Tesla Solar Vs. Trinity Solar: Which Company Is Better?
By Dan Simms /
Here’s what we’ll cover in this solar provider comparison:
The company you choose to handle your solar panel installation will affect your entire experience from initial consultation to long past the installation process. The installer has an impact on your cost, warranty coverage, system longevity and much more.
If you’re researching solar companies to handle your home energy system installation, you’ve probably come across Tesla Solar and ADT Solar as two prominent options. Both companies have their upsides and drawbacks, so it can be tough to choose which is best for your needs.
In this article, we’ll offer some insight into which company has the edge. We’ll compare these providers based on some crucial data points and explain why we generally recommend ADT Solar over Tesla Solar.
Tesla Solar and ADT Solar both provide wide coverage, and they’re among the most popular renewable energy companies in the U.S. We feel it’s necessary to compare these companies, as many customers will likely have one or both of these providers on their lists of potential companies to hire for solar power conversion.
|Company||Brand Is Best For||Price||Warranty Coverage||States Served||BBB Rating||Payment Options||Solar Services Offered|
|Tesla Solar||Wide Coverage Area and Affordability||$$||25-year equipment, |
10-year workmanship warranties
|50 states||B||Cash, loan||Solar panels, |
solar battery backups,
solar roof tiles,
solar system monitoring
|ADT Solar||System Customization and Coverage||$$$||25-year equipment, |
power production and workmanship warranties
|23 states |
(expanding to 5 more)
|B+||Cash, loan, solar lease, PPA||Solar panels, |
Tesla was founded in 2003. While it’s primarily focused on luxury electric vehicles (EVs), it also manufactures tier-one monocrystalline solar panels and some of the best clean energy storage systems in the industry — the Tesla Powerwall.
In 2016, Tesla purchased SolarCity, another of Elon Musk’s companies. Since then, it has provided solar services to the entire country through third-party installers.
Tesla is far from the best solar company in the country, but it’s one of the most popular and an overall great option for converting to solar power.
Formerly known as Sunpro Solar, the company provided high-quality solar equipment and positive customer service experiences starting in 2008. In 2021, Sunpro was purchased by the home security company ADT, and has been rebranded to ADT Solar.
ADT Solar is best known for its outstanding warranty coverage and affordable solar equipment.
ADT Solar doesn’t have as large a coverage area as Tesla, but it does perform some in-house installations, which helps maintain better customer service overall.
The price of your rooftop solar energy system will always be an important thing to consider. What many homeowners don’t realize is that installation costs vary among providers, even for equivalent or identical systems. We’ll discuss why below, as well as provide information on where Tesla and ADT Solar fall in terms of solar panel system costs.
One major reason prices vary between providers is the equipment offered. Some solar panel companies provide higher-quality equipment than others that may also be backed by lengthier and more comprehensive warranties. Naturally, these companies will have slightly higher average prices.
Companies can also charge different prices for labor, which can swing totals up or down by thousands of dollars in some cases. Companies like Tesla tend to be a bit cheaper than competitors because they outsource the installation, allowing them to keep labor costs down.
Finally, the financing options available can affect what you pay upfront and over time. Companies that only accept cash purchases and loans will provide greater energy savings in the long run but will be more costly upfront than those that also accept solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs).
Tesla only installs its own equipment. At the list prices, Tesla’s solar panels, solar roof shingles, electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries to cover outages are quite expensive. However, Tesla offers price matching, which means that, in practice, its costs remain low.
ADT Solar installs equipment from the following manufacturers:
The solar power systems from ADT Solar are also high quality. However, the company’s prices are a bit higher than Tesla’s, especially since it doesn’t offer price matching.
Tesla will match the prices of equivalent systems from competitors, which means it will often be cheaper than ADT. The quality of the equipment offered by these companies is also similar, so Tesla is the better option overall based on cost. However, if you’re looking for no-money-down options, ADT’s leases and PPAs might suit you better.
Solar warranties are essential for ensuring your system is protected and functions as it should following installation.
Tesla provides a 25-year solar product warranty for the equipment, which is standard. However, it doesn’t provide a performance warranty, and its workmanship warranty only lasts for 10 years. This is below the solar industry standard.
ADT Solar has one of the best warranty packages available for home solar energy systems. It offers 25-year solar panel manufacturer and Enphase microinverter warranties and 25-year warranties for energy production and workmanship.
ADT Solar offers a much better warranty package than Tesla. If you’re looking for guaranteed performance and peace of mind, ADT is very likely the best option.
