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Solar Panel Installation Business

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How to Start a Solar Panel Installation Business

Written by: Howard Tillerman

Howard Tillerman is the Chief Marketing Officer for Step By Step Business and an award-winning marketing professional.

Edited by: David Lepeska

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

Updated on May 16, 2023

How to Start a Solar Panel Installation Business

Investment range

$45,000 - $140,000

Revenue potential

$400,000 - $1.5 million p.a.

Time to build

Profit potential

$40,000 - $150,000 p.a.

Industry trend

Solar Panel Business FAQs

Solar is a growing industry with a bright future. The United States has installed 108.7 gigawatts-DC (GWdc) of solar PV capacity, enough to power 18.9 million homes. The cost of installing solar panels has also dropped by more than 70% over the last 10 years, contributing to the industry’s steady growth. With such impressive statistics, now is a great time to start a solar panel installation business.

However, like any business, building a commercial solar installation company from the ground up requires proper planning and preparation. Lucky for you, this step-by-step guide provides all the insight and information you need to get on the road to entrepreneurial success!

Looking to register your business? A limited liability company (LLC) is the best legal structure for new businesses because it is fast and simple.

Form your business immediately using ZenBusiness LLC formation service or hire one of the Best LLC Services .

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

The first step is to determine if starting a solar panel installation business is a viable idea. Think of it as a way to test the idea’s true potential.

Pros and cons

Solar panel installation industry trends

In 2020, the solar industry recorded robust growth of 43%, adding 19.3 gigawatts per year to the national grid.(( https://www.seia.org/research-resources/solar-market-insight-report-2020-year-review )) The exceptional growth occurred amid a pandemic that crippled most industries.

What’s more, the industry is expected to quadruple from 2020 to 2030. The driving force behind this is the government’s clean energy initiatives and growing concerns about climate change. 

For instance, the government has initiated the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) scheme . Through this plan, consumers get a tax credit equivalent to 26% of the cost of installing a solar panel system from 2020 to 2022 and 22% in 2023.

Industry size and growth

solar panel installation industry size and growth

Trends and challenges

Trends in the solar panel installation industry include:

Challenges in the solar panel installation industry include:

solar panel installation Trends and Challenges

What kind of people work in solar?

solar panel installation industry demographics

How much does it cost to start a solar panel installation business?

You will need between $45,000 and $140,000 to start a solar panel installation company. Startups in this sector spend around $92,500 on average to get things up and running. Most of this money goes toward buying equipment, a business truck, insurance, and marketing.

How much can you earn from a solar panel installation business?

Residential solar panel installation projects average at $16,800, including the cost of the solar panels and installation. The average profit margin for a solar business is about 10%. 

In your first year or two, working part-time you could do two installations per month for $17,000 per installation and make about $400,000 in annual revenue. This would give you about $40,000 in profit, assuming that 10% margin. As your business grows you might make five $25,000 installations each month, which would give you annual revenue of $1.5 million and a tidy profit of $150,000. 

solar panel installation earnings forecast

What barriers to entry are there?

Barriers to entry for a solar panel installation company are relatively moderate. Significant challenges for new entrants include:

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Step 2: hone your idea.

Now that you know what’s involved in starting a solar panel business, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market.

Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.

Why? Identify an opportunity

Research solar panel businesses in your area to examine their products and services, price points, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a solar panel firm that does rapid installation.  

solar panel installation business model

You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as selling excess energy back to the grid.

This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away.

Operating a solar panel installation business in the top five states mentioned above could be profitable thanks to the high demand.

What? Determine your products or services

In a business world where your competitor often claims to be #1, it is crucial to differentiate and build your own identity. There are three models you can adopt to help the solar panel business stand out as explained below:

Model 1: Offer specialized installation services

Under this model, you will not stock solar panels. However, you will provide specialized solar installation services in partnership with companies that stock and sell solar panels.

Offering specialized installation services is the most cost-effective way to start. Further, this model enables you to gain the installation experience required to help you find your footing.

Model 2: Focus on product sales

Under this model, you will stock and sell solar panels. You will subcontract installation services in collaboration with companies that stock and sell solar panels.

Focusing on product sales is ideal if you want to simplify operations by outsourcing fieldwork from the get-go. That way, you can concentrate on the sales side of your business. Plus, you can develop a full-time team once your startup begins to generate substantial revenue.

Model 3: All-inclusive

Under this model, you will stock and sell solar panels. You’ll also offer installation services through in-house solar photovoltaic installers.

