Sunny California ranks first out of all US states when it comes to installed solar power. The state boasts a whopping 31 GW of installed solar, mainly due to its many solar-friendly state policies and incentives, which Bakersfield residents can take full advantage of. While newly-built residences in Bakersfield are already required to be built with solar panels due to the state’s Rooftop Solar Mandate, investing in a solar energy system for your older Bakersfield properties can also be a smart investment. Not only does California enjoy abundant sunlight, its household electricity rates are 60% higher than the US average, meaning that generating your own solar energy can allow you to save big on utility bills.
All this means that there’s never been a better time to look into installing residential solar for your Bakersfield home. But with over 1,000 solar installers operating in the state, it can feel overwhelming to pick out a good solar company which suits your needs. We have another excellent article here where we go over what qualities to look for in a great solar company, but we’ve also compiled a list below of the eight best solar companies in Bakersfield to help you get started on your search!
Best Solar Installers in Bakersfield
It’s important to pick a solar company who understands your needs, and gets you set up with a proper solar energy system right from the start. A botched installation might mean constant break-downs and inefficient electricity generation, and at worst might even cause damages to your house. Avoid that by doing proper research on the local solar companies available: we’ve come up with a list below of eight of the most well-known Bakersfield solar installers, and pick out a winner!
KOTA Energy Group
KOTA Energy Group’s motto is to “Educate, Guide, Install and Maintain”, and they aim to deliver a hassle-free installation experience for all of their customers, from start to finish. They are one of the fastest growing solar installers in the nation, and are already able to serve customers across 11 US states despite having been in business for only 3 years.
KOTA Energy Group has their headquarters in Camarillo, California, though they also have multiple office locations scattered across state.
The company claims to serve customers across the 11 US states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusettes, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Texas and Utah. However, online reviews indicate that most of their customers are from either California or Nevada.
Licensing and Certification
KOTA Energy Group is NABCEP-certified, and holds a General Building Contractor, General Engineering Contractor and C10 Electrical Contractor license for California.
Founded in 2018, KOTA Energy Group is one of the youngest companies on our list, but they’ve already made a name for themselves in California. The company exclusively uses Solaria’s pure-black solar panels, which are highly efficient and designed to look attractive, ideal for a residential solar system.
The company also offers 25-year workmanship and roof penetration warranties in addition to the standard 25-year product warranty. They ensure the performance of their solar installations by conducting an 86-point quality inspection to finish off each project.
Kota Energy Group is the single highest-rated solar installer for Bakersfield on Solar Reviews, where the company holds an impressive 4.8-star rating. They have the same high rating on Google after 65 reviews.
They do have a lower 3.86-rating on the BBB, though they do only have seven reviews on the platform. The company has also received a single complaint on the site from a customer upset with being constantly pestered by their sales representatives.
Based out of Bakersfield, Bland Company provides solar installation, air-conditioning and roofing services to customers in the surrounding regions. They’ve been in business for over 30 years, and have built a great reputation for themselves in their local community.
Bland Company has their headquarters in Bakersfield, with smaller office locations in nearby Fresno and Atascadero. They are able to serve customers across the entire Central Valley and Central Coast region.
Licensing and Certification
Bland Company holds four contractor licenses for California, which are the C20 heating and air-conditioning, C46 Solar, C10 Electrical and C39 Roofing licenses. The company does not appear to be NABCEP-certified, however.
Founded in 1985, Bland Company has been helping customers in the local community with their solar, roofing and air-conditioning needs for more than 30 years. They are able to install off-grid, grid-tied, and grid-tied with battery backup solar energy systems, along with solar panel cleaning services for your existing systems.
Bland Company carries products from many different major solar brands, such as LG, Longi, and Solar Edge. This allows them to heavily customize each individual installation to suit your specific needs.
Bland Company is the second highest-rated Bakersfield solar company on Solar Reviews, with a 4.64 rating from 51 reviews. The company has even made it onto the site’s list of the Top 100 Solar Installers in the nation. They are also well-reviewed on Google, with a 4.5-star rating after 37 reviews.
