Best Solar Panel Installation Companies in Georgia

Like the rest of the sunny South, Georgia has plenty of sunshine to make solar panels worth it. Its incentives lag behind other states, though, making solar a less attractive option for homeowners looking to save money on their electric bills.

Even still, the federal tax credit bolstered by the Inflation Reduction Act goes a long way toward making a solar panel system a more affordable option for homeowners. When tax season rolls around, you’ll receive a 30% rebate on the cost of any clean-energy additions you’ve made to your home. This means you’ll get a chunk of change back for your solar panel system and any solar batteries you might choose to invest in.

The Peach State hasn’t legislated many common state incentives, such as net metering policies, into existence. But some of those gaps are filled by nongovernment entities, such as with the Central Georgia EMC’s loan program providing different options for financing solar panel systems for your home. Consult with your solar installer to see which incentives you might be able to take advantage of.

Depending on your circumstances and goals, it still might make sense to go solar in a state lacking incentives. Here are some of the best national solar installation companies that can help you get started on your switch to solar energy.

The best national solar companies in Georgia

Georgians have choices when it comes to solar companies. The Solar Energy Industries Association counts 80 solar installers and developers.

Palmetto Solar

Best overall

Solar panels are typically low maintenance equipment, but they’re also unfamiliar. If you want to reap the benefits of solar but will have a bit more peace of mind if someone else is making sure it’s working, Palmetto might be a good fit for you. Just remember to add the cost of Palmetto’s monitoring service in to your payback period calculations.

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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.

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Freedom Forever

Best for cash customers

Include Freedom Forever in your search if you want the backing of a national company that installs a wide variety of the most popular solar equipment available. Freedom Forever also extends a couple of products that take some of the pain and risk out of going solar, like a production guarantee and an escrow option with cash purchases. Online reviews say customer satisfaction has been low of late, though the company says that’s changing.

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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.

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Momentum Solar

All in-house installers

Momentum installs in 11 states without using subcontractors. While using in-house installers doesn’t guarantee a better experience, it does suggest you’re likely to get a more uniform experience from Momentum. The fact that Momentum backs its installations with a 25-year workmanship warranty hints at a strong belief in its crews’ ability. If Momentum is part of your search, consider the warranties against leaks that other companies offer. Momentum’s is five years, which isn’t the best.

Local solar companies in Georgia

While there are a lot of national solar companies that operate in the Peach State, you can also opt for a local installer. While CNET experts haven’t personally reviewed these companies, here are some of the most prominent installers that appeared during our research.

Located in Kennesaw, Georgia, Creative Solar provides solar design and installation services throughout the state. Creative Solar installs solar batteries with choices of the Tesla Powerwall and Sonnen solar battery. The company offers a limited installation service warranty in addition to a 25-year no-leak guarantee and manufacturer performance and product warranties. 

Solar SME is a solar company serving six states, including Georgia and North Carolina. The company installs panels from brands like Panasonic and Qcells. If you’re interested in adding a solar battery to your system, Solar SME provides choices from LG, Generac, Panasonic and Enphase. You can receive reward credits through the Solar SME referral program, including a potential $1,000 when your referral makes a purchase. Average cost of solar panels in Georgia 

How to determine which Georgia solar company is best for me

Like searching out a contractor for any home improvement project, finding a solar installer can be a stressful and confusing process. Here are a few tips for finding a good fit near you.

  • Understand your local incentives: Make sure you know the tax credits, net metering and other perks that are available to you. A reputable sales representative will be able to explain them, but understanding them for yourself will help you identify an honest pitch and one that’s promising too much. If you live in the United States and pay enough taxes, you qualify for the 30% tax credit for installing solar panels, batteries or both.
  • Talk to your friends and neighbors: What’s better than online reviews? Real-life ones. If you know someone who’s had solar panels installed, ask them about their experience. You’ll be able to ask more follow-ups and get a clearer picture of their experience than just reading online reviews — and you might even be able to throw a friend or neighbor a referral kickback as a bonus.
  • Ask for licenses: Solar installers in Georgia need to be associated with a “licensed electrical contractor,” according to the state government. You can ask potential installers or search their licenses with the state or a national certifying board, like the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.
  • Get multiple quotes: Getting multiple quotes to compare is the best hedge against getting a bad deal. It’ll help you identify any outliers and avoid paying too much. It’s best to get anywhere between three and five offers before deciding to act on a plan.
  • Double-check savings estimates: Solar installers typically ask for your last few energy bills to size your system and estimate your savings. Check their math and run your own calculation. A simple savings formula can get you started.

Cost of solar panels in Georgia

Whether or not the average cost of solar panels is a useful comparison point is up for debate. Systems vary in price based on size, additional upgrades (like a battery), local cost of labor and permitting and local incentives all affect the initial cost and savings potential of a rooftop solar system. Still, here’s one estimate of the average cost of a typical solar panel system in Georgia, from

Average cost of solar panels in Georgia

Typical system size (kW)Price per wattTotal installed costCost after 30% federal tax credit
National average8.6$3.67$31,558$22,091

Provided below is a map that shows the average total price, cost per watt and system size for solar panel systems in different states, according to data from Prices shown do not represent fluctuations from tax credits or state solar incentives. If FindEnergy doesn’t have solar data for a particular state, it appears grayed out on the map.

