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Direct Energy Solar

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38 User Reviews

4.6

Overall Score

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LAST UPDATED: April 29th, 2021

Important Note: As of July 12, 2017, Direct Energy Solar is no longer offering residential solar installations. The information below may now be incorrect or outdated.

Direct Energy Solar is a solar installer with a mission to spread solar power to American rooftops and help customers receive stable utility bills and reduce their carbon footprint with renewable energy. Since 2007, Direct Energy Solar has been providing personalized services and residential solar panels to customers in seven different states.

Read on to discover The Good, The Bad, and The Bottom Line about Direct Energy Solar, as well as view Direct Energy Solar reviews from real customers.

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The Good

  • Free Installations Available
  • Production Guarantees
  • Workmanship Warranty
  • Testimonials on Website

Free Installations Available

With Direct Energy Solar, you can switch to clean energy for $0 down by choosing a lease or a loan. These no-money-down options are great because they eliminate the hassle of having to come up with a down payment before the installation can take place.

Direct Energy Solar also gives you the option to purchase a solar panel system outright, which is a good option if you have the resources to do so because it will end up saving you the most money on energy costs in the long run. Plus, when you own your solar panels, you'll be able to take advantage of the 30 percent federal tax credit, as well as any state renewable energy incentives available in your area.

Production Guarantees

Several Direct Energy Solar reviews praise the solar power company for its transparency in regards to guarantees and warranties.

When you make the switch to clean energy with Direct Energy Solar, you'll receive a system electricity production guarantee for 10 years. If your system is not producing as much electricity as it should, Direct Energy Solar will compensate you for the shortage.

Workmanship Warranty

Your system will also come with a 10-year warranty (there is also a 20-year option if you want to pay more) that covers you in the event that there are defects in the installation hardware, materials, and components of your system.

Each solar panel will also come with a 25-year warranty from the manufacturer, which is industry standard.

Testimonials on Website

Direct Energy has an extensive portfolio of home projects on its website. Each project page provides some important pieces of information about the solar PV systems that Direct Energy Solar installs.

According to the testimonials on the website, Direct Energy Solar customers are saving anywhere from $600-$1100 per year, depending on the size of their home.

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The Bad

  • Limited State Availability
  • Customer Complaints

Limited State Availability

There is a chance that Direct Energy Solar does not service your state. Its website shows the company servicing only California and states on the northeast coast of the U.S.

If you don't live in one of these areas, you won't have the opportunity to do business with Direct Energy Solar and will need to consider other solar companies.

Customer Complaints

Some common customer complaints filed against Direct Energy Solar stem from delays and lack of communication throughout the solar project. Several customers have accused this solar installer of moving quickly at the beginning of the process and then failing to communicate and drive the solar PV installation process to completion.

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The Bottom Line

Direct Energy Solar offers installations for $0 down, as well as some nice warranties.

However, the company is limited in the states that it services and has received accusations of communication failures and low turnaround times from customers.

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Star Rating

2.8

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38 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

42%

4 grade

0%

3 grade

5%

2 grade

0%

1 grade

53%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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Joe Dargie Upton, MA

I was searching on Solar Companies for work and was curious on how Direct Energy Solar was rated. I was shocked, not the results I had with them at all. I purchased a 12.9KW system for $53K , got the rebate and paid the loan off in a year. I get about $215/mo in SRECs and bank enough credits April thru September to carry me through the short winter and snow days. My ROI was 2.5 years My experience with them was a 5/5. Sales though SREC's was spot on. Aidan was my project manager and was always a step ahead of my questions and needs. I am sorry that many of you didn't have the experience I did.

3 years ago

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Dan Goodridge

A great job from start to finish. The sales process was clearcut and transparent. They use a project manager system so there is one contact to deal with the entire time.The install was flawless. The crew was on time, neat and professional. Many companies drop the ball post sale but the DE PM explained the system monitoring and SREC process clearly. They also guarantee the system output. When we had a snowy February- there was very little production. I received a check to make up for the shortfall.. I have a great system and a tiny electrical bill- it doesn't get any better than this.

4 years ago

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carol Buchanan Pomona, CA

We had our system installed by Astrum Solar. Astrum Solar was purchased by Direct Energy and we have not had reason to actually deal with them. I do want to follow up on my review of our system. The system installed far exceeds our expectations. Direct Energy is not in California so we will have to use another company when we put solar on our rental properties. I don't know when California is going to put more roadblocks on making a profit on a solar installation for home owners but until they do I want to make all of our property solar. Any state that has a carbon tax should pay the offset credit to anyone creating a carbon credit.

