Why Doesn't Everyone Use Solar Panels?

Once solar technology became efficient enough to reliably generate enough power for the average homeowner to consumer, the adoption of solar exploded in 2008. This rapid growth is the primary reason most homeowners in California have not gone solar. It led to terrible experiences and unmet expectations. Creating fly-by-night solar installers that installed solar energy systems without considering how to properly install and service the solar panels they installed.

solar panel installation company

Solar Power in California; Snake Oil or Reality?

The government believes so much in renewable energy like solar panels to the point they are heavily incentivizing homeowners to go solar. This initial incentive created a boom that took off in California.

Unfortunately, as with many industries that began with a big boom, many different and inexperienced companies tried to install solar panels. This led to a lot of bad experiences, and poor installations. During solar energy's early days in 2010, there were a lot of restrictions that surrounded the industry. Financing was difficult, the city permit offices weren't ready for solar, and the available equipment often had issues. These challenges impacted well-intentioned businesses, from roofers and electricians to those that want to make a quick buck at any cost.

With the rapid industry growth and lack of information, many companies grew based on misleading advertising, false promises, high-pressure sales tactics, and sometimes even fraud. This has led to many homeowners being skeptical of solar. 

Top reasons why everyone doesn't use solar panels: 

  1. Misleading advertising and unmatched expectations
  2. Distrust of aggressive sales teams 
  3. Hard to compare solar panel quotes
  4. Horror stories about after installation support
  5. Misinformation about solar panel costs

1. Misleading Advertising - There Are No Free Solar Panels

There is an old saying that, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." If you have ever clicked on an advertisement for Free Solar Panels, you may have already experienced this. You are immediately asked for your information, so someone can contact you and tell you more. Why is it so challenging to talk to someone to get a straight answer? Red Flag Alert! Trying to get a hold of a solar company shouldn't have to be gated behind a form.

If you fill out an online form, you may start getting bombarded with phone calls and emails from every company in the world wanting to sell you solar panels. This is part of the latest solar company trend, Solar Lead Generation Companies. Learn about the different types of solar companies you will come across when shopping for solar

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Solar lead companies will say anything to capture your personal information and then sell it to actual solar installation companies. They can make false promises because they aren't selling you anything and hope that the companies they sell the lead to can provide the correct information. To prevent being bombarded by calls and emails from random solar companies, don't click on advertisements with promises that are too good to be true.

If you are interested in solar, you are better off searching for reputable local companies in your area. Go to their website and evaluate the information they provide. I would also recommend that you read reviews about the company across different review sites like Google Reviews, Yelp, EnergySage, Houzz, Best Company, and Solar Reviews. If you like them, fill out the Contact Us form on their website. As with anything, invest the time and do proper research. Here are our top tips on choosing the best solar companies near me

2. Different Solar Company Sales Experiences

High-Pressure, Low Information Solar Sales Reps

There are two classes of sales professionals across solar companies. The first type is high-pressured solar sales teams. They knock on your door and require signatures on contracts immediately. And have no problem making you feel uncomfortable in your own home. Often, the pressure is built-in, so you won't take the time to compare costs, benefits of solar, and the solar company's reputation. They may start with one price and then drop their price several times to make you feel like you are getting a good deal. In the end, you either agree to sign the paperwork, or you may have to ask them to leave.

Don't allow yourself to feel pressured into buying something on the spot. Solar energy can help your family save money, but it is also a costly investment. The decision should feel right for you and your family. Going solar needs to make sense, not just for the solar company but for you as well. Look out for comfort, not the needs of the salesperson. If their product is so good, why do they need to push you to buy it?

Information-Based Solar Energy System Sales


The other type of solar sales that you will find is one that does less selling and just provides information. There are solar companies that believe in creating personalized experiences through data. They ask questions to find out what your needs and goals are. When evaluating solar companies, it is important to see which take a holistic approach to meeting your needs. And don't rely on a one-size-fits-all solution. The best solar companies understand that solar is a significant investment and acknowledge that the customer needs time to do research and evaluate a proposal. They are happy to provide more information and follow up as necessary, returning to fill out paperwork when you are ready. 

