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Our Rating: 5 / 5 (See: How Leaf Score is calculated)
The Bottom Line
Sunlux is a highly regarded solar installer that also offers battery storage systems, EV charging, smart home solutions, and roofing services (through trusted partners) to customers in Southern California and Central Texas.
- Experienced, friendly, professional solar installer (no outsourcing to third-party installers)
- Offers on-site evaluation and measurement (not just reliance on aerial photos)
- Has well-established teams in Southern California and Central Texas
- Lean, agile team makes for fast turnaround, close communication, and great pricing!
- Offers an online savings calculator for prospective customers
- Provides three extensive warranties covering parts and labor, plus production (with upgrade)
- Monitors every system remotely to stay on top of any issues or drop in efficiency
- Can install Panasonic, QCells, REC, and other top brand solar panels
- Offers battery storage, EV charging, and smart home systems, plus roofing!
- Not available nationwide – Only in Southern California and Central Texas
- Sunlux asks for your number to book the free consultation
- Doesn’t offer the highest-efficiency SunPower solar panels
- Not transparent about pricing (you have to contact the company for an estimate)
- Not certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)
If you live in Southern California or Central Texas, Sunlux is a top choice for a solar installer. This company has completed more than 7,000 solar installations in SoCal since 2015 and has been operating in Central Texas since 2020, meaning it has an established team with a huge amount of experience in these two markets.
Online reviews consistently hover near 5 stars for the company, with special mentions for customer service and a smooth installation process. Unlike some bigger companies that keep customers at arm’s length and outsource installation, Sunlux runs a streamlined operation with a hands-on approach.
The small, agile team appears to be the real deal as a quality solar installer. Customers regularly note that Sunlux employees are knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. The team has built a solid reputation for addressing any design, permitting, financing, and installation issues quickly and professionally.
Sunlux got its start in 2015 when its three founders decided to band together to form a solar installation company that was leaner, customer service-focused, and competitive in price. The founders each had a decade of solar industry experience and a vision to do things differently.
Now, Sunlux offers home solar energy systems at an affordable price, with excellent solar panel brands and quick turnaround times (without cutting corners). Sunlux also offers smart home monitoring, EV charging, solar batteries, and even roofing solutions.
Sunlux does not employ third-party contractors for installation or design. Instead, it handles every step of the process of going solar, from pre-sales consultations, through design, financing, and permitting, to installation and ongoing maintenance, monitoring, repairs and even chasing up manufacturers for any warranty claims. You can easily submit a service ticket online and can call the company, based in the U.S., for more immediate assistance.
This ongoing, comprehensive service is what makes Sunlux stand out from its competitors. Sunlux doesn’t just disappear after it installs your system. The company offers one of the most extensive and comprehensive warranties in the solar sector, as well as lifetime support, including repairs for panels, inverters, batteries, EV charging, and racking. You can also upgrade the warranty to include guaranteed energy production over 25 years!
Sunlux is also community-minded, working with local schools and churches.
Where Sunlux operates
Sunlux has well-established service in the following SoCal communities:
As of 2020, Sunlux also began serving the following Central Texas communities:
Sunlux Energy is a licensed and bonded solar contractor registered in California and Texas. It does not, however, appear to have certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). NABCEP certification is a good sign that technicians have undergone special, additional training to safely and correctly install solar technology.
A lack of NABCEP doesn’t mean Sunlux isn’t a quality solar installer, it just might put off some potential customers. NABCEP certification may also be a requirement for some solar rebate, grant, or loan programs, so check the small print carefully.
Homeowners who go with Sunlux as their solar installer can typically choose among a wide range of brands for solar panels, inverters, battery storage, and EV charging. While Sunlux doesn’t offer the highest efficiency solar panels currently available (SunPower), it does offer high-efficiency panels from:
Sunlux also offers EV charging options and solar batteries including:
- Siemens VersiCharge
- Tesla Powerwall
- LG Chem
As for inverters, Sunlux favors SolarEdge and Enphase brands. For roofing, Sunlux partners with GAF and Owens Corning – two long-established, well-regarded roofing companies – to provide Timberline and Grand Sequoia shingles. For smart home monitoring, Sunlux offers Leviton™, Google Nest, and Sense.