The all-inclusive model will require a significant amount of investment to enable you to purchase inventory and employ a team of reliable fieldworkers. You can also expect to incur high operating expenses, so go for this model only if you have considerable capital.

Apart from selling and installing solar panels, you can also offer auxiliary services such as consultation, repair, and maintenance. While such services may not generate much revenue, they could ensure a stream of steady customers and help build brand loyalty.

How much should you charge for solar panel installation?

The low and high-end prices of solar panels range from $5,000 to $40,000. These figures represent the cost of panels and don’t include labor and the cost of equipment such as the inverter.

An inverter can account for up to 10% of the cost of the solar panel . As a result, you can expect to generate $1,200 by selling the inverter for an average solar panel installation project.

The labor cost of installing a solar panel system can range from 20 to 40% of the system cost depending on the project and size of your solar system. You can expect to incur labor costs of about $3,600 for a $12,000 solar panel. Overall, a solar installation project generates an average of $16,800 in revenue.

Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.

Who? Identify your target market

To build a solid foundation for your solar panel installation startup, you must identify your ideal customer to enable you to customize your marketing appropriately. There’s a growing demand for solar panels in every consumer segment. Your target market should include:

Where? Choose your business premises

The type of commercial space you need primarily depends on your startup strategy.

For instance, you can run your business from home if you don’t want to stock solar panels. Your business can also be home-based if you’re offering specialized installation services. But you will need to rent a warehouse and a physical storefront if you intend to sell solar panels and offer installation services. 

You can find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist , Crexi , and Instant Offices . When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:

solar panel installation business rating

Step 3: Brainstorm a Business Name

Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. 

Find a Domain

Powered by GoDaddy.com

Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that set your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.

Step 4: Create a Business Plan

Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:

what to include in a business plan

If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.

Step 5: Register Your Business

Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.

Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business! 

Choose where to register your company

Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you are planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to solar panels. 

If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state. 

Choose your business structure

Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your solar panel business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely. 

Here are the main options:

types of business structures

We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization , and answer any questions you might have.

Form Your LLC

Choose Your State

We recommend ZenBusiness as the Best LLC Service for 2023

solar panel installation business model

Step 6: Register for Taxes

The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number , or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN. 

Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.

solar panel installation business model

The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist , and taxes can be filed online.

It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you are completing them correctly.

Step 7: Fund Your Business

Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:

Bank and SBA loans are probably the best options, other than friends and family, for funding a solar panel business. You might also try crowdfunding if you have an innovative concept. 

jewelry store financing

Step 8: Apply for Licenses/Permits

You’ll need relevant local, state, and federal government licenses and permits to be allowed to operate a solar panel installation business.

Some licenses and permits associated with solar installation include:

You may also need additional permits by your state to enable your startup to operate legally, including:

You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more. 

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package . They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.

If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

Before you start making money, you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account .

Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your solar panel business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.

Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account.

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.

Here are some types of insurance to consider:

types of business insurance

Step 11: Prepare to Launch

As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business. 

Essential software and tools

Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.  

Field service management software, such as ServiceTitan , Jobber , or Field Nation , will enable you to manage your field service crew and oversee client management, scheduling, invoicing, task allocations, payroll, and re-organizing.

Some of your business will come from the casual passerby or online visitors, but you should still invest in digital marketing! Getting the word out is especially important for new businesses, as it’ll boost customer and brand awareness. 

Once your website is up and running, link it to your social media accounts and vice versa. Social media is a great tool for promoting your business because you can create engaging posts that advertise your products: 

Kickstart Marketing

Take advantage of your website, social media presence, and real-life activities to increase awareness of your offerings and build your brand. Some suggestions include: 

Develop your website

Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism. They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google. 

You can create your own website using services like WordPress , Wix , or Squarespace . This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.

Focus on USPs

Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that sets it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your solar panels meet their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire. 

Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your solar panel business could be:

unique selling proposition

You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a solar panel business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in renewable energy for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections. 

The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in solar panels. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. Online businesses might also consider affiliate marketing as a way to build relationships with potential partners and boost business. 

Step 12: Build Your Team

You may not need to hire any employees if your business involves subcontracting fieldwork since your operations are simple. However, as your business grows, you’ll likely need to hire full-time employees for various job roles. Some potential employees for a solar installation business include:

At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need. 

Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed , Glassdoor , or ZipRecruiter . Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent.

Step 13: Start Making Money!