Georgia solar panel incentives and rebates

“Georgia has a long way to go when it comes to rooftop solar adoption,” Jill Kysor told CNET in May of 2023, when she was the senior attorney and leader of solar initiatives with the Southern Environmental Law Center. “There’s very low numbers when it comes to rooftop solar adoption, especially compared with some other states in the region.”

Georgia offers fewer financial incentives for residents to go solar compared with neighboring North Carolina and South Carolina, which have three or four times more residential solar installed, Kysor said.

Many rebate and solar loan programs were available in previous years but have now expired. Georgia isn’t a state that requires net metering, so contact your utility company and ask about any potential solar benefits. 

“I think it’s really important for folks to have a good understanding of what policies are in place with their electric utility and the stability of those policies,” Kysor said. “If they sign up, will that policy only be in place for a couple of years? You’ll want to know how long you can depend on having that particular policy.”

Luckily, Georgia residents are able to apply for the federal solar tax incentive, the residential clean energy credit, which offers a 30% tax credit on your next return for the price of a solar system. 

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

“The Inflation Reduction Act ramped tax credits up to 30%. For folks that might be installing solar, that tax credit can apply to storage now as well, which is really exciting,” Kysor said. “There are also some areas that might be able to get even higher tax credits. If you live near a retired coal plant, you might get another 10% tax credit added on, so there are a lot of good opportunities right now.” 

Learn more about the solar tax credit and perks in the following table. 

Georgia solar incentives

Central Georgia EMC loan programCentral Georgia EMC provides a loan program for energy efficiency upgrades, including solar systems. Review the company website for specific details regarding eligibility and current rates.
Net metering/billingThere is no law requiring net metering — how you get compensated for the energy you produce, but don’t use — from all utilities in Georgia. Contact your utility to see if net metering or billing programs are available.
Residential clean energy creditA 30% federal tax credit applied to your next tax return for solar systems installed from the beginning of 2022 through 2032. In 2033, the credit decreases to 26%, then to 22% in 2034. The credit is currently set to expire in 2035.

How to pay for solar panels in Georgia

Solar is a serious investment, and you’ll want to know all your purchasing options before making a decision. Pick a method that best fits your financial situation. Here are a few ways to pay for your solar panels.

Cash: Cash purchases are the interest-free and tax credit-eligible option, but paying upfront may not be affordable. If you have plans to go solar in the future, consider saving up in a high-yield savings account. This will help net you more money over time.

Solar loan: Solar installers will typically offer solar panel financing options in the form of a solar loan. These loans may be a good option for those interested in taking advantage of tax credits but who can’t pay upfront. Be sure to inspect all associated fees and interest rates. 

Other loans: Solar loans aren’t your only available financing option. You could take out a personal loan through your bank or open a home equity line of credit. Just be aware that if you go with a HELOC, your home becomes collateral. It’s a good idea to compare loan rates with multiple providers before signing off on anything.  

Lease or power purchase agreement: Solar leases and power purchase agreements are different ways you can benefit from solar panels without having to buy them. Instead, a solar company will own the panels. In a solar lease, you pay a fixed monthly fee, but in a power purchase agreement, you pay a fee based on the energy you consume from the solar panels. 

Installation factors to consider

Choosing solar power is a financial commitment. Consider the following five things to help determine if installing a solar system is right for you. 

  • Current roof condition: If your roof is old or damaged, repairs may be required to ensure your solar system lasts. A certified installer should recommend any needed maintenance prior to solar panel installation. 
  • Home location: If your roof is shaded by trees or other outdoor elements most of the day, your solar panels may not generate as much energy. Panels perform best with a minimum of four “peak sun hours,” a measurement of sunlight intensity. 
  • Insurance policy: Review your current homeowner’s insurance policy. If the policy doesn’t cover solar panels, contact your insurance company. 
  • Neighborhood rules: Some homeowner associations or other neighborhood associations in Georgia have rules regarding solar panels and placement. Make sure your plans follow any neighborhood rules.
  • Rent or own: Community solar programs are subscription-style solar services for renters or others who don’t have solar panels. 

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.

Georgia solar power FAQs

What is the price of solar panels in Georgia?

The cost of a solar system varies widely depending on a lot of factors, but one estimate puts is at $18,700 for a 5 kilowatt system. It’s one of the reasons you should get multiple quotes from different installers. Prices vary because of many factors, including how efficient your solar panels are, how many panels your system includes and the cost of labor and permits near you.

Are solar panels worth it in Georgia?

How do I choose a Georgia solar panel company?

There are many options for solar panel companies in Georgia. Review those mentioned on this page in addition to CNET’s top picks. We recommend getting quotes from multiple solar companies to choose the best option for your home and budget. 

CNET’s Sarah Drolet contributed to this article

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