I am a judgment expert that writes a lot. Recently, I signed up with VivantSolar, and decided to write about my experience with them. In places that get enough sun, solar energy systems can supply most of the electrical energy required by a household. The technology of semiconductors and solar panels have come so far, that solar electricity is now a reality for many. The main drawback is that for a large, professional system, it costs a lot of money to buy and install one. That is where VivantSolar comes in, because you do not pay them anything to install or maintain their solar system. However, you must pay them about half of what you currently pay for electricity with your current utility company.
If you have a Solar system large enough to generate more electricity than you use, with the right meter installed by your utility company; you can put electricity back into your utility company’s system, banking that excess electricity. Modern solar systems do not use batteries, they use your current utility company for their storage and backup. This means your regular utility bill goes way down, however the old electricity source is almost always there when you need it; for example, at night. If you have banked extra electricity, there is no cost to use any previously banked electricity. Solar energy does not replace gas furnaces and water heaters; and works best in homes that have historically paid a lot more for electricity than gas.
Contract and then pay for the electricity
With VivantSolar, you lease the solar system from them, and they handle everything. You simply sign their contract and then pay for the electricity used at a big savings from regular utility rates. Of course, if you buy a solar system outright, you pay nothing for whatever electricity your solar panels generate. However, when you buy your own system, you also must pay for it to be installed, and you have full responsibility for it. You must arrange a new meter with your utility company, and pay for repairs; although modern semiconductors and solar panels last a long time.
The only two complaints about VivantSolar seem to be their contract and their aggressive door-to-door sales people. I usually do not answer door knocks or doorbells, because friends and neighbors call or email me before coming over. 99% of the time it is a religious zealot or a sales person. If the doorbell rings and I see a delivery or a postal truck in front of my house, I open my door.
Recently, my doorbell rang, and a postal truck was across the street, so I opened the door only to find a guy trying to sell me a solar system. He started his sales pitch and although it sounded nice, I told him I never agree to anything unless it is in writing, and I was busy now; so please give me your card, which he did.
Later, I looked at their website, and they seemed legitimate. So, I emailed the sales guy that everything depends on their contract. I asked him to email me a PDF of the contract and he said they cannot, he has to go over it with me in person, would tomorrow be OK? Saving a lot of money without having to pay anything to install or maintain a big solar system interested me, so I said OK.
The next day, the VivantSolar sales guy returned and he was polite. Their contract had lots of fine print, however it was fairly standard and seemed to have very few red flags. When you use them, you are not buying anything so you do not get any tax credits. I found VivantSolar to be legit, and that paying much less for electricity without paying anything upfront made sense to me. The one fib they told me, was they are giving me a 50K system. For my house, I probably could have bought a system including installation for less than $25K, and get some tax credits too.
One snag with solar systems from anyone, is that you cannot use the electricity produced until your utility company installs a new power meter, which could take weeks or months. One big issue with VivantSolar’s contract is that it is for 20 years. Not paying anything upfront and not doing anything except signing their contract seemed OK to me, because it will save money now and for 20 years.
The biggest potential nightmare I saw in VivantSolar’s contract might happen if you sell your house, and the new buyer does not want to take over the remainder of their contract. That chance seems remote because who would not want to spend anything upfront, save money, and be “green”? Still, there is a chance you might need to pay them a massive termination fee, especially if you cancel early in their contract. I signed up with them to save lots of hassle, time, and money; even if over the long run I could save more by buying my own system.
You do not need to use Solar Angebot to find a no-money-down solar solution. You can get financing to buy and install a system, get your tax credits, and then pay nothing for the energy your panels make; however you will have to repay the finance company. The bottom line is VivantSolar is simple, and otherwise you will probably have to visit lots of web sites that do not list their prices, requiring you to fill out forms to get a solar quote.