As the price of solar and the cost to install it continue to fall, more Americans are becoming aware of the benefits of tapping clean renewable energy. That’s why the solar market is expanding rapidly across the US, and demand is exploding in many states, especially in California and Texas. Other states leading in solar energy installation are Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Now that you’ve gained all of the necessary business knowledge, you should get out there and roll up your sleeves. With proper planning and hard work, you should be on your way to becoming a successful solar panel entrepreneur. 

The first way solar panel installers make money is through installing solar panels. You can also make money by stocking and selling solar panels while subcontracting installation to independent operators.

Yes, it is. If you only deal with installing panels for clients who pay the entire sum at a go, you can make a profit of up to $54,000 a year.

It is important to mention, though, that you’ll need a steady stream of contracts. If you’re handling high-ticket commercial installation projects you can make as much as $490,000 in profit per year.

There are several types of solar panel systems you can install, including grid-tied systems, off-grid systems, and hybrid systems. When choosing a system, factors to consider include energy needs, available space for installation, budget, local regulations and incentives, and the solar panel efficiency and durability.

To differentiate your solar panel installation business from competitors, you can focus on several strategies. This includes offering exceptional customer service, providing personalized consultations and tailored solutions, using high-quality and reliable solar panels and equipment, staying updated with the latest industry trends and technologies, offering competitive pricing and financing options, and showcasing your expertise and track record through customer testimonials and case studies.

To attract customers and effectively promote your solar panel installation services, you can employ various marketing tactics. This includes creating a professional website that highlights your services, benefits, and testimonials, utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to improve online visibility, leveraging social media platforms to engage with your target audience and share educational content, participating in local community events and trade shows, collaborating with other businesses or influencers in related industries, offering referral programs or discounts, and leveraging customer reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.

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Solar Panel Manufacturing Business Model Canvas

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The global market for solar panels has grown substantially in the last decade, driven by an increasing awareness of the cost-savings and sustainability benefits associated with solar energy production. As of 2020, the industry is estimated to be worth more than $32 billion in global revenue, and it is projected to continue to grow exponentially by 19% year-on-year over the next five years.

This surge of interest in solar energy has created a demand for reliable, effective, and durable solar panels and technologies, which is where solar panel manufacturing companies come in. Specializing in the production and installation of solar panel systems for a variety of applications, these companies are capable of delivering bespoke solutions for residential, commercial, and industrial energy requirements.

The goal of any good solar panel manufacturer is to source, assemble and certify the best components from trusted brands, in order to build efficient solar panel systems with high levels of customer satisfaction. Here we take a look at solar panel manufacturing and the business considerations that come with such a venture.

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Key Partnerships

As part of our business model, we rely on partnerships to ensure that the solar panel manufacturing process is efficient and of high quality. We partner with suppliers and installers to provide our customers with the best possible panels, and use certification organizations to guarantee accuracy and safety standards. Additionally, we partner with maintenance providers to ensure that our panels are functioning optimally.

Key Activities

Solar Panel Manufacturing requires a variety of activities to be successful. These activities are key in the creation, distribution, and delivery of the solar panels. These key activities are listed below:

Key Resources

Value Propositions

Our solar panels are made from trusted brands, including SunPower, SolarWorld, and Trina Solar, and are designed to meet the needs of both residential and commercial customers.

Our expert installation team can provide a quick, efficient installation that is guaranteed to last. In addition, we offer maintenance services to ensure your panels remain in top condition, as well as energy monitoring to help you maximize your energy generation.

Our knowledgeable staff can provide advice and guidance on how to make the most of your solar panels. We can help you choose the right products for your needs and answer any questions you may have about the installation and operation of your solar array.

Customer Relationships

Customer relationships represent how a business and customer interact with each other. Below are the customer relationship strategies we will employ to create and maintain relationships with our customers.

The company will employ several channels in order to attract and satisfy customers. These channels will include:

Customer Segments

The customer segments for our Solar Panel Manufacturing Business Model include:

Cost Structure

Revenue Streams

The Solar Panel Manufacturing Business Model Canvas is designed to provide an efficient, cost-effective and comprehensive overview of the process and resources necessary for a successful venture into the manufacture and distribution of solar panels. By outlining the various aspects of the process—such as the financials and human capital, the infrastructure and technology, the distribution and marketing —business owners can develop a comprehensive strategy that can be implemented in order to deliver a quality product and achieve their desired level of success.

The Solar Panel Manufacturing Business Model Canvas also highlights the importance of innovation, collaboration, and strategic partnerships for the success of the venture. By emphasizing the importance of these factors, the canvas provides a roadmap for a sustainable and profitable business. Furthermore, it also ensures that the venture’s resources are used in the most efficient and productive manner.

