sungevity

Sungevity

Full Warranty, Free iQuote, Advanced Monitoring System, Dedicated Project Manager

Our Score
9.7
User Score
8.1
Ratings Breakdown

Price

Average $ per Square Foot
Custom

Pricing Plans

Options offered
Rent

Availability

Number of States serviced
12

Process

Rating of life-cycle process
5/10

Warranty

Overall warranty offered
9/10

Time In Business

Number of Years in Business
7

Ease of Use

Signup/bill pay user experience
8/10

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on TBC
18

Sungevity offers a great solar panel system coupled with a full warranty and an advanced monitoring system.

sungevity-2sungevity-3

Sungevity was founded in California in 2006 and received their accreditation from the BBB in 2008. They offer solar panel solutions for customers in AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, NM, VT, NC NJ and NY. 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.

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.

Sungevity doesn’t provide much technical information on its solar systems, but we were able to find several spec sheets with regional dealers. The spec sheets provide detailed installation blueprints, as well as specifications for the inverters that convert the sun’s energy into a direct current. Some of the benefits of a Sungevity installation and system include the following:

  1. The strongest rails,
  2. Simple assembly
  3. Integrated grounding with UL 2703 systems,
  4. PE Certification,
  5. Design software which can help a dealer generate a quote in minutes, and
  6. A twenty-year warranty, which is often twice the protection guaranteed by competitors.

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.

The Good

We were overall satisfied with the solar panel options offered through Sungevity. One of the unique features in the industry was 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 importance legal notice to proceed, is automatically generated. We found that in the industry, other providers sometimes failed to complete the legal paperwork and clients could often find themselves with a system installed that was not yet activated. The iQuote tool helps prevent this.

We liked the 20-year contract/warranty for leased systems and found that this was often twice the warranty coverage in comparison to competitors. Also, we had a very simple question: What happens if the customer decides to move? Sungevity has four solutions for customers that need to move:

  1. Assign the energy plan to the new homeowner
  2. Prepaying the remaining payments and assigning the non-financial obligations to the new homeowner.
  3. Purchasing the remaining time on the lease.
  4. 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.

We also liked the high quality expected from Sungevity 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. We couldn’t find a more thorough QA process in the industry, where the solar provider follows through on the work of its contractors.

The Bad

The biggest critique we had of the Sungevity website was the lack of information on the solar panel technology and components of the system. On the website, there are the basic provisions of a solar agreement that provide an explanation of each system component, such as the solar converter. We had to see a dealer website (http://generation819.com/solar-installations/aliso-viejo/5-41-kw-residential-solar-system-sungevity-lease/) to get the technical specifications of a solar system from Sungevity.

We found a few complaints that caused us to furl our eyebrows. One customer spent seven months after purchasing a lease before the system was running. This was due to a minor design flaw in the system. The customer isolated the cause of the problem as being issues between Sungevity and its subcontractor. The same customer also reported that the system generated far more power than what they needed, thus marginalizing the potential savings of a solar panel system during temperate months.

Finally, we would like to see a live chat aspect of the website and better FAQ. Many of our concerns went unanswered, even after our phone-in. For instance, we had questions about how we could work on a credit score to purchase a solar panel system. Also, our technology questions were not answered on the website.

The Bottom Line

Overall, we liked Sungevity and would recommend them for installation of a solar panel system. Here is what we liked about the company:

  1. In most situations, the iQuote tool helped set the customer up with a solar panel system from a dealer, who in turn, used Sungevity’s proprietary system to design a system.
  2. The mobile app that allows customers to monitor their energy footprint.
  3. The generous 20-year warranty for leased systems, which included 24/7 monitoring and repair, as well as insurance.
  4. How easy Sungevity made it if you needed to move.

Some opportunities for Sungevity to improve its service include the following:

  1. Increase communication between Sungevity and subcontractors (this was indicated in a few of the complaints that we read on Yelp).
  2. Provide more detailed information on Sungevity’s technology on the website.
  3. Expand the FAQ on the website, as not all of our questions were answered on Sungevity’s website.

Sungevity Solar Equipment

our-sungevitySungevity 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.

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Visit our Request Reconsideration page and send us your feedback today!

18 Sungevity Reviews

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  1. User Score
    10
    egoldstein
    April 4th, 2015 at 5:03 pm
    1 people found this review helpful!

    I’ve had a Sungevity system on my home since Feb. 2015. The installation process was smooth and timely and working with Sungevity was great. The system has high quality panels – I opted for the mono crystalline type – and I really liked their quoting process. They can sometimes be a little more than SolarCity, but its more than worth it.

  2. User Score
    0
    Ted
    January 4th, 2015 at 11:01 pm
    5 people found this review helpful!

    Dealing with Sungevity has been an absolute nightmare. This has got to be the most incompetent company I have ever dealt with.

