Finding the Best Utah Solar Companies in Salt Lake City

Utah Solar Companies

Are you looking for good solar companies in Utah?

If you’re in the Salt Lake/Provo area and are wondering how to find the best Utah solar companies, we’ve got you covered here. As great as sunny Utah is for solar, there really aren’t many installers working in the area. However, don’t let that get you down, as you still have some great choices out there. From big, nation-wide installers to local specialty solar companies, you’ve got your pick of the litter!

Today, let’s discuss some questions to ask yourself before contacting installers. We’ll also give you a short list of solar companies working in the Salt Lake City/Provo area, with some introductory information and summary of what real customers have to say about working with them.

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Decision #1: How do you want to finance your solar panels?

The first component to consider when deciding to go solar is how you’ll finance your project. Each financing type has benefits and drawbacks, and some installers don’t offer all financing options, so you’ll need to familiarize yourself before moving forward. Here’s a brief rundown on your choices:

Cash upfront – All installers work with cash, so you can pretty much choose whichever company floats your boat. Paying in cash gives the most savings possible. Since you own the system, you’re eligible to receive federal and state tax credits, as well as any state or local discounts. Cash is a simple transaction: you pay upfront, the solar company installs, you produce electricity. Obviously you need to actually have all that money upfront – probably not doable for many of us.

Loans – If you don’t have the cash to pay upfront, consider taking out a loan for your solar installation. These days, many banks and credit unions offer this financing method and solar installers (including smaller local companies) usually have a preferred loan company that finances solar and other ‘green’ projects exclusively. Since you’ll be paying interest, you won’t save as much as with a cash purchase, but you’re still eligible for the federal tax credit and it’s a safe investment that requires little upfront investment.

Leases – We can thank leases for the explosion in residential solar back in the late 2000s. National installers Sunrun and SolarCity popularized this system, wherein homeowners pay them monthly for use of solar equipment (just like a car lease) and get to use the electricity the installation produces. Solar leases require huge amounts of cash to finance upfront, so typically only large installers (like SolarCity, Sunrun, and Vivint) can offer them.

Generally, leases offer the least amount of savings, since you pay interest over the lifespan of your installation, miss out on the federal tax credit, and pay for the higher overhead costs leases entail. They certainly have their pros, though. If anything goes wrong with your installation, the solar company will fix it on their own dime (since they are the owners). And at the end of your contract (typically 20 years), they’ll remove it at no cost.

In a nutshell, big installers like SolarCity will offer all financing types, from cash to loans to leases. Local installers, due to their size and limitations, typically only offer cash and loan financing.

With this in mind, why wouldn’t you just choose a big national installer? After all, they offer more options, right? Well, there’s more to it than that! Let’s take a look at this question below.

Decision #2: Local or national installer?

Thanks to their sheer size, national installers typically can offer more financing options than local, smaller installers. So why wouldn’t you just go with a national installer? Well, financing is just one small piece of the pie. You also need to consider prices, experience, and reputation.

Price – While big installers continue to successfully lower their installation costs year after year, it’s actually the smaller installers that most often can offer lower prices – around 10% less in fact – thanks to their lower sales and marketing costs. For an average sized 6kW installation, this adds up to $2,000!

Experience – You don’t want to be a company’s first job. You’d feel much better if you knew they have lots of experience installing hundreds (or thousands) of systems. You don’t have to focus exclusively on the age of the business, as SolarCity and Sunrun both only started around 2007, but have installed hundreds of thousands of systems by now.

Smaller companies run the gamut from very old (which for the solar industry, is the 1970s to 90s) to very young (just a year or two of experience), so you’ll need to ask your individual solar installer for their own history.

Reputation – While we’ll go into reviews in more depth later on, local installers oftentimes enjoy much, much better reviews than the big boys. Being local, they understand your city’s and utility’s regulations and requirements better (making for an easier installation) and work with fewer customers at once, allowing them to provide better service. If you’re looking for the best experience possible going solar, certainly consider a small installer.

Utah solar companies in the Salt Lake City/Provo area

To recap, here are the things you need to keep in mind when choosing your solar installer:

  • Available financing
  • Price
  • Experience
  • Reputation

Now let’s take a look at a few popular installers in the Salt Lake City/ Provo area to give you an idea of what’s out there. We include both big and small solar companies in Utah and each has their own benefits and drawbacks, so read through the overviews below and consider what’s important to you. Review numbers are correct as of December 2017.

A note of warning: don’t consider this a list of the best installers in the area. Instead, consider this a summary of the offerings of 4 well-known – but very different – installers working in the Salt Lake City area. Let’s begin!

SolarCity

Utah Solar Companies Solarcity logo

Experience: Founded in 2006

Number of Installations: Over 300,000 installations

Financing: Cash, Loan, Lease

Review Score: 2.41 out of 5 based on 108 reviews (SolarReviews)

SolarCity is the biggest residential solar installer in the US, operating in over 20 states and having installed more than 300,000 installations. If you’re looking for experience, SolarCity – quite literally – beats out every single solar installer in the US, hands-down. As a nation-wide company, they offer all financing types, including cash, loan, and leases.

Of all the big installers, SolarCity offers very competitive pricing, but their customer service is very, very spotty. While many homeowners have a great experience, other customers repeatedly complain of high bills after installing solar, poor communication practices, and shady sales tactics. Here’s a reviewer complaining of both their poor customer service and a bait-and-switch sales tactic:

“I will start by saying that their end product is working just fine. It’s getting here and also dealing with their customer service that has been an issue. And one of the biggest problems is the fact that they admittedly bait and switched me into a contract… Admittedly, I should have questioned more things but they agree they swindled me but don’t care and have no intentions on changing their positions. Buyer be very careful!”