But while Bland Company only has 25 reviews on Facebook, their reception there has been less positive and they only hold a 3.9-star rating on the site. Most of the complaints center around slow customer service responses, with many customers unhappy that it took weeks for the company to return calls or fix issues with their installed system.
SunPower by SunSolar
SunSolar prides itself on offering the newest cutting-edge solar panels from solar manufacturer Sun Power to its customers. Not only does the company specialize in rooftop solar, they also have experience designing and installing ground-mounted and carport solar energy systems.
SunSolar is headquartered in Bakersfield, but the company also has offices in nearby Visalia, Fresno and Anaheim. They primarily serve customers in Kern and Fresno county.
Licensing and Certification
SunSolar holds the required C46 Solar license for California. They are also NABCEP-certified solar PV installers.
SunSolar was founded by owner Scott Ryan in 2008 in California’s Central Valley, and they are still focused on serving local customers in the region today.
In partnership with SunPower, SunSolar installs exclusively SunPower Equinox systems, which is a complete solar energy system with all parts built by SunPower. This means instead of having separate 10-25 year warranties for the inverter, solar panel, racking etc, you can enjoy a complete 25-year warranty for your entire system. SunSolar’s complete warranty even provides repair and replacement at no extra labor and shipping cost!
SunSolar enjoys exceptional reviews on Facebook, where they hold a perfect 5-star rating even after 121 reviews. Many customers rate them highly for their professionalism, and ability to stick to given schedules. They also hold a good record on Google, where they have a 4.2-star rating from 72 reviews.
The company does have a more mixed reception on the BBB though. While they are accredited with an A+ on the site, they only hold a 2.71-star rating on the site with 3 complaints, none of which have been resolved. Keep in mind that they have only received 7 total reviews on the site however. SunSolar has also addressed each complaint in detail, and two of the complaints appear to concern solar installations not actually involving the company. The customers simply confused SunSolar with the solar product manufacturer SunPower.
This Utah-based solar company was founded in 2013, and you can also find them serving customers in Bakersfield today. In addition to building and designing solar installations for their customers, they also offer power-purchase agreements, where you can buy renewable electricity directly from them at fixed rates.
Solcius Solar has their headquarters in Utah, but the company has a service area which includes the states of California, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Carolina.
Licensing and Certification
Solcius holds the required C10 Electrical and C46 Solar licenses for California state. They are also NABCEP-certified.
Solcius is one of the largest solar companies operating in the country, with operations in ten US states. They have an automated system to constantly update customers on the status of their solar installation, and the company also boasts some of the fastest installation times in the industry.
Solcius gives customers the option of either paying for their solar energy systems completely upfront, or through monthly loan installments. You can also directly purchase solar power from their facilities at fixed rates, which can be a better deal compared to your current utility fees.
Solcius’ main Utah headquarters has received close to 2,000 reviews, and maintains a good 4.4-star rating. They are also well-reviewed on other platforms: the company holds a 4.2-star review on Facebook after 290 reviews, and an above-average 4.07-star rating on Solar Reviews from 237 customers. While many customers were satisfied with their quick installation times, some of the common complaints revolved around slow customer service after installation and issues with connecting their system to the local grid.
The company also has 90 complaints on the BBB, of which only 28 are resolved. They do reach out to the majority of negative reviews and attempt to correct mistakes, however.
BSW Roofing and Solar
BSW Roofing and Solar is by far the oldest company on our list: they’ve been in business for over 50 years! While the company started out as a wholesale distributor of roofing materials, they are now one of the most trusted solar and roofing installers in Bakersfield.
BSW Roofing and Solar has their headquarters in Bakersfield, and mainly serves customers in the city.
Licensing and Certification
BSW Roofing and Solar hold a General Building license, C39 Roofing license and C46 Solar license for California. They do not appear to be NABCEP-certified.
