Best Solar Companies in Kansas – CNET

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A state so strongly associated with sunflowers should be in tune with the power of the sun. 

But putting solar panels on your Kansas roof might not be easy depending on where you live. Meanwhile, renewable wind power is the biggest source of electricity in the Sunflower State.

Kansas is lacking in net metering policies, which hurts your ability to capitalize on the excess energy produced by your solar panels. The state also lacks incentives for residential solar systems, but there are still plenty of reasons to consider solar panels on your home. That includes a major federal tax credit, which could cover up to 30% of the installation cost of your rooftop solar system.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about going solar in Kansas — starting with the best solar installation companies operating within the state.

Best national solar companies in Kansas

Kansas has 19 installers and developers, according to data from the Solar Energy Industries Association. How do you decide among them? The best way is to get bids from multiple companies and see which offers the best price and services.

Keep an eye out for potentially deceptive advertising and scams. Barnett said some companies in Kansas say they’re connected with the state’s utilities, but none of the utilities have preferred contractors. “That’s a red flag,” she said. She recommends buyers work with local Kansas companies and get at least two bids.

The companies here come from CNET’s list of best national solar companies.

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.

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.

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.

Local solar panel companies in Kansas

National companies can offer the stability of a long-term track record, but local companies may have less overhead. Here are a few of those operating in Kansas. These local companies haven’t been reviewed by CNET.

Lawrence-based Cromwell Solar was founded in 1982 and uses only its own installers and master or journeyman electricians. The company installs solar at residential and commercial properties as well as farms. It also offers generators and battery backup systems, which you can get even if you don’t get a solar system. 

Also based in Lawrence, Good Energy Solutions installs SunPower panels, which are known for their efficiency and strong warranties. The company, which has been around since 2007, also operates in Missouri. Good Energy Solutions says it uses no subcontractors and that it also offers repair and maintenance for solar systems.

King Solar is based in Haven, outside Wichita. It serves the southern and central parts of the state. The company receives favorable online reviews from customers, many of whom praise the customer service.

Cost of solar panels in Kansas

Here’s a look at the average cash price for a typical solar panel system in Kansas before factoring in tax credits and incentives, according to data from Your system might cost more if you get a solar battery.

Average cost of solar panels in Kansas

Typical system size (kW) Price per watt Total installed cost Cost after 30% federal tax credit
Kansas 8 $3.34 $26,720 $18,704
National average 8.6 $3.67 $31,558 $22,091

The following map provides data for the average total cash price, cost per watt and system size for a typical solar panel system in your state, according to These prices don’t account for rebates from tax credits or state incentives. Certain states don’t have any FindEnergy solar data and are grayed out on the map.

Kansas solar panel incentives and rebates

If you’re in an area served by a major utility, you’re likely able to connect a solar system to the grid pretty easily. It can be more difficult if you’re served by a municipal power company or rural electric cooperative, according to Dorothy Barnett, executive director of the Climate + Energy Project, a Kansas clean energy advocacy group. Those utilities aren’t covered by the state’s net metering law, which sets standards for how power companies connect small solar systems to the grid.

“If you live in a more rural part of the state, it’s possible you won’t be able to net meter a system currently,” Barnett told CNET. “Or if you are allowed to net meter a system, you might be charged an additional grid access charge or a ridiculously high application fee to apply for an interconnection.”

The biggest opportunity for Kansans to get help with solar panels is a federal program, the residential clean energy credit, which provides a tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of a solar system. The credit, recently expanded and extended in the Inflation Reduction Act passed in 2022, has no limit on how much you can claim. One potential hitch: You’ll likely have to wait until after you file your taxes the next year to get the money.

Here’s a look at the incentives available to you.

Kansas solar incentives

Program Description
Residential clean energy credit This federal tax credit covers up to 30% of the cost of your solar installation. The exact amount it covers depends on how much you pay in federal tax that year.
Rural Energy for America Program This program of the US Department of Agriculture offers guaranteed loans and grants to farmers and rural businesses that are interested in solar or other energy efficiency projects.
Property tax exemption Kansas law provides a property tax exemption for 10 years for property used to generate renewable energy.

How to pay for solar panels in Kansas

As with any major purchase, you need to think about where the money for the panels will come from. Despite the federal tax credit, you’ll have to cover most of the price of the installation. And the money from the tax credit won’t be yours until after you’ve filed your taxes for the year the panels are installed.

Here are some ways to pay for solar panels:

Cash: This is the simplest approach, but it works only if you happen to have tens of thousands of dollars sitting around in a bank account. If you don’t have that yet, but you want solar panels in the future, consider saving money in a high-yield savings account. Interest rates are high right now, and this can help you save faster.

Solar loan: Your solar installer likely has a relationship with a bank or other financial institution to offer a loan designed for solar panels. This can be a great deal, but you’ll want to get multiple offers to ensure the rates and terms are the best.

Home equity: You don’t have to use a loan from your solar company. Financial institutions offer home equity loans and lines of credit (or HELOCs) that are commonly used for home improvement projects. These loans can be used for basically any purpose, and they may be a good fit for your solar project. Shop around and make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Personal loan: You can also borrow the money through a personal loan. The main difference between a personal loan and a home equity loan is that a personal loan is typically unsecured. That means your house isn’t at risk. The downside is they tend to have shorter terms and higher interest rates than home equity products.

Installation factors to keep in mind

Solar panels can put a big dent in your power bill and help you make a difference in moving away from fossil fuels, but they aren’t right for everyone. Going solar when it doesn’t make sense can turn that promise into a nightmare. Here are some things to consider before taking the plunge.

  • Location, location, location: If you live in a wide-open area where your home feels the sun all day, solar panels might be great. If your rooftop is surrounded on all sides by big trees, the panels might not get enough light to be worth it. Also consider the angle of your home — panels in the US tend to do best on south-facing slopes.
  • Your roof: Solar panels are a long-term commitment for your roof. Make sure it’s ready for it. If you’re looking at replacing your shingles in the next few years, or if you have damage that’ll need repair soon, that might take precedence over installing solar panels.
  • HOA and neighborhood regulations: Check with your homeowners association and local government to see if there are any requirements you must meet before you can install panels.
  • Insurance coverage: Your homeowners insurance will likely cover the solar panels, but you should call ahead of time to check and make sure.
  • If you rent: You may not be able to get solar panels installed on your home if you don’t own it. There are other options, including community solar, in which you pay for panels at a separate site and receive a share of the energy that facility produces. Community solar “has not taken off” yet in Kansas because of regulations, Barnett said, but there are a few options.

How we evaluate 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.

Kansas solar FAQs

Do you have to pay an extra fee on your utility bill if you have solar panels?

The Kansas Supreme Court in 2020 struck down an additional fee charged by a utility company for customers who produced their own energy. The court said the practice was price discrimination, and that utilities can’t charge those who produce their own energy more than they charge other customers.

Does Kansas have net metering?

It depends on your utility. The state’s net metering law requires the two major investor-owned utilities — Evergy and Empire District — to offer net metering until net-metered systems equal 1% of their peak demand. Electric cooperatives and municipal electric providers aren’t required to offer net metering, although many do. 

Are all solar panels the same?

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