Overall, the Solar Panel Manufacturing Business Model Canvas serves as a valuable tool to help entrepreneurs and business owners develop a comprehensive plan for the successful launch and continued operation of the solar panel manufacturing company. By outlining the various aspects of the process and resources required, the canvas allows business owners to focus on their unique needs and objectives, while also taking into account the various risks and challenges associated with the industry.

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States With the Most Solar Panel Installations

Solar panel

Which states have the most solar panel installations generating more electricity from solar power? Click here to discover the answer!

Do you want to get off the grid? As we move into the era of renewable energy, plenty of people are installing solar panels to make that dream come true. 

Going solar has plenty of benefits, both for the environment and for you, but those benefits are only realized if you put the panels up.

Have you been contemplating going full force with solar power? Are you still on the fence about it? If so, you might wonder where to find the most solar panel installations.

Well, you’re in luck! Below, we’ve included a guide to the states with the highest solar power installations. Keep reading below to learn more!

California is the leading state in the U.S. for solar panel installations. The estimated 4,000 to 6,500 gigawatts of installed solar capacity. California accounts for over a quarter of the total U.S. photovoltaic installations.

The state’s commitment to clean energy sources, such as solar and wind power, has helped to make it an industry leader. They have been dedicated to supporting the solar industry. They introduced incentive programs such as the Solar Energy Systems and Tax Credit .

California has the world’s largest solar farm, the Topaz Solar Farm. There is a sunny climate, diverse topography, and a large trial population. California is well-positioned to provide more solar-generated energy than any other state.

California has also taken steps to increase solar panel installation throughout the state. This is called the “California Solar Initiative” program. It simplifies the permit process for solar panel installations.

This approach has allowed California to increase its solar panel installations over the past few years. Industry experts believe that the state could reach 10,000 gigawatts soon.


Arizona is one of the states with the most solar panel installations. The state has the country’s second-most solar panel installations after California.

More projects are being built throughout Arizona each year. Increasing the number of solar panels being installed in the state. 

Arizona’s photovoltaic production is now number two in the U.S., up from last year when it ranked 7th in the nation. There are many reasons for this, such as state access to sunshine and investments in solar equipment.

The state has some of the best solar radiation in the country. This allows it to take advantage of its enormous solar potential very efficiently. The state’s utilities are also some of the most forward-thinking about solar energy and contribute to the state’s successes in this field.

Arizona is a great example of how solar energy can benefit the environment and the public.

North Carolina

North Carolina is one of the states with the most solar panel installations in the United States. NC is ranked 4th by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) with 9,490 MW of accumulative solar capacity.

This number has increased yearly due to the state’s incentives for renewable energy and solar financing programs. North Carolina is home to several large-scale solar projects throughout the state. These include the Clay Hill facility in Brunswick County, which produces 275 megawatts of solar power yearly.

They established a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, setting a target of up to 12.5% renewable energy. This has allowed North Carolina to emerge as a leader in deploying solar energy, leading the South in solar panel installations.

Indiana has seen some impressive growth in solar panel installations in recent years. Indiana’s solar story is driven by its utilities, which install large-scale projects. Most solar installations are in the northern part of the state, particularly in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties.

Many of Indiana’s installed projects have been funded by companies that have adopted solar energy as part of their sustainability goals. This resource reports the state has ambitious plans to speed up solar power deployment.

This expands access to solar electricity for Indiana’s households, businesses, and public entities. With the right policies, Indiana has the potential to become one of the leading states using solar energy in future generations.

Hawaii is a powerhouse for solar panel installations in the United States. Leading the way in solar production and total solar panel capacity. With an impressive 3,847 MW of solar power capacity installed and increasing, Hawaii is one of the top states for solar panel installations.

Hawaii is among the best places in the US to go solar due to its solar solid incentives and high electric rates. This has enabled the state to become a solar powerhouse with one of the highest rates in the US of total solar panel capacity per person.

New Jersey has the most solar panel installations in the U.S. It has made remarkable strides in solar energy use, particularly in the past decade. It was estimated that 1 in 4 homes in New Jersey used a solar system to meet some or all of the family’s energy needs. This makes the state one of the nation’s leading solar users.

The state provides generous incentives to promote solar power, such as net metering and a tax rebate. New Jersey has a renewable portfolio standard, calling for over half of the electricity in the state to come from renewable sources.

This flexibility in electricity and support for alternative energy sources have provided an attractive environment for solar panel installers. As a result, New Jersey continues to be one of the leading states for solar panel installations in the U.S.


