If you're considering solar, we highly recommend getting a few quotes. You'll find the price varies greatly from installer to installer, and while the sales person will try to pressure you into a contract the same day, it isn't in your best interest. Take a few days to compare quotes and you'll likely safe thousands of dollars.
Once you have a few quotes, how do you compare them? There's no standard template, nor standard equipment. Here are some tips to compare apples to apples.
1. What's included?
At Galusha Solar Colorado, we bid the project all inclusive. That means the cost of permitting, structural engineering, connecting to the electric company, monitoring, etc. There are no extra costs unless there are unexpected complications discovered later. Not all companies cover everything though, and you'll be surprised with a request for $350 to pay the electric company. So before moving on to step two, verify what is included in the price.
2. Price per watt
If they don't explicitly state the price per watt, you can calculate this by taking the total price and dividing it by the total size in watts. For instance, a 6kw system might cost $20,000 installed. To calculate the price per watt, take 20,000/6000 to get $3.33/watt.
3. Compare equipment
Equipment is difficult to compare, but let's keep it simple.
First, have they included either microinverters or a SolarEdge system which includes optimizers for each panel? If not, they are offering you a poorer quality system that will produce less and require more maintenance cost over time as the inverters need to be replaced after 12 years or so.
Second, look at the panels. There are far too many panels to choose from, but you can ask how long the warranties are. A typical panel has a 10 year workmanship and 25 year production warranty. Some have a 25 year workmanship warranty, which provides increased confidence that they will last for decades. For more information on panels, see our post on our preferred US solar panels.
Third, don't be afraid to google. There are websites like Energy Sage that provides reviews on many of the solar panels on the market. For example, to learn a little about Solaria, here is the review page for the company, and then you can click on any of the panels on that page for more detailed information.
The first three points help you see the value of each bid. Beyond that you also want to consider how our system is serviced if that is needed. Not all companies will help if you have hail damage and need the panels removed to replace your roof. And even if they say they will, our experience is they won't service fast enough to fulfill your claim. At Galusha Solar we take care of our systems. If your roof is damaged we'll remove the panels in a reasonable time frame. That cost is billed to the insurance company as part of the insurance claim.
What if there is a problem with your equipment? Call or email us. We will handle the warranty claim and get it replaced at no cost to you. And if something happens that isn't covered under a warranty claim? We'll evaluate the situation and if there needs to be a cost charged it will be the minimum necessary, though our goal is to never have service calls. We design and install the systems so they work, and work well.
Once you compare apples to apples, you may simply make a financial decision. You might also value some of the other things the company provides. Do you prefer a large company or a small company where your business has a larger impact? Do you like supporting veteran owned businesses? Check into the company itself and see if they are one you feel comfortable supporting.
6. Ask questions
In the end, we are interested in as many people going solar as possible. If you don't go with us, that's ok! Just don't skip going solar because you are confused. Ask questions. We're known for being honest and transparent and have sent potential customers to other companies when that was truly the best option for their situation.
We hope this helps you compare solar bids so you can make the best decision for you. If you have questions, reach out!
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