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Suncommon

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8 User Reviews
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LAST UPDATED: April 29th, 2021

Founded in 2012 by Duane Peterson and James Moore, Suncommon is a Certified B Corporation that operates in Vermont. The company offers residential solar solutions in the form of rooftop systems and community arrays. 

With a goal to help remove barriers to renewable energy access and create a more healthy environment and a brighter future, the company hosts numerous free workshops and events and provides free solar estimates for local residents. 

In the past two years, Suncommon has won numerous awards and accolades for its excellence in solar business practices. 

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The Good

  • Community Solar Array
  • Multiple Financing Options

Community Solar Array

For those consumers whose homes or situations may not be a good fit for solar panels, Suncommon offers the option to join its Community Solar Array (CSA). This program places a group solar array on an acre of land nearby and has the capacity to meet the energy needs of approximately 30 residences with clean energy. 

Group net metering gives each CSA member a solar energy credit on their electricity bill. Participants pay $1 to join the CSA and agree to a monthly payment with guaranteed utility bill savings of 7 percent. 

Multiple Financing Options

Suncommon offers several financing options with low interest rates for customers who would like to switch to renewable energy and own their solar panels. These options include a 12-year loan with 2.99 percent interest and a 20-year loan with 3.99 percent interest. All loans are funded through Vermont's statewide credit union. Monthly payments will be similar to current average electric bills. 

If customers would prefer to purchase a system outright rather than finance with a loan, the solar company also offers the option to pay in full with cash. According to Suncommon, the average cost of a system is around $25,000. 

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The Bad

  • Limited Roof Installations
  • Public Controversy

Limited Roof Installations

Suncommon installs solar panels on pitched roofs, but will not perform installations on flat rooftops. Additionally, the company will not install panels on rooftops that feature cedar or slate shingles. 

Residents who are part of a homeowner's association may also face constraints when trying to install a solar system. 

Certain other limitations may apply, especially if the home faces north or has significant tree shading. However, ground mounting may be an alternative option for these types of homes. 

Public Controversy

Suncommon has faced public controversy. According to a few articles available online, there have been complaints that Suncommon's Community Solar Array program does not give members access to the benefits that they were supposedly eligible for. 

However, Suncommon has responded that CSA members do not own the solar array and therefore are not eligible for federal or state incentives. It appears that the company did not explain this to CSA members very well beforehand, though. In addition to the confusion about incentive eligibility, consumers who live near CSAs are unhappy with the visual impact the arrays have on the rural landscape. 

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The Bottom Line

Suncommon has several years of experience providing renewable energy solutions. The company offers a number of financing options, and gives its customers access to clean energy through Community Solar Arrays. However, there has been some controversy surrounding these CSAs. 

If you live in Vermont, Suncommon might be the right solar power company for you. If you live elsewhere, you'll need to take a look at other solar companies.

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Star Rating

3.4

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8 Reviews

Review Breakdown

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50%

4 grade

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3 grade

13%

2 grade

13%

1 grade

25%

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Kurt Miller Castleton, VT

I had my solar panels installed by Suncommom late August 2017, exactly as scheduled.. I researched in depth all companies selling solar in Vermont, and talked to over a dozen people who had systems installed. (Advantage of a small state) I chose Suncommon for a combination of price, length of warranty, excellent product line,service and reputation. I've not been disappointed, and still have helpful and friendly conversation with them.

4 years ago

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donn Siegriest Colchester, VT

We installed solar panels last year using Suncommon. There was absolutely nothing troublesome in dealing with these folks and the installation folks. I highly recommend Suncommon - It is disappointing to see they are not highly regarded...It seems like the years they have been in business and the fact they have been only in Vermont weighed heavily on their low rating...They are truly an excellent company! Trust these folks!

5 years ago

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Fred Trombly

SunCommon made the details as seamless as possible. Their "Solar Advisor" was knowledgeable and helped me figure out the number of panels needed and the financing options which were very good. I was able to structure my loan to be less than my electric bill was and after 10 years (8&1/2 now) I won't have either. This will save me about $120 (after taxes) a month and increase the resale value of my home. We are able to use air-conditioning more in addition to the other benefits.

