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Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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SolarCity

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.

112 people found this review helpful

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Very happy with the work accomplished. I have no complaints. Very satisfied. I had an agent, Garrett ** that was always available to help me with the paperwork preventing me from messing it up. Thank you.

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Factual basis uncertain

I bought my new house and had excellent customer service to start the process of getting solar placed upon my roof. Two years later and three leaks in my roof later, Solar City is claiming that their walking on a tile roof had nothing to do with the leaks that formed in the valleys of my roof due to cracked tiles and tile shifting causing dams to build up in the valleys. I was told that the payments would be so much per month and now they are fluctuating all over the place due to power creation instead of a flat rate which is how I was informed. I will be contacting a lawyer for the simple fact that the roof was not leaking and had no damage inside of the home before solar was installed, and magically it appeared after they installed the panels, but they supposedly are not to blame for their actions. The replaced broken tiles on my roof, but are unwilling to claim responsibility for those broken tiles on my roof.

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I have called SolarCity about the true-up if they can help. I just paid $169.00 and now they send me another true-up for 2015 and 2016 for $193. SolarCity is a crook that try to get more money from homeowners. They miscalculate the number of solar panel I needed and now I'm paying the price. I think they do that purposely so they can charge me for true-up. I asked them to get some of the solar taken off or turn off so that I don't have to produce too much energy (since it's their fault for miscalculating the number of solar I should have). None of them refuse to help me. I am sorry for getting solar panel from SolarCity. There are better companies out there that's better than solarcity. If there is a negative 0 for rate, I would have given them that rate. I DO NOT RECOMMEND SOLARCITY TO ANYBODY, SPECIALLY THE PERSON THAT CALCULATES HOW MANY SOLAR PANEL I NEEDED.

5 people found this review helpful

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I truly appreciate the attention to detail shown by the SolarCity system installers, as well as the concierge service, making any number of call to answer questions and provide needed information regarding the product. Your service was excellent. Many thanks...

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Resolution In Progress
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SolarCity

Hello Mike,

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us. A member of our customer care team will reach out to you soon. We appreciate your patience.

Original review: April 6, 2017

I would like to talk to you about the other half of the roof, how hard it was working with doc sign, the fact that I had to wait three months after your work was done to turn on the solar, and what year do I get to claim the tax credit. The year the work was done is December 18, 2016 or when I was told to go outside and turn on the March 2017?

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I paid Solar City $12,000 for installation. They paid me back $1,000 for rebate. I also earned $4,000 for tax credit. My last two PG&E bills were $644 and $487 respectively. This month, it came down to $140 after the installation of solar system. I highly recommend to have your solar system installed. The project is "God Sent." Plenty to gain; nothing to lose.

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Very professional, great customer service. Punctual to all schedule appointments. Always followed up via email. The App was also great, guiding every step of the process. Great Job and keep up the good work. Can't wait to see the savings!!

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I cannot speak for others, but I have had a pleasurable experience from installation to operation. The Solar City experience is, in my opinion a 5 star company so far. They have stayed in touch, and have made this project an exceptional one, and I would recommend this to others.

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I did my research. I spent several weeks on the internet and making phone calls. My first priority was to identify the top 10 rated solar energy providers. My second priority was to begin an elimination process in the following order: Better Business rating, Consumer complaints, Yelp rating, Customer service, Product specification comparisons, Warranty, Local and national business and government large system purchases, cost comparison, value. SolarCity was out in front, right from the start... and stayed there. Love my system. Thanks.

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Your employees are responsible and have public relations skills, which they maintain over sustained contact with the client... It is unusual for a start up to have employees with these characteristics. That is what is important to us... if it isn't important to you, too bad.

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I found working with Solar City a very easy process. When I had questions they were very responsive. Once everything was connected I had to call for help starting it up. That turned out to be easy too. Since the entire thing was done at no cost to us (including modifying the roof where the panels were to go), we are able to be contributing to the health of the planet.

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From start to finish my entire experience with SolarCity was a positive one. Each stage of the solar panel installation was done promptly and professionally. I would not hesitate to recommend SolarCity to anyone who's interested in saving money and the environment!

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Service was great. Very clean and quick. The contact with rep was always there and had time to talk about the whole process. The system is living up to more than I thought. I am very pleased with the whole deal. If any problems come up I feel they are always there.

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We have wanted to get solar power for some time and are so pleased to have it. SolarCity was excellent to work with. They provided information, answered questions, and left us alone to make our decision. They always followed through, contacted us during the process, and kept us informed on what was happening at each stage of the process. Their phone calls were efficient and kind. We are very satisfied.