Note: In California, if you get pressured into signing an agreement, you have a three day right of rescission. This means that you can cancel the contract within three days without repercussions. Make sure you call to cancel AND put it in writing. 

3. Hard to Compare Solar Power Prices

It is hard to compare solar panel quotes. The language of solar sales isn't dollars ($) but Cost / Watt. What information to trust, how to understand costs, and what to prioritize can be a challenge. Therefore it is important to know of resources you can rely on that will help you verify the information solar panel companies are providing. 

Trust, But Verify. Compare Solar Proposals with PVWatts

We always recommend that our solar customers get a couple of quotes for their solar panel system. Often, these quotes differ in price, equipment, system size, and energy production. When it comes to energy production (measured in daily/monthly/annual kWh), how do you know if the numbers you are presented are accurate?

Thankfully, there is a tool available on the internet to help you. The PVWatts Calculator is available from the Nation Renewable Energy Laboratory. You can enter your address, and then compare what the sales proposal told you against the PVWatts results. If the numbers aren't close, ask the salesperson why they are different. This will ensure that you aren't being sold more solar panels than you need. If the span falls short of the energy you used last year, you know that your array won't offset 100% of your current electricity usage. PVWatts is a great tool that can help you compare solar panel quotes, and ensure you aren't buying more solar panels than you need. 

4. Customer Service: Post Solar Installation Support

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Many solar companies appear and then seem to vanish in thin air. It is important to work with companies that don't just focus on selling you the system, but also have a strong reputation repairing systems as well. Quality is always at the top of the things a home or business should look for when choosing a solar panel installation company. Working with a solar energy company that had a strong foundation in service and repair can ensure that you are dealing with a solar installation company who will be around and will provide honest communication. 

5. Solar Power Misinformation - Solar Panel Costs

sce notice updated rates

Solar panels are commonly viewed on two ends of the spectrum, free and expensive. Due to general solar power misinformation, lots of homeowners are led to believe that solar panels are free. On the flip side, there are also a lot of homeowners that believe solar panels are expensive. So which is it? Funny enough, it's neither. Free solar doesn't exist, and they aren't expensive. 

Solar panels are an alternative that will save you money. You can either purchase a solar energy system and see a payback typically of 5-7 years. Or you can get a loan or do a lease. With a loan or a lease, your monthly payments will be less than paying your utility company. Can saving money be expensive? 

Best Practice Recommendations When Shopping for Solar

Some salespeople will say almost anything to bring in a deal. As with most things in life, shortcuts often result in frustrating results. If solar energy was that beneficial, why do solar companies need to have such aggressive sales teams to try to force you to buy a product you aren't fully committed to?

Don't click on pop-up ads that make promises that are too good to be true. Do your due diligence, get at least 3 quotes from various solar companies, compare the solar proposals with the PVWatts Solar Calculator, and don't hesitate to ask questions. Most importantly, go with a solar panel company that has experience in solar service and repair. It is important to work with a company that not only knows how to install a solar power system, but also repair it as well.

Being unable to repair the solar energy systems they installed is one of the primary reasons solar companies go bankrupt every year. Make an informed decision, and don't get fooled or scammed when going solar.

Best Solar Companies Near Me, For Me!

Let Forme Solar make your home life easier. If you are considering solar for your home or need help comparing solar quotes, contact our team. We strive to provide you with the best solar installation service possible, from our high-quality workmanship, along with outstanding customer care. We understand the stress that comes with shopping for solar. Regardless of the size or scope of your solar installation problem, our team of solar installers has the experience, skills, and the latest equipment to accomplish any solar panel job to your satisfaction.

We are ready to be your solar partners for life. Make us the first and only California solar company you call for all your solar needs and have peace-of-mind knowing you can always count on us. In addition to being courteous, we are friendly, honest, and professional. We treat your home like our own and consider every customer as a family member.

Forme Solar Solutions is a commercial and residential solar installer and electrical contractor that has served California since 2017. We have installed thousands of panels and have a solar customer near you. Check out solar installations near me and get a quote today!