Diablo Solar Review: Costs, Quality, Services & More (2023)
Here’s what we’ll cover in this article on Diablo Solar:
- Is Diablo Solar a legit company?
- What does the installation process look like with Diablo Solar?
- Is Diablo Solar expensive?
- What do customers have to say about Diablo Solar?
Each product and or company featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
If you’re thinking about going solar in California, chances are you’ve come across countless solar installers that service your area, making deciding which to choose challenging. Our Diablo Solar review below should help you decide if this is a worthwhile solar company to consider or if you should look elsewhere for service.
We’ll dive into the company’s services, product offerings, customer service and more to help you make your decision.
Is Diablo Solar a Good Solar Company?
Diablo Solar is a decent solar company that serves central California around the greater East Bay area and Napa. The company has average pricing and customer service reviews, but doesn’t offer additional warranty protection (only the manufacturer warranties) and offers limited solar services.
However, Diablo Solar brings local experience and outstanding financing options to the table, making the company an appealing choice for many Californians.
What Should You Know About Diablo Solar?
Diablo Solar Services Inc. was founded in 1984 and has since remained a small local company serving the western part of central California, so it has amassed extensive local knowledge and experience providing California solar customers with exactly what they need. The company specializes in solar panel installation and solar heating systems for pools.
The customer service from the first contact through installation is outstanding for most customers, although the response times after installation have been a sticking point. The company only provides the manufacturer’s warranty for its products, which is another significant downside.
|Diablo Solar Fast Facts|
|Service Areas||Central California|
|Services Offered||Solar panel installation and solar pool heating systems|
|Types of Solar Equipment Offered||SMA, SolarEdge, Solar World, LG, Enphase, Hanwha, Sunviva, FAFCO, UMA|
|Certifications||Technicians certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP); accreditation by the Better Business Bureau|
|Better Business Bureau Rating||A+|
Diablo Solar Services and Installation
The process of installing solar panels or a solar pool heating system with Diablo Solar is very straightforward. Below, we’ll provide a breakdown of the process to help you better understand what you can expect from this company, plus a look at the kind of customer service the company will likely provide.
Solar Installation Experience
The process of installing solar panels is generally quite similar among different installers, with some minor differences. Below is the process you can expect when going solar with Diablo Solar.
Step 1: Request a Free Solar Quote and Consultation
The first step will be to fill out the contact form found on the company’s website. The form requires just basic contact information. A salesperson will reach out to you shortly thereafter to discuss additional details. You should have your most recent electric bill handy and be prepared to talk about your average monthly energy consumption, your home’s energy efficiency, the appliances you use most often and your heating and cooling equipment.
Step 2: Home Inspection
Most of the time, Diablo Solar will have a technician come out to your house to confirm the information you provided during the initial call and to inspect your property. They will likely take roof measurements, and might need access to your electric panel and your water main. The information gathered during this inspection will help the Diablo Solar team determine where to install equipment and the best solar equipment brands for your purposes.
Step 3: Design and Installation
Next, someone from the Diablo Solar design team will design a solar power system that suits your energy needs and fits on your property. You will be tasked with signing off on the final design, after which the company will pull permits for your solar project. Permits can take several weeks to be approved.
Once the permits are approved, Diablo Solar will reach out to you to schedule an installation date. The installation process typically takes just a day or two.
Step 4: System Activation
Finally, your project manager will have the installation team commission your solar system (the industry term for turning it on). Once your solar PV system is activated, your solar panels will start to produce electricity, and you should begin to see energy savings.
Diablo Solar Customer Service
Diablo Solar has excellent customer service from the first phone call through the installation and commissioning of your solar electric system. Unfortunately, the company sometimes falls short when it comes to delivering a positive customer experience after the installation process is complete, which can include taking advantage of solar incentives. Some customers have expressed issues with using warranties, and others have stated that communication ranges from limited to nonexistent after the installation is completed.
Diablo Solar Costs and Financing
The cost to install solar panels varies quite a bit from customer to customer, as the pricing is based on factors like monthly energy consumption, the direction your roof faces, shading on your property and much more. That being said, the average cost per watt for solar panels is around $2.66, and Diablo’s pricing is usually right in line with this figure.
While the price of going solar with Diablo is around the average, you should take into account the limited warranty coverage you get and the quality of the customer service, which is generally good leading up to installation but can be lacking afterward.
Diablo Solar offers a wide range of financing options to make solar affordable and accessible to most homeowners. It accepts cash purchases and a variety of solar loans, but it doesn’t accept solar leases or power purchase agreements (PPAs). Solar leases and PPAs aren’t typically recommended anyway, as they are far less beneficial for most homeowners than the $0-down financing options Diablo Solar offers.
