Submitted by Technical_Pay9104 t3_115muyn in massachusetts

Got a knock on the door from a rep at Trinity Solar claiming to be licensed by the town and offering what sounds like too good to be true… to put solar panels on the rough at no cost to me, all material/labor/maintenance/insurance handled by the town. Has anyone heard of this? Done this? If so what is your experience?



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theopinionexpress t1_j92mpk2 wrote

Nothing is free.

Buy em don’t lease em


dribrats t1_j97639k wrote


Trinity is legit, they have an A+ on BBB, and good reviews on Google, and indeed: What they’re discussing is the PPA, power purchase agreement and it’s a solid instrument. Solar Power , is typically at a floor rate of 19.9 cents, on an escalator of 2.9% per year. It’s a 25 year proposal wherein year by 25 you’re paying almost as much as you’re paying now.

  • the only way it’s not too good to be true, is everyone on pole utilities is paying in to a program that only 20% of population qualify for.

  • Purchase is not particularly advisable if you don’t plan on being in your current home less than 10 years, or you don’t qualify for itc credits. Pm if you want to discuss more.


tobiasrfunke t1_j92m5b2 wrote

I definitely wouldn't trust anything the door-to-door reps say. They will say nearly anything to get you to sign a contract. There's a lot of scammy stuff going down with these solar companies.


ManifestDestinysChld t1_j92qk48 wrote

Trinity Solar has been in business for many years, and generally enjoy a good reputation. I'm not saying those scams don't exist - they definitely do! - but probably not from Trinity.


tobiasrfunke t1_j92ros5 wrote

My opinion is that door-to-door sales is a scam tactic. I know people who have worked for Trinity and the whole point is to get people to sign up for something without doing any research. Putting solar panels on your roof is a big decision and their goal is to rush you into it at the benefit of their company, not the customer.


burnout524 t1_j95th2b wrote

I’d love to go solar but I can’t get over the used car dealery sales tactics and presentation. If I can’t trust what you’re telling me, I’m not gonna drop $45k+ on a solar system!


nexusmoonshot t1_j93gajr wrote

I live in Worcester county and purchased solar panels about 5 years ago. I cannot attest to the current benefits, but when I bought my panels I got to write off 1/3 of the cost on my federal taxes and an additional $1000 on my MA state tax. I also get paid ~$2k a year (tax free) in renewable energy credits for 10 total years. These factors made it worth it to me, and I haven't had an electricity bill in years -- only a low interest loan payment. In fact, I actually have accrued a large credit with National Grid as my solar system generates much more than I need. I am allowed to credit to then my parents' or friend's account with my excess credit. I will offer them 80 cents on the dollar and it's a good deal for both side. Anyways...

My understanding is that if you elect not to buy your own panels, and someone offers to put them onto your roof for "free", they get all these incentives. Furthermore, my understanding is that the benefit they can therefore offer you a static electricity bill for a number of years which may be a good deal as we all know utility bills rise.


SideBarParty t1_j92m7t4 wrote

There is no cost to you. But they reap the rewards. You'll get a discount on electric rates, but they take a big cut.


Sprucey26 t1_j94db6o wrote

That’s the deal I have from a friends solar company. They do well with incentives and overproduction. But I have a nearly zero dollar electric bill these days. I didn’t pay anything now will I ever pay anything. But the biggest bill I have seen in the last few years is like $8.

Great for me in my position because I won’t be in this house forever and I knew this when I signed up for it. My next house I will buy the panels outright and they will be on the ground. That’s what my parents did like 12 years ago and they make lots of $$$ off them.


jpr_jpr t1_j92s3k0 wrote

Energy Sage is a good resource and is linked to by towns, the state, and fed as a good resource for exploring solar panels.

To add, I would never, ever do business with someone that knocked on my door. Maybe if I got an estimate from them and three other companies and a ton of customer reviews.

I used energy sage and a company that provided a proposal through them. Very happy with the support and work.


Linux-Is-Best t1_j92v5l1 wrote


The problem with door-to-door sales is they are commission sales and since they work on commission, it is in their interest to convenience you that you need more than you need, if not everything, because they make more the more you buy into whatever they're selling.

Additionally, times have changed and the person going door-to-door can just as easily be a scammer trying to collect your information or even try to case your home for theft, which is why it is important not to let anyone in who is going door-to-door. It is always a good idea to call your local police department, using the non-emergency line, to verify if anyone has checked in with the town to go around door-to-door (a requirement for most communities).

Lastly, as someone else said, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Solar equipment is not cheap. It is partly why the government has offered a lot of tax rebates and incentives to encourage people to switch to solar (to help offset the cost).

If you ever do consider getting solar, please remember it is best to buy your equipment and not lease it. While the upfront cost may be greater, you will not be paying monthly or annual fees indefinitely. For many, the whole point of switching to solar is to either lower or, if possible, outright remove their electric bill, not add a new long-term bill. And lastly, many homeowner insurance policies will not cover your roof or solar equipment, if you lease. That means if something is installed wrong, or even some natural weather issue takes place, you're still out of pocket for all the repairs, replacements, and labor if you lease.

