Sunnova Review

Executive summary

Run by experienced energy professionals, Sunnova offers high quality solar panels at extremely affordable monthly rates, with zero upfront cost.

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Sunnova Highlights

  • No upfront cost
  • Performance guarantee
  • Rated A by the Better Business Bureau


  • Lease a system or own it outright
  • Customized installation proposals
  • System and maintenance warranties last for the lifetime of your agreement
  • 24/7 in-house monitoring


  • Installation and maintenance are outsourced, which can give rise to quality control issues
  • Only 25-year subscription-based packages are available

Quality and Efficiency

Sunnova’s solar equipment and technology are of the highest quality and built to last. So much so, that you’ll get a full system and maintenance warranty for the lifetime of your agreement. The company enjoys an excellent reputation in the industry, and has been featured in the likes of The Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, and the North American Clean Energy website.

The company also has an unwavering commitment to customer service and education. You can reach customer support seven days a week by email and by phone.

What’s more, Sunnova’s website contains a wealth of information and education materials, including a comprehensive knowledge center where you can find out all there is to know about Sunnova’s solar energy offering.

Cost and Finance Options

Sunnova is different from other providers because it offers solar as a service, not a solar loan. Instead of financing a purchase in the traditional sense, you’re essentially buying a subscription to solar. This has a number of distinct advantages, namely no upfront costs and no maintenance costs.

Sunnova has a total of four different packages to suit different tastes. Of course, the actual cost will depend on the size of your system and your geographical location. However, Sunnova are committed to offering packages that give you access to the benefits of renewable energy as affordably as possible. What’s more, your monthly payments can be locked in for 12-month periods or varied to reflect how much solar power you actually produce each month.

When it comes to ownership of your solar panels, you’re given the option of owning them outright immediately, five years into your agreement, or of leasing them for the duration of your term. Either way, your system will be monitored 24/7 to ensure it’s performing at its best. And every package comes with a maintenance and systems warranty that lasts for the lifetime of your agreement with Sunnova.

Of course, the flipside is that you’ll have to enter into a 25-year long subscription agreement in order to use Sunnova. Some people may prefer buying their solar panels outright.

Manufacturer’s Experience/Portfolio/Reputation

While Sunnova has only been around since 2012, its founders have decades of experience in the energy industry. The leadership team’s collective resumes are a who’s who of energy industry behemoths, including Standard Renewable Energy, SunCap Financial, and BP.

Unsurprisingly, Sunnova has quickly built a reputation as one of the leading solar panel manufacturers on the market. So much so, that it has raised more than $1 billion in funding from private investors.

With that being said, Sunnova’s website lacks in-depth information about the company’s portfolio. Disappointingly, we also couldn’t find any case studies about past installations.

Customer service is also somewhat of a mixed bag. On the one hand, Sunnova seems to receive more customer complaints and negative feedback than we would have liked to see. However, to be fair, most of these complaints seem to center around installation and maintenance, which Sunnova does not carry out in-house. So while the complaints do reflect badly on Sunnova, most of the complainants’ issues don’t seem to be with the company itself, but with its local partners.

On the bright side, Sunnova enjoys an A rating with the Better Business Bureau. This shows the company takes complaints very seriously and goes the extra mile to resolve issues to customers’ satisfaction whenever possible.

Structure and Installation

Sunnova’s installation procedure is very straightforward.

The process starts with an evaluation of your home, after which you’ll get a proposal that’s custom-designed to your specific needs. Once that’s done, it’s time to choose one of Sunnova’s four packages. The system will then be designed and installed according to the specifications in your custom proposal.

The design is overseen by Sunnova, but the procedure is handled by one of the company’s local partners. On the one hand, this has the benefit of keeping costs down. What’s more, since the installation partner is experienced in your local market, they’re better suited to advise on and deal with the practical realities of your home.

With that being said, dealing with a third-party partner can give rise to issues of quality-control. Indeed, most of the complaints we’ve come across relate to installation and maintenance issues which are attributable to the local partner, and not to Sunnova itself.

Warranty and Maintenance

Sunnova gives you the ultimate peace of mind by offering an excellent system and maintenance warranty. The warranty lasts for the lifetime of your service agreement and cover extends to repairs, including any necessary part replacements. It’s safe to say you needn’t worry about any out-of-pocket expenses at any point.

You’ll also get a performance guarantee, which refunds the balance in the event the energy generated by your system doesn’t hit the annual level guaranteed in your service agreement.

With that being said, like installation, maintenance issues are handled by Sunnova’s network of local partners, not in-house. Your system will be monitored for any issues round the clock by Sunnova. However, the quality of the installation and maintenance service ultimately depends on the partner. This can give rise to quality control issues. Indeed, many of the complaints we came across in connection with Sunnova concerned the level of service offered by its installation and maintenance partners.


Sunnova offers quality solar panels at extremely affordable rates. Their solar as a service model means you can enjoy the benefits and savings of solar energy without incurring large upfront costs or even maintenance expenses. With that being said, better vetting and oversight of their local installation and maintenance partners would not go amiss.

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