Take a look at the marketing for many solar installers in the U.S. and you’ll notice a pattern: a focus on American-made solar panels. Why? Partly because of patriotism, partly because of cost, but mostly because American-made panels are typically high-quality and more environmentally friendly than panels produced elsewhere.
Here are some of our favorite solar companies using American-made solar panels.
#1. Freedom Solar
Freedom Solar has regional offices and teams of installers across the U.S. and is a SunPower Master Dealer, meaning it offers the highest efficiency American-made solar panels available.
Freedom Solar is also a preferred installation partner for many utilities, which can mean greater access to rebates and other incentives, depending on where you live. And those well-run regional offices mean the friendly staff at Freedom Solar know their codes, permitting, and incentives very well.
Freedom Solar also offers an excellent 25-year warranty that includes workmanship and production guarantees. This is the best I’ve seen of any solar installer and a great sign that the company is confident in the quality of its work.
- NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installation Professionals (PVIP)
- NABCEP Certified PV Technical Salesmen (PVTS)
- Texas Licensed Master Electricians (ME)
- Texas Licensed Electrical Contractors (EC)
- Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer
- SunPower Master Dealer.
SunPower makes the most efficient solar panels currently available and it makes (some of) them in America! SunPower separated its manufacturing arm in 2019, with Maxeon manufacturing the panels and Sunpower focusing on selling and installing PV arrays in the U.S.
SunPower/Maxeon panels are made in a variety of locations, including in the U.S., Mexico, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Maxeon is headquartered in Singapore, while SunPower is based in the U.S.
SunPower panels are Cradle to Cradle Certified sustainable and have in-built microinverters to enhance efficiency and make for simpler, faster installations.
SunPower also offers its home solar monitoring systems and high-capacity SunVault battery storage. All of this gear is designed to work seamlessly, with no compatibility issues or blame game if something isn’t quite working right.
In addition to being an American solar panel manufacturer, SunPower works with installers across the U.S. to get its panels up on roofs, carports, ground-mounts, and wherever folks want to go solar. This longstanding company has been in business for more than 35 years and is A+ BBB Accredited with a whole heap of NABCEP Certified employees.
SunPower offers the backing of a big business, with all associated technical and customer support, plus the local know-how of city- and state-based installers. With SunPower, customers can access a variety of solar loan and leasing options and have the assurance of a 25-year workmanship and system warranty.
SunPower also offers a generous performance warranty where it will add more panels or compensate you for the difference in output if your panels don’t produce the energy given in your estimate from the company.
The downside, of course, is that choosing SunPower as your installer means you only get access to SunPower equipment. If you’re keen on a Tesla PowerWall, Enphase inverter, or REC panels, for instance, you’ll want to choose another provider.
Our advice is to go with SunPower if you want a great deal on the best solar panels available, just be sure to check which local crew will be working on your installation and see if you can get testimonials from customers already serviced by that crew.
- NABCEP Certified PVIPs
- Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
- A+ BBB Accreditation
- Uses licensed electricians for installations (including Blue Raven Solar installers)
#3. Elevation Solar
Elevation Solar provides solar installations across Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, and Texas. The company works with many of the best American-made solar panel brands, including LG, QCells, and Panasonic. It also works with other major solar panel, inverter, and battery brands but doesn’t offer SunPower panels.
Panasonic works with Tesla to manufacture its solar panels in Buffalo, New York. LG is getting out of the solar panel business but has manufactured its panels mostly in Huntsville, Alabama. QCells has a factory in Dalton, Georgia, even though the business is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, and its HQ for Technology & Innovation is located in the Solar Valley in Thalheim, Germany.
In addition to offering a lot of different solar panel brands, Elevation Solar offers help with home energy efficiency upgrades. In fact, Elevation Solar’s whole approach focuses on helping you lower your energy burden, so you can install a smaller, cheaper solar array.
Fans of data will also love Elevation Solar as the company has a patented Curb home energy monitoring system (also made in America!). This can be installed with or without a solar installation and offers very granular information on where energy comes and goes in you home. It also allows you to program certain appliances and systems to make the most of lower cost energy and reduce peak demand.
