We are so happy to hear that you had a great experience with us, Danielle. We work very hard to provide top of the line service and are thrilled to hear that you received our best. Thank you for helping create a greener environment and thank you for choosing to do so with SolarCity!
Original review: April 30, 2016
I signed up for Solar City 4 years ago (lease) and I recently had additional panels installed because of SDG&E's upcoming rate increase. Although I would have loved to purchase solar panels, it was just not affordable for me. There were no surprises for either installation. Everything was explained and communication from Solar City was consistent. My first install was on the garage so the county inspected the work. The latest install went on the house. Appointments for installation happen very quickly after the lease is signed. It is scheduling the inspections that seem to take a lot longer--anywhere from 2 weeks to a month. This has NOTHING to do with Solar City (read some complaint reviews blaming Solar City for long hair for inspections).
Unbeknownst to Solar City, the state had to do the inspection. The county inspector who was sent out is how we all learned that the inspection had to be done by the state because it is a manufactured home on a solid foundation. Right then, I knew this was going to be a long wait. Aaron ** and his team were in constant contact with the state securing the proper paperwork needed and getting contracts to me from the state declaring that I am the owner and to verify serial and model numbers of the house. It was a 2 month wait to get an appointment with a state certified inspector and Solar City was in constant communication with me apologizing which they did not need to do because they do not have control over the inspections.
No need for me to me to be upset with either the state or SC because I have no control over them. SDG&E approved turning on the second system within 2 days of the inspection (they can take up to 2 weeks, also). Now I enjoy seeing all my bar graphs in the negative. Although I pay more for the lease in the winter months than I would electricity (lease is fixed), I pay a third of what I would pay for months (June to October) for electricity. Last year, my final SDGE bill was $40.
Solar City is by far the most professional business I have worked with from the sales agent to the technicians and electricians, and follow up technicians. Family and friends who have signed up with them say the same. I got solar so I could reduce my electric bill but also so I know I am helping the environment. So, even though I know I am paying more overall with a lease as opposed to buying, I know I am making a difference environmentally. Solar City made it possible for me to get solar with their lease program.
Although SolarCity initially came in with a high bid, they were willing to price match their competitors. After that, the experience was exceptional! My energy specialist and installation team did a fantastic job!
SolarCity was recommended to me by a good friend and everything she told us about SolarCity is true. Very professional, on top of the whole project from beginning to end. Everyone I spoke online or on the phone was knowledgeable and very helpful. It was done in a very timely manner. Totally recommend him.
Every step of the way everyone was so helpful and professional. The only hiccups were on my end like discovering I had a wasp nest right where they had to work. The process was very smooth with online document signing and mostly email correspondence. I can't think of a way things could have gone better. I was a little worried the solar panels would be obtrusive but they look like they've always been there. I'm also endlessly geeking out over the SC app on my phone. Overall I'm one happy customer.
I had a great experience with SolarCity and the system is performing as stated. I saved 50.00 the first month. Would have been more but we had 5 or 6 days on PG&E before we got our system turned on. The only negative was the communication with our concierge but if you keep in touch with your sales rep he/she should be able to fix any bumps that come up. I know ours, Preston ** was awesome and engaged any time we called him. Overall we had a great experience and are enjoying our new system.
How do I know I can trust these reviews about SolarCity?
- 611,656 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
- We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
- We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
- Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.
SolarCity was so easy to work with. Everyone I had contact with was a pleasure. Everything happened exactly according to schedule. I'm so happy to be saving so much money with little to no effort on my part. Thank you SolarCity.
I feel very comfortable and totally satisfied with all the services from SolarCity. All the employees are very professional and gentle. Nice job, nice company! And appreciate for all your service and product.
We were skeptical at first about putting in solar. Our neighbors though were having them put in and I was shocked because they were dead set at not having them put in and I consider him to be very bright. Now here he was putting them in after having a conversation with a rep from SolarCity who talked to us both and we were so impressed with what we had heard. So after a day of thought, we both bought the system and we both are pleased at the results. Buying the system and not having to rent it for 20 years is what sold me. In ten years the system will of been paid off and I will be able to save so much more. Freedom from high energy cost is what I have bought!
