Our Rating: 5 / 5 (See: How Leaf Score is calculated)
The Bottom Line
A fantastic all-round solar installer that also offers maintenance and repair of existing systems it didn’t install! These techs really know their stuff and are passionate about helping more people go solar at home. Freedom Solar operates in Texas, Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida, with local in-house crews carrying NABCEP certification. Thanks to its regional/city offices, Freedom Solar can provide prompt, efficient, quality solar installation and service from a knowledgeable team that understands local permitting, HOA issues, and utility and state/city rebates and grants.
Customer reviews of Freedom Solar are overwhelmingly positive. When issues arise (as they inevitably do with such big projects), the company demonstrates time and again a commitment to making things right. It also offers the most comprehensive 25-year warranty of any installer and is a SunPower Master Dealer, meaning every installation incorporates the highest-efficiency solar panels available.
- The best 25-year comprehensive solar warranty around, including workmanship and production guarantees
- SunPower Master Dealer, meaning it can offer the highest efficiency solar panels around
- Tesla PowerWall certified installer (other battery options available)
- NABCEP-certified, licensed, and insured install crews and tech personnel
- Extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of solar energy systems
- Can service existing systems the company didn’t install
- Offers online monitoring and can retrofit old systems to include monitoring
- Locally knowledgeable, responsive customer service
- Only available in five states (so far!)
- Focus on SunPower modules, so not the perfect fit for all projects
Table of Contents
- The Bottom Line
- About Freedom Solar
- Freedom Solar equipment
- Where Freedom Solar operates
- Freedom Solar process
- Freedom Solar cost and financing
- Freedom Solar warranty and follow-on service
- Final thoughts on Freedom Solar
Freedom Solar has been named a “Top 500 Solar Contractor” by Solar Power World magazine nine years running (from 2013 to 2021). It’s clear why. The company provides end-to-end service from initial consultation to repairs and maintenance throughout the life of a solar energy system.
About Freedom Solar
Freedom Solar is a full-service solar outfit that got its start in 2004 in Colorado. The founder then returned home to Texas and slowly built Freedom Solar into the largest residential solar installer in the state and the largest SunPower dealer nationwide.
The company provides residential rooftop solar services and is highly trained and certified (including NABCEP certification). Freedom Solar specializes in complex solar energy projects and can install solar panels on shingle, tile (clay and Spanish tile), flat roofs, and standing-seam metal, tin, or corrugated metal roofs. This sets it apart from many solar installers that only install on asphalt shingles.
The team can also design and install ground-mounted solar energy systems and solar carports. It also offers pre-construction consultation to help you plan your solar system as part of a new home build.
With Freedom Solar, all installation work uses in-house crews. The teams use a branded fleet of vehicles and wear company uniforms, so you can be sure there’s no outsourcing to third-party contractors. Every service technician is a full-time Freedom Solar employee who has been vetted and is covered by Workers Comp and liability insurance.
Freedom Solar also takes COVID-19 safety measures seriously, finding ways to keep everyone safe during consultations and installations.
With Freedom Solar, you don’t just get a quality design and installation. The company offers lifetime service and monitoring and can even provide assistance with existing systems installed by other companies. If you need to remove your solar panels for any reason (such as when replacing a roof or moving home), Freedom Solar can help with de-installation and re-installation. They even offer a consultation service for realtors selling homes with installed PV!
Freedom Solar has a turnkey installation process its dubs ‘Seven Steps to Solar’. The company oversees the entire installation, taking care of all the details, even including obtaining HOA approval, permitting, and inspections. Every residential solar project is backed by a comprehensive 25-year warranty covering performance, product, and service. This is one of the best warranties in the industry and Freedom Solar appears to make good on its promises even years after installation.
With Freedom Solar, you’re getting the best local experience available with backing from a national business. The company has offices in several cities and states and appears to be growing at a steady pace that hasn’t compromised customer experience.
What Freedom Solar offers
What sets Freedom Solar apart is the company’s clear expertise in all aspects of solar energy systems. The service techs don’t just know a bit about one type of system, they can maintain and repair every solar panel system currently in use. This includes helping to maintain, repair, and upgrade existing systems they didn’t install and made up by brands they don’t currently sell. The company can even retrofit an older solar energy system to enable production monitoring using today’s technology.
Services provided by Freedom Solar include:
- Energy system ownership transfer assistance
- Roof leak investigation and repair
- Critter abatement solutions (i.e., getting rid of squirrels and pigeons and repairing wires!)
- Panel cleaning and replacement
- Inverter optimization and replacement
- Addressing low production
- Adding solar panels to existing systems
- Maintaining Tesla batteries and other battery storage systems
- Servicing ground-mount solar and carport solar
- Training and education on solar energy systems (such as for homeowners buying a home with an existing system)
Freedom Solar can also provide de-installation, re-installation, and system optimization if you need roofing work done and already have solar panels on your roof.
Freedom Solar equipment
Freedom Solar uses high-efficiency SunPower solar panels for every installation and has been a SunPower Preferred, Authorized Service Provider since 2014. In 2016, Freedom Solar became the only SunPower Master Dealer in Texas and subsequently became the first SunPower Master Dealer in Colorado and central Florida.
The Freedom Solar team also includes Tesla Certified PowerWall technicians, and the company can provide other solar battery backup systems as needed. It also works to incorporate home generator systems including the Kohler Generator and can design totally off-grid systems.