That all said, whatever your choice, it is best that you call a company of your choosing, and not the random person who happens to knock on your door. You will nearly always do better shopping around and doing your own homework.


taguscove t1_j9324a3 wrote

The economics of solar in MA in general are insanely good. 15-20% annual roi basically risk free. Pays back in 6-8 years. Sounds too good to be true but a combination of expensive electricity rates and huge solar incentives.

Leasing is much more expensive than buying though, so I recommend buying outright if at all possible


Triumph790 t1_j92pj89 wrote

They just visited my next door neighbor this week. They promised him free install. He asked me about it, since we got a large solar array installed last year and I did a ton of research. I've never heard of this company, but I can assure you it's bullshit. Probably stretching the truth to say the install is rolled into financing or a lease - your city government has no involvement.

Like others have said, if you're interested in solar buy the system outright. Contact many reputable companies for quotes and/or use Energy Sage to solicit bids.


ManifestDestinysChld t1_j92q915 wrote

It's a power-leasing deal. Some company pays you (either in dollars, or by selling you electricity at a lower cost than your regular utility) to put solar panels on your roof. The company banks revenue by creating power and banking state renewable energy credits. You get a slightly lower electrical bill.

You'd come out ahead if you purchased a solar panel array and paid a loan on it (this is what I did a few years ago, AMA). But if you're not in a position to do that, this would probably be at least a small savings on your energy bill.

So even though you could come out ahead with an arrangement like this, it's not really considered a "good" investment, since you're basically taking a thank-you cut from somebody else who's actually making profit. The underlying truth is that the area of your roof is very valuable in terms of using it to generate power. Either YOU can realize that value, or you can get a minimal payment to let someone ELSE realize that value.


nexusmoonshot t1_j93hvnj wrote

I have solar that's oversized for my house and usage. My house is national gas, but the previous owner put on an addition but made that an electric zone. I had that room properly insulated and shut down the electric zone. It saved me a small fortune, and now I have a large negative balance with National Grid. I've used my negative balance to credit friends and family for 80 cents on the dollar.


Total-Addendum9327 t1_j95dpx6 wrote

There are so many of these solar panel peddlers out there these days… I tend to assume they are pretty much a scam


noodle-face t1_j94o44g wrote

Too good to be true. This is common in every town.

They're.going to get you to lease them and claim your electric savings will pay for the lease and your electric bill


March_Latter t1_j95pyl2 wrote

Think about the money solar companies spend trying to get you to buy. Look at those salesman, how much money has to be there to go door to door as a professional. The solar companies make a massive margin off your choices and really if you spend just a little time the incentives to buy solar panels are pretty good. You can buy all the equipment yourself, have real professionals install it so it looks like it belongs and as long as you don't go insane with sizing get a reasonable return on your investment. Remember there is no "solar install" license in Massachusetts. You need an electrician and a contractor, just like the solar company would hire.


freshpicked12 t1_j95vdxk wrote

We just put solar on our house. With the insane rising costs of Nat Grid, it made sense.


bizmarkie24 t1_j966a6x wrote

They want you to lease the panels. Basically, they become your new power company, likely at a lower rate than what you would pay national grid/eversource. However, they also then get all the benefits like tax incentives, net metering, and the SMART program, which the power company pays you for all the solar you generate. There are so many great benefits to purchasing/financing panels over leasing that it's a no brainer. Prices have come down a lot too since I got mine in 2018. I'd suggest using energy sage a d shop around for different prices amoung local and national installers. Don't lease.


hutch2522 t1_j96cpu0 wrote

I looked into Trinity. Man, they were expensive. Shop around. They were a good 30K over other companies. They had a great financing rate, but I’d rather owe less at a higher rate. Leaves possibility of refinancing in the future and/or paying it down faster. The capper was the asshole sales guy acting incredulous when I said I had a much cheaper quote.


JaacHerself t1_j96eero wrote

Never buy anything from someone going door to door. Except Girl Scout cookies (if they even do that anymore). Rule #1 as a homeowner.


chancimus33 t1_j96hke4 wrote

Even then, don’t buy girls scout cookies. Buy them on Amazon for cheaper.


JaacHerself t1_j96j4bc wrote

You can also buy them directly from the Girl Scouts online for half the price Amazon has them at, and know your money is supporting a troop :-) link


CosmicQuantum42 t1_j97ia3m wrote

Do not lease solar panels.

If you can afford paying cash or financing some other way they are a pretty good investment.

If you can’t, you should not get them.


Formal-Pickle-1310 t1_j98xt3a wrote

We got a quote from them. Posted it to the solar sub and it got roasted. We got a much much better deal directly from Sunnova. Bigger system with a better inverter for 20k less than Trinity quoted.


Ineluki_742 t1_j9a4fls wrote

We put a large array on my house a number of years ago. When we were researching options we spoke to a realtor friend of ours about leasing. He said leasing can be problematic if you don't intend to be in your home for the life of the panels. He has seen home sales get really murky over folks who don't want to pay the lease. Not that it would happen to you, just what he cautioned us about. We ended up buying them outright and as another poster said their are many incentives/loan forgiveness programs and other things out there to help reduce the cost.