It shouldn’t be that difficult to find a good solar installer in the sunshine state. But as solar energy expands, more companies are popping up to take advantage of the opportunities in residential solar. As with any contractor, some are reputable, but many are not. So we did the hard job of reviewing the ten highest-rated solar installers in the state and looked into their background, credentials, and even read customer reviews to give you a better starting point for your solar journey. Want to know our criteria? Check out what to look for in a good solar installer!
Solar Bear is one of the top-rated solar companies in Florida. In addition to solar panel installation, Solar Bear also does roofing and home insulation. Solar Bear sells their solar panels as part of a complete home energy package that comes with insulation work so that your HVAC system doesn’t work as hard, helping you save energy and money.
Solar Bear does most of their business in the Tampa and Orlando areas, though they have expanded to cover most of the cities in Central Florida.
Licensing & Certification
Solar Bear is not certified with the NABCEP. They are licensed to do roofing and electrical work in the state of Florida.
Solar Bear was founded in 2015 by Blake Ambrester, a Florida native who worked on AC units with his father. Combining his passion for working on home improvements with renewable energy, Ambrester teamed up with three other electricians from the alarm and home security industry. Together, they created Solar Bear.
Solar Bear has hundreds of completed projects around the state of Florida. They sell Tier 1 panels from brands like Panasonic, LG, SolarEdge, and Silfab. In addition to solar panels, they offer energy storage technologies, roofing and insulation services, PV system maintenance, energy auditing, and financing. Solar Bear also offers a 25-year labor warranty.
Solar Bear has a score of 4.8 out of 5 on their Facebook page and a 4.7 out of 5 on Google with over 700 reviews. They have an A+ rating with the BBB and 4.8 out of 5 stars with just under 500 reviews. While most customers seem pretty satisfied and have had an overall positive experience, they do have some complaints. Solar Bear has 32 complaints with the Better Business Bureau concerning a wide range of issues. Incomplete solar hookups, damage to the homes, and high electric bills are among the chief complaints. Only nine of these complaints have been resolved.
Efficient Home Services
Efficient Home Energy Services, known as EHS for short, is one of Florida’s premier home energy service companies, providing a whole host of turnkey solutions to help homeowners save on their electricity bills. Installing solar panels is the largest segment of their business.
EHS has offices in three locations, Tampa Bay, Fort Myers, and Fort Pierce. The company covers South, Southwest, and Central Florida.
Licensing & Certifications
EHS is not certified by the NABCEP. They do have construction, electrical, residential, and financial licenses for the state of Florida.
EHS was founded in 2011, giving them 10 years of experience in solar panel installation. But they don’t just do solar panels. EHS has a slew of energy-saving home improvement services to help homeowners become energy independent while lowering their overall electric bill. EHS also does roofing, insulation, window and door installments and upgrades, home energy audits, HVAC upgrades, energy storage, and financial lending.
EHS offers solar panels from brands like LG, Enphase, and Aptos. The company provides multiple warranties on their panel installations, including:
- 25 Year Panel Production Warranty
- 25 Year Panel Performance Warranty
- 25 Year Workmanship/Service Warranty
- Lifetime Roof Penetration Warranty
- 24/7 System Monitoring
- 12 Month Energy Assurance Guarantee
EHS has overall positive reviews, with a 4.8 out of 5 on Facebook and a 4.9 out of 5 on Google with over 400 reviews. They have an A+ rating with the BBB, and a 4.88 out of 5 with 420 reviews. They have 32 complaints with the BBB, mainly concerning contractual and administrative issues, with a few product malfunctions. Five of the complaints have been resolved.
SunVena is one of the new kids on the block, getting started in 2019. The company was founded by Hunter Potalivo, who has a ten-year long background in energy consulting.
SunVena’s headquarters are located in Sanford, Fl, a few miles north of Orlando. They currently operate in the Orlando area, mainly doing business in Volusia and Orange counties.
Licensing & Certifications
SunVena does not have a certification with the NABCEP. They do have a license for electrical contracting in the state of Florida.
SunVena hasn’t been around for very long, just barely passing the two-year mark. Still, the minds behind the company have well over a decade of experience in electrical contracting and energy consulting. They have amassed quite a few clients, which is impressive for such a young company.
SunVena is still a new company, so there aren’t too many reviews. The company has yet to receive a rating on Facebook. Yet, they seem to have a great track record so far. They’ve been rated 4.9 out of 5 on Google, with just over 100 reviews. The few bad reviews they do have revolve around a lack of attentive customer service. SunVena has an A rating with the BBB, and a 5 out of 5 rating with around 70 reviews, and have yet to receive any complaints.
