Best Solar Panels in 2022 | Top Brands Ranked | SaveOnEnergy®

Best Solar Panels 2022

Which is right for your home?

home with solar panels on the roof

Jason Finn / Shutterstock

Are you searching for the best solar panels for your home? We can help you compare the top solar panel brands of 2022. We ranked the leading solar panels by cost, efficiency, warranty, and best overall. 

If you want to invest in your home with solar energy, you need to compare the best solar panels. Luckily, we’ve scoured the solar panel reviews and compiled all the info in one place for you.

Overall best solar panels of 2022:

  1. REC Alpha Pure Series
  2. Panasonic EverVolt
  3. LG NeON® 2 Series
  4. Hanwha Q CELLS Peak Duo
  5. SunPower® A-Series

We based our solar panel rankings on a combination of factors, including cost, warranty, efficiency, and materials. 

We assigned a numerical value to each of the following solar panel features to come up with a cumulative score for each of the top solar panels in our list. A higher number correlates to a higher score, with the best possible score being 12 points. Based on our ranking system,* we’ve listed the best solar panels in order below:

Best solar panels reviews

Now let’s dive deeper into what makes these top five solar panels the best on our list. Based on our rankings above, here’s what sets these solar panels apart from the rest of the competition. 

REC Alpha Pure Series

We chose these aesthetically-pleasing high-power solar panels because they perform well even in shaded areas. Plus, REC has removed lead from all their solar panel components, making these panels one of the most environmentally-friendly solar choices on the market.    

Panasonic EverVolt

If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced solar panel from an established name in the electronics innovation, Panasonic’s solar panels fit the bill. We like EverVolt panels for their extensive product and performance warranty. And, they are guaranteed to provide a higher-than-average power output throughout their lifespan. 

LG NeON® 2 Series

LG NeON® panels use thin wires instead of busbars to create a solar panel with high-power output and a smoother appearance. We aren’t the only ones who favorited this brand: these panels won the PVEL Top Performer Award in 2021. PV Evolution Labs is a trusted third-party audit company for solar products. 

Hanwha Q CELLS Peak Duo

We chose Hanwha Q CELLS because they boast a long lifespan of over three decades and a super-low degradation rate (.54% degradation of productivity per year), which means these panels will keep producing energy at a high volume for years to come. Hanwha solar panels are also a PVEL award winner for six years in a row.

SunPower® A-Series

Though pricey, we selected SunPower panels because the company makes some of the most efficient solar panels on the market today. With SunPower’s 400 watt panels, you can power your home’s square footage with fewer panels, but you will pay a premium for these superior panels. 

Interested in solar, but not sure where to start? We’ll help you take the first step. Fill out the form on this page to learn more.

How We Ranked The Best Solar Panels

  1. We evaluated multiple solar panel manufacturers and product lines to narrow down the top five solar panels. Here’s how we ranked the top five best solar panels:
  2. We assessed the panels by cost, warranty, efficiency, and materials, and assigned a point value for each category. See the full breakdown in the table below.
    • 1 point = below the industry standard
    • 2 points = industry standard
    • 3 points = exceeds expectations
  3. We then added the points for each of the four categories to get an overall score. The highest possible score is twelve points.

3 Points 2 Points 1 Point
COST $0 -$300 $301 - $450 $451+
WARRANTY 25 Year Performance 15 + Year Product 25 Year Performance <15 Year Product 25 Year Performance No Product
EFFICIENCY 21.1%+ 20% -21% <20%
MATERIALS Heterojunction/ Monocrystalline Monocrystalline Polycrystalline or Amorphous

Other Factors to Consider

Outside of these four primary categories, other details you may want to consider when selecting the best solar panels for your home include:

  • Is this brand available in your area?
  • Do you like the look of the solar panels? Some panels will have visible grid lines (also called gap lines), while other panels do not. 
  • Is your installer offering promotions with any particular brands?
  • Is any manufacturer running a special or promotion? It can be worthwhile to comparison shop at big box hardware stores and online to find the best prices. 
  • Are you planning to own, lease, or use a power purchase agreement (PPA) to cover the cost of your solar system? Owning (or financing) is the only option that allows you to take advantage of the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).
  • Are there any special features that appeal to you? See the table below to learn more about unique offerings:

Best solar panels by cost

Not counting the SunPower® A-Series, which was an outlier in cost, the average cost among our best solar panels was $330/panel. Solar panels come in a  range of prices, typically determined by wattage. Higher wattage means greater efficiency and output, thus the higher associated cost. This greater output also means you can power your home with fewer panels overall.

Top 3 solar panels by cost 

  1. Hanwha Q CELLS Peak Duo: Average price $256.50
  2. REC Alpha Pure Series: Average price $317.50
  3. LG NeON® 2 Series: Average price $348.00

Keep in mind that the average overall solar panel system cost is between $15,000 and $25,000. There are several different ways to pay for your solar energy setup, such as owning, leasing, or using a power purchase agreement (PPA). 

