The cost to install residential solar panels in the Washington DC area has dropped significantly in the last two years. DC Solar United Neighborhoods, a consortium of cooperatives, has completed a cost comparison by inviting vendors to bid on the same job. Four vendors participated in the bidding (Lighthouse Solar, Solar City, Solar Solution and Astrum Solar), while several other vendors completed an online survey . Our goal in presenting this information is to provide as much relevant and unbiased information as possible to help you choose the installer that’s right for you. We hope you find this information helpful.
To provide basic information about installers in the area with which DCSUN is familiar, we conducted a survey. The questions are meant to give you a general understanding of each installer's capabilities and services. We asked installers to respond on topics such as how long they've been in business, how much work they've done in the District, what kind of certifications they have and what kind of financing they offer. For survey results, click the link next to each participating installer in the directory below.
Helpful Survey Terms
Four companies chose
to compete in DC Sun’s One Roof Evaluation bidding process. Participating
installers were asked to come to the residence of the same Capitol Hill
homeowner and provide a bid. Besides comparing prices, having them all bid to
install a PV system on the same roof allows one to compare equipment, size,
installation and other options.
To see the bid results click on the link next to each participating installer in the directory below or go here.
Great! To play with the numbers and tailor them to your situation, check out this spreadsheet [Link to Andy's Spreadsheet].
When looking for an installer, we recommend you get 2 to 4 quotes to compare. Getting quotes from more than one installer will help you better understand your needs and what you're looking for in an installer. One size definitely does not fit all. Choosing any contractor is a very personal experience. Don't be afraid to ask questions and ask your installer to explain things to you. Whether you're buying your system or leasing it, you're choosing a system that's going to last for 20-30 years. You should feel comfortable with your choice.
Below is a list of all the installers in the area which are known to DCSUN. For a complete list of installers approved by DDOE, please see their list under "District-Area Renewable Energy Contractors and Installers".
** Download the full survey responses here.
Thinking about going solar? Tell ‘em DC SUN or your local solar coop sent you! Many local installers will make a donation to DC SUN’s Community emPOWERment Fund if their customer is a member of DC SUN. Money in the fund goes to support solar projects for non-profits, churches, and other community organizations. So, when you talk to an installer, tell ‘em DC SUN or your solar coop sent you! (Note: DC SUN is 100% installer neutral. Installer participation in the emPOWERment fund does not constitute an endorsement of the company.)