Sunnova is a solar energy provider that offers renewable solar energy solutions to both residential and business owners. The company was founded by solar industry veterans in November of 2012.
Sunnova has made quite a formidable presence in the solar market. The company’s outstanding performance has earned them numerous features from CNBC, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. Sunnova also raised a billion dollars from private fundings, with investors banking on its growing reputation.
In this review, we will go over Sunnova’s products and services, installation process, warranties, cost and financing, customer reviews, and whether or not we think Sunnova might be the right choice for you.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Sunnova offers solar system products and services in the following states and territories:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- Puerto Rico
Sunnova provides solar-only services to the following states: Delaware, Illinois, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania.
Products and Services
Sunnova only offers quality solar equipment with the latest technologies on the market. The company’s residential and commercial solar systems exclusively use solar panels, batteries, and inverters from trusted brands. Sunnova also offers solar services, including solar maintenance and complete roof replacements.
Sunnova only uses Tier 1 monocrystalline solar panels from the top solar manufacturers. Tier 1 monocrystalline solar panels undergo thorough testing. This ensures that the panels are highly efficient in generating solar energy. Monocrystalline panels are the most durable on the market—with average lifespan ranging from 25 to 40 years.
Sunnova uses the latest microinverter technology from Enphase Energy. Enphase microinverters are directly integrated into the solar panels so each solar panel can function independently. Microinverters are best used in complex solar installations where solar panels are placed in different locations.
Sunnova provides robust solar batteries from Generac and Tesla Powerwall. Solar batteries store the excess energy generated by your solar panels. This is then used as backup energy at night, during power outages, and in low sunlight weather conditions.
Sunnova offers EV chargers from ChargePoint. ChargePoint Home Flex is a 240V Level 2 EV smart charger that can charge any electric vehicle 9x faster than the standard 110V wall-plug chargers.
ChargePoint Home Flex can also be connected to its mobile app that allows you to do the following: schedule charging sessions, monitor your charging data, and locate any public EV chargers available near you.
Sunnova Adaptive Home
Sunnova and Generac are expanding their partnership by offering Sunnova Adaptive Home™ that integrates the use of highly compatible solar panels and battery storage solutions to produce and store energy more efficiently.
Sunnova Adaptive Home™ is capable of the following:
- monitor and adapt usual energy consumption;
- control and manage the energy that your solar system generates; and
- optimize the overall performance of your solar system.
24/7 Online Customer Portal
Sunnova allows you to access your account 24/7. Just log in to their online portal—mysunnova.com—where you can easily manage your account, see your production data, and monitor your solar system’s overall performance.
Sunnova Installation Process
Sunnova follows a standard 7-step installation process.
- Initial Site Survey: Sunnova will send their qualified solar dealer to perform an in-depth site assessment to check if your property can accommodate a solar energy system. This assessment will help the company identify particular roofing characteristics such as your roof’s orientation relative to the sun.The dealer will also ask you about the details of your past utility bills so they can better understand your specific energy requirements. Credit check will also be performed before proceeding to the next step.
- Approval of Solar Energy Plan: After the initial survey and credit check, Sunnova’s solar dealer will let you sign your solar energy plan. Verification of your energy plan terms will be done online or through a phone call. You may raise any questions on the matter and Sunnova will address your concerns accordingly.
- Solar System Design: During this step, your Sunnova solar dealer will go over the site survey again and design a custom solar system. The custom design will include the entire layout of solar panels, batteries, and other necessary equipment. Your solar system design will take the following into account: your property specifications, specific energy requirements, and financial goals.
- Permitting: When the design is finalized, your solar dealer will coordinate with the local government and secure all necessary paperworks and permits. They will also make sure to obtain any permits required by your homeowner’s association. Once everything’s in place, your dealer will contact you to schedule your installation.
- Installation: During installation day, Sunnova solar installers will come to your property to install your solar system. They will go through the entire process with you, and explain each and every detail of your solar system. It takes about one to three days to completely finish the installation.
