After 2 years of home renovations, my house is finally complete. I had the bathrooms completely redone, the kitchen remodeled, the rugs replaced with hardwood floors, and last but not least a solar system installed. I’m ecstatic and everything looks great! However, knowing what I know now, I would have done things a little differently.
First, my neighbors told me that it took them 4 months to go solar. Since the solar system was the last on my priority list, and it seemed like a very difficult thing to do, I put it on the back-burner. After all, my electric bill wasn’t causing me financial troubles and I needed to get my other projects done.
Eventually came solar’s turn on. Before I had over the sales representative, I mentally prepared my lines “I’m not signing anything today,” and “I’m just looking to get more information”. In hindsight I feel bad that I had pre-judged the young woman but in today’s day and age you have to prepare for the worst. She answered all of my questions very straight forward, and I decided that I wanted to do the Power Purchase Agreement. Setting up a roof assessment and gathering information took 15 minutes.
The next day the engineer came for the assessment. He showed up within the 30 minute window and did all of his work on the outside of the house. I planned on leaving half way through to do some grocery shopping but he was already done before I could leave! I found it hard to believe that he could get everything he needed in less than an hour.
A few days later I met with my sales (or should I say customer service) representative for about half an hour. She showed me my design, answered my remaining questions, and we got permitting started. The company took care of the permitting for us and had it back for us in just under 3 weeks. I was impressed. So far so good – no high pressure sales, no one showing up late, and best of all no having to babysit people or stay on top of things myself.
On the day of install, the set up crew arrived within their short window and completed the job in one day, long before sundown. Being skeptical I kept searching for sloppiness in their job, nothing. My total involvement in the process was essentially boiled down to giving the order “ok go” and then going back to sleep. Literally a combined hour of my time over a span of 3 weeks.
All in all, if I were to do it all over again, I would have not only done the solar project first, but I would have done it at the same time as another project. Had I had known it would be this simple I could have been saving money since 2 years ago… In my case, adding over 2 thousand dollars a year worth of electric bill savings that could have potentially gone the other projects. It is fair to say I’m regretful for not doing it sooner.
So what happened with my neighbors? Why was their process so much longer and stressful? To this day I’m not sure. My main theory is that they went with a big brand name company and had to deal with multiple people while I went with a local company and only had to deal with one. Also, my business probably meant more to them. Either way, the moral of the story is that if you are already planning on going solar one day, the sooner is the better!