What North Carolina lacks in traditional fossil fuel resources is more than made up for by its abundant renewable energy potential. Not only is the coastal state a great location for off-shore wind farms, it also leads the nation in solar: North Carolina has over 7 GW of installed solar power, putting it 3rd out of all US states when it comes to installed solar capacity. Solar panels harness the energy of the sun, converting it into usable electricity to supplement (and hopefully replace, in time) conventional, non-renewable grid energy.
The state’s booming residential solar industry has expanded quickly, due to strong support from robust financial incentives for solar homeowners. There’s no better time than the present if you’re planning to install solar for your North Carolina home or business. However, solar power is a long-term investment, and so it’s majorly important that you find a trusted, quality solar installer to carry out the work on your property.
Take a look at our list of the eight most popular solar installers in the state below to get started on your search. We also recommend calling up a few of the solar companies which interest you for a free quote or consultation.
Best Solar Installers in North Carolina
A quality solar installation should be able to pump out electricity for your home for decades to come. That’s why picking a good solar company right off the bat is extremely important. You want an installer who is able to stand by their work, and make things right in the event that any issues pop up further down the line. We’ve compiled a list of eight well-known North Carolina solar companies below to help you create your own solar shortlist – read on to find out which one we think is the best out of the lot!
NC Solar Now
NC Solar Now is a locally-owned North Carolina solar company dedicated to residential rooftop solar installations. They are a member of numerous green energy organizations, such as the NC Sustainable Energy Association and the NC Clean Energy Technology Center.
The company has their main office location in Raleigh, North Carolina, along with another location in Charlotte. They have the ability to serve customers all throughout the state.
Licensing and Certification
NC Solar Now holds an Electrical Contractor license for North Carolina, along with a General Building Contractor license. They employ NABCEP-certified PV installation technicians.
Founded in 2010, NC Solar Now remains committed to educating their customers on the solar process. They promise to work with and educate customers in detail on every step of the installation, and their website is full of helpful articles explaining how solar works in North Carolina.
The company offers customers a contact-free solar consultation service. They use drones to conduct a detailed photographic analysis of your property in order to design customized solar energy systems for each customer.
NC Solar Now is one of the best-reviewed solar companies in North Carolina. They have perfect 5-star ratings across Google, the BBB and Facebook, and have amassed a combined 294 customer reviews on the three platforms. Most customers love the company for its great customer service.
They are also accredited with an A+ on the BBB, though the company has received 2 complaints on the platform related to advertising and sales, which the company has responded to. One customer was upset over NC Solar’s miscommunication regarding solar rebate incentives.
8M Solar has been active in North Carolina for over 10 years, and have installed almost 1,000 solar energy systems in the state. Unlike many other solar installers, 8M Solar is also a licensed engineering firm, able to perform the necessary construction work for solar in-house.
8M Solar has their headquarters in Wake Forest, but serves customers all over North Carolina, reaching as far as Charlotte and Wilmington.
Licensing and Certification
8M Solar holds a Limited Engineering license and Electrical Contractor and Commercial General Building Contractor license for North Carolina. The company also employs a team of NABCEP-certified solar design professionals.
8M Solar was founded in 2009, and pride themselves on their superior engineering services and solar equipment. They use hardware agnostic products, meaning that each component of your solar energy system has guaranteed compatibility with every other piece. The company’s founders, Usman and Ali, are NABCEP-certified solar technicians and professional engineers, and they remain directly involved in overseeing each project.
In addition to residential solar installations, 8M Solar also has specialized experience in designing and implementing solar energy systems for chicken farms.
8M Solar has received a perfect 5-star rating from 149 customers on Google, and also maintains an impressive 4.8-stars on Solar Reviews with 60 ratings. The secret to their success seems to be the hands-on approach taken by the company’s two owners, with many customers appreciating how approachable and informative they were.
8M Solar has also received good reviews on the BBB, with a 4.35 customer rating from 9 reviewers. They are accredited with an A+ on the platform, and have not received any complaints so far.
