ADT Solar (Sunpro) Vs. Vivint: Which Company Is Better?
By Dan Simms /
Here’s what we’ll cover in this solar provider comparison:
Choosing a solar panel installation company can be a time-consuming and challenging process. There are a variety of factors to consider that can have an effect on your all-in pricing and overall experience.
If you’ve been researching solar providers in your area, the likelihood is that you’ve heard of SunPower and ADT Solar, two of the largest solar installers in the U.S. However, even choosing between these two national solar panel installation companies is difficult.
So, we’ve compiled this guide to help you decide which of these providers is best for your home solar project.
SunPower and ADT Solar are two of the best solar companies operating nationally. The majority of our readers live within their service areas, so we feel it’s important to compare these two companies side by side to help aspiring solar customers decide which is the better option.
|Company||Brand Is Best For||Price||Warranty Coverage||States Served||BBB Rating||Payment Options||Solar Services Offered|
|SunPower||Overall quality and system performance||$$$$||25-year equipment, workmanship and performance warranties||50 states||A+||Cash, |
|Solar panels, backup battery and EV charger installations; |
|ADT Solar||Affordability||$$$||25-year equipment, workmanship and performance warranties||23 states (expanding to 5 more)||A-||Cash, |
|Solar panels, backup battery and EV charger installations; |
SunPower has decades of experience in the solar industry. It was founded in 1985 and has since expanded its operation to the entirety of the U.S.
The company is best known for its high-efficiency solar panels, which are some of the best in the business. SunPower recently pushed manufacturing duties to its sister company, Maxeon Solar, and is instead focusing its efforts on its residential solar panel installation business.
SunPower is also known for having one of the best and most comprehensive warranty programs in the country. It’s a bit more expensive than most competitors, but you get what you pay for.
Formerly known as Sunpro Solar, this company has been around since 2008. It was recently acquired by ADT — the home security company — and has been rebranded to match.
ADT Solar is one of the only companies that gives SunPower a run for its money in terms of warranty coverage. It provides outstanding guarantees and peace of mind, along with high-quality solar equipment that lasts for decades.
ADT Solar is less expensive than SunPower, although the efficiency of its panel brands is generally a bit lower.
Although solar equipment will typically save you money in the long run, there’s no denying that it’s expensive upfront. Below, we’ll explain why the installation cost of solar can vary among different providers. We’ll also get into how SunPower and ADT Solar compare when it comes to pricing.
Most solar installers offer one or more solar brands, but very few can install equipment from every solar panel manufacturer. Therefore, the equipment available to you can affect not only your panels’ efficiency and durability but also the price you pay for them.
Installers that carry high-efficiency options will naturally cost more.
Similarly, every company has different prices for the labor associated with an installation. Some companies outsource the installation to more affordable installers, and others simply charge less to help keep prices down.
Finally, how you pay for your solar panels will have an impact on your upfront and long-term costs. Companies that accept cash payments and solar financing will tend to save you the most on your electric bills over time, while leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) will come with the lowest upfront costs (but the smallest returns long-term).
SunPower usually comes at above-average prices, but its solar cells and panels are considered the most efficient in the industry. The company offers the below financing options to help keep renewable energy as accessible as possible:
ADT Solar is around average when it comes to pricing. It’s more affordable than SunPower, but its panels aren’t quite as efficient.
Still, the tier-one solar panels and the Enphase microinverters offered by ADT Solar are outstanding, and you can also acquire them with any payment option that suits you.
If you’re comparing these companies based on cost alone, ADT Solar will be the more affordable option. Since both companies provide top-tier, monocrystalline panels — the most efficient type of solar panels, the quality is comparable.
Solar warranties are an important consideration, as they protect your investment in clean energy and can help prevent thousands of dollars in repairs down the road.
SunPower is well-known in the solar industry for having some of the best warranty coverage. It offers an all-inclusive, 25-year warranty covering equipment, workmanship and power output. Warranty claims are typically responded to and addressed quickly.
ADT Solar has the same 25-year warranty, covering the equipment, efficiency and installation. ADT is also good at responding to warranty claims.
SunPower and ADT Solar are tied when it comes to warranty coverage. Both offer exceptional coverage that is unmatched by most other competitors.
What tips the scales for us, is that all of SunPower’s warranties (covering products, labor and performance) are offered under the same roof. In contrast, ADT will provide different warranties for each aspect of the system (think a Silfab warranty for panels, Enphase for inverters and Sunpro for labor). This can make the claims process more complicated.