Other than having issues initially with your solar concierge Reggie **, I have been very pleased with the installation and with your sales associate Kate **. Per her promise, your maintenance people came by today and painted the conduit to match the house. Very pleasant staff and installation crew.
A big thank you to SolarCity, from the representative at Home Depot to the salesman Sam ** and all the people behind the scenes, my solar project went smooth and fast considering all the various entities that were involved. About a year ago, another solar company told us that this couldn't be done, but it happened this year with SolarCity. Thanks again to all.
I was very hesitant at first. There is so much hype any more you don't know what to believe and what not to believe. My daughter and her husband went first. When I started seeing the benefits they were reaping I was hooked. The SolarCity team was fantastic. They did such a great job of explaining what was going to be happening and when things were to happen. They stayed in frequent contact. So pleased with my decision. Can't wait to begin seeing the benefits my system will provide.
Factual basis uncertain
I was told if I buy a SolarCity system I will be given a NEST but that never happened. My sales person Justin ** lied about if I buy the system he will get me the NEST and did the bait-and-switch on me!!! I called and spoke to his supervisor Guye ** and he never did anything about it... I need someone to call me and get me what I was promised!!!
We have been shopping around for Solar Panel installers in the last month, and naturally getting quotes from several companies around the Pleasanton, CA area. Of all the companies SolarCity seemed the most persuasive and eager to sell courtesy their rep Jon **. However the experience turned horribly negative because of Jon's constant calls and emails in spite of being told that we needed some more time to make the final call. In spite of my email response to him on September 29th that we still need another week or two to decide since it was a huge amount, we got a curt email from him on September 30th saying that file had been closed due to lack of response. What gives? It seemed like he merely wanted to close the deal before the end of the quarter. He was quick enough to play the blame game card as well. There's no way I'm reaching out to SolarCity especially if folks like Jon still work there.
SolarCity first sparked our interest when our neighbor told us about the 20 year contract he signed with SolarCity for the use of their panels. Our neighbor is locked in at $.11 per kilowatt hour for 20 years with SolarCity. We contacted SolarCity and a salesman came to our house and told us that we would only pay about $20 a month for electricity and would be locked in at about $.12 per kilowatt hour for 20 years. They wrote up a proposal and supposedly we were still going to be locked into $.12 per kilowatt hour. Next, SolarCity called us and told us the sooner we e-sign our documents to sooner you start saving money. No one ever told us that there were any changes in the contract at any point and the only time were contacted was to urge us to sign the paperwork asap.
Apparently we somehow missed this huge change in our contract between when we read it and when we signed it (same day). Our 20 year contract states that the rate we are charged for electricity started at 16.57 cents per kw hour the first year, but the real hidden gem is that we are on an escalator rate which means that SolarCity can raise our 16.57 cents per kw hour by 3 cents EVERY YEAR!
No surprises now, because now we have been consistently paying 40 to 60 dollars more for electricity per month than we did before than we had the solar panels installed. Better yet, I checked with my power provider (Eversource) TODAY and as of right now Eversource is charging us 14.69 cents per kW hour and SolarCity is still 16.57 kW per hour! So now we are paying 2 cents MORE per kW hour than we would have if we had never gotten solar panels from SolarCity. It is an outrageous joke!
And to top it all off, whenever you need to replace your roof during this 20 year contract with SolarCity you have to pay them 500 dollars to come take them off! And to add to that, they tear up your lawn during installation and don't compensate you for the hundred dollars in grass seed that you now need to buy in order for your lawn to no longer look like a construction site.
From the beginning, we were misled and had the salesman that came to our house not lied to us in the first place we never would have proceeded any further with SolarCity. In the end, it is a SCAM. If we had never gotten solar panels from SolarCity we wouldn't have holes in our roof and we would be saving 40-60 dollars per month instead of making SolarCity rich.
