I am the judgment expert that often writes. A few weeks ago, I signed up with VivantSolar.com, and decided to write about my experience with VivantSolar. In locations that get enough sunlight, solar cell electricity systems can supply most of the electricity needed for a house. The technology of solar panels and semiconductors have come so far, that solar cell energy is now a realistic choice for many homes. The primary disadvantage is that to get a big, high quality solar system, it costs a bunch of money to purchase and install one. This is when VivantSolar.com comes in, as you do not pay them any money to install or maintain their solar system. However, you need to pay them about half of whatever you are currently pay for electricity from your current energy company.
When you’ve got a solar cell installation large enough to generate more electricity than you consume, with the right installation of meter by your utility company; you can put power back into your energy company’s grid, storing your excess electricity. Modern solar installations do not use batteries, they use your current utility company for their backup and storage. This means your regular electrical invoice drops, yet the old electricity supply is nearly always there if you want it; for example, at night. If you’ve stored extra electricity, there’s not any expense to consume any previously banked electricity. Solar energy does not replace gas water heaters and furnaces; and works best for houses which have usually pay a lot more for electricity than for gas.
With VivantSolar, you lease a solar cell installation from VivantSolar, and they do it all. One simply signs their contract and then pays for any electricity consumed with a big savings from regular electricity prices. Of course, if you buy a solar cell installation yourself, you do not pay anything for electricity your solar system will create. Of course, when you buy a system, you also will must pay to get it installed, and you get complete responsibility for your system. You must arrange for a new meter with your old utility company, and pay for repairs; however new electronics and solar cell panels last for many decades.
I only found 2 complaints on VivantSolar seem to be their door-to-door sales people and their contract. I usually do not answer any door knocks or doorbells, as neighbors and friends call or email me prior to visiting me. 99% of the time it is a sales person or a religious zealot. When the door bell rings and there is a delivery or a postal truck in front of my house, I will open the door.
A few weeks ago, my doorbell rang, and a post office vehicle was across the street, and I opened my door and found a guy trying to sell me a solar cell installation. The guy started his selling pitch and while it sounded nice, I told him I cannot agree to anything unless it is in writing, and I was busy now; so please give me a card or brochure, which he did.
Later, I took a look at their website, and they seemed OK. So, I emailed the salesperson that it all depends on the contract. I requested him to e-mail me a PDF of the contract and he said he can’t, he has to go through the contract with me personally, would the next day be OK? Saving a bunch of money without needing to spend anything to get or maintain a big solar cell system interested me, so I said yes.
The following day, the VivantSolar.com salesperson came back and was friendly. Their contract contained lots of fine print, yet the contract was fairly standard and seemed to have very few red flags. When you use them, you are not purchasing the system which means you do not get tax credits. I found VivantSolar to be legit, and paying much less for electricity without having to pay anything upfront made a lot of sense. The one little lie they told me, was they are providing me a fifty thousand dollar system. At my home, I probably could have bought a system with installation for under $25K, and get some tax credits too.
A problem on solar systems from anyone, is that you can’t hook up the electricity produced until the old utility company installs their new power meter, that could be between weeks and months. One huge issue with VivantSolar’s contract is it lasts for twenty years. Not paying anything upfront and not having to do anything besides signing VivantSolar’s contract seemed fair with me, as this saves me money today and for twenty years.
The worst potential horror I read inside VivantSolar.com’s contract might occur if you sell the home, and the new buyer does not want to take over their contract. This chance seems small as who would not want to spend anything up-front, save money, and be “green”? Still, there’s a possibility that you might must pay VivantSolar their massive cancelation charge, especially when you cancel early in the contract. I signed up with them to save a bunch of time, hassle, and money; even when over the long run I could save even more by purchasing my own system.
You do not need to use VivantSolar to get a no-money-upfront solar solution. You can get a loan to purchase and install a solar system, get your tax credits, and then pay nothing for any energy your panels create; however you’ll have to pay back the finance company. VivantSolar is simple, and without them you’ll probably need to navigate lots of web sites that do not show their prices, requiring you to fill out a form to get your solar cell quote.