BetterEarth Solar Review
Company: Better Earth Solar
Address: 1815 E Wilshire Ave Ste 908, Santa Ana, CA 92705
Years in Business: 6
Reviews: 2.8 / 5 (Solar Reviews), 1.8 / 5 (Bestcompany.com), 5 / 5 (Energysage), 3 / 5 (Yelp), 3.98 / 5 (Better Business Bureau), 4 / 5 (Facebook)
Business Quote: “Since our founding, we have experienced rocket ship growth due to our focus on creating the most seamless and excellent customer experience in our mission to transform the world to renewable energy”
Summary: BetterEarth is a “vertically integrated” solar company founded by a former employee of SolarCity with grandiose visions of a future powered by sustainable energy. Everything about Better earth is handled in-house from sales to design to install. This makes BetterEarth much more convenient for homeowners, and can help keep price-points lower. BetterEarth has a 60 day installation guarantee from the time proper permits are in hand or BetterEarth will compensate the homeowner for a year of solar payments up to $2,000. They also offer a very attractive zero money down option, and they partner with a number of lending companies. They also offer a PPA (power purchase agreement) that reduces upfront costs to customers. BetterEarth guarantees both their panel installation and the energy output of your panels for 25 years.
BetterEarth has a limited national reach however, only being available in California, Arizona and Florida. BetterEarth also apparently does not have any nationally or internationally recognized certifications, which essentially means that while they may do great work, they have not been recognized as such by any governing body.
One interesting thing about BetterEarth is that they promote “joining their team” as an opportunity of a lifetime. They advertise “unlimited earning potential”, “leads on auto-pilot”, “career advancement”, “make your own schedule”, and which are terms that can often be found associated with pyramid schemes. And while I’m not accusing BetterEarth of anything like that, all I’m saying is that they could be pyramid-adjacent.
On their website they have a “how to get started” graphic that claims you can be hired and “start closing deals” within your first 10 days. In fact, the graphic even lists “start closing deals” as step 5 of their “smooth and easy” hiring process. And step 6, of course, is “collect commissions”.
Better Business Bureau: A good place to start when trying to figure out any company is with the BBB. They are a nationally recognized and generally accepted group known to be relatively neutral and consumer-oriented. Currently, Better Earth is an accredited business that has a 3.98 out of 5 star rating with 46 customer reviews with the BBB, as well as an A+ rating. They have 9 complaints lodged against them in the last 3 years with 7 complaints closed in the last 12 years. Some of the highlights from the complaints include:
- An unfinished installation
- An installation that had to be fixed, then was not re-inspected by the city
- Failure to fill out proper paperwork by the company & unfinished inspection
- Accusations of lies being told in the sales process
- Complaint about length of time between agreement and installation
- Poor communication during installation process, accusation of being called “evil” and a liar
From SolarReviews.com (Three Reviews, All 1 Star):
- From a review titled “Illegal Connection of ground to gas line”, quote: “The gas company rep came out on Friday and nearly blew his top to see that Better Earth Solar attached the ground/electrical line the nearby gas pipes. The fellow was livid. It could easily electrify the gas lines in the house. “
- From a review titled “More than 3 months from signed date- Still awaiting!!!”, quote: “THEY PROMISED WITHIN 6-8 WEEKS EVERYTHING TO BE DONE , BUT ITS BEEN MORETHAN 3 MONTHS I SIGNED CONTRACT NO USE OF IT.”
- From a review titled “Think Again!”, quote: “I signed a contract LAST NOVEMBER! Nothing has happened except bad communications and broken promises. Go elsewhere!”
From BestCompany.com (5 reviews, 1.8 star average):
- “Company is never on time”, “left a mess on my roof”, “stay away from this company”.
- The lone 5 star positive review, calls them professional from “management to installers”.
- Complaint that customer’s roof wasn’t properly inspected before installation, resulting in complications when the roof needed to be replaced.
- Review quote: “Consumers beware. DO NOT USE BETTER EARTH!”. Complains about failed inspections, poor communication, exposed wires, “cussing”.
- Quote from 5th review: “Horrible company.” Complains of a poor installation with damaged panels and having to hire a “real electrician” to fix the problem.
From EnergySage.com (50 reviews, average of 5 stars)
Almost all the reviews on EnergySage.com for this company are positive, lots of key buzzwords like “professional” and “responsive”. Lots of talk about good communication and helpful, knowledgeable reps. Several reviews call the process “easy” and “simple”.
From Yelp.com (39 reviews, average of 3 stars)
Many positive reviews here as well, but also some negatives. Negatives include:
- Katharina H. of Bell Gardens, CA says BetterEarth used non-licensed technicians that left them with a “destroyed roof” and unusable or non-working solar panels
- Cynthia K. of Saint Helena, CA says, quote, “Whatever you do dont believe these people or enter into a contract with them!”. She says the installation is not the one that was discussed and the system is still not working.
- Joseph M. of Phoenix, AZ, claims “horrible sales tactics” and posts a picture of what he claims are BetterEarth sales reps not in uniform or anything else to indicate who they are. He claims sales reps are instructed specifically to knock on doors with “no soliciting” signs.
Final Word: Better Earth seems like a well-intended company, but seems to have some major issues with their organization. There are a lot of complaints out there about them, probably more than there are positive reviews. This is a company I would recommend approaching with extreme caution- it doesn’t mean they can’t or don’t do good work, but there are definitely enough people out there unsatisfied with their work and experiences that you should do a large amount of research before making any commitment.