment for less upfront costs, but includes higher monthly payments. A Full Lease has a higher upfront cost, but no monthly payments. A Monthly Loan allows you to own your equipment through monthly payments to SUNRUN. A Full Purchase gets you full ownership of the equipment for a full upfront cost.
SUNRUN also offers more than just solar panels. It can install an EV charging system and has a mobile app to help you monitor your SUNRUN system.
Best for Upfront Costs: Venture Solar
Venture Solar has only been operating since 2015, so it’s younger than the other companies on the list, but its solid customer reviews make it a stand out. The company uses an in-house installation team that knows the equipment inside and out.
Venture also offers a $0 down deal if you lease or finance your solar panels. The leasing option allows you to rent the panels from Venture Solar with monthly payments. The financing option gives you ownership of the panels while still making affordable monthly payments. You can also buy the panels outright, but this requires full payment up front.
An interesting bonus of Venture Solar for the aesthetic-minded buyer, the company offers one the best-looking panel systems available on the market. The dark, inter-connected panels blend in seamlessly with your roof, making them virtually invisible.
Venture Solar also offers a 25-year system warranty for the equipment.
Best Local Provider: New England Clean Energy
New England Clean Energy has been operating since 2006, with 2,000+ solar installations under their belt. If you are looking for a local service that knows the area and can provide personal service, check out New England Clean Energy.
The company also offers a 10-point pledge to customers that includes promises of transparency, individual attention, personal security, and no-pressure sales. It also offers a 10- or 20-year workmanship warranty for labor and a performance warranty for equipment.
New England Clean Energy rates 4.7 out of 5 stars with their customers, with over 300 reviews. Its knowledge of local clean energy rules and permit laws help it navigate solar for Rhode Island residents, as well as other New England states. One of the three company offices is based in Providence, Rhode Island.
How to Save Money When Hiring a Solar Company in Rhode Island
Getting solar power installed doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some tips for cutting costs on solar installations.
Look for Tax Credits
Solar energy allows you to file for a number of state and federal rebates. The best is a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government. It is applied to the cost of the solar PV system you have installed.
In order to qualify, the solar equipment needs to be installed within the tax year. It needs to be installed on your property, and you need to own it. You can also qualify if you’ve invested in an off-site community solar project that helps power your home.
The credit covers the cost of the equipment, the installation labor costs, the price of your energy storage (like a battery), and the sales tax on all these expenses.
Rhode Island also has a few incentive programs for people installing solar, including a program for net metering and a renewable energy growth program.
Do a Price Comparison
Prices can vary depending on the company you use to install your solar equipment, so do a price comparison on companies before you make any decision. Don’t just look at the equipment price. Do a breakdown of all the costs compared against the warranties offered. These can include:
- Installation costs
- Power storage costs
- Sales tax on total costs
Watch Out for Installation Costs
Installation prices vary depending on how many panels need to be installed and how difficult it is to install the equipment. If you live in a state like Rhode Island that has a limited number of clear days, you may have to install more panels to get the energy you need to power your home. This raises the price of installation.
If you have a sloped roof, or other hazards for installation crews, it can also raise the price of installation. Talk with several installers about their pricing before you make any decisions on who installs your solar panels.
What to Consider Before Hiring a Company
Solar business is booming right now, with new installation companies popping up all the time. Do your research before you pick the company that’s right for you.
Find out what kind of panels each company installs. Some solar panels are more efficient. Some will not work with the weather in your area. Look at the pros and cons of each. Most solar panels fall into three groups:
- Monocrystalline Solar Panels
- Polycrystalline Solar Panels
- Thin-Film Solar Panels
Find out who your installation team is and how they work. Many national companies will use local providers for the installation. If that’s the case, get the name of the company that will actually be doing the installing.
The best solar companies in Rhode Island will offer the best warranties. Some only offer a five-year warranty for labor, while others offer ten-year warranties. Panel warranties can extend from 10-25 years, depending on the company and the panels. The better the warranty, the better the deal, and the more peace of mind you get.
Most established solar companies have a plethora of online reviews. Sift through these reviews to find out which companies are best. Don’t just rely on star ratings; read the comments and understand what works and doesn’t work for each company. State and federal websites will often have a list of qualified vendors you can also search.
Are Solar Panels Worth It in Rhode Island?
For a Northwestern state, Rhode Island has more clear days than many of its neighbors, making it a good bet for solar panels. The average price for equipment and installation is also lower in Rhode Island than many of its neighbors, including Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Is it Arizona or California, where the sun mostly shines? No. But with the right panels and cost-saving measures, you can end up saving quite a bit of money by going solar in Rhode Island.
|New England Clean Energy
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