Tephra Solar Logo

Tephra Solar

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4.1

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: December 20th, 2023

Tephra Solar is an affordable, residential solar provider that provides renewable energy to 14 states: California, Colorado, Arizona, North Carolina, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Utah, New Mexico, South Carolina, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, and Illinois.

Tephra installs custom-designed solar systems by connecting clients to certified, local solar experts. The company's process starts with a consultation in which a Tephra consultant creates a free estimate based on the client's energy usage and the size of home and roof and then helps select the right plan. Tephra engineers then take precise measurements of the roof and create a customized solar system.

During installation, Tephra Solar takes care of permits and scheduling, easing the process for the client. Most installations take just one day. Clients can potentially save up to 10 to 30 percent on their energy bill through Tephra's solar systems.

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The Good

  • Solar Service Payment Options
  • Experienced CEO

Solar Service Payment Options

Tephra offers four service payment plans to finance a solar panel installation:

  • Purchase — When clients purchase the solar service outright, they immediately own the system with no monthly payment, but have upfront costs. This option qualifies for the federal solar tax credit, worth 26 percent of upfront costs.
  • Loan — Through a loan, clients can own their solar system with little to no money down by paying a monthly payment to the financing partner.
  • Power purchase agreement — With a solar PPA, the client has no upfront costs and is essentially renting the equipment and paying for the energy they use (often at a rate lower than their current energy bill).
  • Lease — Tephra also offers leasing plans. Leasing solar systems is similar to PPA plans in that the client has no upfront costs and rents the equipment, but instead of paying for what they use, they pay a set amount each month. Clients do not own the equipment with PPA and leasing plans and clients may also be bound to a long term contract with possibility of an annual increase of interest rate.

Experienced CEO

CEO Jared Slemboski previously worked at Vivint Solar, a residential solar energy company that operates in 23 states, before starting Tephra Solar. Jared Slemboski worked at Vivint Solar for more than four years as a District Sales Manager in East Bay California and Director of Sales for Northern California.

 

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The Bad

  • Short Time in Business
  • Solar Panels Undisclosed
  • Warranty Lengths Undisclosed

Short Time in Business

Founded in 2017, Tephra Solar has been in the solar industry a relatively short time. When clients choose a younger solar company, they run the risk of it not being in business for the solar system's full warranty. If a solar company goes out of business before the full warranty, clients lose the remaining warranty on their system and have to hire a separate solar company for maintenance services.

Solar Panels Undisclosed

Tephra Solar does not disclose the types of panels the company installs or the manufacturers it uses. There are three commonly installed solar panels:

  • Amorphous — Amorphous panels are more affordable, but have the lowest efficiency and durability ratings out of the three panel options.
  • Polycrystalline — Polycrystalline panels are a good option for clients who have plenty of installation space, but need a more affordable option than monocrystalline.
  • Monocrystalline — Monocrystalline panels are popular because they have the highest efficiency ratings and take the least amount of space.

Clients will need to ask for further information on the types of panels Tephra provides and research the reputation of the manufacturer.

Warranty Lengths Undisclosed

Although Tephra Solar states that system warranties are provided in its payment plans, it does not disclose any details pertaining to its warranties. Solar systems are an investment and warranties help protect clients from additional, unexpected costs. Reputable solar companies will offer the following:

  • Equipment warranty of 10 to 12 years
  • Performance warranty of 90% up to 10 years
  • Performance warranty of 8% up to 25 years
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The Bottom Line

Tephra Solar offers four finance options to help customers in various circumstances benefit from cost saving solar energy. We recommend reading contracts for PPA and leasing agreements closely to look for increases in annual rates.

Tephra Solar does not disclose much information on its website pertaining to its solar panel types and warranties. Clients need to ask Tephra Solar specific questions about the solar panels, solar panel manufacturers, and length of warranties. We recommend comparing the solar panel types, solar panel manufacturers, and length of warranties to other well established solar companies before hiring.

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Star Rating

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2.1

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15 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

27%

4 grade

0%

3 grade

0%

2 grade

0%

1 grade

73%

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Jay Beck American Fork, UT

I want to start off by saying to ALWAYS read the contract and don't take your salesman's word for anything! They will do anything to get a sale! They told me that I would DEFINITELY be saving money every month with solar and I now have a solar payment AND STILL have over half my power bill, as well, which combined is double what my power bill was before! They also told me that solar definitely adds value to your home! It doesn't, at least in Utah it doesn't. I just sold my home and my realtor said solar adds no value to a home and it also cost us a LOT of offers! Only got one offer for 30K less than what we were asking, which royally screwed me and my family financially! Without the solar, we would have had at least 10 offers, based on what my realtor told me from everyone that checked our place out. They were all deterred by the solar payment they would have had to take on. Without the solar, we could have had a bidding war and potentially made 10-20K more than asking. So all in all, the salesman that lied to me cost me 40-50K when selling my house, all so he could make a thousand dollars of commission from selling me on solar. DO NOT BUY FROM TEPHRA SOLAR!! Biggest mistake of my life!

