Semper Solaris Review: Veteran-Owned and Community-Oriented Solar Company

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Our Take
WattHive rating
The final say:

An excellent choice for veterans, first responders, and anyone seeking top-notch service and quality.

Semper Solaris Company Logo
San Diego, CA
Solar ownership, battery storage, roofing & HVAC
*directly from Semper Solaris
  • Started in March of 2012 (11-years in business)
  • Veteran owned and operated
  • Currently owned and operated by John Almond and Kelly Shawhan
  • Does not offer power purchase agreement (PPA) or lease options
  • Full service solar, battery, roof and HVAC company
  • Large presence in California solar market
  • Named 2022’s #1 residential solar and battery installer by Solar Power World

Pros and Cons

Various financing optionsWarranties unclear
Industry leading solar equipmentLimited coverage in U.S.
Veteran owned and operatedPricing may be higher vs competitors
Experienced and knowledgeable professionals

Company Overview: Veteran Owned Solar

History and Background

Founded in 2012 by former United States Marine Kelly Shawhan and construction specialist John Almond, Semper Solaris is a solar company that operates out of San Diego, California, with branches located throughout the United States.

They’ve built up a great reputation over the last decade. Most recently they were named to the Inc, 5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies, coming in at position of 4,219/5,000.

They’re also the 2022 top residential solar installer in California according to Solar Power World, installing over 22,301 KW’s installed as of 2021. They’re accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and currently hold a 4.47/5 rating as of May 2023.

Veteran-Owned Solar and Roofing Company

The unique selling proposition of Semper Solaris is centered around patriotism and supporting veterans. Former US Marine Captain and co-founder, Kelly Shawhan, has intentionally carved out the companies target audience.

Semper prides itself on hiring ex-military members as part of their organization. The company lives in congruence with the Marine Corps motto – Semper Fidelis – which means “always faithful” – by putting veterans back to work to make an honest living.

Built on the foundation of honor and integrity, Semper Solaris has built itself into one of the top solar companies in California and across the United States.

Services Offered

  • Residential solar installs
  • Battery storage
  • Roofing services
  • HVAC services

Brands Offered By Semper Solaris

  • Tesla Powerwall
  • Enphase Encharge Battery
  • Goodman AC Units (Branded as Semper Solaris)
  • Owen’s Corning Roofing (Semper is a Platinum Installer)
  • HVAC services


Semper Solaris is a certified installer for Tesla, offering homeowners quality battery storage installations, giving homeowners more energy independence and added peace of mind against power outages. They also currently offer Tesla’s newly released solar inverter.


Semper Solaris prides themselves on using the best equipment the solar industry has to offer. They currently use Enphase micro-inverters on all of their solar installs, which pairs perfectly with the Enphase application to help homeowners track their solar systems production. They also carry the Enphase Encharge solar battery storage products.

Q Cells

Semper Solaris currently offers Q Cell panels, manufactured in Dalton, Georgia – in part to provide high quality solar panels – and to align with their American values. Ironically, Q Cells are also manufactured in China, Malaysia, and South Korea – although it is unknown where Semper Solaris specifically sources their Q Cell panels.


Another high performance solar panel Semper Solaris offers is Silfab Solar. Silfab panels are known for their aesthetic appeal, durability, performance, and 30-year efficiency rating. Silfab currently manufacturers their panels in North America (United States and Canada).


Considered by many to be a reliable air conditioning and heating brand, Semper Solaris currently offers 16 to 20 Seer single, variable, and dual stage AC and heating units. Since they’re one of Goodman’s licensed partners, they have Semper Solaris branding on all of their units. Rest assured that these are not made by Semper and are in fact Goodman AC and heating units.

Owens Corning

Semper Solaris is a Platinum Preferred Owen’s Corning Contractor. This means that Semper Solaris has met performance, quality, financial, and compliance standards set fourth by Owens Corning. Owen’s Corning Platinum Preferred Contractors are meet a standard set by the roofing material manufacturer and are therefore able to offer 50-year roof warranties. Rigorous vetting and training is required to maintain this partnership, which is something Semper Solaris has met year over year.

Territory Coverage

As of 2023, Semper Solaris most prominent coverage area is California. They currently serve the following California communities: San Diego, Concord, Manteca, Redlands, Bay Area, Fresno, Orange County, Sacramento, Bakersfield, Inland Empire, Palm Desert, Campbell, Rancho Cordova and Los Angeles.

Semper has also begun expanding into other states and local service areas. New service areas include Dallas, Texas, Phoenix, Arizona, and Tampa, Florida.

Semper Solaris Customer Reviews

In this section, we’ll discuss customer reviews and experiences with the company, focusing on both positive and negative aspects. We’ll also touch on their customer service and reliability.