Financing Options Through Diablo Solar
The table below provides a brief breakdown of how the payment and financing options offered by Diablo Solar stack up.
|Cash Purchase||Solar Loan|
|Added Property Value||✓||✓|
|Eligible for Tax Credit||✓||✓|
|Payment Due to||Solar Installer||Loan Provider|
Not sure what financing option is right for you and your budget? Our solar financing guide should help you decide which is the best option.
Diablo Solar Solar Panel Warranty
Solar panel warranties usually either cover the equipment or the labor involved in installing it. Equipment warranties can protect your solar panel system from physical damage or guarantee a specific energy production for a certain number of years. Labor warranties cover the workmanship and guarantee coverage for any issues that arise because of the installation process.
Diablo Solar only provides the manufacturer’s warranty for physical damage and energy production, which can range from 12 to 25 years, depending on the type of equipment — usually panels, inverters, solar batteries or solar pool heating components. Unfortunately, you will not get a workmanship warranty from Diablo Solar, so issues like roof leaks will not be covered.
Diablo Solar Reviews
Many prospective solar customers turn to solar reviews for an unbiased look at a company and an idea of the kind of customer service they can expect. Below, we’ll include some positive and negative reviews of Diablo Solar to help you decide if this is the company for you.
Positive Diablo Solar Reviews
There are quite a few positive reviews for Diablo Solar online. Many convey that the customer service provided by the company is excellent and that the systems installed have saved money on electric bills as expected. Below are some of the positive reviews we found online.
“I was looking for a solar photovoltaic company for my home. A main criterion was that the company be reputable and have a long track record. […] [Diablo Solar is] professional and looks out for its customers. Unexpectedly, a few of the American-made solar panels used failed, but Diablo Solar stood by the customer and obtained new panels to replace them under the 25 year warranty. I can’t say enough about the company and employees.” — Henry via Google Reviews
“We have been customers for 20 years. Recently, [we] needed to have new pool panels put in. Wonderful experience with Daryl and his installation team. Service was top notch. Thank you, Diablo Solar!” — Shari via Google Reviews
Negative Diablo Solar Reviews
As with many companies, Diablo has quite a few negative reviews. Most of the negative feedback relates to a lack of communication if issues arise after installation, and numerous reviews mention regular problems with solar pool heating systems. Below are some typical negative reviews for Diablo Solar.
“We have been customers for over 20 years and have installed two sets of pool heating panels over the years. Virtually every year there is a leak in one or more of the panels. Diablo has been good at honoring the warranties, so the repairs have not cost anything, and this is the reason for a second star in this review. The issue is why there consistently are so many failures, even when the panels have always been properly winterized.” — Greg via Google Reviews
“We have been a customer of Diablo Solar Services for over 35 years having two sets of swimming pool solar panels. It is time once again to have the panels replaced. I called a dozen times and I never had a response or reply to any of my telephone calls. This company should be crossed off your list of potential vendors. We found another company that replied promptly. Obviously they don’t care about their old customers.” — Roger via Google Reviews
Solar Energy Provider Comparison
Wondering how Diablo Solar stacks up against some of the best national solar companies in the country? The below table provides a side-by-side look at Diablo and two of the highest-rated installers, SunPower and Momentum Solar.
|Diablo Solar||SunPower||Momentum Solar|
|Services Offered||Solar panel installations and solar pool heating systems||Solar panel; solar battery and EV charger installations; solar monitoring||Solar panel and solar battery installations|
|Service Areas||Central California||Nationwide||11 States|
|Payment Options||Cash payments, solar loans||Cash payments, solar loans, solar leases, PPAs||Cash payments, solar loans, solar leases, PPAs|
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the questions we get most often from solar customers. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diablo Solar is a legitimate company that has been serving the East Bay area in California for decades. The company has a long history in the solar industry and countless success stories behind it. That being said, many customers have had issues with company communication after the installation process has been completed, and some state that the overall value provided by Diablo Solar isn’t worth the investment.
Diablo Solar has average pricing compared to most other solar installers. The customer service provided is a bit below average, but the financing options and solar equipment brands offered are excellent. Generally speaking, the service from Diablo Solar is a good deal, although there are better companies you can choose from.
In most cases, yes. Diablo Solar’s solar panels are of high quality, which means they should significantly reduce your electric bills with their energy production. Given California’s excellent net metering policy, many customers will even be able to eliminate their energy bills.
Diablo Solar falls somewhere in the middle of solar installers in terms of pricing. The cost is around average, as is the value provided.
Diablo Solar has been a small, local company since 1984 in the Bay Area of California, including Alameda, San Francisco, Walnut Creek and more. Its current headquarters is located at 5021 Blum Road #2 in Martinez, California.