Founded in 1992, SunPower is a solar company that prides itself on delivering reliable energy and long-term peace of mind for homeowners and businesses. The company is a pioneer in the industry and currently holds more than 750 patents for solar technology.
Known for manufacturing top quality, high efficiency solar panels that generate more power than conventional solar technologies and have a uniquely attractive, all-black appearance for itself and many other players in the industry, SunPower offers a few different options to help both residential and commercial consumers get started with renewable energy, but outsources most, if not all, of its projects to third-party solar installers.
Keep reading to discover The Good, The Bad, and The Bottom Line about SunPower, and check out SunPower reviews from real customers.
SunPower offers three different payment options for customers to choose from: solar leasing, purchasing with cash, and financing with a loan.
With the lease option, SunPower Capital owns the system and the customer rents the system from the company, requiring monthly payments. The lease comes with a 20-year performance guarantee, as well as easy options in case the customer needs to transfer the lease.
SunPower also offers outright purchase and financing options for customers interested in the tax credits and other incentives that come along with solar power ownership. Loan terms for solar systems typically range from 5 to 20 years and do not have any prepayment penalties attached.
The cost of a SunPower solar system ultimately depends on several factors, including current energy usage, available amount of unshaded roof space, the local utility’s net metering policy, and other factors. The easiest way to figure out exactly how much solar will cost you is to obtain a free quote from SunPower.
SunPower is on the cutting edge of solar technology and excels when it comes to innovation, design, and production of solar equipment, so customers can be confident that they will have high quality products on their homes.
In fact, SunPower makes the highest efficiency solar panels you can buy for your roof in today's market, and the company's solar cells are made of anti-reflective glass and coated with anti-reflective coating to ensure that they capture as much sunlight as possible.
SunPower's X-Series solar panels excel in terms of power generation and deliver 44 percent more energy per watt than competitive products. This means that SunPower can provide more clean power for its customers' homes with fewer solar panels.
SunPower panels also boast 75 percent more energy per watt than conventional solar panels, meaning that an investment in a SunPower system will ultimately pay off more in the long run.
Additonally, SunPower panels maintain their energy production much better than conventional panels in partly-shaded conditions, making them a better rooftop solar option for customers who live in a cloudy region or a relatively shaded area.
In addition to being highly efficient, SunPower's panels are uniquely attractive and aesthetically pleasing. While many other companies in the solar industry offer traditional blue photovoltaic panels, SunPower's panels are all black, which helps them to blend in better with the rooftop on many houses.
SunPower's panels are compatible with the Freedom CPAP Battery produced by Battery Power Solutions. When a SunPower module is installed along with this battery, customers will still have access to electricity in the event of a power outage.
Online monitoring is extremely important for customers who want to see what the panels on their roof are producing and ensure that everything is up to par.
SunPower offers a helpful, convenient app for customers to do just that. The app provides important system information such as power output, savings, energy usage over time, and environmental effects.
There is also a consumption monitoring kit that provides more information than the app for customers who would like a more in-depth way to monitor their system. The consumption monitoring kit is installed by the dealer, but may not be compatible with all homes.
SunPower offers multiple warranties to protect its customers' solar energy systems, including a 25-year product warranty, which covers the equipment itself, and a 25-year workmanship warranty, which covers the labor and installation. The clean energy company also offers a 25-year performance warranty, which covers the customer in the event that their solar modules underperform in terms of electricity production and output.
Many customers may be interested in obtaining a SunPower module through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) because this payment method typically includes some kind of $0 down option, which eliminates a barrier to entry for them to go solar.
Unfortunately, SunPower only offers PPAs to commercial customers, so consumers who are interested in a PPA for their home solar system will not have much luck with this company.
SunPower is performing installations itself in select areas of California; however, SunPower panels are available in 40 states, excluding the following, through a network of dealers:
The dealer you choose will end up being your installer and customer care center for the life of the solar PV panels, which creates a bit of confusion as to who should be contacted (the dealer or SunPower) in the event that any issues occur.
Many users on our site have provided negative feedback in regards to SunPower's customer service.
Common complaints include difficulty to reach a representative, company failure to return phone calls, slow response time, and inability to resolve issues.
