1. Partner Blog
  2. Solar Sales

Comparing Palmetto Solar to the Competition: A Comprehensive Guide

In this article
01.
Company Overviews
02.
Partner & Rep Support
03.
Consumer Feedback
04.
Financing Options
05.
There's No Comparison: Palmetto Is the Best Choice for Growth-Focused Solar Salespeople

Palmetto is the preferred partner for sales professionals who want to grow their revenues and business. Here's a closer look at how we're surpassing the competition.

Palmetto has  emerged as one of the foremost EPCs in the United States. You don't have to take our word for it—we were recently included on CNET's Best Solar Companies of 2023 list and singled out for their “Best Solar Company for Customer Service” award.

At Palmetto, we're proud to lead the way in expanding clean energy access nationwide. Our innovative solutions empower homeowners to embrace solar energy, aiding businesses in growth and making a significant environmental impact. As we continue to grow, we're seeking top-tier sales professionals to join our expanding teams across the U.S. Are you ready to join and achieve your highest potential?

Judge for yourself whether opportunities at Palmetto represent a step up in your ability to earn and grow. Here's a company-by-company look at us and our four highest profile competitors in markets across the United States.

Company Overviews

Palmetto

Palmetto was founded in 2010 with a mission to “lead the world toward a clean energy future,” as part of a journey to “stop climate change before we reach an irreversible tipping point.” The South Carolina-based company offers end-to-end solutions that promise clean solar energy results customers can track and savings they can count on.

Palmetto is one of the top 10 residential solar installers by volume in the nation. Since its launch, Palmetto has expanded to offer services in Washington D.C. and the following 20 states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia

Sunnova Energy

Sunnova has been operating since 2012, with a goal “to power energy independence so that homeowners and businesses have the freedom to live life uninterrupted.” Since its founding, the company has diversified into a spectrum of additional services and products, some outside the solar domain.

Sunnova is currently available in 46 states and overseas U.S. territories., as well as Washington D.C. The company is based in Houston and has almost 400,000 customers.

Sunrun

Sunrun debuted in 2007 with an approach based on the tagline “Your home. Your energy. Our responsibility.” The company is not focused only on solar: its products and services are scattered across a variety of clean energy solutions, including solar installations, backup batteries, EV charging stations, and system monitoring.

Sunrun's products are currently available in 20 states, as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. The company is based in San Francisco and has more than 800,000 customers.

Titan Solar Power

Titan Solar began operating in 2013 in a handful of states. Since then, the company has expanded to offer residential and commercial solar power installations in 20 states. The company's leadership believes that, “Solar is ever changing, and we are committed to evolving with the industry.”

Titan Solar is based in Arizona. As one of the top 10 installers by volume in the United States, the company is approaching one billion total watts installed.

Freedom Forever

Freedom Forever was founded in 2011 and has maintained since then a focus on residential solar installations. The company's mission is to “brighten the world with solar energy today, tomorrow, and forever.”

Freedom Forever offers its services and solutions in 29 states and Washington D.C. The company is in the top five for solar installer market share in the United States.

Partner & Rep Support

Palmetto

The company states that it provides “tailored support for both installers and sales teams, equipping you with a business model that ensures efficient timelines, optimized capacity, and an exceptional customer experience.” For sales professionals, it adds that it is “passionate about getting our solar sales pros paid as fast as possible.”

Palmetto is demonstrably living up to these goals to support its sales pros. The company's Partner Training Program is designed to fast-launch a successful transition into the solar sales domain. It includes deep support to set up a high-performing solar sales business.

The Partner Training Program also certifies salespeople to work with the company's innovative Alchemy CRM platform, which is a proprietary marketplace model and technology platform that simplifies the setup, management, and optimization of a solar business. Alchemy performs as a device-based support office that builds a professional framework to help automate and manage a full range of essential business processes:

  • Lead generation, tracking & qualification
  • Create & share customized sales proposals, including CAD designs & visuals
  • Find & review financing options
  • Execute sales agreements
  • Pipeline visibility & management
  • Ongoing collaboration, communication & dedicated support

Palmetto has streamlined installation processes, reducing timelines by 37 days, enhancing speed-to-revenue for sales teams and boosting partner earnings through fewer cancellations and more referrals.

