Trinity Solar Review: How It Stacks Up – CNET

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Trinity Solar Panels


  • Choice of quality panels and batteries
  • Offers multiple financing options

Don’t like

  • No pricing transparency
  • Weaker workmanship warranty for purchases

While the residential solar industry is no longer in its infancy, a company that started installing solar in 2004 is one of the old guard. That’s Trinity Solar, which formed a decade earlier, focused on HVAC. It’s now one of the 10 largest solar companies installing residential solar panels in the US. 

The solar panels, inverters and battery options Trinity offers are of good quality, with strong warranties (and are popular choices for other companies, as well). All signs indicate that it’s a company that delivers strong customer service, too. Trinity trails some other solar companies in the warranties it offers customers who purchase its system, although lease and power purchase agreement customers receive coverage for the duration of their agreement. 

Trinity Solar scores well because it offers quality equipment and customer service that appears to be strong. However, Trinity doesn’t share pricing information, and many companies are dinged for this in our scoring methodology. Since it’s likely you’re looking to solar partly for savings benefits, it’s hard to give a complete recommendation without pricing information.

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This review isn’t based on any hands-on testing or firsthand experience with ordering and installation, so it may not offer a full picture of whether Trinity fits your specific situation. When you’re shopping for solar panels, you should get multiple quotes, including from smaller local solar companies that may have less overhead and can potentially offer you a better deal. Talk to neighbors who have solar and understand your energy needs before choosing an installer. Our review of Trinity — and of all the solar companies we review — can be part of your shopping process, but it shouldn’t be the only guidance.

What do I get from Trinity Solar?

When you’re shopping for solar panels, the panels, inverter and (possibly) the battery are important pieces of the bigger picture. If you buy from Trinity Solar, you should expect quality equipment.

What equipment does Trinity Solar install?

Trinity Solar installs Qcells solar panels, although it could install something else if a customer requests it, said Kristen Drigon, a spokesperson for Trinity Solar. The widely used residential solar panels from Qcells, one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world, have top efficiency ratings from 20.6% to 20.9%. Efficiency measures the amount of sunlight the panels convert to electricity. Qcells’ ratings mean the panels are among the most efficient panels, just shy of a few offerings from other companies including SunPower.

Trinity prefers to install SolarEdge inverters, Drigon said. SolarEdge makes a string inverter that can connect to power optimizers. SolarEdge inverters have high efficiencies (up to 99%, depending on the model) and come with a 12-year warranty that can be extended to 20 or 25 years. For certain projects, Trinity uses Enphase microinverters, which operate at 97% to 97.5% efficiency.

Trinity also installs a variety of batteries, including models from Tesla and GeneracTesla Powerwall batteries hold 12.2 kilowatt-hours of usable energy, although you can add multiple batteries. Tesla Powerwall is a battery widely used by solar installers. It can provide 13.5 kWh of energy in total, at a rate of 5.8 kVA continuously or 7.2 kVA for 10 seconds at a time. Powerwall promises 70% capacity over 10 years, regardless of how much the battery is used, as long as it’s used just to back up your house. 

Generac PWRcell batteries start at 9 kWh and can be increased in 3 kWh increments up to 36 total. Generac’s batteries can discharge about 1.1 kilowatts continuously per battery module. For example, a 9 kWh setup (3 battery modules) can discharge continuously at a rate of 3.4 kW. The batteries can discharge at a peak of 1.5 kW, so a 9 kW setup will discharge at a rate of 4.5 kW. PWRcell batteries also come with a warranty that’s good for 10 years or until 7.65 megawatt-hours cycle through the battery per module. (A 3-module, 9 kWh battery would be under warranty for 10 years, or until 22.95 megawatt hours cycle through it.)

While Trinity Solar favors certain equipment and manufacturers, supply chain issues have impacted the solar industry. Trinity may install other equipment as limited availability remains.

What warranties does Trinity Solar offer?

Aside from the battery and inverter warranties mentioned above, you’ll receive additional warranties on panels and the installation. 