The coverage area of a company will, of course, determine whether or not it can serve your home. Companies with larger service areas can bring solar to more homeowners. However, you should keep in mind that larger companies tend to have more issues with customer service.
SunPower provides nationwide coverage and serves all 50 states. ADT Solar covers a slightly less impressive 23 states, which include:
The company is also actively expanding into five additional states — Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia — and will likely continue to grow in the near future.
SunPower has about double the coverage area in the U.S. It serves all 50 states as compared to ADT Solar’s 23 states, so it’s the clear winner when it comes to coverage area.
SunPower installs just one brand of panel — Maxeon — which is the former manufacturing arm of SunPower. These panels are considered the best in the industry, as they provide outstanding efficiency — an industry-leading 22.7% — and lose very little energy production capability over time (see below).
ADT Solar installs tier-one monocrystalline panels (including brands like Silfab, Qcells and Panasonic) panels, which are also some of the best brands available for home solar power systems.
They don’t perform quite as well as SunPower’s panels — with efficiency ratings around 21% — but they are plenty powerful for most homeowners to meet their energy needs and offset their utility bills.
Both SunPower and ADT’s panels can be coupled with Tesla Powerwalls or other solar storage systems.
SunPower’s Maxeon products are unmatched in terms of efficiency and long-term performance. We have to go with SunPower as the winner in terms of panel performance, energy efficiency and reliable power production.
The customer service provided by solar companies is an important thing to consider, especially since more and more “fly-by-night” companies are popping up to take advantage of the high demand.
In the sections below, we’ll discuss how SunPower and ADT Solar compare in their customer service and the overall experience you’re likely to have choosing either of these solar panel companies.
SunPower maintains an impressive number of positive reviews for its size. Most customers seem satisfied, and the company also has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Some things customers rave about include:
The negative reviews usually mention that communication isn’t perfect for a solar energy company of this size. This can sometimes lead to delayed installation timelines, and outsourcing to third parties doesn’t help matters.
Below are some reviews we found online for SunPower.
“Before I got this company, I did a lot of research from other companies and found SunPower to be straightforward and professional. They gave a timeline of when to expect things. The installation was done in a couple of days. They left my house clean when done and still they followed up to make sure things were working well. This company has been around for over 30 years and is very reputable. No regrets for making SunPower my solar company.”
— Margaret L via BBB
“SunPower technician came today to connect the solar to the main power. To our surprise, we were told that he could not finish the job because the solar breaker was not installed and the performance meter was still locked. The job was incomplete. How did this pass inspection? I also contacted [them] multiple times to move the panel box and correct the ground wires but without any resolutions for over a month now and my last email was also ignored.”
— Mary Lou V. via BBB
ADT Solar also has a generally good reputation in the industry. Despite its size, it has many positive customer reviews, although there are more negative ones than we’d like to see. Some of the most common issues mentioned in customer reviews include:
It’s clear based on the reviews that the customer experience depends on the local office and installer that handles your solar power project. We’ll include some reviews below that showcase the range of service you might receive.
“When I first called ADT Solar last spring, I had it in my mind how big of a solar system I needed. The salesman assured me that the system I had in mind was bigger than I needed. Boy am I glad I listened! Not only is the installed solar system more than sufficient for what I need, but the smaller system was cheaper and easier to maintain. Kudos to ADT Solar for teaching their salespeople to focus on customers and not just sales.”
— Rebecca C. via BBB
“Their professionalism leaves a lot to be desired. Sure, they want money upfront. Then after they get it they don’t show up for 3 months and that’s not until you ask for your money back. They put a new envoy in on Monday. Today is Thursday. I had to call them to see what was wrong. I’m very disappointed in them. I recommend someone that knows how to give good service in a time in history when good customer service is everything.”
— Roxie T. via BBB
SunPower has more positive reviews than negative ones, and ADT Solar, unfortunately, has a few too many negative reviews. The overall customer experience with SunPower seems to be better, so we have to go with SunPower for customer support and service.
Based on the metrics above we use to assess solar companies, we recommend SunPower over ADT Solar. Both companies are reputable, but SunPower has a better history of great customer service, a larger service area and higher-efficiency panels. The table below provides a quick look at how these companies compare.
SunPower is truly one of the best solar companies in the industry. It manufactures some of the best solar equipment, backed by an industry-leading warranty offered entirely in-house. In addition, it has a better history of positive customer service than ADT Solar.
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