ADT Solar (Sunpro) Vs. Vivint: Which Company Is Better?
By Dan Simms /
Here’s what we’ll cover in this solar provider comparison:
EcoWatch has helped thousands of homeowners find the best option for their own homes to go solar, saving them time, money, and headache in the process.
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.
Along with Sunrun, SunPower, ADT Solar (formerly Sunpro), and Blue Raven, Tesla Solar and Momentum Solar are two of the largest and most popular solar providers in the U.S.
Naturally, that means they’ll be among the top picks for countless homeowners looking to go solar in America. We think it’s important to provide as much information on these companies as possible, as the impact of your decision on which company to go with will be significant.
|Company||Brand Is Best For||Price||Warranty Coverage||States Served||BBB Rating||Payment Options||Solar Services Offered|
|Tesla Solar||Wide Coverage Area and Affordability||$$||25-year equipment, 10-year workmanship warranties||50 states||C-||Cash, solar loan||Solar panels, backup batteries and EV charger installations; solar shingles, solar system monitoring|
|Momentum Solar||Positive customer experience||$$$||25-year equipment and workmanship warranties||11 states||A+||Cash, solar loan, lease, PPA||Solar panels and backup battery installations|
Tesla was founded by Elon Musk in California in 2003, and it has since grown from exclusively an electric vehicle (EV) company into a clean energy conglomerate.
Tesla has been manufacturing Tesla Powerwalls, a popular energy storage system, since 2015. The Powerwall II is one of the best and largest-capacity solar batteries in the industry.
The company purchased SolarCity in 2016 and has since become a primary manufacturer of rooftop solar panels and solar roof shingles as well.
Tesla services the entire country by outsourcing installations to third-party installers. This allows for a massive service area but also leads to suboptimal customer service for many customers.
Momentum Solar maintains an excellent reputation in the solar industry for its concierge service, which promises a single point of contact for each customer throughout the entire process. This helps the company maintain positive customer experiences, although it does fall short in some cases.
The concierge service is also what allows Momentum to help customers take advantage of local solar incentives and rebates despite being a large company. The company’s approach means a more personalized experience, which is a high priority for many customers.
The company was founded in 2009 so has over a decade of experience. It’s one of the most reliable regional installers in the country.
The average cost of solar panels in the U.S. is around $25,000, but your choice of the installer can bring that total up or down quite a lot. In the sections below, we’ll explain why prices vary so much from installer to installer and where Tesla and Momentum fall in relation to the average cost.
Every solar installer carries equipment made by specific panel manufacturers. The quality and efficiency of the panels you have installed on your home will affect your upfront costs, but they can also determine how much of your energy consumption you offset and what size rooftop system can meet your energy needs.
Credit: 8510670 / Pixabay
High-efficiency panels are often well worth the investment, especially if you have a small roof or don’t have access to net metering from your utility company.
The financing options offered by a solar panel company can also have an impact on your upfront and overall pricing and energy savings. The options and tradeoffs are as follows:
Tesla’s solar panels and other solar equipment are quite expensive if you purchase them at the offered price. However, the company is famous for price matching. If you find a competitor that provides a product with equivalent efficiency for less, Tesla will match the price. This means most Tesla Solar customers will pay the average price or below for a solar panel system.
Momentum Solar offers a more personalized approach to solar equipment, so you can choose from many different brands with different performance levels. These typically include photovoltaic (PV) brands like QCells, Silfab, Panasonic and more. Momentum also sells Enphase microinverters, the best inverters in the business.
However, the lack of price matching means you may pay more for the same quality if you go with Momentum.
Tesla will usually have lower prices than Momentum because the company matches competitor prices. From a total cost standpoint, Tesla prevails. However, Momentum Solar accepts solar leases and PPAs, which help keep upfront costs to a minimum.
Most solar power equipment comes with warranties that help protect your investment. Tesla, for example, offers a 25-year warranty for its equipment and 10 years of coverage for the workmanship during solar panel installation. The workmanship warranty is below the industry standard.
Momentum Solar provides a slightly better warranty package that covers the equipment and installation for 25 years. You also get the manufacturer’s warranty, which is usually good for between 10 and 25 years, depending on the brand of solar panel you choose.
Unfortunately, neither company provides a performance warranty to ensure that the panel efficiency doesn’t degrade too quickly.
Momentum Solar has a more comprehensive warranty. It matches Tesla’s equipment warranty but provides an additional 15 years of coverage for the workmanship. Momentum Solar also has a better reputation when it comes to customer service, so you’re more likely to get a response to your warranty claim in a timely manner with this company.
