Solar panels are a long-term investment as they'll be on your roof for 20 years or more. Choosing the right brand and solar pv system for your home is important if you're keen to cut your carbon footprint and electricity bills.
To help you pick a solar panel brand we reveal the most popular ones among Which? members plus what owners think of them.
We surveyed 1,116 Which? members who have solar panels online in June 2021 and conducted an in-depth online study with 27 owners about buying, using and maintaining their solar panels.
The Which? members in our survey own solar pv panels from more than 23 different brands. The most commonly owned and currently available are:
Canadian Solar, Hyundai, JA Solar, Panasonic, REC, Solarworld and Suntech were also popular.
To help you choose, we've rounded up key features of solar panels from the biggest brands. Plus, we created an online forum from 9 to 23 June 2021, where 27 solar panel owners gave us an in-depth view of buying, using and maintaining their solar pv systems.
JA Solar makes a range of solar pv panels for homes and commercial buildings, including smart solar panels and panels which can generate electricity from both sides (bifacial). It's based in Shanghai, China.
Sunpower has been making solar panels for 35 years and says its solar panels have high efficiency and are more reliable than conventional solar panels. Among the six popular brands listed on this page, it's one of only two to offer 25-year product and service warranties.
LG might be best-known for its TVs, but it's now bringing its 50 years of electrical technology experience to solar panels. Its solar panel range includes high-efficiency panels, matt black panels and solar panels which generate electricity on both sides (bifacial).
It's one of few to offer both 25-year product and service warranties on some of its solar panels.
Panasonic's choice of solar panels includes smaller and slimmer panels for small or complicated roofs, matt-black panels and higher efficiency panels. It has been making solar pv panels since 1975, under the Sanyo brand until 2012.
It's worth noting that in 2021 Panasonic announced that it was planning to stop making solar pv panels by 2022. It has already closed its European business so stock may be limited.
Sharp sells solar panels for homes, businesses, farms, factories and fields. It says its 60 years of experience means that its solar panels can withstand harsh conditions without their performance suffering. You can choose matt black panels if you'd prefer not to see the traditional silver squares.
The Renewable Energy Corporation (REC)'s range of solar panels includes a choice of finishes (with silver lines or matt-black), panels that can generate electricity even when partly shaded, and a lead-free panel.
*Specification information is based on the most efficient domestic monofacial (i.e. one-sided) solar panel we could find online for each brand in June 2021.
If you've chosen a solar panel brand, use our Which? Trusted Traders search tool below to find a reliable solar panel installer near you.
Solar panels can cost several thousands of pounds to install, depending on the size of your system. As well as making your home more sustainable, owners often want to save money on their electricity bills.
So it's important to work out how long your investment will take to pay for itself.