Of course, SolarCity does give you the option to have the solar panels removed per the contract. Which says that we can pay SolarCity all of the money that they would have made off of us in 20 years according to THEIR projection rate. Which who knows, according to them that could be $50,000 dollars. And when you call to talk to someone they like to "pass the buck", and everyone tells you "you will someday save money." I guess they are all comedians. I really hope that someone else can learn from my mistake. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME AND HARD EARNED MONEY ON SOLARCITY!!!
Factual basis uncertain
I had SolarCity installed my system 7Kwh in 2014 and it was turned on in September. At that time at peak hour it was producing 5.5Kwh. The inverter they installed is only capable of 6Kwh. So I complained to them and to BBB because there was no response from SolarCity. Finally in January some jerk called me and said that since it is the end of September when I got the reading I should wait till summer and if my inverter can't handle it they will fix it. So summer came but by that time the system deteriorated and only producing 4.3Kwh during peak hour. All complaints go unanswered.
Finally after many months I get a phone call from some English lady telling me that everything checks out OK. How can it be OK if the system at the end of the summer produces more than in the middle of the summer and now doesn't produce much at all? So they send a team which does nothing but to clean the panels and still production remains the same low. Take a look at their stocks. At the beginning of the year almost $80 per share and now below $20. I sincerely hope SOBs will go out of business.
In the past, I had been skeptical about Solar mostly because of the costs I'd heard about from various people. I was also concerned that if we had Solar installed, it would make selling our home much more difficult and at a price we wanted to sell for. Then I started reading about anticipated future Electric Company rate increases granted to them by the PUC. And those articles suggested concerned citizens needed to look into having Solar installed to counter those rate hikes that would be somewhere around 20% over the next 3 years.
So I started looking into various Solar Companies and the ratings they'd amassed and more importantly, Customer Satisfaction statements. After searching five some odd Solar Companies, it was clear to me that SolarCity ranked number one and my previous concerns about initial costs disappeared as SolarCity offered a "No Cost" to install Solar in our home. I then contacted SolarCity and they sent out a very knowledgeable salesman who gave us an extensive presentation on installing and using Solar to help reduce energy costs now and in the future.
In short order, a system was custom made for our home that was based upon our electricity usage over the past two years and not some arbitrary number made to bolster sales. And that system was installed in short order by a very competent, knowledgeable and friendly crew. And in one month of use, that Solar system produced enough energy to reduce this month's use by 101% over the same period from a year ago. Better yet, we have only one day left before the billing cycle ends. And what was forecast to be an Electric Bill for this month of $180.00, is now $1, yes that's $1. After we pay this month's lease charge, we will have saved approximately $80 by having Solar installed.
In short, everything that salesman told us and forecast, has come to pass. I can honestly say SolarCity is the best company to go with and is there to help us save money, especially when those electric bills in 2017, 2018 and 2019 ball on into some very expensive bills that may have very well strangled our finances, considering we live on a fixed income as my wife and I are retired with medical issues that would prevent us from working. So thanks SolarCity for providing us with an excellent product and by a company that also has outstanding Customer Service.
Factual basis uncertain
Solarcity came to my home 10/2015. We signed contracts until 11/2015. We had an agreement for 12 cents per kilowatt. I started hearing bad things about solar city so I told them I was going to hold off. March of 2016 came Dominic the sales person came back to my home and asked if I thought about it. I said okay I will do it. Dominic called his company and now they said okay it would be 13.7 cents per kilowatt hour. I was not happy about that but I signed the contract. Next Dominic called the company to arrange someone to come out and check my property, roof, and structure all over again which takes about 1 to 2 hours.
The person on the phone who he spoke to said, "We are not going to do that. We will just keep the original contract at 12 cents and we do not have to go back out and check the property." The person on the phone told Dominic to void the contract and just use the original contract. I said thank you very much and shook hands. Now 5 months later everything hooked up. I'm using solar and I receive my first bill. They are charging me the 13.7 cents per kilowatt hours. I am not happy. Dominic no longer works there. The person Dominic was talking to on the phone no longer works there. They say they tape all conversations but nothing. They are doing nothing about it. A huge company like this and they will not back up what they say and Dominic even shook my hand.