Goldin Solar is one of Florida’s most trusted solar installers. One of the company’s big focus points is the environment, putting an emphasis on solar energy as a solution to climate change. Their website is full of interactive and informational resources pertaining to how solar energy works from an energy and financial perspective.
Goldin Solar has three offices, located in Miami, Vero Beach, and Orlando. They do most of their installations in South and Central Florida, with a heavy focus on the Miami area.
Licensing & Certifications
Goldin Solar is not certified with the NABCEP. They do have licensing for electrical, roofing, and solar contracting for the state of Florida.
Goldin Solar was founded in 2014 by Darren Goldin. To date, Goldin has over 1 GW of installed capacity around Florida, and has helped offset over 17 million pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere. They offer products from a wide range of manufacturers, including Hanwha, Panasonic, Enphase, SolarEdge, and Tesla.
Goldin services the manufacturer warranties for all of their products and has warranties for any defects in their workmanship as well.
Goldin generally has positive reviews, considering the age of the company. They have a 4.6 out of 5 on Google, with around 125 reviews. On Facebook, Goldin has a 4.8 out of 5, though with only 70 reviews. They have an A+ rating with the BBB, and have a 4.9 out of 5 with just under 100 reviews. They have received 13 complaints in the last three years, most of which revolve around poor customer service. Three of the complaints have been resolved.
PES, short for Professional Electrical Services, got its beginnings in Florida but has since spread to other parts of the South.
Their main office is in Debary, Fl, midway between Orlando and Daytona Beach. They began in Central Florida but expanded to encompass the whole state. They also have begun doing solar installations in North and South Carolina.
Licensing & Certifications
PES is not certified by the NABCEP. They are licensed to do electrical contracting in the state of Florida.
PES was founded in 1997, though they didn’t get accredited with the BBB until 2013. They began doing electrical contracting, then expanded to PV installations as solar energy became popularized. PES installs all major solar brands, including Silfab, Tesla, LG, and Q Cells. As of 2021, PES has over 5,700 PV systems installed across three states.
PES generally has positive feedback. They have a 4.9 out of 5 on Google, with about 100 reviews. On Facebook, they only have about 30 reviews, though they do have a high score of 4.8 out of 5. PES has an A+ accreditation with the BBB. They only have 29 reviews, though with a score of 4.8 out of 5. PES has had just 1 complaint with the BBB in the past three years.
Solar Ray Inc
Solar Ray prides themselves in being Florida’s first nationally accredited solar installer. Solar ray has a number of partnerships with various organizations and companies, including the Florida Solar Energy Center and the US Green Chamber of Commerce. Solar Ray does commercial installations as well as residential.
Solar Ray is headquartered in Orlando, Fl. Most of their installations are in the Central areas of the state.
Licensing & Certifications
Solar Ray is the first solar installer in the state to be certified by the NABCEP. They are also licensed solar contractors and financial officers in the state of Florida.
Solar Ray was founded in 2003. The founder, Michael Brown, has a national accreditation with the NABCEP. To date, Solar Ray has installed over 15 MW of solar panels in Florida, with over 800 installed PV systems. Their systems are certified by the Florida Solar Energy Center, and they are the preferred installer for Orange County Public Schools, Duke Energy, and UCF. They’ve also been a member of the US Green Building Council since 2008.
Solar Ray installs solar panels and equipment from a variety of brands, including Canadian Solar, Enphase, SMA, and Outback Power Systems.
Solar Ray generally has positive reviews. They score a 4.8 out of 5 on Google with over 130 reviews. They have a similar score on Facebook, with a 4.8 out of 5, but only have about 40 reviews. Solar Ray has an A+ accreditation with the BBB, and has a 4.6 out of 5 with just over 20 reviews. They have no complaints with the BBB.
Solar Source is one of the larger solar installers in Central Florida. With a vast array of projects under their belt, Solar Source has been able to expand throughout the state, even taking over smaller Florida-based installers like Superior Solar. In addition to PV systems, Solar Source also installs solar hot water heaters and solar pool heaters.
Solar Source has two offices in Orlando and Tampa. Most of their work is done in Central Florida.
Licensing & Certifications
Solar Source has three technicians who are accredited by the NABCEP. They also have licenses for general contracting, solar installation, electrical contracting in Florida, and licenses to provide training courses to electricians and contractors.
