SunPower Vs. Trinity Solar: Which Company Is Better? (2022)
Here’s what we’ll cover in this SunPower vs. Trinity solar provider comparison:
- Which solar panel installation company is better: SunPower or Trinity Solar?
- Is SunPower more affordable than Trinity Solar?
- Does SunPower or Trinity Solar offer better solar warranties?
- And much more
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Overview: SunPower vs. Trinity Solar
SunPower and Trinity Solar are both large companies with large service areas, so many solar customers will likely consider one or both of these installers when deciding on a company. For that reason, we believe it’s important to compare them to help homeowners choose which one better suits their needs.
|Solar Company||Brand Is Best For||Price||Warranty Coverage||States Served||BBB Rating||Payment Options||Solar Services Offered|
|SunPower||Best Overall||$$$$||25 years for equipment, workmanship, and power production||50 states||A+||Cash, solar loans, leases, PPAs||Solar panels, solar home energy storage, EV chargers, solar system monitoring|
|Trinity Solar||More Localized Experience||$$$||25 years for equipment and 5 years for workmanship||9 states||A+||Cash, loans||Solar panels, solar battery storage, EV chargers, solar monitoring|
SunPower is one of the nation’s largest solar installers, serving the entirety of the U.S. through a network of third-party installers. Despite its massive size, it still provides good customer service.
SunPower is known for two things: its high-efficiency solar panels — now made by its sister company, Maxeon Solar — and its best-in-class warranty coverage. These things make SunPower’s above-average pricing worthwhile for most solar customers.
SunPower has also accumulated decades of experience since it was founded in California in 1985, making it one of the most reputable solar companies in the industry.
Trinity Solar Overview
Trinity Solar, founded in 1996, also has over two decades of experience. It was originally a family-owned HVAC company but expanded to the renewable energy industry in the early 2000s. Serving just nine states, the company operates on a regional scale that is much smaller than SunPower’s.
Trinity is more reasonably priced than SunPower, although we’ll get into how quality plays into the cost later on in this article. The equipment isn’t as efficient as SunPower’s, and the customer service can be below-average in some cases.
Trinity Solar does manage all of its installations in-house, which sets it apart from SunPower. Many of its installers are certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to guaranteeing professional renewable energy installations.
Cost Comparison: SunPower Vs. Trinity Solar
Solar panel systems average around $25,000 in the U.S. The solar company you choose can play a major role in where your total installation cost falls, so you should choose wisely and understand what you get for the money.
Ultimately, you’ll have to request free quotes from each company to know exactly what your solar system will cost. However, we’ll compare the general pricing and financing options of SunPower and Trinity Solar below.
Costs & Financing Options
Solar energy systems can vary in price among solar installation companies for a few reasons. One of the biggest factors is the type of equipment provided.
For example, SunPower’s panels are some of the best in the solar industry and come with an outstanding warranty that guarantees performance for 25 years. These panels naturally cost more than many other brands, which is one reason why SunPower is priced above average.
The financing options available can also determine your up-front prices. Companies like SunPower that accept cash payments, loans, leases, and power purchase agreements make clean energy accessible to more people. Just keep in mind that the payment option you choose can also affect your long-term energy savings and electric bills.
Which Company is Cheapest, SunPower or Trinity Solar?
SunPower panels average between $2.85 and $3.25 per watt, which is well above the national average of $2.66, so a solar system from SunPower will usually be more expensive than one from competitors. However, the quality you get for the price is still well worth it.
SunPower accepts the following payment options to keep solar as accessible as possible:
- Cash purchases
- Solar loans
- Solar leases
- Power purchase agreements (PPAs)
Trinity Solar comes in around average in terms of pricing. While it’s cheaper overall than SunPower if you buy or finance, Trinity doesn’t have no-money-down options as SunPower does.
Our Pick for Best by Cost – SunPower
Trinity Solar will almost always be more affordable than SunPower if you buy or finance your panels. SunPower comes with above-average pricing for its high-quality solar products and services.
However, SunPower also accepts leases and PPAs, while Trinity doesn’t. If you’re looking exclusively for upfront savings, SunPower is the better option.
Warranties Offered: SunPower Vs. Trinity Solar
Most solar panel systems come with warranties that protect the equipment, guarantee a certain level of energy production after installation and guarantee that the installation process is done properly and won’t cause damage to your system or home.
SunPower provides a comprehensive 25-year warranty for all three areas — equipment, energy production, and workmanship — making it one of the best warranty packages in the industry. The warranty claims made to SunPower are typically handled quickly as well, so it’s reassuring that the company really stands behind its products.
Trinity Solar offers a 25-year warranty for the equipment and a five-year workmanship warranty. This coverage pales in comparison to SunPower’s, especially because there is no warranty for solar power production.
Our Pick for Best Warranties
SunPower has one of the most sought-after warranties in the industry, so it’s no surprise that its coverage is far better than Trinity Solar’s. If you’re looking for peace of mind, SunPower is a far better option.
