Sunnova Solar Review: Products, Financing, & Coverage Areas

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Our Take
2.7
WattHive rating
2.7/5
The final say:

Doesn't affect debt-to-income ratio; mixed reviews leave room for improvement in their installation and customer service departments.

Sunnova Solar Logo
Founded
April 2012
Headquarters
Houston, TX
Services
Solar lease, solar PPA, solar purchase, battery storage, solar maintenance
*directly from Sunnova
  • Founder and CEO: John Berger
  • 2022 revenue for Sunnova Solar was $557.M
  • Coverage area spans 38 states and 5 U.S. Territories
  • 981 employees (2023)
  • 25-year equipment warranty
  • 25-year performance guarantee
  • Installer network business model
  • Only solar company that does not report solar loan (doesn’t affect DTI)

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Wide range of solar energy solutionsMixed customer reviews
Flexible financing optionsBBB rating (F)
25-year performance guaranteePricing transparency concerns
25-year workmanship warrantyPoor Customer Service
Reliable local-installersLimited Warranty Coverage
National presence (38 states)
Battery storage options
Trusted Inverter Brands (e.g., Enphase)

Sunnova Solar Overview

Sunnova is a well-known company that specializes in solar energy. They offer various products and services like home solar panels, home batteries, and roofing services. One great thing about Sunnova is its flexible financing options, which means customers can switch to renewable energy without paying anything upfront.

As an “energy as a service” provider, Sunnova Energy Corporation’s primary goal is to ensure customers get reliable solar energy without worrying about maintenance and performance. They guarantee that solar systems will efficiently produce power for 25 years.

Sunnova’s solar panels are designed to be efficient and effective, allowing customers to use abundant solar energy and reduce reliance on traditional sources. With home batteries, customers can also control their energy usage and have backup power during outages.

Installation Process

System Design

Sunnova Solar’s primary goal is to create solar energy systems tailored to each customer’s needs. They start by carefully examining how much energy the customer uses and what their preferences are. Then, Sunnova’s skilled team designs a solar system that looks good, works well and fits the customer’s budget. They consider things like the local weather, the size of the roof, and anything that might block the sunlight, like trees or leaves.

Local Installers

Once the design of the solar system is complete, Sunnova works with local installers to ensure the solar panels are installed smoothly and on time. By partnering with experienced local installers, Sunnova ensures that the technicians who install the panels are familiar with the area and its specific requirements. This collaboration helps maintain a consistent installation process and ensures that all the necessary permits, inspections, and regional regulations are followed.

During the installation, the local technicians securely mount the solar panels on the customer’s roof or another suitable location. They make sure the panels are firmly attached to withstand different weather conditions. They also connect the panels to the top and set up the electrical infrastructure, including an inverter that turns the solar power into usable electricity.

By combining their industry knowledge with the expertise of their trusted local installer partners, Sunnova makes the solar installation process more straightforward and helps customers enjoy the benefits of clean and renewable energy for many years to come.

Product Offerings

Solar Panel Options

Sunnova collaborates with leading solar panel manufacturers to offer excellent quality and energy efficiency products. The selection of panels depends on factors like the customer’s location, how much energy they need, and their budget.

Inverters

In solar systems, inverters have an essential job. They convert the Direct Current (DC) produced by the solar panels into Alternating Current (AC) that household appliances can use.

Sunnova Solar provides top-notch inverter brands like Enphase to ensure the solar power system works at its best. Customers can rely on efficient and dependable energy conversion for their solar installations with Sunnova’s trusted inverter manufacturers.

Battery Storage

Sunnova Solar offers different battery storage options to help customers maximize their solar energy and become more energy independent. The Tesla Powerwall and Generac batteries have become popular because they have a large capacity, last a long time, and work well.

With battery storage systems, homeowners can store extra solar energy generated during the day and use it at night or during a power outage. This adds even more value and benefits to their solar energy systems.

Financing and Pricing

Purchase Options

Sunnova offers a variety of financing options to cater to the diverse needs of customers. These options include purchasing solar systems outright, taking out a loan, leasing, and signing up for a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Loan Terms

Sunnova’s solar loans come with flexible terms, allowing customers to select the duration and down payment suitable for their financial situation. Loan durations can vary from short to medium, enabling customers to pay off their solar systems conveniently.

Lease and PPA Deals

Sunnova also offers solar leasing and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) options for people who want to avoid paying for solar panels upfront. With a lease agreement, customers make monthly payments to use the solar system while Sunnova remains the owner.

