SolarCity

SolarCity

If you've been researching solar companies, you already know that there are several providers and many of them seem to be doing similar things. So which one is actually the best solar company for consumers to work with? According to our research, SolarCity is one of the top companies in the industry in terms of the value it provides to customers. Here's why:

Rank Chart Our Score User Score
#1 8.7 9.1 Read Review
#2 8.7 8.7 Read Review
#3 8.0 7.0 Read Review
#14 6.7 5.4 Current

The Good

  • Payment Options to Best Fit Customer Needs
  • Contract Transparency
  • State Availability

Payment Options to Best Fit Customer Needs

SolarCity offers a variety of payment options to help homeowners take advantage of solar energy in a way that fits their unique needs and budget. Available payment options include leases, Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), outright purchases, and loans.

SolarCity's lease program, SolarLease, allows customers to rent their solar panel system from SolarCity and pay a fixed amount each month. SolarLease customers receive free system maintenance for the entire length of their lease.

SolarCity's Power Purchase Agreement program, SolarPPA, gives customers the opportunity to lock in a monthly rate for the term of the agreement without any price hikes. One advantage of choosing SolarPPA is that SolarCity will install the system at no upfront cost to the customer. However, keep in mind that with this payment option, SolarCity owns and maintains the system, which prevents the customer from claiming federal and state incentives.

Customers who decide to purchase their system outright or with a loan will most likely receive long-term savings, as well as 20 years of monitoring and maintenance for their system.

Contract Transparency

SolarCity has an open book philosophy in regards to contracts, which is helpful for customers who would like to have all the information before they consider working with SolarCity. Some contract terms include locked-in rates once the agreement is signed, roof repair in the event of damage during installation or removal, and moving options if a customer decides to sell their home before the contract expires.

State Availability

SolarCity is considered one of the largest solar providers in the country and currently offers residential solar systems to customers in 20 states, making it possible for consumers nationwide to go solar with SolarCity. Operational states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

The Bad

  • Installation Issues
  • Customer Service Complaints

Installation Issues

Many SolarCity customers who have left reviews on our site have expressed dissatisfaction with their system installations. The problem seems to deal more with delayed and incorrect installations rather than issues with the product itself.

Customer Service Complaints

Customer service is another area where SolarCity has received several customer complaints.  Many customers claim that they have had trouble trying to get email and phone responses from SolarCity, which can be frustrating for those who need assistance.

The Bottom Line

Overall, SolarCity is a great company for customers who are thinking about going solar to look into because it offers multiple financing options, is very transparent with its customers, and is available in 20 states across the country. However, if you're considering working with SolarCity, be sure to check out the user reviews below for more information regarding other customers' experiences with the company.

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464 SolarCity Reviews

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  • User Score

    8

    October 16th, 2017

    I have had Solar City for four years, the service and response has been excellent . there have been problems .the response has been great. I have dual systems that Im not sure I need.

    Was this review helpful?

    1 0
  • User Score

    9

    October 16th, 2017

    Solar City gets a solid "A" from me. The System has been up now for about 1.5 years. It took me several months to work out the design with them but that is because I wanted a specific design and layout of the panels. They worked with me every step of the way by calling me and even coming back twice to talk to me directly about the panel layout. In the end I got exactly what I wanted. My roof needed some major repairs (termite damage) to support the system which were done and paid for by Solar City. The actual installation was done in one day and has been working flawlessly. I am very satisfied with my Solar City system, it is saving me at least 50% when compared to my bill from my previous electric utility provider Southern California Edison. Not bad for a system that has cost me nothing, zip, zero, nix.

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    2 0
  • User Score

    0

    October 12th, 2017 Sacramento, CA

    Grid under performs since day one. I am paying more for electricity after converting to Solar City. Salesman did not tell the truth. Company denies everything. When unable to defend customer service makes up a response;. Worst decision in a long time.

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    5 0
  • User Score

    6

    October 12th, 2017 Rocklin, CA

    We are one of the unlucky ones who leased from solar city. Their evaluation of what we needed was off by 1 or 2 KWs. They can't add those in now. Otherwise the system works but we haven't really saved any money after you consider the monthly lease payments. The extra KWs would have provided some air i the end of the year balance. We do have the roof space for it, too.

    Was this review helpful?

    1 0
  • User Score

    0

    October 10th, 2017 Eastsound, WA

    The design of their devices is so primitive that , in the face of complaints from our entire neighborhood, we were forced to pay $8,000.00 to have it removed. It radiated such an electric field that no sensitive electronic device (such as AM radios, remote controls and even some WIFI networks) were unusable within several hundred yards. When we pointed out to them that they were in violation of FCC regulation they claimed that they were exempt from all federal interference laws.

    Was this review helpful?

    9 0
  • User Score

    6

    October 9th, 2017

    purchasing was no problem. communication and installation was a big hassle. to many reps in the kitchen. after a few complaints the panels were installed and they seem to work great for the past 2 1/2 year. my panels of 8 cover my 2000sq feet home with only minimal of a few $ per month.

    Was this review helpful?