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SYSTEM WORKS FINE.CUSTOMER SERVICE PEOPLE ARE NOT THAT SMART!!!! I DON'T LIKE THE BILLING DEPT. ATTITUDE
Reading down the recent reviews, I have to conclude that it's all about your local installer. Sunpower is a vertically integrated operation--you can't buy the parts and do it yourself. You have to contract with a Sunpower approved installer. In my case the installers were reasonably good. However, today both of them have gone on to other things. That suggests a problem within the corporation. My (nominally 2KW) system was turned on 6 years ago (June 16, 2011). Over that period of time it has produced about 200 KWH more than I have used. The remote monitor readout quit years ago, but it was totally superfluous anyway, so I have never bothered to get it fixed. After months of use here in Azusa, CA, I decided to spring for a Sunpower installation for my mother in Sierra Vista, AZ. Our experience there is similar to here; the panels and inverter seem to be rock solid and output seems to be as represented.
Customer service stinks if you call the 800 number. My local dealer did a very good job answering questions. They were great and made me feel at ease.
From the time we signed on the dotted line to the installation, everything ran so smoothly. The salesman was the best and still continues to check up on us.
Customer Service is one of the worst I have dealt with. When I called because my system isn't reporting the lady claimed it was caused because of the electrical storm (which we had not had an electrical storm) I told her numerous times we had no storms but she didn't listen. I've called 5 times, still waiting for someone to fix the issue. No idea if my system I producing like they said it would be. I was told when they were trying to get me to sign the contract that they also monitor the systems and would be able to tell if something wasn't working correctly right away. Guess that was a lie, they do not monitor the systems, its up to me to check it daily. Would not recommend Sun Power to anyone. Worst customer service once you sign
I have a 22 panel system which provided 180% of our electrical needs last billing cycle. We got a $117 credit from SCE! Installation was done last July with some minor hiccups by a Sunpower crew. The install is one of the best I have seen. We monitor it daily and have had zero issues since going live. I would certainly recommend to all my friends.
Have had the system install and producing since March of 2012. I have kept month by month records since I have lived in the house. Central California is hot in the summer and my average monthly bill prior to the installation was $393 (that was over a 5 year period). After the installation the average cost per month was $110 a month.
They sold me a 58 panel system that was to generate more than 30,000kw per year to offset prior years usage by 100%. After 11 month of service the system has produced 19,595kw. Further, prior to initiating the contract I advised SUNPOWER that I have a steel roof and if walked on it would distort the stamped steel shingle. They assured my family they had experience with this type of roof and it would be OK. My roof is completely destroyed and they have admitted to that fact. They now are stalling to fix same. I suggest you consider other sources for your solar panel needs.
Have had our panels over a year and they look great and function extremely well. The company worked with us through the whole process answering all our questions as we went along. The installers were very professional and knew exactly what to do. In a single word, awesome.
This was one of three companies I looked at and it was the manufacture and online monitering that sold me. Never been happier.
Just purchased system. Outstanding service including sales, transparency, installation. SunPower was installer in our area, unlike several other companies locally. Must admit that your ranking Sungevity #1 for 2017 is odd since it went bankrupt last month!
My system was installed in 2008. Have not had any issues. Monthly bills are $5 per month so the system will easily pay for itself.
Purchased several months ago. Installed when promised, follow up excellent, functioning as promised and expected. No regrets.
SunPower explained exactly how many panels I needed , where the panels were going to be placed and I received a 25 year warranty on panels and labor. All of my questions about how solar system worked were answered promptly. I especially like being able to access system and monitor usage online so I k now that system is working. I am not suppose to have to pay more than $37.00 a month for electricity. Bills have averaged $151.00 per mo. So far so good!
Had solar system installed by one of sunpowers so called authorized dealers in 2016. My home uses 13000kw a year and was sold a 10k system. Since September 2016 the system has only produced 1600kw. My electric bill is over 200 a month and I now have a loan of 240 a month. What I was sold was not what was advertised. False claims and if you purchase a system from sunpower they will do nothing to help you if the dealer is bad. They only stand behind the system if it is leased. So buyer beware don't not buy a system from them. I am going to have to go to court to get the matter resolved. I paid over 40k for a system that will not save me money
My installation was done in September 2016 and have averaged an electric bill of $13 per month from my electric company. I am saving an average of $75/month. My salesman was excellent and he patiently explained what would happen and the timeline. The system works flawlessly and I cant wait to see what will happen in the summer with the central air and pool filter on.