Elevation Solar has been BBB Accredited since 2016, is A+ rated, and employs at least one NABCEP Certified PVIP. The company won Contractor of the Year for the U.S. Department of Energy in 2019, faced some struggles in 2021 as its pace of growth outstripped its capacity, but seems to be back on track in mid-2022, catching up on stalled projects and remedying outstanding issues.
- BBB A+ Accredited
- NABCEP Certified PVIP
- DOE Contractor of the Year in 2019
- Licensed Master Electricians
- Licensed Electrical Contractors
CertainTeed has more than 100 years of roofing experience and has been offering solar shingles for far longer than Tesla. It manufactures the shingles in San Jose, California, which helps keep costs low, distribution fast, and quality control high. These folks know their roofs and know their solar technology, making for an easy integration of the two.
If you’re in need of a roof upgrade and are thinking of going solar, or if you just like the look of a solar shingled roof, CertainTeed is a fantastic choice. The company offers two designs for solar roofs: the Apollo Shingle II, which can be installed as part of a new roof or with an existing asphalt roof; and the Apollo Tile II, suitable for concrete tile roofs.
With both options, you can choose to replace all or some existing shingles or tiles with CertainTeed shingles. For a full roof installation, the company uses solar shingles where it makes sense in terms of shade and sun exposure and matching non-solar shingles elsewhere, for a seamless look.
We love that CertainTeed can integrate solar shingles with your existing roof, meaning you don’t have to completely replace the roof like you typically do with a Tesla solar roof. This makes for a faster, much lower-cost installation.
Although Tesla also manufactures its solar shingles in the U.S., CertainTeed solar roofs are much more widely available in the U.S. than Tesla solar roofs, with no waitlist currently. This is because the company has a lot more trained service technicians ready to install solar shingles.
These made-in-America solar shingles and tiles are also far easier to install than Tesla shingles. They go on just like regular roofing shingles and tiles, making for a more straightforward, faster, and less costly installation.
We also love that CertainTeed is transparent about the tile specifications. This isn’t surprising, though, given that these are higher-efficiency shingles than most, with 14 monocrystalline silicon solar cells in each active 70 Watt tile. The Apollo Shingle 11 is 17.2% efficient and the Apollo Tile 11 is 17.8% efficient, which is impressive, considering even some standard solar panels don’t manage this level of efficiency.
One other really cool thing about CertainTeed shingles is that while lightweight (almost the same as a conventional shingle or tile), these solar shingles can withstand up to 250 lbs. of force per square foot. They’re also resistant to water, fire, and wind and even carry Florida Building Code High Velocity Hurricane Zone rating (Vult 194mph).
CertainTeed offers a 25-year warranty on power output and a 10-year warranty covering all other system components, plus a 110-mph wind warranty. Work with a CertainTeed-credentialed Master Solar Installer (such as Longhorn Solar, one of our top Texas installer recommendations) and you also get installation coverage for up to 25 years. Even better, you can transfer the warranty if you sell your home!
CertainTeed credentialed Master Solar installers must have:
- Proof of Up-to-Date Insurance (Liability & Workers’ Comp)
- Advanced Training (NABCEP, RISE, SEI PV202 or equivalent)
#5. American Sentry Solar / American Design & Build
American Sentry Solar (ASS) operates in Maryland, Texas, Delaware, and Pennsylvania and is the solar arm of American Design and Build (ADB). The company offers QCell solar panels made in Dalton, Georgia, plus Enphase Encharge 10 battery storage. Enphase manufactures in Mexico and Romania, having shifted manufacturing away from China a few years ago.
While there isn’t a lot of choice with ASS, QCells are a great option for most homeowners. These solar panels offer a solid balance between efficiency and price and are especially good for larger roofs where you don’t need the highest efficiency SunPower panels to maximize output in a small space. The downside of QCells is that the product warranty is a little shorter than some, at 12 years, though the company does offer a 25-year performance warranty.
ASS boasts one PVIP and a lot of experience installing solar. ADB has nearly three decades of experience in the construction industry, mainly installing doors and windows, siding, roofs, and solar. ADB is also A+ BBB Accredited and has a staff including experienced electricians, roofers, and solar panel installers.