    First the sales representative will say anything to get you to sign their one-sided contract. She told me that the system would be up and running within three months which is normal for the industry. It took over 7 months.

    I was also told (and have this in an email) that:

    “Hi Ted and Olivia,

    Here’s the updated quote:

    This one would offset 100% of your current need, so you’ll have a buffer to run more AC and heat as needed in the future. Also, you’ll take control of your costs instead of those higher rates in the future.
    Let me know what you think.

    Shine on,
    Darlene”

    Not even close. I am using less energy than last year and had to keep my AC at 80 like last year. I have changed all but one of my old light bulbs to LED light bulbs; the one not changed to LED was changed to a CF bulb because the LED interfered with my garage door opener. I am not even leaving my fans on unless I am in the room. This year was cooler than last year so the AC did not have work too hard. I got rid of the small AC used in the bedroom at night; it was not needed this year. I am not working from home anymore so I went from using my computer for eight hours a day to less than one per day. I even changed all of my Christmas lights to LED. Even with all this I am still going over; even into tear 3 sometimes.

    The worst part is by time you find out how inept this company is it is too late. If you decide that you don’t want to deal with their lies and excuses you must pay a hefty amount to get rid of them.

    As I said earlier even though they said it would be running within three months it took seven.

    The first delay was in the design of the system. Their reason according to the account manager was that they were over loaded with unexpected sales. That is an issue the management should have taken care of, not making me wait even longer than promised.

    The second delay was in permitting. They said;

    Ted,
    “I understand your frustration but it is not something caused by Sungevity. You should be frustrated with the city of Palmdale for holding up your permit. My installer went in person to Palmdale’s permitting office on Tuesday and they told him that the plan is still in plan check. I don’t know what my associate told you, but I have been consistent with my messaging. It is in Palmdale’s hands.

    Please feel free to go to the city office and see what the hold up is. Let me know that outcome.

    Regards,
    Jeramiah”

    I went to the Palmdale city permitting office and was told that Sungevity had not provided the proper documents for the solar panels. I called my account manager and informed him of this. The next day I receive an email from my account manager informing me that “He had found the issue”! He found it? I guess he found it after I told him! I should not have had to go to city hall and find out what Sungevity already should have known.

    On the bright side the installers were polite, courteous and professional. They had the installation with the required inspections completed in three days.

    The only issue with the installation was that the installers did not know that I had a vaulted ceiling in my living room. No this did cause issues with the installation, the installer had to reroute some of the wires for the panels over my living room. The sales person was told about my living room ceiling, the inspector who came out to see if I could have the system installed actually looked at the ceiling and pointed it out. So, what happened?

    The last delay was because they could not get funding. What? You knew for seven months that the system was being installed and you did not get funding for it?

    At this point I wanted to get rid of this incompetent company, but was told that I would have to pay for the uninstallation. Have you ever heard of this? A company that is not doing what was promised charging the client to make them go away! Even better is the fact that you do not find any of this out until it is too late to stop the company from making your life even more of a nightmare.

    So now four months late the system is somewhat up and running and more fun waiting to be had.

    As soon as I started the system I immediately had issues. I noticed that SCE was not showing that I was producing any solar power. I went to the inverter and saw the following message: “Error! Arc Fault E050”. I called tech support and was told that a ticket was being created for me. I asked if I could just press the “ESC” button to reset the system. They told me I was not to touch the ESC button. I emailed Sungevity and got the following response.

    “Hello Ted and Olivia,

    I hope all is well. I wanted to inform you that I created a case with Power-One (inverter manufacturer) regarding the Arc Fault issue. At this time, they are sending their own technicians into the field to repair the inverters. They will be contacting you directly to give you a heads-up on the timing of the service work. That will occur next week. As you may already know, pressing the ESC key on the inverter should allow the unit to generate again – at least temporarily. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused; especially so soon after receiving permission to operate. I know this is frustrating, so I’ve requested that Power-One prioritize this service work.

    As a leasing customer you do have a Performance Guarantee with Sungevity. If the system does not produce what we guaranteed over the course of the lease year, you will be compensated for that difference. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns, and thanks for all your patience while we work with the manufacturer to resolve this issue.

    Take care,
    Justin”

    I went out and did the “temporary” repair. As of this date I no one has come out and fully tested the inverter. I have gotten no explanation as to why this issue had arisen in the first place.