Had Sunpower installed in 2016. Up to this date, March 2017, it has perforrmed without a problem. I am looking forward to summertime, when we use air conditioning 24/7 every day for 4 months. So far no problems and also no electric bills.
I took the leap 8 years ago and my Sunpower system installed by Baker Electric has now paid for itself. There has been no problem with the panels or inverter. Highly recommend Baker and Sunpower. My system produces more than they said it would! I like that, under promise, over deliver never gets old!
My solar system was installed 5 years ago in Bakersfield by "Sun Solar" utilizing Genuine SUNPOWER PANELS. It gets real hot here in Bakersfield. My typical former $ 500 to $800 per month Electric bills now average about $ 10. I keep my big house cool in the summer and save a fortune. I was a bit nervous before I tool the leap of faith and agreed to SOLAR> I am very Happy !
We are thrilled with our Sun Power panels and the install by Aurora Energy. Everyone in both companies was easy to contact and answered our questions to our satisfaction. The Sun Power App allows us to see how much energy we use from solar and the grid.
I have a Sunpower system about 5 years old. The local dealers don't want to come out and look at it. Sunpower won't help. So the warranty is useless as is the system.
Everything bout SP is lie.Signed contract Oct 2015.System wasnt in till July 2016.They promised system would be in Mar.2016.They said county delayed install due to a screw being wrong.They said they'd pay utlites until it was finished. Soon as it got hot they stopped paying.Left me a balance with utility com.$1300 Salesman & Customer Service are rude.Still have not received a copy of contract.My system cost $137,000.THEY SAID MY ROOF WASN'T RIGHT SO I HAVE A GROUND UNIT. THOUGHT MY PAYMENT WAS GOING TO BE $226MTH. IT'S $447.DID I MENTION THEY MESSED UP MY BEDROOM WALL INSTALLING ELECTRICAL BOX???
My sun power system went live in the latter part of May 2016. In my contract is states we are to produce 33kw per day. We leased a 17 panel system. Shortly after it took 7 months for the installation and system to actually go live, it started to have a decline in production. To which was deemed the system wasn't powerful enough to supply our needs. October 31, sun power had smart energy solar out to install 4 additional panels at no additional cost. That day our system stopped monitoring. No one contacted me from either sun power or smart energy solar. I did ALL the calling to rectify the situation. One day 3 weeks later, on its own, it started monitoring. Only instead of producing more like it should, it was even less. So it went from 33kw per day, to 21kw and now with 4 additional panels to 17kw. It has also stopped monitoring. Their call center only says their waiting for the resident supervisor to call me, who never does. Nothing has been done to correct my problem!
We had SunPower for approx. 4 1/2 years. The installation as done on time. The job was very professional and the installer was very friendly. At first we figured the pay out would be 10 years, now it looks like it will be closer to 8 years. ( we paid cash for our system). Have had a couple of minor issues with communications with the internet but was solved in a timely manner with NO cost to me. I would highly recommend SunPower to anyone.
For overall customer satisfaction, SunPower is the best company. The warranty is the best by far and the dealer network in northern CA are the best. They are committed to excellent installation work and follow up. Solar is an asset for your home. Pick the best quality panels. I installed SunPower and have a 5.5 yr. pay back.
Looks good - doesn't deliver. Went with Sun Power after looking at equipment & relying on their estimates of our power needs. Was betrayed by what turned out to be an incompetent estimation of our needs. Installation was a nightmare. Local dealer delayed installation for months. Did not install per the approved plan. Result was that city red tagged the project. Once city approval was obtained, HOA approval requirements were simply ignored. Finally had totally inappropriate shield installed that was never cleared by HOA. Sidewall equipment was never painted as required. Process started in Feb. It is now Nov ... do the math. Installation still in progress. Installed system woefully underpowered. 30 panels installed after our questioning adequacy of initial proposal. Were assured that 30 panels would cover our need. 4 months experience suggest that the installed system is 20% underpowered. No longer receiving communications from Sun Power ... am receiving monthly bills. Stay away from Sun Power.
We had SunPoser panels installed several months ago by Westhaven Solar. The installation was as scheduled, professional, and cleared by local planning office with the comment that , "They do nice work." We have had few problems, but the minor difficulties with the monitor app was addressed quickly. To date we are pleased with the purchase, installation, service, and performance.
