V3 Electric, Inc. Overview
Established in 2014 with a central location in El Dorado Hills, California, V3 Electric provides residential solar services to the northernmost parts of the Golden State. With over two hundred employees and a revenue upwards of $25 million, V3 has a claim to the title of ‘largest local solar provider.’
A private company, V3 frames itself as providing energy freedom for its customers – cutting out the middleman of utility companies. However, their actual reputation is one of aggressive sales tactics and false promises, particularly in recent years. Recent legal issues are also a black mark against them.
V3 Electric Services and Specifics
Specific Solar Panels offered
V3 Electric is partnered with a huge number of manufacturers, giving them a wide variety of products to use in their installations. They claim to only ever use Tier 1 panels and inverters.
Specific Types of Solar Offered
V3 Electric provides solar energy systems for residential properties in California. The vast majority of their installations are roof-mounted, and their focus is on grid-tied and hybrid systems, meaning they will help alleviate costly utility bills. With an additional energy storage solution or backup battery system, you can also store additional power in the event of a blackout.
Although these details can be found elsewhere on the internet, V3’s website does not include any specifics about its installations. You’re more likely to receive these details from their in-person salesmen – numerous reviews say they were prompted to sign on with V3 through these interactions. Many others, however, complain about the incredibly aggressive sales tactics used.
V3 Electric Installation Costs and Process
V3 Electric markets itself around ideas of freedom and independence from traditional utility companies, suggesting a strong return on investment and, at minimum, heavy savings on your bills. Although exact numbers are hard to come by, a system of 24 solar panels is likely to set you back anywhere between $30,000 and $44,000 for full ownership, with some customers reporting a saving of over $200 per month on their utility bills within a few months. Others save significantly less, with some even operating at a cost.
V3 Electric does not detail financing options on its website, though its Freedom Package promises “zero cost to start.” Reviews suggest this arrangement is a solar lease, as opposed to permanent ownership, which might not be the best option for many homeowners. This seems at odds with V3’s promotion of ‘energy independence.’ Several complaints mention that V3 won’t transfer said lease over if the house is purchased by another party.
Several more complaints strongly advise potential customers to ask about true-up payments – you may find yourself paying far more than you were originally quoted. One unfortunate customer found themselves paying almost $600 more than their yearly estimate for a system they describe as never working.
V3 Electric has multiple industry certifications;
- A verified Electrical Contractor’s license with the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) (#1000573)
- Accreditation with the Better Business Bureau since 2016 with an A- rating (although they report this as an A+ on their website)
- NABCEP Certified Energy Practitioners
- Association with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
- Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer
- SolarEdge Preferred Partner
V3 Electric is partnered with a wide variety of industry-leading manufacturers, including, but not limited to, Enphase Energy, SolarWorld, SolarEdge Technologies, LG Solar, and Q Cells. They’re also partnered with numerous financing companies, such as HERO, Sunrun, and Sunnova Energy.
Although they have multiple industry certifications and partnerships, there are some rumblings about how the company is run and how they treat their employees. Many reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed describe a “cutthroat” work environment where sales representatives are ‘encouraged’ to pass deals onto closers, cutting up to 60% out of the representative’s commission. One review outright calls the company a pyramid scheme. The management is often described as being unprofessional or outright hostile, with little empathy for either the employees or the customers.
In addition, V3 Electric has been involved in at least two lawsuits in the past three years; one in small claims court for an undisclosed amount, and the other for violation of labour laws. They’ve also been issued a letter of admonishment by the CSLB on 09/22/22 for violations of the Business and Professions Code.
All of V3’s installations come packaged with a 10-year workmanship warranty, and all of their Tier 1 panels come with a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty and production guarantee.
Whether or not you’ll be able to make use of these warranties is a different matter entirely. There are many complaints about how long it takes to get in contact with V3 Electric about issues with panels or even installation times, with some customers waiting months to receive replies. Their customer service is described as shoddy at best, marked by a distinct lack of communication. Appointments have been made for maintenance and inspections without the customer’s knowledge, technicians turn up late, and many have reported significant damage to their roofs after installations.
The SolarEmpower View
|Customer Service: 3/10
Although there are many happy customers, it’s quite clear that V3 Electric’s service is lacking, particularly in recent years. With pushy sales representatives and underhanded pricing tactics, as well as a distinct lack of customer service or employee satisfaction, V3’s claims of ‘energy independence’ fall short. We cannot recommend V3 Electric as a solar energy provider and strongly caution you against them until these issues are resolved. A concerning 4/10.