Insufficient response received
We had a very dishonest salesman (who they tell me no longer works for them... That makes me even more mad!) from SolarCity sell us solar panels about 4 years ago. It was one of the worst financial decisions we've ever made! The system has never even came close to producing what we require so we are paying more now than we ever even paid to the electric company! I wish I would've done my research and not "trusted" the salesman.
We are currently paying .19c per kWh to SolarCity and .18c per kWh to SCE! They tell me it's because of the lease option I went with. One of the worst parts about it is they tell me I have no option to "make it right." Can't add more panels, can't buy the panels... No option but to stick with these panels for the next 20 years! Talk about terrible customer service! What company doesn't back their products with complete customer satisfaction?! Especially when I've basically been told the salesman that designed/sold us our system got fired! That guy totally ripped us off and we very stupidity signed the contract so now we are stuck! I highly recommend you shop around if you are looking for solar! SolarCity does not care about customer satisfaction!
I like Solar City. I'm waiting for the next set of electrical bill to come before I say my bill is what they say it is. I think it's my electric company APS. The Nest thermostat is great. I love it. After my next bill comes I will write something to let everyone know if what Solar City promise...
Having completed installation of SolarCity solar generating panels, I can say without a doubt that the service, installation process and followup on our system from day 1 was nothing short of outstanding! My monthly electric bill from our local utility supplier (SDG&E) has been less than $10/month (minimum to be connected to the electrical grid) for the first two months - a pleasing change from approximately $300/month! System is performing very well, is aesthetically pleasing to look at, and I'm proud to "go green" and generate power via the sun - certainly the way of the future! Well done SolarCity. A happily satisfied customer!
From the time someone came out and started the paperwork until we started producing electricity took about six months. It seems it took that long before someone came out to qualify us. We've had some minor communication problems, but nothing serious. I'm quite with it.
Hello Scot and Catherine,
Thank you for taking time to review your experience. We apologize that you are currently unhappy with your billing and savings. Please keep in mind, while the bill from your first system with us will remain fixed each month, your second system's bill is based on variable production, meaning that it will fluctuate from month-to-month depending on how much energy your system produces. Your second system was just turned on in July of this year, so we urge you to give it more time to see that you are now offsetting more of your overall energy use than before.
Once your second system has been on a total of 12 months, we can compare your overall energy costs before that system was on versus after the system was installed. We call this a savings analysis and would be more than happy to conduct one for you next summer.
Again, thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. If you have any remaining questions or concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-765-2489 option 2. Thank you.
Original review: Sept. 2, 2016
We have had SolarCity for several years and all was well. We did have a high true-up bill around $600 each year but we were spending about the same each month as we did with PG&E so I just dealt with it. We were contacted by SolarCity to add more panels in order to decrease our true-up bill. This was presented to us as a consumer as a smart, beneficial move on our part. Well, it was a huge mistake because now I get two bills from SolarCity. One for the first system which is a fixed amount of $66.00 and now a second bill which was over a $100.00! So with the true-up PG&E bill that I asked to spread out over several months, I pay $150.00. So my energy bill is $300 when I used to pay $100.00.
I consider myself an educated person but totally regret ever entering into this arrangement. SolarCity needs to do a much better job of educating consumers because what your salesmen are telling us and what actually happens is not the same thing. So buyer beware. Ask lots of questions to make sure you aren't being ripped off.
Resolved outside ConsumerAffairs
The sales person was great. After the installation was completed, everything fell apart. Our system was installed June 25. We still DO NOT have our system turned on. They are very proactive and contacted me when it was for their benefit. When they need to call me because I want answers for when my system will go active, I can't get return calls. When I call, I get a list of excuses, the permits aren't done, I counter with the city permits were completed before the installation.
Next, we are waiting on PG&E. I counter with I spoken with PG&E they are waiting on SolarCity to tell them to move forward. The latest is now waiting on funding. I have 2 friends/neighbors who had they systems installed a day before and a week before mine and they have been on the grid since late July and early August. We are well beyond the 8-9 weeks as promised. We are now at 10 weeks and still nothing happening. We have missed the entire summer season of the best sun power.