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I am extremely pleased with my entire Solar City experience! I am happy I waited to obtain the new Tesla solar panels. My system has only been up and running for a few days and it's exciting to be able to view the successful culmination of the efforts of the design, finance and installation teams! Professional yet friendly and courteous at every level is the best way I can characterize every member of the Solar City team I have met personally or just talked with on the phone! Always accommodating and extremely helpful throughout the journey to clean sustainable energy! I recommend Solar City without reservation!!

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We are just getting started so the bills and cost issue has not been reviewed. The contract and installation phases were great. Our representative was attentive and responsive. Did what he said he would do for us. Great Job Robert! Installers were very professional, they had to cut a hole on the inside ceiling for inspection and I was very concerned about the repair. They did excellent. I can’t tell where they made the cut. So far a great experience.

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Solar is up and running. Great experience. The crew was fantastic and addressed all my concerns, and I have a tongue and groove roof. The install went fast and they cleaned up after everything was done. They checked my gate to make sure my dogs couldn't get out.

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We bought a house that already had a SolarCity lease on it. After doing the research we decided the lease was neither a good nor bad deal, so decided to get the house. Little did we know SolarCity would just be a nightmare to work with. We bought the house in October. Their computer system mixed up our account and banking info with that of not only the previous owner but the owner before them as well. The first problem is this meant we couldn't pay our bill online. The other problem is every time I called to pay my bill, I'd get a completely different story. Several times they offered to pay my bill with the previous owner's bank account. They also offered to pay the previous owner's bill with my bank account!

After calling them several times and elevating the situation as much as I could, I was assigned a customer service representative who I could contact directly. I have to pay the bill by arranging it with her. It takes her about a week (sometimes more) to respond to my emails. It's all such a pain. It's now April (7 months later!) and they still have not resolved the issue. The representative insists they are "working on it". For seven months? What the heck takes seven months to resolve? Not to mention their iPhone app is horrible, most of the time it just doesn't load. You have to launch it over and over again until it will finally load. SolarCity has been a ripe pain and I can't recommend them at all. Solar is great, just go with a different company.

6 people found this review helpful

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In good faith I worked with SolarCity to put Solar on my house and create a system that was as close to off setting my consumption as possible so that if I kept my consumption largely constant, I would no longer receive a PG&E bill. In my first year of service I received a bill from PG&E for $2,400.00 - it caused me to look much more closely to my contract - what I found was nothing short of alarming. Here are the details:

The DESIGN: because I had thermal solar on the roof, they decided to fast track the design by claiming that my roof had a pitch that would allow for optimum design output for either the North or South facing plane. What they FAILED to disclose in that assessment was that the calculation that determined this used peak summer months to draw that conclusion. So during Winter months, my $35,000.00 Solar system produces almost ZERO yield.

In bringing this to their attention, their final response (after waiting 6 months) was that while they see the problem, I signed off on the plan so they will take no further action to resolve the design flaw. They even acknowledge the flaw, but again, point to my signature as justification in doing nothing. I even offered to pay for a reconfiguration service. They responded by offering to sell me MORE PANELS and advised me that they don't offer anything else, AND went as far as letting me know if I hired an alternative solar specialist/contractor to reconfigure the system that would void my warranty. So, I can't even fix the problem with my own money.

The BILLING: They offer several versions of 'ownership'. I opted to finance the system and so that I could eventually own the system outright. THIS IS WHERE YOU GET SCARED - they are very vague on how things are billed however, this is where they profiteer - to the point that it would make a loan shark blush. Using my system as the example, they would charge me 5% interest on the amount borrowed - seems very simple and straightforward. What they don't explain is that for the period that you have an outstanding amount owing on the system SolarCity will charge you for PRODUCTION TOO!!!

The REAL cost to borrow from SolarCity is above 10% interest - or more simply put, about the same cost as any garden variety credit card on the market today (actually more than). They don't disclose this during your review of the paperwork. I can't stress enough - BUYER BEWARE. It's a deceptive lending practice. Moreover, when I ask to bring forward all of the different people that worked on my contracting, all of them have "moved on".

CUSTOMER SERVICE: pre and post customer service is like two different companies. Pre-customer, is very helpful. They answer your calls immediately; they are pleasant; they over service you in making sure that you have regular and professional checkpoints during your decision making. Post sale you could wait 20min for a call back; the first line call center agents aren't empowered to do much; escalations are very poorly managed and even buyouts aren't customer facing (of course they don't want you to actually pay things off).

I am a supporter of the idea of solar panels on my roof. I drive a Tesla and the experience with that company has been nothing but top notch, both pre and post sale (I already have a deposit on my next car). This company is a polar opposite - it could take a page from Elon's book in terms of that Tesla Customer model. As this one operates, I hope its current structure and leadership pay a price for what they do to us as customers - if it became commonly known how their business behaved and changed I can't imagine they would exist in the market. I am VERY disappointed in trusting them with my money.

