Vivint Solar is a company that was recently acquired by Sunrun and is widely known as being one of the most affordable and simplest solutions for homeowners that are ready to go solar. The salary system options from Vivint Solar are clearly laid out, have options financing the upfront cost, and include lots of great technology to make your home more energy efficient.
In our Vivint Solar Review, we will show you what to expect from the Vivint solar system, where you can get one, and how to take advantage of all tax credit options available to Vivint customers.
Our Vivint Solar Review
Vivint Solar has been in the industry for more than ten years. This company started after a home automation and security company decided that solar energy was the wave of the future and something necessary for their survival in the industry. With Vivint’s headquarters being in Lehi, Utah, they started offering solar panels in addition to the home solar system.
Over time this started to expand, and eventually, Vivint went on to offer solar power systems in 21 states. Sunrun purchased the company in July 2020. With Sunrun being a massive solar company, there will likely be some changes and improvements to the Vivint process through the next few years. However, the main goal of this company was to help make your electric bill lower while also helping to improve the environment at the same time.
Vivint Solar has some really easy ways of managing your solar system, but they also combine these features with smart home technology. Other options on the market from Tesla and other providers have not quite gotten to this point of combining safety, security, and comfort with the solar system, which is why we give the Vivint Solar company 4.6/5 stars. In addition, the company has some very strong positive reviews from homeowners.
Vivint Solar Company Profile
Vivint Solar was founded in Lehi, Utah, and it still has its headquarters there. The website for Vivint provides some excellent information about the company’s history, solar panel installations, offers, and more. There is no current price information on the website as this will change from one state to another, and incentives are continually being updated. The best way to get all of this information is to contact a salesperson for Vivint or Sunrun Solar.
|Vivint Solar Summary|
|Company name||Vivint Solar|
|Services||Solar Energy Contractors|
|# of Employees||4000+|
Pros & Cons of Vivint Solar
Pros & Cons of Vivint Solar
- Fair pricing
- Financing options to choose from
- Partnerships with LG and Tesla
- Smart home system free with purchase of solar panels
- Some negative complaints about advertising
- Only in 21 states
Solar Services & Cost
One of the most essential parts of deciding to go solar is to find a company that offers affordable solutions for your home. Some solar panel systems are tens of thousands of dollars, and this is a large out-of-pocket cost for many homeowners. With Vivint Solar, you can rest assured that they are well aware of the financial burden of going solar, and they have put programs in place to help you manage this.
Three of the options that Vivint Solar uses to help homeowners handle the costs associated with solar services are solar loans, power purchase agreements (PPA), and even a solar lease option. The main solar service from Vivint includes an entire smart home system, truly setting it apart from the rest of the competitors on the market.
Vivint Solar Panel + Smart Home Combination
The Vivint Solar customer gets much more than a few panels installed on their roof. As we mentioned, Vivint started out as a home security and automation company, and they have continued to expand into a complete solar company. When you purchase your package from Vivint, you will get a full line of smart home products in addition to your solar panel system. These things include:
- Vivint Smart Hub
- Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro
- Smart Thermostat
- 2 Door and Window Sensors
- 1 Motion sensor
- Free installation (Of home security and automation products)
- 24/7 monitoring (Free for 36 months)
These systems can be modified to meet the needs of your specific home and your clean energy needs. If you need more motion sensors or have two thermostats, you can talk to your individual sales representative about what will work best. This offer only applies to new customers to Vivint Solar. If you wish to continue the monitoring of the system long-term, the total cost per month is $44.99. This will be an option that you can take or leave when you reach that part of your contract.
These cameras, thermostats, and sensors will all be powered with your new solar panels, making the home considerably more efficient.
How Much Does Vivint Solar Cost?
For a solar panel system, Vivint Solar will typically cost between $11,000 and $25,000. However, these costs will vary depending on a few key factors. Vivint does not offer any pricing information on its website. This is because of the fact that the price is going to change considerably from one area to another.
Some of the factors that are going to influence your cost of a home solar system are:
- Current Utility Consumption
- Size of the house and system installed
- Solar panel types
- Local and regional incentives
Luckily Vivint Solar has some financing options that they extend to homeowners. Some of these programs offer a $0 down payment. This is done sometimes to help with leasing customers and will make installing the solar system in your home considerably more affordable.