BSW stands for Bakersfield Shingles Wholesale, which is the business that BSW Roofing and Solar was originally involved in. Founded by roofing contractor Ernest Montoy in 1971, the company has stayed in the family since and is still being run by his sons. Today, BSW also specializes in installing rooftop solar in Bakersfield, along with solar-powered attic fans which can help reduce your need for air-conditioning.
The company is partnered with LG and Certainteed, and primarily uses high-quality solar products from these two suppliers.
BSW Roofing and Solar is well-loved by most of its customers: they have a 4.9-star rating on Google after 91 reviews, and also boast a 4.6-star rating on Facebook, as well as a perfect 5-star rating on the BBB with 6 customer reviews and no complaints.
Many reviewers appreciated their professionalism and honesty, with many customers reporting that BSW often offered them the most cost-effective solar proposal in comparison to other solar installers operating in the area.
Solar Optimum has been one of California’s leading solar installers for the last 12 years. Ranked the top commercial solar installer in the country by Solar Power World Magazine in 2019, the company are experts in both residential and commercial solar installations. They are also qualified to carry out roofing work, which means that they don’t need to rely on sub-contractors to carry out the roofing renovations necessary for rooftop solar.
Solar Optimum is headquartered in Glendale, California, though they have office locations throughout the state, including one in Bakersfield. They mainly serve customers in LA, Ventura & Oxnard OC, San Diego and Bakersfield.
Licensing and Certification
Solar Optimum holds a C10 General Electrical, General Building and General Engineering license for California. They do not appear to be NABCEP-certified.
Solar Optimum was founded in 2008 by entrepreneur Arno Aghamalian with the goal of promoting climate-friendly technology. The company today offers its residential solar customers one of the best warranty packages in the industry, with 25-year roof, workmanship and production guarantee warranties in addition to a 25-year product warranty.
Their 25-year production warranty is especially generous. Not only would the company continuously monitor your installed solar energy system for 25 years, they would also compensate you if your system generates less electricity than estimated in the initial contract.
Solar Optimum is well-loved by its customers on Google, where they possess a 4.9-star rating with a whopping 377 reviews. And while they do only have 33 reviews on Facebook, they maintain a perfect 5-star rating on the site as well.
Solar Optimum is also highly-rated on the BBB, with a 4.95-star rating after 241 customer reviews. The company is accredited with an A+ rating on the platform, but have received 5 complaints, of which 3 have been resolved. Solar Optimum seems to have made an honest effort to address each complaint, some of which appear to have been caused by slow processing of documents by the county government during Covid.
Semper Solaris is a veteran-owned company which offers solar, roofing and air-conditioning work for their California residents. They make it a point of pride to hire veterans, and there are currently 23 US veterans working for the employee in various roles.
Semper Solaris has their headquarters in El Cajon of San Diego County, but they have 15 other office locations in California state, including one in Bakersfield. They main serve customers in San Diego, Los Angeles, Bay Area, Sacramento, Monterey, Fresno, and Bakersfield.
Licensing and Certification
In addition to the required C46 Solar and C10 General Electrical contractor licenses for solar energy installation, Semper Solaris also holds a General Building, C39 Roofing and C20 Heating and Air-conditioning license for California. However, the company is not NABCEP-certified.
Semper Solaris derives its name from the Marine Corps motto “Semper Fidelis”. The company was founded in 2012 by ex-Marine Corps Captain Kelly Shawhan and entrepreneur John Almond, and makes giving back to US veterans a core part of their mission. Not only do they actively hire veterans, the company also features a “Semper Cares” initiative which provides nominated veterans with free home improvements.
They offer customers the option of choosing an “All-American” installation, featuring only products made by American manufacturers. Military and First-responders customers can also enjoy a discount of $500 on solar installation costs.
Semper Solaris enjoys rave reviews online across the board. They have a 4.7-star rating on Google after 53 reviews, 4.6-stars on Facebook with an incredible 530 reviews, and a 4.37-rating on the BBB with 190 customer reviews. Many satisfied customers spoke well of the company’s ability to answer and address their questions on solar power.