On the other hand, PPA customers agree to buy the solar power generated by the system at a fixed rate for a specific period, which can be up to 25 years.

The billing plan for each financing option varies based on the agreement. Still, the goal is to make clean and affordable energy accessible to customers simply and conveniently.

Customer Support and Service

Communication Channels

Sunnova Solar cares about its customers and wants to ensure they can get help whenever needed. That’s why resolution specialists are available through different communication channels like phone calls, email, and online support. Sunnova’s representatives are friendly and well-informed, ready to assist customers with any questions or problems about their solar systems.

Service Areas

Sunnova takes pride in tailoring its solutions to match each customer’s requirements. If you’re considering working with Sunnova, check if your location is within their service area.

Sunnova currently serves 38 States and 5 U.S. territories.

Service areas by State: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Service areas by Territory: Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, Virgin Islands, and Washington D.C. Please note that Washington D.C. is not included in this list as it is a federal district, not a state.

Service Timelines

Knowing how crucial it is to get things done efficiently, Sunnova makes sure to finish every project as promised and on time, so you won’t have to wait long for your solar panels to be installed. Whether it’s the first meeting or the support you need after, Sunnova’s team is quick and reliable, giving you a professional and hassle-free experience.

It’s worth mentioning that a few customers have had some issues with their survey appointments, like sudden cancellations. But even with these minor hiccups, Sunnova always aims for excellence and puts you, the customer, at the center of their service.

Warranties and Maintenance

Sunnova Solar is a well-established solar company that offers various warranties and maintenance services to ensure customer satisfaction and system performance. In this section, we will discuss the Production Guarantee, System Monitoring, and Repair Services provided by Sunnova.

Production Guarantee

Sunnova offers a 25-year solar production guarantee that your solar energy system will generate a minimum amount of energy over its lifetime. This guarantee is designed to give homeowners peace of mind, knowing that their solar investment will continue producing energy efficiently for years. To meet this guarantee, Sunnova may offer system upgrades or additional panels at no extra cost if the system underperforms.

System Monitoring

System monitoring is essential to maintaining your solar energy system’s efficiency and performance. Sunnova Solar provides system monitoring services to track your solar energy production and identify any potential issues that may arise.

Their dedicated technicians closely monitor your system and provide you with regular updates on its performance. This monitoring service allows Sunnova to detect and address possible malfunctions promptly, ensuring your solar panels continue generating maximum energy output.

Repair Services

Sunnova Solar is committed to keeping your solar energy system in optimal condition through its repair services. In the event of a malfunction or damage to your solar panels, Sunnova’s certified repair technicians are readily available to address the issue and ensure your system continues to generate power efficiently. Their Comprehensive Limited Warranty, which handles most maintenance and repair tasks for 25 years, demonstrates their dedication to customer satisfaction and hassle-free solar ownership.

Customer Reviews and Complaints

Better Business Bureau Rating

The Better Business Bureau does not accredit Sunnova Solar, and its BBB rating is currently at a C+.

Review Platforms

Sunnova Solar has received many positive and negative reviews on various platforms. On ConsumerAffairs, the company has an overall rating of 1.3 out of 5 based on 48 reviews. On SolarReviews, the company has a slightly better average rating of 2.09 out of 5.

Sunnova Energy Corporation has also received positive feedback from some customers on Trustpilot, mentioning smooth processes and helpful representatives.

Common Issues

Some recurring issues mentioned in customer reviews and complaints include problems with electric bills, unsatisfactory after-sales support, poor customer service, and issues with installation quality.

While Sunnova Solar claims to offer systems at competitive pricing, around $3 to $5 per watt of installed capacity, some customers have raised concerns about the actual costs and pricing transparency.

Sunnova Solar’s customer reviews, and complaints indicate both satisfied and unsatisfied customers. Potential customers should consider these reviews and do their due diligence before deciding on a solar system provider.

Comparisons with Competitors

Quantity

Quantity is another solar power company offering similar services to those of Sunnova. Both companies provide solar panel installations and focus on customer satisfaction. However, Suntuity differentiates itself through its Adaptive Home program, which gives homeowners more control and flexibility over their energy consumption. The program combines solar power, energy storage, smart home technology, and energy efficiency enhancements.

Tesla

Tesla, a well-known player in the solar industry, also competes with Sunnova in the solar energy market. While both companies offer solar panels and home battery systems, Tesla’s solar products, such as the Solar Roof, are known for their sleek designs.