Every home solar energy system from Sunlux is custom designed to sit flush to the roof and to add curb appeal for increase home value. That said, because Sunlux doesn’t offer SunPower’s highest-efficiency solar panels, smaller roofs may struggle to accommodate enough panels to meet a high-energy household’s needs.
The Sunlux Process
Sunlux offers free consultations, during which a knowledgeable company representative will walk you through how home solar works and how it could work for you. While the rep clearly will want you to sign up for solar, Sunlux doesn’t have a reputation for hassling prospective customers or being pushy.
If you do want to continue exploring your options with Sunlux, you’ll pay a deposit (depending on your financing choice) and sign a contract. The company will connect you with a project manager, who will then schedule a thorough site visit. The site visit typically happens within seven days and is an opportunity for a solar expert to take measurements and assess any shading issues or obstructions on your roof.
Accounting for your energy needs and home specifications (with info from the site assessment), the PV Designer will then create a home solar system right for you. You’ll be able to offer input on brands, sizing, and aesthetics. Depending on the complexity of design, and other factors, this part of the process usually takes about 10 business days.
The next (and longest) step is permitting. Sunlux handles all the paperwork, with a dedicated permit technician submitting the required paperwork to your city for approval. Because Sunlux has been working in SoCal communities for many years, and in Central Texas for some time now, this part of the process will likely go much smoother with Sunlux than with newer installers unfamiliar with the permitting process and the regional offices and officers. In most cases, your home solar permits will be in hand within one to four weeks.
Once permits are in hand, your project manager will contact you to schedule installation. On the day of installation, an experienced, safety-certified, highly trained crew will arrive, supervised by an onsite project foreman who can answer any questions. Typically, solar installations take just one or two days with Sunlux.
If you’re getting roof work done, expect your project to take a little longer. The same goes if you’re getting battery storage. Delays in parts (particularly Tesla’s Powerwall) might mean only part of your system is installed and operable at first. This is rarely the installer’s issue, but rather due to the manufacturers struggling to keep up with demand.
After your panels are on your roof and everything is wired up, Sunlux will arrange for a city inspector to come and check that the system is installed to code. Once they sign off on the system, Sunlux submits the final paperwork to the utility for Permission to Operate (PTO). When that’s in hand, you can turn on your system and start generating electricity!
Sunlux warranty and follow-on service
As well as being an excellent installer, what sets Sunlux apart is its ongoing service and support after your panels are installed. The company offers a 25-year comprehensive warranty on system components and its standard warranty also guarantees installation, parts, and maintenance. If you upgrade to the company’s Platinum Protection Package, Sunlux guarantees the amount of energy generated by your home solar system.
The 25-year warranty is impressive. While most solar panels come with a 25-year warranty these days, general wear and tear isn’t usually covered beyond 10 or so years, and inverters and other components are rarely covered at all beyond 10 years. Sunlux completely covers every hardware component, including inverters, panels, racking, and more, for the full 25 years. Every Sunlux system also comes with 24/7 monitoring, meaning you can quickly recognize any issues and schedule a technician to call or visit.
If you choose the Platinum Protection Package, Sunlux will also cover the parts and labor costs for repair, including shipping costs for any repairs or maintenance for 25 years. This package even guarantees energy output for the full 25 years. So, if your system doesn’t produce what the company promised, Sunlux will cover the cost of the difference.
Another nice touch from Sunlux is that the company will deal with warranty paperwork for you. That means that if something breaks, Sunlux will replace or fix it and then deal with the manufacturer’s claim process itself, so you don’t spend hours of your life trying to file a claim.
And if you need tech support at any point during the 25-year warranty, Sunlux promises to help. The company is U.S.-based and somewhat local, meaning you’re more likely to get a timely and useful response if anything goes awry. Customer reviews strongly suggest that Sunlux follows through on its service promises and is attentive even after it has been paid for a complete installation.
Sunlux costs and financing
Sunlux doesn’t offer any guide to pricing on its website, but some reverse engineering using its solar savings calculator got me an estimated cost of about $14,000 for a 4.3 kW array in California. I worked this out using the following assumptions (based on usage and cost data in California):
- Average utility bill cost in California – $100/month
- Average household energy consumption: 600 kWh/mth
- Production capacity required to match the above: 4.3 kW system
- Sunlux’s estimated cost for a system that meets a $100 utility bill: $14,000.