Massachusetts has the most solar panel installations near the top of the states. The state has made renewable energy a priority in recent years, leading to a dramatic surge in the number of solar energy installations. There are various incentives for businesses and residents to install solar panels.

The state recently passed a law requiring it to source at least 25% of its electricity from solar power. This has helped push Massachusetts past other leading states, such as California and Hawaii. It will likely remain the top-ranking state for solar panel installations in the near future.

Learn More About Solar Panel Installations Today

The growth of solar power in the U.S. is undeniable, particularly in the leading solar states. California, Arizona, and North Carolina are among the states at the forefront of this renewable energy revolution. This means more homes, businesses, and communities are powered by clean energy.

Learn more about solar panel installations to gain access to the renewable energy sources available in your state.

Do you want to find more helpful info? Check out more of our guides on our blog today!

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About the Author AMFAM

All My Friends Are Models

How to Start a Solar Panel Business? – In-depth Guide

Rakesh Patel

How to start a solar panel installation business

Getting started with a solar panel business is a very ambitious move that takes a lot of confidence to enact. However, turning it into a profitable business is quite the endeavor. If you think you have what it takes to be a successful solar panel company then think again. This is because you’re expected to deal with any issues that may affect your solar panel installation process. 

There will be times when you’re expected to deal with situations that require you to do things such as welding, roofing, plumbing, dealing with individual contractors, and even understanding the local grid. 

Solar panels might be simple to understand but, the business of solar panels is a totally different animal. As soon as you step into the business side of solar panels, you’ll be met with competitors willing to pounce on you to make sure that their business is the one that is seen flourishing. 

Before we go ahead, let’s take a quick look at how to start a solar panel business and make money.

Table of Content

About the Solar Industry

Challenges Faced by a Solar Panel Installation Company

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Going in blind into any industry without any business ideas is a grave mistake. An entrepreneur’s primary responsibility is to be a subject matter expert to ensure that they have the utmost clarity. This is why you must understand what your solar business is all about.

Responsibilities of a solar installation business

A solar installation business is someone you call when you need to have solar systems installed. Usually, such installation businesses deal with clients that need renewable energy like solar energy in residential areas.

Since these installations are usually in residential areas, solar panels have to be installed on roofs. So solar panel installers are expected to be licensed to deal with roofing and plumbing. With such massive upfront requirements, an individual is very likely to ask, “what’s in it for me?”

Future prospects

Renewable energy sources has become quite the norm when it comes to development projects across the globe, with residential clients making a fairly big chunk of the consumer base. Why wouldn’t one want to replace electricity usage with a renewable yet reliable solar energy system? 

This trend has been rapidly expanding globally thanks to solar manufacturers constantly innovating and reducing the price of solar cells and other solar technologies. The goal for most of these manufacturers is to sell as many panels as possible.

With such a ripe opportunity at hand, it is no wonder that a lot of people are taking advantage of it and starting solar panel installation businesses.

Why you should start a solar panel business

As previously stated, there are a lot of people looking to capitalize on this opportunity. This means that you only have a small window of time to enter the rapidly growing industry. It is only a matter of time before the major players are consolidated.

Luckily since the industry is still expanding, a local solar panel business can easily capture their regional solar market. There is money to be made if you’re able to do the same. If it sounds good so far, then you must be wondering what it takes to start a solar business.

How to Start a Solar Panel Business?

Get ready for the laundry list of things that you’ll need to get started. The solar panel installation industry is not as straightforward as people make it out to be. A solar panel installation company has its own set of nuances. Here’s the list.

Step 1: Ensure that you have enough solar panels

How are you going to install and sell solar panels if you don’t have any yourself? It is expected of a business to have sufficient inventory. Sufficient is the key word here, a lot of businesses tend to overspend on inventory.

A good way to negate this effect is by acquiring inventory based on the number of workers that you have hired. Why would you need thousands of panels when you only have half a dozen people to install them?

Understand the demand in your locality to better estimate the required amount of investment. A solar power company is by no means a low-investment business plan. So, be prepared for the upfront costs to be heavy on the wallet.

Step 2: Get equipment that’s fit for a solar business

Here’s where skimping is not an option, for if you skimp you must deal with the consequences of your equipment failing on you at the worst times imaginable. In the solar panel installation industry, tools are an essential part of the business.

This also includes logistical tools such as trucks/vans and software that will optimize your business operations . As a solar business owner, you are in charge of making sure that your customers get renewable energy at their place without a hitch.