    3 1
  • User Score

    9

    October 8th, 2017 Hesperia, CA

    Panels have been up for about 2 years and no complaints. My usage is about the same as pre-solar but monthly bill is less. I used to pay around $300 during the summer months but since solar was installed, only twice has it gone up to $200. After the first rainfall since the installation, I found corner pieces of my tile roof on the ground so I rating it a 9>.

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    3 0
  • User Score

    0

    October 7th, 2017 Forney, TX

    My husband thought he was doing a good thing in trying to help the environment by getting solar panels but it has been an absolute nightmare now that we are selling! So many things that we were told were lies...if you decide to get solar panels definitely do your homework and stay away from SolarCity! It’s been a terrible experience and we are now having to get lawyers involved

    Was this review helpful?

    8 0
  • User Score

    1

    October 6th, 2017

    Terrible Company! Misrepresentation of Billing / Net Metering. Inaccurate Value - Paying more now than prior to Solar. Slow, Slow, Slow, installation and approval of System Sloooooooooooow Hookup to Utility Misrepresentation of Payment to Utility Customer Service is Terrible, put up a good front but where it counts Do Nothing!

    Was this review helpful?

    6 0
  • User Score

    9

    October 5th, 2017 Napa, CA

    The system is working as advertised, not system problem after three years. Very happy with Solar City

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    3 0
  • User Score

    10

    October 2nd, 2017 Los Alamitos, CA

    Installation went smoothly. SC included a new roof and an upgrade to our electrical panel. Service in turning it on was excellent. Electric bills lowered substantially. Even got a $300 refund check from Edison this year. System has been up and running for 1.5 years now. No complaints. Very happy with everything.

    Was this review helpful?

    3 0
  • User Score

    4

    October 2nd, 2017 Philadelphia, PA

    1-I have solar city for 3 years now they said I have life time on roof since they install the panel I have one roof leak ,first I have to paid some one to check then send them the issue then they will decide if is warranted 2-i get charge a year fee of 250. for maintenance . last month I have an electric bill of$ 500 . for using electric now they ask for 3 years of past electric statements , the excuse is that was not to sunny ,,, I took my electric stove out so I can balance , they don't help and promises are all lie

    Was this review helpful?

    6 1
  • User Score

    9

    October 2nd, 2017

    I had an initial problem with the electrical which I thought Solar City had created, however after further review it was caused by something completely out of there control. Even though they were not at fault, they still fixed the problem, free of charge! Thanks!!

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    2 0
  • User Score

    10

    September 29th, 2017

    Solar city has been a pleasure to work with from the first contact with the sales group 4 years ago to the total replacement of our panels yesterday due to a panel design issue. Solar city has always answered my phone calla and returned calls promptly. They have always responded to any email sent within 1 business day. I am very happy I chose Solar City. They take pride in their workmanship and stand by their products.

    Was this review helpful?

    3 1
  • User Score

    2

    September 28th, 2017 Linden, CA

    Had Solar put in this past June, thus far my bill has far exceeded my pg@e bill. $375 a month vs $255, now, please tell me one more time why I should have Solar?

    Was this review helpful?

    14 0
  • User Score

    10

    September 28th, 2017

    Simply the very best; no equivocation. THE BEST in every category. Workmanship, fit, finish is looking at a Rolls Royce compared to a Yugo at best.

    Was this review helpful?

    2 1
  • User Score

    2

    September 27th, 2017

    Had SolarCity installed, however they installed the panel box too close to my gate and when I open/close the gate it hits. No real way to fix it since its drilled into the side of the house. Even worse, I just bought a stove which requires 220 and when I went to install it I then realize SolarCity cut the 220 to my electrical panel to install the solar panel system. I called and I had to pay an electrician to say the wires have been cut (???) so its not self-diagnosed (does it really take an electrician to say wires have been cut). I sent SolarCity what they requested and still no response. I had to call multiple times and still waiting to see how they will fix this problem while my new stove sits in my garage. It has been over 2 months!! At the first meeting they state how they exceed Costco in customer support, but when rubber meets the road, they do not back up their statements. I would, at very least, check into other companies prior to settling with SolarCity.

    Was this review helpful?

    9 0
  • User Score

    4

    September 27th, 2017

    Not what it claimed to be. Going Solar actually INCREASED my monthly payments for energy.

    Was this review helpful?

    8 2
  • User Score

    1

    September 25th, 2017

    I am very disappointed with Solar City. I would not return to them in the future, given the chance to leave. They advertised the charge per kilowatt hour of usage, which is a very good price. But that is not want they charge in the monthly billing to me, the customer. They charge how much electricity the solar panels produce, not how much electricity is used. My electric bill in the summer averages around $275.00 to $350.00 per month. I do not use air conditioning. The bill from Solar City for electricity is about the same as what I was paying P.G. &E. during the winter months. I feel that I was suckered and conned into signing up and using their service.

    Was this review helpful?

    19 6
  • User Score

    0

    September 24th, 2017 Carson, CA

    i pay more now with SolarCity than before.

    Was this review helpful?

    19 5