Suntuity Solar Review: Empire Solar Group Purchase & What’s Next (2024)

Suntuity Solar Review: Empire Solar Group Purchase & What’s Next (2024)

In this review of Suntuity Solar, we’ll answer the following questions:

  • Is Suntuity a legit company?
  • What does the installation process look like with Suntuity Solar?
  • Is Suntuity Solar expensive?
  • What do customers have to say about Suntuity Solar?

 

 

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Suntuity Solar is a prominent solar installer, serving seven states on the East Coast as well as Illinois and Texas.This review will explore Suntuity’s services, pros and cons, installation process and more, along with its recent purchase of Empire Solar — a Utah solar company that filed for bankruptcy.

Is Suntuity a Good Solar Company?

Formed in 2008, Suntuity has extensive experience in the U.S. solar industry. Its parent service company also has plenty of experience in installing solar systems worldwide. Suntuity offers high-efficiency solar equipment from reputable brands, so you won’t have to worry about your system’s quality. However, as reflected in online reviews, Suntuity can’t really lay claim to being among the best customer service providers in the country.

What Should You Know About Suntuity?

Suntuity Solar is a part of the Suntuity Group of companies, a conglomerate that has developed, built and managed solar energy projects around the globe. Suntuity installs residential solar panels in nine states — New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Rhode Island and Texas — as well as on the West Coast

Founded and headquartered in Holmdel, New Jersey in 2008, Suntuity has completed a remarkable 11,000 installations in its 15 years of operation. For every system installed, Suntuity makes a donation to its nonprofit organization that helps bring solar power to those in need.

Suntuity Fast Facts
Year Started 2008
Service Areas FL, IL, MA, MD, PA, NJ, SC, RI
Services Offered Solar panel, battery and EV charger installations; roofing and HVAC services; energy-efficiency upgrades; generators; electrical work; solar pool heaters; solar and geothermal heat pumps; community and agricultural solar; general contracting
Types of Solar Equipment Offered Qcells, SolarEdge, Enphase, Tesla, Generac
Certifications Association with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation; North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)-certified technicians; member of Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA); accreditation by the Better Business Bureau
Better Business Bureau Rating B
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Suntuity

Outstanding Regional Installer

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Many financing options
  • Many years of experience
  • Comprehensive service offerings
  • Makes charitable contributions

Cons

  • Makes charitable contributions
  • Some reported communication issues

Suntuity’s Purchase of Empire Solar Group

Running a solar power company can be tricky, particularly when a pandemic strikes or international supply chain woes are at their peak. In Utah, Salt Lake City’s Empire Solar — a solid installation company on paper with 15 years of experience, an exceptional warranty and operations in 14 states — faced similar troubles.

In the summer of 2021, the ailing Empire Solar partnered with Suntuity in hopes of a revival. Suntuity provided a sizable loan to Empire, but its business continued to decline. Empire had to close its doors under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding. In November 2021, Suntuity purchased Empire Solar Group’s assets, including the rights to complete installations with Empire’s existing solar customers.

For customers who have an Empire-installed system and are wondering about warranties, Suntuity states: “If your project has been assigned to Suntuity Solar, we will provide you with a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty on the panels and an industry-leading warranty on other major components.”1

Customers who financed their systems can continue making payments to the financing company, while those with a lease/PPA may need to update the contract and should contact Suntuity about needed steps at empiresupport@suntuity.com.

Suntuity Services and Installation

The list of Suntuity’s services is long, with its parent company offering everything from roofing and general contracting to HVAC (heating, ventilation and cooling) and geothermal heat pumps.

As for Suntuity Solar, it is an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) company that offers solar power systems for residential, commercial and utility customers in addition to energy storage. Suntuity also offers tree removal services for roof or ground-mounted systems (to avoid obstacles or shading).

Solar Installation Experience

Below we’ll outline the four-step process for going solar with Suntuity.

Consultation

Suntuity will size up your energy needs as reflected by your past energy bills and determine how many panels and what kind of system you need, and will answer any questions you have.

Design and permitting

If you decide to move forward with Suntuity, the company’s design team will come up with a system to generate the maximum possible power for your home or business. Suntuity will also coordinate the permitting process with your jurisdiction while applying for solar incentives and rebates on your behalf.

Installation

Once the permits are granted, Suntuity will schedule a date agreeable to you for its crew to come on-site for system installation. The company will also work with your jurisdiction to arrange for final inspection.

Activation

After passing the final inspection, your system can be activated and you are ready to start saving money on electricity.

Suntuity Customer Service

A good sales team brings customers, and a good customer service team brings a superb reputation. Suntuity has done a great job of expanding fast and ramping up its installation numbers, but its customers have reported mostly mixed experiences.

There are plenty of happy customers, but a sizable number have had a disappointing journey with Suntuity’s customer service representatives, especially post-installation.