Positive Reviews

Many customers have had positive experiences with Semper Solaris. For instance, a review on Trustpilot mentioned that the solar system installed by Semper Solaris has been working as promised for the past three years. The customer appreciated the company’s work and said that they have referred the company to multiple friends and neighbors.

Other positive reviews often highlight the company’s professional service and great communication. Customers have also praised the 25-year bumper-to-bumper warranty on their solar panel installation, which provides added peace of mind. We’ll get more into the details of their warranty further below.

Negative Reviews

While there are many satisfied customers, some have faced challenges working with Semper Solaris. A complaint posted on Solar Reviews states that after signing a contract with Semper Solaris for solar panels, the customer continued receiving expensive electricity bills from their utility company, despite having invested in solar panels. The customer claimed that they had experienced poor power production from the panels, and after multiple visits from Semper Solaris technicians, the issue had not been resolved.

Additionally, some customers have reported slow responses from Semper Solaris’s customer service, potentially indicating poor communication and unreliability. However, these negative reviews represent a relatively small number of customers when compared to the overall positive feedback Semper Solaris has received.

While many customers seem to be satisfied with their solar panel installations and the company’s service, some have had less positive experiences. Customer service and communication may be areas for improvement, but overall, Semper Solaris has maintained a generally favorable reputation in the solar industry.

Installation Process

Solar System Design

The installation process for Semper Solaris begins with a solar system design tailored specifically to the customer’s needs and property layout. A team of experienced professionals assesses the energy consumption and environmental factors to design a solar panel installation that optimizes system performance. Solar installation at Semper Solaris ensures that aesthetics are maintained and the property’s structural integrity is preserved throughout the project.

Permits and Approvals

Once a solar system design is finalized, Semper Solaris takes the necessary steps to obtain permits and approvals from local authorities. Keeping the solar installation process streamlined, they handle all the paperwork and communication with the necessary agencies. This ensures that the solar panel installation complies with local building codes and regulations.

Installation Crew Experience

The installation crew at Semper Solaris plays a vital role in the quality of the solar installation. With a team of skilled and trained professionals, they meticulously install and wire together the solar system components to ensure optimal performance.

The installation crew’s experience is evident in their attention to detail, adherence to safety standards, and the ability to overcome any challenges that may arise during the solar panel installation process.

Due to the high standards maintained by the installation crew, customers have consistently praised Semper Solaris’s solar installations for their timeliness and work efficiency.

Financing and Payment Options

Unlike other solar companies, Semper Solaris does not offer a power purchase agreement (PPA) option. They do however offer financing or cash options. For homeowners who want to own their solar and take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit, Semper makes it possible.

Solar Loan

Financing solar is one of the best ways to go solar for homeowners who don’t want to come out of pocket. Homeowners can expect all of the benefits of solar without any additional or unexpected upfront costs. Semper Solaris currently works with some of the nations top home improvement and solar financing companies (see below).

  • Sunlight Financial
  • Mosaic
  • GreenBiz Financial
  • Energy Loan Network (ELN)
  • Service Finance
  • Wheelhouse Credit Union
  • GoodLeap (Formerly LoanPal)
  • GreenSky Finance
  • Dividend Finance
  • Benji Financing

Some of Semper’s home improvement financing partner’s require a minimum 600 FICO score while others require a FICO score of 660 or greater. Debt to income ratio, reported income, liens and other factors will vary with each lender.

Cash Agreement

For homeowners who want to avoid financing and own their solar outright, Semper Solaris offers a very straight forward cash payment option. Upon signing your solar agreement, a $1,000 deposit in the form of a check is due at time of signing solar agreement.

Credit cards and debit cards are also accepted with an additional 3% processing fee. Once materials for the solar project are ordered, 80% of the remaining gross amount is due once installation begins. The remaining 20% is due upon completion solar installation. Depending on where you’re located, Semper may also request a $250 ACH or check payment for processing the city inspection paperwork.

(PACE) Property Assessed Clean Energy Program

For homeowners who aren’t able to qualify for the solar financing options mentioned above, Semper also works with Renew Financial to offer the property assessed clean energy financing, also known as PACE.

While Renew Financial are a privately held company and not a government funded program, they can help homeowners who don’t qualify for traditional solar financing. Renew Financial is a great option for homeowners who are looking to make energy efficient home improvements.

Requirements for California PACE will be different from Florida PACE. An ideal candidate for this program is on a fixed income, has made property tax payments and mortgage payments on time for the running 24 calendar months, owns their home, and doesn’t have any pre-existing liens on the property.

A secondary ideal candidate would be a homeowner who could be approved for traditional financing, but as PACE does not affect your debt-to-income ratio, wants to limit the amount of debt they have for any potential future finance plans.

PACE does not mean that homeowners get free solar. It’s simply a financing option where homeowners are able to pay their solar back through a new itemized line on their property taxes.