Tesla is also more vertically integrated, manufacturing its solar panels and batteries, whereas Sunnova sources its products from various manufacturers. Tesla has a strong brand reputation, but customers may find Sunnova’s financing options and 25-year service guarantee more appealing.

Generac

Generac is a company that primarily focuses on home backup generators but has recently expanded into the solar energy market. Compared to Sunnova, Generac’s solar offerings are more limited. However, Generac leverages its expertise in backup power and offers a solar + storage solution, the PWRcell, which can provide homeowners with a reliable energy backup during power outages. Generac’s solar solutions may suit customers prioritizing energy independence and backup power.

In terms of certifications, Sunnova, and its competitors aim to ensure quality by partnering with certified solar installers. These certifications vary by company but typically include NABCEP certification, a widely recognized standard for solar professionals in the industry.

Making an Informed Decision

Energy Requirement Analysis

When considering Sunnova Solar for your home, begin with an energy requirement analysis. Assess your electric bill to determine your monthly usage and make future energy predictions based on changes in household size or appliance upgrades.

Review the weather patterns in your region to identify if sufficient sunlight is available to meet these energy demands. Understanding your energy requirements will help you choose the right solar equipment and system size.

Due Diligence

Homeowners should conduct due diligence by researching Sunnova and other solar companies in the market. Check Sunnova reviews to gain insights from existing customers about their experience with Sunnova and compare them with those from competitors.

Pay close attention to installation quality, after-sales support, and homeowners satisfaction. Consider consulting with community members who have installed solar systems for firsthand insights and recommendations. Watch for potential issues like under-producing panels and the overall system performance.

Solar Quotes

Finally, gather and compare multiple solar quotes from Sunnova and other energy providers. Each quote should outline the equipment, warranties, pricing, and financing options. Specifically, look for the best companies in the solar industry to understand other service offerings in the market better and ensure that you receive the best value for your investment.

Carefully consider factors like the equipment warranty (e.g., Enphase inverters, Tesla or Generac batteries) and workmanship warranties to balance cost and quality. Review their solar quotes thoroughly to determine which company and solar system best match your energy requirements, budget, and long-term satisfaction.

Conclusion

Sunnova Solar has established itself as a major player in the residential solar industry in just over a decade, offering solar panels, home batteries, and roofing services. The company’s professionalism and the recent acquisition of SunStreet Solar demonstrate its financial might as a competitive solar provider.

However, it’s essential to note that customer reviews have been mixed. While some customers have found Sunnova Solar to be robust and reliable, others have had concerns about the quality of its services. Sunnova has an average rating of 2.09 out of 5 from 589 reviews, showcasing a polarized perspective among users.

Sunnova’s dedication to providing long-term “energy as a service” with 25-year guarantees may attract homeowners who value consistency and stability. However, given the variance in customer satisfaction, potential customers must cautiously approach the decision and conduct thorough research before committing.

Sunnova Solar has demonstrated strong financial growth and a commitment to long-term service. Still, potential customers should carefully weigh the pros and cons based on their unique needs and expectations. Homeowners can decide when choosing a solar provider by considering all available information and reviews.

Frequently asked questions

In 2020, Daniel and Indiana Cabatit took legal action against Sunnova Energy Corporation, claiming that their roof was damaged by a solar power system installed by Sunnova. Sunnova wanted to settle the dispute through arbitration, as stated in the agreement.

However, the court decided that the arbitration clause was unfair and rejected the request. Sunnova disagreed and appealed the decision, saying that the arbitrator should decide if the clause is valid and that the McGill v. Citibank rule doesn’t apply.

The Court of Appeal said that Sunnova didn’t bring up the arbitration issue in the initial trial, so they couldn’t discuss it now. They also found the arbitration clause to be unfair in how it was presented and in its content, making it unenforceable. The court agreed with the trial court’s decision to reject the arbitration request. This case brings attention to problems with contracts that limit choice and contain one-sided terms.

Sunnova offers various financing choices, including solar loans, leases, and power purchase agreements (PPAs). If you change your mind about the contract, Sunnova has some cancellation options. If you’re under 65, you have three business days to cancel.

Just notify the contractor, and they’ll refund any payment within ten days. Senior citizens get a bit more time. You have five business days to cancel and follow the same process mentioned earlier.

Lastly, if the contract is for repairing a home damaged during an emergency, like a natural disaster, you have seven business days to cancel. Remember, checking the agreement for more details and specific instructions on how to cancel is essential.

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