Investing once in reliable equipment usually proves to be quite the lifesaver for many businesses. However, alongside reliable equipment, a business plan must include backups to account for any bit of equipment that does fail.

Step 3: Understand the industry and technology in-depth

Understand the industry and technology to start a solar panel installation business

Expertise when it comes to Solar Panels is a must-have. How comfortable would you be giving your car away to a mechanic that barely knows how to start the thing? Exactly. For potential customers to choose your solar business over others you need to be an industry expert and understand the industry from the inside out. 

Once you’ve mastered the technical side, you’ve won half the battle. Armed with such knowledge you know your costs, condition, and challenges. This puts you ahead of those that don’t exactly specialize in the field.

Step 4: Acquire Skilled Labor

It is highly unlikely for a solar installation business to be run by one individual all by themselves. Installing solar panels is a task that inherently requires multiple workers. Although, you wouldn’t want to hire just about anybody.

You need to hire employees that are skilled but also well-behaved. No amount of skill will compensate for an employee that the customer finds repulsive. Neither will manners compensate for a worker who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Finding balance is key to building a great team.

You need a solar installer that you can fully trust to do your bidding as they are the primary link between you and your customers.

Step 5: Know your clientele

The primary reason for any business failing is usually a lack of understanding of what exactly their clients want. Similarly, it is important for solar companies to understand the target market and needs of their clients to serve them in the best manner possible.

When it comes to solar installers, customers prefer having a hassle-free process that doesn’t disturb them much and is wrapped up in an instant. A solar panel installer must understand that their customers don’t like delays or complications.

Most users of solar power systems do so to reduce energy costs, so they aren’t likely to opt for a solar panel system that costs a lot either. Understanding their needs is fairly simple if you understand your locality well.

Step 6: Get everything of value insured

Starting a solar business is expensive indeed. Though it would be a shame if those expensive assets were to be broken. This is why you need to get your equipment and inventory insured to cover the cost of such unexpected costs.

Arguably getting business insurance is more important as if there were any mishaps while installing panels you would be covered for the damages. Basically, any vital part of your business should be insured to ensure that you don’t have to pay to replace them.

Paying out of your pocket is something that nobody would want to do for a mistake that was completely avoidable. Getting liability insurance is just as important as getting the right license. Moreover, you should also open a business bank account to manage the business expenses separately.  

Step 7: Acquire the required licenses

Depending on your state you need different permits and licenses in order to legally operate your solar panel business and conduct solar installations. You might or might not also need other licenses depending on your business structure.

For example, if you operate in Massachusetts you are required to have a construction license and an electrician’s license. While other states are comparatively lax when it comes to licensing they still require you to have an electrician’s license if you’re dealing with 120-volt electricity.

If you are mainly going to install rooftop PV systems then it is also helpful to have a roofing contractor’s license as some states require you to have one for such installations.

Step 8: Market your business

Market your business after start a solar panel installation business

Don’t expect any clients to come knocking on your door if you haven’t even tried to market your business. For you to get any kind of solar sales you must focus on marketing efforts heavily. Since the business heavily relies on interacting with customers, referrals and traditional media can prove to be highly effective tools.

Market yourself in a way that mainly speaks of your expertise in the field. Though talking about financial incentives is also important. Sure most of your client base might know of all the solar tax incentives and savings but it is your job to drive the point home.

Making yourself visible online is also a priority as these days people look towards the internet for local solutions. Creating a google business account or running social media ads on local pages is a great idea to boost the number of your clients. Marketing does require you to invest some finances however it does make a difference.

Step 9: Look for investors

If you’re unable to invest the amount of money that is required by a solar power company then it is not a bad idea to get investors on board with your business plan. The solar panel industry has seen a lot of consistently growing investment.

Even the biggest venture capital firms have been investing in profitable solar projects. Given that your business plan shows promise you shouldn’t have a hard time acquiring investments or getting a business loan.

Much like any other business, solar panel contractors will also face their fair share of challenges. They are usually caused because of neglectful mistakes made by a new business. We’ve listed a few of them so that you don’t end up making the very same common mistakes when running your own business. 

1. Prioritization

A lot of solar businesses prioritize things such as panel quality, maximum power delivery, and low price. While those aspects are important, they aren’t the most noticeable to the customer. The aspect that matters the most when it comes to a solar panel business is customer experience. 

While you could just give them free ice cream, we recommend that you gain their satisfaction by making your services as clear and linear as possible. Your job is not only to install solar panels but also to ensure that the client is at ease and isn’t bothered much by the process.

