ADT isn’t just in the home security game anymore. It’s CNET’s highest-rated solar company.
The company offers a price-match guarantee and 25-year warranties for many of its products, which include some of the well-known brands that many other solar companies install. It also offers weatherization and workmanship warranties that outpace its competitors. Those guarantees are largely why ADT beats the rest of the field in our evaluation of national solar companies.
Like almost every solar provider, ADT could be more upfront about pricing, in my opinion. Even so, of the companies we’ve reviewed so far, ADT has the highest rating.
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The US set a record for rooftop solar installations in 2022, and experts expect that growth trend to continue. Solar panels offer a way to take control of their energy costs by taking advantage of newly boosted solar incentives and saving money for years to come.
But choosing a solar installer in a crowded marketplace is tricky and requires a lot of research. Here we’ll tell you what you need to know about ADT Solar.
No review should take the place of getting multiple quotes (including local installers) specific to your property. This review is as well researched as possible, but doesn’t rely on any hands-on testing or real experience with the purchasing process. Your experience may be different from what’s written here.
What do I get from ADT Solar?
ADT Solar offers solar panels for purchase, but not via lease or power purchase agreement. If you buy from ADT, you’ll get quality panels.
What solar equipment does ADT Solar install?
ADT Solar installs panels from Qcells, Silfab and Canadian Solar, which have maximum efficiency ratings of 20.9%, 21.4% and 22.8% respectively (depending on the model). Canadian Solar’s efficiency mark ties SunPower’s for the most efficient solar panel for residential applications.
ADT Solar offers two preferred batteries, the Tesla Powerwall and Enphase’s IQ batteries. The Tesla Powerwall is a battery widely used by solar installers. It can provide 13.5 kilowatt hours 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. If you’re using it to take advantage of time-of-use rates, or something else, then there’s a cap of 10 years or 37.8 megawatt hours cycled through.
Enphase IQ batteries come in two sizes as well. The IQ Battery 3 can hold 3.36 kilowatt hours of usable energy and release it at a continuous rate of 1.28 kVA or 1.92 kVA during a 10-second peak. Enphase’s IQ Battery 10 contains three of its smaller counterparts. That makes for a total capacity of 10.08 kilowatt hours of usable energy, a maximum release rate of 3.84 kVA and a 10-second maximum of 5.7 kVA. While the Powerwall is bigger and can release more energy at once, both batteries can have more units added on. If a Powerwall was too small for your needs, you could purchase a second, or third. The same goes for Enphase, though you can add in smaller increments by adding one IQ Battery 3 at a time.
ADT Solar also installs Enphase microinverters, which operate with over 97% efficiency. Microinverters allow for panel-level monitoring and can often squeeze a bit more energy out of your array. In some cases a string inverter might be just as effective for a bit less money.
What warranties does ADT Solar offer?
ADT’s preferred panels come with warranties that guarantee they’ll produce between 85% and 89% of their rated output 25 years after installation. (Silfab offers a 30-year option, too.) Enphase inverters come with a 25-year warranty.
A couple of warranties that ADT Solar offers go above and beyond typical manufacturer warranties: a 25-year production warranty and a 25-year workmanship warranty. An ADT spokesperson said the production guarantee is specific to each array and included in individual contracts. The labor warranty guarantees that the system will be installed “according to the reasonable standards of care and diligence generally practiced by solar installation companies” on similar installations in the same area, a company spokesperson said. That guarantee seems pretty general, but a 25-year workmanship warranty is much longer than with other companies.
ADT also offers a 25-year weatherization warranty on the roof penetrations made during installation. This is the longest weatherization warranty of any solar panel installer we’ve reviewed.
Does ADT Solar offer monitoring services?
ADT customers can monitor the production of their panels through the Enphase app. It allows you to monitor your system performance, see where energy is flowing between your house, solar panels, battery storage and the grid. You can also view the performance of individual panels, take your home off the grid and configure your system to save the most money or use the least amount of energy from the grid possible.
Does ADT Solar use subcontractors?
ADT operates with in-house installation teams, which have been trained by the company to install its system, ADT said in an email.
How much do ADT Solar panels cost?
ADT doesn’t make the average prices of its installations public, and a spokesperson declined to share that number. Solar panel installations vary in price from state to state. The median cost in 2022 according to the consulting firm Wood Mackenzie was $3 per watt for an 8-kilowatt system ($23,920 in total).