Bottom Line: If you’re wanting to finance with a solar lease, SolarCity offers relatively low prices, but be forewarned it’s a coin toss whether you’ll enjoy the experience (or, if we are to believe the reviews, even save money). With SolarCity’s terrible reviews, you’re taking your sanity into your own hands when you decide to work with them.

Vivint Solar

Utah Solar Companies Vivint logo

Experience: Founded in 2011

Number of Installations: More than 99,000 installations

Financing: Cash, Loan, Lease

Review Score: 3.10 out of 5, based on 369 reviews (SolarReviews)

You can’t talk about solar in Utah without mentioning Vivint, the Lehi-based solar/home security company that’s quickly become one of the biggest solar installers in the country. Like SolarCity, they work in over 20 states and have installed over 99,000 jobs since their inception in 2011. As a large installer, they offer financing in cash, loan, PPA, and leases.

Vivint is well-known for their focus on door-to-door sales tactics, which – according to homeowner reviews – can be wonderful or quite atrocious depending on the salesperson. On SolarReviews, they enjoy 3 out of 5 stars – marginally better than SolarCity – with some homeowners loving their experience and others hating it.

First, here’s a reviewer discussing her great experience with the company:

“They were very professional. Answered any questions we had. The installer listened and made changes we asked for. They showed up on time and finished in one day. All of the workers were polite and they were respectful of our home and property.”

On the opposite side, here’s another reviewer discussing the terrible service and communication he’d received while waiting 8 months for his system to be fixed:

“I’ve talked to Vivint’s customer service over and over again, and they always tell me the same things; that there is nothing they can do, and they will send in a technician. They schedule the technician, and then cancel the appointment. The one time they actually got a technician to my house, he told me he couldn’t fix it and they would send someone else. Of course, that never happened. The customer service is rude and unhelpful. I have a broken system that they installed poorly, but will not fix it. Do not buy Vivant Solar, there are much better choices out there.”

Bottom Line: Vivint is a home-grown company that has gone big-time. Like many of the national installers, Vivint can’t quite seem to find the magic touch to provide all their customers with a great experience. They certainly can install solar quickly and efficient, but if something goes wrong, don’t expect it to be resolved any time soon.

Solaroo Energy

Utah Solar Companies Solaroo South Jordan

Experience: Unknown

Number of Installations: Unknown

Financing: Cash, Loan

Review Score: 4.85 out of 5, based on 80 reviews (SolarReviews, of which Solaroo is a financial supporter)

Based in South Jordan, UT, Solaroo Energy focuses on both residential and commercial installations. They support both cash and loan financing and offer in-house loans ranging from 7 to 25 years.

Solaroo is one of the larger ‘local’ installers on our list, working in Utah, Idaho, Colorado, and Nevada in the near future. While they fail to publish information on their experience and history installing solar, the growth of the company and good reviews suggests they’re doing something right!

On review platform SolarReviews (of which Solaroo is a supporter), they enjoy a very high 4.8 out of 5 stars, based on 80 reviews. Homeowners report an easy installation process and great prices. Here’s one reviewer reporting on her experience:

“[Salesperson] at Solaroo was fantastic, he was knowledgeable and easy to work with. The installation crew was fast and efficient and incredibly helpful. Overall it was a great experience!”

Bottom Line: Homeowners praise Solaroo’s great service and pricing, but with their growing size and little information published online detailing their number of installations, be sure to vet their experience in your area before moving forward.

Greenify Energy Savers

Experience: Unknown

Number of Installations: Unknown

Financing: Cash, Loan (assumedly)

Review Score: 4.91 out of 5 stars, based on 11 reviews (SolarReviews, of which they are a site supporter)

Unfortunately, Greenify Energy Savers doesn’t publish any information on their total number of installations or experience online – which is quite annoying – but we include them here because they are unlike most solar companies, in a very good way!

Instead of only focusing on solar, Greenify also installs energy efficiency measures designed to lower your energy use before going solar. Dollar for dollar, energy efficiency measures are much more cost-effective than installing solar, so Greenify’s approach allows you to spend less and save more!

They install basically anything that can save you energy before going solar: water heaters, smart thermostats, insulation, attic fans, and duct and window sealing.

They see excellent customer reviews online, both on SolarReviews as well as ​Google Reviews, where they enjoy a 4.7 out of 5 stars based on 59 reviews. Customers particularly praise their easy-going sales staff and holistic approach to energy savings. Here’s a customer on SolarReviews:

Their focus on energy efficiency is why we chose them over “those other guys.” Not only did we get our awesome solar panel setup, we got other efficiency updates like additional insulation and sealing the drafts around windows & doors that made our whole home more energy efficient.”

Bottom Line: While Greenify offers little info on their experience, their unique offerings and great customer reviews land them a spot on our list here.

Time to use what you’ve learned

Hopefully, this gives you an understanding of the solar installers that work in the Salt Lake City/Provo area and helps you feel confident selecting a solar company. We certainly can’t include all solar installers on our list above, so if you feel like we missed an excellent installer, please let us know in the comments below!

Need some additional help finding an installer? Check out our article How to Find a Quality Solar Installer Near You.

 Photo Credits under CC License Flickr - 1, 2, ​3, 5, 6, 7 & Wikimedia 4

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