Such an order of priorities will not only help you retain the customer for longer. It will also make the customer more likely to refer your company name to other individuals that are looking to get solar power. 

2. Untrained workforce

The most common reason for a botched solar installation is human error. As previously stated, having the right skilled workforce is imperative for a solar panel installation business to succeed. Remember that a worker’s job is not complete by just having the panels installed.

With solar installations increasingly becoming common you will have to stand out from the competition and build a positive reputation to boost your solar sales. 

3. Poorly made route plans

You’d expect a solar company to be good at installing solar panels but unfortunately, that is not the case due to poorly planned routes. The biggest gripe coming from customers is usually the amount of time it takes to get the job done.

Such delays are very frustrating and can damage the reputation of your own solar panel business. The time lost to bad planning is often overlooked by countless businesses but it does reflect in their overall sales and efficiency stats.

Business owners can never hope to reach their epitome without proper optimization. Thankfully you can avoid almost all route planning issues with the help of Upper.

If you’ve dealt with planning routes, then you know how much of a menace it can be. Not only is it time-consuming and complex, but it is also inaccurate. Now couple this with accounting for service times and transit times to see how much time it would take for anyone to craft the perfect route. 

These issues are a matter of the past, thanks to Upper. With Upper, you can create perfectly planned routes that account for almost anything that you want faster than ever! With One Click Dispatch, creating a highly accurate route is perhaps easier than ordering a pizza. Uploading and sharing data is just as easy with our API Integration which allows you to get the information that you need at lightning-fast speeds!

Upper also allows you to plan trips months in advance! This is especially important for a solar panel business where you have a wave of clients booked for future installations. You can also prioritize stops based on their urgency to customize the routes to best match your plans! 

In fact, U.S. based solar installation company Sunbility used Upper Route Planner. The automated route planning process helped to find the best routes for their technicians. With Upper, they could complete their jobs 75% faster than before . Additionally, Upper helped them get 3x service calls for solar panel installations, thereby growing their business. 

Upper takes your services to the next level!

Planning routes has never been easier thanks to Upper! With Upper by your side, you can rest easy knowing that your routes are perfectly planned.


A solar business requires a hefty amount of startup costs as investment typically around $50,000. The bulk of this investment will be going to hard assets such as inventory and equipment.

Indeed! It is a high-investment business though given the current growth of the solar panel market it should be quite a profitable venture for a lot of individuals.

The lifespan of a solar panel is variable depending on the manufacturer but most solar panels typically last for an average of 25 years. Their primary reason for degradation is natural wear and tear caused by weather conditions.

The solar panel industry is one that is rapidly growing across the globe. In such a market your best bet is to deliver consistently good services in order to build a reputation that carries your brand image for years.

Customers in this industry expect the quickest and finest services within their budget and it is crucial for you to meet those expectations to the best of your abilities. You will have to face difficult situations, but you will have to learn to deal with difficult customers in order to get the job done professionally.

Having Upper by your side will quickly prove to be a necessity once you start planning routes by yourself. Optimization is the key to maximizing the potential of any given delivery business.

Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner , a route planning and optimization software. With 28+ years of experience in the technology industry, Rakesh is a subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems. His ultimate goal with Upper Route Planner is to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges and simplify operations such as route planning, scheduling, dispatching, take a proof of delivery, manage drivers, real time tracking, customer notifications and more. He loves sharing his thoughts on eliminating delivery management challenges via blogs. Read more.

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Solar Panel Installation for Homes, Businesses, and RV's

Join our many satisfied customers in making your home sustainable with solar energy 

3460 Barrancas Ave

Pensacola, FL 32507

850-292-7900 305-215-7354

Long-Term Solar Benefits

Solar installers you can trust.

Energy independence with solar panels in Florida form SDS is now not only easily attainable but very lucrative as well on your solar installation with returns of only 3-8 years and you own your solar energy power supply!

*Cash and military discounts

*$0 money down financing with lower than prime APR and 25 years.

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 *30% tax credits, grants, lump sum depreciation available right now! 

*Coupled with our direct marketing of solar energy solutions backed by local Sunny Day experts to make sure you get 100% of your utility bill covered and the best value added for everyone!

With our over 25 years of experience teamed up with our nationally top ranked solar panel installation teams and fully SEIA and/or NABCEP certified, licensed, and insured professionals at every stage you know it will be done right the first time!  NO other solar company can offer our level of experience, professionalism and trade craft!

*We too are the only comprehensive solar provider in most of our service areas across the southern US. We are able to offer not only residential but commercial and recreational solar! Grant writing and more!