4 years ago

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[email protected] Southington, CT

Direct Energy Solar was by far the best solar provider that we worked with. While companies like Solar City and Vivint misrepresented their PPA as "Fixed", Direct Energy Solar was up front from day 1. At the time we were going solar they still offered the PPA, yet after comparing the pros and cons of both systems we realized that we would be saving money from day 1 and actually own the system. We never thought that I would make sense to own the panels but their between their 0 down financing program and warranty / guarantees we couldn't see any reason. We are now a year in to our solar journey and our payments is 180 a month, every month for the next 25 years (Including Eversource Meter Fee) as opposed to an average of 200 a month before going solar. Direct Energy solar offered a much better warranty and production guarantee then Solar City and Vivint (25 Year Inverter, 20 Years Production Equipment Workmanship). If you are considering going solar I would advise that you get a proposal from Direct Energy Solar

4 years ago

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Pat Sahlin Baltimore, MD

I have just had a solar system installed by Direct Energy Solar. The Sales Rep who came out was excellent. He explained everything about the system, effectively & did not do any high pressure sales on me. I signed up in Dec of 2015 but had to wait several months for permitting by Baltimore City which was not their fault- my next contact was a wonderful, very patient rep, answering all my questions & explaining the installation process. I was called so I would know exactly when they were coming, & how long the job would take. I found this very helpful. A crew came from Maryland & installed the panels, quickly & efficiently ...... this crew was very nice & worked hard all day. The electrician on their crew explained that on the next day, they would have to rout the piping from the inverter, up to the roof - with a lot of cris-crossing to get around my awning, etc. The next day an entirely different crew appeared from New Jersey, to help out the Md. crew.....& they were just awesome! they re-routed the piping straight up the brick avoiding any awning problems .....they worked very hard all day, in good humor & were polite & courteous. So now I am up & running, & I am especially pleased with the appearance of my LG panels....they are completely black & blend in nicely with the neighborhood. Looking forward to saving on my electric bills! Pat

5 years ago

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Rick Smith Acton, MA

Had 26 panels installed on my roof and most months my electric bill is either nothing slightly more. During the winter months may go up to $200 because heat with ashp’s. Got my srecs and tax credits after installation. I’m pleased with their installation and operation. The only issue I had is, they had their structural eng review my roof joists by pictures, whereas I hired an engineer to visit the site. Thank goodness I did , my joists needed to be doubled up. All this is mute point,they no longer do residential solar.

3 years ago

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LLOYD ROSE

Installed in oct 2015 and have had one micro inverter replaced and the system has worked fine. I must say I have not paid an electric bill since installation which is a big plus considering my house is 1978 sq. feet with central air and an above ground 20' swimming pool. I have 6" insulation in the walls and most of my lighting has been upgraded to energy saving bulbs

4 years ago

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john Huntington Station, NY

Sales process was clear and accurate. My expectations were exceeded. A total painless installation. Direct Energy coordinated/obtained town (building) permits, inspections, integration with PSEG (local power company) etc. Product outperforms my expectations. Assuming reasonable site situation, solar is a no brainer. I am now considering purchasing an electric hot water heater since my system produces more than I consume. I purchased the system outright so my monthly bill is about $10 which covers the grid connection fee from PSEG.

5 years ago

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melissa comella Millersville, MD

We recently installed solar on our home. From start to finish we had a great experience. Our salesman was extremely knowledgeable and incredibly responsive to our questions. The install process was painless. We've had solar for 3 months now and the first two months our electric bill was zero and this month it was only about twenty dollars. Going solar with Direct Energy has been a wonderful experience. This system will pay for itself in no time.

5 years ago

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Camille Edgewood, MD

We had a system installed by Direct Energy Solar a couple months back. We did a PPA option with them an were very happy with the process. The sales rep that came out to meet with us was very informative, and showed us how much money we could be saving. Install took a little bit longer than expected, but that was mostly becuase of permitting. the installation crew was very polite and professional. You don't always see that in the construction industry! Since installed our bill has been 1/3 of what it was before. Would recommend to anybody interested.

5 years ago

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George

Direct Energy Solar installed a small system (12 panels) on my Cape Cod home. They were professional, competent and delivered what was agree to and in the time frame expected. I am very pleased with their system and workmen. I bought the system which is the only way to go for maximum savings.