    Next I noticed that I was not able to review the amount of power created by my system on line as promises. When I tried to view the power created on the website I got “A problem was encountered while accessing performance data. Please try again in a few minutes. If the problem persists, please contact us at 866 SUN-4-ALL (866.786.4255) extension 5575.” So again I contacted customer support. At that time I was told that it takes a little time for it to start propagating. I waited and a month later it was still not showing anything. So they said that the solar monitoring unit originally installed was defective and had to be replaced. Well the second unit also did not work. So they sent out another. As the third solar monitoring unit was being installed the technician told me that the units were not bad just the wiring was wrong and he had to make some adjustments to the unit. What, adjustments!!!!
    Sungevity sent me the following email:

    “Hi Ted & Olivia,

    You will recall that the solar monitoring unit originally installed was defective and had to be replaced.

    The replacement unit has also malfunctioned. It appears the manufacturer had a batch with a software problem and we’ve had to replace some of them. Unfortunately your system was affected by two of the units.
    A new one has been shipped; I will get an update on scheduling the service visit.

    That Locus Energy meter measures production in two (redundant) ways: the inverter reports data directly, and it has an internal chip that separately measures the same production. We are receiving the direct inverter data, but the power chip inside the meter appears to have failed.

    That data stream is the one connected to our website. So I can confirm the system is producing properly but I cannot display it properly online.

    Here is the inverter data reported by the first unit, showing system production from 4/29-6/3:”
    (I’m not showing the graph but the amount they say I used was 974.75)

    “Here is the inverter data reported thus far by the 2nd unit, showing system production from 6/4-7/15:”
    (Again I’m not showing the graph but the amount they say I used was 1272.89)

    “I know it is frustrating to be unable to view it properly. I’ll check on the replacement.

    Regards,
    Chris”

    Now for the numbers:

    Cost out of pocket for electricity.
    April – November 2014: $1091.52
    April – November 2013: $926.61
    With added 8% $1000.74
    Net Loss: $90.78

    I added 8% for what Sungevity said the rate increase was. Now you think a loss of only $90.78 is all that bad but you must consider that I have made changes to use less power since the solar was turned on conserving power. As showed before I was told that not only would I have enough power to increase my usage, but there would be power to spare so I should have been an overage in my favor. I was also told that SCE would be paying me for that overage.

    Power Consumption:
    Now this is where it gets very strange. Remember I stated earlier that I was doing everything I could to use less power. Remember that they said the system “This one would offset 100% of your current need, so you’ll have a buffer to run more AC and heat as needed in the future.” These numbers were without using more AC or Electric Heater. This year has been considerable cooler than last. Last year I ran my AC through most of December, this year it has not run since mid-September.

    Examples;
    August 2013 I used 831 kWh in 2014 I used 1411 kWh
    September 2013 I used 688 kWh in 2014 I used 1189kWh
    October 2013 I used 871 kWh in 2014 I used 936 kWh
    November 2013 I used 478 kWh in 2014 I used 860 kWh

    Do you have any idea how hard it would be to almost double your Consumption especially when you are trying to conserve? There is something definitely wrong here. When I asked Sungevity what was happening the sent me an e-mail basically saying I was too dumb to figure something like this out. The fact that they had a form letter for this makes me wonder how many people are noticing this. I emailed them back telling them I did the calculations correctly, as of yet they have not responded (More than two weeks later). I guess I was supposed to go with no real answer and just stick my head in the sand.

    I do not want to throw around any wild accusations here, and there are many that can be thrown around. One thing that comes to mind is the inverter. I had issues with it early on and no one ever came out and really tested it. The equipment used by Sungevity seems to be prone to malfunctioning.

    In conclusion, check out everything before agreeing to sign that contract they lie to you, they try to misdirect you, and they will say anything to get you to sign the contract. Have all the solar company’s come out and give you a bid. Check out complaints about all the company’s on line. Do the math….

  3. User Score
    10
    Tristan Cronshaw
    October 23rd, 2014 at 7:36 pm
    1 people found this review helpful!

    Great company that has great customer service and effortless quote process. Best referral rate in the industry too!

  4. User Score
    10
    Gerald
    October 21st, 2014 at 9:45 pm
    1 people found this review helpful!

    I’ve had no problems so far. Everything was quick. Getting Xcel energy to get off their butts was a different story. but, they held our hands and did a good job.I have to give them a 10.

  5. User Score
    10
    Amity
    October 19th, 2014 at 5:19 pm
    1 people found this review helpful!

    Awesome company! So what if you have a small $1 increase in your lease every year! Its better than the $10-$15 your electric company is going to give you in 2 years. Plus your electric company should be paying you for all the extra electricity you’re not using. Win win!

  6. User Score
    10
    Lorenzo Valensi
    October 18th, 2014 at 11:59 pm
    3 people found this review helpful!

    Almost three years online, not one problem. Custom installation was perfect. Nothing left behind, not one scrap. I love the ability to track our production by day, month, year, total!