Yes Solar Solutions
As one of the state’s leading solar installers, Yes Solar Solutions has experience putting together over 1,000 residential solar energy systems for their North Carolina customers. They were the first solar company on the East Coast to become NABCEP-accredited, and they still remain the only solar installer with this prestigious accreditation in North Carolina today.
Yes Solar Solutions is headquartered in Cary. They have carried out solar installation work across the whole of North Carolina.
Licensing and Certification
Yes Solar Solutions holds the required General Contractor and Electrical Contractor license for North Carolina. They employ both NABCEP-certified PV Installation Professionals and PV Technical Sales Professionals, and the company as a whole has also received the rare NABCEP-accreditation.
Yes Solar Solutions is a NABCEP-accredited and certified woman-owned small business founded by husband and wife team Kathy and Stew Miller in 2009. The company’s mission is to advance clean energy adoption in North Carolina, and they offer a huge range of solar services including solar panel cleaning, monitoring, inspection and warranty replacement assistance. This means that even if your system was initially installed by another company, you can turn to them for help with maintenance.
Yes Solar Solutions can also set up home electric vehicle charging stations connected to your solar installation.
Yes Solar Solutions has received the bulk of their reviews on Google, where the company has an impressive 4.9-star rating out of 106 total reviews. They also have a perfect 5-star rating on Facebook, albeit with only 13 reviews, and a high 4.5-star rating on Solar Reviews from 14 customers.
The vast majority of their customers found Yes Solar Solutions friendly, professional and a delight to work with. Their sole three negative Google reviews were left by non-customers, and were complaints that the company either did not return initial calls or quoted prices which the reviewer felt was too high.
Renu Energy Solutions
Renu Energy Solutions is a local full-service solar installation company based out of Charlotte. They provide a high level of customer support even after installation is finished by using their own mobile app, and are dedicated to providing quality customer service for the lifetime of your solar energy system.
Renu Energy Solutions is headquartered in Charlotte, though they have another North Carolina location in Raleigh along with two office locations in South Carolina. They serve customers throughout these two states.
Licensing and Certification
Renu Energy Solutions holds General Contractor and Electrical Contractor licenses for both North and South Carolina. They also employ NABCEP-certified Solar PV Professionals.
Founded in 2009, Renu Energy Solutions is one of the larger North Carolina-based solar installers on our list with operations across two US states and more than 3,300 successful solar projects. Despite their scale however, the company still recruits local employees to service the regions where it does business in, ensuring that their staff are up to date on the solar requirements and incentives for each region.
In addition to residential solar installations, Renu Energy Solutions has also installed solar for local organizations such as various schools, churches animal shelters and even the Charlotte Motor Speedway racetrack.
Renu Energy Solutions has received much love from their customers online: the company has a 4.7-star rating on Google with an astounding 235 reviews, along with a 4.77-star rating on Solar Reviews from 146 users on the site. They also enjoy similarly impressive ratings on the BBB, where they are accredited with an A+ grade and hold a 4.8-star customer rating from 48 reviews.
Renu has accumulated 6 complaints on the platform though, of which 3 are resolved. The company has made significant efforts to reach out to each unhappy customer, and in almost every case has agreed to cover all required costs to resolve the issue.
Southern Energy Management
Southern Energy Management has been operating in North Carolina for over 15 years. In addition to their solar installation business, they can also work with building contractors to build and design a certified green building able to cut down on your carbon emissions.
Southern Energy Management is headquartered in Raleigh, and they mainly serve customers in North Carolina.
Licensing and Certification
Southern Energy Management has an Unlimited General Building Contractor license and Electrical Contractor license for North Carolina. They do not appear to be NABCEP-certified.
Southern Energy Management are not just rooftop solar installation experts, but also building performance experts as well. On top of installing solar, they’re able to inspect and renovate your home, allowing it to meet green building requirements.