These folks are a great bet for homeowners looking for a one-stop-shop to remove and reinstall a solar array, roof repair, and solar installations. ASS offers a free, no obligation site assessment, so give them a call if you’re considering going solar in Maryland, Texas, Delaware, or Pennsylvania.
- NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installation Professional (PVIP)
- NABCEP Certified PV Technical Salesmen (PVTS)
- Licensed Master Electricians (ME)
- Licensed Electrical Contractors (EC)
Local solar installers using American-made solar panels
As well as the national installers listed above, there are many local, smaller solar installation companies using solar panels made in the U.S. Some of our favorites include:
Peak View Solar – based in Colorado, this company strongly favors American-made solar panels and tends to work with SolarWorld equipment, though it also uses LG, Trina, Jinko Solar, QCells, and Mission Solar panels, all made in the U.S., plus LG Chem batteries
Sunshine Renewable Solutions – based in Texas and using Silfab, QCells, and Panasonic panels made in the U.S.
Harmon Solar – based in Arizona and using Silfab panels (and REC panels) as well as Tesla PowerWall batteries
Kosmos Solar – based in North Texas and using LG, Silfab, and Panasonic panels (and REC panels)
HE Solar – based in Texas and using LG, Panasonic, QCells, and SunPower solar panels, as well as Enphase microinverters and Tesla PowerWall
Longhorn Solar – based in Texas, this company uses REC and QCell panels, and Tesla PowerWall and LG Resu battery systems certified installer and offers other options for battery storage.
American made solar panels FAQ
It might surprise you to learn that a lot of solar panels are made in the U.S. Even if a company has headquarters elsewhere in the world, many maintain a U.S. manufacturing facility to avoid certain tariffs and take advantage of a skilled workforce and reduced transport and delivery costs.
In fact, most of our top picks for solar panels are made in the U.S.
Silfab Solar – manufactured in Bellingham, Washington
Panasonic – manufactured in Buffalo, New York (in partnership with Tesla)
Mission Solar – manufactured in San Antonio, Texas
CertainTeed Solar – manufactured in San Jose, California (one of our top picks for solar roofs!)
Hanwha Q CELLS – manufactured in Dalton, Georgia
JinkoSolar – manufactured in Jacksonville, Florida
LG Solar USA – manufactured in Huntsville, Alabama
SunPower – manufactured in San Jose, California (the highest efficiency panels available!)
Chances are that whichever solar installer you use, they should offer installations with at least one of the brands above. If not, consider using a different installer. The only exceptions to this would be if an installer uses REC or Axitec panels, which also make our list of recommended solar panels and are made in Europe, or Winaico panels (made in Taiwan).
Solar energy systems are a great way to make your home super sustainable. Most panels have an environmental payback period of less than two years. This means it takes under 24 months for renewable energy production to offset the energy and resources used to manufacture the panel. One way of shortening that payback period even more is by buying American-made panels.
Other benefits of American-made panels include better access to service personnel should anything go wrong. Instead of having to call an international number, being on hold for hours, or struggling to communicate your issue because of language barriers, American solar manufacturers usually have service personnel based in the U.S. who can respond quickly to warranty claims and service requests.
It’s also easier for solar installers to get replacement parts from manufacturers based in the U.S. This means your solar energy system spends less time idling and more time producing the energy you need to power your home and reduce your utility bill.
By buying American, you can also enjoy a greater degree of assurance that the workers producing your panels are doing so under decent working conditions. This means better safety when handling potentially toxic materials and electrical components, fairer wages, and no forced labor or child labor. Several solar panel manufacturers have been linked to forced labor camps in the Uyghur Region of China, where there has been documentation of slave labor, forced sterilizations, and ‘re-education’ tactics by the Chinese government.
Finally, by choosing American-made panels, you help to avoid shifting the environmental burden of manufacturing overseas. With any high-tech manufacturing carried out overseas, there’s always a risk of ‘out of sight, out of mind’, meaning we ignore problems such as pollution and water use.
Manufacturers in the U.S. have to abide by strict safety and environmental management regulations. And if a company fails to meet those standards, someone tends to notice and hold the manufacturer accountable.