Cancel Preloader

Best Solar Panel Installation Companies in West Virginia

 Best Solar Panel Installation Companies in West Virginia


Solar energy generation is modest in West Virginia, but if you live in the Mountain State, it could help you offset rising electric bills. 

While the state ranks 48th for installed solar capacity and gets a small fraction of its power from solar, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, going solar could provide you with more affordable and stable electricity costs. Electricity rates have steadily increased in West Virginia over the years. The average price of electricity was 5.2% higher in June 2023 than a year earlier.

There are several solar incentives that could help you go solar as well. On the federal level, there’s a major tax credit included within the Inflation Reduction Act that allows you to claim a rebate covering 30% of the cost of any clean energy additions to your home, including solar panels. West Virginia has very little in the way of state-level incentives, but net metering policies will help tamp down your utility bill and solar rights laws protect you from certain HOA restrictions.

As utility companies in the Mountain State increase electricity costs, a solar panel system purchase might be a way for you to save a significant amount of money. If you’re looking to switch to clean energy in West Virginia, here’s all the info you need to know — starting with the best solar installation companies operating within the state.

Best national solar companies in West Virginia

SunPower Solar

Best solar panels

If you’re looking for top-of-the-line solar panels, SunPower is your best choice. But don’t write it off if you’re looking for a less flashy installation that will get the job done. This year it started installing Qcells panels, which should make an installation from the longest-tenured company on our list available to more people.

Tesla Solar

Most affordable

Tesla’s solar branch seems to be the least loved of Elon Musk’s ventures. Even Tesla’s Solar Roof seems to get more love.

If price is the thing you won’t budge on, consider Tesla. By all accounts, Tesla installs quality panels and makes the closest thing there is to a household name in solar storage: the Powerwall.

Where you might miss out is customer service. Discussion online seems to suggest Tesla’s service is a bit of a gamble.

Local solar panel companies in West Virginia

This Pennsylvania-based company also serves West Virginia. As a full-service solar installer, Elysium Solar Energy provides solar panels and batteries for residential and commercial clients. Elysium Solar offers a 25-year product and quality of work warranty.

Mountain View Solar installs solar panels and battery solutions for residential, commercial and nonprofit customers in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Mountain View Solar installs panels from SMA, Silfab and and inverters from SolarEdge Technologies. The company helps customers find solar financing if they can’t afford to pay cash. Unlike most competitors offering longer warranties, Mountain View Solar provides only a one-year quality of work warranty. However, its customers get a 25-year performance warranty for solar panels and a 12-year warranty for inverters. The company doesn’t offer solar leases or power purchase agreements.

Based in West Virginia, Solar Holler provides solar panels, batteries and energy monitoring services for residential and commercial customers. Solar Holler provides its clients with a 25-year product warranty, 10-year quality of work warranty and a five-year roof penetration warranty. The company offers low-interest financing at no upfront cost for customers who can’t afford to buy a solar system with cash. As of this writing, Solar Holler doesn’t provide solar leases or power purchase agreements.

How to determine which solar company in West Virginia is best for you

West Virginia only has 10 installers or developers, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, but you still have some choice when it comes to which company to hire. Treat this purchase like you would any major home improvement with a contractor. Here are some tips:

  • Talk to people you know who have gotten solar panels about their experience and who they used.
  • Read reviews and complaints about the companies.
  • Check their licenses and certifications.
  • Compare quotes from companies that have actually reviewed your home and your energy needs.

Cost of solar panels in West Virginia

Here’s a look at the average cash price for a typical solar panel system in West Virginia before factoring in tax credits and incentives, according to data from FindEnergy.com.

Average cost of solar panels in West Virginia

Typical system size (kW) Price per watt Total installed cost Cost after 30% federal tax credit
West Virginia 10 $3.39 $33,900 $23,730
National average 8.6 $3.67 $31,558 $22,091

The map below displays the average total cash price, cost per watt and system size for a solar panel system in your state, according to data from FindEnergy.com. These prices don’t account for potential rebates from tax credits or state incentives. Certain states don’t have any FindEnergy solar data and are grayed out on the map.

West Virginia solar panel incentives or rebates

Federal and state incentive programs can help you lower the cost of solar by providing you tax credits, rebates and other cost-saving measures.

The table below shows a couple of solar incentives available to West Virginia residents.

Program Description
Net metering West Virginia’s net metering policy allows solar owners to send excess generation back to the grid and get credits on their electricity bills. Net metering customers receive credits at a full retail value of electricity rates.
Solar rights laws West Virginia’s solar rights laws allow you to install solar panels on your property free from bans by homeowners’ associations. Homeowners’ associations can still restrict the size and placement of solar arrays.
Federal tax credit The most significant incentive available for West Virginians interested in solar power is the federal residential clean energy credit, which was expanded and extended under the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. You can claim 30% of the cost of a solar system from your federal income tax. The clean energy credit is valid through 2032. It drops to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034 and ends in 2035.

