Tesla Solar vs. Vivint Solar – What You Need to Know

Tesla Solar vs. Vivint Solar

Solar energy has become all the rage as people look to minimize their carbon footprint and utilize renewable energy. There is a great deal of options, with Tesla and Vivint Solar being among those at the forefront.

Vivint Solar and Tesla Solar are both great options for your solar power needs. Based on several factors, Tesla Solar proves to be the better option. Between cheaper costs, a great warranty, and ease of use, it is hard to see what Vivint will offer that Tesla does not.

At this point, you are likely wondering what exactly each of these services offers in order to give yourself the chance to make the most informed purchasing decision. Read on, as we will go through each of these options to give you a clearer picture.

Tesla Solar vs. Vivint Solar: What Each Has to Offer

The specifics of what you need to know about each of these companies, as well as how they stack up against each other, lies in the details. First, we’ll take a look at what Tesla Solar offers, then we’ll dive into the same specifics for Vivint Solar.

Tesla Solar

Tesla purchased SolarCity in 2016, and it has become a staple in the world of renewable energy. So, what do they offer? Up next, we’ll go over just that.

Financing Options

Tesla Solar offers all kinds of different financing options to make sure that you are able to pay for your solar. Some of the options available include loans, leases, and PPA’s or power purchase agreements.

One additional bonus for both of these options is that you can apply for state and federal tax incentives and rebates for using solar energy. Tesla offers a 25-year warranty, so you can feel safe knowing that your investment is covered.


Tesla Solar offers systems that offset 178 tons of carbon dioxide over a span of 30 years. Their inverter power operates at 3.8kW/7.6kW and 97.5 efficiency. This is a surefire way to ensure that you are doing your part in reducing your carbon footprint and utilizing primarily renewable energy.

In addition to this effectiveness, you can utilize the app to monitor your system’s performance at all times. This will give you an opportunity to reach out to Tesla Solar if you find anything out of the ordinary with your equipment. Tesla does also offer a battery backup that will allow you to store excess energy in the event of an outage or long streak of cloudy days.

Customer Service

Tesla generally carries well-regarded customer service scores, as they will typically have agents available to answer any questions that you may have. There have been some complaints, however, about salespeople being a bit pushy when customers reach out for installation or assistance.

However, they will send someone out for an in-person evaluation of your roof before installation. This will be paired with a team of engineers who will design your system to meet the needs of your home.

All of this is tied together with a sleek, durable design that will not be distracting on your roof. Once you take all of this into account, along with a 25-year warranty, the customer service starts to look even more enticing.


We have discussed the financing options, the effectiveness, and the customer service. There is one big question that we have not addressed, however. What is the actual cost? As per usual, this depends on the needs that you have for solar power. Recently, Tesla dropped their prices to cost between $2.50 and $2.85 per watt.

This is almost a full dollar lower than the two biggest installers of solar in the country, and it does not take into account any of the federal or state incentives that are available for those who use solar power. There are some restrictions associated, but it is certainly a great option for those who are looking to save some money.

Does Tesla Offer Discounts on Solar?

Tesla solar panels are already the lowest price solar panels on the market, but are there any other ways to save money when ordering?

In short, the only way to get a discount on Tesla solar panels is by using an existing Tesla owners “referral link” when ordering your Tesla solar panels.

Tesla has did this same “referral program” concept with it’s vehicles and essentially it allows new customers to get a discount on their purchase by using an existing customers personal referral link.

In regards to Tesla solar discounts, using a Tesla referral link when ordering will save you $300 off solar panels or $500 off solar roof.

The referral discounts are typically only available for a limited time before Tesla stops offering the discount, so take advantage of the savings while you can.

tesla solar panel discount

Vivint Solar

Vivint Solar has long been a popular name in the solar game, as they offer great options and customer service. We will take a look at some of the features that they offer.

Financing Options

Similar to Tesla Solar, Vivint Solar offers multiple different options for financing your solar power. You can opt to go for a loan or a lease or choose to utilize the power purchase agreement option with Vivint Solar as well.

Another bonus is that they will hire their own installers in each individual market that they serve. This will help, as you will not have to pay extra out of pocket for installation while also receiving expertise from someone who services your market.

This will allow them to offer tailored advice that will better benefit you and your system. As always, you can also apply for the tax incentives on both a state and federal level.


Vivint uses rail-free Zep technology, which will help with both cost and time. During installation, this will make the process quicker while also lowering the cost for you over time. The installation is, of course, free as well.

In addition to the Zep technology, Vivint Solar also uses micro-inverters with their panels. This is different from the industry standard centralized inverters and actually boosts efficiency by 15% or more.

Customer Service

This is where Vivint Solar has fallen down a bit in the past. They offer free consultations and will be very hands-on with the design, which is a definite bonus. In fact, their process is extremely consumer-focused and consumer-driven.

However, they can sometimes run into trouble after the installation as there have been some complaints about their customer service. Additionally, they do not have a mobile app that would allow for simple real-time monitoring of the solar systems. They do offer 24/7 365 day coverage to make sure that things are all working in order.


Vivint Solar is actually one of the most expensive options that are available. Recently, they reported that their cost for installation is sitting at $3.56 per watt. This is 19% higher than the National Average and can cost anywhere from $14,240 to $42,720 for installation, depending on your needs.

This is much more expensive than the Tesla Solar option, as they are at about a 30% difference between the two of them. There are downsides to the Tesla option, as they only offer block installation, but if you are strictly looking to make a decision based on price, there is one option that makes sense.

Tesla Solar vs. Vivint Solar: Which is Best?

As always, the answer to this question depends on what your solar needs are and what you are hoping to accomplish. We encourage you to continue to do your own research as you look to determine which option would best suit and satisfy your needs.

However, based on the information available at present, it would seem that Tesla would be the better option of the two. Between cheaper costs, a great warranty, and ease of use, it is hard to see what Vivint will offer that Tesla does not.

If you can deal with the pushy salespeople at Tesla and just focus on getting what you need, then you will likely get more bang for your buck there than you would with Vivint.

Either way, you will come out on top with whatever option you decide to choose. Solar energy is the future, as it offers a renewable and natural option to power your home and can keep your house powered even if the power grid goes down due to a storm or other issues.

As long as you have a battery available or some other mechanism to store the leftover solar energy, you will be able to maintain power in your home even if your neighbors end up losing theirs.

Solar Discounts:


The articles here on ThatTeslaChannel.com are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

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