Solar energy is becoming an exceedingly popular choice, as the residential solar industry experienced a 30% growth over 2020, which was the fifth consecutive record growth year. Given the rapidly multiplying demand, dozens of solar companies are popping up throughout the U.S. to accommodate the switch to solar.
If you’re considering converting to solar energy in your home, you have dozens of choices (depending on your location). As you browse for the perfect solar company, you might come across Vision Solar. This young company has only been on the scene since 2018 but has quickly expanded through multiple states.
Our review outlines the merits and drawbacks of Vision Solar to help you decide whether its services are a suitable pick for your project.
Our Vision Solar Review
Switching to solar is an expensive decision due to upfront costs. On top of that, the process can be an absolute headache without an experienced, knowledgeable solar team. So, it’s essential to choose the perfect solar provider for your project.
Vision Solar might come up in your search results if you’re within its service area. However, while the company has its merits, customer reviews warn potential clients against the headache they may encounter with Vision Solar’s services. This review offers insight on Vision Solar and whether it will be the answer to your solar project, so continue reading to learn more.
Vision Solar Company Profile
Vision Solar is a young, up-and-coming solar company servicing five states throughout the United States. Despite its newness on the scene, the company has expanded from a single location to offices in five states. Although the company clearly has a client base (because of its expansion), dozens of negative reviews cloud the company’s platforms.
|Vision Solar Summary|
|Company name||Vision Solar|
|Headquarters||Blackwood, New Jersey|
|Services||Solar panel installation|
|# of Employees||500+|
Pros & Cons Of Vision Solar
- System installation can take less than 24 hours
- Several financing options
- Company handles every step of the process
- Extremely low BBB rating
- Limited scope of service
Solar Services & Cost
|Solar Services||Solar panel sales and installation|
|Service Areas||Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania|
How Much Does Vision Solar Cost?
Like many solar companies, Vision Solar doesn’t offer total transparency of its pricing online. The reasoning behind the lack of information is usually the variation from one solar installation to the next. Every solar installation is different, as homes are varying sizes and feature different layouts, and each family consumes a different amount of energy.
In addition, some solar equipment is more expensive than others, so the equipment you choose can impact the price you pay. Due to these factors, giving a pinpointed price for solar costs on a website is tricky, so most companies require a solar quote.
Vision Solar offers free quotes, where the company will evaluate your solar needs and determine the expected cost of your system. However, since this doesn’t help customers looking for general pricing information, we can shed some light on potential expected costs based on U.S. averages.
The average per-watt cost for solar in the United States is $2.94, and the average system size is 5 kilowatts. So, using these numbers, we can determine the average base cost for the system, which comes out to $11,000.
However, most solar companies tack on an additional 100% to 200% to accommodate business expenses, so homeowners should expect to pay between $22,000 and $33,000. These numbers can fluctuate higher or lower based on your personal scenario, but they’re fairly average for a typical residential system.
In addition, these costs are before applying local and federal rebates. Some states offer better rebates than others, but homeowners throughout all 50 states can take advantage of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (available as of 2022). This credit can return up to 26% of the system’s total cost on the homeowner’s next tax return.
Learn more: Leasing vs Buying Solar Panels.
Unfortunately, Vision Solar only offers PPAs as the sole financing option, which is excluded from rebates and incentives.
According to Vision Solar’s website, the only option they offer for solar energy systems is a power purchase agreement (PPA). In this, the company handles all maintenance and repairs for your solar energy system, as you don’t actually own the system. Due to the setup of the PPA, there isn’t a workmanship warranty, as Vision Solar handles all work associated with the solar energy system, including maintenance.
The company utilizes a few solar panel companies, each of which offers a manufacturer warranty with its products. One of these companies is SunPower, which offers an industry-leading 25-year warranty. Again, if you don’t own the system, having a warranty is somewhat of a moot point, as the panels still belong to Vision.
Financing Plans & Options
Unfortunately, Vision Solar doesn’t offer much information regarding its financing plans. The company appears to offer power purchase agreements (PPAs) as its only financing option. While this option is convenient for some residents, it often isn’t the wisest choice for homeowners who want to own their systems outright.
The company’s website doesn’t mention outright purchases as an option, which is often the best option for homeowners who want a permanent solar solution. However, multiple reviewers mention their experiences with outright purchases through Vision Solar, so it might be available through certain locations. If you decide to go with Vision Solar for your solar project, ensure you verify the available payment or financing plans before proceeding.
