In order to go solar through Sungevity, all potential customers must meet the following criteria:
- Own a home.
- Reside in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont.
Sungevity offers a great solar panel system coupled with a full warranty and an advanced monitoring system. Sungevity was founded in California in 2006 and received their accreditation from the BBB in 2008. They offer solar panel solutions for customers in 13 states. In the industry, Sungevity offers customers some of the most flexible payment options, including three different leased-based options and one outright purchase option. The leased options give customers 20-year protection, which includes full insurance, free installation, performance guarantees, and 24/7 monitoring. The outright purchase option allows customers to get ten years of performance guarantees, repair options, and 24/7 monitoring.
Sungevity offers a unique feature known as the iQuote tool. After consulting with the customer, the company has a proprietary design tool that engineers a solar solution for the customer’s home. The paperwork, especially the important legal notice to proceed, is automatically generated. Other providers in the industry commonly fail to complete the legal paperwork and clients can often find themselves with a system installed that was not yet activated. The iQuote tool helps prevent this.
- Custom built panels
- Online monitoring of production vs. usage
- Solar reps available at select Lowe’s stores
- They partner with nonprofits and give back
- Payment options include buy, loan, lease, and PPA.
The 20-year contract for leased systems comes with a 20-year warranty. But Sungevity is very aware that people will have to move at some point in their lives and they keep that in mind in regards to the installed solar panels. Sungevity offers a few options for those moving and they include: assigning the energy plan to the new homeowner, prepaying the remaining payments and assigning the non-financial obligations the new homeowner, purchasing the remaining time on the lease and terminating the lease and asking the company to remove the system.
Sungevity also has a unique app available for smartphones, tablets, and computers. Customers can track their carbon savings and energy footprint, as well as refer their friends and watch their progress towards going solar. This allows the customer to see exactly what their solar panels are producing compared to how much is used.
Sungevity is known for their high-quality dealers. Sungevity requires that its local installers go through an extensive application process, and follow through with quality assurance and high marks. Each Sungevity installation goes through two quality assurance checks. First, a regional representative certifies that the design meets standards. Finally, a district manager certifies the regional representative’s work. This thorough QA process is unique in the industry.
One of the unique customer experiences associated with Sungevity is the custom installation process. Experts in solar panel will custom-design a system for a home, providing panels that have exceptional quality and easily blend with a home’s roof. Their systems include the strongest rails, simple assembly, integrated grounding with UL 2703 systems, PE Certification, design software for quote preparation, and a twenty-year warranty.
Sungevity is also highly active in the non-profit sector. The company has raised over $1.5 million for non-profits and also has donated over 5,283 solar panel kits during its time in business. Sungevity is one of the most active companies in terms of charity in the industry.
While Sungevity is setting the standard for what a solar provider should be, there are some things to be cautious of.
A few things to take note of with Sungevity are:
- Lack of equipment information on their site
- Complaints listed on the BBB
- Less state availability than other solar providers
The biggest critique of Sungevity is the lack of system information available on their website. They do provide a basic explanation of each system component, such as the solar converter. But for more technical specifications of a system you would need to find a dealer website. Including a more in-depth FAQ section and a live chat option would help appease a lot of customers as that readily provides the information with little to no effort. It would also be beneficial for consumers if they had access to some kind of example contract.
As with any service-oriented industry, you will find customer complaints. These complaints should not be ignored but should also be taken with a grain of salt as cases can greatly vary per customer. There have been 13 reported cases through the Better Business Bureau within the last three years. All of the cases were closed, which means the customer was taken care of one way or another.
Finally, Sungevity is available in 13 states, which is considered the top end of the industry. But it would still be nice to see them expand into a few more states to give more customers the opportunity to go solar!
The Bottom Line
Sungevity is a company that is revolutionizing the industry and setting the standard for what solar providers should offer.
Here is a quick recap on the good features:
- The iQuote tool.
- An outstanding mobile app.
- Multiple payment options with a 20-year system warranty.
- An elementary, and easy to understand solar basics page.
The iQuote tool helps set the customer up with a solar panel system from a dealer, who in turn, uses Sungevity’s proprietary system to design a system.
The mobile app that allows customers to monitor their energy footprint. Sungevity’s website provides excellent examples of what their mobile app looks like and what you can monitor and track. You will be able to access how much your production is per day, week, month, year and lifetime. It has the weather forecast in your area and even estimates how many pounds of carbon emission your solar home has offset.
Sungevity offers four different payment options to help you get started with solar. Each option features a generous 20-year warranty and 24/7 monitoring and repair, as well as insurance.
Lastly, they want anyone to be able to understand how installing solar panels are your home works. Sungevity provides a great page on their website to explain how solar works and why it is beneficial for almost anyone to switch over.
Some opportunities for Sungevity to improve its service include the following:
- Increase communication between Sungevity and subcontractors.
- Provide more detailed information on Sungevity’s technology on the website.
- Expand the FAQ on the website.
There is always room to grow, but Sungevity really stands apart in the solar industry. They make customer service a top priority and are consistently disrupting the industry by adding their proprietary tools. Overall, Sungevity is a superb company that is highly recommended for your solar needs.
Payment Options Breakdown
- You own the system
- Monitoring of your system 24/7
- Receive your 30% federal tax credit
- 20-year system warranty
- Monthly payments till the loan is paid off
- Typically less than electric bills
- 20-year system warranty
- 24/7 monitoring
- Guaranteed performance for 20 years
- Easy transfer of lease if you sell your home
- Small upfront cost and monthly payments
- Potential to be less than your electric bill
- Pay for the electricity you use
- Lock in a fixed rate
- You won’t own the system
- Easy transfer of PPA if you sell your home
Sungevity Solar Equipment
Sungevity uses their online monitoring system OurSungevity so that users can constantly monitor the performance of their home solar system. OurSungevity allows you to check out the solar system’s output, carbon savings, and other electricity related production. From OurSungevity, you can also share solar with your friends and help them see the benefits of solar savings.
Another benefit of OurSungevity is that you can monitor the status, output, and savings anywhere at anytime from a computer, tablet, or smartphone. OurSungevity even lets you track your installation process by monitoring the 6 steps of installation online.
Inside OurSungevity, you can find tabs that shed more details on performance, your system, environmental impact, documents, and detailed reports. OurSungevity truly lets you monitor how well your home solar system is performing.