The warranty included as part of your Vivint Solar purchase can help protect your investment. With the total cost of home solar systems continuing to go down, it’s important to ensure that the quality is still relatively high and that you will have an impressive length of time with this solar panel system in place. The warranty from Vivint Solar has several pieces included. In addition to a manufacturer’s warranty, there is also a workmanship warranty.
10-Year Workmanship Warranty
The 10-year workmanship warranty essentially covers the installation of your home solar system, which helps to ensure that you don’t have trouble with your roof or the actual setup of the panels. If you end up with a roof leak or damage to the home, this would be the warranty that would cover you.
25-Year Linear Performance Warranty
The 25-year linear performance warranty is on all panels. If the panels are not performing to the level they are supposed to; you will have a new panel installed by Vivint. It is important to remember that as you go through the years, your solar panels will not produce as much as they did at the time of installation. This is expected, so this warranty won’t do much for you as your panels reach the 25-year mark.
10-Year Manufacturers Inverter Warranty
The inverter is likely the most critical part of the solar system in that it ensures the energy from the panels is converted to the energy you need in your home. This piece is expensive to replace, and having the 10-year warranty specifically on the inverter is a great addition.
PPA 20-Year Warranty
With the power purchase agreements that Vivint offers, they also provide a 20-year warranty on energy costs. The goal here is to ensure you pay Vivint less than what the local utility charges for electricity. Talk to your salesperson about the specifics of the PPA and how it impacts your warranty.
Remote System Monitoring
One of the best ways to be able to check on the health and productivity of your new home energy system is with remote system monitoring. The remote system monitoring from Vivint will allow you to report any problems and check on the effectiveness of your actual system.
Financing Plans & Options
The financing plans and options from Vivint solar will change depending on your location, your credit score, and the style and design of your home solar system. As you look through the different financing plans and options, you have to consider them. The billing for each of these options is going to be a bit different, and as a potential customer, it is important to know your options.
The solar lease means that you won’t own the equipment, but you can still have solar panels put on your home. The solar lease is set up with a fixed monthly amount to pay, and the amount of energy you produce will be incorporated into this monthly lease cost.
With the PPA, you pay Vivint monthly for the power that you are getting based on the system that was installed on your roof. This will be a tax rate that is considerably lower than the standard utility rates.
The solar loan is worked out to ensure that you can put down a small amount of money on your system but still have the entire thing installed and start producing. With the solar loan, many homeowners take the money they are saving on their electricity bill and apply it to the loan payment.
Specials or Incentives Offered
We know that Vivint Solar has some great financing options and a solid solar system panel, but taking advantage of specials and incentives can save you not just hundreds but thousands of dollars.
The most apparent special advantage of Vivint Solar is the free smart home package they offer. This smart home technology provides you with a safer and more energy-efficient place to live, something that other companies can’t necessarily provide.
Once you have taken full advantage of this free smart home system, the next thing to look for is the Federal Tax credit. This Federal Tax credit will help all homeowners save 26% on purchasing their solar power system. You will pay upfront for your home solar system, and then 26% will come back to you as a return on your next tax bill.
The problem with this program is that it is set to expire at the end of 2023.
For a homeowner that invests in a $20,000 system, the return on the tax bill could be as much as $5,000. If you don’t owe money on your taxes, this won’t be lost savings. The savings will continue to follow you as you go through the years, and you can use them when you need them.
There are other local incentives offered at the state level. Some of these are for loans, others will be direct rebates, and others are tax incentives. Most of the time, the salesperson from Vivint will be up to date on the most important savings in your area and will help you fill out the paperwork and necessary forms to get this process worked out.
In-House or Contracted Installations
Vivint Solar is a growing business with more than 4,000 employees across the United States. As Vivint has been purchased by Sunrun, the company continues to get larger allowing for more in-house installations. In-house installations are typically thought of as a positive as you are using the same people throughout the process, and they are all connected in some way. Most of the Better Business Bureau reviews regarding installations were quite positive, especially those that are happening now after the company has been purchased by Sunrun.
What Solar Panels Does Vivint Solar Use?
The panels that Vivint Solar uses are Monocrystalline panels and are considered the most efficient type that the current solar market has. In addition, the panels are made to be sleek looking so that they will not stand out or look evident on the roof of your home. Vivint does not manufacture its own panels, but they do look to increase overall efficiency in the products they use.