In the new era of "let the buyer beware", we can only give kudos to Sunpower. From customer service, to monitoring production, to the actual products. We rate an A+
I purchased my 2nd system from SunPower, my prior system was a complete disaster. After taking the time to educate myself on the difference in not only Solar Panels but inverters as well, I now have a system that provides me with a net zero PLUS credit useage at the end of each month. I have been monitoring my system on a daily/weekly and monthly basis. Prior to the SunPower installation, I compared the offerings (proposals) between 6 different companies. There is a world of difference. I now have less panels (28 vs 62) and produce substantially more kwh per month. My current system in comparison cost substantially less than my original system even taking into consideration the difference in cost (price) drop over the years. YES you can buy cheaper, but in my estimation you can't get better! As a plus, my salesman (Alan C) was not pushy and he listened to what it was that I wanted and what my needs were as opposed to what was being offered.
Systems achieves all that they promised and more. The first year my bill was $ -171. The company that installed the system was Baker Electric and did a quick, excellent job. I did an upfront lease on a 28 panel system. Online monitoring of system is excellent!
Purchased Sun Power Panels 3 years ago and besides a few hic-ups with the installation, I am very satisfied. Renova Solar put them in and has followed through with cleaning the panels. Also very satisfied with the amount of savings in energy. We just have to keep the utilities out of our backyard. Would highly recommend. Palm Desert, California
Leased a system from these liars almost two years ago. Claimed maintenance (i.e. cleaning panels that get dirty and are inefficient) was part of deal. After much run around and supervisors in meetings and "I don't knows," the bottom line is: DO NOT DEAL WITH THESE PEOPLE. STOP. Unless you want to be disappointed, frustrated and not get your money's worth, you'll run if they contact you. How can I mke this any clearer? For the next 18 years, I am stuck with a bunch of crooks!
No customer services we have a bill from SDG&E for $619.64! I called and called talked to someone twice overseas could not help I then get a call from SA of A to call Dstin st ? About getting our money back to pay SDG&E I tell him twice and he askes again Enought I say good by and hang up My sweet wife calls back with leasing information Now what? Bottom line don't by in to this Solar business with this company or any Solar company it a ripp ofg
IT ALL DEPENDS ON YOUR CONTRACTOR: My Sunpower Solar system is 5-1/2 years old and I noticed it had stopped producing electricity. I found out the dealer that installed it went out of business. I contacted another official Sunpower dealer and had to pay them $100 min service charge to come out and take a look. Found a blown fuse in the inverter, but also discovered a burned out solar panel. Sunpower Co. did supply a replacement panel and I did not have to pay for the labor to replace it. However, my system is still producing less than half the power it should. Service guy said probably a bad connection somewhere, but I have to pay to have it checked. If the original contractor was still around the warranty would cover that. The local dealer refuses to do the service on an hourly basis and wants to overcharge for it. I'll have someone else do it. I wish Sunpower Co. would back up their dealers better.
I have a Sunpower solar system in place for roughly 1 yr. its a 12.81 KWP 42 panel system . We purchased it using grants and such through NYS. Our Company EmPower of Island Park NY did an outstanding job.. Fair pricing no gimmicks. Excellent engineering both UL & and power company were impressed.. 1 yr trouble free. peace of mind.. we generate power from sun up to sun down and we have and east west facing roof.. Highly recommended..
Worst Customer Service ever, no ones follows up on anything, I kept having to call and probe them for current info and to keep the project going. They made several mistakes which cost time and money, they broke personal items at my house and have not replaced them, during the install they disabled my air conditioner, and told me to call an electrician to come out and look at it.? For every mistake they made, they always put the burden on me to provide info to fix their incompetence. I would never recommend this company to anyone, I just wish I could get out of this contract, but I am stuck with this company, I should have checked the market better for Solar companies that provide better customer service than Sunpower, they are the worst.
My house had 10 SP panels on it when I purchased it and I added another 20. The dealer was Baker Solar electric and I could not speak more highly of them. I was kept apprised of the process constantly and the installation was wonderful - no on roof pipes compared with a neighbor who used a different company and whose system looks awful. Highly recommended.
