Semper Solaris Overview
Semper Solaris is a large-sized solar panel installation company with its head office in El Cajon, California, and another 14 offices spanning the same state and one apiece in Texas and Florida. The company opened its doors in 2012 and has a projected annual revenue of $99 million. Apart from solar panel installation, Semper Solaris also handles roofing services, battery storage, and heating and air condition system installations.
Semper Solaris focuses on residential projects via grid-tied or hybrid systems for its solar energy services. Though most appear positive in terms of online reviews, there are quite a few negative ones that are hard to ignore. It is BBB accredited and has over 500 reviews, with ratings mostly in the five-star section.
The company is co-owned by former US Marine Captain Kelly Shawhan and John Almond. Semper Solaris offers a variety of solar panels from manufacturers around the globe as well as local ones. This allows customers to choose which type of solar panel they want if they wish to focus on cost, efficiency, or both.
Semper Solaris Solar Panel Services and Features
Specific solar panels offered
Semper Solaris offers American-made solar panels, and internationally-acclaimed ones, depending on the customer’s preference. In addition, clients can choose between monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film solar panel options. The different brands on offer are:
- Silfab: manufactured in North America and one of the country’s most highly-rated manufacturers. Offers nine different solar panel options.
- Solaria: highly-rated South Korean company with panels that pair efficiency with lower-than-average costs. Offers seven different solar panel options.
- SolarWorld: American-made solar panels that come highly rated. Offers ten different solar panel options.
- Q Cells: one of the best solar panel manufacturers on the market, with consistent five-star ratings. Offers ten different solar panel options.
- Panasonic: a very highly-rated brand, with production taking place in the USA and Malaysia. Higher output rate than most of the competition, Panasonic offers ten different types of solar panels.
- LG: one of the best, if not the best, solar panel manufacturers in the world right now, with leading quality-to-cost ratio. Offers ten different solar panel options.
- Tesla: American-made, but plenty of mixed reviews, especially in customer service. Currently offers seven types of solar panel options.
- SolarEdge: budget-friendly, but reports of faulty components and poor customer service means this brand should be approached with trepidation. Offers six different solar panel options.
- SunPower: is one of the top-rated solar panel manufacturers on the market, with production stations in four countries, including the USA. Offers ten different solar panel options.
Specific types of solar solutions offered
Semper Solaris offers residential grid-tied systems as well as hybrid systems. The hybrid system is when a battery storage unit is installed but can sell excess energy back to the grid whenever required. Semper Solaris’ approach sets the system to sell power back at peak times, ensuring the highest return possible for clients opting for this approach.
Semper Solaris also provides efficient heating and air conditioning units that pair perfectly with solar energy installations.
Installation costs & process
Semper Solaris’ average installation cost is approximately $12,100, below that of many competitors. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that each solar project is unique and will differ in expense.
Free estimates are a part of Semper Solaris’ business model, and it is happy to guide potential clients through each process step. There’s even a buying guide on the company’s website, encouraging potential customers to read up and learn more about solar’s benefits. These educational resources are also extended to Semper Solaris’ services of heating and air conditioning units and roofing projects. It will also guide people on how to benefit from the tax credits that come with solar energy projects.
Co-owned by a veteran and staffed by quite a few veterans, too, Semper Solaris seeks to help service people by offering a $500 discount for military personnel and first responders. In addition, there are other various saving options detailed on the website, including an internet coupon for up to $500, $199 for surveying and tuning up existing solar panel systems, and roof replacement options.
Semper Solaris also runs a referral program from which people can earn up to $550 from each referral.
Semper Solaris is a legitimate business:
- BBB accreditation since 2013 and an A+ rating.
- It is SEIA and CALSEIA certified.
- Transparent with contact details for all its offices.
- CSLB Licence #978152.
- Information about the company is easily accessible across different websites and platforms.
- Has won several awards relating to solar energy across the years, including the 2022 award for best “Solar + Storage Residential Installer.”
Adding more to this legitimacy are a number of initiatives that Semper Solaris undertakes. It runs a scholarship program in which students submit essays about renewable and sustainable energies and stand a chance of winning up to $3,000 in scholarship funds.
It also has the Semper Cares initiative, an ongoing program for which veterans and their families can be nominated to benefit from home improvements and renewable energy projects installed in their homes.
Semper Solaris, on its website, states that should any issues develop on one of its installations, its first response is to troubleshoot with the client over the phone. If that proves unsuccessful, the next step is to send a technician to the property by the next day. Though different warranties are available, the one for solar panels is 25 years.
If under warranty, defective panels can be replaced free of charge, and the same goes for any repairs needed. For a fee, Semper Solaris can also send out a maintenance team to handle the potential upkeeping of a solar energy system.
While there are plenty of positive reviews about Semper Solaris in general and for after-sales service, there are also quite a few negative ones. Reviews swing across both ends of the spectrum, with some people describing it as “wonderful,” “skilled,” and “the best company.” In contrast, others denounced it as “incompetent,” “non-responsive,” and “unethical.”
Customer Service (Review Analysis)
Overall, Semper Solaris can be classified as a good company, given its 4.6-star rating across over 350 reviews. However, given the diversity of reviews, it would be good to delve deeper into people’s good and bad experiences with this company.
One of the positive reviews explained how the customer needed a new roof and solar energy system and opted for Semper Solaris. The company’s senior energy consultant took the time to explain in great detail the next steps that would be required. The roof took a week to install, while the panels took a day. The customer noted that both installation crews were.
|“very courteous and professional and kept the work site very clean of debris at the end of the work day”.
On the negative side, a customer review described the experience as a “nightmare” lasting from February to August, citing “horrid communication” as just the tip of the iceberg. Allegedly, one of Semper Solaris’ employees visited the customer’s property without prior notice while the client was out of town and accidentally left the client’s system offline for over two weeks. Several calls, texts, and e-mails later, most of which the customer says were unanswered, Semper Solaris eventually sent someone to fix the issue.
The customer also mentioned that there were still some persistent issues, but inconsistent communication prevented them from being solved.
The SolarEmpower View
Semper Solaris is a highly legitimate company that seeks to support veterans, students, military personnel, and service people across various initiatives. It offers multiple solar panels to choose from and can even tune-up existing installations, even if not Semper Solaris’ work.
The only downside is that a fair few negative reviews bring down the company’s score a little bit. Additionally, Semper Solaris scores highly across various metrics, including transparency and average installation costs.
|Customer Service: 7/10
|Solar Panel Options: 9/10
Phone: (619) 357-4142
Address: 1805 John Towers Avenue, El Cajon, California, CA 92020