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YellowLite

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5.7

Overall Score

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LAST UPDATED: February 18th, 2024

YellowLite was founded in 2008 by top executives from The Wireless Center, which was a cell phone distributor with hundreds of stores throughout the Midwest and the Eastern United States. This team of entrepreneurs was passionate about preserving the environment, eliminating American dependence on foreign oil, and promoting a local, renewable energy source. 

YellowLite strives to provide high-quality solar system design and installation. The company is a certified SunPower Authorized Dealer and also SunPower Advanced Certified and NABCEP-certified. 

Yellowlite specializes in providing solar systems for residential, commercial and non-profit customers alike as well as solar repair and maintenance. Yellowlite also advertises solar panels for farms. The company’s service area includes the following states: 

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky 
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia 

In this YellowLite review, we have gathered an extensive amount of information regarding what this company has to offer, including any details we feel you need to be aware of. You can then use this review to supplement your own research as you make an educated decision about whether or not Yellowlite is the right fit for your solar project.

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The Good

  • Installation Process
  • Loan Options 
  • SREC Financing 
  • Equipment Brands
  • Solar Warranty 
  • Online Monitoring

Installation Process

To get started, all you have to do is contact YellowLite and request a free quote. The company will then schedule your free site evaluation and will deliver your proposal to you via email or in person.  

Your proposal will include the initial system design, any green energy rebates, and tax credits, as well as the total cost of your new system and more.  

After you've signed the contract YellowLite will take care of everything from there, including the photovoltaic design, permitting, system construction, all inspections, the utility interconnection and the green energy rebate collection.

The installation process will vary depending on the size and complexity of your install.  However, a typical residential solar install should take approximately three to four business days.  Then, once the installation is complete, your PV system will be inspected by the governing municipality and your utility company, in which YellowLite will schedule and attend personally so you will not have to be present.

After the inspections have been completed, YellowLite will give you all the electrical and structural drawings of your new system, along with all owner's manuals, warranties, and instructions on how to monitor your solar system's performance.

Loan Options

Yellowlite provides some attractive financing options so if you qualify for one of its preferred payment options, this might be the perfect solar company for your needs of up to $55,000.

Keep in mind that all of these require a FICO score of at least 650.

YellowLite's website provides customers with three different financing options.There is a great infographic that shows you all the terms and requirements side by side for traditional bank financing using Green Sky Credit or through Admirals Bank.

Traditional Banks

With this option, you can select the bank of your choice and opt for either secured or unsecured financing. Additionally, you can use the Ecolink Rate Reduction, which is 3%.  This type of financing offers you a range of loan terms, which are generally, 5, 7, 10 or 12-year options.

Green Sky Credit

With this option you can place the federal tax credit on a same-as-cash 12 months, no interest, no payment plan, which will allow you to take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit now. 

This will help if you want to pay off your solar system quickly and there are no equity or mortgage requirements. 

This is 100 percent unsecured financing, up to $50,000, the application process is easy and secure, with no paperwork, application fees, closing costs, or prepayment penalties required.  

Plus, you will receive a fast approval, usually within minutes.  Your payments will begin five months after you sign.

Admirals Bank

With this option, you might be eligible if you are making any of the following home improvements: 

  • Residential solar panels
  • Roof installation
  • Solar water heating
  • Installing energy efficient windows and doors
  • Residential geothermal heating and cooling
  • Insulation
  • Metal roofing

Additional loans

You also might be able to apply for a Solar Stepdown Loan independently, or apply to the SolarPlus Loan as a supplementary option.  If you are unfamiliar with how the Solar Stepdown Loan and the SolarPlus Loans work, these are explained in detail on the YellowLite website.  

As always, contact the solar company directly for more information and a more detailed explanation.

SREC Financing

The solar renewable energy credits (SREC's) are tradable credits that when each time your system generates 1,000 kWh of electricity, you will receive an SREC that can then be sold or traded independently from the power. The value of SRECs in any given state is measured by three different factors, all of which are explained in detail on the Yellowlite website:

  1. RPS compliance fee schedules
  2. SREC supply
  3. SREC demand

You can easily monetize your SRECs by using an SREC aggregator, which YellowLite has already partnered with: Sol Systems.  

Sol Systems is the largest SREC aggregator in the country and can provide you with reliable financing options customized to fit your needs. Sol Systems also offers utility-backed contracts, competitive pricing, quarterly payments, a streamlined registration process, and top-notch customer service. 

Sol Systems has three different offerings that can help reduce your solar project costs anywhere from 20-40%.

Sol Annuity

This is a long-term solution that provides you with guaranteed prices for your SRECs even when the spot market prices fall. You get fixed quarterly payments for every SREC you produce over a three or five-year term.

Sol Upfront

This option helps you reduce your out-of-pocket expenses by providing you a lump-sum payment based on the size (kW) of your solar system. After you sign-up, Sol Systems will lock the amount of your upfront payment. Then after your system has been properly registered, you will get a check sometime within 10 business days.

Sol Brokerage 

This option is a flexible SREC solution that will let you benefit from the risk-reward of spot-market rates with no effort on your part. Sol Systems will monitor the SREC trading platforms and any legislative changes and will then use their market experience to establish a target price for your particular SRECs.  