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*We have always taken pride in being a highly rated on google and have the best reputation in the industry we are BBB A+ solar panel company with NO formal complaints filed! 

*NABCEP certified installs!

*In house Grant writing services!

*Sunny Day also has always maintained the longest and highest levels of warranty and gu

*Sunny Day also has always maintained the longest and highest levels of warranty and guarantee in the industry now with a 30 year across the board Solar warranty on every residential  product and service every time!!!

*Military Discounts!! - thank you for your service!!

Part of our proceeds goes towards these and other charities as we Proudly Support our local communities. 

  • Sunny Day Solar is a part of a comprehensive renewable solar energy solutions provider. We are completely owned and operated out of Florida now with our National Headquarters based out of Pensacola with Miami as a substation in the south! We provide solar panel installation for homes, businesses, RVs, and boats as well as large scale solar farms and grant services for farmers and rural businesses. No matter your needs one of our companies covers you via Sunny Day Solar, Sunny Day Recreational Solar, or Sunny Day Solar Farms.  
  • Our Founder and CEO, Marc Hager, is a 25 year seasoned professional as a former union trained electrician, contractor, and solar consultant. He came to the area thanks to Honeywell over ten years ago and has extensive native Florida family ties. He began his career in the industry in 1995 as an electrical contractor in Colorado until 2008. From the late 1990's and early 2000's he has engineered, sold, and installed numerous early off-grid solar systems in Colorado. Ever since he has been involved in countless small residential to massive scale multi acre solar farming solutions projects across the US. From the early days of Solar's beginnings he never imagined that solar would be as affordable and efficient as it has progressed to date! Solar is now growing exponentially as a result. His excitement and enthusiasm is evident in his work and spills over into the culture of this organization!  
  • Sunny Day Solar Farms, LLC is a proud and active member of the community involved in networking and charitable groups as well as Military business dealings and discounts! We strive to maintain the highest quality of standards and best practices. We have no complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau as we work very hard with our customers to resolve any issues before they become problematic. Keeping our customers happy is a priority to us not only because we depend on them spreading our good name but also because we are all neighbors in the community together.     

As Always - "Let the sun save the day!" and "Have a sunny day!!"

Sunny day solar farms, llc, (sunny day solar, sunny day recreational solar, and sunny day solar farms).

"After over 25 years in the business I still love what I do! Now more than ever I get to not only share the advantages solar provides but it helps individuals and the community in a multitude of ways! Since childhood as an Eagle Scout I discovered the value of serving my community! On a daily basis we get to help individuals save money, keep a set budget and take control by owning their power production instead of renting it. We too help businesses to become more profitable by reducing overhead. Solar is as American as apple pie and I am proud to have founded Sunny Day Solar Farms, LLC!! I started this company to help people and offer a service that I truly enjoy providing every day!" ~ Marc H.

We are now proudly serving the entire Southern United States!!

  • We are now proudly serving the entire Southern US! 


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Solar electric is a smart, easy and affordable choice for your energy production needs.

MSSI makes it simple for you to design and have a system installed which will produce up to 100% of your energy needs for the next 25 years.

Imagine, watching your meter run backwards and the utility co. crediting you because you have become an energy producer – not a "user".

On your rooftop, your shed, your porch, and your carport or to maybe convert your boat... for your business, residence, your summer home or your winter chalet, our solar electric systems will help you have an immediate and critical positive effect on the earth.

Did you know? The average home with a solar panel installation will save about 7 tons of CO2 emissions each year! Contact us today for an estimate on solar panel installations in MD.

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Maryland Solar Solutions provides solar panel installations in MD as well as Solar Panel Removal, Solar Panel Repairs, Solar Array Removal & Repairs for residential homes and commercial businesses throughout the state including Baltimore City MD Solar Panels , Baltimore County Solar Panels , Harford County Solar Panels , Howard County Solar Panels , Anne Arundel County Solar Panels , Carroll County Solar Panels , Frederick County Solar Panels , Montgomery County Solar Panels , Prince Georges County Solar Panels , Cecil County MD, Kent County, Queen Annes County & Talbot County on the Eastern Shore of MD, St. Mary's, Calvert &, Charles County in Southern Maryland, Washington County in Western MD and more. Before you fill out a form on EnergySage or Home Advisor and get bombarded with contractors, call us so we can explain the value of owning solar panels vs leasing. If you are looking for solar power companies or solar energy companies in Maryland please call or email for details or to find out if our experienced solar installers can install in your area.

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