5 years ago

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Joe Hedal Westwood, MA

SunCommon marketed to us a system whereby the energy produced over a full year would result in a net zero bill to Green Mountain power. As it turns out, we end up paying electric bills about half the year. This is because SunCommon in designing the system used an annual historical usage amount that was less than our actual usage (despite the fact that we gave them access to our usage history). When I first contacted them, they acknowledge the mistake and said they'd come up with options to address it. The "option" was for us to pay to have them install more panels (yes, at a lower rate, they said, than they normally would charge). As a customer, I should not pay anything for their mistake. When I tried to raise the issue to management (James) they went through contortions to explain why they had not made a mistake (they had, and their tech guy admitted it). The roof on our house faces northwest, not the best orientation. Rather than just telling us that the cost of a system to cover our electrical would not be cost effective, they gave us a hard sell on a system that does not cover our annual usage. They could have mitigated the issue significantly with additional panels for short money but instead chose to debate their mistake with the customer. They were not the least expensive quote we got, and I went with them because I liked the idea of supporting a local Vermont company. I would not recommend them, and would have made a different decision had I known how frustrating and difficult they were to deal with. The good: the installation seems ok, is producing electricity, but, because we are still paying the utility our payback will be even longer than the 10.5 years they originally projected (and, I know, that is a very long payback).

4 years ago

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Donald Labrecque Colchester, VT

EDIT : After the initial review, SunCommon has begun the process of remedying our breach. Therefore the original review has been modifed and will be updated at project completion. SunCommon lied to me about installation scheduling for months, before I eventually terminated the contract with no believable installation date in sight. They offered no remedy, only more false promises.

4 years ago

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S. T. Burlington, VT

We were looking for solar panel installation for the house, contacted a few companies for it and someone recommended Suncommon to us. The initial phone calls were great, until they assigned a “specialist” who was supposed to visit the house. He canceled the appointment on the day he was supposed to come, promised to send his assessment report. Guess what? We never heard back from him again, until a month and a half later, he finally got back to us with nothing and said he doesn’t think solar is a good idea. Thing is, we have asked for community solar from the beginning, which he never mentioned until we specifically asked him for it in response to his “sorry, not a good idea” email. He didn’t write back for a week, then he said, “the program has been filled.” Nothing more. Apparently that’s how they treat a potential customer.

2 years ago

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RICHARD GRZWGOROWICZ Hartland, VT

IM VERY UPSET WITH SUN COMMON. MY REASONS ARE, WE WERE TOLD DURING AGREEMENT PAPERWORK THE STATE OF VERMONT WOULD HELP US WITH THE COST OF SYSTEM, INSTALLATION. AFTER SYSTEM WAS IN AND WORKING WE WERE ADVISED WE DO NOT QUALIFY. [NO OTHER REASON GIVEN] IV NEARLY 30,000 INVESTED, I CALLED MANY TIMES AND GOT NO WHERE WITH THEM, ANOTHER REASON AND THIS IS A REAL PROBLEM FOR ME IM 80 YEARS OLD AND BAD LEGS, THE SYSTEM WE BOUGHT SHOULD HAVE HAD THE MONITORING PANEL IN MY BASEMENT, WHERE I COULD KEEP TRACK OF IS PRODUCTION, THE CO THAT INSTALLED MY SYSTEM BY PASSED THIS AND PUT A BOX ON THE PANEL BASE IN THE FIELD WHERE I CANT SEE IT, AND THE SYSTEM FAILED 3 TIMES , ONE TIME IT WAS OUT OVER A MONTH I NEVER KNEW IT. BE CAUSE I CANT GET TO WHERE I CAN SEE THE SCREEN. I WOULD LIKE SOME ANSWERS IF ANY ONE CARES.

3 years ago

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Peggy Cochran Barre, VT

Very friendly company and so easy to work with. We are very happy with our solar installation experience!

5 years ago