Coverage Area: SunPower Vs. Trinity Solar
The service area of a company is an important factor to consider, especially because it directly dictates if an installer can service your property or not.
SunPower is one of the nation’s largest solar installers, covering all 50 states. Trinity Solar provides service in just nine states, including:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
With Trinity’s service area being limited, SunPower will appeal to more customers across the country.
Our Pick for Best Coverage Area – SunPower
SunPower is the clear winner in terms of coverage area. It serves the entire country, while Trinity Solar is a regional provider that works primarily in the Northeast.
Solar Panel Performance: SunPower Vs. Trinity Solar
SunPower only installs one-panel brand: Maxeon. These panels are manufactured by SunPower’s sister company, which upholds SunPower’s commitment to value and performance.
These panels have an energy efficiency rating of 22.7%, and they are guaranteed to maintain 92% of their efficiency for an incredible 25 years.
Trinity Solar mainly installs Qcells brand panels, but it can provide access to many other panel manufacturers as well, depending on your preference. The solar products represented include:
- Tesla (solar panels and Tesla Powerwall batteries only, excludes Tesla Solar Roof shingles)
- Enphase microinverters and inverters
- And more
Still, none of the other tier-one monocrystalline panels Trinity offers matches SunPower’s panels in efficiency and durability.
Our Pick for Best Panel Performance – SunPower
SunPower is the winner when it comes to panel performance, no matter which company it’s up against. Its panels are not only highly efficient, but they degrade at a rate that’s much slower than those of most competitors.
Customer Experience: SunPower Vs. Trinity Solar
The customer service provided by your solar installer won’t directly affect your solar power system cost, but it can indirectly cost you more money and lead to poor system performance down the road. Below, we’ll discuss the service you can expect from SunPower and Trinity.
What Customers Say About SunPower
SunPower has one of the most longstanding positive reputations in the solar industry. Despite its size, it still provides outstanding customer service.
It has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and many positive customer reviews that mention things like:
- The company’s fast responses to warranty claims
- The level of professionalism amongst the salespeople and installation team
- The high level of communication provided by the company
- The knowledgeability of all employees
Of course, with a company this size, there are bound to be negative reviews as well. SunPower’s size does sometimes get in the way of good customer service, and it can cause delays in the installation timeline and some frustration when it comes to scheduling.
Below are some customer reviews for SunPower that should give you an idea of what to expect on both ends of the spectrum.
“[Our service representative] showed up early and he is professional, friendly, explained how solar energy generation works, showed us how to use the app, and got our system up and running within the given time frame. Thank you!” — Kristine D. via Yelp
“Horrible service and pros at dropping the ball on service activation. It has been four months since the service was installed, and I am still waiting for service activation. Lots of finger-pointing at So Cal Edison for their permission for service activation. I’ve called weekly for the past two months to SunPower and still no activation. I definitely do not recommend SunPower.” — Tim B. via Yelp
What Customers Say About Trinity Solar
Trinity Solar is a much smaller operation, but it still clearly struggles with customer service. Unfortunately, the company has garnered some negative attention, with many customers noting the following issues:
- Installation delays due to a lack of communication
- Scheduling conflicts, also due to communication issues
- Slow responses to warranty claims and system issues
- Slow responses from customer service
- Long delays between installation and system activation
Trinity Solar has many positive reviews as well and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, so it seems like the experience you can expect depends on the representatives handling your solar project. Some customers are thrilled with the communication and knowledgeability they see in the company.
Below are some reviews of Trinity Solar we found online.
“My most disgusting customer service experience. Trinity Solar’s “purple team” emailed when I signed the contract introducing themselves. After that, it was impossible to get responses from them regarding any concerns. I would call, send emails… no acknowledgment of my communication. I am concerned if I have a problem, am I a priority. I would not recommend this company.” — John Blake via Google Reviews
“This was 5-star service all around. David made the initial process of learning about the benefits of solar, if I was a good candidate, and what the pricing and system would look like very easy to understand. The installation process from start to finish was easy as well. I always received calls from Trinity with an update and what my next steps were. Once complete, the package I received to help me determine what steps needed to be taken to get my tax benefits and credits made that process super easy.” — Nicole Bienstock via Google Reviews
Our Pick for Best Customer Experience – SunPower
While both companies have some customer support issues due to their large size, we have to go with SunPower as the winner when it comes to the overall customer experience. SunPower has more positive reviews and fewer complaints about serious issues like warranty claim problems.
Final Verdict: SunPower Vs. Trinity Solar
SunPower and Trinity Solar are both good companies, but we’d recommend SunPower over Trinity for most homeowners. SunPower delivers higher-quality equipment, better warranty coverage, and better customer service in general.
The table below provides some quick information to help you decide between these two providers.
Our Top Pick: SunPower
Overall, we’d recommend SunPower over Trinity Solar for most homeowners. SunPower has superior products, warranties, and service in most cases. Although it costs more than Trinity, most solar customers will find that the added investment is worth it.