In the state of North Carolina, solar energy has begun to make a noticeable impact. A rapidly increasing number of homeowners are either installing rooftop solar panels or seriously considering doing so in the near future.
So just how rapid has solar power’s rise been in North Carolina? Between 2022 and 2023, the state jumped from 16th in the nation in solar capacity to 4th, a huge leap that reveals how quickly solar has caught on in the Tarheel State .
What’s fascinating is that North Carolina has only modest advantages for solar compared to other locations in the Sun Belt. For example, it ranks 21st out of 50 states in yearly sunlight hours, which is above average but not remarkable .
Meanwhile, electricity prices in the state currently average about 13 cents per kilowatt-hour consumed, resulting in monthly energy bills of $146 for the average North Carolina homeowner . As a result the state’s residents are actually paying 13 percent less for electricity than consumers in the United States as a whole .
And yet, despite the absence of significant advantages, solar energy is doing exceptionally well in North Carolina. The typical non-solar homeowner there will spend $49,600 on electricity over the next 25 years, which shows that even in a state with relatively cheap electricity solar energy can be a huge money-saver .
Best solar companies in North Carolina
|Greentumble Rating Score
|NC Solar Now
|Yes Solar Solutions
|Renu Energy Solutions
|SolFarm Solar Co.
|Southern Energy Management
|Covenant Roofind and Construction
|Blue Raven Solar
Best solar company in North Carolina: NC Solar Now
NC Solar Now thrives through its dedication to localized service, which national providers have been unable to match. Based in Raleigh but able to serve home and business owners over an extended area, NC Solar leads North Carolina in both the number of residential systems installed and in the high quality of their customer reviews.
More than any other company, NC Solar Now has learned how to leverage its knowledge of local conditions and requirements for the benefit of its clients. Company representatives work closely with their customers to ensure they take advantage of all the credits, rebates and special offers available to new North Carolina solar homeowners, and they can also help them find financing options that fit their budgets.
Through its partnerships with leading manufacturers of solar panels (SunPower, Panasonic, etc.), battery storage systems (Tesla), inverters (Enphase and SolarEdge) and panel mounting systems (Iron Ridge and Unirac), NC Solar guarantees its customers access to superior equipment that incorporates the latest in high-grade solar technology. Because of their relentless pursuit of excellence in all phases of the game, NC Solar is the cream of the crop in solar energy in North Carolina.
Runner-Up: Yes Solar Solutions
All across the state North Carolina homeowners have been saying ‘yes’ to Yes Solar Solutions, a highly-regarded contractor that understands its customers’ needs down to the smallest detail. Since opening for business in 2009, Yes Solar installation teams have completed more than 1,000 solar projects in the North Carolina Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) and surrounding region, for homeowners and commercial customers alike.
Yes Solar is known for its flexible and customized solar installations. Its highly trained experts plan personalized solar projects that use the most efficient and reliable photovoltaic panels available in the industry, including those manufactured by Panasonic, Silfab and SunPower. The company was the state’s first certified Tesla Powerwall Battery dealer, which highlights their dedication to providing first-rate storage solutions that match the efficiency of their solar panels.
As of now, Yes Solar Solutions in the only North Carolina contractor fully accredited by the NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners). This is a testament to their skill, professionalism and dedication to serving the needs of their customers.
How to choose the best solar contractor in North Carolina
In North Carolina you’ll be able to choose from a variety of companies that can handle your solar panel installation, all of which have qualifications and enough experience to suggest they might be able to do the job.
You can start your search by watching this video guide on how to find the best solar panels for your home. This guide will help you decide what are your expectations and what you are looking for, which are important first steps for finding the best solar contractor for your project.
As you consider your options, you will have two chances to get to know potential solar contractors better. The first is when you interact with their customer representatives or salespeople, and the second is when you can speak to the installation experts they send to your home to evaluate your property’s suitability for solar panels. In each instance they should be open to answering any and all questions you might ask, leaving it up to you to take advantage of the opportunity.
There are many important topics you should raise with each company. You’ll need to know all about the quality of the panels and supporting equipment they sell, about their warranties for equipment performance and labor, about permitting and licensing requirements, about how long the installation will take and how much inconvenience it will cause, and about how the project might be financed. A solar contractor’s representatives should be willing and even eager to answer such queries, and the information they provide should be thorough, accurate and verifiable.
Any solar company you are considering doing business with should have excellent online reviews, if not 100-percent positive then close to it. Ideally, you’ll be able to find neighbors or people in your community who have worked with that company before and have good things to say about the experience. Some of the more prestigious and reliable contractors will even provide you with customer references if you request them, which should be taken as an indication that these companies are confident about their performance.
Once you have collected all the information you need to evaluate the various companies and their bids fairly, you should be able to make a smart and informed decision about which solar company is perfect for you.
Solar incentives in North Carolina
North Carolina’s most well-known solar energy support initiative was the Duke Energy Solar Rebate Program, through which the state’s largest utility company offered rebates of 40 cents per watt of solar power capacity installed to its customers. However, this program expired in early 2023 and there currently are no plans to bring it back .
At the present time, solar incentive programs for North Carolina residents are limited. The few options that do exist include:
#1 Property Tax Abatement for Solar Energy Systems
A study by the real estate marketplace company Zillow found that homes with solar panels sell for 4.1 more than similar homes that lack this enhancement . Nevertheless, North Carolina residents who install solar panels are 100-percent exempt from property tax increases .
#2 Piedmont Electric Member Corporation (PEMC) Solar Energy Loan Program
The Piedmont Electric Member Corporation, which furnishes electricity to tens of thousands of people in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill region, offers solar loans of up to $10,00 with a five-percent interest rate and a seven-year payback term for customers who would like to install solar panels on their rooftops .
#3 Net Metering
North Carolina’s net metering program issues credits for the excess solar energy that homeowners produce and reroute back to the grid . These credits can then be used to offset the cost of energy purchased from the grid at a later date.
#4 Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit
Homeowners in North Carolina and in the United States in general are allowed to deduct up to 30 percent of the cost of a solar installation project from their federal tax liability for the upcoming year .
The time has come for solar energy in North Carolina
Solar energy has enjoyed a steady ascent in North Carolina. This is reflected in North Carolina’s exalted status as a Top Five state for cumulative solar capacity.
If you live in the state and decide to install solar panels on your rooftop, after deducting the 30 percent federal tax credit you can expect to pay $13,005 for a six-kilowatt system suitable for a modest-sized home and $21,682 for a 10-kilowatt system designed for a large home . This works out to $2.95 per watt of capacity installed, which is just a shade below the current national average of $3.00 per watt .
Over the course of 20 years, an average-sized solar installation will likely save you $15,266 on electricity—and it is important to keep in mind that most solar panels last for 25 to 30 years, meaning more impressive energy savings are likely to be enjoyed . The average payback period for solar panels purchased in cash in North Carolina is 13 years, which represents only half of a solar panel array’s lifespan in most cases .
Google’s Project Sunroof estimates that 76 percent of all buildings in the state are capable of supporting rooftop solar panels . This statistic reveals solar energy’s tremendous potential in North Carolina, where this transformative technology has been enthusiastically embraced. The state hasn’t bent over backwards to promote solar energy, yet it has been discovered and become popular anyway, which reveals how the economics of solar have become its most powerful selling point.