Sunnova Energy

Sunnova's partnership promises include “dedicated account management team, access to leading technology and equipment, high volume, qualified leads, competitive FICO requirements and dealer fees, intuitive sales portal and software integrations, bilingual support for broader audiences, marketing resources and development funds, online contract validation, on-time payments for project milestones.”

Sunnova operates Sunnova Catalyst, a residential quoting platform, however their website does not include details about how other support elements for salespeople are implemented in practice.

Sunrun

Sales reps are promised “a robust platform of tools and services to support the near and long-term growth of our partners.” Sunrun uses Salesforce solutions for many of its marketing, sales, service, and commerce operations, however it's unclear whether these are fully customized for the company's salespeople. It does offer access to BrightPath, an automated software platform used by its customers. It also produces customized marketing materials and sales training.

Titan Solar Power

Titan asserts that it is committed to providing sales partners with “speed to roof, full project visibility, finance resources, market presence, speed to money.” Their website offers no additional details on what these mean in practice.

Freedom Forever

“Freedom Forever ensures a quality installation with best-in-class lead times. We work to ensure that our customers are satisfied with their system. We install quicker so you can get faster commissions.”

The company provides its reps access to LIGHTSPEED, a custom software solution that helps the company and homeowners manage projects, provide account updates, and monitor active systems. Freedom Forever's Volt mobile app is designed to provide support for lead management and sales streamlining.

Consumer Feedback

Palmetto

BBB Rating & Accreditation: A+ (ACCREDITED)

Customer Reviews: 3.75/5

Strengths based on testimonials: Customers consistently note excellent customer service and fast response time to complaints. Timeline from purchase to installation is generally regarded as fast. Good communication and installer professionalism are commonly reported.

Challenges based on complaints: System problems following installation are noted by some customers; typically this is resolved with a repair or part replacement. Some customers report frustration with the need for repeated visits by technicians.

Sunnova Energy

BBB Rating & Accreditation: F (NOT ACCREDITED)

Customer Reviews: 2.57/5

Strengths based on testimonials: Positive customer reviews express general satisfaction with the company and its services. Knowledgeable sales reps are a potential strength.

Challenges based on complaints: Customer complaints leading the company's “F” grade include reports of deceptive sales practices, poor customer service, and failure of installers and technicians to arrive as scheduled. Many customers reported their complaints were only addressed by the company after they went to the BBB.

Sunrun

BBB Rating & Accreditation: A+ (ACCREDITED)

Customer Reviews: 3.73/5

Strengths based on testimonials: Many customers report that the company has delivered on the energy savings promised. Others are impressed with the speed and competence of the company's service technicians.

Challenges based on complaints: A BBB review notes a pattern of complaints relating to response time in resolving customer issues. Some customers are frustrated by aggressive sales tactics used by Sunrun salespeople.

Titan Solar Power

BBB Rating & Accreditation: A- (ACCREDITED)

Customer Reviews: 1.76/5

Strengths based on testimonials: Local reps are knowledgeable and helpful in explaining options. Customers are impressed with sales presentations and thoroughness of approach.

Challenges based on complaints: Customer service satisfaction is trending significantly lower, with variance based on local dealer. Installation quality also varies according to location.

Freedom Forever

BBB Rating & Accreditation: B+ (NOT ACCREDITED)

Customer Reviews: 1.9/5

Strengths based on testimonials: Installation is fast and local installers are attentive to individual issues and able to meet schedules.

Challenges based on complaints: BBB notes a pattern of complaints from customers alleging that they are being billed despite solar panels that are not fully installed, or not working properly. Customer service is a focus of complaints, including response to ongoing equipment and contract issues.

Financing Options

Palmetto

Palmetto offers customers four options for solar energy:

  1. Palmetto Finance Energy Plan: A financial arrangement that allows customers to work with their local utility company and pay a monthly fee based on the amount of energy their system produces. This option looks identical to paying a traditional electricity bill, although with lower rates. At the end of a PPA, customers can choose to remove or purchase the system.
  2. Upfront cash purchase: This is the most cost-effective payment option and allows complete system ownership, with no financing costs. Customers are eligible for the federal solar tax credit and local incentives.
  3. Solar loan: This option ranks second in cost-effectiveness. A monthly fee to own the panels includes interest. Almost all standard solar incentives remain available with this option.
  4. Solar lease: Customers pay a low fixed monthly rate and still experience monthly electricity savings, however they do not own the panels. Typically, this prevents claiming most solar tax incentives and rebates.