8 months ago

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jce no New Port Richey, FL

We had solar panels installed by Tephra in February. The installation crew showed up three times before our roof was ready. The panels had been in delivered and sitting in our garage for over a month before that. All because our project manager was incapable of actually managing a project. They asked us to go on the roof to take measurements, they couldn't send a professional over to do it. We have a metal roof and we were told there would be no penetration but the panels are screwed straight through the brand new metal. We were told the install would take half a day. It took two full days. We were told within 30 days the inspections would be completed. It took over two months. The delay was caused by the project manager not having filed the correct paperwork. I had to call our energy company myself in order for them to finally send someone over to complete the inspection. Now that the solar panels are in, the app that they provided isn't reporting our production correctly. The technician who finally turned on the panels apologized for the delay and lack of communication but it's been over a week and they haven't responded to us. There has been no communication, mis-statements, and flat out lies from these people. Do not use them.

9 months ago

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Joseph Villalpando Colorado Springs, CO

Didn't use them, but their door-to-door salesman ignored my "no soliciting" sign even after I asked if they saw the sign. Proceeded to lie to me, which means they obviously didn't care.

5 months ago

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AngeloJ Colorado Springs, CO

True to their words they have installed solar panels to my home in May 24, 2022. But are they producing power no their current state. According to Tephra Project management website my project is only 87% complete. Im waiting on an inspection from Pikes Peak Regional Building Department. https://app.portalcx.io/portal/2d8894a0-bdab-4abd-8e8a-1fe20fd41138. At first when I reach out Tephra Project Management team they informed me of plan changes and that it would have to be resubmitted. I was told wait 2 weeks. Then they just stop picking up the phone after I've waited and called back. Ive texted the persons provided the updates and no answer. Ive called Colorado Springs Utilities to what was holding up was CSU stated that a inspection is required. Was able to access my Pikes Peak Regional Building Department plans/permits online and show no movement from May 12, 2022. Now I'm stuck with paying for solar panels and a electric bill.

1 year ago Edited July 22, 2022

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Not A. Karen Colorado Springs, CO

Teenagers, knocking doors to sell the product. Rude, aggressive, argumentative AND cussing as they walk away from the door when you say “NO THANK YOU”.

5 months ago

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Gerrie Maveety

Finished sale in March 2022. It's now September 2022, NO SERVICE, paid the loan company 4 consecutive payments and still paying $350 or more in electric bills. Lost a whole sunny summer of credits here in Nevada. Our electric bill has actually increased. Wondering how I made this mistake. Efforts to reach Tephra have fallen on deaf ears. No answers or returned calls from the company. I may need to contact a lawyer. Save yourself the time and aggravation and do not use this company!

1 year ago

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Clinton Dowland Herriman, UT

I have never been so dissatisfied with a company they promise a lot and deliver very little. Just try getting ahold of customer service. My salesman totally ghosted me before the panels were installed. He promised to be there through completion. The last time he got back with me he was very negative about the company also. Not very comforting feeling I have about them being Around much longer

1 year ago

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frustrated Colorado Springs, CO

Have waited MONTHS to complete my installation. Communication from their Project Manager has been frustrating at best, wasting a LOT of my time on missed appointments, failed inspections, and weak excuses. Cannot recommend.

1 year ago

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Jesse Pueblo, CO

We were sold system that doesn't even cover the electricity we use. We are now paying for a useless system alo g with a utility bill. I have called and emailed for o er a year and nothing has been done. All we hear is they will get back to us. I am now looking into a lawyer. Worst company I have ever dealt with. Don't bother with them.

1 year ago

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Mark S Salt Lake City, UT

Their sales tactics are very misleading and disrespectful to every homeowner. To tape a flier to the garage door leaving residue. Misleading people to think that this is Rocky Mountain Power that is trying to get homeowners to call. Our city has No Soliciting regulations and what they did is blatant disregard to these rules.

1 year ago

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Ourhallclan

I have been disappointed in Tephra. It months longer than agreed to install the panels and then I never received the $400 referral bonus I was promised after I got my son to install. He also is unhappy with Tephra. Sorry I got them involved!

2 years ago