Owning your solar panels, which also includes the option to finance the cost, is typically seen as the best investment option. Owning your panels allows you to cash in on the federal solar tax credit, also known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC).

Best solar panels by efficiency

You might be wondering: “what makes a solar panel efficient?” Solar panel efficiency is based on two primary factors: energy output and size. The most efficient solar panels will have the highest energy yield at the smallest square footage. 

Top 3 solar panels by efficiency

  1. REC Alpha Pure Series: Average efficiency 21.4%
  2. SunPower® A-Series Average efficiency 21.2%
  3. Panasonic EverVolt: Average efficiency 20.9%

As you can see, there is little difference in efficiency among the best solar panels. With an efficient solar panel, you can produce more power and store excess green energy by using a solar battery. An efficient solar panel can save you even more on your electricity costs than if you were to use a company that offers green electricity rates.

Best solar panels by warranty

Warranties are an important part of your solar panel purchase because most panels will last 25 years or longer. Therefore, you want to make sure your investment is protected and that you have a cost-effective way to fix any issues with your home solar panels. Your solar panels should have a warranty on the parts and also on the functionality. Here are the panels we found with the best solar panel warranties.

Top 3 solar panels by warranty 

  1. Panasonic EverVolt: 25-year performance and product warranty. The AllGuard warranty covers “performance output and labor to replace and repair all major components” in your solar panel system, including microinverters and racking. This warranty is more inclusive; however, it requires that panels and hardware must be purchased and installed as a bundle by a “Panasonic Authorized, Premium or Elite installer.” It’s important to note that Panasonic has decided to stop producing solar panels at the end of fiscal year 2022. However,  Panasonic “will stand behind their existing warranties to cover the 25-year product and performance warranties.” and OEM solar panels will take over the EverVolt brand name.
  2. LG NeON® 2 Series: 25-year limited performance; 25-year product warranty. LG guarantees that “the actual power output of the module will be no less than 95% of the labeled power output” for the first five years. Make sure to check out the complete list of coverage and exclusions if you are interested in LG solar panels.
  3. REC Alpha Pure Series warranty: 25-year performance warranty; 20-year product warranty. REC’s performance warranty states that in years two through 25, ”the actual power output will decline annually by no more than 0.25%”, which guarantees “an actual output of at least 92%” in the final year of the warranty.

Best solar panel special features

Manufacturer Special Features
Panasonic EverVolt Legacy brand | Very low annual degradation rate
LG NeON® 2 Series Cello Technology™ | Double-sided cell structure
SunPower® A-Series Up to 400 watts | Proprietary Equinox system
Hanwha Q CELLS Peak Duo Certified for high snow (5400 Pa) and wind loads (2400 Pa) | Six-year recognition as a Top Performer*
REC Alpha Pure Series Lead-free | Gapless cells

*by the 2021 PV Module Reliability Scorecard, published by PV Evolution Labs (PVEL). PVEL is an independent testing laboratory for solar reliability and performance.

Best Solar Panels FAQs

Which solar panel brand is best? Expand / Collapse Toggle

We found REC Alpha Pure Series solar panels to be the best based on their superior heterojunction construction that allows them to perform better in high heat. This factor, combined with their price point, efficiency, and warranty, made REC solar panels the best value.

Which solar panels are made in the U.S.? Expand / Collapse Toggle

LG NeON® 2 Series has a facility in Huntsville, AL, Panasonic solar panels have a factory in Buffalo, NY, and Hanwha has a factory located in Irvine, CA. All of these manufacturers also have factories elsewhere in the world, such as Malaysia and South Korea. REC and SunPower have U.S. offices but no stateside manufacturing.

What is the largest solar panel company? Expand / Collapse Toggle

LONGi and JinkoSolar are two of the largest solar manufacturers worldwide. In the U.S., the largest solar panel manufacturer is First Solar.

Who makes the most reliable solar panels? Expand / Collapse Toggle

In the solar industry, 25-year warranties are standard, which means that solar panels manufacturers must strive to make a reliable product with a long lifespan. However, the reliability of the amount of energy generated by the panels depends on how much sunlight and shade your panels have.

Do you buy solar panels from the solar manufacturer or the installer? Expand / Collapse Toggle

Save On Energy partners with installers that give you the choice of using the solar panels that you want. All major brands of panels, batteries, and other equipment should be available through your installer. However, you can also order direct from the manufacturer.

How do I get cheap solar panels in my area? Expand / Collapse Toggle

Use our state guides on solar panels to find rebates and incentives available near you.

What is the best solar panel for my RV? Expand / Collapse Toggle

The best solar panels for RVs will be different than the best solar panels for your home. Read more about the top five solar panels for your RV.