While the company does have 32 complaints on the BBB, 18 of the complaints have been resolved and Semper Solaris have answered all recent complaints in detail.
NRG Clean Power
NRG Clean Power has over 30 years of experience installing solar for their satisfied California customers. They post many detailed reviews and comparisons of the solar products they use in their installations, helping customers make more informed choices on which manufacturers to go with.
NRG Clean Power has their headquarters in Los Angeles, but they are able to serve customers across the states of California and Texas, including in Bakersfield.
Licensing and Certification
NRG Clean Power holds a General Building license, C20 Heating and Air-conditioning license, and C10 Electrical license for California. They also employ NABCEP-certified PV installation professionals.
NRG Clean Power was founded in 1987 in California, and have expanded today to offer their solar installation and roofing services to customers across both California and Texas. The company is partnered with major solar manufacturers such as LG, Panasonic and Enphase, and can also help customers with installing both solar roofs (a roof made from tiles capable of generating solar power) and conventional rooftop solar systems.
NRG Clean Power has been awarded Diamond Certified status by the American Ratings Corporation for six consecutive years, for their excellent track record in keeping customers satisfied.
NRG Clean Power has excellent online reviews: they have a 4.7-star rating from Google after 141 reviews, and a similarly impressive 4.71-star rating on Solar Reviews with 134 reviews. Many customers enjoyed the easy and hassle-free installation process offered by the company. While their Facebook profile has over 1,000 followers, they have disabled all reviews on the platform.
They are also highly rated on the BBB, with a 4.56-star customer rating, but they do have 3 complaints on the platform, with one resolved. The company has addressed each complaint in detail and reached out to the unhappy customers involved.
While each solar company on our list have their own strengths, we think SunSolar by SunPower stands out from the pack. The company employs technicians with the coveted NABCEP PV Professional certification, and they also offer an extremely generous 25-year warranty package covering not just the replacement costs for all solar products used in your installation, but also any labor or delivery costs associated with maintaining your system.
And while the the company does only use products from SunPower, this also means that they would be able to quickly source and replace any faulty parts of your solar energy system. This also guarantees that any compatibility issues, which might cause future problems down the line, are kept to a minimum.
Solar Energy in Bakersfield
A combination of extremely progressive renewable energy policies, higher than average electricity rates and abundant natural sunlight make California, and Bakersfield, one of the most welcoming locations for solar energy in the nation. California state has the single highest installed solar capacity out of all US states, and it is also one of the few states where new residential buildings are required to be built with solar installed. All in all, almost one-quarter of all electricity generated in the state comes from renewable energy sources, with residential solar making up a small but growing portion of this generated power. However, still only 6.6% of all homes in California have solar installed as of 2020, showing that there is still much road to cover ahead.
Laws and Regulations
California has extremely aggressive regulatory policies promoting the adoption of renewable energy. The two main state-wide policies are its Renewables Portfolio Standard and Title 24 Building Energy Code and Solar Requirements.
Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS)
California’s RPS policies were originally passed in 2002, and mandated that the state’s public utilities derive a specific portion of their sold electricity from renewable sources. What this portion needs to be has been continuously updated over the years: the most recent revision in 2018 laid out that state utilities must generate 60% of their electricity renewably by 2030, and by 2045 all energy generated must be renewable. This puts California on track to become one of the first US states to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources, and is only beaten by New York state’s RPS mandating 100% renewable energy by 2040.
Title 24: Building Energy Code and Solar Requirements
Title 24 refers to California’s triennial update to its building energy code. New solar requirements were proposed and passed as part of the code in 2018, which states that all new single-family homes built in California after 2020, together with all multi-family residences with three or less floors, must be built with a solar energy system capable of generating enough electricity to cover the property’s entire energy consumption. California is the first US state so far to implement mandatory solar requirements for private properties. While the new policy has been criticized for raising costs of building a new home, with some studies estimating the average upfront cost increase to be around $9,500, it is also predicted to produce energy savings equal to $19,000 over the next 30 years for each home.
