Top Solar Companies in Lake Forest, California

Lake Forest

Find the Best Solar Installers in Lake Forest, California

Lake Forest, California
Finding the perfect solar installer in Lake Forest, California just got easier. Skip the endless research – our guide does the heavy lifting by showcasing the top solar companies right here in Lake Forest, California. We combine in-depth analysis with feedback from local customers to present you with the best options.
Discover companies with proven track records, excellent customer reviews, and a commitment to service and quality. Here’s our curated list of Lake Forest, California’s most reliable solar installers to start your solar journey with confidence.
1
4.2Expert Score
Market leader

Suntrek provides the perfect solution for your needs, regardless of whether your target is to completely eliminate your energy payment, reduce your tier, battle time-of-use charges, invest for long-term savings, or invest for the highest ROI.

Pros
  • competitive prices
  • 25 year warranty on our products
  • flexible financing options to fit your budget
Cons
  • services are only available in certain states
  • customer service and support may not be available in all regions
  • funding options are limited
Year Founded1991
Company Websitesuntreksolar.com
Areas ServedCA, NV
Services Offeredsolar panel installation, system design, maintenance and repair, and energy storage solutions, financing options
Panel Optionsmonocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film panels
Battery Installationslithium-ion batteries
CertificationsNABCEP, SRCC, BBB

Suntrek Solar is our top choice in with a score of 4.2. Here’s why:

  • Started in 1991, they know solar inside and out and really care about their customers.
  • They provide a wide range of solar services — solar panel installation, system design, maintenance and repair, and energy storage solutions, financing options — whatever you need to get a system set up and running.
  • They work all over CA, NV, bringing solar energy to local homes and businesses.
  • Suntrek Solar is doing quality work, has a good online reputation, and is trusted by locals, as shown by many positive reviews.

See full Suntrek Solar review.

2
4.1Expert Score
Market leader

Orange County, California’s Altair Solar offers comprehensive solar panel installation services. Our first concern is providing you with thorough explanations of all aspects of the process so that you may make educated decisions about your energy use and optimize your savings. Altair Solar is an industry leader in solar panel installations for homes. Our solar installation services are available to residents and businesses across Southern California. As your solar energy provider, our service is entirely on meeting your requirements.

Pros
  • competitive prices
  • funding options
  • discounts for cash and check payments
Cons
  • limited availability in some regions
  • limited selection of panels
  • not suitable for all types of roofs
Year Founded2014
Company Websitealtairsolar.com
Areas ServedCA
Services OfferedInstallation, Financing, Solar Repair & Maintenance, Community Solar
Panel Optionsmonocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film
Battery Installationslithium-ion batteries made by LG Chem and Sonnen
CertificationsCSI, SRCC, NABCEP

Altair Solar is our top choice in with a score of 4.1. Here’s why:

  • Started in 2014, they know solar inside and out and really care about their customers.
  • They provide a wide range of solar services — Installation, Financing, Solar Repair & Maintenance, Community Solar — whatever you need to get a system set up and running.
  • They work all over CA, bringing solar energy to local homes and businesses.
  • Altair Solar is doing quality work, has a good online reputation, and is trusted by locals, as shown by many positive reviews.

See full Altair Solar review.

3
4.9Expert Score
Market leader

SunSolar U.S. will offer you with a free consultation to evaluate your solar requirements and custom build a solar and battery system that will work best for you while giving the highest potential level of efficiency and savings feasible.

Pros
  • wide range of solutions
  • high quality products
  • a wide range of financing and leasing options.
Cons
  • products can be expensive.
  • services may not be available in all regions.
  • installation process can be complicated and time consuming
Year Founded2016
Company Websitesunsolarus.com
Areas ServedCA
Services OfferedResidential solar, Commercial solar
Panel Optionsmonocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film
Battery Installationslithium-ion, lead-acid, and nickel-cadmium batteries
CertificationsNABCEP, SEIA, BBB

SunSolar U.S. is our top choice in with a score of 4.9. Here’s why:

  • Started in 2016, they know solar inside and out and really care about their customers.
  • They provide a wide range of solar services — Residential solar, Commercial solar — whatever you need to get a system set up and running.
  • They work all over CA, bringing solar energy to local homes and businesses.
  • SunSolar U.S. is doing quality work, has a good online reputation, and is trusted by locals, as shown by many positive reviews.

See full SunSolar U.S. review.

4
4.5Expert Score
Market leader

Looking for an experienced Orange County solar energy provider? Are you in need of sustainable energy services and solutions that really work? How about if you could turn sunshine into power and assist the planet at the same time? When it comes to solar energy in Orange County, no one can beat Orange County Solar’s costs on goods, installations, and project management.