4 years ago

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stefan West Bridgewater, MA

I went with Direct Energy solar because we wanted to own the system free and clear. We used our own financing and they did not press the lease option. Other ( solar city and sungevity) companies did not listen when I said I wanted to own them and not have them involved after install was complete. Also, the main reason for going with Astrum Solar (that was the name of the company which was then bought out during our install) was their promise to manage and sell SREC's and give payment to us. Not every company does this. Anyway, after a long year of many problems with the solar project including install delays and mainly energy supplier given improper paperwork and billing and wrong meters and production problems it all works well. my wife and I ended up taking care of the paperwork with the enegry supplier because astrum failed so many times and we ended up paying for solar energy produced due to improper regeneration meter location ( not national grid fault,astrum was at fault). so I shut off the solar for two months last summer to get that all straightened out. pain in the... Love the install, looks awesome. Quality German panels produce advertised energy output. Only disappointment is the SREC's (the main reason for going with astrum) payment. They promised $1250 year or more with the size of my array(7+kilowatt) making over 6 megawatt hours a year. Well, we complained about this unfulfilled promise and got a load of ... in an email from them and then a $250 check last year. so DO NOT believe all the promises about SREC's and energy supplier payments. national grid just changed the payback structure so it's less money to us. we still have a credit every month ("no payment due" on our electric bill) but somehow we still owe money even after credits applied on our other meter. All in all after a new roof and the solar we're all in for just over $34,000 for 28 250watt panels. Wow, we are hoping for legislature taht helps out individuals that spend so much to further solar and are willing to wait up to 20 years to realize the investment. Mostly happy customer here metro south Boston,MA.

4 years ago

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David Trumbull, CT

I had a 10kW system installed on my house. The sales process was amazing, customer service fantastic and I am very happy with the overall product. Used the loan program since this allowed me not to use any of my own money and was a much better cash flow than the lease/ppa.

5 years ago

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Daniel Maloney Cummington, MA

I was totally impressed with the company and staff. Installation was perfect and product is outstanding. We are on our fourth year and absolutely NO problems. The system has paid for itself at 3.5 years. Fantastic!!!!!

5 years ago

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Dmor Manorville, NY

Hello, the Facts and Numbers stated above are incorrect. Production Guarantees and Warranties are not what is in my contract. We are yet to sign and considering Direct Energy, so I feel this information is misleading. The contract is far better for the customer with 25 year Service and Parts and a 20 year Production warranty, I believe we both need to check our sources. Possibly this is why Direct is not getting its fair review or I'm being mislead.

5 years ago

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James Harnois Holyoke, MA

I have Direct Energy Solar and I was very satisfied with all aspects of the installation from start to finish they were very much interested in keeping the appearance the panels,and the connections as discrete as possible.

5 years ago

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Jose Barbosa San Francisco, CA

Very pleasant experience! High recommend them, they had 5 avenues to going solar and purchase with a low interest rate was what I went with. Thanks again Direct Energy Solar .

6 years ago

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Michael Bulkley Milford, CT

Process to sign up was easy and the customer service in the process was amazing. The deal was definitely the best I could find for our house at the time. That is where it ends. Now, 3 years in, I have had one panel that has not worked in 1.5 years and they refuse to fix it because they say I am generating the amount of power they calculated. The point is that I would not have a power bill outside of my lease payment but I now have a substantial bill every month (above and beyond the connect to pole fee). Oh, and by the way, once Direct Energy put the panels up they immediately sold my account to Kilowatt Finance to pay my bill and a generic service company out of California to care for my panels. They also said that I should cut the trees down on the side of my house, trees which by the way Direct Energy assessor said would have little to no impact on my panels (and by the way I can show do not have an impact). STAY AWAY from Direct Energy.

1 year ago

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Kimberly Dambrov Springfield, MA

Thank goodness for residential solar customers that you no longer have to worry about getting stuck with Direct Energy (I wish I could say the same) since they announced a month ago they were no longer installing residential solar arrays (at least here in Massachusetts). My initial experience was wonderful as far as the install, however, it's been a nightmare since. Post-install customer service is the pits. I am still waiting just for a date for when someone will come out to replace a microinverter that stopped working in JUNE. Except for the initial response by email telling me to give them two weeks before giving me a date for replacement, my subsequent inquires have gone unanswered. My 5.4 KW system was installed March 2016, and have yet to receive my first SREC payment.

4 years ago

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Kathleen Sylvester South Deerfield, MA

We had solar panels installed by Direct Energy just about 3 months ago. The company, as part of their incentive to lure customers, offered $500 for every customer we then referred who contracted with them for solar panels. This program was a large part of why we chose this company as a way to help us pay for our panels. We had a "solar party" with our rep about 4 weeks ago and signed up 4 potential customers, 2 whom had a further meeting with the rep and were in the process of signing a contract for installation. Then about 2 weeks ago the rep disappeared, there was no way to reach her. The company sent an email to our friends who were planning to contract with them, stating they were no longer installing for residential customers. They won't honor their incentive to us and we are unable to now earn money to pay for the panels. There was no warning and our rep had no idea she was about to be terminated. This company has no integrity. I wouldn't trust them and wish I had picked a different company!