California state has many different license classifications which allow contractors to perform solar installations. The state issues a specific C46 Solar Contractor License, which allows license holders to install, repair and maintain both thermal and photovoltaic solar energy systems. Contractors can also legally install solar energy systems with either a A-General Engineering Contractor, B- General Building Contractor or C-10 Electrical Contractor License.
In addition to state licensing, many solar companies in California also employ NABCEP-certified solar technicians. NABCEP certifications are not required to install solar, but they are an additional guarantee of quality and expertise: these highly respected certifications are issued by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners to individual technicians only after they pass a rigorous examination.
NABCEP also grants accreditation to specific solar companies, though this prestigious accreditation is much rarer than the certificates mentioned above. The entire state of California only boasts three solar companies with this accreditation, and unfortunately none of these companies operate in Bakersfield.
Net metering is offered by almost every California utility, both public and investor-owned ones. The system is simple if you’re connected to a public utility: the excess renewable energy your solar energy system produces is exported back to the grid at flat retail rates, and count as credit on your utility bill or state taxes.
However, the net metering packages offered by investor-owned utilities (such as SDG&E, PG&E, and SCE) received an overhaul in 2016, which means it now differs from that of public utilities. Instead of being compensated at a flat retail rates, customers are compensated for their excess electricity at the average Time-of-Use(TOU) rate for that year. TOU rates are higher at peak periods, which means that customers who use the majority of their electricity at peak times would be worse off under this new change. The 2016 changes also included an additional one-time interconnection fee for connecting to the grid, and a small, flat non-bypassable charge for each kWh of electricity consumed.
More recently in 2021, the California State Assembly rejected a bill that would have further decreased the rates which these investor-owned utilities paid for excess renewable energy, on top of adding a monthly connection fee for solar power customers. While these proposed changes might make their way back into legislation sometime in the future, the relatively generous net metering rates enjoyed by California and Bakersfield residents look set to stay for now.
Tax Credits and Incentives
California residents are eligible for the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which awards a federal tax credit equal to 26% of your solar installation costs, with no cap. This credit drops to 22% in 2023, before the program is phased out altogether after 2024.
State solar incentives include the Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems, which excludes the value of your solar energy system from being factored into your property value for tax purposes. This means that while installing solar might raise your Bakersfield home value, you would not need to pay additional property taxes as a result of this increase. Low-income California residents might also qualify for the state Single-Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH) Program, which grants rebates to qualified applicants that discount the cost of installing solar for their home. You can check here for a complete list of criteria for this program.
Residential solar is a great investment for homeowners in Bakersfield right now, and we highly encourage you to look into your options for installing solar. California’s generous net-metering packages, along with the various state and federal solar tax incentives currently available, mean that you’re not only helping to save the environment by going solar, you’re saving on your utility bills too! Our list above of some of Bakersfield’s top solar companies can serve as a great starting point to your search for a solar installation partner. However, it’s also important to do your own research – each property is unique and requires a customized solar solution.
The answer would vary widely depending on the size of your installation and which solar company you decide to go with. On average, online solar sites such as Energy Sage and Solar Reviews give an estimate of $2.32 to $2.82 per watt for installing solar in Bakersfield, with larger-scale systems having a lower cost per watt. We highly recommend shopping around a few different solar companies and comparing their rates first before deciding on an installer!
Yes! California enjoys long summer days great for generating solar energy, and their relatively generous net metering system means that you can bank up utility credits in the summer and use them to offset your utility bills year-round. California’s high electricity costs also mean higher potential savings from generating your own power.
California’s 1978 Solar Rights Act prevents HOAs in the state from forbidding solar installations on your property. They can however impose “reasonable restrictions” on a solar energy system that you plan to install, provided that their restrictions either do not increase your installation costs by more than $1,000, or decrease the efficiency of your installed system by more than 10%.
Yes! California’s latest Title 24 update to the state’s building code states that all new single-family homes built in California after 2020, together with all multi-family residences with three or less floors, must be built with a solar energy system. The system must have sufficient capacity to generate enough electricity to cover the property’s entire energy consumption.
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