Where Freedom Solar operates
Freedom Solar got its start in Colorado, moved to Texas, and is now able to install solar energy systems, battery backup systems, and generators in:
- Colorado Springs
- Dallas-Fort Worth
- Fort Collins
- San Antonio
- Norfolk-Virginia Beach
- Fort Worth
- San Antonio
- Colorado Springs
- Fort Collins
In all of these locations, Freedom Solar uses in-house technicians who are fully certified, licensed, and insured, with no third-party outsourcing.
Freedom Solar process
The Freedom Solar process begins with a consultation (via Zoom or in-person) to establish your household’s energy needs and some basic details about your roof and home. Like many companies, Freedom Solar will use satellite imagery to provide a preliminary assessment of your home and will offer ballpark figures for how much a suitable system may cost. If it seems like solar will be a good fit for you, the company will schedule a site visit to take measurements and look at your current wiring and electrical service panel.
During the site assessment, Freedom Solar uses drones with highly specialized software to measure your roof. This means they usually don’t have to scramble about on your roof at this point.
Next step is to provide an analysis (for free) of your system layout, cost, and likely savings benefits. This may include the federal tax credit, local and state rebates and tax credits, and estimated savings on your utility bills. These are all calculated for a 12-month period, so homeowners whose systems go online in winter likely won’t see the full benefits of going solar until the summertime when production starts to offset use and build up bill credits for the next winter.
Freedom Solar will talk you through a performance estimate, energy offset, equipment suggestions, and the likely time it will take to get approvals, install, and inspect your system before you can turn it on and start generating electricity. Once you’re on board, Freedom Solar will design a custom energy system for your home. The designers will account for your building’s structure, your budget, zoning restrictions, and aesthetics.
Freedom Solar will also offer guidance on financing but suggests all customers consult an accountant at this point to get a good sense of the finances involved based on their circumstances. You can choose to pay outright for your system or take out a low-cost loan. The company doesn’t offer leases for solar energy systems.
From initial consultation through site assessment, to design typically takes about 1-3 weeks. Delays are more likely if you change your mind about any aspects of the design (such as deciding to future proof by adding more panels) and the team needs to rejig things.
Permitting, paperwork, and installation
Next, Freedom Solar will handle all permitting paperwork, including utility interconnection agreements, net-metering applications, local building and electrical permits, and rebate incentive documents (it can’t file rebate applications for you, though). This part of the process typically takes the longest and you may be waiting 2-6 weeks for permits and other paperwork, depending on where you live and the time of year. Freedom Solar will keep you in the loop as things progress, so you know when you’re getting close to installation time.
Once permits are in hand, Freedom Solar will schedule one of its NABCEP-certified crews to install your system, including any solar storage systems. It never uses subcontractors and every tech assigned to your project will be a full-time, fully trained Freedom Solar employee. This part of the process is typically the fastest as some installations take less than a day. Most take less than three days, though more complex systems can take longer and weather can, as always, delay this process.
Inspections and turning on your system
Once your panels and other equipment are in place, Freedom Solar will arrange for inspections by the city and utility. Your utility may also need to install a new meter and will have to grant Permission to Operate before you can turn on your system. This part of the process typically takes 1-4 weeks.
The final step is activation and closeout, where Freedom Solar will help you turn on the new system and provide detailed instructions on monitoring and basic troubleshooting. This typically involves a closeout consultation to answer any questions you have about the project.
The company continues to monitor your system’s performance and can address any issues quickly by detecting them early. Homeowners get access to an online monitoring app to see power production and cost savings in real time. The company’s website also offers a simple form to submit a request for service, should you have any issues with your new system.
Freedom Solar cost and financing
Freedom Solar provides a variety of options for residential solar, including rooftop, ground-mount, and carport arrays. For rooftop solar, the average cost with Freedom Solar is just over $42,000 for an 8 kW system using SunPower panels. Any rebates and incentives will help lower this cost but depend on your personal finances.
Freedom Solar doesn’t offer a leasing option but can help connect customers with solar loan providers as needed. You can also connect your own loan provider with the company to work out payments.
Freedom Solar warranty and follow-on service
Freedom Solar offers the most comprehensive 25-year warranty in the industry. This warranty includes the SunPower production guarantee of 92% of original production when your panels reach 25 years old. If a panel underperforms, Freedom Solar will diagnose the issue and service the panel for free.
SunPower panels also come with a 25-year warranty covering 100% of repair and replacement costs, including labor and shipping.
Finally, Freedom Solar’s warranty also includes a 25-year workmanship guarantee. This is because the company only uses its own in-house NABCEP-certified staff to complete installs.
Final thoughts on Freedom Solar
Freedom Solar is a go-to solar installer in many states. It offers a turnkey home solar process that makes it a breeze to install rooftop solar (or ground-mount or carport solar!). The company is very clearly run by people who know the industry inside and out. This means the certified techs do quality work and can diagnose any issues quickly, along with providing speedy resolutions.
Even if you don’t use Freedom Solar for your initial installation, the company is a great choice for ongoing service and maintenance of a home solar energy system. It’s also a great choice of installer for solar storage equipment and additional panels if you want to beef up your current system.
As a Master Dealer for SunPower, Freedom Solar does cost a little more than some other installers, but this is because SunPower panels are the highest efficiency panels around. All in all, the cost works out pretty much the same watt for watt and you may well need fewer panels on your roof than if you went with less efficient models.
Finally, if you have a particularly complicated structure or any kind of roof other than asphalt, Freedom Solar can help you out. The techs love a good challenge, but the team will be upfront with you if solar just isn’t going to work for your home.