23 people found this review helpful

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A "Field Consultant" Benjamin ** told me everything would be handled by SolarCity. Well eight months after installation my roof is not only leaking but my bedroom ceiling is falling down. Plus when they were installing I could hear and see screws coming through. Now because of my health and low income I can't afford a new roof. And Solar City will not remove them so I can try and sell my house to a fixer-upper. The fixer-uppers don't want the solar panels because my electric bill is Ssssooo high. And on top of these problems SolarCity demands that I sign yet another contract saying there is no dispute between us and any licensed contractor must sign a contract with SolarCity to replace the roof. So now I can't even sell my house without SolarCity giving their consent. And the new owners have to agree to keeping the panels and the existing contract.

9 people found this review helpful

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SolarCity

Hello David,

Thank you for taking the time to write this review. We're sorry to see your experience with us has not been a happy one so far. We understand your concerns over your bills and savings. Please keep in mind, savings on your total energy use are estimated on a yearly basis, not monthly. That is because solar production changes from season to season and will affect your ability to offset your energy consumption from your utility company. Your system was turned on in December and therefore you haven't had an entire year of solar production on which to base your savings.

As for your concerns regarding your contract, we see that a member of our team had made several attempts at contacting you to discuss this and have not heard back. At your earliest convenience, please call 888-765-2489 option 2.

Thank you once again for your feedback. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Original review: March 17, 2017

I had my panels installed on my home. A few weeks later a bill comes in for $540 for the solar panels and $324 for MP energy. I was shocked to see this has my first bill. I am not sure I am better off with the panels on my home. I have called many times to have someone from SolarCity to explain thing to me again. I live in Texas and this company is out of state. When I add my MP energy bill and my SolarCity bill I am right where my former bill use to be. I just read the small print. My lease bill on the panels goes up each year for the full 20 years.

11 people found this review helpful

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We are worst now than before with bills we are paying double. We just got a bill from Edison of $1,400. SolarCity just told us that we were going to pay less than $5 for the meter of Edison that was bull. Logan the guy that came to sell the solar panels never explained the real thing and then he told me that he needed permission for the guys to go on the roof so he told me "can you sign these. It's just to give them permission to take a look at the roof." He so lied. It was a contract. NEVER DID LOGAN SAY IT WAS A CONTRACT.

20 people found this review helpful

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We cannot say enough about the great customer service we have received from Solar City. Everything they promised, they have lived up to. Soren is a great asset to your company. He spent numerous hours with us explaining the procedures step by step until we fully understand all that is involved. We are saving money and at the same time going solar for the environment. How can you go wrong?

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I have been a SolarCity customer for 3 yrs. I have had nothing but problems with them from day one. They said I would be leasing the equipment and my bill would be X. Come to find out I am billed for the amount of power the panels produce so I will never own the equipment. They have never been able to get my bills correct which they have admitted to but they want to charge me an extra $15 per month because I will not sign up for autopay. I have talked to at least 10 different customer service people and several managers about the problems with my account but they still cannot get it right.

I have explained why I won't sign up for autopay (because they can't be trusted to get my bill correct) which they have agreed that they have had a lot of problems in their billing department but they still want to charge me the extra fee. I have tried to pay them in full for their equipment just so I don't have to deal with their incompetence anymore but they refuse to let me do that. I have tried to get out of the contract but they refuse to do that also. Bottom line is SolarCity is not a trustworthy company and I would not recommend them to my worst enemy.

39 people found this review helpful

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I was definitely a little nervous going solar. So many companies to choose from. From the sales representative to the permits and installation. It all went so easily. When I did have a question whether it was the 800 number or my rep, they were there to help.

4 people found this review helpful

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We really liked the concept of going solar so we contacted SolarCity. We purchased this house in 2009, and the previous owner "replaced" the shingles. So we figured we had a good roof. The sales/Service was fantastic. They inspected our roof twice. It was inspected a second time because we removed a lot of trees. My first red flag was when I asked the inspector if our roof was okay for panels. He replied, "I didn't fall through". Giving no explanations of what he was looking for.

On the day of our install. The foreman asked to see inside our attic. He called me up and said our sheathing/plywood on one side of our roof was soft and part of the plywood was peeling off. They could only put solar panels on the other roof. This was our second red flag. I asked the foreman what the inspection was for. He just looked at me with a blank stare.

A few weeks went by and my living room ceiling started sagging. Water was now seeping through. I crawled up in the attic and to my horror I saw a steady drip coming from my roof. I called the company, and to their credit they immediately came out to fix it. Then I started getting more leaks in various parts of my ceiling. Finally after three trips to my house, SolarCity replaced all the fasteners that attach the solar panels to the roof. I still continued to have leaks. At this time I had no choice but to call a roofing contractor. He looked in my roof and saw mold, plywood peeling off, rotten wood, and sap on the outside of the rafters, (Looks like gold glitter), which is due to extreme heat from lack of ventilation. He explained that my ENTIRE ROOF, plywood and all had to come off.

