2023 Vivint Solar Reviews (Is It Legit?)

2023 Vivint Solar Reviews (Is It Legit?)

In this EcoWatch review guide on Vivint Solar, you’ll learn:

  • Whether Vivint is a legit solar company
  • What products and services Vivint Solar offers
  • What former customers have to say about Vivint Solar
  • If there are any lawsuits again Vivint Solar

This guide has helped thousands of homeowners save time and money when going solar by providing an unbiased review of one of the nation’s more controversial solar providers.

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What Should You Know About Vivint Solar?

Vivint Solar is a full-service solar provider offering consultations, custom designs and residential solar installations.

Founded in 2011, Vivint’s mission is to provide homeowners with simple and affordable clean energy. The company made an early splash in the industry with its modern approach to solar, bringing systems to a whopping 500,000 homes across the country in less than a decade. Its growth attracted the attention of Sunrun, which acquired Vivint in October of 2020.

Vivint Solar
Year Started 2011
Service Areas 22 states, including AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, HI, IL, MD, MA, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, PA, RI, SC, TX, UT, VT, VA
Service Types Solar panels, backup batteries, energy efficiency packages, electric vehicle chargers
Types of Panels Sold Black-on-black monocrystalline LG solar panels
Backup Battery Options Yes, LG Chem and Tesla Powerwall
Certifications North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) technicians
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating B+ with no accreditation

Vivint’s swift success was mainly due to its commission-based direct-to-home sales network, which is able to recruit large numbers of salespeople that go door to door throughout Vivint’s service area of 22 states. But how did this method live up to the company’s mission of simple and affordable solar energy? Not so well.

Vivint’s loose sales structure allowed salespeople to advertise misleading concepts like “free solar panels,” and many unassuming customers signed contracts unaware they were locking into a 20-year lease with hefty cancellation fees. To make a long story short, the company is facing some lawsuits for its misleading sales practices, and there are thousands of scathing Vivint Solar reviews online.

Though Vivint’s sales practices have been troubling, this review will cover all of what makes Vivint Solar unique. For some, Vivint has been a good choice. Our point remains, however, that if you’re considering solar with Vivint, be sure to do your research and understand what you’re buying into — and what else is out there.

Our Take on Vivint Solar

We’d like to tell you that after having class-action lawsuits filed against it, Vivint has changed its ways and instilled the importance of proper education and realistic expectations into the solar sales process, but we like to let customers speak for themselves. Vivint Solar has well over 2,000 customer complaints filed against it through the BBB.

Vivint has helped the solar industry make strides in modernization, customization and overall volume of solar installed, but we cannot in good conscience recommend Vivint Solar to our readers. Deceptive sales practices can give the entire solar industry a bad reputation for being a money-grab or a method to take advantage of customers burdened by high energy costs.

Vivint Solar Pros Vivint Solar Cons
Virtual consultations, design studios Poor reputation
Wide range of services Customer service
Leases, PPA offered

In our research, we found the most frequently asked questions about Vivint Solar to revolve around whether the company is a scam or a pyramid scheme. This is revealing about the overall sentiment among prospective solar customers.

However, if you are still interested in Vivint Solar, we encourage you to read your contract closely and specifically ask what happens if your solar system doesn’t produce as promised. We also recommend talking to a few other solar companies whose customers have better things to report. You can connect with reputable solar representatives by clicking below.

Pros of Vivint Solar

  • Virtual consultations and design studios
  • Wide range of services
  • Customizable systems
  • Solar loan, leases and power purchase agreements (PPA) offered
  • $1,000 referral program

Cons of Vivint Solar

  • Poor reputation
  • Customer complaints on the Better Business Bureau
  • Customer support
Badge icon


Best for Leasing

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost


  • Regional
  • Many financing options


  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Some reported issues with door-to-door sales
Badge icon


Best National Provider

Nationwide Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost


  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage


  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer
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ADT Solar

Best Warranty Coverage

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost


  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area


  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

What Products and Services Does Vivint Solar Offer?

Vivint Solar provides exclusively residential solar panel services including solar panels, backup solar batteries, EV chargers and energy efficiency packages. Vivint’s full spectrum of services allows for a highly customized experience with some of the finest solar equipment on the market.

Vivint Solar Equipment

Vivint exclusively offers monocrystalline PV solar panels with passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) solar cells, as it believes these are the most efficient solar panels on the market. PERC panels are typically the best type of solar panel for any residential installation, especially when roof space is more limited.