The table below outlines the few financing plans and payment options available through Vision Solar.
|Payment Or Financing Option||Summary|
|Purchase||Outright purchases are the most cost-effective solution for homeowners seeking a permanent solar solution. This option allows homeowners to pay for their system in full at the time of installation, meaning they don’t accrue interest in a loan. Additionally, homeowners can take advantage of local and federal rebates.|
|Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)||PPAs are similar to a solar lease, where the homeowner leases the system for the duration of the agreement. Throughout the agreement, residents pay a monthly fee based on the amount of energy their system produces. This option is similar to paying an electric bill, so it might not be the best solution for everyone. If you choose a PPA, you cannot utilize solar tax incentives or rebates.|
Specials or Incentives Offered
Some solar companies offer a referral program to incentivize the switch to solar and drive sales. Vision Solar LLC offers a similar referral program as of 2022, allowing customers to receive a $500 bonus for each referral that chooses Vision Solar for their solar project. According to Vision’s website, there isn’t a cap on how many referrals you can cash in on.
Aside from this referral program, Vision Solar doesn’t appear to offer rebates or alternative incentives. However, customers might be able to take advantage of state and federal incentives. For example, Vision Solar mentions net metering programs that may allow the homeowner to accumulate credit via sending overproduced energy to the grid.
Each state has different net metering policies, so this might not be possible in every area. Check for local rebates and incentives, as there may be some available through local organizations or utility companies.
In-House or Contracted Installations
Vision Solar states its team of expert installers handles the entire installation process. This is important as outsourced contractors may not have the necessary experience to safely and correctly install solar on your home. While this isn’t applicable to every scenario, it’s usually best when the solar company handles the installation.
Although Vision Solar states its team of installers handles the installation process, some reviews mention third-party contractors installing their panels. If you decide to go with Vision Solar, be sure to verify the team handles the installation and activation process themselves.
What Solar Panels Does Vision Solar Use1
Vision Solar partners with a few solar panel brands, including Enphase and SunPower. Many of its partners are highly rated companies with efficient and long-lasting panels. SunPower is likely the most notable partnership, as it’s known for its high-efficiency solar panel production.
These solar panels have an efficiency rating of 22.8%, which is currently the best efficiency rating on the market. In addition, these solar panels feature an exceptional warranty of 25 years.
Vision Solar has a few partnerships throughout the solar and renewable energy industry, including its panel and inverter partners (SunPower, Enphase, etc.). Aside from these partners, Vision Solar is also partnered with GivePower, a nonprofit devoted to providing clean water via clean energy.
The company supports GivePower’s solar WaterFarms, which are sustainably made to provide access to clean water in areas suffering from water scarcity. According to Vision Solar, their contributions have assisted over 2,500 people in gaining access to 20 years of clean water.
Services Area & Availability
Vision Solar has a limited field of service that extends throughout five states in the south and the southeastern United States. The company has plans to expand to additional states, although the new states of service are unknown. Here is a list of all of the states that offer Vision solar:
- New Jersey
Vision Solar Reviews From Actual Customers
Customer reviews are a deciding factor for many potential customers of a business. These reviews can offer insight into how your interaction with the company might go. They’re a helpful tool in searching for red flags that may deter you from signing a contract with the company, so it’s important to read through the customer reviews, whether they’re good or bad.
Unfortunately, the majority of Vision Solar’s customer reviews are negative. The company rarely addresses the customers on the complaint review, although this isn’t to say they don’t reach out to the customer behind the scenes. Dozens of negative reviews clog Vision Solar’s review platforms, although there are a few positive experiences sprinkled throughout. However, keep in mind that customers that are satisfied are less likely to even leave a review than those that are not.
Vision Solar has plenty of room for improvement, as customers have plenty to say about the company’s services. Many reviews cite issues with communication, aggressive sales tactics, and lack of follow-through on the company’s part. Here are a few actual customer reviews:
“I have requested many times for this company to update and correct a simple mistake on their part in filling out forms for my local city’s building department. After more than 4 months of complaining, the company has not corrected the mistake they made. I am highly disappointed and warn others from dealing with Vision Solar. I would be glad to change my statement and rating after they correct the problem.”– Ralph U.
“We bought our solar system outright from Vision Solar about 2 years ago. We were told we would get 95% production of our use. We called Vision shortly after installation and asked for someone to come out to examine the system as our bills had not changed since before installation. We asked for notification of the inspection so we could be there. Six months later I went outside to find a vision employee inspecting our system. I explained we hadn’t noticed any decrease in our bills since the installation. He said it was working fine six months after installation. He mentioned that the sun had to be strong enough to get the system to start properly. About 2 years after installation we paid Vision $4000 to remove the panels for a re-roof. We waited about 2 weeks for the removal of the panels. The re-roof took 5 days. We called Vision to let them know we wanted the panels put back on the roof. It’s been over 2 weeks. We call nearly every weekday to find out if we have been scheduled for the panel replacement. They got our money. We got 10% production from our panels when they were up. If and when they schedule the panels for replacement we may have to wait 6 months for a tech to explain why we are getting 10% production instead of the 95% production promised.”– Joe G.
