Tephra Solar Logo

Tephra Solar

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2.8

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: September 10th, 2022

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 only been in the solar industry for three years. 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

2.2

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10 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

30%

4 grade

0%

3 grade

0%

2 grade

0%

1 grade

70%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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