Using the same measurements, an 8.6 kW system would cost about $33,000 in California.
In Texas, an 8.6 kW system would cost approximately
- Average utility bill cost in Texas – $144/mth
- Average household energy consumption: 1170 kWh/mth
- Production capacity required to match the above: 8.6 kW system
- Sunlux’s estimated cost for a system that meets a $144 utility bill: $32,700.
These figures are very ‘back of the napkin’. You’ll want to contact Sunlux for a proper quote based on your actual needs. If you’re looking to install EV charging, battery storage, or smart home monitoring, or to have roofing work done, expect costs to be higher than these rough estimates using the Sunlux calculator.
Financing with Sunlux
Homeowners who choose Sunlux can opt for one of four payment models for their new solar energy system. To retain tax credits and the rights to renewable energy certificates as well as other rebates, it’s best to purchase the system outright or choose a solar loan to finance the project. If purchasing outright, you’ll be asked to put down a $1,000 deposit initially, with the rest of the system payable after installation.
For homeowners wanting to pay for solar with a loan, Sunlux can work with your preferred solar loan provider. The company also helps homeowners access solar loans through its partners. They offer competitive rates, zero-down, and promise to never put a lien on your home.
If you’re less concerned about the tax credits or can’t finance or borrow money for the installation, Sunlux offers two leasing options for home solar. With both the prepaid and standard lease options you don’t have to put up any initial cost for home solar. Instead, you’ll sign up for a monthly payment at a locked-in rate over a 25-year agreement.
With the standard lease, you pay to lease the system and then work out the cost of any net energy billing with your utility. With the prepaid lease, you sign a power purchase agreement with Sunlux. This is a contract to pay Sunlux for the energy you’ll produce and use over the lifetime of the panels (25 years). This should be a lower rate than what you would pay the utility company for the equivalent energy.
Sunlux states that both leasing options should result in monthly payments lower than your current monthly utility bill. Check the small print, though, to be sure you’re getting a good deal, based on your actual utility bill (especially if you’re a senior or someone who qualifies for subsidized energy).
With leasing options, you will still have to pay your utility bill (such as connection charges, for access to the grid for backup power). Your utility bill should be significantly lower (Sunlux claims 20% lower or more) than before you went solar.
The company says it will never ask customers to pay until they’re satisfied with the installation.
What customers say about Sunlux
Reviews for Sunlux are overwhelmingly positive. Even when issues have arisen with projects, the company deals with them promptly and professionally. There doesn’t seem to be a policy of outsourcing blame to put off customer questions and needs. Instead, Sunlux follows up with permitting and planning departments, installers, and manufacturers, to keep projects on track as much as possible.
Importantly, Sunlux has a lot of recent positive reviews (in 2022) and a consistently high rating throughout its seven years in business. This suggests that while the company has grown quickly, it isn’t outpacing its capacity to provide excellent customer service.
Sunlux has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and has been accredited since 2017. It was named one of Solar Power World magazine’s “Top 500 Solar Contractors” in 2017, 2019, and 2020. I’ve so far been unable to find any lawsuits filed against Sunlux, which is (sadly) quite rare in the solar industry!
Final thoughts on Sunlux
Sunlux is my top choice for home solar in California and Texas. The company knows these areas inside and out, meaning a better-designed system, speedier permitting and installation, help with available local solar rebates, and excellent follow-up and support.
The only real downsides to Sunlux are the lack of availability in other states (here’s hoping for a slow and steady rollout nationwide, maintaining the excellent customer service), and a lack of NABCEP certification. The lack of certification shouldn’t be a dealbreaker, though, given that only two installers in California, and none in Texas, currently hold this standard.
By far, the biggest thing in Sunlux’s favor is its in-house team of trained, skilled, safety-certified installers. The company does not outsource to a third-party, meaning you don’t have to worry about untrained, unaffiliated workmen scrambling about on your roof and punching holes in your tiles.
Sunlux is also a full-service outfit, meaning you can work with the company to design, install, and maintain or repair a home energy system. This can even include roofing work, battery storage, EV charging, and smart home monitoring.
The cost of Sunlux systems seems about average for the California and Texas markets, but the service is clearly far above average. All in all, Sunlux looks like a fantastic choice for home solar.