The company also regularly works with outside builders to construct you an energy-efficient home from the ground up – their solar installation team remains 100% in-house however. Southern Energy Management likes to measure their impact in terms of the environment, not profits: since their founding in 2001, the company has made a contribution to the climate equivalent to planting over 1.3 million tree seedlings.
Southern Energy Management has a great record with customers online. They hold a 4.9-star rating on Google with 134 reviews, along with a 4.32-star rating on Solar Reviews from 52 customers. The company also has a 4.5-star rating on Facebook after 12 reviews.
Southern Energy Management does have two complaints on the BBB, though one has been resolved and the other addressed in detail. Both complaints were about slow responses from the company regarding issues with already installed solar energy systems.
As one of America’s largest and fastest-growing solar companies, Moxie undertakes more than 3,000 individual residential solar projects each year, and has operations which span more than 25 US states. They also claim to have some of the fastest installations times and best after-installation customer service in the industry.
Moxie Solar has their corporate headquarters in Iowa, but you can also find them in most states along the East Coast such as North Carolina, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia, along with many others. Their two North Carolina offices are in Charlotte and Raleigh.
Licensing and Certification
Moxie Solar is licensed as a Limited General Building Contractor and Electrical Contractor in North Carolina. They also employ NABCEP-certified PV Professionals.
Moxie Solar was founded in Iowa in 2006, and while the company initially sought to bring more power options to Iowa residents, it has now expanded its operations to do the same for 27 other US states, including North Carolina. The company has also made efforts to give back to the community as it grew: they are a regular contributor to the Red Shamrock Foundation, a charity helping pediatric cancer patients.
Moxie Solar boasts a Rapid Installation Team, which is able to start work on your solar energy system minutes after signing the contract. They also commit to monitoring your system weekly after installation, making sure that everything is working as intended.
Moxie Solar has a positive reception online. The company’s Iowa headquarters has a 4.6-star rating on Google after 196 reviews, and they’ve also been rated 4.41-stars on Solar Reviews by 51 reviewers. There is a clear trend in Moxie’s few negative reviews, however, with the majority of complaints concerning extremely poor responses to questions or repair requests after the initial installation.
The company has also been accredited on the BBB, and given an A+ rating on the platform. They do have three old complaints on the site, and while the specific details of which have been made unavailable, two of them have been resolved.
Solar Energy World
Solar Energy World is the fastest-growing privately-owned solar installer operating on the US East Coast. Their operations span eight states, including North Carolina, and the company comes 17th in the whole nation for total residential solar capacity installed in 2021.
Solar Energy World has their corporate headquarters in Maryland, but the company has four other office locations in New Jersey, Florida, Charlotte and Alexandria. They serve customers across eight US states, including Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and Washington DC.
Licensing and Certification
Solar Energy World holds the required General Building Contractor and Electrical Contractor licenses for North Carolina. They employ a NABCEP-certified team of solar installers.
Solar Energy World was founded in 2009, and despite the huge scale of the company today they have a strict policy of never hiring subcontractors. They employ a local team of NABCEP-certified solar installers in each of the eight states they operate in, including North Carolina.
Solar Energy World has a mission of providing people with the power to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and they donate a portion of their profits to the Givepower aid organization, which builds solar-powered water purification plants in countries lacking access to clean water.
Solar Energy World enjoys a 4.8-star rating with 227 reviews on Solar Reviews, making them the second highest-rated solar installer for North Carolina on the platform. The company’s Maryland headquarters also boasts a good 4.6-star rating after 131 reviews, and their Facebook profile has a perfect 5-star rating even with 73 reviews.
The company has accumulated five complaints on the BBB, though each complaint has been addressed and three resolved. Most complaints revolve around installation issues, and more than one customer mentioned that only after complaints were formally made on the BBB platform did the company respond and properly address the situation.
