Vivint Solar Reviews (Is Vivint Legit in 2022?)

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:

  • Is there a lawsuit against Vivint?
  • What’re the costs to expect if you choose Vivint solar?
  • Who owns Vivint?
Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister

Updated 6/27/2022

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2022 Vivint Solar Reviews: Is Vivint Legit?

Many consider Vivint to be one of the industry’s top solar companies due to its massive growth, but what do Vivint Solar reviews have to say about the company’s customer service as it expands? As it turns out, all that glitters is not gold.

In this article, we’ll walk through the pros and cons of Vivint and help you decide whether this is the best company for your solar installation. If you find Vivint isn’t a great choice for you, below are a few other companies we recommend. Click the links to start comparing quotes.

Best National Provider
Badge icon

Nationwide Service

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

SunPower

  • Pros icon Most efficient panels on the market
  • Pros icon National coverage
  • Pros icon Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Pros icon Great warranty coverage
  • Con icon Expensive
  • Con icon Customer service varies by local dealer

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Solar Batteries
  • Service icon EV Chargers
  • Service icon System Monitoring
Best Solar Financing
Badge icon

Regional Service

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

Blue Raven Solar

  • Pros icon Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Pros icon Competitive pricing
  • Pros icon Excellent reputation
  • Con icon Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon System Monitoring
Best Warranty Coverage
Badge icon

Regional Service

Ecowatch rating

Average cost

$$$$$

Sunpro Solar

  • Pros icon Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Pros icon Expansive service area
  • Con icon Some reported communication issues
  • Con icon No leases or PPAs

Services Offered

  • Service icon Solar Panels
  • Service icon Solar Batteries
  • Service icon EV Chargers
  • Service icon Energy-Efficiency Upgrades

Jump To: Overview of Vivint | Services and Installation  | Costs & Financing | Customer Reviews [VIDEO] | Our Take | Solar Providers Comparison

Vivint Solar Overview

Vivint Solar is a full-service solar provider offering consultations, custom designs and residential solar installations.

Founded in 2011, Vivint’s mission is to provide homeowners with simple and affordable clean energy. The company made an early splash in the industry with its modern approach to solar, bringing systems to a whopping 500,000 homes across the country in less than a decade. Its growth attracted the attention of Sunrun, which acquired Vivint in October of 2020.

Vivint Solar
Year Started 2011
Service Areas 22 states, including AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, HI, IL, MD, MA, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, PA, RI, SC, TX, UT, VT, VA
Service Types Solar panels, backup batteries, energy efficiency packages, electric vehicle chargers
Types of Panels Sold Black-on-black monocrystalline LG solar panels
Backup Battery Options Yes, LG Chem and Tesla Powerwall
Certifications North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) technicians
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating B+ with no accreditation 

Vivint’s swift success was mainly due to its commission-based direct-to-home sales network, which is able to recruit large numbers of salespeople that go door to door throughout Vivint’s service area of 22 states. But how did this method live up to the company’s mission of simple and affordable solar energy? Not so well. 

Vivint’s loose sales structure allowed salespeople to advertise misleading concepts like “free solar panels,” and many unassuming customers signed contracts unaware they were locking into a 20-year lease with hefty cancellation fees. To make a long story short, the company is facing some lawsuits for its misleading sales practices, and there are thousands of scathing Vivint Solar reviews online. 

Though Vivint’s sales practices have been troubling, this review will cover all of what makes Vivint Solar unique. For some, Vivint has been a good choice. Our point remains, however, that if you’re considering solar with Vivint, be sure to do your research and understand what you’re buying into — and what else is out there.

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Vivint Solar Services and Installation

Vivint Solar provides exclusively residential solar panel services including solar panels, backup solar batteries, EV chargers and energy efficiency packages. Vivint’s full spectrum of services allows for a highly customized experience with some of the finest solar equipment on the market.

Vivint Solar Equipment

Vivint exclusively offers monocrystalline PV solar panels with passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) solar cells, as it believes these are the most efficient solar panels on the market.  PERC panels are typically the best type of solar panel for any residential installation, especially when roof space is more limited. 

Vivint’s biggest brand partner is LG, which is known for manufacturing quality, high-efficiency solar panels and the LG Chem battery — one of the best on the market. Vivint also provides Tesla Powerwalls for some customers. These devices are all compatible with Vivint’s solar and SmartHome options, which can put you in full control of your home’s energy.

Solar Panel Warranty

Man installing a new solar panel on a roofVivint offers a fairly standard warranty when compared to similar solar providers. The warranty is broken down as follows:

  • 10-year workmanship warranty covering any damages to your home or solar system resulting from improper installation
  • 25-year linear performance warranty ensuring your panels and solar equipment are generating or retaining power at or above a specified degradation rate

Basically, the linear performance warranty is a production guarantee that factors the decline in output that all solar panels experience over time.

All other warranties (such as panels, batteries and inverters) are product-specific, but are guaranteed to be at least 10 years. 

Vivint Solar Costs and Financing

As we like to mention in our solar articles, bigger companies do not always offer more affordable systems. Vivint is known for its above-average costs due to the customization, technology and quality of products offered. If the low-seeming cost of a solar lease appeals to you, we encourage you to look into financing options for purchasing panels through a local solar provider instead. 