Pros
  • Certified Solar Installers
  • Wide product selection
  • Access to multiple financing and rebate options
Cons
  • Cost of installation and materials can be high
  • Local government regulations and incentives may be difficult to navigate
  • May require marked property for installation
Year Founded2016
Company Websiteocsolarinc.com
Areas ServedCA
Services OfferedInstallation, Financing, Roofing, Solar Repair & Maintenance
Panel Optionsmonocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film solar panels
Battery Installationslithium ion battery LG Chem, Panasonic, and BYD
CertificationsNABCEP

Orange County Solar is our top choice in with a score of 4.5. Here’s why:

  • Started in 2016, they know solar inside and out and really care about their customers.
  • They provide a wide range of solar services — Installation, Financing, Roofing, Solar Repair & Maintenance — whatever you need to get a system set up and running.
  • They work all over CA, bringing solar energy to local homes and businesses.
  • Orange County Solar is doing quality work, has a good online reputation, and is trusted by locals, as shown by many positive reviews.

See full Orange County Solar review.

5
4.2Expert Score
Market leader

With over 10 years of installation expertise, we are a seasoned sales and installation firm that is almost unrivaled in the Northeast and beyond. In addition to REC Panels, we also provide economical, efficient, and premium warranty options. We take great pleasure in providing exceptional customer service and are dedicated to making sure every one of them is completely happy.

Pros
  • high quality products
  • professional installation and reliable customer service
  • financing options and payment discounts
Cons
  • the cost of installing solar panels can be high
  • installation services are only available in certain regions
  • no BBB accreditation
Year Founded2009
Company Websitesunnymacsolar.com
Areas ServedNJ, PA, DE, NY, MA, TX
Services OfferedInstallation, Roofing, Solar Repair & Maintenance
Panel Optionsmonocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin-film, and bifacial.
Battery Installationslithium-ion, lead-acid
CertificationsNABCEP, SEIA, CALSEIA

SunnyMac is our top choice in with a score of 4.2. Here’s why:

  • Started in 2009, they know solar inside and out and really care about their customers.
  • They provide a wide range of solar services — Installation, Roofing, Solar Repair & Maintenance — whatever you need to get a system set up and running.
  • They work all over NJ, PA, DE, NY, MA, TX, bringing solar energy to local homes and businesses.
  • SunnyMac is doing quality work, has a good online reputation, and is trusted by locals, as shown by many positive reviews.

See full SunnyMac review.

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How Much Can Solar Panels Save Me in Lake Forest, California?

Finding out how much you can save on solar in California is not a straightforward answer. It depends on several factors, including the solar billing of your utility company, the size of a potential solar system on your roof, and your household’s energy consumption. While most solar installers will try to cover all your electricity needs, the actual savings will depend on your home’s unique conditions. To get a personal estimate of how much you could potentially save by going solar, fill out a simple form on our website, use Google’s Project Sunroof solar savings calculator, or consult with a couple of local solar installation companies for a personalized savings calculation.

Solar Financing Explained

You can pay for solar panels in a couple of ways.

  • Cash
  • Installer solar loans
  • Personal loans
  • Cash-out refinance or HELOC
  • Solar Leases or Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)

First, there is a cash purchase, which in most cases provides the best price and long-term savings, but the upfront payment is not always what you can afford. If you want to own your solar panels and don’t have about $15,000 to $20,000 in the bank, you’ll have to choose solar panel financing.

You can consider a personal loan, a home equity line of credit, or a solar loan offered by the solar company. However, keep in mind that these loans come with interest and additional fees. Solar loans often are tied to dealer fees, which can increase the total cost of your solar system by 20% or more in exchange for a lower interest rate. To ensure you get the best possible deal, it is wise to compare the dealer fees and interest rates offered by different installers. This way, you can make an informed decision based on the most favorable terms available.

Some companies offer solar leases or PPAs that require zero upfront cost. But in such case, you don’t own solar panels and you are not eligible for any solar rebates or the federal tax credit. And, because you have to pay the solar company monthly, your total solar savings will be lower. Ask for detailed savings calculations from a solar installer to decide on the best option. In most cases, you will still be paying less for electricity.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How We Rank Solar Installers

Our main goal is to provide homeowners like you with top-rated solar companies you can trust. Our solar experts analyzed thousands of local and nationwide installers to get to the bottom of who is best in a specific location. The solar company ranking methodology is based on gathering input from homeowner surveys, consulting with industry experts, and extensive research into the solar energy market. Here are the things we believe are the most important to consider when choosing a solar company.

