Solar Spectrum Review

Bottom Line

Solar Spectrum specializes in residential solar energy systems and operates on the principle of customizing every solar project to fit the customer’s needs.

Best for

Solar Spectrum is best for people who want quality solar power but don’t have the cash to pay up front for a whole system; Solar Spectrum offers a number of competitive pricing options, including leasing and payment installments.

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Highlights

Solar Spectrum is an ideal choice for:

  • People who want to conserve both energy and money without breaking the bank

  • People who can commit to a long-term investment (Solar Spectrum’s energy plans last for 20 years or more)

  • People who live in: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Vermont

Pros

  • Personalized quotes and professional installment

  • Various pricing plans

  • Quality materials, good warranties

  • Mobile app

  • Long-term financial savings

Cons

  • Doesn’t service every state

  • Complaints about customer service

Quality and Efficiency

The Solar Spectrum Energy System comes with sleek, black-on-black high-quality solar panels and low-impact mounting hardware. Their panels are designed to last 20+ years and do not need much maintenance.

The system is designed to evolve as your own life evolves. It can accommodate multiple storage options and other functionalities such as an EV charger.

New customers are assigned a Solar Spectrum Specialist who helps guide them through the whole process of installation, and the customer support staff is subsequently available for any future inquiries.

Users report being very satisfied with the product after they leased or purchased it.

In terms of efficiency, Solar Spectrum guarantees customers that their solar panels will yield both short-term and long-term financial savings. The exact amount, of course, depends on a lot of factors.

Solar Spectrum’s mobile app allows customers to track their home’s solar production and power generation in real-time., from any mobile device or desktop.

Customers also have the option of being in contact with Solar Spectrum via their SMS text messaging program.

Cost and Finance Options

Solar Spectrum offers tailor-made pricing and systems for each customer, both of which are based on a number of factors, including: system size, location, condition and position of house (shady or sunny area), electricity usage, utility company, and more.

To make their products and services available to a wide range of consumers, Solar Spectrum offers the following finance options:

  • Leasing a Solar Spectrum Energy System, which gives you a guaranteed amount of solar energy each year for 20 years for a set monthly payment.

  • A PPA (power purchase agreement), which means you pay a set price for each unit of solar energy the system produces for 20 years; it’s pay as you go for a predictable price.

  • When you purchase a Solar Spectrum system, you get a guaranteed amount of solar energy each year for 10 years for the upfront purchase price. When those 10 years are over, you continue to own the system and the energy it produces.

A PPA might allow for the most long-term savings, but does require spending a large amount of money in one go. Customers can discuss which option is best for them with a Solar Spectrum representative.

Manufacturer’s Experience/Portfolio/Reputation

Solar Spectrum is a new company, backed by the equity firm Northern Pacific Group. It acquired the veteran solar power company Sungevity in May 2017, along with its infrastructure, technology, installer network, supplier networks, and certain customer agreements. 

After the transition, there were some customer complaints regarding cancellation of policies and an unresponsive customer support staff. These complaints were all from Sungevity customers who were essentially abandoned when the company went bankrupt in 2016.

None of the complaints had to do with the quality of the materials or efficiency of the product.

For anyone considering making a purchase from Solar Spectrum, it is important to be aware that their acquisition of Sungevity was fairly recent, and it might take some time before the customer support team is able to operate at its best. The hope is that once all of the loose ends have been tied up, Solar Spectrum will operate at its full capacity and return to the former glory that Sungevity once knew.

Structure and Installation

The Solar Spectrum Energy System consists of the following components:

  • Solar panels, or modules, that absorb photons (sunlight) and then convert it into electricity.

  • A solar inverter, which is the electrical box that turns direct current (DC) electricity produced by solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity that you use in your home.

  • The grid, which is a network of power lines that carries and transmits electricity from power plants to individual homes. Being connected to the grid means you can have electricity even when it’s not sunny.

  • A solar meter, which monitors the electricity your system produces, and is accessible online and from any mobile device.