The panels are collecting dust and looking pretty but not functioning for us. My husband told them they have until mid-Sept or they can come remove the system and repair the roof. They countered with you have a contract you can't do that. He countered with put your attorney on because you are in breach of contract. The attorney is not available. Needless to say, we are very displeased. As much as we want to have solar, this has overall been a very poor experience and am sorely tempted to have the system removed and find another company to work with. This has been more headache.
We appreciate you taking the time to leave us this feedback and are sorry that your experience hasn't been a better one. Upon looking into your account, we see that a customer relations manager has been in touch with you recently, and has offered to do a savings analysis once you send us your utility bills from pre-solar and post-solar. Once we receive those, we can compare approximately how much you spent on energy prior to going solar, with approximately how much you've spent after going solar.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please reach out to us at 888-765-2489 option 2 or email email@example.com so we can assist. Thank you!
Original review: Sept. 1, 2016
I have a solar system installed at my house (from SolarCity) before singing the devil's contract of 20 years. They promise me I will save at least 30% on my electric bills. After a year I saved only 7 dollars because when I was thinking I was saving I receive a bill of 1250 dollars from the utility company. When I asked about the bill they tell me that my system is too small and it does not cover my consumption. So at the end of the day I do not save any penny, and SolarCity is making many with my roof. Now I don't know what to do as my system is useless. If you can stay away of this company is better and the best thing that you can do is use the energy in a proper way to save many with your utility company.
Resolved outside ConsumerAffairs
In July SolarCity sent all the permits to PSE&G after completing the installation. Mid August someone from PSE&G came without an appointment & asked me to turn on the Solar or call the Solar company to walk me through the process. When I called the Solar co. I was told that no one from SolarCity will come, my consultant was no longer with the company and PSE&G needs to send them a letter PTO (perm. to activate after they install their meter).
I have called & emailed PSE&G several times to install their meter but no response. SolarCity told me over the phone how to turn the solars on with one step still missing which they said may not be necessary. I am caught in the middle here. SolarCity will only activate after receiving the notification from PSE&G in writing. PSE&G technician will show up without an appointment, I may or may not be home.
Even if I turn the Solars on by following SolarCity's telephone instructions when PSE&G's technician does show up will this all work without activation? What are we missing here? Two big companies refuse to communicate with each other and the frustrated customer is caught in the middle for over a month. SolarCity's field energy consultant promised me to be here throughout the activation process & beyond, now no longer with the company. Solar panels are no good to anyone without the activation. My concern: How will SolarCity handle future problems if the beginning is so rough? I have no confidence.
Thank you for taking time to review your experience. We apologize that you are having issues with some of your electrical outlets. Please note, because we installed the system on your home in May, and you have used these outlets since then without problems, it is unlikely that the issues you're experiencing are related to our installation. However, if an electrician determines that the issues are due to our work, we will certainly take care of not only the electrician's fees but also the cost to repair. We appreciate your feedback and understanding.
Original review: Aug. 30, 2016
The installation went great and timely. However, about a month after the system went live I started discovering that some of my electrical outlets that previously worked were no longer working. When I called customer service I was informed that it was too late to attribute this to the installation. They further stated that I could call an electrician and if it was traced back to the installation, they would reimburse me. I don't feel that I need to call an electrician that they should send their installer out to review their work!
Everything went smoothly from start to finish. But would have liked to have more panels installed as designed originally.
I had my solar panels installed about 2 and a half years ago. I did something a bit unusual: instead of leasing, I prepaid a lease. By leasing, SolarCity assumes all responsibility for the panels... even if somebody were to steal them while I'm away. By prepaying the lease, my price was reduced since they didn't have to take out a loan to pay for the equipment. The salesman was great to deal with and the install went by in just a few hours in one morning. They guaranteed to repair any tiles they broke, and after the install I went up to find a few broken tiles. I phone them a few days later to see when they could fix them, and I was informed that it was already done. Sure enough, they'd already fixed it.
