After thinking about your options, you finally decide on shifting to a home solar energy. That’s great! Now, how do you make sure the quotes you are getting are fair, accurate, and designed for your goals?
One of the first steps is to work with a solar installation company to get a quote. Sometimes a solar consultant knocks on your door or you may look online and find a company with good reviews. But how do you know that your quote is accurate?
A Collection of Considerations
In order to answer this question, you need to understand that there are multiple parts that solar consultants take into consideration when analyzing a quote. While the details can be overwhelming, they operate on these main aspects: how much energy you use and currently purchase from your utility company, your utility rate plan, location, weather, amount of sunlight, temperature, roof space, system orientation (also known as azimuth or tilt), shade, and soiling. These elements are key to most of the pricing.
However, there are other considerations as well, such as local policy, utility rates, and incentives. Collectively, these aspects influence a good system and a good proposal.
Ask Questions, Confirm, and Verify
A good and reliable consultant takes all of the considerations above and prepares a proposal that is perfect for you and you alone. With that being said, a good quotation relies on credible, verifiable industry tools and best practices.
You need to be conscientious as well and study the proposal and ask the solar consultant to justify their figures. These questions allow the company to show its experience in handling the calculations for your project. If they are not able to answer your questions confidently, then it’s a clear indication that they are not up for the task, and that they would not be able to execute your project to your satisfaction. You have the right to speak up and raise questions, especially for the parts (and considerations) that you don’t understand.
Here in Sunny Energy, we make sure that the services we provide are reliable. We use the Solar Advisor Model from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy to make sure we get the accurate and best results for our clients. Aside from our excellent tools, our founders have 14 years of experience, each, in the field of solar energy, and have helped shape the best practices in this landscape.
Size, Savings, and Investments
For home solar systems, solar consultants may try to discuss that size doesn’t matter. However, this is untrue. At Sunny Energy, we believe that size does matter but with heavy consideration that aligns with your goals. We focus on the efficiency and performance of the system proportional to the investment you pour into it.
Essentially, we aim for a system that produces 100% of the amount of energy you may use in a year. That is a good basis; however, that does not mean that a smaller, or larger, system is not as good. In terms of investment according to dollars saved per dollar invested, a smaller solar system is usually better. Or, your own personal goals may dictate that a system that produces more than 100% of your energy usage is actually better for you.
But, if you’re wanting to get rid of 100% of your utility bill, this undertaking will require a much larger, more expensive solar system. This, in turn, produces a lot more energy than you use in a year. This means that this setup reduces your return on the investment in solar considerably.
Aside from the considerations mentioned above, there are some elements that influence the quote of your project. Equipment is a big part of this – equipment used, life, and warranties. You can expand your understanding of solar technology from this article. A company’s reputation can also affect the quotation as it indicates the quality of work such as the installation quality. Also, a system with battery storage costs significantly higher. For a better breakdown of battery storage, you can read this article and gain insight into how solar works.
With the PVWatts Calculator by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), you may be able to verify any unrealistic energy production quotations that you received from solar companies. Anyone can use this tool! For those that do, keep in mind that there could be a 10% or 15% off with the results – this is common. However, anything with a more than 15% margin should be flagged and discussed with your solar sales consultant of choice.
It’s also our recommendation to use our instant solar quote tool at Sunny Energy. It’s fast and reliable, and a good way to get a bigger picture of the project you’re planning. Of course, you’re also welcome to call us at 480-536-8700 and talk to our reliable solar consultants.