4 years ago

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Irfan Canton, MA

I entered into a contract with Astrum Solar, and before the installation, Astrum Solar was bought out by Direct Energy. Seemed Direct Energy did not want to abide by the warranty that Astrum promised, specifically no leaks in the roof. They kept trying to push me to sign a waiver of the warranty of no leaks, claiming that the rook was not installed correctly. Eventually, we had the roof manufacturer come out and they agreed that the roof was installed correctly. After the system was installed and operating, I inquired about when I would receive my SREC check, and was told it would be in February, 2016. I checked again later in 2016, still no check but then they said I would have it in June 2016. June came and went, and they said because I didn't produce enough, they would just include the left over 2015 with my 2016 SREC check in February 2017. February 2017 came and went. Still no check, so I called again and I finally got someone who actually looked into the problem and discovered they had entered my information incorrectly. They now say I will have a check in June. Let's see what happens.

4 years ago

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Eman John

After shopping multiple solar companies and comparing prices Direct Energy by far is the best 13000 kilowatt system produce 12.8 kilowatts last year Emmanuel Brockton, Ma

4 years ago

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Paul Pacer Buffalo, NY

This company had taken over for Astrum Solar. Why, I don't know. They are suppose to service and fix problems under warranty. I have a system in WNY that was just over $100,000.00. Most of the time it hasn't worked properly. Good thing I have production guarantee, but short of that, why even have the solar panels. Plus, it doesn't make up for the lost production. They never work. It is now near the end of January 2017, these panels haven't produced the way they should since 2015. That's right, 2015. Most of 2016 they barely worked and almost not at all since June 0f 2016. Try getting someone to fix them too is an issue. They are based now approximately two and a half hours away, so they don't want to deal with it. And basically haven't. HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!

4 years ago

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Charles Thomas Stony Brook, NY

I originally bought my panels from Astrum Solar and was unaware that they sold the company to Direct Energy Solar until I had a problem with one panel not working. I contacted them in April 2016 and as of today December 13, 2016, the panel still is not working. I had to get the Better Business Bureau involved a few months ago. DES said that the inverters are bad but they also said its been changed to NEW ones 3 times and that's what they have said they are changing again. it takes them over a month to get back in-touch. I bought 33 panels for $41,000 and they are giving me issues on fixing one. We had the most sun this past summer and I was unable to use one of my panels and now that its winter, I will probably have to wait until spring. I have recommended people to Astrium but would never recommend this company

4 years ago

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Michael Syracuse, NY

During my install I learned that they had closed the office in my area because I called the sales person to confirm the install date and his cellphone and office numbers where disconnected. I then spent a day trying to contact someone. After reached someone I learned of the closure. This created a nightmare to complete the install during which there was damage caused to my hot tube cover and roof vents (they did reimburse me for the repairs but I still had to to all the work to get it completed) and now that I need a warranty service it is even worse, I have been roughly 8 weeks with a solar panel down when I was promised a 3-6 week repair when I reported the issue (BTW they did not know even though they are supposed to see it first). In all cases it takes me weeks of emailing and calling to get an answer (never get good followup) and now with the repair I am being told they do not have an ETA because of the office closure and that they will be in touch as soon as they get a solution. So basically if you want customer service go someplace else.

4 years ago

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Michael Daigneau West Springfield, MA

If I could do it all over again I would never have signed a contract with this company. The best experince with this company was meeting with their initial sales consultant after that it all went down hill and fast. Communication with my Solar Lead was sparse at best unless I initiated, I understand it's a long process to get solar but timely updates are important. During the install my property was damaged as well as treated by the installers as their own personal workshop, leaving wire and metal shavings in my driveway as well as on my deck, thanks guys I have little kids pretty thoughtful, and the damage I was told to get a quote for still hasn't been repaired despite repeated requests. Then after my install it took over a month to get active, due to an issue with the town, although I was told by Direct Energy that were handling, I finally got frustrated and dealt with the town myself and guess what 2 days later all set, maybe I should be a Project Lead. So I lost an entire month's worth of production waiting for Direct Energy. To attempt to get resolve I emailed everyone in the company, operational leads, the executive board and again no contact. So my $43,000 investment to a company who has yearly revenues in the millions means nothing. So take a piece of advice from me find a company who cares about their customers because Direct Energy does not, and communication I'm not sure that is part of the job requirement to work there.