I've had no problems at all with the system, except one 3 day period when apparently my panels stopped working. I didn't even know it, but they had detected the problem and sent somebody out to replace a defective part and get the system up and running again. This was why I decided to lease instead of buy... I didn't want the worry of trying to find the best price for somebody to do repairs on my system. I'm really happy with my investment and plan to add more panels when I get my Tesla 3!!
Resolved outside ConsumerAffairs
So much misinformation. After panels installed and working for a year, my payment to SolarCity has increased each month to almost $250 and my "True-up" to PGE is about $1200. And now they tell me that I signed up to only produce 45% of my needs. I am on a fixed income and lower bills in the winter doesn't help. I have asked several times why I pay more to SolarCity each month. The more solar I produce the more I pay to them. PLUS my amount owed to PGE at True UP time keeps increasing. No one at the company will give me an answer. I do believe these people are swindling Elders and should be run out of business. Right now I need to cover up the panels with a black tarp, stop making Solar Electricity in order to keep my bill from going any higher.
We bought a home in May with an existing SolarCity lease. When our loan was finalized in mid-April, SolarCity was provided with an executed Transfer Agreement. We called to follow-up on the transfer the week before closing on the first week of May, and they had no clue who we were. We re-started our transfer transaction and sent them another copy of an executed Transfer Agreement. On the day of closing on the second week of May, we called SolarCity to get information about our panels and access to the portal. Once again, they had no clue who we were. For the 3rd time, we sent them another copy of an executed Transfer Agreement and was told they will reach out when the transaction is processed.
It is now the 3rd week of August. Four emails, 10 voicemails and one phone call to a live person and we are again sending a 4th copy of the Transfer Agreement. This time they actually knew who we were as we could hear the rep reading our emails out loud telling him to call/email/write to us. Again we are told that they will reach us when they have completed processing. In the meantime, it is in the middle of summer in sunny California. Our AC is turned off for 1/2 the day as it always is, yet our electric bill is getting higher each month. We moved from a home that is 12 miles further east and considerably warmer. Our AC at that place was turned on for 2/3 of the day, yet we never owed an electric bill.
Everything else about the house is the same. What is the difference? SolarCity was NOT the service provider at the old home. I was warned that SolarCity cheated the system. I didn't want to believe it, I am now convinced that they do. If you can help it, do not buy a home with SolarCity leased panels. If you do, stay on top of it. Call everyday, escalate your issue until you get what you need. Hopefully, as a new homeowner, you have the time to do all that!
Zachary ShahanSolar Energy Contributing Editor
Zachary Shahan is the director of CleanTechnica, and his key areas of focus are solar energy and electric vehicles. He has been referenced or interviewed by essentially every major media organization as a recognized global thought leader on solar energy.
More about Zachary→
SolarCity is by far the largest residential solar installation company in the United States. It is also one of only a few companies vertically integrated, offering installation and financing while also including a manufacturing arm.
- Market share: With 26% of the residential solar market in 2013, SolarCity had more than 3 times the market share of #2 Vivint Solar and about 4.5 times the market share of #3 Verengo Solar. A strong market share indicates the company is performing well and attracting customers, and the wealth of experience can also be very useful for customers.
- Vertical integration: Vertical integration can (theoretically) allow SolarCity to offer customers a better deal. Greater efficiencies, economies of scale, and a more secure process can mean lower prices for customers.
- Various financing options: Homeowners, businesses, or organizations can get solar leases, PPAs, loans, or pay for their systems in cash with SolarCity.
- Leasing: SolarCity has a strong preference for solar leasing and PPAs, as it makes more money from these options. SolarCity may try to steer customers towards leasing or PPAs when it would actually be in the customers’ best interest to use a loan to purchase a system.
- Acquisition: SolarCity reportedly has relatively high customer acquisition costs, which could result in higher costs for consumers.
- Best for Homeowners, small & large businesses, government agencies & nonprofits, leasing & PPA customers, solar beginners, cash & loan consumers
SolarCity Company Profile
- Company Name:
- 3055 Clearview Way
- San Mateo
- Postal Code:
- United States