Vivint’s biggest brand partner is LG, which is known for manufacturing quality, high-efficiency solar panels and the LG Chem battery — one of the best on the market. Vivint also provides Tesla Powerwalls for some customers. These devices are all compatible with Vivint’s solar and SmartHome options, which can put you in full control of your home’s energy.

Vivint’s Solar Installation Process

If you are interested in installing solar panels with Vivint, you can contact a sales rep or get more information by visiting their website. After you have gotten started, you can expect the following process.

Step 1: Get started. You can start the process by going to Vivint’s website to get in contact with a sales manager.

Step 2: Virtual consultation and design. Specialists at Vivint will look at your energy needs, utility bill and structure of your home to determine the best possible design. You will receive an estimate of how much money you can save, upfront costs and incentives like tax credits.

Step 3: Solar panel installation. Vivint will handle all the permitting, so you just need to find the best installation date. Generally, Vivint anticipates four to eight hours for a standard solar installation.

Step 4: Permission to operate (PTO). After installation, your utility company will contact you to let know you when you pass your inspection. This email gives you the green light to power up your solar panels and start benefiting from your renewable energy.

Although it may change as Vivint begins to take on Sunrun’s processes, there have been customer complaints regarding the lack of communication and length of the installation period.

Because many customer reviews claim long wait times for installation, readers who are looking for a shorter installation window may want to review other solar company options.

Solar Panel Warranty

vivint solar reviewsVivint offers a fairly standard warranty when compared to similar solar providers. The warranty is broken down as follows:

  • 10-year workmanship warranty covering any damages to your home or solar system resulting from improper installation
  • 25-year linear performance warranty ensuring your panels and solar equipment are generating or retaining power at or above a specified degradation rate

Basically, the linear performance warranty is a production guarantee that factors the decline in output that all solar panels experience over time. All other warranties (such as panels, batteries and inverters) are product-specific, but are guaranteed to be at least 10 years.

Flexible Moving Options

Unlike some solar companies, Vivint customers can benefit from various moving-friendly options. This perk allows homeowners to more easily manage their solar power systems or take care of their contract before they move into a new home.

If you plan to move while still paying for Vivint solar panels, you will be presented with four options:

  • Transfer the power purchase agreement to the new homeowner
  • Pre-pay the remainder of the contract
  • Move solar panels to your new roof for no extra charge
  • Purchase the system if owned for 6+ years

To ensure that these options are available to you if you do decide to relocate after purchasing Vivint panels, it is best to review your contract prior to signing.

Vivint Solar Costs and Financing

As we like to mention in our solar articles, bigger companies do not always offer more affordable systems. Vivint is known for its above-average costs due to the customization, technology and quality of products offered. If the low-seeming cost of a solar lease appeals to you, we encourage you to look into financing options for purchasing panels through a local solar provider instead.

Financing Options Through Vivint Solar

As a provider focused only on residential solar installations, Vivint’s financing options revolve more around solar leases and solar purchase power agreements (PPAs). It’s still possible to purchase a system through Vivint, but most of its salespeople are known to encourage PPAs. Here is the full spectrum of financing options available through Vivint.

Cash Purchase Solar Loan Solar Lease Solar PPA
System ownership You You Vivint Solar Vivint Solar
Maintenance included No No Yes Yes
Upfront cost Yes No No No
Added property value Yes Yes No No
Eligible for tax credit Yes Yes No No
Payment due to None Third-party loan vender Vivint Solar Vivint Solar

It is important to remember that when you get your solar through a lease or PPA, you will have two monthly energy bills — one from your utility company and one from Vivint Solar. Most companies issuing solar leases have a guarantee written into the contract that your total monthly energy payments will be below what they were previous to installing solar. Vivint does not offer this same guarantee.

How Do Vivint Solar Customers View the Company?

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Vivint Solar’s services and products, let’s get into Vivint’s customer experience. This is where Vivint has run into some trouble.

Due to its commission-based, remote sales structure, many salespeople focus only on securing the sale before moving onto the next potential client. They aren’t incentivized to deal with any issues post-sale. Though this has allowed Vivint to grow rapidly, most of this growth resulted from unrealistic expectations set by salespeople.