Warranties and Guarantees

Semper carries over the warranties honored by the solar panel manufacturer per the Semper Solaris agreement: “Contractor or manufacturer will fix inoperable equipment under warranty when supplied by the manufacturer but will not be liable for any lost production due to malfunction or defect.”

Continued.. “All materials are covered under manufacturer’s warranty and Customer agrees that the manufacturer is solely responsible for remedying any defect in material design or performance.”

In summary, Semper Solaris makes no warranty whatsoever with respect to the services. If there’s negligence on Semper’s end, they will remedy the situation within 10-years of installation date.

Production guarantee’s is also something Semper does not offer. Due to weather and other unforeseeable events, Semper Solaris cannot guarantee production. It’s uncertain if roof penetration leaks caused by Semper Solaris is warranted under the “remedying any defect in material design or performance” portion of their agreement.

Warranties are going to vary with Semper Solaris depending on the panels you decide to go with. If you opt for Silfab solar panels, you’ll receive a 25-year product workmanship warranty along with a 30-year liner power performance guarantee.

If you opt for Q Cells, your system will be warranted with a 25-year product warranty, as well as a 25-year linear performance warranty. While Semper Solaris themselves do not offer any warranties, it does seem that they are responsible to honor the warranties as partners of Silfab and Q Cell. Should Semper Solaris go out of business, it is then the responsibility of the solar panel manufacturer to render services.

Giving Back to Veterans

Semper Cares Initiative

Semper Solaris prides itself on its strong work ethic and dedication to giving back to the community. Through their Semper Cares Initiative, the company aims to support and honor military veterans in need by donating solar power systems and roofing services. Launched in 2014, the initiative has already helped several deserving families across California.

The company maintains close ties with the military community and their sales department often employs veterans. By doing so, the Semper Cares Initiative not only supports military families but also empowers veterans with employment opportunities. This commitment to service demonstrates the core values that Semper Solaris holds as a company.

Semper Solaris Scholarship

In addition to the Semper Cares Initiative, Semper Solaris also offers annual scholarship funds to support students seeking higher education. The scholarships are available to college-bound students who have demonstrated exemplary academic achievements and share the company’s dedication to service and community involvement.

The scholarship program reflects Semper Solaris’ investment in the future and its desire to foster a sense of social responsibility among future leaders. By offering financial assistance to deserving students, the company contributes to the brightening of futures and strengthening of communities.

Semper Solaris has built a reputation for strong work ethic, excellent customer support, and a dedicated sales department. Their partnerships, affiliations, and initiatives showcase their commitment to providing top-quality products and services while fostering strong connections with their community. By aligning with industry-leading technologies, supporting military veterans, and investing in the education of future generations, Semper Solaris continues to be a leader in the solar market.

How to decide if Semper Solaris is right for you?

When considering solar power systems for your home, it’s essential to choose a company that aligns with your values and meets your quality standards. Semper Solaris is a company that’s built on the strong principles of the U.S. Marine Corps motto, which includes respect, honor, loyalty, duty, selfless service, and personal courage. If these principles resonate with you, this company might be worth considering.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to evaluate the company’s services, pricing, and warranty. Semper Solaris offers high-quality solar panels and battery storage options for every solar installation. However, one noteworthy drawback is its unimpressive warranty, with limited coverage on its workmanship. This factor can be vital for long-term cost and maintenance concerns.

Another important aspect to examine is the company’s presence within your community and the states they serve. Semper Solaris operates in California, Texas, Arizona, and Florida. If you reside in one of these states, this increases the likelihood of accessible services and support in your area.

To determine the quality and customer satisfaction of Semper Solaris, it’s advisable to examine customer reviews. These reviews can provide insight into how the company interacts with its customers and how quickly they address any concerns or issues. It is essential to acknowledge that while some unhappy customers may have faced challenges, it is necessary to weigh these reviews against the positive experiences that many satisfied homeowners have shared.

Comparing Semper Solaris to other top solar companies is also a crucial step in determining if they’re the right fit for you. Look for essential factors such as pricing, installation quality, range of services, and customer support when making your evaluation.

Lastly, consider the community engagement and values that Semper Solaris represents. If you value selfless service, respect, honor, and personal courage, Semper Solaris might be a strong contender for your solar power system.

In conclusion, thoroughly evaluating all aspects of Semper Solaris, including their services, pricing, warranty, location, customer reviews, and company values, is essential in determining if they are the right choice for your solar power system needs.

Frequently asked questions

As of May 2023, Semper Solaris uses Hanwha Q Cells and Silfab solar panels.

No, Semper Solaris has been privately owned and operated since March of 2012.

Per Zippia, Semper Solaris revenue peaked at $12 million in 2022. Although no other sources could be found to accurately verify this claim.

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