Solar Source has a long track record, being founded in 1984. They’ve installed over 60,000 PV systems across the state of Florida, which they equate to removing 12,000 cars off the road in terms of CO2 emissions. Three of their contractors are certified by the NABCEP, and the company is a member of the Florida SEIA.
Solar Ray provides products from a variety of different manufacturers, including LG, Panasonic, Tesla, Canadian Solar, and SolarEdge.
Solar Source has received positive feedback from customers. They have yet to receive a score on Facebook, but their page is liked and followed by well-known organizations like Duke Energy, Greenpeace USA, and local Florida politician Charlie Crist. They have a 4.7 out of 5 on Google with about 174 reviews. Solar Source has an A+ recommendation with the BBB, and a 4.9 out of 5 with 75 customer reviews. They have 5 complaints, 3 of which have been resolved.
IQ Power installs PV systems, solar water heaters, and water treatment systems around the state of Florida. IQ has been named among the top solar installers by Solar World Magazine for five years in a row, and is considered one of the top 100 installers by solarreviews.com.
IQ Power is headquartered in Sanford, Fl, and does most of their installations in Central Florida, mainly near the Orlando area.
Licensing & Certifications
IQ Power is not certified by the NABCEP. They do have licenses for plumbing, electrical contracting, solar installation, and are certified building contractors in the state of Florida.
IQ Power was incorporated in 2009. They have installed over 20,000 PV systems, with a total installed capacity of around 2.5 MW. They don’t just do solar PV, IQ also installs solar water heaters, pool heaters, and they also install and repair water treatment systems. IQ carries products from brands like Solarworld, Enphase, and SMA.
IQ has received recognition from several top industry publications, including Solar World Magazine and solarreviews.com.
IQ Solar has generally positive reviews, though they don’t have very much feedback from their customers. They have yet to receive any reviews on Facebook, but their page is followed by trade groups like the Florida SEIA and the Florida Solar Energy Center. They have a 4 out of 5 on Google, though with only 60 reviews. IQ has an A+ accreditation with the BBB, with a customer rating of 4.6 out of 5. They have 12 customer reviews with the BBB, with 5 complaints over the past three years.
Solar Energy World
Solar Energy World offers solar installations, energy storage, and live monitoring in Florida as well as other states on the East Coast. They install solar arrays for both residential and commercial customers. Solar World is partnered with the Florida SEIA.
Solar Energy World is headquartered in Elkridge, Maryland. They’ve expanded to encompass much of the Mid-Atlantic, installing PV systems in Virginia, Washington D.C, and New Jersey. They also have an office in Tampa and have a significant presence in Central Florida.
Licensing & Certifications
Solar Energy World is certified by the NABCEP. They also have licensing for solar and electrical contracting in the state of Florida.
Established in 2009, Solar Energy World has been in business for 12 years. Starting off in Maryland, they expanded to a number of other states in the Mid Atlantic before jumping into the market in Central Florida. They’re one of the fastest-growing solar companies on the East Coast, averaging about 120 installations daily. Solar Energy World also provides roofing and home improvement services.
Solar Energy World is a partner with the Florida SEIA, and two of their technicians are registered with the NABCEP. They provide solar panels from Q Cell, Silfab, REC, and Longi. They also provide energy storage solutions like Tesla’s Powerwall, and batteries from SolarEdge and EnPhase.
Solar Energy World has received great overall reviews. They have a 4.8 out of 5 on Facebook, with over 1,600 reviews. Their Facebook page is followed by highly influential organizations such as NASA Climate Change, IKEA, and the NRDC. They have a 4.8 out of 5 on Google, though with just 24 reviews for the Tampa office. Solar Energy World has an A+ accreditation with the BBB, and a 5 out of 5, though they only have one review. They have 5 complaints with the BBB within the past three years, 3 of which have been resolved.
UniCity Solar is a newer company, being founded in 2018. In addition to residential PV, UniCity also installs community solar systems and also provides roofing and general contracting services.
UniCity is headquartered in Palm Harbor, Fl, just outside of Tampa. The majority of their installations are in Central Florida and the Tampa Bay area.
Licensing & Certifications
UniCity Solar is not certified with the NABCEP. They are licensed as building and electrical contractors in the state of Florida.
UniCity Solar was founded in 2018 and does much of their business in the Tampa Bay area. They provide solar installation and maintenance, as well as roofing and general contracting services. They provide products from Silfab, EnPhase, and Panasonic.
UniCity performs the manufacturer required maintenance on all of their products for the lifetime of the product at no extra charge. They also have a 25-year workmanship warranty and guarantee no roof leaks for the lifetime of the solar array.