The states covered by a solar company are important to think about, as many companies don’t have a nationwide footprint. If a company doesn’t serve your area, you can save yourself some time and effort by eliminating it from the get-go.
Tesla has a massive network of third-party installers. While this leads to poor customer service in some cases, it also means the company is able to serve all 50 states.
As of this writing, ADT Solar serves 23 states:
ADT is still expanding, though, and is scheduled to move into the following states in the near future:
From a coverage area standpoint, Tesla is the clear winner. This company provides solar installations across the entire country through its network of installers.
Countless solar customers focus a lot of attention on the average cost of their solar systems and fail to consider solar panel performance. How well your solar panels perform can affect your up-front costs and long-term savings on your electric bills, especially if you have high energy consumption or low home energy efficiency.
Tesla doesn’t post efficiency ratings or power output for its solar cells, but it’s believed that they are about as efficient as other tier-one panel brands. They’re rated very highly and usually produce plenty of electricity to meet customers’ energy needs.
ADT Solar provides a variety of solar panels from several manufacturers. Generally speaking, all brands offered by ADT are about on par with the solar panels manufactured by Tesla. Tesla Powerwalls are one of the top-rated solar batteries, but ADT also installs these.
Tesla and ADT are about tied in terms of solar panel performance, coming in just under the Maxeon panels offered by SunPower — the best in the industry. You’ll have to turn to other metrics to decide which company is right for you.
The customer service provided by a solar company can affect your experience but also how much money you save over time. If panels or other pieces of equipment fail, the company’s response to the warranty claim could dictate how much you lose in energy savings.
Below, we’ll explain how these companies stack up against one another in terms of service and customer support.
Tesla Solar is strictly a manufacturer and outsources installations to certified third-party companies. While this lets the company maintain nationwide coverage, it also leads to poor customer service in some instances.
Negative reviews for Tesla mostly mention:
Tesla also gets plenty of positive reviews, so it’s clear that the overall experience depends on which installer is assigned to your project. Below are some reviews that help illuminate the two different kinds of service you could get from this company.
“From beginning to end the process went perfectly. I liked that all the documents could be signed online. No back and forth paperwork. They showed up on time on the day of installation. They installed the whole system in one day. My solar has been running now for 4 months without any issues. No more high PGE bills.”
— Dustin V. via Yelp
“Literally the worst customer service experience of my life! Nothing positive to say! Signed up in March, got an email a month later saying the design was taking longer than expected. Then, last weekend, canceled my order with not even a vague explanation! My neighbor also signed up around the same time had his order canceled a day before mine after waiting 3+ months as well. Terrible! “
— David B. via Yelp
ADT Solar also gets its fair share of negative reviews, and most of them mention that the company’s massive size gets in the way of providing good, consistent service. Some common complaints include:
Similar to Tesla, ADT Solar’s service seems to be dependent on the representative you get. Some customers are thrilled with the service, while others find it disappointing. Some customers even mention that the company is willing to help take advantage of solar incentives, like the federal tax credit.
We’ll include some reviews for ADT Solar/Sunpro below.
“Great company. They took the time to figure out what I needed and walked me through the whole process. I’ve had the [system] for a few years now and couldn’t be happier. [Energy savings] after the install [are] amazing. Had an issue today, spoke with [the company representative]. He was friendly and knowledgeable. Listened to my question and helped with my issue. Definitely one of the best customer service experiences I’ve had.”
— James L. via Better Business Bureau (BBB)
“The whole process was painful and took three times for them to install … the panels stopped working after two months and there isn’t any customer support that answers the phone and it doesn’t seem they care … would not recommend this business … I think they are scam artists!”
— Dan B. via BBB
Neither Tesla nor ADT Solar is the best solar company for customer service, as both have their ups and downs according to reviews. We’d have to rank both of these companies about equal when it comes to the experience you’re likely to have as their customers. However, it seems you have a slightly better chance of getting good service from ADT Solar.
Both of these companies are decent options for solar energy system installation. You’ll receive lower prices from Tesla in most cases and generally better customer service from ADT Solar, although neither of these is a guarantee. The table below includes additional information to help you make your decision.
We generally recommend ADT Solar over Tesla for a few reasons. First, ADT Solar has far superior warranty coverage. Second, it has a somewhat better customer service record. Finally, ADT provides system customization options and offers solar leases and PPAs for solar installations with low up-front payments.
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