Financing Options Through Vivint Solar

As a provider focused only on residential solar installations, Vivint’s financing options revolve more around solar leases and purchase power agreements (PPAs). It’s still possible to purchase a system through Vivint, but most of its salespeople are known to encourage PPAs. Here is the full spectrum of financing options available through Vivint. 

Cash Purchase Solar Loan Solar Lease Solar PPA
System ownership You You Vivint Solar Vivint Solar
Maintenance included No No Yes Yes
Upfront cost Yes No No No
Added property value Yes Yes No No
Eligible for tax credit Yes Yes No No
Payment due to None Third-party loan vender Vivint Solar Vivint Solar

It is important to remember that when you get your solar through a lease or PPA, you will have two monthly energy bills — one from your utility company and one from Vivint Solar. Most companies issuing solar leases have a guarantee written into the contract that your total monthly energy payments will be below what they were previous to installing solar. Vivint does not offer this same guarantee.

Vivint Solar Reviews

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Vivint Solar’s services and products, let’s get into Vivint’s customer experience. This is where Vivint has run into some trouble. Due to its commission-based, remote sales structure, many salespeople focus only on securing the sale before moving onto the next potential client. They aren’t incentivized to deal with any issues post-sale. Though this has allowed Vivint to grow rapidly, most of this growth resulted from unrealistic expectations set by salespeople. 

In the worst Vivint Solar reviews, customers claim to have been tricked into signing a contract after being advertised free solar panels on their home. Sadly, thousands of Vivint customers have experienced either deceptive sales or increases in their energy bills after signing a lease or PPA with Vivint. What’s worse, cancelling a Vivint contract early can cost over $20,000. Many innocent customers were, and are still, trapped in bad contracts laid out by unethical sales tactics. 

Let’s look at both sides of the coin:

Negative Vivint Reviews

Negative Vivint reviews (of which there are many) typically mention customers feeling they were deceived, locked into bad contracts or that the product installed did not perform as expected. Here are a few that we found particularly revealing. 

“It took Vivint Solar five months before my system was installed. System was not up and running, and it has failed inspection twice. I then found out the system was not producing. I have called different reps in the company only to get the runaround. I have not received a single call back. I wish I had never signed with this company. They are unreliable and not trustworthy.” — Juan via BBB

Vivint is by far the worst company of any kind I have ever had the misfortune to deal with. They installed panels on my roof in no time and cashed their check quickly. Six months later, I still have ZERO electricity generated and no timetable for when I might possibly have my system online. It is impossible to talk to anyone who knows anything about anything. They are a scam, not a company.” — Terry via Trustpilot

One former Vivint salesperson even quit the company after having such a poor experience with his home’s installation:

Positive Vivint Reviews

This is not to say that all Vivint customers have had bad experiences. Some who have done their research, opted to purchase systems and customized their systems found exactly what they were looking for.

We couldn’t help but chuckle at this customer who felt they needed to add that they weren’t lied to:

“We have solar in our house in Maryland with Vivint and we have the home security system, too. We [love] it. Our rep was great and never lied about anything to me! Happy Vivint customer.” — Julia via Yelp

Our Take on Vivint Solar

We’d like to tell you that after having class-action lawsuits filed against it, Vivint has changed its ways and instilled the importance of proper education and realistic expectations into the solar sales process, but we like to let customers speak for themselves. Vivint Solar has well over 2,000 customer complaints filed against it through the BBB.

Vivint has helped the solar industry make strides in modernization, customization and overall volume of solar installed, but we cannot in good conscience recommend Vivint Solar to our readers. Deceptive sales practices can give the entire solar industry a bad reputation for being a money-grab or a method to take advantage of customers burdened by high energy costs. 

Vivint Solar Pros Vivint Solar Cons
Virtual consultations, design studios Poor reputation 
Wide range of services Customer service
Customizable 
Leases, PPA offered

In our research, we found the most frequently asked questions about Vivint Solar to revolve around whether the company is a scam or a pyramid scheme. This is revealing about the overall sentiment among prospective solar customers. 

However, if you are still interested in Vivint Solar, we encourage you to read your contract closely and specifically ask what happens if your solar system doesn’t produce as promised. We also recommend talking to a few other solar companies whose customers have better things to report. You can connect with reputable solar representatives by clicking below.

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Solar Energy Provider Comparison

To put all this in context, let’s line Vivint Solar up with some of its main competitors. 

Vivint Solar SunPower ADT Solar (formerly Sunpro)
Year Started 2011 1985 2008
Services Offered Solar panel installation, battery installation, monitoring Solar panel installation, battery installation, monitoring Solar panel installation, battery installation, monitoring
Service Areas AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, HI, IL, MA, MD, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, PA, RI, SC, TX, UT, VA, VT All 50 States AZ, AR, CA, FL, GA, IL, IA, KS, LA, MS, MO, NE, NV, NM, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA
BBB Rating B+ A+ A
Payment Options Cash, loan, lease, PPA Cash, loan, lease Cash, loan 
Learn More Get Quote SunPower Review Sunpro Solar Review

FAQ: Vivint Solar

Here are the most common questions we get about Tesla solar products. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at solar@ecowatch.com.

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Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten Neumeister is a solar energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the renewable energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on solar energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.