- Utility Inspection: After the installation, Sunnova will work with your local utility and conduct a final site inspection. They will ensure that your entire solar system meets the standard requirements set by the local government. You may also check with your local utility for any available net metering programs in your area.
- Activation: Once your solar system is approved by your local utility, you will be given an official Permission to Operate (PTO). Sunnova will then activate your solar system by connecting it to the electrical grid.
Sunnova Protect™ warranty covers all solar panel repairs and replacements, including labor. This warranty covers all your solar system components for 25 years. Sunnova solar systems also have a 10-year roof warranty that covers any leaks caused by the panel installation, including any unexpected damages that results from the leak.
Sunnova also offers a solar production guarantee that ensures that your solar system will meet its expected energy production goal for the entire contract term. Otherwise, you will be refunded if your solar panels fail to meet standard production expectations.
Costs and Financing
Sunnova’s website doesn’t show any pricing information. However, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), standard solar panel installations roughly cost anywhere between $15,000-$30,000 on average. According to SEIA, this estimate reflects the <70% drop of solar installation costs over the last ten years.
It’s important to note, however, that installation costs vary depending on the following factors: your geographic location, the size of your property, the quality of your solar system, and if you qualify for any available government incentives. It is best to contact Sunnova and request for a more detailed and customized quote.
Sunnova offers flexible payment options to address each customer’s specific financial goals. The company has categorized these options into two main types—Easy Own Plan™ and Easy Plan™. Both require little to no-upfront down payment.
Easy Own Plan™
Sunnova’s Easy Own Plan™ allows you to purchase your solar system through a solar loan or through upfront cash payment. Solar loans finance your solar system—all you have to do is pay for a fixed monthly amount as stipulated in the contract. This amount will include the monthly fee for the loan interest.
Sunnova’s Easy Own Plan™ gives the best value for your money. Since you own your solar system, you will be able to check if you’re eligible for any available state incentives like solar tax credits and rebates.
Sunnova Easy Plan™ allows you to either lease your home solar system equipment or to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA). Both solar lease and solar PPA gives Sunnova full ownership of the solar system.
For Easy Plan™ Equipment Lease, the monthly payments are fixed and predictable, and the billing will be based on the cost of the equipment. This plan comes with a production guarantee for the whole duration of the lease agreement.
The Easy Plan™ Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), on the other hand, is an agreement allowing you to pay only for the total energy that your solar system produces. In this financing option, you’re able to choose for a low locked-in kWh rate from where your monthly fee will be based on. You can also choose between a balanced or variable billing option, whichever is best for your financial goal.
Sunnova Customer Reviews
Like any other solar provider, Sunnova has mixed reviews across the company’s wide service area. It is worth noting, however, that Sunnova holds an A rating with the Better Business Bureau. Sunnova is also known to respond to customer complaints.
A lot of Sunnova’s positive reviews highlight the company’s quality solar system equipment, extensive warranties, flexible financing options with $0 upfront payment, wide service coverage, and the company’s moving solutions.
Most of Sunnova’s negative reviews include the company’s lack of direct pricing information online, and the no-buyout option for their solar lease plans. Other complaints were isolated cases that criticized their slow response rate, unavailability to certain states, and longer contract terms that extended past the 20-year industry standard.
Sunnova: The Bottom Line
Sunnova is a reputable solar company that provides economical solar energy solutions to numerous states and territories in the US. To ensure long-lasting solar reliability, these solar energy solutions come with comprehensive workmanship and extensive system warranties and production guarantees.
Sunnova offers a wide range of payment options to meet every customer’s preference and lifestyle. Customers get to choose whether to own or lease their solar system, or enter into a power purchase agreement.
If you’re in one of the states where the company operates, then Sunnova is a reliable solar provider that’s definitely worth your consideration.You may contact them through their website and ask for a free quote.