Installation: Once you decide that you would like to purchase a solar power system, Solar Spectrum will schedule a home visit with one of their local installers and come up with a suitable plan of action. Solar Spectrum also handles permits and other paperwork. After installation, they provide monitoring tools so you can track your system’s production. 

Warranty and Maintenance

There are a number of warranties that customers receive when they purchase a Solar Spectrum Energy System. These warranties offer very good protection from both the manufacturer and Solar Spectrum itself. You should note that on the website, these warranties are not listed – you have to call up customer service to get the full scoop!

Here are the three main ones:

  • Manufacturer’s Warranty – This covers the actual panels for 25 years

  • Installation Warranty – This is provided by Solar Spectrum, and covers any installation requirements for 10 years.

  • Roofing Warranty – Almost unheard of in this industry, Solar Spectrum offers a roofing warranty that covers any roof issues that come up due to the solar panels.

The solar panels themselves are designed to last for many years and require very little maintenance. Your main responsibility as a consumer will be to monitor the solar meter to ensure that your system is working well. You can do this through Solar Spectrum’s app or on your PC at home..

Customer Support

Prior to Sungevity’s bankruptcy, the company received wonderful customer support reviews. Consumers were pleased with the personalized quotes, and the professionalism and knowledge of each individual member of the team.

Once the company went bankrupt, customer support fell to the wayside and complaints started to pour in. The Northern Pacific Group then acquired the bankrupt company and rechristened it Solar Spectrum. Solar Spectrum then became the new address for complaints from those customers of Sungevity who had inadvertently been abandoned during the company’s financial troubles.

While it is not Solar Spectrum’s fault that Sungevity went bankrupt, they are still responsible for the fallout, and indeed, they have taken a lot of slack from dissatisfied Sungevity customers. It is now up to Solar Spectrum’s new management to prove that their customer support team really can be helpful, professional, knowledgeable, and most importantly, reliable and trustworthy.

Pricing

Because Solar Spectrum is built on the service model that offers customizable options to each individual customer, there is no set price list. Rather, the company offers to give a free quote for how much it would cost to implement a solar panel system in your own home. You will also get a quote for how much money you will save by installing one of Solar Spectrum’s systems. These quotes are based on your current and future energy use.

Bear in mind, the quotes are exactly that – quotes. The amount of your projected savings is not 100% accurate, as there are many factors beyond the company’s control, such as actual future utility rates (as opposed to predicted), charges, fee structures, and future electricity usage.

In terms of payment plans, here are some options for those who qualify:

  • $0 money down solar leader

  • Prepaid lease

  • Fixed payment lease

  • Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

Qualifications are based on locations and credit history.

Conclusion

As far as solar energy companies go, Solar Spectrum offers very competitive pricing, attractive payment options, and worthwhile warranties. Their systems are designed to save customers money in the short-term and long-term, and their policy of personalization means that each customer is invested in and given a quote built specifically for them.

Likewise, Solar Spectrum’s solar panels state-of-the-art and designed to help people save money on their electric bills, whether they opt to lease a system or go for a PPA. Whichever option you choose, your system will be monitored 24/7.

The only negative aspect of Solar Spectrum are reports of customer dissatisfaction, and these were mainly from Sungevity customers who were abandoned when the company went bankrupt. Now that Solar Spectrum has taken the reigns, the quality of the customer service is likely to increase significantly. Before Sungevity went bankrupt, consumers had only good things to say about the company’s customer service and quality of the product.

About Solar Spectrum

Solar Spectrum is a relatively new company backed by the equity investor Northern Pacific Group. Solar Spectrum acquired Sungevity, a veteran solar power company in May 2017 for $50 million as part of a court-approved bankruptcy sale. The acquisition yielded Solar Spectrum the infrastructure from Sungevity’s operations, $800 million in assets, and $189 million of debt. 

Solar Spectrum specializes in long-term solar systems for homes and offers a number of competitive pricing options, which means that solar energy is no longer only for the rich and wealthy.

Northern Pacific Group is based in Minnesota and Solar Spectrum is based in California.

Physical Address

150 Linden Street
Oakland, CA 94607

Contact Details

Email: customerservice@solarspectrum.com

Phone: 866-948-2871

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/16273682/

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