Because solar panels are long-lived purchases and do deteriorate over time, panel quality is also measured by long-term performance. Qcells’ panels are guaranteed to produce at 86% of their capacity for 25 years. This is also a near-top rating, but it ranks below just a few other panels, including those from SunPower, which guarantee 92% for 25 years. At the same time, Qcells’ 25-year warranty does match the longest mainstream warranties available on the market.

Trinity offers a 10-year workmanship warranty to those who purchase solar panels, Drigon said. The company also said it offers a warranty against leaks from solar panel installation ranging from five to 25 years. About 97% of Trinity’s customers purchased their panels with a loan in the last 18 months, which comes with a 10-year warranty against leaks.

Ten-year workmanship warranties are not unusual in the solar industry, although some companies are starting to offer 25-year options. A 10-year warranty against leaks is pretty common. The workmanship for leases or power purchase agreements from Trinity is fully covered for the life of the deal.

Does Trinity Solar use subcontractors?

Most installations are handled by in-house teams, but the company does employ subcontractors as necessary. 

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Watch this: New Solar Shingles You May Not Even Notice


Does Trinity Solar offer monitoring services?

Trinity confirmed you’ll monitor your solar system through the SolarEdge or Enphase app, depending on which inverter brand you have. Both apps are well-rated: SolarEdge receives 4.2 stars on Google Play and 4.6 on Apple’s App Store, and Enphase receives 4.1 on Google Play and 4.7 on the App Store.

How much do Trinity Solar panels cost?

Trinity’s customers can go solar by purchasing panels or entering into a lease or power purchase agreement. While buying solar panels often results in better financial savings over the lifetime of the panels, third-party ownership arrangements — such as leases and power purchase agreements — eliminate the up-front costs of going solar.

For that reason, installation price isn’t always the best metric by which to judge solar products, Drigon said. If you opt for a lease or a power purchase agreement, installation costs are covered by the installers. At that point, the important metric for customers is the escalator — or the rate at which the annual fee increases compared with the cost of electricity from a local utility. Since these numbers vary by location, it requires some guesswork and careful consideration before entering into an agreement.

A typical escalator rate from Trinity is 2.9%, Drigon said. Every year, a few customers pay more for their solar energy than they would with their utility (something we heard from other providers, as well), but Drigon called those instances “quite rare.”

Over the lifespan of the system, however, Drigon noted: “We expect all of our customers to show savings because of the very nature of solar energy’s predictability when compared to their utility.”

Because Trinity Solar is a privately owned company that is not required to release information about its business to investors, getting a clear answer about cost and value is more difficult compared with companies such as Sunrun and Tesla. Trinity Solar declined to share an average price for a purchased system because pricing “is market-dependent and ranges broadly depending on the regulations and associated costs in any given area.” 

According to consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, the average cost for residential solar panels is $2.99 per watt for an 8 kW system ($23,920 for the whole 8 kW system). According to, the average cost of equipment and installation before factoring in the 30% federal clean energy credit, the US national average cost is roughly $3.60 per watt or $18,073 for a 5 kW sized system. 

Here’s a map that shows you the average costs for solar panels in each state. States shaded in gray had no data available.   

Does Trinity Solar operate in my state? How do I order?

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Ashley Cooper/Getty Images

Trinity Solar operates in nine states:

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Zooey Liao / CNET

You can reach out to Trinity via its website. Trinity will contact you using the information you provide to start the process.

Trinity Solar has in-house installation teams in all the states it services, according to Drigon, though the company does have subcontractors on hand. 

Is Trinity Solar my best choice?

As with any major purchase, it’s important to shop around and read all the fine print. Doing a bit more legwork could save you thousands of dollars. Keep in mind that Trinity offers leases and power purchase agreements, which can help you go solar for minimal up-front cost, though your long-term savings are likely to be lower than if you purchase outright. You should get several quotes and check out smaller local installers for your solar purchase. The same goes for leases and power purchase agreements. 