I contacted SolarCity by e-mail because I wanted a physical electronic paper trail. I explained that I needed to replace the roof. SolarCity came and removed the solar panels. Our roof was replaced and the roofing contractor was more pissed than me why solar panels went on such a run down roof. I called SolarCity to schedule a re-install. I am so Gun shy and nervous to put solar panels on a brand new roof. To make matters worse, I had to pay SolarCity $499.00 in order to put them on my roof again. My neighbors and friends who seen my roof being replaced and the solar panels removed came to the conclusion that the panels were the cause of the leaks.

So... SolarCity may have hurt themselves by not making sure the roof was in the proper condition to have solar panels. Anybody who wants solar panels needs to do two things. 1) inspect their own roof by an independent roofing contractor, and 2) the roof should be able to last the life of your Solar panels. I tell people, it's a Love/Hate relationship with solar Panels. They saved me on our electric bills, but cost me a new roof in the process.

33 people found this review helpful

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Factual basis uncertain

Excellent service prior to installation, but once the system was installed, "customer service" has been a huge disappointment. I was contacted by a customer service person and returned her call but have never heard back since. Problems with my monitoring system remain unresolved. I still don't know whether or not the installer kicking the panels to get them into place caused any damage.

7 people found this review helpful

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First of all, the entire process with SolarCity is very well-thought out. It's seamless. We chose to lease our system, and SC took care of all the permits, upgrades, inspections. Our house and roof are complicated - it's a big house with very steep roof pitch. The placement of panels is strategic. And what was best was throughout the months-long process, every single person who came to work on our home was extremely professional, upbeat, and everything was explained as they were doing it. We are disappointed it's January of the rainiest winter in years, so we aren't immediately seeing the full value of solar, but even on some winter days, we've produced more than half our usage. I have nothing but positives to describe our experience with SolarCity. And, it makes us feel good that we are doing something for the environment, as well!

7 people found this review helpful

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Lack of Communication regarding design flaw! In 2015, SolarCity installed panels on our home. We trusted the company, the sales rep, the design team, and the installers were working in our best interest. Unfortunately, the design proved to flawed during the first snow storm of the year. The panels were placed on the upper level roof and not on a lower level roof, which covers our sunroom. The morning following an overnight snowfall, we looked out of our upstairs window and saw a HUGE pile of snow sitting on the roof below. The snow was piled so high that it blocked part of the window upstairs. We were so afraid the roof would collapse into our sunroom that we had someone come out (in the snowstorm) and remove the snow from the roof.

We have made several attempts to have a customer service representative come out and review the layout/design, but our request has repeatedly been ignored. We have contacted the sale representative (Ms. Lori **) and Mr. Brian ** (customer service). Photos were emailed to both to show the snow piled on the roof and the design flaw. Mr. ** suggested we hire an outside contractor to fix the problem. We are not interested in consulting with, hiring, or purchasing equipment from and outside source to fix this problem. I hope this complaint is taken seriously and not ignored like our emails and phone calls.

30 people found this review helpful

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I do not understand why nothing is being done to STOP this company from doing business in the state of California. I have read review after review of how horrible this company is and how horribly they treat their customers yet nothing is done about it. I complained to the Better Business Bureau, which by the way gives them a rating of A+ even though most of the reviews on the website are negative, and have heard nothing! I complained to the Public Utilities Commission only to be told they have no jurisdiction over solar companies. No wonder they feel they have the right to treat all of their customers like crap, no one is overseeing them.

The sales rep for this company gave us a list of monthly payments for our 20 year contract which increased by $5 or $10 dollars each year. They started out at $75 a month and when the year was up went up to $181 a month. Our contract says that monthly payments cannot go up more than 2.9% each year. Does this sound like an increase of 2.9%? Apparently, they can charge you ANYTHING that they want and there is NO ONE to help you battle with them.

I guess the only thing we can do is stop paying the outrageous bills and group together and take them to court. It would be cheaper than what we are going to end up paying this company after twenty years. I would love to get a group of unhappy customers together but I saw in a previous review that the email had been blocked. I will try. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT get solar from this company. You will truly regret it. Trust me when I tell you that I do. This company will bankrupt me!

49 people found this review helpful

SolarCity Company Profile

Company Name:
SolarCity
Address:
3055 Clearview Way
City:
San Mateo
State/Province:
CA
Postal Code:
94402
Country:
United States
Phone:
Website:
http://www.solarcity.com/