Regardless of the average price in your area, ADT is likely to compete as it offers a price-match guarantee. Within 30 days of signing an agreement with ADT, if you can submit a cheaper quote from a competing installer, ADT will honor that price and throw an additional $150 your way. There are a few stipulations: The solar arrays offer “the same products and workmanship or equal specifications” and provide the same “benefits of ADT’s workmanship, installation certifications, background and drug-testing program for installers.”
What financing options does ADT Solar offer?
ADT offers solar installation by purchase, but doesn’t offer power purchase agreements or leases. While purchasing solar panels typically delivers the most savings over the installation’s lifetime, power purchase agreements and leases offer more affordable ways to go solar, sometime lowering the upfront costs to nothing.
Does ADT Solar operate in my state? How do I order?
ADT has a large and growing footprint. The company currently operates in 23 states.
ADT service is coming soon to seven more states: Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia.
You can get in contact with ADT through a short online form, which authorizes the company to contact you via phone or email. ADT then conducts a site visit and presents you with a quote.
Is ADT Solar the best choice?
As with most major purchases, it’s best to check out multiple options before choosing one solar provider over another. If you need to finance your panels, you should shop around, too.
ADT’s price-match guarantee means it should be as affordable as other installers. On top of that, while you’ll need to read the details of the warranties you’re offered, 25-year production, workmanship and weatherization warranties are longer than most on the market. ADT’s preferred brands for panels, inverters and batteries are high quality and have a strong track record. Among the major solar providers, ADT appears to be a good choice.
While there isn’t robust, publicly available customer satisfaction data for the solar industry, ADT Solar has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. This suggests that it’s responsive to concerns when issues crop up. (The customer reviews left there are less positive.)
While I researched as deeply as was reasonable, it’s important to note that I didn’t go through the purchasing process or get any hands-on experience with an ADT installation. Solar installers are difficult to review in a traditional sense, and this overview doesn’t rely on any independent, empirical testing by CNET. Be sure to do your own research into the best fit for your home and include smaller, local installers in your search.
Read more: Want something smaller than a whole-home solar system? See our picks for the best portable solar panels and solar generators.
- Offers price match guarantee
- Offers well-regarded equipment
- Offers warranties longer than many competitors
- Not up front with pricing
ADT Solar reviews: What are customers saying?
While ADT Solar’s score from the Better Business Bureau is an A+ (which reflects, among other things, its responsiveness to customer complaints), the customer reviews left there appear to skew much more negative toward ADT, as they do for most companies. You’ll need to scroll back to August 2022 past a parade of one-star reviews to find a couple of five-star ratings.
Customer reviews offer a look into a customer’s specific experience with a company and may not track with your own in the future. Pay attention to them, but focus on trends and use them to identify questions you may not have thought to ask before signing up with a company.
Here’s a sample of the good and the bad from the Better Business Bureau’s customer reviews.
Five-star ADT Solar reviews
“[We] have had our system installed a little over 10 months and have had great luck with it. Our salesman was awesome and super straight forward [and] didn’t sell us a pipe dream. We have not had an electrical bill over 13 dollars yet. We are waiting on our state incentives and have already received our Federal Tax Credit. Great crew and sales staff. Communication took a day sometimes.” Eydra C. 3/20/2023
“The team doing the work installing the system on our tile roof was excellent in informing us as to problems encountered and resolved.” Charles P. 8/25/2022
One-star ADT Solar reviews
“I am writing to express my extreme frustration with the communication and permit process regarding a solar panel detach and reset as a roofing contractor on behalf of one of our clients. We signed up the homeowner in early December! and it has now been several months of delays and miscommunications that have significantly slowed down the process of replacing their roof.” Angel V. 5/4/2023
“ADT Solar is not to be trusted. I entered into a contract with them on 14 April 22. To date I am still not connected, or even producing any energy. Over a year I have been waiting on them to get permission.” Vernon W. 4/20/2023
How we evaluate solar companies
Reviewing solar companies in a hands-on way is difficult. Accounting for all the differences 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 the 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 roof to roof). Companies are often slow to disclose it, too. We also leave out easily found but not useful information like how many states a company operates in.