I have had very good experiences with Sun Power. They made an appointment to come see me to do a site survey. I messed up and didn't answer the door. So the poor guy had to come back. He was very nice about it. Didn't lay a guilt trip one me. Their panels have a very good efficiency rating. A plane using their panels is currently flying around the world.
I have had 18 SunPower panels on my roof for 5 years. All panels are working and I have great daily power reports from the company that built the power inverter to verify the power. I highly recommend the panels.
2010 I decided to go with SunPower panels. Did my homework as 6 yrs ago not a lot of resources or dealers. Once I made decision on panels I shop distributors. When a panel has a warranty of 25 yrs, you can bet the dealer you buy from will not be around. So the Company SunPower is the key, they honor the warranty and had a track record of being in business. They just gave the local Children's Museum here 90 panels that saves the museum $67,000 a yr on electric. They are all over Northern Calif on large projects, schools, churches, commercial and of course homeowners. I like the monitoring system on my cell phone and can read daily output and compare usage monthly or dally from 6 yrs back. It's fun, and I usually get 4 to 6 hundred $$ back from PG & E as credit toward my gas bill. Do your homework. Oh I paid cash and got all the rebates from Government and State. The Government credit carries over year to years if you don't need the $$. Never had a problems panels or dealer who installed.
Do no tuse SunPower. I have had nothing but problems with sunpower and its supplier Amergy (Americian renewable energy since Sept of 2013. They don't return calls, lose paperwork file for permits late and the bigone they damaged my NEW roof and interior of my house due to leaks. I've been in contact w/ amergy about this and the women I spoke too was complaining they are loosing a fourtune due to ALL the repairs they have to make. Amergy sent someone to check out and repair the damage and they did not speak English!!! Sunpower contacted a company which does not do repairs (why contact them???) This company sent someoneone who said they would do the repairs.. Sunpower superviser says she will pass it on to her superivsor; this has been going on for over 2 months and I reported the damage over 4 months ago. Because of the damage they may be moldd in the ceiling and I told them that and this did NOT seam to be a concern to them, Do not use SunPower they 'don't" care. The only thing they worry about is profit!!!
This company doesn't currently service Arizona. That's what this best company review says and I agree with that as far as their customer service goes. They do still have nine dealers in the Phoenix area but they mostly are just subcontractors that install the panels. SunPower has to agree on almost every thing that's done and that can be nearly impossible. Sometimes when you need to contact them, you will have to speak to their representative in the Philippines and it could be hard to understand exactly what they say. The company does have good panels and their leasing contract keeps your payment the same every year. The problem I have with them is their installer that did mine lost their state license, did shoddy work, and now it's difficult to get them to fix anything. They may eventually allow their dealers to truly maintain all their installations without so much difficulty but until then, I would wait or check out others. I've had three or four problems but my latest one is the pigeon invasion building nests under their solar panels. I can't have just anyone fix this problem because SunPower has to approve. I'm still waiting for at least some kind of document allowing me to go ahead or for them to choose someone. I need more than just a referral number to call if it's to an unlicensed, unbonded, and uninsured exterminator. I began calling about this in January and now there's so much nesting material under them that it's a fire hazard.
This company took a $1000 check on June 3, 2016 and promised it would not be cashed but was rather just to hold to show our interest. On June 23, 2016 we were paying a bill online and noticed that without any notification or communication at all, this $1000 had been cashed and the $1000 taken out of our account. We started emailing but no reply, and today after a couple of phone calls ended up getting sales pitch after sales pitch when we demanded this money back. We have now initiated a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and New York State Attorney General's Office. Beware when dealing with SunPower by New York State solar Farm. Our contact person is Tate Lacy.