In the worst Vivint Solar reviews, customers claim to have been tricked into signing a contract after being advertised free solar panels on their home. Sadly, thousands of Vivint customers have experienced either deceptive sales or increases in their energy bills after signing a lease or PPA with Vivint.

What’s worse, cancelling a Vivint contract early can cost over $20,000. Many innocent customers were, and are still, trapped in bad contracts laid out by unethical sales tactics.  Let’s look at both sides of the coin:

Negative Vivint Reviews

Negative Vivint reviews (of which there are many) typically mention customers feeling they were deceived, locked into bad contracts or that the product installed did not perform as expected. Here are a few that we found particularly revealing.

“It took Vivint Solar five months before my system was installed. System was not up and running, and it has failed inspection twice. I then found out the system was not producing. I have called different reps in the company only to get the runaround. I have not received a single call back. I wish I had never signed with this company. They are unreliable and not trustworthy.”

— Juan via BBB

Vivint is by far the worst company of any kind I have ever had the misfortune to deal with. They installed panels on my roof in no time and cashed their check quickly. Six months later, I still have ZERO electricity generated and no timetable for when I might possibly have my system online. It is impossible to talk to anyone who knows anything about anything. They are a scam, not a company.”

— Terry via Trustpilot

One former Vivint salesperson even quit the company after having such a poor experience with his home’s installation:

Positive Vivint Reviews

This is not to say that all Vivint customers have had bad experiences. Some who have done their research, opted to purchase systems and customized their systems found exactly what they were looking for. We couldn’t help but chuckle at this customer who felt they needed to add that they weren’t lied to:

“We have solar in our house in Maryland with Vivint and we have the home security system, too. We [love] it. Our rep was great and never lied about anything to me! Happy Vivint customer.

— Julia via Yelp

Learn More About Best Solar Panels by Watt

How Does Vivint Solar Compare to Other Top Providers?

To put all this in context, let’s line Vivint Solar up with some of its main competitors.

Vivint Solar SunPower ADT Solar (formerly Sunpro)
Year Started 2011 1985 2008
Services Offered Solar panel installation, battery installation, monitoring Solar panel installation, battery installation, monitoring Solar panel installation, battery installation, monitoring
Service Areas AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, HI, IL, MA, MD, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, PA, RI, SC, TX, UT, VA, VT All 50 States AZ, AR, CA, FL, GA, IL, IA, KS, LA, MS, MO, NE, NV, NM, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA
BBB Rating B+ A+ A
Payment Options Cash, loan, lease, PPA Cash, loan, lease Cash, loan
Learn More Get Quote SunPower Review Sunpro Solar Review

Our Methodology for Reviewing Vivint Solar

The primary purpose of the research and writing presented by EcoWatch is to connect readers like you to reliable and affordable clean energy solutions. That’s why our goal is to make EcoWatch a place for real people to make informed decisions.

Our methodology consists of extensive research and a deep dive into the products and companies that claim the renewable energy space. Along with analyzing each company as a whole, we rank them on a scale of 5.0 in the categories that matter to everyday consumers:

  • Reputation: How long a company has been in business, its service area and number of homes that have been serviced
  • Value for money: How much value you can get from products across the price spectrum
  • Financing options: Number of financing options available, including solar leases, loans, discounts and maintenance packages
  • Services offered: Services beyond solar installation such as backup batteries, electric vehicle charging stations and routine maintenance
  • Installation process: Length of installation process, quality of information provided in the quote, professionalism and level of communication
  • Customer experience: Current and former customer reviews, both positive and negative
  • Sustainability and ethics: We look for eco-friendly signals such as certifications, transparency, sustainable programs and more

Our scores are unaffected by commercial partnerships, so we are committed to only publishing factual, unbiased reviews. When we do build partnerships, they are only with the companies we deem trustworthy enough to install panels on our own homes.

Vivint scored poorly in the following categories:

  • Reputation
  • Customer experience
  • Sustainability and ethics
  • Installation process

As such, Vivint is not included in our current list of the best solar companies.

FAQs: Vivint Solar

Here are the most common questions we get about Vivint solar products. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at solar@ecowatch.com.

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Article author
Karsten is an editor and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. His work has been shared by sources including NPR, the World Economic Forum, Marketwatch and the SEIA, and he is certified in ESG with the CFA Institute. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.
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Expert reviewer
Melissa is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainability studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a nonprofit that’s featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.