The solar panels from Vivint have a technology called PERC solar cells. This Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact technology will generate more power without taking up the entire span of your roof. Vivint will change which panels they work with based on pricing, location, and partnerships, but they have been known to work with LG in the past.
Vivint has just recently started working with Tesla on the Tesla Powerwall installations, in addition to electric vehicle chargers. The overall look of the Vivint solar panels and solar energy systems should be something that works just fine with most HOAs.
Vivint Solar has partnerships with LG and even Tesla on some of their technologies. These partnerships are also in place with local utility company choices so that net metering can be set up and that solar equipment is compatible from one system to another.
Service Area & Availability
There are currently twenty-one states with the Vivint Solar installation services available. Each state has its unique incentives that are worth looking into before you decide on the perfect solar panel system for your needs. Some states have an additional tax savings rate, and others will have other loan rate incentives that keep the total costs of switching to renewable energy down. Remember that this is a large company that is continuing to expand, so if your state is not currently on the list, keep looking, as it could be at some point soon. In addition, solar offers from one state to another are going to be different so don’t expect consistent savings from one spot to another. Listed are the states Vivint offers solar installation:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Vivint Solar Reviews From Actual Customers
Vivint Solar is not currently rated with the BBB. This is a concern for some customers, but it should be understood that the BBB ratings are typically voluntary for companies. There are, however, quite a few reviews for both Vivint Solar and Sunrun. These companies will function separately from one another, but when it comes to the installation process, overall costs, and customer service, expect to see quite a few similarities between the two.
“Our solar just started only for 3 days and were still learning how it works in the app. Although it took a while to install the panels because they had to clean the roof (lichen), the installation went smoothly, and panel layouts were neatly done. We have some issues, though. I think the solar is not generating production as it should be, and they’re aware of the issue; and they are coming for inspection on Sept. 6. All in all, the experience is great, and the sales manager, *******, was awesome! Thank you, Sunrun.”– Maria P
“The SunRun process is awesome. So easy, not much at all that I had to do; they took care of everything and did a fantastic job at educating me about all the details of how everything works. I am saving a ton of money and didn’t have to sacrifice anything financially. I don’t understand why everyone wouldn’t want to work with SunRun!”– Marcy H.
“We added solar to our home several years ago. It is owned and maintained by Sunrun, and we get the benefits of significantly lower electric bills. Two years ago, one of the panels wasn’t performing as expected. Sunrun was on top of the problem, corrected everything in a fast and professional manner, and we were on track once more. So nice to not have to worry, just know any problem is addressed quickly.”– Christine B
Bottom Line: Is Vivint Solar a Good Company?
Vivint Solar is one of the best companies in the industry when it comes to knowledgeable sales reps, customization of the system, and a solar provider that goes above and beyond for home safety and security. Working with Vivint solar should be easy, and you will have access to their services in 21 states.
The most you work with this company, the more you can see that they are trying to help customers save money and have it be as simple as possible. Although Vivint Solar has some complaints filed against it with the BBB, be smart about what you sign up for and what the sales representatives offer, and you should be happy with the system installed in your home.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vivint Solar
How long has Vivint Solar been in business?
Vivint Solar has been in business since 2015. They are not BBB accredited as they have operated under the Sunrun Solar business since the acquisition in 2020. Vivint Solar currently does installations in 21 states, although they are rapidly expanding.
Where is the Vivint Solar headquarters?
Vivint Solar is headquartered in Utah; this is also where the company was started, but they have since expanded to other areas. Utah is a popular place for solar providers.
What inverter does Vivint Solar use?
Vivint allows customers to choose a microinverter or a string inverter. Be sure to ask about the warranty on the inverter, as there is an additional 10 warranty if the proper inverter is chosen.
Who owns Vivint Solar?
In October of 2020, Sunrun purchased Vivint Solar to make it an even larger solar power contractor with a stronger presence across the United States.
How long will it take for Vivint Solar to install my solar panels?
One of the great things about Vivint Solar is that they will install your solar panels within about a day. It may take a few weeks to get permits and approvals in place, but once they’re there, you can expect your system installation to take about a day. Sometimes this can be a little longer if you have a very large home with a big solar grid. Keep in mind that Vivint Solar has in-house installers so the process should be seamless to install.
Will Vivint Solar design my solar panel system?
Vivint Solar has a very specific purchase process that involves meeting with you to discuss your energy needs, going through their workmanship and quality, and how you will live with your system once it is in place.
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.