Read more: Just looking for an emergency backup? Check out portable solar panels and solar generators.  

How to pay for solar panels in West Virginia

Here are a few of the most common ways to pay for your solar panels:

Cash: Paying for your solar panels upfront with cash is your best option. You won’t have stress over high financing fees or interest rates, and your eligibility for tax incentives and rebates won’t be called into question. If you have plans to go solar in the future, consider putting some money into a high-yield savings account, which will net you more money over time. 

Solar loan: Solar companies usually offer financing options for solar panels, often referred to as solar loans. These loans are usually overseen by a third party, so be sure to inspect any associated fees and interest rates.   

Other loans: If cash isn’t an option, you have other financing possibilities. Taking out a personal loan with your bank or opening a home equity line of credit are just a couple of options. Note that if you do choose to go with a HELOC, you should be aware of the risks. If you can’t pay back what you owe, your home could face foreclosure.   

Lease or power purchase agreement: If you aren’t interested in owning your own solar panels, you don’t have to. Some solar companies offer options for a solar lease or enter a power purchase agreement. A solar lease means paying for the use of a company-owned solar system. If you enter a power purchase agreement, you’ll pay for the electricity generated by a company-owned solar system at a fixed rate. This fixed rate is typically lower than the retail rate provided by your local utility company. Ask your solar provider which options are available for you.

Installation factors to consider

Solar is an appealing alternative to fluctuating utility rates, but it might not be for everyone. Here are some factors to consider before you invest in solar panels.

Roof: Your roof’s pitch can affect the total cost of solar. The US Department of Energy estimates that an angle between 15 and 40 degrees is ideal for solar panel efficiency. When shopping around for solar providers, make sure to choose an experienced installer to help you determine if your roof is suitable for panels.

Money vs. time: It’s essential to determine how long you’ll be in your home before committing to solar, whether it’s a loan, power purchase agreement or lease. The typical payback period for solar is between six to nine years, and leases and power purchase agreements often have even longer terms. If you’re not in the house long enough to see the financial benefits, investing in solar may not make sense if you plan to move after a couple of years.

Insurance: Many insurance companies cover solar systems. Confirm coverage with your insurance agent and remember to include your system in your homeowner’s insurance policy after you install solar panels.

Renting or owning your home: Installing solar panels on your rooftop is difficult if you rent your home because you need permission from your landlord. It may not make sense to buy or finance solar panels on a rented property if you have to move in a few years. The best way for renters to go solar is to join a community solar program, if West Virginia’s state legislators pass a law currently under consideration that would allow it.

How we found the best solar companies

The companies we listed above as “the best” are curated from CNET’s best solar companies list. Companies making the best list are scored on the equipment, warranties and customer service they offer. Then, we make sure these recommendations are available in your state. You can read a full breakdown of how we review solar companies here.

Companies listed under the local installers were chosen in a less rigorous way. We chose them because they offered something unique or notable to customers in the state, they seemed well-regarded by internet reviewers or because they were one of the few installers we could find information on in the state.

Whether we’ve completed a full review on a company or not, it’s always a good idea to get multiple quotes from different installers before choosing a company.

West Virginia solar power FAQs

What are the economic benefits of going solar?

A solar system can reduce, or even eliminate, your electric bill and protect you from rising utility rates. The federal tax credit can significantly lower the high upfront cost of installing solar panels. In addition, West Virginia’s net metering policy reduces energy costs by giving credit on your electric bill when you send excess generation back to the grid.

Do solar panels operate during a power outage?

No, in most cases. The majority of solar systems are tied to the power grid, allowing homeowners to use energy from the grid in the evenings or when it’s cloudy. Grid-tied solar panels will automatically stop generating energy when the power goes out to allow utility workers to operate without electricity from solar panels harming them. However, some companies offer inverters with backup batteries that operate independently from the grid during an outage and continue supplying electricity from your solar system.

How do solar batteries work with panels?

Most solar systems don’t have standalone batteries. But energy storage systems are increasingly attractive to solar owners wanting to use them during a blackout or peak demand hours, when electricity on the grid is more expensive. Some utilities in West Virginia, like Dominion Energy, offer time-of-use energy rates, which are based on the time of day when you use electricity. A battery stores any surplus solar generation from your panels during the day. The speed at which a battery will charge will depend on the amount of excess energy generated.



Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *