Best Solar Panel Installation Companies in Nebraska

Solar panel prices have plummeted in the last decade. See if a solar installation makes sense for your Nebraska home.

The companies providing quotes may differ from those described in our independent reviews.
A field of corn with a barn in the background underneath a blue sky.

The sun's energy is a vital part of growing Nebraska's most well-known crop -- corn. But you can also harness it for your own electricity with solar panels.

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Nebraska ranks near the bottom of states for total installed solar capacity, but the pace of residential installations has increased rapidly over the last three years. Falling solar panel costs and newly renewed federal solar tax credits could keep them trending up. With the cost of residential solar decreasing by over 50% in the last 10 years and an increase in government incentives, now might be the right time to invest in solar energy.

If you're looking to go solar, you'll want to start by finding the right solar company. You should also understand the incentives available to you and how much you could save over the lifetime of your solar panels.

If you want to add some solar energy into what you use at home, whether to save money or avoid some carbon emissions, here's what you need to know.

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Best national solar companies in Nebraska

There are fewer installers in Nebraska than some other states, but you still have national and local options. You should always get multiple quotes from different solar installers before moving ahead with one. Here are the national companies operating in Nebraska that appear on CNET's best solar company list and local ones we identified separately.

SunPower Solar

Best solar panels

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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.

  • Equipment 8 / 10
  • Warranty 8.5 / 10
  • Service 7 / 10
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Tesla Solar

Most affordable

Read full review

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.

  • Equipment 7.3 / 10
  • Warranty 6.5 / 10
  • Service 8 / 10
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Local Nebraska solar companies

Your best fit might be a solar company that doesn't operate on a national scale. Here are some options for local (or regional) installers operating in Nebraska.

Since 2005, Dixon Power Systems has provided solar and wind energy products in Nebraska. The company installs products from name brands like LG, SolarEdge and Enphase. Most products are equipped with a 25-year manufacturer warranty. 

Headquartered in Wisconsin, Everlight Solar operates in eight US states. Everlight offers two main plans, including a solar loan plan with a monthly payment or a solar purchase plan to pay upfront. Both include a 10-year quality of work warranty. The company is certified to install products from top companies like Tesla, Generac and Sonnen. 

Nelnet Renewable Energy has been installing solar panels since 2012. It operates in seven states, including Nebraska, where it installs solar panels and batteries. Nelnet offers solar installations in Nebraska via cash purchase, financing or lease.

How to choose the right solar company in Nebraska

Before finding the perfect solar company, you need to understand what your goals for going solar and energy needs are. Your system may look different if you're trying to save the most money, offset the most energy possible or have the highest performing solar equipment.

After you understand your needs and goals, gather multiple quotes so you can compare companies' offers and prices. Comparing quotes is the most common and most stressed piece of advice industry experts and advocates give us.

Nebraska solar panel costs

The exact cost of a solar system for your home depends on the number of solar panels, roof maintenance and additional equipment like solar batteries. According to data from consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, the average system size needed in the US is 8 kilowatts, with the average system costing about $3 per watt. 

The solar system size your home needs may depend on whether or not you're buying a solar system to cover your entire home's energy needs. The total price included in the table is before any tax credits or other solar incentives.

Average solar panel cost in the US

System sizePrice per wattTotal cost
Nationwide 8 kW$2.99$23,920

How to pay for solar panels in Nebraska

Payment options for solar panels in Nebraska include cash purchase, solar leases or loans and power purchase agreements. Joining a community solar program is another option where residents receive power from nearby solar panels and pay a monthly subscription fee. 

Each option has its pros and cons.

Cash: Paying for your solar panels with cash is the best way to avoid financing costs, interest and fees, but it requires having tens of thousands of dollars ready to go. Planning for the future? Consider putting money away in a high-yield savings account.

Solar loan: Your installer will likely have a financing option available to you. This is often a partnership with a financial institution, and comes with set terms, interest rates and payments. 

Other loans: You don't have to go with a loan offered by your installer. You can also use a home equity loan, home equity line of credit or personal loan to finance  your panels. These all have their pros and cons -- home equity loans, for example, are secured by your home, like a mortgage -- and you should consider your options before making a decision.

Lease or power purchase agreement: These two choices are similar in that you won't own the solar panels and won't get the tax credit -- the solar company will. In a lease, you'll pay a monthly fee to a solar company, while in a power purchase agreement you'll buy the electricity the panels generate from the company. These options won't save you as much over the long run, but they cost less in the short run.

Nebraska solar panel incentives and rebates

Even though the cost of residential solar has decreased over the last decade, the upfront cost of solar is still substantial. Solar tax credits, net metering programs and other incentives are available to make solar panels in Nebraska more affordable. The biggest help in going solar is the federal residential clean energy credit, which covers 30% of the cost of your solar panel system. 

Here are a few incentives you should know. 

Nebraska solar incentives

Program Description
Residential clean energy credit Receive a 30% federal tax credit on your next return. Applies to solar systems installed from the beginning of 2022 through 2032. In 2033, the credit will decrease to 26%, then 22% in 2034. Unless renewed, the credit will expire in 2035.
Net metering A program to sell excess solar energy to your utility company and receive credits on your next electricity bill. Check with your local utility company for specific rates and other details.
Property tax exemption Only for community solar projects
Sales and use tax exemption Community renewable energy projects, like community solar, are exempt from sales tax.

Want something smaller than a whole-home solar system? See our picks for the best portable solar panels and solar generators.

Installation factors to consider

Think about the following five things when considering powering your home with solar energy: 

  • Insurance: Contact your homeowner's insurance to see if your current policy covers solar panels. 
  • Location: If your roof is shaded most of the day, your solar panels will generate less energy. Panels work best with at least four hours of direct sunlight. 
  • Neighborhood rules: If you are part of an HOA or other neighborhood association, review the rules regarding solar panels and placement. 
  • Rent or own: Renters can explore community solar options for subscription-style solar services. 
  • Roof condition: A certified installer should recommend any needed maintenance prior to solar panel installation.

How we found the best solar companies

Our Methodology

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.

Nebraska solar FAQs

What are solar incentives in Nebraska?

Nebraska residents can apply for the residential clean energy credit for a 30% tax credit on their next return. This federal tax credit is the most substantial available incentive in Nebraska. The state also offers a net metering program to receive credits towards your next electricity bill in return for excess energy generated by your solar system. Some residents may also qualify for sales and property tax exemptions. 

Is solar power good for the environment?

Yes. Solar energy is good for the environment because it doesn't emit greenhouse gasses, which cause climate change and harm air quality and the environment. Reducing the use of fossil fuels, including coal and gas, can help reduce your home's carbon footprint. 

Which solar energy company is best?

The best solar company for you depends on your needs and interests. We recommend receiving quotes from multiple companies to choose the best for your budget and energy needs. 

Faith Foushee CNET Contributor
Faith Foushee is a CNET contributor and a writer for our sister publication, covering energy-efficient products, renewables and other energy topics. She enjoys learning about new energy technology and helping others save money. Faith graduated from High Point University with a bachelor's degree in strategic communication.
Faith Foushee
Faith Foushee is a CNET contributor and a writer for our sister publication, covering energy-efficient products, renewables and other energy topics. She enjoys learning about new energy technology and helping others save money. Faith graduated from High Point University with a bachelor's degree in strategic communication.

Article updated on September 15, 2023 at 5:00 AM PDT

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Faith Foushee
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Faith Foushee CNET Contributor
Faith Foushee is a CNET contributor and a writer for our sister publication, covering energy-efficient products, renewables and other energy topics. She enjoys learning about new energy technology and helping others save money. Faith graduated from High Point University with a bachelor's degree in strategic communication.
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