5 years ago

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John Kintnersville, PA

Direct Energy Solar (DES) recently took over Astrum Solar who installed my 11,000Kwh system. 6 year ago. Whenever I had to have a panel replaced, they did it promptly. Last year I needed a panel replaced by DESI called customer service & they said. "The scheduling manager will be in a position to let you know when we will schedule you in @ 10 days." @ 10 days later, they contact me & tell me I am schedule for three weeks later.. Bottom line 5+ weeks to replace a panel. Ridiculous! In May I had my roof replaced. DES s supposed to remove the panels & replace them within 45 days after the roof is finished. They replaced the panels but they system is NOT reporting power generation. That was several weeks ago and they still have not scheduled to finalize the installation. It is beyond the 45 days they are contractually obligated to have the systems up & running and they are avoiding my emails to schedule the job. I have contacted an attorney to FILE SUIT AGAINST DES FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT. Direct Energy Solar is clearly mismanaged and customer service is at the bottom of their priority list. DO NOT have DIRECT ENERGY SOAR install your solar system regardless of wht the sales person tells you as they clearly disregard their contractual obligation with their customers.

5 years ago

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Todd Woburn, MA

It has been 2 years since they installed my solar array and they have not lived up to their contract agreement to act as Aggregator to liquidate my SRECs and forward me the check. They have been giving me the run around for a year. I am at the point I am going to report the issue to Massachusetts District Attorney as a potential FRAUD case. as I think they are liquidating the SRECs and distributing the funds.

4 years ago

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bob costa South Windsor, CT

i have 58 panels on my house and have had trouble getting the SREC payments from direct energy as i saw on one of the other reviews they are terrible filing for the srecs or they are pocketing the payments i got a $4700 check a few years ago and then last year got $250. when i contacted them they said there was a problem with the filings but i would be made whole this year still waiting

4 years ago

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Patty Bailey Aliso Viejo, CA

We signed a contract with Direct Energy Solar in January 2015. Our system was not operational until 10-10-16. We are located in California and the company left California during this time period with no notification of this. We have had no customer service, no integrity and sub-pair workmanship. I am most concerned about our warranty. At the present time, Direct Energy Solar has turned off our system. Based on the other reviews that we have read and our experience this is a systemic problem with this company. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH DIRECT ENERGY SOLAR!

4 years ago

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robert lechterman Pleasant Valley, NY

I had a scheduled appointment with the name and phone number of the representative who do the survey at our house. He never showed up or answered his voice mail message from me. I called the main office in Maryland and was told they would contact his supervisor and get back to me. That never happened. So anyone considering a residential Solar system would be wise to look elsewhere.

5 years ago

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Mike Bulkley Orange, CT

I was just about to finalize the details for my install when it came to light that Direct Energy is only the seller, installer, and maintainer of my system but the actual owner of panels is an unknown company called Kilowatt Systems LLC. The lack of transparency on this major detail is deeply concerning and I am halting the project until I have more clear answers.

5 years ago

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Moreno South Hadley, MA

Lost paper work, no communication, while they have recieved approval on credits and state benefits . We have been waiting for months and have not recieved a plan or date to install. 5 months and we call to here we do not have all paper work in place. But we have been told that every thing was in place prior. I am looking into a new company . I have checked with town office and there has been no inquirey about permits . This company has not lived up to its agreement and I do not think they plan on following through in a professional manner.

6 years ago

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Peter Palmer, MA

This is about Astrum, now Direct Energy. I had a high end system installed on my new garage 4 or five weeks now. I requested that the conduit from the panels be routed over the rank of the roof and enter the attic space through the gable end. They cut a hole through my new roof. Not good. they never buried the ground rod and bonding wire. I trip over it. I have been asking for 4 weeks to correct the issues, as of today no answers. Not happy and not paying.

6 years ago

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Michael Smith

Post install customer service is non-existent. My roof is leaking and it's clearly their fault since the leak is right behind a rafter. Their inspector has done three no-shows. No calls or email saying they need to reschedule. They just don't show up.

2 years ago

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Carol Kosary Bethesda, MD

Have been waiting for months to have several failed microinverters replaced. No one replies to email, no one answers the phone.

5 years ago

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Russ Davis Woburn, MA

Repeatedly need to follow up to get paid on credits. Delay, Delay Delay. Break promises

3 years ago

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Wilma Rochester, NY

DOESN'T MAKE A GOOD GUESS ON HOW MANY PANELS YOU NEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5 years ago

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