Can you trust Dividend Solar with your solar needs?
I've already lectured in other solar-related posts about how large of a commitment having solar installed on your rooftop can be, but it just can't be overstated. We're talking about a $20,000-$50,000 loan, a sizable piece of hardware screwed and bolted to your roof, and the promise of having someone to keep that hardware generating enough power that your utility bill goes down significantly.
When things go wrong with solar, things can get really expensive really fast. So, I must say it again: first, it's in your best interest to research this thing to death.
Look at Dividend Solar's website and you get this uplifting mission statement from the three-year-old company:
Right away, you can see that Dividend Solar is not a one-stop shop for solar the way other companies, like Solarcity or Vivint, are. They don't do their own installations or finance solar installations. Rather, they seem mostly to bring these parties together to help homeowners get financing, get solar systems installed, and keep those systems maintained.
But how well they actually measure up to that stirring mission statement is something you won't get just by reading their website?
That's when you need to dig into your second source: customer reviews. When it comes to making a smart solar purchasing decision, reviews provide a much-needed second, third, or fourth opinion. After all, with the exception of a few fakers, these reviews come from actual customers who have actually gone through the solar installation process.
So what do customer reviews have to say about Dividend Solar? Do the reviews match up with the lofty company's lofty mission statement? Here are five revelations we found in Dividend Solar reviews from actual customers:
Browse Dividend Solar reviews on multiple sites and the first thing you notice is how complimentary they are of Dividend's attention to customers' needs.
In a review posted here on TheBestCompanys, one Dividend customer in Atlanta said:
"DividendSolar took care of everything from soup to nuts: they prepared all the paperwork , brought in the installer who did a great job, provided the financing, located and connected us with the SREC broker, walked us through the simple process of getting the 30% tax credit, etc."
This story was unusually common among Dividend customers. The majority of solar companies we research tend to lag behind in this area, usually being very attentive during the sales process but then vanishing after the papers are signed and problems arise. This alone makes Dividend a standout and definitely a solar company to watch.
After all, when you're talking about being committed to a company for 20 years, you want to know that the company will be there when problems arise for years to come.
Another piece of positive feedback that appeared again and again in reviews was about their website. Apparently, Dividend Solar handles much of the application process on their website, and customers say they love having easy access to those documents, right on the Internet.
This ease of use on the website continues after installation, where customers can login and see how much power their solar system is generating. At the same time, they can also make their loan payments.
While this might seem rather trivial, the truth is that many solar companies are pretty sloppy when it comes to communicating with their customers after installation. The tool they use to show customers how much power they're generating can be hard to find and often inaccurate. Billing issues are also quite common. This causes plenty of headaches for solar customers with other companies. So when Dividend Solar customers praise their website for its monitoring and billing features, that's no small thing.
So much can go wrong during installation with any solar company, even Dividend. While much fewer than average reviews about Dividend reported failed installations, the problem did still exist with some of the reviews.
"The actual installation and follow up was lacking," reported Kristine of San Antonio on review site ConsumerAffairs.com. "There really was no communication about when things are going to happen or what exactly was going to happen. I ended up having to keep calling them to figure it out. They didn't lay out what the timeline would be initially so I was kind of left in the dark about how long the whole process would take. It took a lot longer than I thought it would."
"My experience with Dividend Solar was not too great. The job wasn't done right. The exterior wall has a shadow box built into it so I have volts coming through furniture. They came here a month ago and took pictures of it. We waited an extra three months and I'm still waiting for the job to be done the correct way. Their customer service just makes believe that I don't exist."
Of course, this is never what you want your customers to say about you. To their credit, however, Dividend Solar was quick to respond with this post:
As hinted at in their response, Dividend uses third party contractors to do the actual installations, and this can often be to blame for failed installations. This doesn't excuse Dividend for poor service and the inconvenience that results from it-Dividend should be held accountable for the failings of their contractors. But the truth is, this problem-wildly varying quality of installations from contractors-plagues nearly all solar companies that rely on contractors.
In the world of solar reviews, so many disappointed reviews come from customers who were, during the sales process, promised an abundant supply of power, only to find that their actual system didn't measure up. This leads to higher-than-anticipated energy bills in addition to new loan payments. Which is kind of the opposite of the money-saving investment customers were hoping for.
Fortunately, reviews reveal that Dividend Solar's systems tend to deliver on their promises. "I couldn't be happier," gushed Mark Millero of New York City in his review. "I usually had a $300 per month electric bill. Last month, I got my first electric bill. Ready for this? $8.89."
This is the kind of savings that many solar companies promise. According to this and many other Dividend Solar customer reviews, Dividend actually delivers on it.
Ultimately, the overall feeling from Dividend Solar customer reviews is that, for all the bugs that this company is still working out, the results are worth it. For example, Mario of San Antonio, Texas, admits to some discrepancies on his contract but also says, "The service is okay, and I'm happy that I decided to go solar."
Aaron of Summerville, South Carolina, says that even though his solar panels have been under-producing, "I'm satisfied with the product. I'm ready for it to be fully working so I can see what the full benefit would be. I have already recommended Dividend Solar to people."
In other words, Dividend Solar has problems but none major enough to turn their customers against them.
For further evidence of this, we looked at complaints filed against Dividend with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)-or the lack thereof. As it turns out, since Dividend Solar has been in business, no complaints have been filed against them with the BBB. During that same time, there have been three reviews submitted with the BBB and they're all positive.
This doesn't guarantee that Dividend customers never have trouble with the company, but it is a strong sign that Dividend takes care of problems quickly and thoroughly.
According to customer reviews, Dividend Solar is not a perfect company, but it is easily one of the best solar companies out there. Their apparent attentiveness to their customer's needs and the quality of their systems makes them a standout among their customer service-challenged competitors.
To see how Dividend Solar compares to other solar companies, visit our Solar Company Reviews page.