“I got my panels installed in December 2021. They were installed promptly, but getting them up and running was an issue. Like other reviewers, there seems to be problems with communication between Vision and the utility company (TECO in my case). Vision was supposed to send TECO a photo of the manual shut-off box. They claimed they did, but TECO said the photo was blurry. So the turn-on was delayed. TECO said they notified Vision 4 times, but Vision did nothing. Finally I called TECO, took a photo of the box for them, and eventually got the system turned on. Lastly the salesman promised me a $500 referral fee for referring another customer. I did that. Apparently that was a complete lie. I never got the $500. I would not refer anyone to Vision now.”– Robert G.
Bottom Line: Is Vision Solar A Good Company?
Given the abundance of negative customer reviews darkening Vision Solar’s platforms, we cannot recommend Vision Solar as a solid choice. The company has failed to address issues reported leading to a consistent flow of negative and unhappy customers.
That said, the company has its merits, as it offers a solid referral program (although customers have reported a lack of follow-through with receiving checks after referrals) and partners with top-tier solar brands. In the future, the company could become an excellent choice, but at the time of writing, Vision Solar doesn’t appear to be the best option for homeowners looking to go solar.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vision Solar
How long has Vision Solar been in business?
Vision Solar is a new face on the scene. The company has only been in business for the past four years since it opened in 2018. Compared to many other faces in the PV system industry, Vision Solar is incredibly young.
Where is the Vision Solar headquarters?
According to Vision Solar’s website, the company’s headquarters are currently based in Blackwood, New Jersey. Aside from its corporate headquarters in New Jersey, Vision Solar has additional locations scattered throughout the southeastern United States.
What inverter does Vision Solar use?
Vision Solar is partnered with Enphase Energy, a manufacturer of one of the top solar inverters available today. Enphase offers microinverters capable of converting solar power into residential electricity quickly and efficiently, making it a popular choice for home solar systems.
In addition, these microinverters monitor the performance of each solar panel. If something happens to a solar panel, Vision Solar can detect the problem through Enphase’s app. This eliminates the guesswork on the homeowner’s part, as Vision Solar will call the homeowner to set up a repair appointment if a problem arises with the solar energy system.
Who owns Vision Solar?
Jonathan Seibert founded Vision Solar in 2018 and now serves as the company’s CEO. The company started with a small group and has grown exponentially in the years since opening, expanding into multiple states.
Is Vision Solar BBB Accredited?
As of 2022, Vision Solar does not have BBB accreditation. To become a BBB-accredited business, the company needs to complete an application form, provide the necessary information, undergo a check on the company, and continually meet BBB’s standards.
To remain accredited, businesses must pay a fee and renew the accreditation annually. Vision Solar currently has not undergone this process and therefore isn’t BBB accredited. However, Vision does have a score with the Better Business Bureau, although it is very poor due to varying factors. As of 2022, Vision Solar has an ‘F’ score with the BBB.
How Long Does Vision Solar Take To Install Solar?
Vision Solar’s website states solar installations take less than 24 hours to complete once permits are ready. However, while this might be true, many reviewers report frustration with the timeline due to permit hiccups and extensions necessary due to a lack of follow-through on Vision’s part.
Today's Homeowner’s Solar Ranking and Review Methodology
At Today's Homeowner, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each solar energy company/service according to our methodology.
Our research team dug deep into the fine print of contracts, combed through more than one hundred customer reviews, and thoroughly investigated all of each solar energy company’s services, costs, and products. We’ve done the homework for you by researching nearly all of the solar energy companies on the market so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home.
We developed a formula to objectively determine the best solar energy companies and give each a score out of 100 based on the following criteria:
- Plan Options (30): Do they provide a variety of plan options? We looked at the number of plans each solar energy company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.
- Services offered (20): How many services are offered in each plan? We looked at whether the company manufactures its own solar panels, whether it contracts out installation, and what additional products each company offers.
- Trust (10): What do customers say after their solar panels are installed? Does this company offer a guarantee? We considered how satisfied customers are post-service if the company does what it says it will, BBB accreditation, and service guarantees.
- Prices (10): How reasonable are the costs of the plan or service in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors that offer the same solar energy services.
- Unique perks (10): Does the company offer discounts or special services such as financial incentives, rebates, or a useful mobile app? We looked for extras each company offers that set them apart from the competition.
- Customer Service (10): How is the customer experience when contacting the company? We considered the speed of response, weekend/holiday availability, and ease of communication through phone calls, email, and online chat functions.
- Nationwide availability (10): How many states does the company offer its services? Companies that operate nationally and in all zip codes are favored over those with limited availability.