UniCity has overall positive reviews from their customers. They don’t have enough reviews on Facebook for a rating, though the feedback is mostly positive. The company has a 4.8 out of 5 on Google, with just under 100 reviews. They have an A accreditation with the BBB, and a customer rating score of 4.1 out of 5, with 10 reviews. They have had only 1 complaint in the past three years.
Solar Source is the most trustworthy and experienced company on the list. They’re nationally certified by the NABCEP and are a certified solar contractor in the state of Florida, and they have a spot on Florida’s SEIA. Solar Source has some major experience under their belt, with over 60,000 installed PV systems. They’ve even been able to buy out smaller solar companies like Superior Solar. Solar Source also uses trusted brands like Tesla, LG, and Panasonic, ensuring that their clients are getting the best of the best.
Solar Energy in Florida
Despite being known as the Sunshine State, Florida has been slow to adopt solar, though the state has picked up the pace in the past few years. Total installed capacity exploded from just 200 MW in 2015 to over 6,000 MW in 2020. The state already has some of the lowest energy prices in the country, and the largest uses of residential electricity are air conditioning and pool heating. Florida is now 3rd in solar generation nationwide, and the state legislature has passed numerous laws pertaining to solar, giving out tax credits and rebates and making net metering a possibility. Floridians have also had to contend with deceitful legislation intended to harm the residential solar industry.
Laws & Regulations
The Florida Solar Rights Act protects the right to own solar panels and generate electricity, stating that any attempt to prohibit the adoption of solar panels by any entity is expressively prohibited. This includes homeowners associations, which are notorious in Florida for having a stranglehold on the rights of homeowners.
Florida also passed a law that removes the sales tax for the purchase, rental, and storage of solar energy systems, as well as laws mandating solar installations for the building and renovation of new school campuses.
2016 Presidential Election
In 2016, two amendments to the state constitution pertaining to solar energy made it on the Florida ballot. Amendment 4 was to expand tax exemptions to commercial and industrial solar panel installations, while Amendment 1 was to protect the right to own solar panels while simultaneously preventing others from subsidizing the cost of solar energy. Whereas Amendment 4 was clearly a move meant to incentivize solar, the language on Amendment 1 was less clear. Opponents argued that it would limit net metering and remove incentives for residential solar. It was also backed by large utility companies like Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy. Amendment 4 was passed by the voters, while Amendment 1 failed to get the majority vote.
Solar installers in Florida are required to be licensed. While many statewide installers aren’t certified by the NABCEP, most, if not all, are registered with the state’s Construction Industry License Board. While they are required to be certified solar installers, many companies aren’t. Instead, they are licensed electrical, construction, roofing, and/or building contractors. Regional installers who do business outside of the state are more likely to be both NABCEP certified and be licensed solar contractors in Florida.
Florida’s net metering law took effect in 2009, requiring utilities to purchase energy from customers who generate their own electricity. Net metering applies to solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and a number of other generation sources. Customers are allocated Renewable Energy Credits, called RECs, to trade with the utility in exchange for power for next month’s energy bill. The customer owns the RECs, and they have no limit as to how many RECs they can own. At the end of the year, the remaining RECs are reimbursed for cash at the avoided-cost rate, or what the utility pays for a unit of energy. While this is the statewide net metering policy, local utilities may have their own rules.
Net metering in Florida has come under fire multiple times in the past decade. Amendment 4 was funded and promoted by utility companies to deceive Floridians into voting against net metering. More recently, utility companies again partnered with trade groups who argued that net metering was unfair to the taxpayers, urging the Florida Public Solar Commission (PSC) to change the policies. In September of 2020, the PSC held a meeting and decided not to change the rules. They argued that the percentage of people taking advantage of net metering was too small to make a difference in the overall rates of other customers.
Tax Credits & Incentives
The Federal Solar Tax Credit applies in Florida, and it currently covers 22% of the cost of a PV system until 2022. Florida removed all sales tax related to all transactions involving solar energy and PV equipment, whether for residential, commercial, or industrial use. Florida also exempts homeowners from paying increased property taxes resulting from the increased home value after installing a PV system.
Florida is known for its sunny beaches and warm climate, but solar has taken a while to pick up speed. Florida’s political climate and its low energy costs are to blame. Residential solar in the state has only become widespread in the past few years as solar energy becomes cheaper and more competitive with grid power. As solar gains more traction, more companies are popping up to fill in the need for solar installations. Searching for the right solar installer can be hard, especially in a state as big as Florida. Most solar installers tend to be concentrated in populated urban areas like Orlando, Tampa, and Miami.
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