Owned by its parent company, Sunrun Solar, Vivint Solar is a solar energy company. They’re an A to Z company, meaning they sell, install, and maintain PV solar energy systems, including inverters, solar panels, and batteries for solar energy storage.
Vivint Solar was founded in 2011 in Lehi, Utah. Each system sold and installed by Vivint Solar is customized to fit your home at no additional cost.
Having been in the solar industry for just over 10 years, Vivint Solar have developed a mixed reputation, particularly surrounding their door-to-door sales approach.
That being said, they’re one of the most talked about companies in the solar industry.
They were one of the first companies to offer a PPA (power purchase agreement). A PPA allows customers to pay for the power the system produces during the life of the contract, which is often a lower rate than their electricity bill.
Vivint Solar enables customers to access all the advantages of solar energy without a high initial investment, and they use long term contracts that provide predictable monthly payments.
Installation Process And Cost
As mentioned above, each Vivint Solar System is designed specifically for each home. The installation process is as simple as possible:
- Vivint Technicians assess your roof space and home, then design a bespoke system for your home.
- They verify that your home, attic, and roof are suitable for solar installation and submit paperwork for permitting.
- On installation day, Vivint crews arrive to install the panels and electrical components on other areas of your home. Installation usually takes between four and eight hours.
- Once installation is complete, the city and/or utility company must inspect and approve the new system before it can be activated.
In terms of pricing, this varies from home to home, as these systems are made on a bespoke basis.
There are a number of factors which affect the cost of installation, including the solar plan you choose, net metering, your location, solar incentives, and if you choose a financing option, your credit score.
- Warranty Coverage: There are a number of warranties available for consumers who select the solar purchase or solar loan options. In addition to extensive warranty cover, the Vivint solar panels carry a 25-year linear performance warranty, and their inverters have a minimum 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Variety of Payment Methods: The company offer a wide variety of payment options and plans, including leasing, cash purchases, solar loans, PPA’s, and PACE (property assessed clean energy) financing. In terms of the federal solar tax credit incentive, both cash purchases and loans allow you to make full use of federal solar tax credits.
- Widely Available: Vivint Solar are one of the largest, most widely available installers in the industry. They offer solar installation services nationwide, including Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands.
- Solar Battery Storage: Vivint Solar provide solar battery solutions for your home, so you can harness surplus solar energy in case there’s a power outage or other emergency. These batteries can also be used at night, which greatly reduces monthly utility bills.
- Flexible Moving Options: If you decide to move house, Vivint Solar have made it relatively easy to take care of your solar panels whilst you move. There are four options to choose from if you need to move house whilst under a contract with the company: pre-paying the remainder of your contract, transferring the agreement to your new home, relocating your solar panels to your new roof (no extra cost), or buying the system outright after six years.
- Permission to Operate can be delayed: Even though Vivint typically install a solar energy system within a working day, there are sometimes delays getting the system up and running. Some customers experienced delays of up to six months. This can be due in part to Vivint’s ability to get permission to operate approval from the city.
- Yearly Price Increases with PPA Plan: It’s worth noting that the Vivint Solar PPA plan means you’ll be signed in to a long-term contract with a pre-determined price increase in line with the inflation of the cost of electricity year-to-year. This guarantees that Vivint still makes the same percentage proportionate to these increases.
- Sales Tactics: Vivint are well known for their questionable sales tactics. They make use of the door-to-door sales approach to market their products and services. You could argue that this isn’t inherently bad, although a percentage of customers reported pushy tactics and withholding information when dealing with Vivint’s salesmen.
The Four Vivint Solar Plans
Whilst there are four main solar plans, these plans come under two different categories based on who owns the system, you or Viviant Solar.
System Owner: Vivint Solar
A Solar PPA plan is one of the most common methods used by homeowners to go solar. It enables homeowners to eliminate the upfront cost of purchasing the solar system outright.
The monthly payments to Vivint Solar are low and there’s no upfront cost.
Vivint Solar will conduct maintenance on your system at no extra cost along with a product and workmanship warranty.
System Owner: Vivint Solar
The key difference between Solar PPA and a Solar Lease is how you are billed. With a Solar Lease, you pay one low monthly payment to Vivint Solar. You can lease for no money down.
Much like the Solar PPA plan, maintenance is included along with the product and workmanship warranty.
System Owner: You
The main benefit of making a Solar Purchase in full is that you can see instant monthly savings on your utility bill. You can also make full use of federal solar tax credits and incentives.
As you might expect, with the Solar Purchase option, there are no monthly payments to Vivint Solar. Maintenance options are available.
System Owner: You
With the Solar Loan Plan, you make low monthly payments to a third party financing company based on affordability. There’s a great deal of potential for savings on utility rates with this option.
As with the Solar Purchase option, there are maintenance options available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Solar Panels Does Vivint Use?
Generally, Vivint uses monocrystalline solar panels, as these offer optimum efficiency and a sleeker look.
They also offer lower cost polycrystalline panels for those on a budget.
Where Is Vivint Solar Available In The US?
Vivint Solar are readily available across the US, including the Virgin Islands and Hawaii.
Is There A Vivint Solar App?
Yes, there is an accompanying Vivint Solar App. The app allows iOS and Android users to check their bills and usage information for their home and energy production.
How Does Vivint Solar Work?
By installing photovoltaic panels on your roof, alongside an inverter which converts solar energy into electricity, Vivint Solar offer to power your home via the sun.
What Is The PPA Plan?
In the Vivint power purchase agreement (PPA) you only pay Vivint for the power it produces. Once they have installed the system, they continue to own it and maintain it.
Usually this costs less than utility company charges for electricity. This option isn’t available in some areas.
Vivint Solar is one of the largest solar panel installation companies in the US, despite only being in the industry for a short time.
With their in house team of designers and engineers, Vivint Solar are able to customize their solar energy systems and optimize performance for your home.
If you’re considering switching to a solar-powered home, Vivint Solar are worth some consideration. Not least because they are a full-service installation company, meaning all the leg work is done for you.
Some customers have reported questionable sales tactics when having a consultation with a rep from Vivint Solar. Other customers stated that their customer service left a lot to be desired post installation.
Permission to operate delays left some customers with an unused system for a number of months, but this can be down to both Vivint and the local authority.
They offer a variety of options for either purchase or financing, making installing and using solar panels more accessible and affordable.
They also typically install the system within a day, meaning your home won’t look like a construction site. Vivint offer customers multiple moving options built into your agreement with them.