Tayco Electric and Solar
Tayco Electric and Solar is a specialist in electrical pre-wiring and residential solar. Despite the company’s long 15-year history, they’re constantly keeping abreast of modern practices and solar technology, and strive to lead the industry by offering the most advanced techniques when it comes to solar installation.
Tayco Electric and Solar is located in the Indian Trail community just outside of Charlotte, and they primarily serve customers in the Greater Charlotte area.
Licensing and Certification
Tayco Electric and Solar possess the required Limited General Building Contractor and Electrical Contractor licenses for North Carolina. They do not appear to be NABCEP-certified, however.
Founded in 2006, Tayco Electric and Solar is committed to offering the best solar products to their customers. They exclusively install complete Sunpower solar energy systems, and also only use Tesla technology for their solar batteries.
The company fields 36 electrical teams, allowing them to carry out all of their work 100% in-house. Tayco Electric and Solar are also willing to stand behind their quality work, and offer a 25-year complete system warranty to their residential solar customers.
Tayco Electric and Solar has superb online reviews, but doesn’t receive as many of them due to their smaller local reach. They have a great 4.9-star rating on Google from 49 reviewers, and a very high 4.77-star rating on Solar Reviews based on 37 opinions. Many of their satisfied customers on Google had entertained quotes from multiple different solar companies, and spoke about how Tayco was able to win them over with their expertise and professionalism.
Out of all the excellent solar companies above, we have to give the crown to Yes Solar Solutions. The company is our top pick for North Carolina due to its many impressive certifications: in addition to employing NABCEP-certified PV Installation and Sales Professionals, they have the added distinction of being the only NABCEP-accredited solar company in the state. There are only a total of 10 accredited companies in the entirety of the US.
These impressive qualifications, along with the company’s rich experience and many great online reviews, makes Yes Solar Solutions stand out from the crowd of solar installers in North Carolina. We recommend shopping around and looking at free quotes from a few different solar companies before making a decision, and Yes Solar should definitely be on your initial shortlist.
Solar Energy in North Carolina
North Carolina is one of the fastest-growing solar markets in the nation, largely driven by continued investment into large-scale solar projects within the state. If all goes well, the state should see its already substantial solar portfolio expand by up to 3 GW in the next five years. Most of this renewable energy is being eagerly snapped up the North Carolina’s main utility Duke Energy, who have also signed major contracts buying up solar energy produced in other states.
But the coastal state is no slouch either when it comes to residential solar power, thanks to the many generous state and federal solar incentives which residents have access to. North Carolina has historically had to import much of its power due to a lack of fossil fuels, but all that is set to change as the state continuous its fast adoption of renewable electricity.
Laws and Regulations
North Carolina set its Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) in 2007, which are state regulations that mandate how much renewable electricity that utilities have to use. Unusual for a state with such high solar power capacity, its RPS requirements are relatively modest: investor-owned utilities need to source 12.5% of their energy supply from renewable sources by 2021, while municipal utilities and electric co-operatives need to source 10% of electricity renewably by 2018. And unlike many other states with similar regulations, North Carolina does not currently have a set future date when utilities are required to source 100% of their energy renewably.
While the state’s current governor Ray Cooper has called for more aggressive policies to fight climate change, such as requiring North Carolina utilities to become carbon neutral by 2050, it is unclear when or if a new energy bill to replace the current REPS would be passed into law.
Solar Rights Laws
North Carolina forbids any ordinances set by individual cities or counties from prohibiting the installation of solar panels. Property deeds or HOA rules are also not allowed to forbid solar panel installation.
There are two big caveats to this law however: rules and ordinances can still be set which restrict where solar panels can be placed, as long as they do not outright forbid installation of these panels. Additionally, these solar rights do not apply to rooftops facing common or public areas, or which are clearly visible from the ground, which may be problematic since solar panels must be placed according to the direction they will receive the most direct sunlight from throughout the year.