Suntuity Costs and Financing

Being a large company, Suntuity has substantial buying power and purchases solar equipment in bulk. This allows the company to offer reasonably priced systems despite its large overhead.

Financing Options Through Suntuity

One of the pros of buying your solar panels from Suntuity for your solar project is the availability of multiple purchasing options:

Cash Purchase Solar Loan Solar Lease
System Ownership
Maintenance Included
Upfront Cost
Added Property Value
Eligible for Tax Credit
Payment Due to Solar Installer Loan Provider

There is no quick and simple formula for choosing the ideal purchasing model, and the only way to decide what’s best for you is to first understand all the options in detail. Check out our solar financing guide to learn about all the options and their pros and cons.

Suntuity Solar Panel Warranty

Suntuity offers panels from reputable solar brands and provides a 25-year warranty on photovoltaic modules. It also provides an inverter warranty of 10 to 20 years, depending on the brand and model. Suntuity provides a 10-year warranty on solar batteries.

Aside from equipment warranties, Suntuity also offers a 10-year workmanship and a separate 10-year roofing warranty. If the solar system malfunctions or your roof starts leaking in the first 10 years after installation, your system and roof are secured by the warranty. This is a notable quality because not many solar companies offer separate protection for roof leaks.

Suntuity Reviews

Suntuity’s customer reviews are mixed, and while there might be slightly more positive reviews, there is a substantial number of negative reviews.

Positive Suntuity Reviews

Let’s look at a couple of Suntuity’s positive reviews:

“Jim McGonigle with Suntuity Solar was super-helpful on the solar panel process. I can’t wait to start saving money. I loved that they use microinverters, which seem like the future of solar energy. Thanks Suntuity.”

– Drew A. via Yelp

“They [Suntuity] showed up on time for each phase of the project. They communicated the status of the project in a timely fashion and have done everything that they said they were going to do. The solar panel electricians performed the installation in a very efficient manner. They knew exactly how the system was to be installed and completed the work properly. All inspection, electrical and construction were passed the first time.”

– Ron K. via BBB

Negative Suntuity Reviews

Some of Suntuity’s negative reviews focus on experiences that went downhill after the sales phase of the process. Others reveal repeated, aggressive sales calling, even when customers have added their phone numbers to the do-not-call list. Check out these examples:

“…A project that we were told would take 3 months start to finish took 6 […] half our panels don’t work [the] majority of the time, we now have a leak in our roof from the crappy workmanship of the roofers, and just today half of the ridge vent came flying off our roof during winds. Not to mention the countless delays, the numerous days off of work for this ordeal to be completed only to get rescheduled the day of because management didn’t relay the correct information to the workers and they couldn’t complete the job…”

– Michelle via Yelp

“I get repeated telephone calls from Suntuity Group. I have asked politely to have my number removed. The calls continue. I am on all do-not-call lists available to consumers. I am not a Suntuity customer. I won’t become one given the company’s nuisance calls.”

– Deborah Z. via BBB

Solar Energy Provider Comparison

There are quite a few valid reasons to choose Suntuity, but there are also reasons not to. Below is a quick side-by-side comparison of how Suntuity stacks up against other, similar solar providers.

Suntuity Sunrun Blue Raven
EcoWatch Rating 3.5 4.0 4.5
Year Started 2008 2007 2014
Services Offered Solar panel, battery and EV charger installations; full-service home repairs and upgrades Solar panel, battery and EV charger installations; energy efficiency upgrades Solar panels; system monitoring
Service Areas FL, IL, MA, MD, PA, NJ, SC, RI 21 States and Puerto Rico 22 States
BBB Rating B A- A+
Payment Options Cash, loan, lease, PPA Cash, loan, lease, PPA Cash, loan

If you’re interested to learn more about other solar installers in your area, read our review of the best solar companies of 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at solar@ecowatch.com.

Blog author image
Article author
Aniket Bhor is a solar engineer who has spent nearly a decade studying and working in the solar power sector in the European, Asian and North American markets. He recieved his Master’s degree in Renewable Energies from Germany at Technische Fachhochschule Wildau. He has since worked in the industry in a variety of capacities including Solar Energy Consultant, Business Development Head, Solar Entrepreneurship Trainer, and more recently writing for solar organizations including Venuiti Solutions, Green Integrations, Solengy, Ecotality.com. Overall, he is a climate enthusiast and avid cyclist, and he also loves to lose himself in books and cooking.
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Expert reviewer
Andrew Dunn is a veteran journalist with more than 15 years of experience reporting and editing for local and national publications, including The Charlotte Observer and Business North Carolina magazine. His work has been recognized numerous times by the N.C. Press Association and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Andrew earned a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a certificate in business journalism and a minor in Spanish. He's also an avid outdoorsman, an Eagle Scout and volunteer leader in the Boy Scouts of America. He lives in Charlotte, N.C.