The world of solar energy has a lot of options, with a variety of different solar installers that can help you find solar energy solutions for your home. One such company is Sungevity, a great option to consider if you want to learn more about these products and their availability in California. If you are interested in finding out more about Sungevity, their history, and the products and services that they offer, the following article should give you a great overview of those topics and help you decide if this company might be the right one for you to consider for your home!
What does Sungevity do?
Sungevity currently offers customizable solar energy systems for homeowners in California. However, the brand Sungevity has been around for a while now, with a varied and complicated corporate past. In order to see how they got to where they are now, we’ll take a brief look at their history as a brand.
Sungevity’s founder and history
The first iteration of Sungevity was founded by Andrew Birch, Danny Kennedy, and Alec Guettel 2007, after which Birch worked as the CEO for some time. The company saw a great deal of success over the next ten years, receiving awards for innovation and Green Business. Sungevity worked on solar systems not only in the United States but overseas as well, setting up over 25,000 solar energy systems over that ten-year span. One of their more prominent systems was even installed on the Maldivian Presidential Palace at the then-president’s request.
However, the success of this early iteration of Sungevity was not permanent. In March 2017, Sungevity declared bankruptcy, hit by a failed merger and a difficult time in general for the solar market. The company’s European interests were sold and became known as Sungevity International, which is still a distinct and separate corporation. Later that year, the Sungevity brand in the United States was brought back to life in a new way: Solar Spectrum and Horizon Solar Power merged under the Sungevity brand, making their combined brand the 2nd largest solar power brand in California and the 4th largest in the United States.
As their current website explains, Sungevity was once again “hit hard” during the 2020 period of the COVID-19 pandemic, and was “no longer able to continue operations.” This was true of many solar companies, as shown by studies analyzing growth in the solar market at the time. As a result of their new difficulties, the company stopped operating, and their standing leases were bought out by other companies offering similar services.
Luckily, events in 2021 transpired which put Sungevity back in business. The Sungevity brand was acquired by Pineapple Energy, a company that sells solar systems and batteries for residential use. This reinvigorated Sungevity has spent a great deal of effort refining their approach to a workable, useful business model. The newly-reformed Sungevity has shifted their focus to providing solar solely for homeowners in California, using updated strategies to work on avoiding issues like those the brand has encountered in the past.
What can they help you with?
Sungevity’s current focus, as mentioned earlier, is on providing residential solar systems in California. They offer solar panels for your roof, to absorb sunlight and and generate DC power from it, solar inverters to connect the panels to your home and convert the power into AC that your home can use, and solar meters that monitor your system’s productivity and can be accessed remotely from mobile devices. They take care of obtaining permits and handling other necessary paperwork so that your system will be properly set up, and they also offer home batteries to help you store excess energy for when you need it, which they can add even to existing solar panel systems. Sungevity’s website does an excellent job of delving into the details of each part of their systems, how they work, and more to help potential customers understand what they are getting into beforehand.
In other words, if you’re looking to upgrade your home to a cheaper, greener energy source, or to upgrade an existing system to include battery storage, Sungevity offers all the products and services that you should need to get everything installed and connected properly.
Sungevity’s Solar Installation
If you’re interested in finding the right solar company for your home or business, one important thing to consider is the installation of the solar panels and solar systems. Both the convenience and the cost of the installation process might have an effect on your decisions, so we will examine both of those with regard to Sungevity.
How long is the installation process?
Sungevity works with local, licensed contractors to get your systems installed, so the duration of the installation process can vary depending on your location and on which contractors are available at the time.
Because solar energy can be such a varied field, it is very difficult to estimate average costs for a system without sharing the details of your situation with the company. Solar prices can change drastically depending on your energy needs, the size of your house, the tax credits and other regulations in your area, and more factors like these. Therefore, Sungevity, like most solar energy providers, offers free quotes to interested homeowners, allowing them to get an idea beforehand of what the price will be for their services. It is important to take advantage of these free quotes and evaluations when you are considering having a system installed for your home.
Looking at the information that Sungevity provides, we can make a few generalizations about their prices:
The Sungevity website mentions that owners of smaller homes can usually expect a solar system to cost them around $10,000 to $15,000 dollars, while residents with larger homes may see prices of up to $45,000. System leases are also available, and are listed on their website as starting at $65 to $155 per month, depending again on the size of the system.
When it comes to actually paying for your new solar system, Sungevity offers several different kinds of financing options. Aside from an up-front purchase in full of the system, financing is also available to help you make payments on your solar system over time. Solar lease financing is also available, where you pay to lease the system from a solar lease provider. PPAs (Power Purchasing Agreements) are also offered, allowing you to get a system installed without needing to own or pay for it, with you simply agreeing to buy solar energy from the owner.
You can check with Sungevity to set up a financing consult to find out what options would be the best for your situation.
What do people say about Sungevity?
Though it is somewhat difficult to separate reviews about the old Sungevity from the new one, reviews for the brand as a whole are generally positive, giving Sungevity scores on par with (or better than) other solar companies. Customer reviews from 2021 and on give a good view of how the company operates after the brand’s new acquisition. Many of these reviews mention excellent customer service in the planning and consulting stages, including the clarity of communication on the part of the sales representatives and the ease with which the entire process can be started.
These reviews often noted that communication with the company remains good throughout the installation process as well, and the installation is generally considered to run fairly smoothly. However, several customers noted that it was difficult to contact Sungevity’s representatives or technical support if issues were encountered after the system’s installation was completed. Part of this issue may be due to the turnover of the brand to new owners, which obviously has the potential to cause some confusion on both ends of the communication process.
Some customers also experienced issues with the contracted installers, especially with messes left behind after installation. Although these issues are not strictly Sungevity’s, since the installers are usually local contractors, it is worth noting that you might want to check with them and find out who your options will be for installation teams before moving forward with getting your system and contract finalized.
Overall, Sungevity seems like a good company to consider in your solar journey. Their prices are competitive in the solar market, and their brand and owners have a lot of combined experience learning what works best for their business and for their customers.
If you are interested in learning more about going solar, you can check out our other articles! We have notes about other solar companies and lists of the best tips for getting solar energy systems in specific areas, such as solar in California.