Review for SunPower
Do not use SunPower - “warranty” is worthless when they dela
We live in Southern California and signed a lease with SunPower through a local installation company. We liked our installation company, but since installation 3 years ago, our system has been down 5-6 times (and even though the system is connected to the internet it does NOT notify you or them when it is down, so several times it had already been down for a week when my husband happened to be in the garage and notice there was an error message). It has been down over 10% of the time that it has been on our roof. While initially our local company/installation company handled our repairs, it has broken so many times (including replacing the inverter twice and replacing all the panels), that they say they can no longer handle our repairs and we are now being referred to the parent company, SunPower.
Unfortunately, SunPower is unresponsive and has zero customer service. Our system most recently has been down for over 30 days, we have called multiple times and been told we are on their "high priority list." Heaven help those not on the high priority list, because even that took 3 weeks to get a team out to even look at it. It has been 10 days since then and we still had not heard anything from SunPower. We are currently paying $160/month for a solar system that doesn't work, on top of exorbitant SDG&E prices because our solar system is down in the middle of summer. We finally got a call back after multiple calls and emails over 10 days, just to be told they still haven't received a report from the technicians, they don't know what the problem is and they don't have an ETA to fix it. They said "maybe" 2-4 weeks to finalize the report and determine the issue and then they can start planning a repair - this would mean our system will be down for 6-8 weeks by the time they even TRY to fix it.
The lease provides a guarantee that SunPower will reimburse for any underproduction at the end of the year. It sounded like a great guarantee when we signed the lease. Here's the catch: they reimburse at the lowest cost of electricity (tier 1 currently $0.14 per kW) and when your solar panels are not working or are significantly underproducing the issue is not the tier 1 charges, but the tier 3 charges (currently $0.55 per kW). With this summer having heat in the 100s and our panels out we have had two $500-$1000 electric bills that would have been significantly lower had our panels been producing and the charges had stayed in tier 1 and tier 2 levels. The $200-300 we will get in exchange at tier 1 rates does not really make up for the underproduction. SunPower should install products that properly work and maintain them so they do not need to utilize the guarantee or should reimburse at the tier 3 levels.
I do not recommend signing a lease with SunPower. They do not stand behind their product, they refuse to make repairs on the system we are paying to lease. Find a different solar leasing company that stands behind their product.
UPDATE 9/19/18: They finally fixed our system - it was down for almost 2 months before they fixed it. Given the number of breakdowns, two inverter replacements and replacement of all the panels, we requested a provision added to the lease regarding expectations on timeline for repairs and possible termination of lease if they do not meet these expectations (not an unreasonable request given our experience with them). They refused stating "there is no provision in your lease to terminate due to equipment failure...SunPower will not provide any further consideration relative to termination of your lease" So just FYI thats how much they stand behind their products.