Every quarter you will receive a payment for every SREC that was produced by your solar system. This payment will reflect the weighted average of SREC sales for the quarter minus the higher of $5 or a 5% brokerage fee.

Equipment Brands

YellowLite does not offer a one-size-fits-all equipment solution, which is great because every home and roof is different.

That being said, the company only uses NABCEP-certified installers, who will, at no charge, come out and look at your roof while taking into account your personal solar goals then will customize a system specifically to meet your particular needs.

The company offers a variety of different solar modules, which are SunPower, MAGE, LG, SolarWorld and Canadian Solar, as well as a variety of different inverters, which are SMA, Fronius, and Enphase.  

When using YellowLite, you will get the benefit of SunPower's patented Maxeon solar cell technology that has 21 percent module efficiency and are the most efficient panels that are commercially available to help you save on your electric bills. 

Solar Warranty 

YellowLite installations are guaranteed for ten years; however, the solar equipment that was installed on your home carries its own product warranty as well and will be backed by the manufacturing company.  

Yellowlite’s 10-year workmanship warranty encompasses system repairs, damaged solar panels, replacement parts, system diagnostics, and energy monitoring. That being said, make sure the details of each of these components are duly noted in your contract. 

Most solar manufacturer warranties are usually around 25 years.  

Online Monitoring

According to YellowLite, it provides an online monitoring system for all solar PV systems.  This is a great feature as it will help the company determine when your system requires any maintenance or repairs, such as when any of the panels or the inverter is producing less than they should.  

YellowLite's engineering staff continually analyzes reports and troubleshoots any issues to make sure you are getting the production that's expected. If something should happen, YellowLite will contact you immediately and schedule a time to resolve the issue.

Additionally, an online monitoring system allows you as the homeowner to view your system's performance and view any of the many reports remotely. Reports tell you exactly how much power you are producing every day, month and year throughout the life of the system.  

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The Bad

  • No Solar Leasing or PPA 
  • Needs Customer Reviews 
  • Transferability Unknown 

No Solar Leasing or PPA

YellowLite only offers two types of payment options, which are financing and the SREC program.  Unlike many competitors,

Yellowlite doesn’t appear to offer any type of leasing programs.  

While we generally recommend a solar purchase over a solar lease, leasing programs and PPAs (power purchase agreements) allow renters and homeowners who can’t afford a solar purchase to experience and contribute to the environmental benefits of solar. 

Therefore, we like to see companies provide solar leasing for these cases. 

Needs Customer Reviews

We have a handful of Yellowlite reviews on our site, but we need more to sufficiently determine where Yellowlite stands against competing solar companies. Our expert review can only get you so far. Verified customer reviews can provide insight into a company’s customer service, quality of installation, turnaround times, and other factors. 

If Yellowlite has done a solar project for you, please consider leaving a review below. 

Transferability Unknown 

You may need to inquire as to whether or not your solar financing contract is transferrable to the new owner should you decide to sell your home. Many solar contracts are transferrable to the new owner, although the new owner might have to qualify to take over your contract. Make sure all of this is thoroughly documented in your contract, or be prepared to pay off your solar loan before you sell your house.

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The Bottom Line

If you live in Yellowlite’s covered states, you may want to consider YellowLite as your solar provider. Yellowlite excels in the areas of equipment brands, online monitoring, and especially financing options. 

That being said, we have some unanswered questions regarding this company and could also use more customer reviews before making a final determination. As always, consult reviews from multiple solar companies in your area and obtain detailed quotes from at least two companies before signing a contract. 

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Edward Yates Columbus, OH

After deciding to add a solar array to our house, we started looking at companies in our area (Cincinnati, Ohio) that seemed to have some sort of reasonable track record. Yellowlite didn't come up initially, but I found them thanks to a query for information from a solar information clearinghouse. Yellowlite is out of Cleveland, but has done work here, and has a reap that lives in Cincinnati. I had three companies submit bids, and the rep from Yellowlite was by far the most technically savvy. He didn't just rely on google maps for information on my roof, he spent about a half hour on my roof, measuring angles, sitelines for trees, etc. (He was the only one of the three that actually got up on my roof. In the end, Yellowlite won for a couple of reasons: 1. The sales process. Ezequiel came in and did the above, but was also straightforward and not pushy. He was extremely knowledgeable about the technology and the installation process. I told him that he was was a great salesperson because he was anything but the stereotypical home improvement salesperson. No pressure, just presenting his product and answering questions. 2. Price. Yellowlite came in about 10% lower than the other bidders. One of the other bidders came back and offered to lower their price, but I'm of the opinion that if you didn't make your best offer up front, you don't deserve another shot. 3. Reputation. Once Yellowlite got on my radar, I looked into the company pretty deeply, and found little reason to want to make a different choice. The installation was completed at the end of the year, and there were a few problems with it, but they all got worked out. I've never been through a home project that didn't have a few headaches. We also has a communications problem between the system and monitoring portal that lasted a few weeks, but it really only lasted that long due to my travel schedule. And it was Ezequiel the came back to help resolve it. (He's apparently also a tech.) You can do worse with a solar contractor than Yellowlite, but I'm relatively certain you can't do better. I am happy to tell people about my solar experience and Yellowlite, and have already recommended them to a couple of people. The installation experience is the only reason they didn't get a perfect 10, but I've shared my thoughts with them regarding it, and I believe it will make them even better on future jobs.

6 years ago