This means that if your property includes a sloped, low-lying roof which faces out to a nearby road, it is perfectly legal for your county or housing association to forbid you from installing solar panels. When in doubt, check with the relevant authorities whether you’re allowed to install solar on your home!
Solar companies working in North Carolina are required to hold a General Building Contractor license, which is required for any contract work worth $30,000 or more that involves constructing improvements to any type of building. They are additionally required to possess an Electrical Contractor License for the electrical work necessary to install a solar energy system. Unlike a few other states, there is no specific solar power contractor license for North Carolina.
State licenses aside, many solar companies in North Carolina also employ NABCEP-certified PV technicians. While this certification is not required by law, they do provide an additional layer of assurance that the solar company knows what it’s doing. These highly-respected certifications are handed out by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners to individual solar technicians or installers after a tough examination.
In addition, NABCEP also has an accreditation program for a solar company as a whole. This company accreditation is much rarer than the individual certificates mentioned above: Only ten solar companies in the US have this rare distinction, and the only accredited company in North Carolina is Yes Solar Solutions, which we cover in our solar companies comparisons above. To become accredited, a company has to meet a set of criteria related to staffing, general policies, and whether or not the company follows industry best practices. Only after three random inspections confirming these requirements does a solar company become accredited.
Net metering is offered by all three of North Carolina’s major investor-owned utilities: Duke Energy, Dominion North Carolina Power and Progress Energy. Residential solar energy systems need to be below 1MW in capacity in order to qualify. If the solar energy which you generate in a single billing month more than offsets your electricity bill, the excess is credited to you, and this credit is fully carried over from month to month. On the first of June each year, however, all unused credits on your account would be wiped by the utility.
Tax Credits and Incentives
North Carolina’s Duke Energy offers a lottery-based solar rebate program, which provides a grant of $0.60/watt to homeowners looking to install a residential solar energy system. The grant is capped at $6,000 for each individual, and the program overall only awards grants for 20 MW of solar installations each year – due to high demand, a lottery is held twice a year to decide which applicants receive this grant.
And in addition to this generous grant, North Carolina residents can also apply for the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This federal scheme provides solar incentives in the form of a federal tax credit worth 26% of your solar installation costs. Unlike the Duke grant there is no cap to this tax credit, and also no lottery system – all qualified applicants are guaranteed to receive this credit.
While North Carolina still has room for growth when it comes to implementing more aggressive solar policies and solar rights laws at the state level, they have some of the most generous financial incentives available for installing residential solar. The state also boasts many extraordinarily competent solar companies. Give some of them a call today for a free solar consultation – you might be surprised at how much going solar can help you save on your utility bills! We recommend starting with a few of the hand-picked companies on our list above, but don’t forget to do some of your own research as well!
Yes, North Carolina is a great location for solar! Net metering which compensates you at full retail rates for excess generated electricity is available at all of the state’s major utilities, and if you’re lucky you might even qualify for a solar grant from Duke Energy. The state also has many incredible solar companies, and we highly recommend entertaining a few free quotes from those doing business in your area, if your home doesn’t already have solar installed!
Unfortunately, Homeowner’s Associations in North Carolina are legally allowed to prevent solar panel installations on your property, if the panels are clearly visible from a public location. Check with your local association for their specific rules. Any solar companies operating in your neighborhood would also likely know about any such restrictions, so make sure to ask this question before committing to a solar installation.
Residential solar energy systems are entirely exempt from property taxes, despite adding value to your property. Solar panels installed on a business, however, might be taxed, along with solar panels which generate electricity which is mostly sold instead of for personal use. Consult with your solar company to see if any of these cases apply to you.
Yes, North Carolina residents can apply for the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, which gives you a federal tax credit equal to 26% of your solar installation costs. There also used to be a state solar tax credit, which gives back 35% of your installation costs in the form of a state tax credit – this scheme unfortunately expired in 2015. State residents can still apply for Duke Energy’s solar rebate, however, which provides a grant of $0.60 per watt of solar installed, up to $6,000 for one individual.
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