Most solar companies have dedicated cities or states in which they operate. If an installer doesn’t serve your area, you can save yourself time and energy by crossing it off your research list, as it won’t be able to install panels on your home anyway. Companies with larger service areas will appeal more to some customers, while others prefer local or regional installers.
Tesla uses a massive network of certified third-party installers rather than an in-house team to install its solar products, so it acts only as a manufacturer and middleman for your installer. While this leads to some issues with communication, it also means the company can serve all 50 states.
Momentum Solar’s service area spans from coast to coast as well, but it only serves eleven states total. These include:
Tesla is available in all 50 states and covers almost five times the area that Momentum does, making Tesla the better option in terms of the service area.
Solar panel performance is an important consideration because it affects your power production, which, in turn, has an impact on how much you can save on your electric bills.
Tesla doesn’t publish how energy efficient its panels are or their degradation information, but these products are considered great tier-one panel options. They’re all low-profile and monocrystalline, and they produce plenty of power for most homeowners to offset energy bills.
Courtesy: Tesla Solar
Momentum Solar also installs tier-one panels. While the efficiency standards vary among the brands available, they’re all about equal to what you can expect from Tesla’s products.
Tesla and Momentum provide different panel brands, but all of the options are about equal in performance.
Customer support is another important metric you should use to compare solar installation companies. Not only can great service and fast response times give you a good overall experience, it can also mean the difference between warranty claims being promptly addressed and being put off.
Below, we’ll provide some information on the service you can expect from Tesla and Momentum.
Tesla outsources the installation process for all solar energy systems, so the customer experience varies wildly depending on the installer you get.
Some customers are quite pleased with response times and professionalism. Positive reviews often mention installation flexibility, the knowledgeability of the installers, and good communication from the technicians.
Some negative reviews include issues like:
Below are some customer reviews for Tesla to give you an idea of these experiences in practice.
“Tesla…Solar came through and delivered for us! We had obtained several estimates over the years [but] were a bit skeptical about solar and really offsetting our electric bill. We’ve had the solar system running for almost a month now and it’s working great! The app is showing us our energy production and we are starting to see a difference in our bill. Installation was smooth and professional and the company took care of everything for me when it came to getting approval from our HOA.” — Mark M. via Yelp
“Missing transparency. Trust factor is negative. Bunch of liars. Placed order [on] Nov 21. Inspection happened after 3 months, just a week before installation. Outcome was the main electric panel had to be replaced and cannot proceed further. Got a new quote in March end and I accepted the changes in March. Again waited for 2 months. Notification came that our system design has changed. Prices on the main electric panel changed. Prices increased due to their inability to deliver on time but the customer has to pay…” — Mas H. via Yelp
Momentum Solar has a much better reputation for providing high-quality customer service. There are plenty of good reviews that mention things like:
Of course, the company isn’t without its negative reviews. Some customers complain that the company’s large size still leads to communication issues, despite the concierge service being in place. Many of the complaints are about aggressive sales tactics and an unwillingness to cancel contracts.
We’ll include some customer reviews for this company below to help illustrate these points.
“It’s been almost 4 years, and we have been very happy with our solar panels.Our utility bill is rarely over $100! And we don’t skimp on A/C. The workmanship was excellent: the panels were installed on a new metal roof. I appreciated the payment plan. The reason for 4 stars instead of 5: it took a few months before installation got started, and communication regarding installation was sometimes unsatisfactory. Nobody’s perfect, but Momentum comes close.” — Norma H. via Better Business Bureau (BBB)
“This company is not pleasant to do business with. They are deliberately giving me a lower-capacity inverter to increase the size of the system and increase cost and their profit. I am trying to cancel my contract and they are giving me [a] hard time. I had 10 different reps call me to stay with them. One of them threatened to put my account in collection and the second rep said I will have to pay up to $10,000 to cancel out. This is no way to do business.” — Rima P. via BBB
Neither Tesla nor Momentum is the best solar company for customer service. However, between the two, Momentum very clearly has a better reputation for providing a positive customer experience. This is largely due to the fact that installations are done by in-house staff and the company’s concierge service.
Both companies are decent options for installing solar, but neither is perfect. We do recommend Momentum Solar over Tesla for most customers, though. The table below should help explain why.
Momentum Solar is our top pick among these two companies. Although it’s not the best solar company, it provides better warranty coverage than Tesla, better customer service, and accepts more financing options to keep up-front installation costs and monthly payments down.
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