With our experience helping customers repair their solar energy system, we have seen a lot of instances where people have gotten solar for their homes only to regret it. We’ve compiled 7 (seven) tips to help homeowners compare solar quotes and costs to ensure you have a great experience going solar with fantastic ROI.
Way too often, we see that people get too hung up on the equipment, which is not their fault. Other solar companies treat the selling of a solar energy system like a car, where it is all about the flashy brand and the extra bells and whistles. While this is true to some extent, it is essential to know that what you want in a solar energy system is a workhorse, not a racecar. As a company specializing in solar repair, we find that the most significant impact on a homeowner’s ROI is if you require service. We see that the equipment is rarely the cause of failure, just poor installation practices. In over 12 years of being in this industry, we have only seen the need to replace a solar panel twice out of tens of thousands installed.
Inverters, micro or otherwise, tend to have more issues. That being said, the whole inverter+optimizer versus microinverter debate is already a closed chapter for our solar company. Microinverters have proven to be far easier to install, troubleshoot, and replace than any inverter+optimizer setup we have ever done. Enphase tech support is fast and knowledgeable, and their monitoring platform is the best we’ve seen to date. Any time we have done a warranty replacement with Enphase, it arrives within less than two weeks and usually within a week. While these two setups’ functionality is designed to be the same, the service experience is vastly different, with microinverters being superior. But, that’s our technical perspective. From a sales perspective, the inverter+optimizer versus microinverter choice is purely financial. With microinverters costing an average of 10-15% more. Solar sales guys make the most money when they sell you the cheapest equipment at the highest price. When you are told that switching from an inverter+optimizer setup to a microinverter structure costs the same, it usually means they were over-charging for the cheaper installation from the start.
One of the biggest dissatisfactions we hear from individuals who have gone solar is that their system is too small to offset their overall usage. This is why a well-designed system should be your primary goal and should meet at least 110% of your annual electricity needs. Oversizing your solar energy system is important because because it can:
Roofs are typically one of your home’s most neglected parts and the most crucial element of your home for installing solar. If a roof has less than ten years to go, you may want to consider replacing your roof despite the initial cost. Many companies will overlook the fact that the roof may need replacing in the near term and still install solar to capture revenue today at the consumer’s expense.
To any roofing related costs, you need to break down costs into three general categories:
There are unforeseen issues that could unexpectedly add more costs to a typical reroof. In older homes, we see common problems that stem from:
If you upgrade your roof at the same time you install solar, you should save on labor costs and disposal costs. More importantly, you should enjoy your solar PV systems for the entire duration of your solar PV warranty.
How your solar panels are designed on your roof can make a significant impact on the overall performance of your solar energy system. A well-designed solar energy system allows for maximum production while using the fewest amount of panels. This reduces the system cost by not adding extra equipment, providing you the lowest price per watt.
Keep your project cost in check by understanding what you are being charged for from start to finish. On all solar deals, make sure you know the following:
Most homes and businesses always want to ensure that the price they see is the price that they pay. With homes being so different, there are a few instances where additional costs need to be added to helping prepare a home go solar. Besides the price of the system, what adds cost to my solar project?
If you’ve evaluated numerous solar companies and still haven’t succeeded in finding the right solar company to install solar on your home, than you may want to consider getting more quotes. We recommend calling in the pros at Forme Solar. We’ll evaluate your solar quotes, and help you see if there is a better solar panel and inverter package that could make more sense for you and your home. We install and provide solar services quickly and effectively, every time. Give Forme Solar a call today!