In short, here’s how we pick top installers:

    • Company that has been in business for over five years as it indicates stability, reliability, and successful installations.
    • Local solar companies over big national ones covering multiple areas as they can provide better personal attention and know more about the solar needs and regulations in their area.
    • Companies with hands-on experience and a wealth of projects under their belt are more likely to deliver efficient and timely installations that cater to specific customer needs.
    • Companies that handle their own installations instead of outsourcing to subcontractors ensure a higher caliber of work and nurture a culture of excellence and accountability in service.
    • Select a company that has a good overall reputation and reviews on sites like SolarReviews, BBB, Google Maps, and Yelp.
    • Companies that offer a wide selection of high-quality solar panels and related products and work with reputable brands.
    • Companies that provide flexible financing options such as solar loans, leases, or power purchase agreements.
    • Installers that provide substantial workmanship warranties and system performance guarantees.

Read more: Our Methodology.

What to Look for In a Solar Company:

To ensure that you partner with a great provider that can meet your needs of going solar, look for the following:

    • Make sure the solar installer has industry-standard certifications, such as those from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), indicating that they meet the gold standard in renewable energy installations. Also, verify if they are licensed, bonded, and insured for residential solar projects in your area. If subcontractors are involved, check their credentials as well.
    • Prioritize installers with a proven track record in solar installations, ideally with at least 5+ years of experience. Ask about the number of systems they’ve installed and their project portfolio. A competent installer should openly discuss the solar panels, inverters, and batteries they use if they help to take advantage of local solar incentives and rebates, and warranty coverage specifics.
    • Your installer should be forthcoming about the installation process and answer any questions you might have, like “How many solar panels will I need? Why?”, “Can you give me a detailed cost breakdown based on my energy consumption?”, “What solar panel brands do you install? Why?”, etc. They should also be transparent about their use of subcontractors, detailing their roles and how their work will be supervised.
    • A preliminary evaluation of your roof’s condition is the groundwork. The installer should advise on necessary repairs to ensure it’s ready for solar panel installation and clarify responsibilities for any potential roof damage during the process. Discuss aesthetic concerns, such as the placement of solar panels around roof vents or the possibility of relocating vents for a more visually appealing setup.
    • Check the installer’s reputation through online reviews and testimonials. They should be able to connect you with past customers willing to share their experiences. Personal recommendations from friends or neighbors who’ve gone solar can also be invaluable.
    • Solar installation costs can vary widely, so obtaining multiple quotes is advisable. Experienced installers will adjust their offers to your home’s specifics—size, energy needs, etc. For an objective cost comparison, calculate the price per watt of the proposed system, giving you a standardized basis to evaluate different quotes.

Should You Choose a Local Solar Installer or a Big National Company?

Always choose a local solar company over a big national corporation. Small local companies that operate in a distinct local area are better than multistate and national solar companies and large corporations. It’s the small local companies that get the best reviews on our website, and it’s the national multistate companies that get very poor reviews. Why so, you may ask? 

Solar is a local service business, for the most part, and it is extremely difficult to run a solar company and offer good customer service to many locations from a central office.

Local ones have a community connection, they know better the incentives and regulations in the area, and they simply care more about you than large businesses trying to get into your pocket and overprice you. While multistate solar companies might try to convince you by financial stability and “quality of installations across different locations”, try to choose a local company that meets all your criteria.

What Does a Solar Installation in Lake Forest, California Look Like?

Here’s how a solar system installation will look like once the design for your solar system is approved:

    • First, a solar installer should estimate your energy needs and analyze your annual and monthly electricity consumption, which you can find on utility bills measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Such calculations will help to understand potential savings, payback period, and the system size you need.
    • A home energy audit is something every experienced solar company would do to understand the size and output needed.
    • Next question on the list: are your house’s roof conditions good enough for installation? A solar installer should carefully inspect the roof and ensure its conditions and orientation are good to go, how and where to better place solar panels and wire the system.
    • Next, they will design the system and show you how it’s going to look.
    • You will usually need a permit to install solar panels from your local authorities, and the solar provider should handle all the paperwork.
    • The entire process might take up to 3 months, depending on the state and local regulations, while the system installation is usually up to 3 days (might take longer depending on roof conditions and system complexity).
    • The installation crew should always clean up and remove any debris, leaving your house in good condition.
    • When the system is installed, it should be checked and approved by local municipality inspection.
    • If you’re connecting your system to the grid, it has to be wired to your local utility system. You’ll apply for connection through your utility company, which will also want to inspect your system to ensure it’s following utility guidelines. Some installers may help you with this step, so always ask. Once you have all the permits, your system will be up and running, powering your home with solar.
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Andriy Ryzhyy
Andriy Ryzhyy

Andriy is a content creator and product manager with experience in digital marketing automation and renewable energy sources. Holding a Master’s degree in Linguistics, he worked as a research assistant at the University of Ottawa, focusing on applying the Optimality Theory framework to information retrieval.

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