Compare Price of Massachusetts Solar Companies
With good incentives and financing coupled with supportive utility policies, Massachusetts is the hottest state in the country for solar installations. Massachusetts residents can see a solar payback of between 5 and 7 years for a decent site while a system can last 25 years or more. When choosing a solar company, price is very important but so it are the quality and service they provide. SolarCity and Vivint are the top two solar companies (by volume) in Massachusetts.
Who are SolarCity and Vivint?
Both have offices in the state, but they are headquartered in a different part of the country. SolarCity is based in San Mateo, California and Vivint is based in Provo, Utah. SolarCity entered the Massachusetts market in March 2011 while Vivint entered the Massachusetts market in February 2012. They are solar marketing engines. SolarCity, with Elon Musk as their face, has traditionally spent a lot of money marketing to prospective customers. Vivint also invests heavily in marketing, but they also are known to have solar salesman that go door-to-door.
Vivint and SolarCity are considered the Domino’s Pizza of solar installers. While they get the job done, they may not have offer the best quality or customer service – see Vivint reviews and complaints on BBB or SolarCity reviews and complaints on BBB. They have a revolving door of employees and staff which may be a reason for quality and service issues. Both Vivint and SolarCity have their own installation crews, but may also subcontract work.
How do SolarCity and Vivint’s prices compare with the average price of solar in Massachusetts?
For 2016 residential Massachusetts installations, SolarCity was at $5.24/watt while Vivint was at $4.62/watt and the state average was $4.48/watt. Both contracted at higher prices than the state average. Here I link to the raw data we used for our analysis. We suspect they are forced to quote higher prices because of their larger marketing budgets. Woodlawn Associates reported that SolarCity’s customer acquisition cost was $1 /watt deployed and $0.70/watt booked.
How does a local Massachusetts solar company’s price compare with SolarCity and Vivint?
The local Massachusetts solar company’s prices (Brightstar Solar) were 28% below SolarCity, 19% below Vivint, and 16% below the state average in 2016. Brightstar Solar was founded by husband and wife Jon and Mona Reese in 2009. They have been in the state longer than SolarCity and Vivint and have had the same construction crew the last four years. Brightstar Solar has no BBB complaints and only positive reviews on Google, Facebook, Angie’s List, SolarReviews, and Yelp. If you’re evaluating quotes from Vivint or SolarCity and want to make sure you don’t overpay, call 617-564-0050 or request a free solar evaluation from Brightstar Solar.
Are are local solar companies reputable?
No, not every local Massachusetts solar company is reputable. Look for reviews in the state, referrals in the town you live in, and be weary of those companies who just opened their doors. Carpenters, electricians, roofers, even plasterers are getting in the solar game. Solar installers from other states are opening offices in Massachusetts with inexperienced employees. Purchasing solar is a big decision and it’s always good to get multiple quotes. You want to be sure you’re making best investment and compare price of Massachusetts solar companies. Price isn’t the only factor, though. Don’t just call any solar company, call a reputable Massachusetts installer like Brightstar Solar.