Trinity’s preferred providers for panels, inverters and batteries are all respected brands that should perform well over the lifetime of your system. At the same time, remember that Trinity’s workmanship warranty is typically 10 years, which is fairly standard (although longer workmanship warranties exist). There are also some visible signs, like a responsive Better Business Bureau page, that Trinity takes customer service seriously. While customer satisfaction is difficult to judge without survey data, it’s encouraging to see the company quickly respond to complaints. Trinity has an A+ grade with the Better Business Bureau.

It bears repeating that without pricing data, it’s impossible to give a qualified recommendation. Compare multiple companies to find your best fit. While I approached this research practically and thoroughly, I haven’t purchased or tested Trinity Solar in any empirical way. Since solar services vary regionally and can be difficult to review, do your own research before you decide which way to go.


  • Offers quality equipment
  • Signs point to strong customer service


  • You can find longer workmanship and weatherization warranties elsewhere
  • Little pricing transparency

Trinity Solar reviews: What are customers saying

Online reviews shouldn’t be taken as the final word on the quality of any product or service, but you can glean some valuable information from them. You can identify trends in customer experience, learn what questions you should ask early on and anticipate common problems.

Below are some excerpts of reviews pulled from Trinity Solar’s Better Business Bureau page, which may have been lightly edited for grammar and spelling. Trinity has responded to most of the reviews left there.

Five-star reviews

“I had a great representative who educated us and kept us informed every step of the way. Over a year later she still checks in to see if we have any questions or concerns. The install was pretty smooth and I’ve saved a bunch of money in energy. Our system is performing better than expected!” Marcey C. 7/13/2023

“Overall, I highly recommend Trinity solar panels to anyone looking for a reliable, efficient, and long-lasting solar energy solution. They’re a great investment in your home or business, and will pay off in the form of lower energy bills and a more sustainable future.” Felix A. 6/15/2023

One-star reviews

“I had them put a new roof on and remove & reinstall the panels. It took four months for all to be done. I called numerous times. Most of the time the calls weren’t returned. Right now I have panels that are useless.” Diana B. 10/27/2023

“We needed our panels removed in September 2022. After numerous phone calls, we were given a date in mid-December. We had a new roof installed a few days later. Here it is the middle of February and the panels still haven’t been reinstalled.” Annie L. 2/13/2023

How we evaluate solar companies

Reviewing solar companies in a hands-on way is difficult. Accounting for all the differences from project to project is impossible. To provide a helpful review, we focused on what we can measure and meaningfully compare among companies.

We focus on three buckets of criteria: equipment, warranties and service. 

Within the equipment category, companies receive scores for the panels, inverters and batteries they install. Warranties include guarantees on the panels, workmanship and weatherization against leaks. Companies earn points for service if they offer a price match, a meaningful level of price transparency and a well-rated app for monitoring solar production. They lose points if there are major issues pertaining to customer service (lawsuits, investigations or clear reputations for shoddy service). These issues will always be detailed in the review.

You can read a detailed look at how the scoring breaks down.

We don’t consider the average price of a company’s installations in their score. This information is difficult to find and hard to compare across service areas (and even from roof to roof). Companies are often slow to disclose it, too. We also leave out easily found information that’s of little use, like how many states a company operates in.

Read more: Just looking for an emergency backup? Check out portable solar panels and solar generators.  

Trinity Solar FAQs

Who owns Trinity Solar?

Trinity Solar is a family-owned company. It claims to be the largest privately held solar installer in the US.

What type of solar panels does Trinity Solar use?

How long has Trinity Solar been in business?

Trinity Solar has been installing solar panels since 2004, though it existed as a heating and air conditioning company beginning in 1994.

Is Trinity Solar reliable?

Trinity Solar has been in business for nearly two decades and is responsive to customer complaints on the BBB website, indicating solid customer service. The company installs hardware from trusted national brands.

Correction, May 10, 2023: An earlier version of this article misstated the Better Business Bureau’s grading process. Any company can receive a grade from the Bureau, regardless of whether it has paid to go through the accreditation process.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

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