  7. User Score
    9
    Christy
    October 18th, 2014 at 4:13 pm
    2 people found this review helpful!

    Sungevity was informative, organized, and much more workable than the many other companies we interviewed for rooftop solar. We like the lease aspect, and that they also donate to the Sierra Club. They addresses all our concerns & followed thru with everything.
    After we signed up, it got even better. They took care of all the paperwork, permits. Everything went as scheduled & in less than 3 days of work the panels were professionally installed on our roof, the workmen were respectful & on time. Our PG&E bill went way, way down as predicted. In fact this year, we’ll probably get money back. I would definitely recommend Sungevity for rooftop solar here in the Bay Area.

  8. User Score
    10
    Bob Maher
    October 18th, 2014 at 1:52 pm
    1 people found this review helpful!

    Sungevity is an awesome company. Very helpful, saving money every month, doing something good for the environment. Best decision ever!!

  9. User Score
    0
    Jake Thurston
    October 18th, 2014 at 10:12 am
    1 people found this review helpful!

    Terrible company

  10. User Score
    10
    kevin
    October 17th, 2014 at 9:26 pm
    1 people found this review helpful!

    They did a great job for us 4 years ago…and since then. Very personal service! We have had four friends get referred by us and get systems so the referral fees Sungevity has paid us have paid a significant part of our total lease cost too!

  11. User Score
    10
    Art Brodsky
    October 15th, 2014 at 2:56 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    They were fabulous. From the project manager to the engineer they sent out to the occasional phone call, I have nothing but good things to say about Sungevity. I wish I could persuade my hesitant neighbors to sign up.

  12. User Score
    8
    Marci
    October 14th, 2014 at 7:06 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    I am not sorry I went solar but…I am not happy with the increase every year with my lease…One other thing which really upset me was ..it was not explained that when the electric goes out …my solar service also goes out along with everyone else…my neighbors were very surprised that the solar is on the same grid as everyone else….when I first called the electric company…they finally admitted that the solar system was on the same grid as everyone else…THAT IS A BUMMER!!! BUT..I am saving on my monthly electric bill…I am somewhat disappointed in the honestly of all involved and wish I would have been smarter and looked into the system before signing on that dotted line!

  13. User Score
    9
    melanio
    October 14th, 2014 at 2:41 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    Everything is going fine

  14. User Score
    10
    Joseph
    October 14th, 2014 at 1:01 am
    0 people found this review helpful!

    We are very happy customers….saving a lot of money

  15. User Score
    0
    Phil
    October 13th, 2014 at 7:00 pm
    2 people found this review helpful!

    I agreed to have Sungevity install a system on my home. The installation crew was excellent – polite, efficient and hard working.
    Before the final test of the system I asked where the solar plugs were that should have been attached to the inverters. I was told that they would do it when they came back for the final test. I called Sungevity and was told that it could not be done. After two weeks of aggravation, and having several people in the Sungevity system tell me that it was impossible, I received a call saying that they could do it. ???????? During that two week period, Sungevity let it slip that if the local power company were to lose power, the solar system would shut down. This was a complete surprise to me – having never been told about this ‘arrangement’. I said that this situation, which had NEVER been explained to me, needed to be corrected, and that I knew that it could be done. I was told that they had installed thousands of systems and never got a complaint. I cannot imagine that there are thousands of people out there who accepted this unacceptable installation. I told Sungevity that if they could not correct this situation, they could take back the system.
    This is something that everyone considering a solar system from Sungevity should be aware of.

  16. User Score
    10
    Sean Powers
    October 13th, 2014 at 1:43 pm
    0 people found this review helpful!

    we couldn’t be happier! We have saved a ton of money, and we are doing something good for the environment. sSungevity was awesome from the start,we did nothing, they did everything and the installers were fantastic! No complaints here.

  17. User Score
    10
    stephanie
    October 12th, 2014 at 11:38 pm
    0 people found this review helpful!

    Awesome

  18. User Score
    10
    Dan St Jacques
    October 12th, 2014 at 8:08 pm
    1 people found this review helpful!

    No problems. They have exceeded my expectations. I would have asked for a few more panels to completely cover the roof. So far system is putting out more then I am using. My home uses on average 16kw a day and my system is putting out 20 to 50 kWh a day. Utility owes me money now.

Our Score
9.7
User Score
8.1
Rank this Company
Ratings Breakdown

Price

Average $ per Square Foot
Custom

Pricing Plans

Options offered
Rent

Availability

Number of States serviced
12

Process

Rating of life-cycle process
5/10

Warranty

Overall warranty offered
9/10

Time In Business

Number of Years in Business
7

Ease of Use

Signup/bill pay user experience
8/10

Number of Reviews

User reviews here on TBC
18

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Review Last Updated: April 28, 2015

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