As I was serving dinner, A sales representative from Renewable Energy, knocked on the door, I asked if he could please go solicit another house while we were eating dinner, he said, that we were the only house on the whole block that was approved for a Grant from the Government, I asked if he could come back another day, he said, that after that day the Grant would run out, there was also a rebate from the company which would allow us a generator, I kept saying the math, does not equal out at the end, He only made the offer for the lease agreement, I had no information on the solar panels, I asked if we could please have a couple of days to think about it, he said impossible offer is going to run out today, needless to say, to make us sign papers he promised us the moon, I signed the papers, because by this time, it is very late, we are tired, we did not read any papers, so in reality, I don't know what I signed, as a matter of fact, My Name on the Papers is Carla Tummolillo, but in reality, my name is, Assunta Tummolillo, Carla is a nickname which my dentist office has my care credit, maybe Thats how can the Government approve me for a grant, but its the wrong name. I asked for all the paperwork of the promises he made us, copies were never given to us, when I called to see if he could send us the copy, they said that the guy, was no longer working there. They Started Job early May finshed in either September or October. After they finished they sent us a bill, stating that we owe the $16,000 down and $205, but because there was a misunderstanding, they are willing to work with us and charge a monthly payment of $405, that means that the $16,000, turned to $48,000, also the panels they put in the front of my garage, during the day whlile we are at work, the snow melts falls off the solar panels right in front of the garage doors, causing damage to my driveway, after a couple of months my neighbors got solar panels but they are a newer model, so not only I got charged so much money, but its a discontinued item. The representative made no mention of a PPA, Living in New Jersey I do not think the solar Panels are worth it, I know there is a law that states, people have to get their money's worth, in New Jersey
I have had nothing but problems w/ sunpower and their contractors since sept 2013. After a year plus of delays the panels were installed. I put a NEW roof on so as not to have problems with leaks; well I was wrong, my roof leaks ans the water damaged 3 ceilings and a wall in my house. I called Amergy aka American Renewable Energy who sold me and had the panels installed to fix the leakes; they sent me a contractor who does not speak english.No response after I complained again. I then called sunpower they called amergy they did not get back to sunpower; this is not the first time this has happened. After calling sunpower they sent someone, this person said the leaks were due to faulty installation after more then 3 weeks still NO response even after I called and they said this report will be forwarded to the proper department. As of now I have stopped paying them and will not pat them till the repairs are done to my satisfaction.
After researching several companies we decided to go with RESTART Solar for our 4KW PV system. We chose them for two main reasons: they use the best materials and components and they were very knowledgable and professional. First off they installed panels made by SunPower. The panels themselves are bit more expensive than other brands but they are American made and more efficient. The SunPower system delivers with 12 panels compared to overseas made panels needed up to 18 panels to deliver the same amount of power. That means you buy fewer panels and use your limited roof real estate more efficiently. Because you're buying fewer panels the total system cost is a little more but you get a much better product! installation looks great and everything was done properly with attention paid to how well it looked and how well it worked. Jon and Kyle guided us through the process and did everything from getting the permits to getting the inspection done after the installation. Our panels have now been producing sun energy for 6 months and we're very pleased with a “zero” SCE bill now! I can't say enough about our positive experience with installing SunPower panels from RESTART Solar!!!
Had system installed in June 2015 by AES (Chico, CA). Deposit was $1k. Sales man was NOT pushy like other company sales people. They did clean install. I am Engineer and knowledgable about building codes. They designed they system and installed it beyond code requirements. They worked out what system size worked best for me (utility is PG&E, so tier pricing). My system was designed to keep me in the "cheap" teir. They did not over build/sell system. They were honest about government rebates and told me to check with my tax advisor to make sure I understood how the rebates work. other companies promised things that were not true. In 6 months have had ZERO issues with the system. The monitoring is easy to use. I have compared my system to other friends systems and mine seems to be more efficient (comes on earlier and produces more in low light / cloudy days).
Had SunPower panels working for 3 years. Absolutely no problems. Great power panels, system. Highly recommend them.
System in 3 yrs, 6000 inverter N/G had to wait 2 weeks for replacement inverter. Replacement in 4 hrs THEN DIED . 3 more days ,then service man checked (was a REFURBISHED unit ,NOT NEW) Am now waiting for sunpower to respond. NOT a reliable company ,just a lot of corporate PR .
I visited SunPower's website and completed the pop-up inquiry box. I received a call the following day from an "authorized" SunPower Contractor. I was not given any additional options if I wanted a SunPower PV system on my home. After providing the Contractor, in Miami, FL with a $13,000 deposit, I received nothing. The contractor has not returned calls for more than I month. The deposit was given more than five months ago. I contacted SunPower for some assistance and after nearly a monthly they offered to provide me with the names of other contractors but zero relief, not even a partial discount on the panels to help complete my system after sustaining a loss of $13,000. I would be very careful in dealing with SunPower they appear not to scrutinize their authorized contractors well and provided me no assistance after having a problem with their local contractor