Sunnova Energy

Sunnova offers customers four options for solar energy:

  1. Full cost purchase: Recent quotes were in the low range of $3-3.50/watt for system installation, up to $4.50-7/watt depending on the installer.
  2. Loan agreement: Typical options include 10-, 15-, and 25-year loan terms, with the potential for $0 down, based on credit.
  3. Solar lease: Sunnova retains ownership of the system and is responsible for maintenance.
  4. PPA: Customers pay only for the power they use, at reduced rates compared to traditional utilities. The customer may also need to pay for additional electricity if the panel-generated energy does not cover their full needs.

Sunrun

Three standard options are offered to Sunrun customers:

  1. Full cost purchase: The customer pays the full cost upfront, owns the system outright, and is responsible for maintenance. This option provides for rate hike protection and an OEM warranty for all parts.
  2. Loan agreement: Ownership and maintenance are accomplished via financing with fixed monthly payments. Customers enjoy rate hike protection and an OEM warranty for all parts.
  3. Solar lease: Sunrun owns the system and is responsible for maintenance. The customer receives rate hike protection and a 25-year warranty.

Titan Solar Power

Like some of the other companies here, Titan offers four standard options to customers:

  1. Full cost purchase: The customer owns the system with a cash upfront payment, which typically is the most cost-efficient option. All solar tax credits and incentives are available.
  2. Loan agreement: Up to 25-year loan term is available, with a $0 down option for good credit.
  3. Solar lease: Titan retains ownership of the system and is responsible for maintenance. Many incentives are not available.
  4. PPA: Customers pay only for the power they use, at reduced rates compared to traditional utilities. The customer may also need to pay for additional electricity if the panel-generated energy does not cover their full needs.

Freedom Forever

Freedom Forever offers four standard programs for customers:

  1. Full cost purchase: Cash upfront payment, full ownership at the best price, all solar tax credits and incentives available.
  2. Loan agreement: Multiple options for loan term available, including $0 down for good credit.
  3. Solar lease: Freedom Forever retains ownership of the system and is responsible for maintenance. Many incentives are not available.
  4. PPA: Looks like a typical utility agreement, in which customers pay only for the power they use, at reduced rates compared to traditional utilities. Generation shortfall may require customers to pay for additional electricity.

There's No Comparison: Palmetto Is the Best Choice for Growth-Focused Solar Salespeople

Palmetto's mission is clear: we're committed to making the solar journey accessible, affordable, and rewarding for everyone. That's why we're interested in partnering with the most ambitious and talented solar sales pros in the market.

Let's have a conversation about working together. We're committed to making a partnership with Palmetto pay off for you, with:

  • Support in all phases of your process from a team of professionals
  • A framework of technology tools & workflows that make sales faster, simpler, and more consistent
  • Commission structures that are transparent, straightforward & able to generate faster payments

Ready to earn to your full potential, with no bottlenecks holding you back? Visit our Palmetto Sales Partner page to learn more—that's your first step toward becoming part of an operation that's aligned with your sales and career growth.

Read More From The Clean Energy Learning Center

Palmetto is your go-to resource for news, updates, and questions. Knowledge is power. Invest with confidence.

The words solar battery backup guide atop a house being powered by a solar battery at night

The Homeowner's Guide to Home Battery Backup

Everything you need to know (and nothing that you don’t) about home battery backups,  we’ve developed this succinct guide for homeowners in the U.S.
The words "Cost of solar panels" atop a solar panel with the sun shining and a translucent overlay of a dollar sign

What is the Average Cost of Solar Panels? Your Guide to Understanding Solar Panel Cost

Learn the average cost of solar panels, including a pricing breakdown between hard costs like materials and soft costs like installation and labor.

Kilowatt-Hours (kWh) Explained: Understanding Your Energy Usage

Better understand your energy usage by learning what kilowatt-hours are and how this important concept could benefit you.